Dish Network vs Charter Cable

Two weeks ago I switched to Dish
Network from Charter. Dish Network includes the Blockbuster Movie
Pass, so I also canceled my Blockbuster subscription. I was getting
all of the premium movie channels on Charter, so I got them on Dish
Network. I was getting the standard high speed internet with Charter
(did not pay extra for faster service), but signed up for the fastest
available speed with Frontier (bundled with Dish Network). Here are
my first impressions.

1. Dish Network has many more HD
standard cable channels. They have AMC (Mad Men, Breaking Bad,
Rubicon, The Killing
) and Spike (Ultimate Fighter) in HD. Dish
Network wins.

2. Dish Network has many more HD premium cable
channels. Charter has only one of each movie channel in HD - HBO
East, Showtime East, Cinemax, Starz, and The Movie Channel. Dish has
(almost) the full lineup in HD - for instance, not just HBO East
but also HBO West, HBO Signature, HBO Zone, HBO Comedy, and HBO
Latino. That is also true for the full lineup of Showtime, Cinemax,
Starz, and TMC. Dish Network wins.

3. Charter has many more
music channels. Dish Network has more audio only music channels.
Charter has many more channels that show music videos. They have
several VH1 and several MTV music video channels. They also have CMT
Pure Country, my favorite (Wide Open Country, Studio 330 Sessions).
Dish Network just doesn't get the whole music thing. Charter wins.

4. Dish Network includes Blockbuster
Movie Pass. This is nowhere near as good as a subscription to
Blockbuster, but it's something, and it's free. You get one mail
rental at a time with free in-store exchanges. You also have the
option to purchase new releases to stream on your TV for $4.99 (SD)
or $6.99 (HD). If you get the movie channels like I do, that is all
you get free with Blockbuster. If you do not get the movie channels,
Blockbuster Movie Pass allows you to download movies currently
showing on the movie channels (HBO, Showtime, HDNet, Epix, etc.).
Charter with a separate Blockbuster subscription wins.

5. Frontier (bundled with Dish Network)
high speed internet is much slower than Charter. It is noticeable not
just when down loading but also when browsing. Most Web pages include
graphics. Many (including my home page, Yahoo) include ads, videos,
and JavaScript. These add to the download time. The upshot -
browsing the internet with Frontier ISDN is noticeably slower than
with Charter Cable Internet. Charter wins.

6. Dish Network and Frontier should
cost about $30 less than Charter - $155 vs. $185 with a two year
contract. Charter wins.

The Results

Numbers 1, 2, and 6 above - Dish
Network wins.

Number 4 - I was not getting my
money's worth with Blockbuster's 3 at a time plan. The subscription
for 3 movies at a time is $21.44 per month. Five movies (at the
regular price of $4.99 per movie) is the breakeven point. I rarely
watch five rentals in a month, and should have signed up for a lower
cost plan. This one is a wash - neither Charter nor Dish Network
wins.

Numbers 3 and 5 - Both disappointing.

The bottom line

Dish Network 3,
Charter 2, Draw 1. I'm okay with my switch. Do you agree?