As I’ve noted previously, we don’t have the option of cable TV (or internet) at our new house. Thus, we’ve opted for DSL on the internet side, and Dish Network on the TV side. Yesterday afternoon I stopped by the local Dish reseller to set up service, and here’s a quick rundown of what I learned…
First off, we’re getting the “America’s Top 120” service package plus local channels on four TVs, two of which will be equipped with Dish DVR (their TiVo equivalent). This requires one dual-tuner box, and a dual-tuner DVR box. This is how the pricing breaks down:
America’s Top 120: $39.99/month
Local Channels: $5.00/month
Dual Tuner Box: $4.99/month
Dual Tuner DVR Box: $5.98/month
Activation: $49.99 one-time charge (credited back on first bill = free)
Grand Total: $55.96/month plus applicable taxes + free installation
In terms of promotions, they are currently offering a $100 rebate for America’s Top 120 (and above) — this comes as a $10 credit off your bill for your first ten months of service. They also said something about receiving a $5/month credit for plugging our setup into a phone jack (presumably so it can phone home with data on what you’ve been watching). I have no idea if this is true, but it would be a nice added bonus. The one thing that I’m not crazy about is the 18 month commitment. However, the previous owners had Dish Network and liked the service, so I’m confident that we’ll get good reception. And they have a 30 day money back guarantee in case we don’t like it and want to cancel. I called Dish (at 1-800-333-DISH) and verified that this is the same deal that they’re offering if you buy from them directly, so I figured I might as well throw some business to the local dealer.
Interestingly, the previous owners of our house had Dish network, and they left behind their receivers. When I asked if we could use those in place of the rented box, they said that I could, but that I would have to pay a $4.99/month programming fee instead of the $4.99/month rental fee — apparently they get their money one way or another! In view of this, I just went ahead and set it up with the newer units provided by Dish. Perhaps I can eBay the old ones?
All in all, this will end up being slightly more expensive than our previous cable deal, but we’re going to end up with more channels plus the DVR. If we had hooked up TiVo along with our cable, we would have had to buy the hardware, and also pay a monthly service fee, making Dish a (slightly) better deal. And besides, cable is no longer an option.
Anyway, our installation is scheduled for Friday between 12:00-5:00. Now I just hope that they can be as prompt as the BellSouth service technician (who arrived three minutes before the start of his four hour service window).
For more information on moving, check out my Roadmap for a Successful Relocation.