Sorry, DISH Network, I've changed my mind. Your satellite dish on our roof soon will be replaced by a DirecTV model.
Watching the 2009 Rose Bowl on a 4.5 inch laptop window wasn't nearly as much fun as seeing it on our new 42 inch LCD television would have been. And we're getting anxious about the new season of "Lost" starting in a few weeks on ABC.
Still, I was going to give DISH more time to work out a deal with Fisher Communications until I glanced at the cover of the February 2009 issue of Consumer Reports.
It said "We rate 27 phone, TV & web providers." I turned to page 22. Where I found this advice about bundled services:
These carriers stand out for the reasons cited below
If TV is paramount and you can't get fiber service:
A hybrid bundle that includes DirecTV
This satellite TV provider scored significantly higher than the major cable companies and rival Dish Network for TV picture, sound, and channel selection, with 150 high-def channels at the latest count, compared with 75 or so for AT&T [which offers DISH] and 35 to 50 for most cable companies.
It's TV service is offered in hybrid bundles with DSL and phone service from some telephone providers. Combinations of Qwest Internet and phone services and DirecTV television service compare well against bundles from the best cable companies. Satellite requires a satellite dish and other equipment, usually free or at a discount in exchange for a contractual agreement.
That pushed me over the-get-rid-of-DISH edge. I researched DirecTV offerings, then called Qwest.
By dumping our AT&T long distance and going with Qwest, plus adding DirecTV, we ended up with a $20 a month bundle discount for having four services: local phone, long distance, DSL, and satellite television.
The HD Plus DirecTV package will end up costing us about the same, or a bit less, than our current roughly comparable DISH package. We'll get a HD DVR receiver at no extra cost.
I also was impressed by DirecTV's Scheduler service. It lets you schedule programs for recording via a mobile phone or computer, if you're not at home and suddenly realize that you're going to miss an important sports event or TV show.
Pretty cool. And not available on DISH.
One last benefit for switching to DirecTV: revenge. This will punish DISH Network for going back on its local channel commitment to us that it made when we signed up quite a few years ago.
Because so many people in our area are switching from DISH to DirecTV, our installation date isn't until January 22. That, I believe, is one day after the new season of Lost starts.
Well, we might have to watch the first show online. No problem.
I'll be feeling good about getting rid of DISH, which should have been able to negotiate a deal with Fisher Communications long before this.