Tuesday, 04 March 2008

After seven years with Dish Network, I made the change Monday to DirecTV and their HD programming. Granted, Dish Network's HD package has improved lately, and their new HD-only package was interesting, but a few things swayed me away and over to the other satellite programming vendor.

DirecTV has great HD capacity today and is quickly adding more. Another satellite will be launched in the next couple weeks, in fact. Their HD quality is pretty darned good. I like their equipment. And, although it's not here yet, I am thinking ahead to the forthcoming HDPC-20 - a DirecTV tuner device that will integrate with Vista Media Center. I'll be an early adopter of that technology, you can be sure.

The installer was great (despite the pouring rain he had to deal with), and before I knew it I was enjoying 90+ channels of HD programming. I can see some compression in some of the HD content, but you have to expect some of that. All I know is it looks much better than cable TV HD service I've seen before. I suppose I could complain about the fact that I now have a bigger antenna on my roof, but that seriously doesn't matter. I'm getting a lot of choice in return.

Bonus features include the ability to add my own external 750GB eSATA drive to the HD DVR (nice!), web-based DVR remote scheduling, Internet connectivity for on-demand content and information (which is new and in beta), and nice menus and software on the receivers in general. Seriously, it just feels better when you use it.

I'll be participating in the "cutting edge" program, loading software releases for the HD receiver and HD DVR devices at odd hours now and then to test new features and fixes before they're released nationwide. So, this move helps me fulfill the needs of my inner geek, too.

It's really a world of difference with the new service. Quality- and content-wise, it's a big step up.

Add/Read: Comments [5]
Geek Out | Tech
Tuesday, 04 March 2008 09:46:53 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Monday, 10 March 2008 16:13:06 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I looked at switching for the HD package from Dish Network, but I am using the dual tuner feature to control the DVR from 2 rooms that doesn't seem to exist with DirectTV. Is that really the case?
Monday, 10 March 2008 21:52:58 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Hi Wayne - I think you are correct, that's not the case.
Thursday, 27 March 2008 12:09:19 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Greg, do you know how i can be a part of DirecTV's cutting edge program? Have you heard anything about MRV (Multi Room Viewing)?
Wednesday, 02 April 2008 08:49:45 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
The Cutting Edge program is available to everyone with a DirecTV receiver. Go to http://www.dbstalk.com and, after registering, visit the Cutting Edge forum.

Chris Boley
Wednesday, 02 April 2008 13:14:14 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Thanks for replying there, Chris. I've been on the road. Mike, the CE "program" is really more of a semi-formal group of people who are aware and savvy enough users to to some late-night/weekend resets and firmware loads. It's worth pointing out that beta/pre-release software is labelled as such for a reason, so YMMV (and in fact it probably will), etc.
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