OT Satellite TV and Football

Submitted by wildbackdunesman on June 15th, 2018 at 3:27 PM

I am considering switching to Satellite, but I am worried about snow and rain losing games.  Some people say that this is a problem from the 1990s and that a properly pointed satellite will be fine today, others say no, it is still a problem.

So is rain and snow going to ruin football games?

Are there any other issues to know about with satellite TV?

A preference for one satellite service over the other?


This past season I used DirectTVNow Streaming and had lots of problems...getting logged off, ESPN App issues, buffering issues, wife accidentally unplugging the wifi router while vacuuming (which took probably 10 minutes to figure out and get back up and running), and quality issues....I would often miss about 3 plays a football game due to buffering...in fact basketball was often so blurry that I couldn't see the ball go through the hoop.  I pay extra for high speed and never have any issues with my internet.

However, I hate Comcast so I don't really want to go with them for TV.



June 15th, 2018 at 3:40 PM ^

I have direct tv and weather hasn't been a problem. But i hate how slow it is. Seems like flipping from one game to the other takes forever. I've also had to call every three months for a incorrect bill. I wouldn't suggest direct tv but not because of weather issues. 


June 15th, 2018 at 3:41 PM ^

When I had direct tv I only lost the signal once in a major thunderstorm. I have been using YouTube TV and it has worked pretty damn good. I believe I saw a post on here last year where you put your teams you watch in and it tells you the best streaming service to use. YouTube was best for Michigan. 


June 15th, 2018 at 5:20 PM ^

I have YouTubeTV as well and, with good internet speed, you have an excellent picture. I don't have any issues with movement on my 4K TV after adjusting the dejudder and deblur settings to accommodate.

I used to have Dish and paying much less even with increasing my internet speed without worrying about picture loss due to strong rain/wind. Plus, I get all the same sports and a lot less channels that I don't watch.


June 15th, 2018 at 3:41 PM ^

I had Dish Network and it would go out when there was a heavy rain.  Wet snow sticking to it will affect it but I would brush it off.  I'm with you, though, I hate Comcast and would be willing to pay more for Dish to avoid them, within reason.



June 15th, 2018 at 3:49 PM ^

I've had DirecTV for 15+ years, the last 4 of which in Chicago (previously LA, where weather is a quaint concept).  I'd say I lose signal once or twice a year in Chicago due to bad thunderstorms (never snow).  The chance of that happening exactly during a Michigan game are slim to none. 

I don't think you can beat DirecTV for overall sports programming, especially if you want Sunday Ticket and/or want out-of-market regional stuff. 

For many years, DirecTV had a decisive edge over Dish in terms of technology and HD/4K coverage, but I think that's flipped the past few years, especially with Dish's Hopper (essentially a built-in Slingbox for watching your DVR remotely).  I've got a separate Slingbox, so this hasn't been enough to entice me to switch.  


June 15th, 2018 at 4:49 PM ^

I’m also in Chicago and have had DirecTV for over 15 years.  Yes, big massive thunderstorms can block the signal.  The longest blockage was about 20 mins when we had a historic thunderstorms that trained over Chicago.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem during a Michigan football game.  With Double play and the previous channel button, you can track and flip between 4 games at once.  DirecTV has 2 special 4K channels up and running now for sports.  They will be ready when the broadcast standard becomes 4K.  I’ve had problems at times but nothing to send me fleeing to Comcast.

I’ve been very interest in Layer 3, but the 1TB per month cap on my monthly data service (Comcast) has kept me from jumping.  4K is going to make caps even more of a problem.  My current TV viewing during peak season (football season) puts me up against the cap based on my quickie calculation.


June 15th, 2018 at 3:50 PM ^

I have Directv and have for almost 10 years. The only time it goes out is from ice and even then it usually comes back relatively quick. Heavy thunderstorm might cause a minute or two of outage, but honestly it is so rare I wouldn’t worry about it. Not sure what the poster above is referring to with being slow. I have never had any such issue. The best perk of all is that if you tell them you’re going to cancel because you can’t afford it, they lower it every tine. I love it and think it is the best. 


June 15th, 2018 at 4:04 PM ^

Sounds like you haven't had the trouble with weather related outages that we have had. We did do the threaten to cancel bit several times, but when they added the Scientology channel, it was too much for us. We didn't want to pay for that stuff. We didn't watch 90% of the channels anyway. YouTube TV is a significant savings.


June 15th, 2018 at 3:56 PM ^

We just got rid of Directv after 18 years with it. We didn't have any problem with speed or anything like that, but most times it rained heavily or had heavy snow, we would lose signal. It has happened during Michigan games, so that is a bummer. Just switched to YouTube TV because it has good sports selection and we won't miss any of our sportsball.


June 15th, 2018 at 3:59 PM ^

I have had DISH for several years at two locations and only lose a signal during torrential rains. It only affected watching a game once. Many games you can stream on ESPN as a backup if you have Dish.

I hate Comcast with a passion. Whenever I have had a problem with Dish they have responded well. They wanted to charge me for a service call recently but I kept pushing back and they did it for free.

Before I moved back to Ann Arbor the only internet provider I could choose was Comcast - I have switched to ATT but they are looking to jack me up next month so I may go to Comcast for internet only. I'd been a Comcast customer for 20 years and I am thrilled to be gone.

Goggles Paisano

June 15th, 2018 at 4:00 PM ^

It would go out when there was electricity in the air (lightning).  I had Directv for over 20 years and never considered that to be a problem.  The only problem is their price, which is why I finally switched over to youtube tv to save $90/month.  Otherwise, I loved Directv as long as I had it.   


June 15th, 2018 at 4:20 PM ^

I also have had ~20 yrs experience with both Dish Network and DirecTV (not at the same time) in two different areas of the country.  Overall, I thought it was good but I also have grown tired of paying so much for it.  We are switching to a combination of Hulu w/live TV and Philo to get all of the channels we watch.

To answer your specific question, in my experience heavy rain is a problem but that kind of rain doesn't happen all that often.  If you live in Miami or somewhere like that, it could be a bigger issue.  Same with sticky snow (dry snow falls right off the dish).  How big of a problem snow is depends on where your dish needs to be located.  Going up on the roof in the middle of a blizzard to save your Super Bowl party could have significant consequences, but it isn't very likely.


June 15th, 2018 at 4:24 PM ^

Dont even get me started on Comcast..After 11 years I fired them...I live in Atlanta and they dropped the BTN is one of the reasons..It wasnt the only reason I fired them,  it was just the straw that broke the camels back..That and they told me it would take between 24-48hrs to speak to a customer service manager...say HUH?..bye bye Comcast...When I ditched them I felt the relief of when you break up with someone you really want to break up with and are finally free...I know many will know what Im talking about


June 15th, 2018 at 4:40 PM ^

I have had psvue for over a year now and it is great. I have an Ethernet cable run to my wall outlet and my firetv box is plugged in there. The picture quality is as good if not better than when I had dish network. Big difference is psvue costs me $45 a month and dish was over $70. I can also stream to 5 devices and have unlimited dvr. 

If you have high speed Internet your picture quality should be fine just need to make sure you have it connected the best way possible (direct line to router). When the games are on local channels I just use an amplified antenna I picked up at Best Buy for $30. 

Naked Bootlegger

June 15th, 2018 at 5:38 PM ^

Long time DirecTV customer here.  Intense rain will attenuate the signal, but it must be intense rain.   Very low odds that this will happen during a game, but the probability is not zero.  I don't think I've ever had an issue during a football game in over 15 years as a DirecTV customer.    I know I had an issue when I recorded a Tigers playoff game in the 2000's...DVR playback was hosed because of intermittent heavy rain.   

I am finally considering leaving DirecTV due to cost.    But I love the DVR option, and I had horrible success streaming Michigan basketball games last year when I was away from home on a supposedly reliable internet connection.   From my anecdotal evidence, the risk of bad streaming is higher than thunderstorms in my current location.



June 15th, 2018 at 7:22 PM ^

Having recently left DirecTV after 17+ years, part of what was holding me back was the DVR issue. YouTube TV has a robust (unlimited?) cloud DVR. While you can have up to 6 users on an account, you can only stream 3 simultaneously.  Not an issue for me as I was only using two TVs with DirecTV and now I save $90/month.


June 15th, 2018 at 5:44 PM ^

wife accidentally unplugging the wifi router while vacuuming (which took probably 10 minutes to figure out and get back up and running)

If you live in a house with a basement, the basement is the best place for all the router, I find, if only to make the accidental unplugging of it a rarity. Of course, I live in a 50-year old house that is short on plugs in some rooms, so anywhere else and it probably gets unplugged on a regular basis. That, and I have one of the nicer ones that is still broadcasting far into the yard so I can try to catch the one neighbor attempting to leech off it.


June 15th, 2018 at 6:00 PM ^

I recently dumped comcast/xfinity TV in San Francisco for YouTube TV and I have to say it has been a pleasant surprise. 

When Comcast cut Big10 Network (it was already a low def channel) that was the last straw for me and I dumped their TV service. I thought I would be trading down in terms of picture quality and reliability, but quite the opposite was true. YTTV has MUCH better picture quality and thus far (3 months) has been completely problem free. This is dependent on having good internet and the comcast build out in my 'hood is above average and consistently gets me 250Mbps down, which is more than enough. I also connect the YTTV/Xbox/chromecasts I use in the system via wired connection via powerline adaptors, so no dependnece on wi-fi at all. 

I'm not the biggest sports fan though, I mostly only care about M sports and the major events of pro sports, so that was not any part of my criteria for switching. If it it weren't for M sports, I wouldn't do live TV at all and would just sub to Netflix, Amazon Prime and the n Showtime and HOB through Amazon.

Comcast for internet is still a necessary evil where I live, but the moment Sonic builds out gigabit access in my neighborhood, I'll dump them for internet also. Can't wait. 


June 15th, 2018 at 6:17 PM ^

I live in Orlando, which gets a good amount of rain, and thunderstorms. When we had DirecTV, we would frequently have service interruptions - ranging from about 5 seconds to hours at a time. Light rain was usually fine, but heavier rain would usually cause degradation.

We moved, got cable from Spectrum (BrightHouse) for a while, and then AT&T started offering UVerse in our area, and we switched. The AT&T installer asked why we were going with UVerse TV rather than DirecTV (also owned by AT&T), and we said the weather and service interruptions.

He said that a lot of the "signal interruption in the rain" issue could have been caused by the installer. Apparently most of the contracted installers will setup the dish and calibrate it so that it meets whatever their "minimum" standard is (about 17 "units", but I don't remember what unit they measured in), but that he (and other installers employed directly by AT&T, and thus not paid by the job) usually did a better job of calibrating, and that his own system at home got about 28 units of signal strength, and he almost never had issues due to the rain.

TL;DR - I had a bad experience with DirecTV and weather, but it could've just been a bad install.


June 15th, 2018 at 8:01 PM ^

I’ll echo what others say - only in very extreme rain and then only for a few minutes. I can’t recall a time it significantly impacted watching a sporting even except the ocassional night NFL game for a minute or so.


I do think I overpay, but mostly because I want Sunday Ticket and just suck it up.

Blue from Ohio

June 15th, 2018 at 8:18 PM ^

We live in Midwest OH and have had Directv for several years.  We do get occasional outages due to severe thunderstorms.  My biggest issue with Directv is they overcharge, but tell you to "play the game" and call back every year to get a big discount to stay with them. I've been doing this for years as the only reason I stick with them is I like the NFL Ticket as I'm a Chicago Bears fan living in OH, so until I'd go to a sports bar weekly and pay for beer and food to watch a game, it'd be more than paying Directv's fee.  I think I even mentioned when I was calling about the price last year that I'm amazed how they air the commercials that say Number 1 in Customer Satisfaction, considering I have to keep a spreadsheet of my conversations with them to track how many times I've had to call and threaten to leave before getting the yearly discount.


June 15th, 2018 at 8:13 PM ^

had both DirecTV and Dish at one point. I live in SE/Michigan. With both services, I had issues with signal loss due to trees/cloud cover, rain, snow...all sorts of interruptions at one point or another. Finally gave in, and switched to the local cable provider. We have lost service once in ten years period. And it was a cable installation problem on their end. like anyone here I want the cheapest option, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.