27 answers

The Truth About Direct TV and Dish Network

I currently use Comcast as my cable and internet provider but the bill is a bit crazy as we only have basic cable, not even digital. I have seen all the advertising and even went so far as to have a date for installation for Dish TV but my husband nixed the idea and brought up the whole, "What happens when it rains?" scenario that I have heard about. Is it true that you will lose reception if the weather is bad? We get pretty regular thunderstorms during the summer here and I would hate to have to deal with that.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to everyone for their responses. I was all set to go with DirectTV but when I called after all the extra little fees and taxes it was the same price that I currently pay for my Comcast service. I'm staying with my Comcast service, which I do like I just was looking to get a better price.

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When I was in IN I had cable and my DH (boyfriend at the time) had the dish. My cable went out far more often than his satellite service. Cable gets there feed from satellite too, the dishes are just different. While there's are better they aren't perfect either.

The signal does go out with Dish and Direct when it's very windy or storming. We actually switched to Dish recently and have noticed many more problems with it than we had with Direct TV.

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From experience you don't lose your cable every time it rains. I am with Directv and we only lose our signal when it is hailing or we are having severe, severe weather. Other than that it can be raining and lightening and we still have our cable without any problems.

Well, S.
I have never used Dish Network, But I have used Direct before. I loved it. I never hda a problem with the customer service people or anything like that. I have had problems with it going out during those hard rain storms. But light rain does not bother it. If you call them and let them know its out alot of times they will credit you. If its hours at time. Hope this helps. Don't get Charter! Thats who I have now and they are a RIP OFF! My bill is never what is suppose to be.

It's called "rain fade" but it only occurs during truly torrential downpours, which generally only occur for a few minutes of a VERY heavy storm, when the rain is just beating down on you. If it happened every time it rained, no one would subscribe to satellite TV.

You know when you're driving on the highway, and the rain starts getting harder and harder until you can't see ANYTHING even with the wipers going as fast as possible, and you're trying to figure out how to pull off to the side of the road without killing yourself? "Blinding rain" in other words. That's about how hard it has to be raining for the rain fade to be a problem.

Most rainy days, even most storms, there is no interruption of the signal at all, so I certainly wouldn't make that the deal breaker. By comparison, I lose my internet connection much more frequently because of "AT&T line maintenence" or various other technical difficulties.

I work on satellite receivers and I have a TV streaming video on my desk more or less constantly, and I don't see rain fade very often at all - I'm always a little suprised when I see the "signal lost" screen come up
and then I look outside and see that "oh yeah, the building is about to float away. heh heh" It's ALWAYS come back up within 2-5 minutes.

But look around your neighborhood for satellite dishes or ask friends in your area if it's a problem.

Hey S.,
I'm a big fan of Directv! We've been using it for about ten years. We've definitely have had some different results depending on where we lived. Actually, it was more about where and how the dish was installed. A more sturdy base (like directly on the house) is what's made a difference during times of storms with really bad winds. If your dish is mounted on something that doesn't sway or shake, you'll have no problem with keeping a signal. We had a directv when we lived in California and had to deal with Santa Anna winds all the time and still had a signal through it! Oh yeah, the reason why we left comcast was because we got sick of the picture freezing on us and we had digital.

Hey S.!

I have DirecTv...the only time I ever had a problem with service is when there was hurricane-like weather...which I completely understood...and, it only lasted a couple of hours. But, I was still able to watch my dvr'd shows, so it was really no big deal! Good luck!

well who would ever know the truth. I know we had dish and had all those problems you spoke of. But just over the last month we changed to direct tv and a terrible storm came up and we didn't lose reception not once.Trust me we were waiting for it to happen. But was well pleased it didn't. We were introduced to a company called ACN and through them we ordered Direct TV and it was cheaper than calling Direct TV themselves. we learned by going through ACN you get a special discount. Check out the site. The company not only offers TV, but cell phones you can get plans and get MAJOR discounts on the phones,also digital vido phones. Check out product options when you log on...it's worth your wallet. www.mikeandtina.acnrep.com

I switched from Comcast to Dish and am very happy. If it rains lightly, we don't lose TV. If it monsoons, we do. But, it's not the end of the world if TV goes out so, to me, the inconvenience of my TV going out for a rainstorm 2 or 3 times a year is worth all the perks (all digital, better price, etc.)

I'm happy with Dish but I hear that Direct TV gets better reviews. Either from Clark Howard or Consumer Reports...

The signal does go out with Dish and Direct when it's very windy or storming. We actually switched to Dish recently and have noticed many more problems with it than we had with Direct TV.

Greetings S. P,

Yes, it is true with Directv. When it rains the picture gets distorted, especially with light or drizzle drops. However, it usually adjusts while searching for a signal.
I like the fact that for a small monthly fee, you get a tech to visit and repair what would otherwise be a 75.00+ charge. And if you already have caller ID, you can see who is calling while you watch tv, ha! Cool uh? You also get to more great features,like Auto tune movies to play a certain time, sports mix (view several stations on the same screne), and they have a lot of Christian stations to view.

Well, you can tell I really like Directv. Also you may request that your dish be attached to a pole in the yard rather than mounted on the roof top. This is super if you have lots of trees surrounding the property or have concerns about roof leakage later where they drill.

Hope this helps. Should you decide to go with directv - let me know. You and I both will receive 50.00 each, ha! Not bad...and depending on how many friends you have; you really could refer enough to pay for your own Directv each month.

Much love,

We had cable, then switched to Direct TV...it was great when it was working. The first year we didn't have problems, even in storms. But I guess as the satellite ages, the reception gets worse? After about a year, EVERY time it stormed it would go out or the picture would "digitize" and stick for a while. Usually for only until the storm subsided which could be 10 minutes or HOURS! If it worked like they said it's supposed to then it's a great deal and the picture is out of this world! However we got sick of it going out and had to switch back. I agree Comcast is pricey. My co-worker switched to Knology...if you have that in your area, you should look into it. Good luck no matter what you do!

Hi S.,

We gave up cable years ago for Dish. We love Dish and have no problems with them. They have great customer service (they answer their phone!!!) I will say that during severe storms it will lose the signal for a little bit, maybe 10 minutes... It usually comes back quickly. This really has not been much of an issue for us. We pay around $100/month but that includes all the local, golf channel, hbo & showtime and also hd packages and dvr receiver, etc...your bill will probably be effected by how many receivers you have and if you have an HD tv. I don't think this is much more than Comcast... Good Luck!

I had dish network back in IN and never had too many problems. Now if there was a foot of snow on my dish, I'd have to get it off of course but that is the thing about the dishes, they have to get a clear shot to the satalite in space in order to provide a clear picture. So tress and heavy or thick clouds can cause problems in your signal. The dish needs to be installed in the proper location of your home in order to get a clear signal all the time and the settings on it need to be correct as well. It's kinda like tuning in a radio station. You can kinda hear it in 101.0 and 101.1, it is clear as day on 101.2 and then gets fuzzy again on 101.3.
My dad still uses dish network (he is also in IN) and has had them for almost 8 or 9 years!! Dish Network has great customer service and reasonable pricing as well.

One thing you might want to do is have someone from Dish and Direct come out to your home and assess the area for where the dish would have to go (roof or yard) and what things in that area would cause problems for you. Just check into everything because I do believe both places have a 1 or 2yr contract in order for you to get free install over everything.

And Comcast is a rip off! They are way over priced on everything and have horrible service all the way around. I don't know if they are cheaper or if you can get them in your area, but you could try Time Warner (road runner for internet). We had them when we lived in Myrlte Beach and they seem reasonalby priced for cable and internt and didn't have too many issues either.

Good luck!

I have had DISH in the past, and yes, when it would storm or rain really hard we always lost signal. It usually would only be during the actual storm, and never seemed to last too long, but it was annoying.

I don't know if it happens to everyone, but I used to lose reception if it rained 10 miles away. It was so frustrating that we eventually went back to cable.

We have DISH and we've had cable and I would go with DISH in a heartbeat. I DO NOT like cable for this reason....when there is a storm and the cable goes out, we have to schedule for some guy to come out and fix it. Then if it does come back on it's own, it's hours later.

With DISH, yes sometimes it goes out when a storm comes, but fortunately, the satellite finds a signal and restores it again...sometimes a few seconds later, sometimes minutes. It has to be a really BAD storm for it to go out for hours and I believe that has only happened to us twice. No biggy. I'm in GA, not in SC where you are at, so I don't think we have that different of weather. (No it doesn't do it just because it rains.)

Hi S.,

I had Directv for over 5 years and never had it go out when it rains. Now if the power goes out sure then it goes out. However basic directv is $55 not including your dvr which is $5 per tv. We recently switched to AT&T U-Verse which in the long run is cheaper with cable and internet.

Good Luck in your decision.

i've had both if i was you i would keep Comcast i know what you mean about the bill but you do have tv when it rains.

When I was in IN I had cable and my DH (boyfriend at the time) had the dish. My cable went out far more often than his satellite service. Cable gets there feed from satellite too, the dishes are just different. While there's are better they aren't perfect either.

I used to have direct tv and then switched to dish network and the service always went out when weather was bad. I also have a lot of trees surrounding my house so even on a sunny day, when the trees had all their leaves, they would often block the satellite signal and we would have no service. Because of all this, we switched to comcast and have never had any problems.

We have comscat and so far no complains We are there customers for the past 3 years in Atlanta

Hi S.,

I recommend looking around your yard and your neighbors' to see whether there are any particularly large trees. Sounds silly, but those big trees caused us endless trouble with the Direct TV dish. It took a while for Direct TV to tell us this was the problem, but that it was. Each time the wind whipped up and the leaves moved too much, the satellite died.

You also need to ensure the person installing the dish does it properly if it's going on the roof. A badly installed dish can lead to leaks in the roof. Again, a bad experience for us.

Good luck!


We've had DirecTV for a few years now and have been pretty happy. The signal only gets messed up about twice a year and it's not for very long. If the Technician has the dish installed in the correct place, you shouldn't have any problems. That technology has come a long way.

WARNING: At one point, I was going to switch to the Dish. What a nightmare!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They quoted me 1 price on the phone, but when the Technician got here, they quoted me a higher price. I told him I didn't want their product and I refused to sign any agreement. He took all of their equipment down, packed it up into his truck. Because I had to give them my banking account number on the phone when I set up the appointment for the Technician to come out, they banged my debit card for a few hundred dollars. I called to dispute it stating that I didn't have any of their equipment and I refused their service. So, what did they do? They charged me a few more hundred dollars. I called and emailed multiple times to fight this. I had to call the bank and get them to fight it for me and put a stop charge on Dish Network so they couldn't keep charging me. I ultimately had to change my debit card number.

Once I called and went through the entire explanation with the lady on the phone (AGAIN). I explained what happened. So, she called the Technician (who was from a 3rd party outsourced company) and he admitted that he put the equipment in his truck and he still needed to return it. She apparently recorded this in the notes section. However, I continued having to fight this battle over and over. They sent me to collections. I had people from DIsh and from collections calling me. It was ridiculous and went on for a period of months.

I finally went through the BBB's dispute resolution group. In the end, their Customer Service department issued me a letter stating that they are "crediting" my account for the amount due. It did not state that they were in error and they realized that I didn't have their equipment, nor was there a signed agreement. I called and asked them to re-write the letter becasue I didn't want this to affect my credit. She said she had no way of knowing whether I had the equipment or not. I told her to go back and look through the notes section of my account and read about it. She finally said she was re-write the letter and mail it out to me. Well, she never did. I finally got all the money put back into my account, thanks to my bank Wachovia.

DISH continued calling me once a week to try to get me to "renew my service". It was like beating a dead horse to tell them that I never had service. The calls kept coming.

It took me a year to get rid of them. DON'T buy Dish Network. I starting researching about them online. There are thousands of people who had the same problem as I did.

I vote Yes for DirecTV.

Good luck in your decision.

You want to be dicked around, try asking just for info from direct tv. Their goal is to sign you up, without responding to any quetion. No thanks, I'll keep what I have and pay the $200.00 more a year.

We have had Dish for the last 8 years- moved with use 3 times during that. I will NEVER go back to cable. When we had hurricanes a few years back, I lost connection for about 30 min....my cable neighbors were out a couple of days. Bad storms-it will blink in and out but not for long.
Trees WILL block your signal....make sure when they install that they do so without tree interference. The originally wanted to put my dish ON my diving board! Second option was near the house (some will place on the roof) to avoid blockage. I have tall trees at the back line of the yard and my dish is 35+ feet away. Do not get much intereference at all from that.
Cost of sattelite vs cable?? Way better and it doesn't change every time the wind blows.
I'm in middle Georgia.

We have DTV (as we live in the middle of no-where and have no choice). So far, we have lost our signal once (since November) due to storms. It is VERY rare! We get storms here quite a bit as well, so that was also a concern of mine.

The truth is yes when it storms the signal will go. My parents have satellite. I have cable (charter)- my bill is ridiculous as well as I have phone, internet and cable on mine. But considering what it costs for a land line these days, I am surprised at&t is still in business. Not sure where you are but I am in Georgia so I know what you are talking about. Well good luck in your decision. As much as I have heard about Comcast and how bad their customer service is, I don't blame you for looking for other alternatives.


Hi S.,
We have Direct TV, and I love it!! We do lose reception when it rains really hard, but it's usually not for long and it doesn't happen every time it rains. We used to have cable, and it used to go out all the time, sometimes for hours at a time. Even with all the rain in the Savannah area, we lose reception less with satellite than we did with cable.
Hope that helps.

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