Dish vs Direct TV Pricing

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DishSubLA

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DirecTV always had the PRICE barrier (too expensive, especially compared to Dish, but even to our cable TV provider). The first two sat systems I ever saw at people's homes were DircTV (both households were MEGA sports fans and DTV was then the only provider of the exclusive stuff not only in NFL but MLB and soccer), and they were impressive systems and the PQ was easily superior to my cable TV provider.

Then my aunt & uncle got Dish because they had just gotten a big screen TV and did not like the LACK of channels of their cable provider compared to satellite, but Dish had the rebate program way back then and it was at Costco and they considered DTV, but did not want to pay the higher prices, so it was Dish. Thankfully, I steered her AWAY from the DishPlayer 7000/7100 that was a disaster. So, they were quite happy with content to watch, Dolby Digital surround sound and the much better PQ that Dish had then.

Then, after our cable TV provider couldn't come for over a WEEK to fix a problem that prevented us from viewing ANY TV during the holidays when the guys would want to watch the games, etc.--we were really angry, so I made the jump to Dish because we did see how the Dish system did its job (while looking 2nd rate to DTV as far as EPG), but we were motivated by Dish's LOWER prices--that was the deciding factor. Yes, back in those days the DTV hardware made by 3rd parties was, for the most part, superior, but then Dish added the Picture in Guide to the 3900/4900 series (the lower slaves were still using that awful, Micky Mouse looking guide compared to DTV's fancy guide displays) that made a big difference in the experience.

Then, a few years later, Dish moved past DTV in STB and a bit later in DVR's after Dishs rocky start, but Dish did offer getting a DVR in the house at a HUGE discount of one-time reasonable fee, while DTV had to charge extra and on top of EXTRA for the DirecTiVo's at the time. Then Dish just started giving you a DVR, while DTV was still had a price barrier.

Also, one still had to buy a DTV system on your OWN at full retail price from 3rd parties, while Dish--because it made its own hardware equipment, moved to the cable TV model of paying for the system for you and installing it FOR you, the subscriber, or at a nominal one-time fee that was far cheaper than DTV's full retail priced system you had to go to Best Buy and purchase AND pay for the separate installation fee.

DTV was engineered by a legacy govt. contractor, a part of the military industrial complex, who were used to designing with NO EXPENSE spared and inefficiencies because Uncle Sam would always pick-up the tab. DTV just didn't have a legacy of considering the consumer market much, and the real purpose for DTV was its exclusive sports offerings with all the other "cable" channels being for the wife and kids. And the original DTV management never took Dish seriously.

20 some years ago when Dish and DTV attempted to merge, Mr. Ergen got to look at DTV's books, and I clearly remember Charlie Ergen stating at some point to a question or something and tried to explain the merger, stating among other things that "They built a very expensive network . . ." I had always believed the DTV was pretty much LOCKED into their high pricing not just because of it exclusive sports, but that it had built a not efficient network/system for the service. And BTW, Charlie's plan was to retire the Dish brand and take the DirecTV name and brand for what would have been the merged company. The DTV brand back then was truly golden and had really made DTV a household name if you ever mentioned satellite TV, so that made sense. DTV was a VERY good service, but it was just too expensive for me and quite a few others.

Dish was built with economy, but a mission to provide the best possible quality PQ and sound possible with whatever limitations Dish may have (in terms of Xpndrs/bandwidth, etc), and a careful design to meet the price sensitivity of the average consumer, along with taking a strategy to be the "affordable" DBS company compared to DTV's always higher prices. I always found it interesting that while Dish could not compete to get NFLST away from DircTV, Dish would spend the money and tried harder in the realm of superior customer experience using Dish and better DVR's and STB tech over all.

The 721, although still using hard time DVR timers, was a leap in DVR tech with its Apps overlay (the weather was my favorite), 2 tuner DVR, and first ever for a DVR Picture-in Picture. While the first year was rough, it settled down to be a DVR all Dish users LOVED, and then the subsequent DishPlayer 522/625 (IIRC, I'm not sure of the model numbers), etc. were the refinement of (and name based timers) the ground-breaking 721, and really killed DTV DVR's for good.

I am not surprised that current DTV increases still result in DTV being the KING of EXPENSIVE, and only those who MUST have NFLST or other Regionals are willing to pay the higher prices. I suppose I am just too cheap, and I know more than a few who would like the greater sports offerings of DTV, but have chosen Dish for reasons that are economic as far as a choice among proper MVPD's.

Dish, less expensive and superior STB/viewer experience and features. How ironic for DTV today. AT&T did a great job in de-valuating what was a great brand, a really good service with a great reputation into a shadow of its former self.
 
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NashGuy

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Dish, less expensive and superior STB/viewer experience and features. How ironic for DTV today. AT&T did a great job in de-valuating what was a great brand, a really good service with a great reputation into a shadow of its former self.
Yes. As I've posted elsewhere here, this is why I suspect that if/when DISH and DTV finally do merge, we'll see DISH live on as the surviving brand name for the nation's sole DBS service using their Hopper/Joey hardware platform. I expect that DTV customers would be able to stick with their existing hardware and grandfathered channel packages as long as they want, with the combined company perhaps referring to that customer group as being served by "DirecTV by DISH."
 
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edisonprime

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Yes. As I've posted elsewhere here, this is why I suspect that if/when DISH and DTV finally do merge, we'll see DISH live on as the surviving brand name for the nation's sole DBS service using their Hopper/Joey hardware platform. I expect that DTV customers would be able to stick with their existing hardware and grandfathered channel packages as long as they want, with the combined company perhaps referring to that customer group as being served by "DirecTV by DISH."
But I do know, that after Sirius and XM merged, they still have TWO SEPARATE PLATFORMS. They have their Sirius radios and their XM radios. There are SiriusXM radios as well, but those are just XM radios with an expanded lineup. Will DirecTV and Dish Network follow suit?
 
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Yespage

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But I do know, that after Sirius and XM merged, they still have TWO SEPARATE PLATFORMS. They have their Sirius radios and their XM radios. There are SiriusXM radios as well, but those are just XM radios with an expanded lineup. Will DirecTV and Dish Network follow suit?
Ultimately, Sat TV is going to transition to terrestrial 5G (and up) as well as streaming via a strand of glass and Snell's law. Dish has Sling, Directv has... well the same thing for streaming. So, merging because Sat is dying doesn't seem like the actual future as both of them will eventually be put to bed in their transition to terrestrial broadcasting.

The real big difference between Dish and Directv is that Ergen has a plan for the future that he has been developing for a decade (5G networking for consumer and business). Whether it works, we'll see, but if it does, it'll probably be pretty big. And if not, well, they have Sling and will shrink. Meanwhile, Directv was bought by AT&T and possibly doomed to being a high end online streaming platform as any other long-term plans were well out of the imagination of AT&T.
 
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NashGuy

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But I do know, that after Sirius and XM merged, they still have TWO SEPARATE PLATFORMS. They have their Sirius radios and their XM radios. There are SiriusXM radios as well, but those are just XM radios with an expanded lineup. Will DirecTV and Dish Network follow suit?
Yeah, pretty much. I'm told that modern DISH boxes can work with DTV installations (DTV rooftop dishes, wiring, and satellites) after a simple software/firmware update. So I expect that all *new* satellite subs going forward, after the merger, would get DISH receivers. And since there's a longer expected lifespan for the DTV fleet of satellites (the newest DTV sat was launched in June 2019), those new subs would get rooftop dishes aimed at the DTV sats (unless for some reason their location presented line-of-site problems for the DTV sats but not for the DISH sats, in which case their dish would be aimed at the latter).

But both sat fleets would continue to operate until they die in order to keep serving the large installed base of customers without the need for expensive re-installations. So nothing would really change for those customers who had been installed before the merger. Their receivers and dishes would keep working just as before. And they'd likely be able to keep their existing channel packages as long as they wanted.

The real changes would be what's offered to *new* subs signing up after the merger. They wouldn't have two brands (DTV and DISH) to choose from, only one. They wouldn't have two different sets of channel packages to choose from, only one. They wouldn't have two different hardware platforms (Genie and Hopper) to choose from, only one.

Now, at some point in the latter half of this decade, all of the DISH satellite fleet may have died; the youngest sat in the DISH fleet will hit its 15 year expected end-of-life in 2026, IIRC. (That said, sats often do remain operable beyond the 15 year mark.) So before that happens, any of the installed customer base still using rooftop dishes pointed at the DISH sat fleet would have to be transitioned over to either internet delivery of their TV signals or have an installer come out and replace their dish with a new one pointed at the still-operating DTV fleet. This is likely one reason why we already see Hopper receivers incorporating internet-streamed live channels. For instance, if you subscribe to HBO or Cinemax now on DISH, a few of the less-watched channels in those services (e.g. HBO Signature) aren't beamed in via sat but are only available through an internet connection to the Hopper. They appear in the guide just the same as the normal sat-delivered channels and can be recorded to your DVR hard drive just the same. And heck, you can live stream ALL of the channels in your DISH service via their app on a Fire TV streaming device. So there's zero technical reason that they couldn't let new customers sign up today for service with a Hopper and Joey and just get the entire service via a broadband connection without even the need for a rooftop dish and the expensive installation process that requires. It's certainly possible, even likely, that at some point DISH because dish-optional.
 
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navychop

navychop

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Let us not put the cart before the horse. There is no merger. Might never be.
 
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