Straight and Simple: D* or E*?

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M

M Law

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Supporting Founder
Sep 30, 2003
105
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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 but not sure what HD receiver and DVR to get if I went with D*. I am not interested in what equipment may come down the pike some day, but gear that is out there today. I am going to post this in the E* forum as well.

Convince me D* is the way to go.
 
T

tds4182

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 7, 2003
419
0
Kingwood,Texas
I've had both E* and now D* (with both SD and HD equipment). If you are looking for a trouble free system and a DVR that works right the first time go with D*. Both companies are good, but if you read all the DBS chat sites, you see a lot more "bitchin" about E* than D*. Hope this helps you decide!

M Law said:
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 but not sure what HD receiver and DVR to get if I went with D*. I am not interested in what equipment may come down the pike some day, but gear that is out there today. I am going to post this in the E* forum as well.

Convince me D* is the way to go.
 
B

beejaycee

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 3, 2003
72
0
I've had E* and now I have D*. I don't think there is a simple answer. It's a personal thing -- which provider has what is most important to you, whether that is price, content, or equipment.

For me, D* has locals but E* didn't. However, this wasn't a big deal because I had the RV exemption plus E* has the Superstations. Both E* and D* now have a PVR fee (unless you have a 501 or 508 or 721). I used to have a 501. Sure, it was a little neurotic but it was much better than a VCR. Now I have 2 DTivos which are to the 501 what the 501 was to the VCR and I now look at the 501 with a lot less affection that I used to. Picture quality on both is about the same to me. I finally left E* because I wanted PVR functions on 2 TVs and the 522 seemed to be taking forever to make it to the common folk (plus their new equipment usually has "issues"). A 3-room, 2-DTivo deal was just to good to let go.

Figure out who gives you the best deal for what you want NOW because you will only be a new subscriber once!
 
H

holman3rd

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 16, 2003
42
0
I switched from E* to D*, and obviously recommend D*. Here are my reasons:

1) D* is the leader in terms of subscribers, by far.
2) D* is much more open architecture, in terms of manufacturing its boxes. This really helps in terms of options and availability, particularly at local retailers.
3) D* customer service is much, much better.
4) NFL Sunday Ticket on D* only for at least 4 more years.
5) D* website is much more robust and better account services for subscribers.

Some are more important to me than others, and I suppose maybe none matter to you. But I've listed them for what it's worth.

Regards,

Walt



beejaycee said:
I've had E* and now I have D*. I don't think there is a simple answer. It's a personal thing -- which provider has what is most important to you, whether that is price, content, or equipment.

For me, D* has locals but E* didn't. However, this wasn't a big deal because I had the RV exemption plus E* has the Superstations. Both E* and D* now have a PVR fee (unless you have a 501 or 508 or 721). I used to have a 501. Sure, it was a little neurotic but it was much better than a VCR. Now I have 2 DTivos which are to the 501 what the 501 was to the VCR and I now look at the 501 with a lot less affection that I used to. Picture quality on both is about the same to me. I finally left E* because I wanted PVR functions on 2 TVs and the 522 seemed to be taking forever to make it to the common folk (plus their new equipment usually has "issues"). A 3-room, 2-DTivo deal was just to good to let go.

Figure out who gives you the best deal for what you want NOW because you will only be a new subscriber once!
 
G

GWhitaker

New Member
Jan 17, 2004
1
0
While the DTV forum has been relatively quite, and though I have been lurking dbstalk & dbsforums for almost two years, while being an active member on AVS forums, I have been tempted to switch to E*. At one time it appeared E* had a very competive edge over *D with the promise of new technology, receivers, HD, etc...

With the number of active posts on the E* forum vs inactivity on the D* forum one would think that E* has a large following of supporters. However, my observation about switching was that the majority of E* posts from existing subscribers (not retailers) are negative about the quality and reliabilty of the receivers, complaints regarding delayed new product delvery, new bugs introduced in software upgrades, uninformed customer service reps, and unclear direction of E* in general.

I can honestly say, I have never encountered problems to this degree with D*. Yes there may be a bug in a new product, but it is fixed quickly and the D* CSR's and 3rd party manuf's are informative and importantly acknowledge any problem. The programming lineup between TC+ and E* 120 was also very confusing at first. But I was shocked to finally see that E*'s channel # edge consisted mostly of community, religous, and home shopping channels, while *D offered many well known popular channels that E* did not carry for the same price.

As far as choice, if you are more interested in community, religous, and shopping channels then you should consider E*. If you prefer product stability, choice of many product manuf's, wide range of sports paks including NFL ticket, and quality customer service then you should weight your comparison /evaluation carefully. It is interesting that while *D has more subscribers than E* you would think this would be the most active forum, perhaps the reason it is not speaks for itself.
 
F

frog

Member
Jan 10, 2004
10
0
M Law,

Check out the problems with the Dish 811 receiver.
 
M

M Law

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Supporting Founder
Sep 30, 2003
105
0
Decided yesterday to take the advice of several 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 the closest was an E* dealer, so I started there.

After discussing his offer ($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, using an 811 and a 522). I asked 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*? Can anyone tell me of their experience with Pegasus? Do they charge a surcharge on programming to make money? I'll check them out on the web today.

After checking, I realized that the sat dealers in my town (only two), are E* only. Wanting to look at D* equipment, I drove to the next town over which has a Best Buy. The reps there were not very knowledgeable to say the least (it's a college town so you can guess none of the reps are over 25 and don't own any gear), but I do like the look of the Hughes receiver they had out. Couldn't find out much of anything on deals, so I'll look on the web today for that as well. Anyway, sounds like I have a bit more research to do before this decision can be made. D* has gotten several good remarks, and appears to have an edge on E* as far as stable equipment goes, if you use the forums as a gauge. Now just to find out if Pegasus is worth the trouble and if there are any good deals.

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.
 
C

cking2

Member
Sep 27, 2003
11
0
Pegasus or as it is sometimes referred to as pegash*t is a major pain for Directv. Yes they do mark the programing up and their customer service is worse than Directv. If I were you...I would go E* unless TIVO is important to you. If that is the case you will need to "move" and do a self install.

Later

Rick

Rick
 
B

bobojay

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 4, 2004
80
0
Eastern Kansas
A question from an ex E* subscriber. Now a D* subscriber. Who is Pegasus, and what do they have to do with D*?

Been a D* subscriber now for over a year, much happier with it, especially the customer service and the equiptment.

I will say though, right now E* seems to have a better offer on their HD equiptment, IF, you can get past the known issues with it.
 
M

M Law

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Supporting Founder
Sep 30, 2003
105
0
Bobojay,

D* has an agreement for Pegasus to sell its service in rural areas. Why would D* have such an agreement? Your guess is as good as mine.

If you are classified as being in a rural area, you have no choice but to go through them if you want D*. Lord only knows how they determine what is rural and what is not. I live in a small town (15K), surrounded by lots of other small towns of similar size within 15 to 30 miles, and some are classified as rural and some are not. Go figure.

Looked at their site today, and they add $4.50 to the per month Total Choice package ($3.00 over D*, plus a $1.50 fee of some kind), with slightly decreasing surcharges the more expensive the overall package.

I cannot see that they add any value to the service, and others have posted that Pegasus also has control over what equipment you can use. In other words, you can't just go and buy a receiver and call and have it activated. Don't know if it has to come from them or they some premium for it.
 
J

jcolombo

Member
Jan 4, 2004
8
0
Let me jump in here and note that a lot of what I hear about Pegasus is simply wrong.

I originally activated my DTV service with Pegasus. The customer support has been excellent, and I have had no issues with them. There is no problem with buying and activating new equipment. Pegasus does not "own" your equipment. I bought two RCA DTC100's and one bottom-line RCA receiver, activated them with no problems.

I do think there are some issues with DirecTivo's, but I don't have one. There may also be differences in new subscriber packages - again, I don't know because I bought and put in my own equipment 3 years ago before signing up and at that time the new-subscriber deals were not as good (e.g., no "free" equipment at that time).

As for charges, yes, Pegasus upcharges the Total Choice programming. But they charge only $2 per extra receiver, so if you have a two-receiver setup, the price for Pegasus service is the same as DTV. And if you have 3 receivers, Pegasus is actually cheaper.

On the other hand, Pegasus does not have a web-based way of managing your account, which is a downside.

Like I said, there may be issues with DirecTivo service, but with respect to the other stuff, Pegasus has been perfectly fine. I lot of what I read on these boards about the company has reached "urban legend" status - rumors that have been spread around so much people now think it is fact.

John C.
 
B

bobojay

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 4, 2004
80
0
Eastern Kansas
I'm in a rural area, I think, Leavenworth County KS. Still never heard of Pegasus.

You guys are saying D* won't activate service in rural areas unless you go through Pegasus, right?

I'd be with E* if that was the case. Too many choices to have to fool with an intermediate anymore.

Just my thoughts............
 
al

al

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Jan 3, 2004
484
42
Montgomery City, MO
"D* has an agreement for Pegasus to sell its service in rural areas. Why would D* have such an agreement? Your guess is as good as mine."

M Law:

Back when DirecTV was a gleam in the eye of General Motors, no one knew that DTH (Direct to home) Satellite Service would be as popular as it has become.

The NRTC (National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative) put in seed money with GM, with the understanding that they had exclusive rights to resell DirecTV services in certain designated areas of the country.

Pegasus has over time, purchased the rights from individual cooperatives, and therefore, have the right to resell DirecTV in those areas. Pegasus does not cover all NRTC areas. There are still areas of the country where you have to purchase your DirecTV service from the local phone company, etc..., as they are the NRTC provider for the area. If you notice on DirecTV disclosures, they do not mention Pegasus, they mention NRTC.

Alan
 
L

lamer

Member
Dec 5, 2003
6
0
Pegasus is the reason I switched to Dish. They automatically add $3.00 to the DirecTV packages and added an additional $1.50 charge about a year ago. They do not offer anything additional, they just take the money. They do control what equipment you can purchase.

I was a Pegasus customer from the beginning (over 8 years) with one 18" dish and one 1st generation receiver. I wanted to add a receiver to my new HT room in the basement. I was purchasing a $130 receiver online from American Satellite. Once I told them I was a Pegasus member, they told me I could not buy that receiver. I had to purchase a particular brand/model that was about $400.00. That's when I decided to go to Dish. Pegasus is a bad deal, but DirecTV is to blame, also.

I have more programming, two receivers and cheaper than DirecTV/Pegasus.

Later,

Lamer
 
TheForce

TheForce

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Pub Member / Supporter
Oct 13, 2003
34,317
11,284
Jacksonville, FL, Earth
While it is true that E* is undergoing some rough times in their upper management right now. They have had it rough with some bad decisions and deals gone south over the past 18 months. DirecTV on the other hand is just coming out of a slump as a result of not knowing who was going to own them. We are seeing a shift now as a result of this upper management change.
In all the problems over the past 18 months with both E* and D*, look at the growth records. E* nearly doubled in size while D* gained about 20% in subscribers. Today, E* is just a couple of million subs less than D* and catching up fast. Additionally, E* has maintained an excellent cash cow compared to D* which was strapped being owned by a car manufacturer. In all this, the past 8 months have shown that D* is, once again gaining momentum in its technology and programming. While E* maintained the lead significantly over D* in HDTV, today D* has taken over. D* came lately in the HDTV PVR technology but while E* is struggling to get a bug free 921 in the hands of the first thousand customers, D* claims to be read to flood the store shelves with the HDTIVO, bug free on March 31st. While it took 2.5 years for D* to add Showtime HD, E* had it on day one but now, D* seems to be far more aggressive in acquiring new HD channels, to include more HDPPV titles, NFL ST in HD, and their last channel that E* has had over them is now firmly in the grasps of D*... CBS-HD national feed. Meanwhile, E* is struggling with contract negotiations to maintain contracts with CBS/Viacom.

So, with that said, I believe that DirecTV will be the front runner for services and equipment over the next year but, given the Pegasus wildcard, you better clear the air on what restrictions and additional costs that Peg. will tack on. It may not be worth it. You'll be dealing with an absentee landlord who takes and offers nothing to you in return. Personally, I would not get into any deal with Pegasus. I have just heard too many horror stories.

The good news in all this turmoil, is that E* is down now and they only have one way to go and that is up. Either they will do this ot the company will be history, either bought out or suffer a mass exodus of subscribers just as they are approaching matching D*. HDTV slacking off is one thing but the Viacom deal gone down the tubes, a failed Superdish launch last year and the new receivers market launch, 811 and 921 as well as their 522's failure to meet demand and launch with too many bugs, these issues are affecting all their customer base. Finally, E* is using a "Don't feed the PIG" ad campaign against rate hikes on Cable at the same time they are raising their own rates. How duplicitous is this? One hand doesn't know what the other is doing. That's just why I say they only have to get better as I doubt things could get much worse, save for all their staff walking out the door for the competition!
 
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