Since year 2011, I have been constantly asked to recommend a good satellite TV system to watch foreign TV in China. In the previous article I have explained that we do not have much choices here beside Dream Satellite TV from Philippines and the latest system DishHD Asia from Taiwan.
I have been promoting Dream since year 2002. Back to that time, the most common / popular systems are 146E Dream and the copy 134E CBTV. There were pirated version of Dream on the market to make situation even more complicated.
We do not discuss satellite TV piracy here, just to compare which system to choose for a new subscriber. Let’s analyse them from different perspectives.
Dream has 38 ch, 15 are Philippine local programmings, which do not make much sense to most of the expats living and working in Shanghai.
DishHD has over 50 ch. Many of which are US TV.
Dream has them but DishHD not:
History, Crime&Investigation, AXN, Cartoon Network, MTV, Biography Channel, Star Sports, ESPN, BBC News, Asian Food Channel, Animal Planet, RED.
DishHD has them but Dream not:
NHK, NGC Wild, Life Inspired, Fox HD, FX HD, OBS, LUXE HD, Fashion TV HD, Unitel Classica HD, iConcerts, Sundance Channel, Fox News, Bloomberg,
Kids channel DishHD has not Cartoon Network but includes others like KidsCo, BabyFirstTV, Boomerang, most attractive ones are Disney Playhouse and Disney.
DishHD has more Discovery channels: Discovery Science， Discovery Home & Health， Discovery Turbo
Movie channels DishHD got more like Warner, MGM, HBO Hits, HBO Family Asia, HBO Signature and Cinemax
DishHD got 5 different sports chs: NBA, Golf, NHL, ASN, and Extreme Sports, while it does not cover ESPN and Star Sports, which in many cases broadcast soccer and some not so American sports events.
2. Video Quality, Picture Resolution
DishHD enjoys an absolute advantage over Dream on picture qualities. Most of the channels are in 1080i HD format.
While Dream is basically fine on tubes less than 20 inches, not really for latest flat TV, LCD.
3. Dish Installation
They are basically the same, both using a 0.55m in diameter ku band dish antenna to receive. DishHD has a stronger signal covering whole China.
Dream is 113E, direction is like one o’clock to the south. DishHD is 122.2’E, which is almost direct South here in Shanghai and Beijing.
4. Signal Coverage
DishHD covers whole China and Taiwan. Dream covers Eastern part of China, missing Guangdong province.
5. Remote Services.
So far the DishHD system works fine, we rarely need to request signal reactivation for a “dead” box, to re-establish link between STB and satellite via feed. For Dream, now and then there’s a unit reactivation request, not necessarily for each and every customer all the time, but 1 out of 10 might need it once or twice each year. DishHD satellite is performing stable so far.
Both Dream and DishHD has a centralized service center in Philippines and Taiwan. We have direct communication links from Shanghai to both of them so remote request are processed even faster than local calls, ’cause there are special team serving overseas customers. Communication could be online and necessary practices are done through computer network directly via satellite to the boxes.
So far I keep both Dream and DishHD at home, using one composite input and one HDMI input of my Sony 40 inches TV. I watch History channel a lot so I keep the Dream. Some sports funs keep it for ESPN and Star Sports, some for BBC World.
You might be asking: Which system do you represent?
Before 2011 I worked for Dream solely and I took fixed salary and extra commission each year based on subscription I served in China. I had be a little disappointed of Dream’s lack of incentive of changes and improvement over the years, on anti-piracy practices, on channel selection, and especially on video quality. Many customers are asking me to provide DishHD as an alternative, which is a direct competition to Dream who hired me.
I decided to quite employment relationship to Dream and started as a dealer to both system, offering customer more choices.
I’m a good and reliable dish antenna installer. Both systems require a dish, that’s where I came in. I know dish installation work very well, especially in complicated working environment of Shanghai building complexities.
Good quality dish and workmanship make huge difference for your satellite TV watching experience, I will write more on my expertise on dish installation in the next entry.