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DISH Network Review

Sometimes my family makes fun of me because when I sit down at the keyboard, I do tend to “go on” a bit. In other words, I can be a bit of a blabber mouth when I start writing, and especially if it is something I am passionate about. I suspect this DISH Network review won’t be any different.

I know many people who struggle when it comes to writing about almost anything, and that’s true for me at times as well. However, when I am writing about something I feel strongly about, I have to agree with what my family says, and admit that it is hard for me to shut up sometimes!

I suppose this is a pretty good example that proves my family’s point. I like my DISH service so much that I decided to create this site so that other people could learn more about the service, find out about the best DISH offers.

DISH Satellite TV is definitely something I feel strongly about and as a result, I probably have a bit too much to say about it! I guess it makes sense to stick with calling this write-up my DISH Network Review.

I Was Never Happy With Cable TV!

One of the reasons I have so many good things to say about DISH TV is that I was a very unhappy cable TV customer for many years. I was never satisfied with cable. The picture quality was never as good as their advertising claimed it was, and they were constantly raising their rates.

I suspect that digital cable has improved the picture quality of cable, but I know they are still up to their old tricks of raising their rates too often. I know that because I had to rely on Comcast for my high-speed internet service here at home because they were the only provider of broadband internet service in my area.

After about ten years of being limited to Comcast’s high-speed internet monopoly in my area, I am finally free of their over-priced service! Our local telephone company now offers high-speed DSL here and I subscribed to it during the spring of 2011 and have been extremely satisfied with it. The fact that it cost me about half as much as Comcast is just icing on the cake.

Finally, I Had My Chance To Try Satellite TV!

My DISH Network Installation

When I moved to New Hampshire over a dozen years ago, I finally had an opportunity to try satellite TV. I was pretty certain that the layout of the lot that my previous house was built on would not allow for satellite TV reception, so I was very anxious to have a chance to try satellite television for the first time and find out how it compared to cable.

With a large field to the southwest of my house and no trees tall enough to block my view of the southern sky, I was quite confident that my new home was perfectly situated to receive satellite television.

Here you can see a picture of the dish antennas that were once mounted on my house (see update below). The inset picture was the old installation, before I upgraded to an HD-capable system. Some people call them “ugly,” especially the cable TV companies, but I think they look kind of cool, and they even matched the color of my house at the time!

The dish on the left is aligned to receive broadcasts from the satellites at 100 and 119 degrees while the one on the right is aligned to receive broadcasts from the satellite a 61.5 degrees, which carried a lot of the high-definition programming that I wanted to have access to.

By the way, the yellow and gray poles that you see there are not part of the DISH installation. They were used to mount some radio antennas and weather monitoring equipment.

I’ve since moved from New Hampshire to North Carolina and the my satellite DISH was mounted on a pole at the edge of my front yard when I had DISH installed here because trees were blocking access to the satellites from the roof of the house. I’ve since switched to DirecTV for reasons you can read about here. My new DISH installation looked very much like my installation in New Hampshire following the “Eastern Arc” upgrade except, as I mentioned, the dish antenna is on a pole in the ground.

Update: The upgrade to the “Eastern Arc” dish has changed the look of my installation and I no longer have two dishes on my house. Check it out on the Eastern Arc Upgrade Page.

Which Satellite TV Service To Choose?

I spent a lot of time researching the satellite TV packages that were available back in 1998, and I settled on DISH. Being a customer for so long makes it pretty easy for me to write my own DISH Network review. I chose DISH since they provided all the channels that I was interested in, and since I am not a sports fan, I was able to choose a package that gave me what I wanted without a lot of extra sports channels that I was not interested in paying for.

At the time, there were no deals available that provided free equipment like they have today. So, I purchased a dish and two receivers, and installed it a few days after we moved into our new home. Back then you could install it all yourself, and having a lot of experience with installing radio equipment, antennas and stuff like that, I was actually looking forward to installing the DISH TV equipment as a fun and interesting project.

The do-it-yourself option is not available any more, since the new systems are capable of picking up a signal from multiple satellites at the same time, and it is much more difficult to install without all the professional equipment and know-how. When I did my installation I had to deal with only one satellite, so it really wasn’t too hard to set it up for the first time back in 1998.

I Knew I Would Never Go Back To Cable TV!

I still remember coming down off the roof of the house and stepping into the living room to look at the DISH signal on the TV for the very first time. It was love at first sight! I could hardly believe how clear the picture was. I had never seen a cable TV signal that even came close. At that point I knew I had written my last check to a cable TV company for their lousy TV service!

Writing a review for a cable TV company definitely wouldn’t include most of the positive information I am able to include in this DISH Network review, that’s for sure!

Even back in 1998 before HDTV became available, the difference in the clarity of the picture I got from DISH compared to what I was accustomed to as a cable TV subscriber was stunning. That may sound a bit over-the-top, but that’s how I really felt about it. I had never before a TV picture that was as clear and interference-free prior to that day. I’m sure the cable TV industry has improved the quality of the picture a lot since then, but I have not seen any convincing reason to go back to cable TV.

I was a very happy DISH customer for about 16 years. My old, original receivers — a DISH 5000 and 3000 never gave me any trouble, and I sent them back to DISH when I upgraded to an HD-capable system back around the beginning of 2007 for a nice credit.

Weather Not Really A Factor For Satellite Television

My system and service was rock solid the whole time I have had it. I adjusted the position of my old dish only once during all the time I had it, and that ain’t too bad. Despite what the cable TV companies say about satellite TV being so susceptible to the weather, we’ve had it go out maybe a dozen times while we were watching something, and that is over a period of 16 years!

Like everything else the cable TV companies say about satellite, it’s a very significant exaggeration and they know it. If weather affected my service as dramatically as the cable companies like to claim, this DISH Network review would certainly not be as positive as it is!

If you’re sick of paying too much for cable every month and not getting the service you deserve, I suggest you check out the offerings from DISH. Trust me, I’m a pretty picky consumer and if I was happy with DISH, I think there’s an excellent chance you will be too.

If you spend some time researching satellite TV, you are bound to run into some horror stories from people who were not happy with DISH. But, it will be the same story for any large company that has millions of customers — sometimes there will be mistakes and poor decisions made, and then there are those people that never seem to be satisfied with anything, and always find something to complain about.

If you spend some time looking, you’ll be able to dig up dirt on any big company, but for me, DISH was excellent, and I never had any problems with billing or customer service. Currently, DISH has over 14 million subscribers, which makes it a virtual certainty that some customers will be unhappy and will want to get on the internet and tell everyone how much they dislike DISH. Ditto for DirecTV, Comcast, Verizon FiOS, etc. It’s just something that comes with the territory for companies with a huge base of customers.

The Best HDTV Programming on Satellite

I had been dragging my feet for a few years regarding HDTV. It’s not because I did not want it, that’s for sure! I wanted it alright, I just wasn’t ready to spend time researching it. At the same time, I was not sure I wanted to lay out big bucks for an HD television just yet. Besides, it’s usually a good idea to let a new technology mature a bit before you jump in. I’ve always avoided being an “early adopter” for that reason.

I was also held back a bit knowing that the prices would be coming down, as they eventually do with all hot new technologies, so I waited it out a bit while continuing to drool over those big HDTV sets in the glossy catalogs that came in my mailbox.

In the early months of 2007, I decided the time was finally right, and I purchased a 51-inch Hitachi HD set and I’ve been in love with it ever since. Since watching the big screen, I find that I am more easily drawn into whatever it is I am watching. It seems so much more real to me, and I am constantly noticing little details that I had never noticed before.

Before ordering my HDTV upgrade, I did a lot of research on the internet because I’m just the type of guy that likes to be aware of all the details when I am about to buy something new. I even decided to compare DirecTV’s HD line-up to see if they might have a better deal than DISH.

It did not take long to answer that question. I checked out some of the online forums and discussion boards where the real heavy-duty video heads hang out and there was a clear consensus that DISH’s HD offerings beat DirecTV hands down at that point in time.

I’ve actually given up trying to keep track of whether DISH or DirecTV has the most HD channels. Each claims to have the most, and of course, the number depends on whether local channels are counted as part of the total. I think it is safe to say that both DISH and DirecTV have a generous number of HD channels and if your decision is going to be based on that factor, you will probably do well with either service.

I hope you have found my DISH Network Review helpful. There’s a lot of other information here beyond this DISH Network review, so see the menu at the top of the page to check out the other DISH information here.

If you are seriously considering DISH, you may want to check out my Best DISH Deals page or simply call 866-537-9648 for more information.