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Getting The Best Value For Dish Network And DirecTV

Mar 8, 2008
For the past several years I've focused on who has the cheapest satellite TV service, and for a long time Dish Network was king in terms of low cost television, but times are changing and so are the prices. Instead of looking at the bottom line cost, consumers now need to dig a little deeper to find the best value in programming packages. You'll be much happier, and get a better value when you consider options over price.

Starting with the basics, DirecTV and Dish Network offer a similar hardware package with installation in four rooms and optional DVR, HDTV, or HD DVR receiver upgrades. DVR is short for digital video recorder. If you're familiar with Tivo, it does the same thing. An HDTV receiver decodes high definition television signals. You can get these separately, or together on a single device with both capabilities built in.

Programming packages are where the rubber meets the road, and it can get a little confusing. Both providers offer a very basic programming package of 40 to 45 channels. Unless you live in the country or rural area where cable is not available, these are not very good options since most cable companies offer basic cable for close to the same price but with more channels. The real value is found in their featured programming packages.

Typically, Dish Network is slightly less costly than DirecTV, but as you move up the line of programming you'll notice they start to level out, and currently DirecTV offers a wider selection, more channels, and a better price on it's high end programming. You'll just have to decide which merchant has more of the TV stations and shows you and your family enjoy watching the most. It doesn't make sense to have two hundred channels if you only watch five.

One last thing to consider is the hardware you have chosen in relationship to the type of programming you want, or equipment you already have in your home. If you do not have an HD ready television set, it is null in point to get any HD hardware or programming as part of your package. You don't need any special equipment to use a DVR, but there is an additional fee for the service, so this will be something you'll need to decide if you can live without or not.

In the end neither is cheaper than the other when you factor in you and your family's usage and expectations of the product. The trick is to get what you want the first time. Get something you will enjoy, and a package you will make the most use of, at a price you can live with. I emphasize "live with" because the cheapest package may not be the best value for your personal needs. Look at the big picture, not the name, before you decide who to go with for satellite TV, and you'll get your best overall value in the long run.
About the Author
Daymon Hoag is the founder of PhoneTVInternet.com
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