Comparing DISH Network Satellite Against Brighthouse Cable

Bright House is a large cable company in many parts of the country. If you live in one of the areas served by this cable television company, you may have asked yourself which service is better, Bright House or DISH Network?

The answer to that question often depends on what you want from your cable company. While DISH Network is in the TV business only, Bright House can offer so called triple play bundles composed of voice, data, and internet. Sometimes that equates to a good deal if you need or want all three services.

Bright House Networks is a company with five thousand employees, and it is tightly connected with Time Warner Cable. It is the sixth largest cable company in the United States. DISH Network is the second largest satellite TV company behind DIRECTV.

Advance/Newhouse based in Syracuse, New York is the main management hub for Bright House. Formerly, Advance and Time Warner Entertainment owned the company together, but now Time Warner still owns a stake in Bright House Networks but doesn’t manage the company day-to-day. That being said, Bright House channels lineups closely resemble Time Warner’s in most areas. Bright House is fairly spread out and their operations cover the following areas:

Indianapolis, Central Florida (Orlando / Daytona Beach areas) and the Tampa Bay Florida. Birmingham-Hoover Alabama area, some suburban Detroit, Michigan areas, and Bakersfield California. The biggest coverage area though for Bright House is Central Florida, where they is the dominant cable system in the Tampa and Orlando TV markets.

Bright House provides a traditional cable television experience to the subscriber. Because they market voice, TV and Internet services in a package, they have an inherent advantage over a satellite TV company like DISH Network. Bright House currently serves about 2.1 million customers when all of the areas they cover are added together. On the other hand, customers who have AT&T in the areas served by Bright House can order a triple play package from the phone company, as AT&T currently sells DISH Network service to its customers. You can generally find a better deal by shopping online for DISH Network satellite TV.

So what exactly can Bright House offer? Bright House Networks currently sells television service (both digital and HD), high speed internet, wireless home networking, digital home phone, and digital business phone service. Bright House also owns and operates two local news channels — Bay News 9 in the Tampa Bay market, and Central Florida News 13 in the Orlando market.

In comparison, DISH Network is in the television business, but sometimes when you focus on just one thing, you can get it done at a lower price. That seems to be the biggest difference between Bright House and DISH Network, the price. Here are a few prices from Bright House in the Orlando area for TV service.

Cable Family Pack $32.95

Standard Cable $52.99

Digital Cable-includes one Digital SmartBox $59.99

Digital Cable with HD Service includes one HD SmartBox $59.99

Digital Cable plus choice of Premium services: HBO, Showtime/TMC, Cinemax and Starz.

Includes one Digital or HD SmartBox

Single Pack $71.94 Pick 1 Premium service + Premium on Demand

Double Pack $79.94 Pick 2 Premium services + Premium on Demand

Triple Pack $83.94 Pick 3 Premium services + Premium on Demand

Ultimate Pack $88.94 All 4 Premium services + Premium on Demand

Available with Digital Cable

Additional Digital or HD SmartBox

$6.95 ea.

Digital Video Recorder (DVR) Service

$6.95 ea.

HD Digital Video Recorder (HD DVR) Service

$9.95 ea

As you can see, pricing from Bright House is not too good, actually fairly expensive. DISH Network offers a Family Pack starting from $19.95 per month, and their America’s Top 200 is $44.99 per month, less than even Basic Cable with Bright House. Bright House prices vary a little depending on the area of the country, but you get the idea.

Now that is a fairly simple comparison. If you have special circumstances like maybe you have eight televisions hooked up to in your house and you want to be able to tune them to different channels. Suppose you have 3 HDTV’s in addition, with DVR service as well. Cases like this require calling each company to see what all of the boxes, remotes, DVR’s etc will cost. Many have selected a cable company like BrightHouse because they have bundled the internet, cable and digital phone into one. Sometimes Bright House and telephone companies like Verizon FiOS can offer deals for one year with a great price. But its always best to find out what the price will be after that year, so you will know in advance whether you can afford that or if you will then have to switch to DISH Network or DIRECTV.

I would think that with all the competition nowadays it really comes down to selection and customer service. If you don’t have an HDTV yet, then hi-definition programming doesn’t mean a thing to you. I that case, Bright House might work out as they have less HD than DISH Network. DISH Network claims they have the most HD as far as television providers go, but they are counting video-on-demand channels,. DIRECTV and DISH Network continue to claim they have the most hi def, and they do when compared to cable companies like Bright House. DISH Network has changed the game up a little, by offering new packages composed of HD only content with their DISH Network Turbo HD packages. But when comparing satellite TV companies with each other, its about the same when counting the channels themselves.

If you want to know how many HD channels Bright House has, that all depends on the area you live in. Bright House and other cable companies have to roll out HD one area at a time, and unlike satellite TV there isn’t a set number for every area. Check with your local Bright House franchise to find out what HD channels are in your area.

Many complain about the signal with DISH Network satellite TV. But in most areas, it will only go out during really severe thunderstorms where the sky goes almost completely dark, or maybe a horrible blizzard. Bright House uses a hard line to the home, so in theory it is more reliable, but like any utility your mileage may vary. Cable TV reliability is not something you can bank on, so it about even here between DISH Network and BrightHouse.

The DVR or digital video recorder is another consideration, and is one area where DISH Network comes out on top. DISH Network’s DVR is the ViP722, and it has been reviewed all over the internet, generally with outstanding results. The ViP722 can record up to 350 hours of SD programming, or 55 hours of HD. Its outstanding features and functionality put it up on the top of the list as far as DVR’s go, right there with TiVO. On the other hand, the DVR system from Bright House is functional, but not much more than that. Many have complained about the show freezing up when playing back programs recorded on the Bright House DVR. Others aren’t too happy with the menu functionality found on the digital video recorder. While they may just be picky, you generally won’t find the same issues with the DISH Network ViP 722 HD DVR.

Standard features on the DVR from either company include the ability to pause and rewind live television. Nothing better then being able to stop the action when nature calls, or rewind a few seconds to hear something that was said that slipped by you. Of course with a DVR you can set it to record any of your favorite programs whenever they are on, even in the middle of the night or if your out of town on vacation. You can even designate if you only want the new episodes and not the repeats. These features come standard with either Bright House or DISH Network.

Premium movie channels like Showtime, HBO, and Cinemax are nice to have, as you don’t always have to run out to rent a movie when you want to take in a movie. Pricing on these channels is fairly close between DISH Network and Bright House, as the providers set the rates, and they don’t differ a lot whether it be Dish, DIRECTV, or any other cable TV company.

Customer service is a final consideration when doing a DISH Network versus Bright House comparison. According to the most recent American Customer Satisfaction Index, DISH Network had the second highest satisfaction rating, behind DIRECTV, while Bright House came in a bit lower, being lumped in with a basket of other providers.

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