If you’re like me, and I suspect most folks in the USA are in this regard, you are constantly besieged by offers for satellite TV service. DirecTV and Dish Network plus a host of local affiliated installers are always after you to install their latest super duper offering. A large part of any decision is the discount offered plus what channels you are interested in or how many rooms you need to connect, but these days there’s one more consideration: which of the provided digital video recorders would you prefer. DVR Playground has a head to head review:
The first decision you need to make is whether or not you need a High Definition (HD) programming package and in turn an HD dish and receiver/DVR or if you will view your satellite TV via standard definition (SD). At this point, both Dish Network and DirecTV offer one standard definition and one HD DVR each. Of course, you could go out and buy a used receiver from another user, eBay, etc. However, you should be careful doing this as there are several perilous usage and licensing issues that you should explore completely before giving up any of your hard earned dollars.
So, what are your choices? For SD programming, DirecTV offers the R15 (or as they refer to it, the DIRECTV Plus Receiver) and Dish offers the 625. For HD, DirecTV and Dish offer the HR20 (DIRECTV Plus HD DVR) and the ViP-622 respectively.
Hit the link for the full review, but pricing aside (since it depends on what kind of local deal you are offered), it’s pretty much a wash except that the Dish Network DVRs can support two separate TVs displaying different shows even in different rooms. If you need that capability, keep it in mind while evaluating all the deals you are offered.