Dish Network and HDTV


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With satellite TV technology advancing so quickly, it’s always difficult to decide when to buy something, or wait for a year or two until that thing becomes cheaper. HDTV services such as that offered by Dish Network is yet another of those things which isn’t going to go away. In fact the time has come for satellite TV viewers to do something about it, if figures demonstrating the take-up of Dish Network HD packages is anything to go by.

In The Beginning

Many of us remember the days when we struggled to get a decent picture on our old televisions. Over the years, the old analog TV got better but it reached a point where the technology couldn’t do any more. It was time to do things differently; this is where digital TV came in. With digital TV, it was possible to receive pictures off air with similar quality to that obtained from a DVD.

The Digital Era and HDTV

With the advent of digital TV, the satellite TV market continued to expand and Dish Network was just one of those to take advantage. But things didn’t stop there – HDTV was on the horizon. High Definition TV can increase screen resolution many times over standard definition digital TV. This means that there are more pixels available for displaying the pictures. As those with digital cameras know, the more pixels there are, the better the quality of the picture.

The HDTV Dilemma

So here we are today with the possibility of getting HDTV. Do we go for standard definition TV and upgrade later, or do we go for HDTV from the start? Well let’s look at one of the elements in your decision-making; cost. There are two things to consider – the cost of the equipment and the cost of the HDTV programming. To receive Dish Network HDTV signals you need to get an HD receiver, such as the ViP211. This involves a one-off fee of $49.99, so it's not free like the standard definition receiver but it is a more complicate piece of equipment. Dish Network offers several levels of HD programming, from the entry-level DishHD Bronze package to the top-of-the-range DishHD Platinum package. The cost for these packages ranges from $49.99 to $99.99 per month. In comparison, the cost of Dish Network's America’s Top Programming ranges from $29.99 to $49.99 per month. So the difference between their standard and HD packages is $20 to $50 per month depending on the number of channels in the package.

Having looked at cost, the other element making up your mind is what kind of viewing experience you want. If you’ve never seen HDTV, it is well worth getting a demonstration; as with everything else, you want to know in advance what you will be paying for. The best way to make a comparison is to view standard and HDTV side-by-side.


Looking ahead a few years, HDTV will be the norm, it’s really a question of when and not if everyone has access to HDTV. You need to decide if it’s worth spending a few dollars more each month to receive the high resolution HDTV pictures. Oh and don’t forget that to watch HDTV, you must have a television capable of displaying high definition pictures.

James Taylorthe provides information on equipment and best deals to the Dish Network Directory. Dish-Network-Directory


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