A Note To Site Visitors

If you have used any of the products we have reviewed please leave a comment regarding your experiences with them so that other visitors can get a better idea of their quality. We have done our best to represent the true quality of all reviewed products but without using them over a long period of time it's difficult to get a grasp on the long term reliability of said products.

DirecTV vs. Dish Network Comparison Chart And Reviews

Below we have provided a DirecTV vs. Dish Network comparison chart of the difference in services that each of them provide along with several reviews from current and past customers. 

As you can see the both offer very similar services but there are subtle different between Dish Network and Direct TV. There are many different options for subscription television service but if you want satellite these are your two exclusive options. Be sure to take your time and look over the chart carefully in order to see the differences and make sure one or the other services isn't lacking an essential feature that you cannot live without. 

The bottom line is to make sure you are very informed before agreeing to any contract or commitment. If want a quick and easy way to do this our chart below is far and away the best out there. We looked and looked, thinking we would find a bunch of tables comparing the two services, and we did, but they were insufficient at best, always only comparing a few things. Instead ours gives a full look at both companies and compares just about anything you could think of between them.
*This chart is up-to-date as of February 10th, 2014

DirecTV Dish Network
Number Of Subscribers Largest in the U.S. with over 20 million subscribers 2nd largest in the U.S. With over 14 million subscribers
Signal Technology 100% digital 100% digital
Required Equipment Satellite dish and receiver Satellite dish and receiver
Start up Costs Free equipment and installation with a 2 year contract Free equipment and installation with 2 year contract
Contract Options Contract Required – Includes free equipment, installation, and discounted prices Contract required for free equipment, installation, and discounted prices. Month-to-month available for a higher monthly price and installation fee
Number of HD Channels Over 195 full-time HDTV channels Over 200 HDTV channels (not all full-time HD)
Basic Programming Packages
Welcome Pack - 40 channels for $19.99/month (Reg. $19.99)

Select - Over 130 channels for $24.99/month (Reg. $49.99) Smart Pack - 55 channels for $19.99/month (Reg. $32.99)

Entertainment - Over 140 channels for $29.99/month (Reg. $57.99) America's Top 120 - 120 channels for $29.99/month (Reg. $54.99)

Choice - Over 150 channels for $34.99/month. Includes Free NFL Sunday Ticket (Reg. $66.99) America's Top 120+ - Over 190 channels for $34.99/month (Reg. $59.99)

Xtra - Over 205 channels for 39.99/month. Includes Free NFL Sunday Ticket (Reg. $73.99) America's Top 200 - Over 240 channels for $39.99/month (Reg. $69.99)

Ultimate - Over 225 channels for $44.99/month. Includes Free NFL Sunday Ticket (Reg $81.99) America's Top 250 - Over 290 channels for $44.99/month (Reg. $79.99)

Premier - Over 285 channels for $92.99/month. Includes Free NFL Sunday Ticket, 35 specialty sports channels, and all premium movie channels (Reg. $129.99) American's Everything Pack - Over 320 channels for $89.99/month. Includes all premium movie channels. (Reg. $124.99)
Package Differences Averages 20 more channels for comparable packages Offers cheaper packages for those that want a very basic package
Movie Packages HBO The Works, STARZ Super Pack, Showtime Unlimited, Cinemax HBO The Works, STARZ, Showtime, Cinemax
Sports Packages Leader in sports programming with MLB Extra Innings, Sunday NFL Ticket, NCAA Mega March Madness, NBA League Pass, NHL Center Ice, ESPN Full Court and MLS Direct Kick. Along with more PGA and Tennis than anyone else. Offers a wide range of local, regional, and national sports packages. Offers similar services to DirecTV (No NFL Sunday Ticket).
Local Channels Included For Free with all packages Available for an extra fee
Geographical Availability Available nationwide Available nationwide
Customer Service Availability Outsourced. 24 hours per day via email, chat, or phone. 7 days a week. (phone hours limited) In-house. 24 hours per day via email, chat, or phone. 7 days a week. (phone hours limited)
Customer Service Rating Rated #1 in satellite TV customer service. Live support is not available 24 hours per day. Rated very well but behind Direct TV. Does offer 24 hour live support via chat.
Equipment Warranty Generally 12 months Generally 12 months
Special Discounts Offers very aggressive first year discounts on all 2 year contracts. Sometimes includes a partial discount for the second year as well. Offers cheap packages for the first year when you sign a two year contract.
Exclusive Programming Options Sunday NFL Ticket, Full NFL Redzone None or not made clear on the Dish site
DVR Options Premium DVR services for additional fee from the Genie. Record up to five shows at once. Premium DVR services for additional fee from the Hopper. Record up to three shows at one time. Skip commercials during prime time with the Hopper
Online Streaming Options Stream most shows the day after they air along with thousands of on demand programming options. Thousands of live and on demand options
Cost For Additional Receivers $5 per month $7 per month


Dish Network User Reviews:

Darren said...
"We signed up for Dish tv a year ago. We didn't get the DVR at that time. We were told later after a year we could get a free upgrade to the DVR. Upon calling Dish to do so we were told that now we have to purchase the DVR to do so. Also after 11 months the price went up, which was expected, but the programs also changed and some channels were dropped from the program guide and we would now have to upgrade to have them. One channel that I know of was AMC. Not happy with Dish TV and would not recommend them to anyone. There are to many channels that are repeat channels. That must be how they say they can give 120 channels in the least expensive package."
Josh said... 
"We recently signed up for Dish. The total installation went very smoothly and the tv is functioning as it should. The only complaint I have at this point is when we received the first bill the sales tax was wrong. The sales tax for my state is 6% and they charged over 10%. I called and was informed that is was a different dept. that handled that. They gave me an email address because there is no phone and said it would take 4 weeks to get a response. What a way to run a business. I hope the rest of my experience with Dish goes more smoothly."
Kaylee said...
"Dish is terrible if you live in apartments. They do not accommodate. When I had them install in my current apartment I had to down grade from what I wanted since the dish was too big to install.. Now I am moving and landlord said that having Dish has not worked out at their location because they cannot place it anywhere but on the roof which she will not allow because of drilling. I contacted Dish and they can't accommodate me since the landlord is breaking the law by saying we can't install there. 
They mention something about drilling a pole into the ground but said I have to pay for that. How is it my fault that the apartment does not have a balcony or anywhere convenient that would make the land lord happy? Then Dish can’t even get there information together about my cancellation and two people are telling me different prices. Go with Comcast if you’re in an apartment you will never have to bother with this installation hassle. Dish is the worse idea I ever had unless maybe I had my own house. Now I have to pay to cancel. All they want to say is my landlord is breaking the law."

DirecTV User Reviews: 

Anonymous said...
"The Direct TV company is nothing short of a headache. First off I called and changed my service and did not receive the channels I was promised. I called several times and was told that the service I paid for was changed by them without my permission. Then I said I no longer wanted the service after fighting for two months with this evil company. Now I am being forced to make a lump sum payment of over $350 for a change that was made to my service WITHOUT my permission! 
They won't even take payments on the trumped up false charge. This vile company expects me to bounce my house payment and live on the streets instead of splitting the payments into smaller more manageable payments. This company DOES NOT CARE about their customers. They have no sense of humanity and only care about money. They will lie to you at every given chance and make changes to your service without your permission! Direct TV is nothing but a loan shark company."
Sadie said... 
"I realize that there are only two satellite companies to choose from but, I see only one that goes above and beyond in all areas especially equipment and customer service. I have been appalled with the prices and quality I have seen for service through Direct TV. Not only do they NOT have dual receiver technology but they charge $99.00 per room since their receiver is only capable of supporting one TV. This can get very expensive if you need multiple rooms connected. 
Direct is not able to bring local news and weather to every market in the US, and charge an extra $10/monthly in some areas. I have also noticed that they offer fewer programming choices and do not offer movie channels like; HBO Comedy, HBO Family, HBO Latino, EPIX, and Turner Classic Movies to name a few. HD options are also depleted and the cost is unreasonable for certain sports channels. 
I happen to work for DISH network but I have been a customer long before I joined the DISH team. I have one DVR for the two rooms I need service in and I don't pay extra for the second room. I can also pause and rewind live TV therefore I don't remember the last time I had to watch a commercial.  
Honestly, I have been so happy with my DVR and the all the special features available that I would never give up those features for technology that is less than par. I have been really happy with Dish network and with everything they do to make the entertainment experience special, I will give my thanks by continuing to be a loyal customer for years to come!"
CoSkier100 said...
"I do not recommend DirectTV if I could do it over again.
List of problems: 1. Overcharges -- double charges for Showtime & HBO when I hadn't signed up for either services. They were only going to remove charges for the last 60 days because it was my responsibility to check monthly and make sure they were charging the agreed to amount.  
2. Broken receivers, which means no TV. Here's the kicker if though, if the receivers break due to no fault of you, you still pay shipping to send it back and get a new one. The first time it broke I still had to pay service for the days I didn't have TV. The 2nd time I got them to credit my account for lost time. 
3. Watch the promises they make when trying to get you to sign a contact, they will say whatever it takes and then not follow through. I told them no HBO or Showtime and I did not want to have to call & cancel after three months, I was told no problem, only to find out they added it and started charging my account.  
4. The dish sometimes does not work during big snowstorms and blizzards, so when you get those days you get off work you also get a day off of TV.

I've been told by most of my friends that I have infinite patience, but really DirectTV has warn my last nerve."

magicJack VoIP Phone Service Information Guide

Are you considering getting rid of your home phone in order to save money each month but haven't quite been able to let go yet? What about looking for an alternative to your expensive land line telephone service? If this is the case then perhaps magicJack is for you. If you are looking for information about magicJack's phone service then you have found the right place. Below you will find links to all of the information you are looking for related to the service and devices. Our goal here is to provide you with one place where all of your questions on the service can be answered. However, before we get to the guide here's a quick note on what magicJack is.

What Is magicJack?
magicJack (owned by VocalTec Communcations) is a very simple phone service that provides consumers with an innovative way to keep their home phone service without having to shell out $40 or more per month. With magicJack they are instead able to get all of the same features as a regular land line home phone, along with free long distance all to the tune of just $29.95 per year or less if you purchased five years in advance.

The technology behind the device is pretty simple. It runs on the companies own high tech VoIP network that routes calls over the Internet instead of through traditional telephone lines. This alone allows the company to save millions of dollars on infrastructure and they pass the savings on to their customers.

The original device worked by hooking it up via a USB port on your computer and was called magicJack. The second generation device was called the magicJack plus and it worked via a USB port or by hooking it directly into your modem or router. The second gen device saw significant improvements in voice quality with its added HD Voice and Echo Control features. The company recently came out with the third generation version of its device, magicJack plus 2014. The 2014 device works just like the second gen one except for a RAM and processor upgrade that allows for faster processing speeds and greater improvements to voice quality. It also comes with a Wi-Fi port and rumors that it may be able to work via wi-fi in the near future so consumers will no longer have to plug the device into their modem or router. Currently this is all speculation and the company has not made any official statements about its plans with the wifi port. There have also been rumors for a couple years that the company one day hopes to offer Internet and cable TV through the device, all for one low annual fee.
VocalTec also came out with the magicJack App in late 2012, which is currently free to anyone and allows for unlimited calls from any iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch), Blackberry, or Android smartphone when using the app. Current subscribers of magicJack can login to the app which allows them to take their home phone on the go with them whenever they are out and about.

What Is magicJack? - A Detailed Review of magicJack Phone Service

Full List of All magicJack Features

What Is magicJack Plus? - A Detailed Review Of The MJ+ Device

What Is magicJack Plus 2014? - A Detailed Review Of The 2014 MJ+ Device (coming soon)

What Is The femtoJack?

What Is magicTalk?

Flat Panel TV Wall Mount Pre Installation Tips

If you already looked through the different types of TV wall mounts, done your research, and made your purchase then you should now be ready to install your TV wall mount. When it comes to installation we are not experts because we focus on the on the retail side of things.

Despite this we managed to piece together a few tips that we feel everyone should consider before they try to install their new wall mount. These tips are designed to help you make sure that everything is just right before you go through the mounting process. Nothing would be worse than mounting your TV and then having to take it down and redo everything.

Tip 1 - Make sure that your TV size is compatible with your new wall mount
Before starting your wall mounting project we highly recommend that you check to make sure that your plasma TV is compatible with the mount that you purchased. These days most wall are somewhat universal but be sure that you didn't get a one that works for 30"-42" televisions when you have a 46" television. It would really stink to get it installed, including holes in the wall, and then have to take it down because it wasn't compatible with your TV.

Tip 2 - Make sure that your TVs weight is below the recommended maximum for your wall mount
The second most important thing is the be sure and check the weight if our TV and make sure that it is below the maximum recommended weight of the wall mount you bought. Nothing would be worse than to get your TV completely installed only to have it fail, fall, and break your TV because it was too heavy. If this happened you would not only need a mount but also a new TV.

Tip 3 - Confirm that the type of TV wall mount you purchased will meet your viewing needs
The third step is to be sure that the wall mount you bought will work well with your viewing needs. If you place the TV in a location where you might need to turn it to different viewing angles often then you better be sure you didn't purchase a fixed one that can't be turned.

Tip 4 - Determine Beforehand How High You Want Your Television
The fourth step before mounting your TV is sit in the several most common spots where you will be watching this TV from and determine how high you want to be. This is most important with a fixed mount because it cannot be tilted down. The best recommendation, as said before, is to sit in the most common viewing places and look at the wall where it will be mounted.

Tip 5 - Determine Whether Your Desired Placement Is Glare Free
The fourth step is to check the light inside and outside light that is going toward the place where you plan on mounting your TV. This is tricky because you cannot see if there will be a glare for sure unless someone holds the TV up in the spot were it is going to be mounted. I actually suggest getting a few friend to help hold it up so you can take a look at it.

Tip 6 - Decide Where You Want The Cables To Run To
The sixth step is to decided where you want the cables to run to. You need to be sure that there is a good path that they can take that will be hidden out of view. If you cannot do this you will probably need to run the cables through holes that you make in your wall. The most important thing is to realize that you might have to start cutting holes in your wall in order to hide the cables.

If you follow these six tips above you should be well on your way to successfully installing your TV wall mount on your first attempt. This list is merely tips to help you avoid some of the common mistakes that people make which require them to redo the mounting job several times.

A Complete List Of All magicJack Features + User Reviews

We think that magicJack is a great product but when we were trying read about it we really struggled in finding a complete list of the features you get with it. Even on the manufacturer website it was scattered and we able to see a short list of key features but never a full list of everything the device has to offer customers.

As a result we decide to compile a complete list below with all features that come with the all of their devices, including the magicJack, magicJack plus, magicJack App, and magicJack Plus 2014. We have added every possible feature that we know of and we will continue to add to this list as we are made aware of anything we missed or as new features are made available. As an added bonus we have also included several user reviews at the bottom that were left at our blog.

Note: We have not differentiated which features come with which device due to the fact that is was almost impossible to tell. As a result it is best to confirm with the company before assuming an older version comes with all of the features below. For the most part all features come with all devices but there may be a handful of exceptions to this rule. In order to confirm you can visit the official website and click on 'live chat'. Once in the live chat you can ask the agent about a specific device and the specific feature that you have a question about. 

- No Monthly Bills
- Unlimited Local And Long Distance Calling For $29.95 Per Year
- Calling For Just $19.95 Per Year When A 5-Year Advanced Plan Is Purchased
- Can Be Used Anywhere That A BroadBand Internet Connection Exists
- Ability To Make Calls Directly Through Your Computer
- Magic Jack's Own Private VoIP Network
- Simple And Automatic Installation
- Works With A Traditional Landline Phone
- International Calling (Rates range from $0.02 to over $1 per minute)
- Call Any Landline, Cell Phone, Or Other MagicJack User
- Free 411 Directory Assistance
- Conference Calling
- Address Book
- Outlook Program Integration For One Click Calling
- Vista, Windows XP, Windows 8 And MAC Compatible
- Works With A Bluetooth Headset
- Caller ID
- Free Call Waiting
- VoiceMail
- Free Call Forwarding
- Emergency 911 Dialing
- magicJack App For Smartphone Calling (currently free)
- Ability Keep Your Old Phone Number
- Connect Through Wi-Fi
- Three-Way Calling
- Visual Voicemail
- Fax Machine Compatible
- Call Blocking
- Caller ID Blocking
- No Computer Necessary
- Free Device To Device Calls
- No Contract Required
- Live Chat Support

Real User Reviews

Bryon Said...

"I tried one a few years ago & it was awful. Serious delay when speaking on both ends, had to be plugged into your PC, couldn't port your number and quality was horrible. 
Fast forward to 2011, my parents are in bad financial shape and barely make it with less than $30 to spare. I switched them to Vonage 2 years ago, because they were getting gouged by the local phone company (WindStream).  
I was flipping channels one day & saw the MJ infomercial and was about to keep flipping when I noticed that this MJ was different, I continued to watch. This was a totally new MJ...The MJ Plus. You no longer had to use your PC & you could port your number!  
With the 30 day trial, I figured nothing to lose. So I ordered one for my parents, the prospect of taking them from $34 a month to $29.95 a year was to good to ignore. Giving MJ a 2nd chance with the MJ Plus was the best thing I ever did for my parents. 
MJ Plus is dramatically improved over the original MJ!!! The ability to plug into the wall instead of your PC was a big plus. Being able to port your number was huge. There was no more delay when speaking. Call quality was crystal clear. We tried it for 2 weeks and there was no way this was being returned! The MJ Plus is AWESOME! My parents have not had a single issue with MJ Plus. 
They even say its much clearer than Vonage. Now they have a more breathing room each month, they are no longer paying $34+ to Vonage and the cost was so low, I just pay the renewal for them.  
Also for anyone still on the fence, please get the MJ Plus, you will not regret it, if it doesn't work out, you can always return it within 30 days and be charged absolutely nothing. Total cost after trial $102.59. That includes the MJ Plus device, first year of service, taxes, government fees, 911 fees. After that its $29.99 a year. The original MJ is $19.99 a year. Even for the first year with all the added cost of the device and fees it breaks down to $8.55 a month. After the first year it drops to $2.50 a month ($29.99 a year). 
Take it from someone who has always been skeptical, tried the original MJ and hated it, came back to give the MJ Plus a spin and is now a very satisfied customer. Oh, yes the customer service still sucks big time! But, I haven't had to contact them for anything. 
I would highly recommend not running it through you computer. Yes, you lose the ability to use the 3rd party add-ons, but its a very small price to pay. The reason for not running it through you computer is the call quality. It causes a slight delay and volume issues. 
Plugging it into the wall eliminates this problem, because the non-computer option has the MJ Plus connected directly to your router via an Ethernet cable, where as plugged into your USB port, there is latency issues with  using USB instead of a direct connect network cable and USB is at the mercy of your computer's available resources, whereas plugging it into the wall doesn't have this issue."
Fran Said...
"I have had Magic Jack for the past three years or more as my long distance number in Canada and it worked fine. Upon renewal this time I had difficulty so I just upgraded to the MJ plus. Now I have 2 MJ plus devices, one is a business line with a Canadian number and the other has a Boston number so I can stay in touch with family that lives in Boston. 
I am going to get a third line and officially get rid of my phone company that cost $50.00 a month. It is a hard decision because I have been with them for the past 15 years and my security and fax systems operate from them. But if I get rid of them I will save $550.00 a year minus MJ plus yearly fee. 
So, everyone out there who are contemplating this service, try it if you don't like it just return it. In my defense I should say I don't work for MJ and their services for dealing with customers problems is not good from my experience but the phone service works. It helps you to save money and you have one less bill per month. 
I hope my testimonial helped someone make a good decision."
Sonmox Said... 
"I had the original MagicJack but was not at all satisfied, so I cancelled the service. A couple of years later, I tried the MagicJack Plus, and the difference was amazing! I have had no issues, and as an experiment, I transferred my fax number from Vonage to MagicJack, and it also worked perfectly (even the number transfer went smoothly). My only issue is that I really need some of the features currently available only with the MagicFeatures program, but I have been unable to contact anyone who knew if the program would work if the MagicJack Plus was not plugged into the computer or if it will work with more than one MagicJack unit. Soon I am going to transfer more numbers to MagicJack."
And there you have it, three wonderful reviews from current magicJack customers. Please see the comments below for even more input from other users. 

DIRECTV Satellite TV Review - Is Direct TV Legit Or A Scam?

There are two satellite TV providers in the United States, DirecTV (often misspelled Direct TV) and Dish Network which means that you will have to choose between then two if you have decided to go with satellite. The largest of these two is DirecTV with over 20 million subscribers and availability in just about every city in the United States. Both satellite providers have been in fierce competition for market share over the years with DirecTV leading the way for quite awhile now. For information on the other option for satellite television check out our review of Dish Network.

What Is DirecTV?
They are a nationwide company that provides television viewers with a paid satellite TV service. They have over 20 million subscribers as of January 2014 and also provider the most HD channels. They not only provide more HD channels than Dish but also more than any cable providers in the United States.

How Much Does Service Cost?
The price varies quite a bit but in general is a little bit more expensive than their competitors at Dish. Usually you are require to sign a two year contract which comes with a significantly lower price for the first year of service. Once you get into the second year of service the cost goes up to the normal price.This is exactly how Dish operates as well. Despite these concerns there are still generally less than cable while providing better programming options. Currently packages for the first year of service start at  $29.99 for 140 channel and go all the way up to $91.99 per month for their top tier program. This package includes over 285 channels and all of the special add on packages such as movie channels, sports channels, a HD DVR, and free NFL Sunday Ticket for the following season. During the second year the lowest package goes up to $49.99 with the top tier package going up to $129.99. As you can see, satellite is pretty cheap for a low end package but you can also end up spending a lot more than cable if you want all of the extras.


How Much Does Installation And Equipment Cost?
In order to get DirecTV satellite television subscribers need a satellite dish and a receiver for each room where they want to watch TV. In most cases new customers can get all of the equipment for free by agreeing to a 24 month contract. This also includes free installation by a professionally authorized agent. If you do not sign a contract installation and equipment will generally cost you several hundred dollars. Generally, upgrades to a DVR or HD receiver are also free with a 24 month agreement.

What Add On Packages Are Available And How Much Do They Cost?
Direct TV has several exclusive packages that can only be purchased through their company, mainly NFL Sunday Ticket. Others include Nascar HotPass and NCAA Mega March Madness. They always have the largest selection of sports channels to choose from. With them it's all about choosing and paying for what you want. Outside of the standard packages you can find various lower tier packages that cost less, with the option to simply add on specific premium channels for the specified monthly fee. Of course if you have a lot add-ons it will be cheaper to get them as part of a top tier package. Another thing to note is that the company use to get a bad rap for offering very poor access to local channels and even charging an extra $5 for them. This is no longer the case and any 2 year agreement includes local channels free of charge.

All new contracts give you three free months of movie channels. Once this is up it costs $17.99 for HBO, $12.99 for ShowTime Unlimited, $12.99 for the Starz Superpack, and $12.99 for Cinemax. If you are looking to get several of these packages you can usually save on your monthly bill by simply upgrading to a pre-set package that has them built into the price. They also have a large number of different sports packages that you can add. You can get NBA League Pass For $30 per month for the 4 month NBA Seasons, NFL Sunday Ticket (see price info below), ESPN Full Court for college basketball at $83 for the two months it airs. They also offer NHL Center ice for four monthly payments of $29.99 and Fox Soccer Plus for $14.99 per month.

How Much Does A DVR Cost?
The device is generally free with a service contract of 24 months. As far as a monthly fee for use, that depends on what package you have and the DVR you chose. The top tier packages sometimes have the monthly fee built into their price, while lower tier plans generally require you to add DVR for a monthly fee. In general depending on which receiver you choose you can expect to pay anywhere from $5-$25 per month. Their top of the line receiver, the Genie will cost you the most money but will give you the most features as well.

What Is NFL Sunday Ticket?
NFL Sunday Ticket is an exclusive rights programming option that you can only get by being a DirecTV subscriber. The NFL only broadcasts 2-3 games on Sunday in each city but with NFL Ticket you get all of the games. This means that no matter where you live you can watch your favorite team or that marquee matchup every single week. The service normally costs several hundred dollars but with a new contract you get it for free for the first year. In subsequent years you will automatically be billed and renewed at the then market price. If you do not want to renew no worries, you can cancel before, or once you see the charge on your bill you can call in and then will remove the service and adjust your amount due.

A new service they recently began offering is NFL Sunday Ticket Max. Ticket Max offers everything you get with the regular service plus the Red Zone Channel, On Demand viewing after games, player trackers for fantasy football, and also the ability to watch any game anywhere via your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Sunday Ticket costs $39.99 per month for the 6 month season ($239.94 total) and Sunday Ticket Max costs $54.99 per month for the full season ($329.94 total).

How Many HD Channels Will I Get?
Broadcasts for all channels is in digital form, which means that you get the best picture quality available. Currently they boast the largest number of HD channels in the television industry. Basically put, if the channel broadcasts in HD, you can get it in HD with Directv.


Do I Have To Sign A Contract?
No. But if you don't you will have to pay all installation fees along with missing out on the first year special that new subscribers get. This special is usually up to half off. No contract satellite TV is generally the worst thing you can do when switching to a paid service. Either get the discounts provided by committing or go with a different type of service.

Will They Run A Credit Check?
Yes, the company has a fairly strict policy regarding who can be accepted for a service contract. Credit checks are ran on all new subscribers before they are accepted.

Do They Offer Any Other Services Besides TV?
Not directly, but they do give you the option when signing up to bundle your service with a third party Internet and/or phone service provider in order to reduce costs. Their website says they work directly with Verizon, AT&T, Century Link, Exede Internet, Cincinnati Bell, HughesNet Gen 4, and Windstream.

Do You Have Any Reviews From Current Customers?
We have had a handful of people email us with their comments regarding the service, which you can see several of below. For further comments from users you can also see our comment section at the bottom of this post.

Barb said... 
"I switched from Time Warner Cable to Direct TV and we love it. I'll never go back to cable. I've now convinced by two daughters and their husbands to do the same. Great service, programming is outstanding, what's not to like? There is good and bad in every company and none are perfect, (I was a Time Warner employee for 13 plus years) trust me!"
Ryan said...
"I have been a customer for over 10 years, and I will attempt to be as "down the middle" as I can be. 
First the good: Great programming. I am a transplant and I love the sports programming. You get a ton of channel options and everything is available in HD.
Now the bad: I have had many issues with directv. From a sloppy install to rude techs to lazy techs. I recently moved from MD to AZ and scheduled my install the day I arrived. My window for install was 12-4 and I arrived at 11am. I put away all my boxes and waited. Around 330 I went to check my phone to make sure the volume was up. I noticed I had just missed a call from DTV, they left a voicemail saying they didn't have my apt number. I called back right away and tried to give them the number. The first person I spoke with claimed they didn't have any info on an install, and that the tech was at my old location, I said that can't be, and she patched me to someone else. The next operator told me it was too late and we had to reschedule. I said the office just called and said to please call ASAP with the number. The operator told me he couldn't get in touch with the tech.
Now I have never done their job before, but my immediate reaction was if they don't have my apt number they can call my cell (every time I have had them out they have called to give me a status update, usually it was hey we are running late, but they called.) The other option was to walk into my leasing office and ask what apt do I live in? Don't those sound like two reasonable solutions? However this tech didn't seem to think of it. So there really are only 2 excuses. The tech was lazy, or stupid. 
I spoke with DTV office after and they gave me $10 off for the first 6 months, which I thought was insulting. 60 bucks for all the confusion? I filed a compliant with the BBB and nothing was really done. Just a canned apology.  
My advice is this, if you aren't a sports nut then cable and dish network are better options. The customer service here is poor, the service is worse, and bottom line is they are just a very poorly run business. Now I know this is one persons opinion but just let me just give a quick run down of the installs I have had and the issue and you be the judge.
2011- They installed but didn't check to see if receiver worked in upstairs bedroom. They came back out and then split the cable so picture would cut out from time to time. They sent another tech out who yelled at me cause I didn't hear him knock the first time 
2010- After being told I could freeze my account for a year, it turned out they could only do it for 6 months. When I tried to reactivate service because I was in an area that had the proper angle, one of their operators sold me on completely new service. He said that was what we were doing yet I now had two accounts with DTV. I called to complain and they corrected the issue, again offering me the same stupid $10 off for 6 months. 
2008- They came out to install and the first tech just sat it his truck and eyeballed the specs and said I didn't have a proper angle, again I called up and miraculously they were able to find a signal.  
2007- I scheduled an install, and was told to get a pole to set the dish on, when tech arrived he said pole was too small, yet it was the specs I was told on the phone.
There is the body of work, you can now judge for yourself if its worth getting involved with this company."
Tanner said...
"I love my DirecTV. Needing faster internet, I've done a lot of research and talked with a lot of people. I find my AT&T DSL and DirecTV appear to remain the best buy. I've had DirecTV for 8 years and it has been out maybe 4 hours total. 
Their website looks great, but is absolutely useless, but my TV is always there, looks and sound great (HD 720P or 1080P + 5.1 surround). Alas, I guess I will stay with slow AT&T DSL because no one I can find seems to have better service than DirecTV. UVerse and Cable have great internet and lousy TV. Talk to all your neighbors before you sign any contract. I did and mine all say stick with DirectTV. A ROKU box for $99 is also a good deal, and it works amazingly well with my slow DSL, although you only get Stereo Sound and maybe 720p picture. Again, talk to your neighbors. Every neighborhood seems to be different."
Sergey Chernokov said...
"Beware of DIRECT TV's sneaky policy. They are designed to avoid giving you benefits they have promised. I was never able to get the promotional rate I was promised. When I signed up through AT&T, the website said I will pay $34.99 for the first year for the $64.99 package. This was the only reason I could justify signing 2-year agreement. 
On the first statement I didn't see the promotional rate. I saw $64.99. I called AT&T because I receive the bill from AT&T not direct TV. I ended up in the promotional rate departments and the automated machine told me it takes up to 3 months to receive the promotional rate. I waited 3 months then I called. Then I ended up being transferred to DIRECT TV agents. They told me that this is not promotional rate but a rebate that has 90 days expiration. Since, I was late to file the rebate I was not longer qualified for the discount. They told me that they sent me an email with the explanation on how to get the rebate. I don't recall getting an email. Besides, email should not be used for such important things without my consent.
Nowhere it was mentioned that this is a rebate. VERY MISLEADING. I am very upset and will switch to anything but DIRECT TV when my agreement expires."
Are There Any Red Flag Issues That Current Or Former Subscribers Have Ran Into?
All customers should be aware that there will be a early termination fee if you decide to cancel your service before your contract is up. One thing that we have noticed is that some customers seemed to have thought that they would be able to easily get out of their contract if they moved. Getting out of any contact with them is going to be difficult and everyone should be careful before committing for 24 months. If you are concerned that you may be moving to an area where their service isn't available you need to check the terms of the contract before you sign it. Generally if they can't provide service you can get out, but if it doesn't say that in your contract then don't count on it. Don't count on it even if an uninformed customer service rep told you that you could get out of your contract if you moved. The only thing you can count on it what is written in your contract.

Another issue to check out is whether you have a clear view of the southern sky. If you do not then you shouldn't even bother getting their service. This is a requirement for getting a good signal with any satellite provider. Without a good signal you will get bad reception and at times you may get no reception at all. If you do sign up and the installing agent can't find a suitable place to install the satellite dish then he won't perform the install and you will be denied service through the company.

As far as customer service goes, if you have any issues you should be able to get your problems worked out but it may take a bit longer than it should because you may get an incompetent or unenthusiastic rep on the phone. In general the company does a good job of dealing with most customer service issues. You however will see a ton of complaints on the Internet, partially because some people are just out to complain, partially because no company is perfect. When you have over 20 million subscribers you are bound to have a high number of complaints. They key indicator however is that on a percentage basis they have an extremely low complaint rate.

Top Digital TV Antenna Manufacturers

If you are trying to decided on a new digital TV antenna in order to get better reception then you have a big decision ahead of you. Not only can they be quite expensive but they can also be very confusing and most people do not have the technical knowledge that it takes to be able to choose the best one for their needs.

One of the first things you will want to do once you decide that you need a new antenna is to sort through the major companies and find out which ones produce the highest quality products at the best prices. Below we have provided a list of some of the top manufacturers along with a brief summary of each one. This list by no means exhaustive and there are many other great manufacturers out there that we will not cover. If you know the type you then you can decide which brand of you want, and finally which antenna retailer you want to purchase from.
RCA: They have been around for a long time and are known as a leader in the electronics and television industry. The produce high quality products and sell them at affordable prices. Antennas however are not their specialty so you cannot find as many personalized options from them. They are more of a one ize fits all type of manufacturer with a standard set of antennas.

Antennas Direct: This brands sole focus is on providing high quality antennas for digital and HDTV signaling. They are not as widely known as some other companies but do provide some of the best antennas in the industry. In fact, their products are so good that they are carried by large retailers such as Solid Signal and Amazon. Antennas Direct is so confident in their product quality that they offer a 90-Day return policy that allows you to return for any reason.

Channel Master: Channel Master has been around for over 60 years and has been slowly adjusting and tweaking their products in order to get them to provide the best reception possible. Channel Master provides one of the widest product lines out of all manufacturers and is a global leader within the industry. They are also one of the most recognized and trusted names in the industry. They are known for providing some of the highest signal gain within the industry.

Winegard: Winegard has been around for over 50 years and with that length of time has become one of the best manufacturers around. Their main focus is on television reception products which mainly consistent of antennas. Winegard has an excellent reputation for providing high quality that gets the job done while also offering affordable prices.

Other Manufacturers: Besides the manufacturers we have provider information on above there are many others that provide high quality antennas at affordable prices. If you still do not know who to go with other manufacturers you can check out include Terk, Antenna Craft, DX, and Terrestrial Digital.

Top Flat Panel TV Wall Mount Manufacturers

If you are looking to purchase a new TV wall mount for your TV then you have a big decision ahead of you. With the evolution of the television from a tube to ultra-slim flat panels a huge demand for wall mounts formed and as a result a large number of unknown manufacturers began popping up quickly. As a result there are a ton of companies out there but they are mostly companies nobody has ever heard of.

With reputable companies out there it is often hard to choose the best product and the nature of the industry being so young makes it that much for difficult. If you are looking to purchase a top quality one then it will certainly not be easy. Below we have provided a list of some of the top manufacturers along with a brief write up about each one. If you know what type of wall mount you want then the next step is to figure out which retailer you want to make your purchase from.
Peerless Industries: Peerless Industries has been a leader in the audiovisual mounting industry for over 40 years now. They is know for its high quality craftsmanship, high quality materials, innovative designs, ease of installation, and affordability. Almost all of their TV wall mounts are universal and work with nearly all Plasma and LCD TVs. Peerless Industries product line includes fixed, tilt, articulating, ceiling, and desktop mounts, just to name a few.

Sanus Systems: Sanus Systems is another wonderful manufacturer that produces all sorts of different audiovisual furniture, stands, and mounts. Sanus, like Peerless, is known for creating extremely high quality products at affordable prices. With this company you can find all different types of wall mounts and nearly all of them are universal and VESA compliant. Their mounts are are state-of-the-art, work with both Plasma, LED, and LCD TVs, and are built to perform while looking great at the same time. They are actually a sub-company of Milestone AV Technologies, one of the most respected and well known names in the AV industry. Sanus is a leading manufacturer in the industry and you would be hard pressed to find wall mounts that exceed theirs in quality.

Mustang AV: Mustang Mounts is a global provider of AV products, including wall mounts. Besides this they also manufacture display and projectors mounts, projecting screens, cables, speakers, power accessories, remotes, and furniture. There are also many other smaller categories of products produced by Mustang that we have chosen not to list. Mustang AV products are known for their high quality construction and are graded for both residential and commercial uses. They have done a great job of providing extremely good prices while not sacrificing quality. As a tribute to its high quality products They also offer various "full satisfaction" warranties on its products. Most of their mounts would be a great options for anyone looking for one.

Chief Manufacturing: Chief Manufacturing is another great manufacturer. They are sub-company of the trusted Milestone AV Technologies name. They more commercially focused but also sells residential products. They are known within the industry for selling one of the highest quality products available and also for its extensive accessory options. Chief generally offers a 10 year warranty on all of its TV wall mounts, which is a best in industry warranty. All Chief brand products are UL, OSHPD, TUV, CE and TUV/GS certified for their safety and wide range of compatibility.

Premier Mounts: Premier Mounts has been around for over 30 years and is a leader in innovation within the audiovisual industry. One of their specialties is TV wall mounts and they are known for creating extremely beautiful, high quality, and innovative wall mounts. They are known for pioneering the concept of Universal wall mounts that work with all TV sizes. They were founded by Len Dozier over 30 years ago in order to fill a need that he saw in the AV industry. Premier mounts is a global company that provides products worldwide wherever they are desired. They are especially known for its high quality and all mounts are required to under go through serious quality control checks before being distributed.

OmniMount: OmniMount, like Premier Mounts, has been around for over 30 years and is consider a global leader in the mounting  industry. Their business is extremely focused and there main line is TV mounts. Their product line includes motorized and flat panel mounts, along with furniture, audio/video racks, and much much more. There total product line includes several hundred different types of mounting options. They are known for producing extremely high quality products and have been recognized on multiple occasions by earning industry awards. If you are looking for a product that provides long term reliability and looks great at the same time they would be one of the best possible choices.

Cheetah Mounts: Cheetah Mounts is relatively small and unknown company that manufacturers and sells TV wall mounts. Their wall mounts are not carried by most retailers but all of the information we have seen regarding them has been very positive. Reports from Amazon show that customers that have purchased them have been extremely satisfied. Product information has shown that theirs appear to be made of high quality materials. The most noticeable thing regarding the Cheetah brand is that they are some of the lowest priced in the industry. If you are looking for a cheap product that has yet to prove itself to be inferior then you might want to try them out. If it ends up being bad you could either return it or only be out the $20-$40 that you paid for one.

VideoSecu: VideoSecu is another less known company that appears to produce high quality products. Although their quality is not as good as the premier brands this is generally reflected in the price. VideoSecu offers a 90-day warranty on all products. This company produces all kinds off different wall mounts including tilt, fixed, swivel, and articulating styles. VideoSecu also produces a bunch of different, non wall mount products. In order to ensure a high quality product VideoSecu has a rigorous quality assurance program. If you are looking for a cheaper product then a VideoSecu would be a good choice. Most of the feedback from Amazon customers so far has been pretty good.

Cell Phone Signal Boosters Information Guide

If you are looking for information about cell boosters then you have found the right place. Although, not the most complete resource on the web we will be supplying write ups to various topics related to them including details about retailer, manufactures, and reviews of some of the best products out there.

Cell phone signal boosters (also referred to as cell phone amplifiers or cell phone repeaters) have become increasingly popular in recent years with the explosion of the cellular phone. Ten to fifteen years ago almost nobody had cell phones but with technological advances the costs for cell phones plummeted and as of today most people have their own personal cell phones.

Unfortunately along with the benefits of cell phones came a new problem, a lack of good cell phone coverage, or what is commonly referred to as cell signal dead zones. With dead zones there came about a need for a way to enhance cell signals and thus eliminate these dead zones. The result was that companies began popping up all over the place that were specifically manufacturing what we now know as the modern day cell booster.
Cell phone signal boosters are generally small electronic devices that capture nearby cell phone signals and re transmit them so that they are stronger and reach into areas where signal loss may be present. In most cases cell boosters are most effective in indoor areas where cell signals were previously blocked by the building itself. The are also known for working really well in cars. There are also certain types of booster antenna devices but these are usually somewhat ineffective.

There are many advantages to having a booster. In most cases a cell booster will allow your mobile phone to be a true wireless device. Once you get one you will be able to roam throughout your whole house without having to worry about dropped calls or being forced to stand near a window or even outside. It will allow you to not only eliminate dropped calls but will also allow you to move about your entire house while using your cell phone.

If you are in the market for one of these for your home, office, or car then we may have some information for you. In the future you will find links below that provide more information that we have compiled regarding these products. From tips and installation instructions, to how to make your own homemade booster, and even reviews of the top products on the market.

Cell Phone Signal Booster Reviews Index

What Are Femtocells? - The Ultimate Cell Signal Booster

Top Cell Booster Retailers - Coming Soon!

Top Cell Booster Manufacturers - Coming Soon!

How To Make Your Own Homemade Cell Booster? - Coming Soon!

Installation Tips - Coming Soon!

5 Most Common Types Of TV Wall Mounts

When doing research and trying to decide on a TV wall mount the first step is to decided which type will look and work the best in your home and with your plasma or LCD TV. Once you make a decision about which kinda you want then you can begin to take a look at different TV wall mount reviews to see which ones are of the highest quality.

In general there are five different types of flat panel mounts. There are other types out there but for the sake of time we will touch on the five that make up the majority of all sales. If you are looking for some sort of alternative to a wall mount we highly recommend that you consider either a TV lift cabinet or a TV stand of some sort.

Fixed TV Wall Mounts
The first and most basic type is called the fixed TV wall mount. Fixed mounts function exactly as the name sounds. With this type your TV is fixed on the mount and it cannot be moved in anyway. The only way to move your TV is to move the whole wall mount, not an easy feat in itself. This type allows for the least amount of flexibility because you cannot adjust the angle, tilt, or direction. They are cheapest type on the market and are a great buy for the budget minded shopper. These types of mounts are great for any room where there is only one or two primary seating locations for viewing. Despite lacking flexibility if you can get your television in the right location you can still have a great viewing experience with this type. Fixed wall mounts can be had for as little as $30 or you can spend over $100 on a top of the line overprice one.

Tilt TV Wall Mounts
The second type is called the tilt TV wall mount. Tilt mounts again function just as the name sounds. With this type your TV is, for the most part in a fixed position. The only difference is that the piece your television is connected to can be moved in order to change the tilt or angle. You cannot move your television up and down or from side to side but being able to change the angle is a very nice feature. Changing the angle comes in handy when trying to get rid of a glare or if you sit at different levels often (in a chair sometimes and on the floor at other times). Being able to change the tilt allows you to be able to put the TV at the best angle for your current viewing position and thus enhance your viewing experience. Tilt TV wall mounts are a middle of the road product in regards to price and usually price out above fixed ones but below the other two kinds. They can be purchased for as little as $30-$40 but you can also spend several hundred dollars if you choose to go with a top of the line one.

Swivel TV Wall Mounts
The third type is called the Swivel TV wall mount. Swivel mounts come with the ability to change their tilt/angle in order to get the best possible view of your television. The added benefit of this type of mount is that it allows your TV to swivel (pivot or turn) to the left and to the right. The only draw back to this type is that your TV will sit somewhat far away from the wall when attached to its mount. Swivel TV wall mounts are considered to be a step above tilt ones and with that comes a higher price. They are generally consider to be the second most expensive and can be had for as little as $50-$60 and for as much as a few hundred dollars if you want to go for a best in industry one.

Articulating TV Wall Mounts
The fourth type we are going to be discussing today is called the articulating TV wall mount. Articulating mounts have all of the features of the formerly mentioned kinds. These features include the ability to swivel to the left or right and also the ability to change your televisions viewing angle. The added benefit of this type is that it also allow you to turn your TVs tilt to the left or to the right. If you were to think about this movement it is exactly the same as changing the tilt/angle but in a side to side motion as opposed to an up/down motion. This simply allows you to change the left to right viewing angle so that you can turn the TV if you are sitting on the far left or far right in a room. It is simply an added benefit that enhances the swivel motion and allows for greater viewing flexibility. Again, the only drawback of this type is the fact that when your TV is attached to it it ends up quite far away from the wall. They are one of the more expensive ones on the market and generally price out $75-$100 but can also be purchased for as much as a few hundred dollars.

Full Motion TV Wall Mounts
The fifth and final type we will be discussing today is known as a full motion TV wall mount. Full motion wall mounts are relatively new and provide the absolute most flexibility among TV wall mounts. With this type you can not only angle the tilt, and move the TV to the left and to the right but the swivel arm mechanism allows you to move the TV in a full 360 degree circle. This means you could potentially watch your TV from several different rooms if it happens to be in a position where a wall is not obstructing your view. The only draw back is how far your TV can end up away from the wall while using this type. Full motion wall mounts are generally the most expensive type on the market and can be found for $75-$150 but can also go for as much as several hundred dollars.

Frequently Asked Questions About VoIP Phone Service

What Is VoIP?
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a technology that routes voice traffic over IP networks. They were first developed years ago for data transmission but their popularity sparked the idea of using them for voice transmissions. VoIP technology transfers voice data into digital signals and routes them through the IP network and then converts them back to a voice transmission on the other end. It allows for calls directly from a PC or through a traditional phone by using an adapter. Some others common names for the service include voice over IP, broadband phone, internet phone service, and digital phone.

What Are The Benefits Of VoIP?
The biggest benefit is the high competition between companies which results in an extremely low cost. In most cases service providers charge a monthly fee that includes unlimited local and long distance calls and a less than average rate for international calls. It is also cheaper because there are currently no government regulatory fees associated with this type of phone service. Another great thing about it is that it can be taken anywhere. When you are making calls over the Internet it doesn't matter where you are as long as you have a broadband Internet connection and can access your VoIP software. This also allows you to require any area code that you would like, which can come in hand for businesses that operation nationwide.
How Much Does It Cost?
The price for service vary widely. You can get a popular service from a nationwide company such as Vonage for as little as $10 per month for a limited nationwide plan while unlimited international plans from them run at $26.99 right now. There are several companies out there that actually offer free service, albeit on a very limited plan though. magicJack is one of the largest providers in the country and they charge a yearly fee of just $29.95. Generally you get what you pay for and the cheapest providers come with poor voice quality and limited features, while the more expensive ones provide the same quality you have gotten from a land line company for years. The bottom line is to do your research and read reviews from some of the top service providers before making a choice.

What Features Does Service Come With?
It as the ability to come with all of the usual feature that we have come to expect from traditional land line companies. This includes caller ID, call waiting, 3-way calling, conference calls, voicemail, call blocking, 411 directory assistance, last number re-dial, call forwarding, E911 service, and much more. Of course the features you get depends on what company and level of service you subscribe to. VoIP also comes with several features that we are not use to seeing with traditional service. One neat feature is the ability to have your voice mails sent to you as an attachment through email. This is a pretty simple feature but creates and easy way to keep up with voicemail messages while checking your email.

What Equipment Is Needed To Get Started?
First and foremost you will need a broadband internet connection. Beside that the only equipment that is usually needed in order to setup service is a VoIP phone or adapter from you service provider for your regular phone. Generally you hook the adapter up to your modem or router and then the other end up to your phone. With a VoIP phone the phone hooks directly into the router and you bypass the need for an adapter. In the future there are hopes for adapters that work via wi-fi so that a connection to your router/modem is no longer needed. You will need the companies software if you want to use your computer for calls.

Is A Computer Required?
In most cases no computer is needed. However remember, it does require a high-speed Internet connection, modem/router, and the VoIP adapter (provided by the company you subscribe with).

How Do I Make A Phone Call?
Making calls with this service is exactly the same as you have been doing for years. Simply pick up your phone, dial a number, and the phone will begin ringing. An added bonus however is that you can get on your computer and make a call directly via your providers software program. This is quite convenient if you are traveling and have your computer with you but not your phone or adapter, if you are on the go and you don't have your phone with you.

What Is The Difference Between Residential And Business VoIP?
Residential services are cheaper and are setup to work with a small number of phones within your home. They can be used with multiple phones that are setup throughout your house but only one telephone number and line is provided. Business VoIP services are more expensive, can be complicated to setup, and are designed to work with a large number of telephones. Generally they come with multiple numbers and telephone lines up to whatever number a business may need to meet their needs. Although expensive on a full package basis, they are still much more affordable than paying for a bunch of land lines.

Are There Differences Between Local, Long Distance, And International Calling?
In most cases free local and long distance calls come with your subscription. Some providers offer cheaper plans that limit minutes and long distance and/or internationals calls. It's really up to you, you can usually get whatever type of plan suits your needs.

Are There Any Disadvantages?
One past disadvantage that has been solved was related to 911 emergency services. Technological advancements have allowed for an E911 service that is comparable to what you get with a regular land line. If any land line company tries to talk you into keeping their expensive service please know that this information is out of date and VoIP offers excellent 911 protection.

One real disadvantage though is the possibility of not being able to use your phone when there is a power outage. If the power is out and your Internet and/or computer is not working then you will not be able to make calls. In most cases this seems to be of little concern anymore with nearly everybody having a cell phone these days. If you go with a cheaper company that has an out-of-date network then you are likely to experience call quality issues an experience a good amount of static. VoIP technology has improved rapidly over the past several years and most companies have kept up, but there are those out there that offer inferior service.