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rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

Don't get me wrong, Dish is the best programming source available in the VI. But they are really screwed up.

Things that I have discovered over the past two days as a result of adding the National PBS feed.

I subscribe to the "America's Everything" Pack. I have for 10 years. As of a couple of years ago they no longer offer it down here. Instead they change you to "America's Top 250 PR/VI" plus the premium movie package. And guess what? They charge more for the two packages than they do for the combined package. Their reasoning is that we don't have a locals package which would be included in the "Everything" package. So they charge us even more because they can, for even fewer channels.

Then to top that off, they do not even have a channel lineup card for the PR/VI package. They will not even tell you what channels you should expect to receive with your subscription. They have them for CONUS, Alaska and Hawaii but not PR/VI. The reason is so that they can add and delete channels at their whim without having to notify anyone. You are not guaranteed to receive anything, if you don't like what you get then you can cancel your subscription, unless of course you have a commitment to honor.

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Topic starter Posted : April 14, 2011 10:10 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

From that rant I read this.
" Dish is the best programming source available in the VI "
and
"if you don't like what you get then you can cancel your subscription"

Thanks for the plug!(tu) I whole heartedly agree!!

Edited to add: I even agree with the title. They can be a pain in the... at times but the end result is great TV for a reasonable cost.
All in all, Dish is usually a pleasure to deal with.

Have you heard of TV everywhere?:@)

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Posted : April 15, 2011 12:04 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Sorry, but this is the reason I stick with Innovative. Who wants to buy a pig in a poke? Sky, I understand you have a financial interest, but you could have at least agreed that some changes are necessary.

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Posted : April 15, 2011 9:15 am
Jumbie
(@ohiojumbie-2)
Trusted Member

Unlike some, we never have had Innovative nor will we ever sign up for their TV service. We have had Dish since moving on island in 2005 and are very pleased. Used to have Americas Top 100 but upgraded to their Top 200 package. Have free HD for life, plus no secrets as to what channels I should get or are billed for. They also have been prompt & courteous on resolving any issues.

Jumbie -STX.

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Posted : April 15, 2011 10:02 am
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

I totally agreed Linda! Read my post. What's your reason? They don't bill exactly as a stateside account?

I just filtered out the part concerning a few bucks a month difference. Big deal!
Pain in the A$$? Please!
Dish has challenges here in the VI but they are addressing them. Aren't you glad you have options for a TV provider other than Innovative? Even if you choose Innovative?

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Posted : April 15, 2011 11:52 am
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

I'm a DISH subscriber almost entirely because I need to be able to get NHL Center Ice.
If Innovative offered CI, then I'd probably still be an Innovative customer.
Skysthelimit and Dish have been very easy to deal with, and can't argue with the service or the price.

The annoying problem with satellite tv here is with "distant networks" issue. The Big Networks, Fox, ABC, etc, charge a fee to be carried on Dish =down here=, and you have to go through a separate company to pay for them (All American Direct). Last year, THAT company was bought/sold to another company called Sobongo which apparently got in a pissing match with Dish over costs. The company is now called MyDistantNeworks.com. Suddenly, distant network prices went up. About the same time Dish lost the HD rights to carry those Big Networks. My "Who's on First" might be a little off in this description, but essentially, Dish like many other television providers (such as Time Warner) are battling over fees.

@Rotorhead: Have you looked online for the lineup? http://www.satelliteguys.us/thelist/index.php?page=subdish&sub=true

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Posted : April 15, 2011 12:58 pm
Beeski
(@beeski)
Trusted Member

Sorry, but this is the reason I stick with Innovative. Who wants to buy a pig in a poke? Sky, I understand you have a financial interest, but you could have at least agreed that some changes are necessary.

Once you get HD, you can't go back to Standard Def.
Dish is better than Innovative in the following categories:
* HD - over 50 HD channels
* Channels - you can get everything out there on Dish, Innovative is missing some fun channels
* Reliability - Dish outages last minutes during heavy rains, Innovative outages last.....
* DVR - Dish has the best DVR in the market, easy to program, and 6 or 8 clicks to miss all commercials

I have the same frustrations with Dish mentioned above....especially taking away our HD network channels....painful watching the Masters in SD this past weekend after two days of HD on ESPN......but overall, its not even close. Price isn't that different...depends on what you order, and installation cost is about equal a cable box deposit.

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Posted : April 15, 2011 2:31 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

HD has never been a big seller for me. I like a really big TV but the difference between HD and SD is only HUGE in a guy's mind. 🙂 I feel like I have more usable channels with Innovative then with Dish. Reliability, well the longest I've ever been out in over 10 years is 3 or 4 days but I don't live in a remote location. Never had a problem with the repair people for Cable with Innovative, their dsl is ANOTHER story.

And Innovative is getting a DVR!!!

What I really want now is a tv with the apps. I use hulu plus all the time and wish netflix would work down here. And I love my Apple TV. I think in a year or two more I will pretty much be computer based and not use ANY of the cable providers on island and go completely digital.

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Posted : April 15, 2011 3:36 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

HD content takes up 7 times the space on a harddrive.

HUGE difference between HD and SD But I'm a guy, what do I know*-)

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Posted : April 15, 2011 3:56 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Also,
For apps look at the Google TV device from Logitec partnered with Dishnetwork.

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Posted : April 15, 2011 4:00 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

I know, I don't download HD, it also takes about 3x as long to download. 🙂 I'm not putting guys down, just saying when I talk to most women it's not a deal breaker like it is for some men. HD is nice just not important to me.

While I do have a lot of shows and movies on my computer, I also just stream a lot with Hulu Plus. More and more that is where I watch my prime time shows. Cable companies stateside are starting to get worried about this stateside, because with the internet speeds there it is very viable to do without cable and much cheaper.

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Posted : April 15, 2011 4:08 pm
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

As I initially said, Dish Network is the best available source of programming in the Virgin Islands. But they do have their problems.

My rant was prompted by my time on the phone with Dish over the past two days. One hour and forty-five minutes on Wednesday and 30 minutes yesterday. And finally giving up. The customer service reps are clueless. I spoke with three customer service reps, a customer service supervisor, two customer loyalty reps, a tech support person and a tech support supervisor.

They are very friendly. All but the tech support people are clueless.

Jumbie, you do not have the Top 200 package. You have the Top 200 PR/VI package. Check your bill. This package is a subset of the Top 200 package listed on the Dish website. You do not get all of the channels listed for the Top 200 package. I know, I have the Top 250 package, (I used to have the America's Everything package but it is not available down here any longer, they switched me with no notice and raised my monthly bill by $2 per month to reduce my programming package.) If you think you get everything that you pay for then try going to 205 and check to see if you get FoxNews HD. It is part of the Top 200 package, as is 202 Headline News HD. And many more. The thing that bothers me is that we can receive the feeds for these channels just fine down here but someone at Dish has decided that we should not be allowed to watch them.

Try asking for a channel line up for PR/VI. You can go here http://www.dishnetwork.com/customerService/programmingGuides/default.aspx
but you will not find a channel line up for PR/VI.

This problem initially came to my attention because I like to watch The Science Channel HD and History International HD. Four months ago I could receive them just fine. Then they disappeared. I can still receive the satellite and transponder on which these channels are transmitted. Someone at Dish decided that the PR/VI package should not include the HD versions of these channels. They are part of the Top 250 package, they are listed on the line card for the Top 250 package. The customer service rep explained to me that I didn't really loose anything since I have Free HD for life and wasn't really paying for these channels anyway, they were free.

The good part of dealing with Dish, everyone speaks English. Understandable English.

Anyone who thinks that the Dish DVR is good has never used a good DVR. TIVO is so far superior to Dish DVR that it is unfair to call them both DVRs. One is a dumb DVR the other is a smart DVR. Skipping commercials is even easier on a TIVO. When you get to the end of the commercial a TIVO will automatically back up to the beginning of the show, on a Dish DVR you have to do this manually. The search capabilities are far superior on a TIVO and managing seasons passes/recurrent programming is easier. But Dish is loosing their lawsuit for patent infringement so last year they broke compatibility between Dish receivers and TIVO DVR. Since then I have had both Dish DVR and TIVO.

So, if you are happy with 1980's style TV then Innovative might work for you, but if you want HD then Dish is the clear choice. I just wanted everyone to be aware that Dish Network down here is not the same as Dish Network up in the states. We use mostly the same equipment (except for the dish itself) and the same satellites, but we do not get the same programming. We get a subset of the programming available in the states for a higher cost and the lineup is constantly changing and not always for the better.

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Topic starter Posted : April 15, 2011 6:03 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Rotor,
I understand your frustration. You're a patient man to stay on the phone 85 minutes. Missing channels are due to a missing satellite.
In the states customers have 3 orbital positions. Here we see 2 of them. The missing extra FREE HD is broadcast from that 3rd satellite.

When dish tags us PR/VI that's actually a good thing. That means they recognize the shortcomings and respond to the fact that we can't see 129 or 72.7. The response might not be what you want to hear but the fact is 119 and 110 are filling up. They can't give you channels that aren't there. In some cases the signal does reach us but they can't enable those on your receiver due to licensing. Once they acknowledge a problem they can plan for the future. I'm attending a meeting soon to address challenges that Hawaii, Alaska, and PR/VI encounter. When new satellites get launched the technology keeps getting better.

Currently 61.5 is an option for some additional HD though not for long I hear.

Believe me when I tell you that Puerto Rico and the VI have been noticed big time by dish and it will just keep getting better.
We're working on the networks issue now.

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Posted : April 15, 2011 9:37 pm
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

Rotor,
I understand your frustration. You're a patient man to stay on the phone 85 minutes. Missing channels are due to a missing satellite.
In the states customers have 3 orbital positions. Here we see 2 of them. The missing extra FREE HD is broadcast from that 3rd satellite.

When dish tags us PR/VI that's actually a good thing. That means they recognize the shortcomings and respond to the fact that we can't see 129 or 72.7. The response might not be what you want to hear but the fact is 119 and 110 are filling up. They can't give you channels that aren't there. In some cases the signal does reach us but they can't enable those on your receiver due to licensing. Once they acknowledge a problem they can plan for the future. I'm attending a meeting soon to address challenges that Hawaii, Alaska, and PR/VI encounter. When new satellites get launched the technology keeps getting better.

Currently 61.5 is an option for some additional HD though not for long I hear.

Believe me when I tell you that Puerto Rico and the VI have been noticed big time by dish and it will just keep getting better.
We're working on the networks issue now.

This is bad information. If I was not receiving programming that was on a satellite that I could not receive then I would understand. I am not receiving programming on satellites that I can receive simply because someone at Dish has decided not to offer it here.

As you know Alan, I have a DPP 44 switch with four dishes feeding it. I currently receive 119, 118.7, 110 and 61.5. I went over several of the missing channels with the tech support people and verified that I could in fact receive the satellite and transponder just fine but that the channel was not included in the PR/VI package. Why? They did not know. I even asked tech support if I switched one dish to 72.7 would I then be able to receive the channels, no, they are not part of our package. So I asked, what does our package include? Guess what? There is no channel list for PR/VI.

The Science Channel HD, FoxNews HD, Headline News HD and Bio HD are all on 61.5. They have been for over a year. About four months ago they were removed from our package. The channels are still on 61.5. I hate it when they take things away for no reason. Especially when they continue to charge the same price.

Between all of the shuffling around with Dish/Sobongo and Dish removing programming for no reason I actually think that we get fewer channels now than we did six months ago. I no longer get the networks in HD and I no longer get the channels mentioned above even though they are still being transmitted on the same satellite and transponder as before.

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Topic starter Posted : April 15, 2011 10:02 pm
Ericw
(@Ericw)
Advanced Member

well you're not missing much not having FoxNews 😉

But ya, that would annoy the heck out of me too.

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Posted : April 16, 2011 4:28 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

I guess that's the whole point -- I AM happy with the TV service I have now. I love the non-hassle and I am getting exactly what I signed up for and expect.

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Posted : April 16, 2011 9:16 am
Jumbie
(@ohiojumbie-2)
Trusted Member

I'm happy 😎 too with Dish and w/ Sky's excellent "service". I don't need a bunch of dishes to receive a bunch of satillite feeds in order to be happy.

Jumbie -STX

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Posted : April 16, 2011 10:06 am
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Most people don't have 4 feeds. Just Dish500. 119/110
Which is now available on a 30 inch dish. Dish doesn't want to offer channels then tell a customer he needs 4 dishes or orbital locations.

Glad you're happy Linda! I'm glad you have a choice though should that change. I believe I was at your bosses new house yesterday afternoon in Catherine's Hope.

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Posted : April 16, 2011 12:01 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Which boss?? I seem to have SEVERAL.

Edited because I reallllly like my job....lol

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Posted : April 16, 2011 2:55 pm
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

I still think that Dish Network is the best source for programming in the Virgin Islands. And I have recommended Alan/Sky to several friends as the person to contact for service. I have only heard good things about Alan and will continue to recommend him.

That said, a little history. I have had Dish Network at my house here on STX since 1999. In the early days all that you could get was Dish300 or Dish500 on the 119 and 110 satellites. Only Standard Definition television was available. Then Dish introduced HD television. The HD for the east coast including down here was on 61.5. So many of the early customers for HD here and in the states had feeds for 119, 110 and 61.5. You still see plenty of installations here that include two dishes, one for 119/110 and another for 61.5. Several years ago Dish started putting HD feeds on 110 and very recently they have started putting them on 119. But 61.5 still has very many HD feeds.

Until recently when you signed up for America's Everything Pack or America's Top 200 or whatever package, that was what you got. If you had a feed which included channels in your package you could watch those channels. So, if for instance the Science Channel HD was on 61.5 transponder 16 and if you had a package which included the Science Channel HD then you could watch it.

Recently Dish has taken away America's Everything Pack down here and instead redefined our packages as America's Top 200 PR/VI or America's Top 250 PR/VI, etc. And they have removed many of the channels from those packages that we could previously receive. They did this without notifying their customers and without changing the price of the packages. So now even though the channels are still on 61.5 and I am still paying for America's Top 250/Premium Movies(formerly America's Everything) I am no longer getting that programming. And all of this was done by Dish without contacting their customers. I am not happy about this. And to top this off, when I ask for a channel list for what is included in the new PR/VI packages I was told that a list is not available. No channel line up card is available for PR/VI like it is everywhere else.

Many of you are not affected by this and do not care. So why comment? How does this have anything to do with Innovative? Innovative is even a bigger pain in the ...... I started out with Innovative. When hurricane Georges hit and it took Innovative 2 months to repair the downed cable I decided to switch to a programming source which allowed me to have a little more control of my equipment and installation, Dish provided that.

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Topic starter Posted : April 16, 2011 3:45 pm
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

Which boss?? I seem to have SEVERAL.

Edited because I reallllly like my job....lol

Probably talking about Doug.

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Topic starter Posted : April 16, 2011 3:46 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

Seems like a ton of movie channels disappeared in the last week from 61.5 HD feeds. When I left for a business trip on 4/8 I was recieving most of the HBO and Showtimes I subscribe to in HD off of 61.5 which had been the case for nearly 3 years since I became a Dish sub. Upon returning I only am able to get the main HBO and Showtime. I think even Innovative has this.

In the last year Dish added a good amount of HD on 110/119 but then slowly took away more important HD (ok they didn't, Sobongo did but the networks are key in HD). Rarely do I get any hockey in HD any longer off the NHL CI package whereas 2 years ago I could get about 50% of games in HD.

I still know that Dish offers the best lineup in the VI/PR, unfortunately it seems like they now realize this too and are no longer trying as hard to keep us happy. This just further drives home the need for competition, I do hope Innovative can get the fiber offerings up and running and provide real cable TV to the community as a viable option.

Alan, is there any way that maybe you could relay the sentiments of many of the long time users here to someone as a Dish retailer. This is a big topic in PR too, several of the DBS forums I watch were blown up by people in PR when they started pulling HD off of 61.5. I have to say, I now have a way to get Netflix and NHL Center Ice in HD over my internet connection so the need for Satellite TV becomes less important. I'm not quite ready to cut the feed yet but Dish is playing with fire at a time when things are changing rapidly in terms of customer viewing habits.

Sean

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Posted : April 18, 2011 2:41 am
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

Sean,
I just checked and I only get HBO-E, ACMAX and SHO-E in my premium movie HD package now. This is about one third of the HD channels that I got just one week ago. We used to get multiple HBO channels, multiple SHO channels, multiple MAX channels, STARZ and Encore all in HD.

I guess Dish is taking Alan's view and thinks that we only care about 119 and 110 satellites down here. They have stripped virtually everything of value off of 61.5. The sad thing for us down here is that we only receive 3 orbital locations and one just went away. I am going to move my 61.5 dish over to 72.7 to see how it works but I am afraid that nothing on that satellite will be in our now very limited HD package for PR/VI. They seem to forget that their long term HD customers have 61.5 dishes.

Since I no longer watch movies in Standard Definition, Dish's premium movie package is pretty much worthless now. I think I will call this week and cancel. It is a shame since I have been a customer for so long. I guess that I will take that extra $42 a month and upgrade my NetFlix subscription. I would call customer service but I have learned that will accomplish nothing.

Dish is really jacking its customers around, first killing our access to the networks in HD and now removing most of our other HD channels. I wish Dish cared more about their customers.

John

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Topic starter Posted : April 18, 2011 5:48 am
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

The root of the problem seems to be that Dish does a very poor job of planning. The 61.5 slot is going away because Echostar 3 which covers PR/VI is being replaced by Echostar 15 which does not cover PR/VI. This is happening this week I believe.

They are moving stuff from 61.5 to 72.7 but the satellite at 72.7 (Nimiq 5) does not cover PR/VI. Hopefully it will eventually be replaced by Echostar 6 which does cover PR/VI. Who knows when this will happen, Dish does not talk to their customers.

In the mean time we have lost much of our HD programming. Did they lower our rates? No. Did they even notify their customers? No.

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Topic starter Posted : April 18, 2011 6:51 am
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

I'm sharing this thread with some people that have more pull than me on this subject. I do know that Dish never "authorized" the use of 61.5 here in the VI and they warned me that 61.5 would be pulled soon. Hopefully a plan is in place to restore more HD content for us.

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Posted : April 18, 2011 11:11 am
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