woot! fast responses!
okay here's some specific questions
- How's the quality of the service and the equipment (since they seem to provide the equipment)?
- How often do you suffer with outages? how long do they last? ( we live in KS so we get a lot of thunderstorms in the spring)
- Any experience with their DVR? I see it can pause, rewind, record. But how's the programming capabilites? i.e. could I say record all episodes of Family Guy irregardless of time / channel like Tivo?
- Parental controls? How are they? Could I lock down the whole system from being used at all w/o a password?
- What does it need a phone line for?
- I've heard some horror stories about the "free Installation" - i.e. that it's free basic installation but they try and stick you with a whole bunch of other costs - like saying your coax in the house isn't good enough?
The service is excellent. When you call them up, you actually get a real person on the phone. No voice mail.
I have had it happen a couple of times, but not that often. Probably once a year if I I would have to guess, and it doesn't last too long.
I ahve their basic DVR. It isn't a TiVo, but I'm happy with it. If I want to record something, I bring up the guide, select the program, and then I can tell it to record it weekly, monthy, M-F, or once. I like it a lot though.
I haven't used the parental controls but I've looked at them. You can specify what ratings are allowed and what ratings require a password to be entered on the remote.
If you order movies on the Dish, then it requires the phone line to upload the information that you ordered the movie. If you have Caller ID, it will allow you to see who is calling while you are watching TV too.
I haven't had any problem as far as installation went. My first installation I needed to get an amplifier and signal combiner to get the antenna for the local channels, but it was worth it. I got a new Dish to get local stations recently, and the guys were pretty good with the installtion. It's a local shop though, so YMMV.
You can IM me anytime you see me on AIM if you have more questions. You can also download their receiver manuals at their web site. www.dishnetwork.com