By no means is this perfect, but we’re hearing of Dish Network beginning to embrace the idea of streaming TV content to people on mobile devices. Unlike Hulu video content over the Internet, this offering from Dish has more in common with live stream events currently offered over the Net.
Will people be jumping over themselves to use Dish’s new service and stream via a separate device, still to be purchased by the end user? It’s nice to have the option, but I am simply unsure as to the value of all of this simply to stream live TV over a device that must be bought.
Is streaming TV worth it? On a mobile device, for someone traveling, maybe. But I’d prefer an iTunes like option where I don’t need additional hardware to enjoy it. What say you? Does Dish’s offering sound like a great opportunity you’d like?
About six weeks ago I got a notice from DISH Network, my current satellite company, informing me that my local channels were available in HD. On my Dish receiver, I have connected a external antenna and have been receiving over the air channels which come in perfectly. I am fortunate to live within 10 miles of our local stations and my signal strength for all HD channels is 90% +. Most stations come in at a signal strength of 100%, and are crystal clear.
But if Dish was going to offer the locals in HD, and was going to do this for free, I figured why not? So I setup an appointment to have what I thought was my satellite dish to be replaced. When the tech. arrived he informed me that I would need a second dish satellite on my roof to get the locals in HD. No thank you Mr. Tech-man, I’ll stick with my antenna. Even the tech-agreed that was the way to go.
I thought I would pass this on in case you were considering adding local HD channels to your system, and you are a DISH Network client.
Just when you thought that the problems for Dish Network were about to be over, Dish ends up paying $104 million to TiVo for violating their DVR patent. But does the story end there? Maybe not. According to an article over at ARS Technica the satellite company may still be in hot water. Seems that Dish has a work around they state gets by TiVo’s patent. According to the article it states that:
That brings us to today’s announcement. DISH had appealed the original TiVo case all the way up to the Supreme Court, which denied the company’s petition for certiorari (a petition to review the decision of the lower courts). As a result, DISH will pay out $104 million to TiVo — the original amount that the jury awarded in 2006, plus interest. “The money is in an escrow account and will be released to TiVo in the next few days,” the company said in a statement issued today.
This decision does not affect the workaround that DISH has developed for its DVRs, though. That case is still ongoing, and a decision has yet to be made on whether the changes are enough to be noninfringing on TiVo’s patents. “We believe that the design-around does not infringe Tivo’s patent and that Tivo’s pending motion for contempt should be denied,” DISH said. “We look forward to that ruling in the near future.” The company must be pretty confident in its workaround, because if that one doesn’t pass the noninfringement test, then it may find itself being forced into a licensing agreement with TiVo in order to keep its own DVRs functioning.
It was just recently that we learned that Dish has been losing subscribers over the past year as well. It seems that Direct is making inroads into the satellite marketm stealing customers away. If Dish can’t prove its new software doesn’t infringe upon TiVo’s patent, Dish will be forced to license TiVo and pass this on to its subscribers. What do you think?
Dish or Direct satellite TV, which is better? As with anything in life, it is in the eyes of the beholder. But recently Dish Network has experienced a loss of subscribers which could hinder the satellite company. Add to this the decision by AT&T to dump Dish and go with Direct TV starting January31, 2009, this could be good news for us consumers.
AT&T said Friday it will offer DirecTV satellite-TV services to its customers after its agreement with Dish Network expires on Jan. 31, 2009.
Most experts expected AT&T would go with rival DirecTV. Douglas County-based Dish said in July that AT&T had decided to end a five-year agreement to resell Dish services. The agreement was to expire on Dec. 31, but recently was extended a month.
Anytime you have a company losing subscribers and also a large account like AT&T, it usually means that the company may offer more attractive packages and better equipment in the future. In seems that Dish has been falling behind also in the HD offerings. I noticed that Direct already has 150 HD channels and Dish is around 100 channels.
What do you think?
Recently we had Directv HD installed here at the house. Both my wife and I are familiar both with the packages and performance of Directv, Dish and Comcast for their HD offerings, thus making the choice that was best for us. And while there is NO argument that Directv does HD better than cable, unfortunately in many ways Comcast does On-Demand with greater appeal overall than anything I have seen with Directv thus far.
What, you did not know that Directv has On-Demand? Well, do not get too excited as it clearly needs more time in the oven. But before I even get into the shortcomings, let me explain how we were able to get it working as a Google search will demonstrate that it is not all that simple.
- Think Homeplug devices. Forget about anything wifi related, just use something like we did with the Netgear XE102 kit. It was painfully easy to setup – next best thing to direct router access, minus the high speed.
- Ignore Directv documentation. Yes, run the network wizard and prepare for complete failure the first day’s attempt. See, you must both run the network wizard, wait overnight for ALL of the available channels to appear in the lineup AND then reset the DVR as well on the second day. Fun, huh?
- Forget HBO, local network stations and viewing content immediately. I can live without HBO (Showtime is provided for On-Demand) and the fact that I must download the shows to a half-way point before viewing is possible. However not launching this service with NBC, CBS, FOX among others was really foolish. No worries though, they did make sure Style, HGTV and Noggin are provided! Yippie! (/sarcasm)
Why even bother with this silly service then? Because there are some comparable options to cable with Discovery, History among other channels as well. They do provide A&E, yet managed to pick out the absolutely stupidest programming imaginable for for download. No, you will not find The Cleaner, but rest assure that Pamela Anderson’s latest biography is readily available!
So if you own a compatible (check with Directv on this) HD-DVR, happen to be interested in seeing what the On-Demand content is like, it is sort of worth it just to access the pay-per-view movies without relying on satellite’s tired “it starts at this time” routine. Oh, for you sports nuts – you will likely approve of various games presented as well.
Why not go back to cable? Having “seen the cable difference” in the recent past and used the buggy equiment as well, the choice was clear – satellite is the least of the two evils. Better picture, better price and smarter fit for our viewing needs.
Just about a month ago, the wife and I decided to change over from our local cable TV subscription and give Dish Network a try. There were several reasons for wanting to change. First of all our local cable TV company did not offer HD channels, and it seemed that this wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. The second reason was that we couldn’t get a DVR unless we wanted to pay for the cost of a receiver.
As always the case with most satellite companies, Dish was offering a package deal which included a free HD – DVR receiver. I know, I know. Nothing is free, but it sounds good anyway. Now I don’t completely understand the ins and outs of how Dish works, but I had a local company do the install, and not Dish itself. About two weeks before doing the Dish setup, my relatives got Dish also through Dish Network. What was disturbing was the fact that the Dish employees admitted that if there was a problem, they were usually backlogged and it might take a week or more before they could respond. When I spoke with the local installer they promised next day service. After confirming there was no price difference, we used the local company.
Quick question. Does anyone know why the local companies can compete with Dish by doing the install and also the package deals for the same price? Where do they make their money?
Anyway, after the install we are getting both HD and digital channels. We opted for the 250 channel package which was also on sale. So far I really like the Dish setup. In particular I like the ease to make recording of TV programs and the DVR we got will save up to 350 hrs. of programming. But the best feature is being able to pause live TV. When we get a phone call we can stop the TV and then pickup where we left off. Oh yeah. When a call comes in, our receiver supports called ID and the name and number pops up on our TV screen as well. Nice touch especially if we wish to ignore a call. :-)
I know for many of you, this may not be new at all. But for my wife and I we are like two kids in a candy store and are enjoying our new toys! I would recommend Dish to anyone who may be considering a change from cable TV.
[tags]cable, tv, dish, network, dvr, hd, channels, call id, [/tags]