Straight and Simple: D* or E*? (1 Viewer)

M Law

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Supporting Founder
Sep 30, 2003
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I've been reading this forum for months now, learning and weighing that most important of Life Decisions, what HD satellite system to buy. ;) The information has been great, as well as the banter.

After careful comparison, I find that the channels I really watch are on both systems, in closely priced packages, (giving E* a slight edge), and it really comes down to equipment, quality, and the intangible elements.

Give me some feedback on why I should choose E* over D*. I am looking at a 2 receiver setup with an 811 and a DVR of some level. I am not interested in what equipment may come down the pike some day, but gear that is out there today. The 921 is out cause it has too many bugs (IMO), but the 811 just squeaks in. I am going to post this in the D* forum as well.

Convince me E* is the way to go.
 

peid

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Dec 22, 2003
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South Dakota
I went with E* for 2 reasons.

1. HDTV Equipment Cost - E* = Free, D* = $400

2. Local Channels Available - E* = Has Them, D* = Didn't at the time, working on them now.

Pretty simple for me.

I love my 811 even with the bugs that SHOULD be worked out shortly.

I didn't get a PVR though and don't want one either.

However, since I bought mine from E*, they don't offer the free 811 set-up anymore without buying the TV.
 

MikeHDTulsa

SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 10, 2003
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If you need to watch a live program while your recording a program on the DVR then go with Direct TV but if all you need is one DVR and a HD receiver then go with Dish Network.
 

video62

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 26, 2003
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MikeHDTulsa said:
If you need to watch a live program while your recording a program on the DVR then go with Direct TV but if all you need is one DVR and a HD receiver then go with Dish Network.
Were you thinking of SD DVRs? Both the 921 and the upcoming "HD DirecTivo" have dual tuners, so there's no need to give an edge to a DirecTV DVR (as is the case comparing current model D* and E* SD DVRs).

If there is an edge to a DirecTV HD DVR it would be the Tivo software itself.
 

MikeHDTulsa

SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 10, 2003
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Well I might give the edge to the HD Directivo because it has dual satellite and dual OTA tuners where the 921 only has one OTA tuner and most of my HD recordings will be from OTA HD.
 

SlicerMDM

SatelliteGuys Guru
Sep 7, 2003
132
2
M Law said:
.... and it really comes down to equipment, quality, and the intangible elements.

Straight and simple, I doubt but, here's my opinion.

Quality, IMO, goes to D*. Simply look at all the complaints on the E* forums and look at the LACK of complaints on the D* forums. Also, look at the features of E* DVRs compared to Tivo. Tivo has the extras (ie: Season Pass). E* doesn't.

And, while the HDTivo isn't here TODAY, it definately WILL be here in 6 weeks and, of course, will have the quality and features of Tivo. It sounds like you would consider the 921 if it actually worked. Might as well keep the HDTivo in mind.

The ONLY plus I see with E* are the killer deals for new subs right now (free HD receiver, DVR, 3 mo programming, etc..). That is, if you can deal with the hardware.
 

BUBBACLYDE

Member
Jan 16, 2004
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As a retailer that sells Dish and DirecTV I can tell you we have far fewer customers that cancel Dish Network than DirecTV. Both are good quality, Promotions are almost always better and independent retailers who sell dish are paid better giving you better support! wait until feb 1 to sign up for new DHA promotion that is coming.[/quote]
 

DRGingras

SatelliteGuys Family
Supporting Founder
Sep 7, 2003
94
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Wisconsin
Here's 2 intangibles for you:

1. CallerID
2. RF remotes

Neither are deal-breakers, both factored into my decision to go with/stay with E*.
 

ScottChez

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 2, 2003
1,650
142
3 Reason to go with Dishnetwork

1.

There reason why there on few Direct TV complaints on the 3 SAT DBS Forums is most now have DIrect Tivos.

THey all post over in the Tivo Forums. They are just as many complaints there as dish.

Right now there is a Guide bug that Tivo is confirming but has no f ix for.

Also there has been missed recording start times.
========================

2.
An other thing to think is UPN and WB

20% OF THE COUNTRY cant get UPN for Star Trek.
Dishnetwork has the Superstation package for 5 UPNs/WBs Direct TV does not.

==========================

3.
Capacity.

Dishnetwork owns 6 Slots (4 for Super Dish and 2 for Wings) Direct owns (3 for there 2lnb dish, and trying to get one wing Permissions from the FCC).

This will become important with new HD channels.
 

Mainstreet

Satellite Guru
Supporting Founder
Oct 4, 2003
281
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Texas
DRGingras said:
Here's 2 intangibles for you:

1. CallerID
2. RF remotes

Neither are deal-breakers, both factored into my decision to go with/stay with E*.

The DTV Hughes SD-HBH standalone receiver has caller-id. The Executive Series Hughes receivers have caller-id AND RF remotes.

We sell both, but most of our customers buy DISH.
 

mike123abc

Too many cables
Supporting Founder
Sep 25, 2003
23,579
2,257
Norman, OK
What you need to do is to decide what channels you want to watch, then look at both E*/D* and see who gives you those channels and in what package. Then pick the package that costs you the least and meets all your needs.

There are differences like the Superstations and the NFL season ticket. Plus a bunch of minor (well major to some) channels.
 

SlicerMDM

SatelliteGuys Guru
Sep 7, 2003
132
2
Right now there is a Guide bug that Tivo is confirming but has no f ix for.
I guess you mean the "bug" where the menu that allows you to choose programs to record, displays the following text on the bottom of the screen:

"Acquiring Program Guide Data from the satellite. Some data available now. Full data in 1-2 days."

The bug is the fact that it's displaying that message at all, when it really already has full guide data loaded. It's only a visual thing.

E* DREAMS of "bugs" like this...

Capacity.

Dishnetwork owns 6 Slots (4 for Super Dish and 2 for Wings) Direct owns (3 for there 2lnb dish, and trying to get one wing Permissions from the FCC).

This will become important with new HD channels.
Seems you forgot to mention D* 3 Spaceway Sats .. the first of which is coming online mid 2004. Combined they have the ability to deliver 1500 HD channels.
 

rad

Supporting Founder
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Sep 7, 2003
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As someone that's had D* and E* I'd say the edge goes to D* (if they have the programming you want) based on the quality of their hardware. Some folks say they love the 811, even with all the bugs which will be fixed. The big IF is when will E* fix all the bugs and implement all the advertisied features that the 811 was supposed to have, or will E* pull one of their famous disappearing acts and just say we changed our mind and won't do that.

Right now I think E* is in a bit of a corporate management mess. Look at all the flip/flops that Charlie's done recently.

- SuperDish for HD, Locals and international. Now no HD on SuperDish, yes to some locals and in last retailer chat Charlie didn't know what they were going to do with internationals.

- Charlie announces $299 for the 811. Next month it's $399. Then it's $199 for existing but no deal for DHP customers. Now DHP customers can get a deal and some can get it for $149 but others can't. Then they charge your account for the box and cancel multiple times your installation, they have your money, you have nothing.

- The 921 which was horriably late, due to getting the software right, but then it ships with advertisied features missing and the usual batch of bugs. Even the owner of this web site isn't happy with the quality of this box and he's a big E* supporter.

- Charlie's said E* has all the HD that's worth having at this time. Never mind that Starz-HD, Cinemax-HD, TMC-HD and Bravo-HD are out there now. D* never let on to what channels they'll be adding until they actually do but they have said they'll make a commitment to HD, especially with the SpaceWay satellites. Charlies gone from saying E* will be the HD leader to almost ignoring it completly.

My recommendation is if D* has the programming you want to go with them, too much confusion over ar E*. Just my two cents.
 

SlicerMDM

SatelliteGuys Guru
Sep 7, 2003
132
2
Good point, Rad.

E* decision making appears to be based on how they feel when they wake up each morning. Lots of confusion and changes in direction. This, along with their hardware issues, were the main reasons I left recently.

D* has new management now and I see that as a really good thing. Certainly they'll have the ability define a solid plan for the future and follow it.

Ultimately, there are several key issues raised in this thread (and the million other D* vs E*) so it's up to each person to decide which they care about. Unfortunately, there is no "straight and simple" answer.
 

BUBBACLYDE

Member
Jan 16, 2004
6
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Both points above are valid if you are looking to invest in one of the two companys, but Dish has better new customer promo's.
 

SlicerMDM

SatelliteGuys Guru
Sep 7, 2003
132
2
As a customer, you're investing in the company to make good decisions about the service they're giving you. If you feel management is making bad decisions you should invest your monthly dollars in a different company.
 

ScottChez

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 2, 2003
1,650
142
Echo Star (Dishnetwork) is acting like a company that is about to Merge with someone bigger.

I would wait a few months on Dishnetwork. If they dont get there act togethere soon they will be in the red. In the red may mean no new stuff as they cant afford the R&D.

Direct TV on the other hand, has boat loads of money from its Parent company Fox and New Corp. Just look at what they did over in Europe. Now they are almost the only choice for SAT DBS, they squashed the competition.

Channels are importan. Charlies (Dish) best bet is to add more good programing in the new few week before its too late. Once the new HD Tivo comes out March 15th many may leave.
 

martin1

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 1, 2004
79
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Been E* subscriber for 3+ years now but am thinking about going over to D* because of the hdtivo. I have standalone Tivo now and you can't beat the options you have with it. If 921 had Tv sch. like Tivo I might stay
 

M Law

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Supporting Founder
Sep 30, 2003
105
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Read through all of the posts, and there are some very good points made. Sorry for what is going to be a slightly long post, but several things to bring address.

One thing I failed to mention, I have no use for OTA as there is only one station locally, and it would require a rather large antenna due to the distance and terrain, more trouble than it is worth in my mind. As you can guess, I am in a small town.

That said, I decided yesterday to take the advice of several on this forum and just go see what deals I could get from the local dealers. Best advice anyone could give, just go see what deals are out there. Turns out there are only two E* dealers, and only one was open (business must be pretty good for the second guy, to be closed on a Sat).

I tell the rep that I want an HD receiver, and a separate DVR, and if possible one with dual tuners, although that was not a deal breaker. He wrote out his proposal (reminded me of a car dealer): $99.00 or a 2yr agreement, $49.99 start-up fee, the fee being refunded on the first statement, and the first three months of programing free. In this package I would get an 811 and a 522. Said he had them in stock and could have it installed by mid-week next week. I've read enough (thanks to all of you) to know that the 522 is the dual tuner DVR, and that you can only get it as part of the DHP plan.

The equipment package would certainly meet my immediate needs I think, but I am not sure of the DHP plan. I've read as much as I can about it, but honestly, E* makes this as confusing as possible. So I need your help again, what of the DHP plan? Is that the way to go?

I've always been one who liked owning my equipment, never leased anything I could buy. If you are on a DHP, what do you do if you want to upgrade? Say I want to get the 921 later, what gyrations would I have to go through?

Are there separate fees associated with the DHP that are not part of a package where I own the equipment? Basically, would I be paying 'rent' forever going with a lease deal, much as I do now with cable for a digital box, or is the equipment more 'on loan' and I only pay for programing?

Lastly, I asked the rep point blank, why should I get E* from you, rather than D* from someone else? His one word answer was "Pegasus!" I had not realized, nor even contemplated, that I would have to go through Pegasus to get D*. Talk about feeling stupid! Rep said they were a major pain and that everyone around our area used E* because of that. I'm going to have to search and read the posts for this route to sat TV. Should this be enough to push me to E*?

One last item (again, sorry for the long post), the dealer told me I needed to do a deal before the end of the month before the current deals expire, but more than one here has suggested waiting until after Feb 1 and getting the new promotion. Any comments on which promotion is better?

Thanks to all for the great comments, I am so much better off in this decision having this forum for a sounding board and source of excellent advice.
 

BUBBACLYDE

Member
Jan 16, 2004
6
0
DHP will offer you 3 free months of top 100 HBO and Cinemax if you sign up before the end of the month. DHA that starts at Feb 1 will Drop 3 free months of programing but will also drop long term commitment to. DHA will not offer as a standered feature lifetime warrenty on hardware but you will have a option to add warrenty for $5.99 per month on your account. With no long term commitment DHA will be the way to go for most.

Go to (click on public for new promotion info)

http://rweb.echostar.com/login/login.asp
 

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