I have been with all of the major companies over the past 5 years and none are as rude or terrible to their customers. I got charged a $99 activation fee after 13 months of service because they realized I had no contract.
Video on Demand (VOD) requires two-way communication, which, right now, Directv and Dish Network don't do as well as cable companies like Comcast. In addition, phone companies like Verizon and AT&T are in the process of rolling out extensive VOD offerings as a part of their new IPTV technology.
High Definition TV (HDTV) channels require massive amounts of bandwidth, something for which there is a finite supply. Much of Directv's and Dish Network's HDTV capacity is used up carrying local HDTV channels in various markets, limiting the number of national HDTV channels they can carry. Although both Directv and Dish Network are keeping up with and even surpassing their wired competition by offering an impressive lineup of national HDTV channels at this time it is debatable as to whether they will be able to keep pace with cable and phone companies in the future. Cable systems and phone companies do not have the multiple-market problem, as they only have to worry about a single market (the one they serve), freeing up their HDTV bandwidth for more potential national channels in the future.
Satellite operators have been offering much slower and much more expensive broadband internet services than cable or DSL. Satellite operators were partnering with phone companies to offer DSL and VoIP deals to their customers, while the phone companies could offer satellite TV deals to their customers. These partnerships seem to be evolving into competitive relationships, with phone companies offering their own video services such as IPTV.