Poor sattelite picture quality

I recently bought a Toshiba 56x80 hdtv. The picture looks good with dvd but sucks with my echostar/dish sattelite feed. I called dish and they said i needed a different box which retails for $500. My isf tech said regular cable would look better than the sattelite. Any ideas?
direct TV programming is primarily all on one satellite therefore to accomplish this they are compressing the signal more aggressively than dish network is because there programming is on three different satellites. My dish network signal is much better than my direct TV sickle, there are less compression artifacts on dish network. The worst direct TV signal is on channel 380 CBS East usually about 10 a.m. Pacific time.
Can't tell you exactly what's going on for sure, but,---From what I read ntsc material is not nearly as good on these hdtvs. So,maybe you are jazzed about the dvd picture; and not so happy with ntsc source(??)

On my older Pioneer, the direct tv picture is actuallly equal to lazer disc.--sometimes better than.--Depending on how good a pressing the ld. was.

Having been on satellite almost 5 years / with the same receiver box / The picture has improved steadlly,in spite of the added channels. Whatever they are doing; the result is a better picture, and more stations.

Is the box they say you need the HD box? If so get it. As part of the upgrade to hdtv --the new box is must. I see Direct Tv boxes here, used; but never have seen a Dish Network box, used.As in, why would you get a hdtv, and not get the hd receiver?? Don't make much sense to me
I posted the first response to this message; the one that compared Dish Network to DirecTV. I should mention that I was referring to an HDTV-capable DirecTV receiver...I guess I assumed that the HDTV in question was being used with an HDTV satellite receiver, as mine is.