DirecTV versus Dish Network versus cable

When I first signed up for DirecTV, I did so rather begrudgingly. I hate signing long-term contracts for services, but I was truly tired of only having five networks from which to choose (we were only able to pick up NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC and three PBS channels – we didn’t even get UPN or the WB – which, in our area, consequently became MyNetwork and the CW, respectively).

However, I’ve actually become rather attached to the service over the last year or so. I like the all-digital network (which cost me more than twice what DirecTV is costing me when I had the digital cable service when I lived in a cable-ready house), with the built-in programming guide. I actually am at a loss for what to do when I turn on the television at someone else’s house, and I can’t just hit the “guide” button to see what’s on.

I also really like the channel line-up available from DirecTV. I currently subscribe to the Plus DVR package, which offers a lot more channels than I ever saw on cable (even when I had digital cable service). It offers basically the same channels as the Dish DVR Advantage package, for a few bucks less.

The main difference I’ve noticed between DirecTV and Dish Network is the speed at which the satellite acquires a signal. Everywhere I’ve been that has Dish Network service, it takes, literally, three to five seconds to change the channel. With DirecTV, I can actually surf channels. It takes less than a second, on average, to change the channel with my service. I’ve actually seen cable take longer to change channels than my DirecTV service.

When comparing DirecTV service to Dish Network and normal cable, I’ve got to say that DirecTV offers the best value for your money. If the time ever comes that Comcast begins to offer cable at my house, I’ll most likely switch to their Internet service, but I seriously doubt I’ll be switching my television service.