I’ve been a DIRECTV customer for a year and a half now. Overall I am happy, but everyone once in a while I remember what I miss about my old Dish Network account.
First of all there was the DVR. I think with time all DVR systems continue to improve, but what I miss most about my Dish DVR is the ability to skip ahead 30 seconds. This allowed me to press the skip button approximately 4 times and jump through all the commercials. With my current DVR, I have not other option but to fast forward through them. Even at the fastest speed it is not as fast as pressing the “jump ahead" button 4 times. Also, at the fastest speed I have to pay close attention to the scenes or I can easily go past the point I wanted to start watching again.
The second thing I miss most is the display guide. Obviously DIRECTV has a display guide, but I prefer Dish Networks. I still own the 25" TV we purchased at Costco with money we were given at our wedding nearly 7 years ago. Dish Network has a big, easy to read guide. DIRECTV is much more fancy – especially on our TiVo system. Because of this it is much slower and harder to read on our archaic TV.
My third issue always deals with the display guide. On Dish Network, we could easily see from the guide which channels we did not subscribe to. They appeared in red. I don’t know why DIRECTV doesn’t have this feature. You can select the option to only see the channels you subscribe to, but from my experience this doesn’t work very well and you still see way too many channels you don’t want to see. If you don’t have the channel, you don’t really have a way of knowing just from the guide display.
And while I’m still on the topic of the guide, let me bring up another complaint. With our Dish Network system, my wife and I could have our own custom lists of the channels we like to watch most. It was easy to set up and easy to see what list you were on, and very easy to switch between those lists. It seems DIRECTV only has one custom list which we use to filter out all the pay per view and other channels we don’t get or never watch (like all those shopping channels). Plus, changing between viewing all, viewing subscribed, or viewing your custom list is a major ordeal of going into the setup menu and drilling down to the right option. With Dish Network’s system, you just press the guide button again to switch between these lists.
So with everything in life, we can’t have it all. But these four points along with the fact the Dish Network can be owned at a cheaper price make it an appealing choice for much of the TV watching population.
Dustin Davis is a television enthusiast and a seeker of good deals online. He maintains two satellite TV related websites:
1) http://www.direct-vs-dish.com : A side-by-side comparison of the various features of DIRECTV and Dish Network, along with current deals and promotions.
2) http://www.DishBoard.com : A community for other satellite TV enthusiasts to talk about their equipment and packages from the major providers.