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DIRECTV vs DISH Network: Showdown Between The Leading Satellite TV Providers

DIRECTV vs. DISH NetworkSatellite TV is superior to standard TV, but how can you decide between the two main providers of Satellite TV, DIRECTV and DISH Network? The electronic options we have these days are truly phenomenal. The only real problem with this explosion of electronic devices is the overwhelming feeling so many of us feel when we try to do our research in order to choose one to purchase.

Weighing the value of DIRECTV vs. DISH Network is difficult because both products and the services they offer are very comparable. When trying to determine which is best for you, it is important to find out what is specifically unique to each one. Then, when you look at the two lists side by side, it will be easier to recognize your own viewing habits and entertainment needs in order to decide if DIRECTV is best for you or if DISH Network is your best option.

First, let’s consider the similarities because there are many. By examining how the two products are comparable, you will be able to appreciate the values offered by both companies and therefore more fully appreciate the unique features that separate them.

If you have any questions we’re not answering you can comment below or ask a DIRECTV or DISH Network representative for immediate feedback using their contact information:

Visit WebsiteCall
DIRECTVDIRECTV – 877-451-0661
DISH Network (Authorized Dealer)DISH Network – 855-357-2283

Comparing Satellite to Cable

Enhanced sound and picture quality

Cable connections go through multiple network reconfigurations which only serve to degrade the quality of sound and picture. With satellite, the programming bypasses that complicated network web, so the quality of what you get is direct and therefore, unblemished. This direct system allows for high-definition TV (HDTV).

Pictures are made up of pixels and in TV, those pixels are aligned into horizontal lines that stack up to create a full image. Those lines have to be refreshed regularly in order to make the moving pictures clear. With standard definition TV, there are 480 lines and those are refreshed, half at a time alternatively, every 30 seconds. HD on the other hand, is made up of 720+ lines (1080 for the coveted 1080i or 1080p standards) and all the lines are refreshed in a progressive, or scanning manner. This simplified description demonstrates why HDTV is so crystal clear. Therefore, satellite TV is able to offer a plethora of HD channels and programming; analog TV cannot offer as much.

More Channels

Both DIRECTV and DISH Network have the ability to offer more programing than cable, i.e., more channel choices including productions from other countries and programming in other languages. While DIRECTV offers more than 250 channels, DISH Network offers more than 350; and both provide multiple language options, though DIRECTV has fewer than DISH Network today.

Other Advantages

Increased capacity for recording and storage of saved programs; multiple simultaneous viewing options including the ability to record one show while watching another show; pause and replay live TV; fast-forward through commercials; and HD quality local channels, all at a lower price than analog TV are highlights of satellite television’s superiority.

Similarities Between DIRECTV and DISH Network

DIRECTV and DISH Network offer free DVR and HDTV equipment for up to four rooms (TVs) installed professionally, and competitive start-up packages for new customers that are continuously updated. In addition, HDTV prices differ. DIRECTV charges $10.00 per month while DISH Network provides it for free (with the right package). Normally, DISH Network charges $10.00 per month as well. Finally, both companies offer free installation and completed service within 1 to 7 days. Keep in mind that DIRECTV and DISH Network are very comparable in that they are both superior to cable and they both offer hundreds of channels, HD programming, and similar recording, storage, and personalized viewing options.

Differences Between DIRECTV and DISH Network

Now let’s compare the two options, DIRECTV and DISH Network, in terms of what is unique about each of them. The differences in the two options are specific and inflexible, meaning that you cannot custom design your package by choosing options from both companies. You are very likely to want to cross-pick and that is precisely what makes it so difficult to decide between DIRECTV and DISH Network. Following is a description of their differences.

HD Recording Capacity Comparison – Hopper Vs Genie

DIRECTV and DISH Network have the ability to pause, rewind, and fast-forward.

  • DIRECTV Genie
    • Records 5 shows at once
    • Recommends New Shows
    • HD DVR experience on every TV in your home
    • Search and schedule 2 weeks in advance
    • Catch up on past episodes, as far as 5 weeks back
    • 1TB Hard Drive
  • DISH Network Hopper
    • Records 6 channels at once
    • Industry’s Largest Hard Drive (2TB, Up to 2,000 1 hour shows)
    • Primetime anytime: 3 hours of primetime programming are available up to 8 days later
    • Watch Commercial-Free TV

Directv vs Dish Network: Number and Variety of Channels Comparison

DIRECTVThe number of channels offered and the particular programming of those channels differ between DIRECTV and DISH Network. As mentioned earlier, DISH Network offers more than 350 channels while DIRECTV only offers 250. But a closer look at those 250+ channels will reveal that more is not necessarily better.

Premium Channels: In the premium channels category, both DIRECTV and DISH Network offer Cinemax®, HBO®, Showtime, and Starz®. However, DIRECTV has the Starz® Super Pack and Showtime Unlimited®. DIRECTV also has GNC Game Lounge and HD Extra Pack. On the other hand, DISH Network offers Bloomberg, Cine Latino, EPIX3, Fox Soccer Plus, Outdoor Channel, RFDTV and Veria – all channels that DIRECTV does not offer.

Sports Channels: In the sports package category, DIRECTV comes out ahead with 10 more channels than DISH Network. Both companies provide ESPN Full Court, ESPN Game Plan™, NBA League Pass™, and NHL Center Ice™. DIRECTV viewers can enjoy the following additional sports channels: Cricket Ticket, DIRECTV Golf, DIRECTV Soccer, DIRECTV Sports Pack, DIRECTV Tennis, MLB Extra Innings®, NASCAR® HotPass, NCAA Mega March Madness®, NFL Sunday Ticket™, UFC and WWE. However, DISH Network offers two sports channels that you cannot get with DIRECTV: ZEE Sports and the Dish Mulit-sport channel.

X-Rated Channels: The X-rated category also demonstrates different viewing options. Both companies provide Fresh, HustleTV, Juicy, Playboy TV, Real TV, and Reality Kings TV. DIRECTV offers Adult on Demand and SPICE:XCESS whereas DISH Network does not. On the other hand, DISH Network viewers can see Adult Showcase, XTSY, and XTSY/Juicy channels that DIRECTV viewers cannot.

International Channels: Finally, the international programming category shows the largest discrepancy in differences: DIRECTV offers only 8 languages or international programming options while DISH Network offers 29 different language platforms. It would make for easier comparison if DISH Network offered the same 8 languages that DIRECTV offers plus 21 additional languages, but it isn’t that simple. The international programming that can be enjoyed via both DIRECTV and DISH Network include Brazilian, Filipino, Korean, Russian, and Vietnamese. DIRECTV provides 3 additional international programming options that DISH Network does not: Cantonese, Mandarin, and South Asia. However, DISH Network has cornered a larger market by including Arabic, Bangla, Bengali, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Israeli, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Malayan, Nepali, Pan African, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Taiwanese, Tamil, Telugu, Ukrainian and Urdu in their international programming repertoire.

Price Comparison

DISH NetworkIn many cases, a final decision comes down to price. Again, we find that DIRECTV and DISH Network are quite comparable, but nonetheless, we can break down those costs to show some differences.

Standard Package Pricing

DIRECTV Entertainment Package

  • $24.99 per month for 12 months ($54.99 after)
  • 140+ Digital Channels
  • Free Genie Whole-Home HD DVR

DISH Network America’s Top 120 Package

  • $29.99 per month for 12 months ($49.99 after)
  • 190+ Channels
  • Free Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR

DIRECTV Entertainment Vs DISH Network America’s Top 120

  • DIRECTV Includes: AMC, Animal Planet, Audience Network, BBC America, BET, Bloomberg, Bravo, FX, HDNet, GSN, Hallmark, ID, MSNBC, National Geographic Channel, Nick Jr., OWN, Planet Green, Pursuit Channel, TeenNick, TCM & Univision
  • DISH Network Includes: Comedy Central, Documentary Channel, ESPN News, ESPNU, HSN 2, Pentagon Channel & Speed

Premier Package Pricing

DIRECTV Choice Package

  • $29.99 per month for 12 months ($64.99 after)
  • 150+ Digital Channels
  • Free Genie Whole-Home HD DVR

DISH Network America’s Top 200 Package

  • $39.99 per month for 12 months ($64.99 after)
  • 235+ Channels
  • Free Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR

DIRECTV Choice Vs DISH Network America’s Top 200

  • DIRECTV Includes: Audience Network, Bloomberg, CSPAN 2, Fit TV, HDNet, Planet Green, Pursuit Channel, Research Channel, Science Channel
  • DISH Network Includes: CBS College Sports, CNBC World, Documentary Channel, Fox Sports, G4, GSN, Golf Channel, ID, NBA TV, NHL Network, Oxygen, Pentagon Channel, & WGN America.

Advanced Package Pricing

DIRECTV Choice Xtra Package

  • $34.99 per month for 12 months ($70.99 after)
  • 205+ Digital Channels
  • Free Genie Whole-Home HD DVR

DISH Network America’s Top 250 Package

  • $44.99 per month for 12 months ($74.99 after)
  • 290+ Channels
  • Free Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR

DIRECTV Choice Vs DISH Network America’s Top 250

  • DIRECTV Includes: Audience Network, CNBC World, Fit TV, Fuse, HDNet, History International, & MLB Network
  • DISH Network Includes: Fox Sports, G4, GSN, Hallmark HD, HD Theater, Outdoor Channel, & Pentagon Channel

Additional Package Pricing: The prices can be confusing, especially because they do not always reflect the exact same product or service. For example, DIRECTV offers the HD Extra Pack (7 channels) for $4.99 per month and DISH Network offers the HD Platinum package (16 channels) for $10.00 per month. Consumers do not know exactly what this means without doing time-consuming calculations. The following chart breaks down the prices per channel for just a few of the packages offered by each of the companies. This chart is not comprehensive, but rather gives a sampling of the price comparisons that can be made. If price is your final deciding factor, you will need to break down the prices in this way at the time you are ready to purchase because the different start-up special offers vary from time to time.

CHART: Sample Price Breakdown per Channel for a Few DISH vs DIRECTV TV Packages

DIRECTV Price per channelDISH NetworkPrice per channel
HD Extra Pack (7 channels; all HD)$0.71HD Platinum (16 channels; all HD)$1.62
HBO (8 channels; 4 HD)$1.87HBO (9 channels; 8HD)$1.77
Starz® (15 channels; 8HD)$0.86Starz® (8 channels; 6HD)$1.62
Showtime (13 channels; 10 HD)$0.99Showtime (10 channels; 7 HD)$1.30
Cinemax (3 channels; 2 HD)$4.33Cinemax (5 channels; 4 HD)$2.60

As you can see, price comparison is no simple task. Price comparisons between DIRECTV and DISH Network are as intricately woven and overlapping as all the other features that these two companies offer in Satellite TV. Therefore, it all comes down to prioritizing your own personal viewing habits and entertainment needs. You may find that the sports channels offered by DISH Network but not offered by DIRECTV are more important to you than any of the other things you can get with DIRECTV that you can’t get with DISH Network; or that the international programming from China that only DIRECTV provides matters more to you than all the others offered by DISH Network. Whatever your entertainment needs, you are sure to find many satisfying features with either of these companies. Indeed, you are choosing superior television viewing with Satellite over traditional analog television.

Speak to A Representative To Order DIRECTV  Today


DIRECTV Phone: (877) 451-0661

Speak to A Representative To Order DISH Network Today

DISH Network (Authorized Dealer) Website:  Get DISH Network

DISH Network (Authorized Dealer) Phone: (855) 357-2283


Below are some promotions for we’re able to extend to our readers for a limited time.


  • Get 140 Channels for $29.99 a month for 12 months by visiting DIRECTV or call (877) 451-0661 to speak to a DIRECTV representative and lock in this deal.
  • Check out our DIRECTV Promo Codes page for discount codes that will save you even more $$.

Share Your Satellite TV Experience

Are you a proud DISH Network or DIRECTV owner? Which one do you prefer and why? Please share your thoughts using the comment form below so we can help our readers truly find the best satellite television provider!

DISH Network and AMC Falling Out

October 2012

DISH Network has decided to part ways with AMC which also means no more MadMen, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, The Killing or any other of the network’s original shows.

September 19, 2012

AMC and DISH Network’s strained relationship continues as the network and satellite television provider enter a $2.4 billion trial to determine the fate of AMC shows on DISH Network. Hope is still alive among fans that DISH Network viewers will get to resume viewing AMC shows such as Mad Men.

June 22, 2012

There has been a recent falling out in the relationship between DISH Network and AMC. The root cause of the break-up is disputable. The DISH side of the argument is simply that low viewership does not justify the cost to continue carrying AMC shows. Therefore, they plan to not renew the AMC contract at the end of this month. However, AMC argues that the real reason is because of an old lawsuit in which AMC sued DISH for discontinuing VOOM, a series of HD channels.

Although DISH insists that the old lawsuit is irrelevant in their decision to not renew the AMC contract, AMC isn’t buying it and is encouraging views and fans of shows such as “Mad Men”, “The Killing”, “Breaking Bad, “Hell on Wheels”, and “The Walking Dead”, to contact the DISH company to voice their support of the AMC channels.

Whatever the reason is for the separation, the decision seems clear and final: DISH TV will drop all four AMC channels from their programming at the end of June, 2012.

Our site's mission is to help consumers make more informed purchase decisions. This website accepts financial compensation from some of the companies mentioned which allows us to provide this free service to our readers. Compensation does not influence the rankings of products. More info on our disclosure page.

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About Alex Schenker
Alex bring a series of in-depth articles on search marketing and content management systems as well as troubleshooting tips to We Rock Your Web's collection. He is an avid tennis player, nature enthusiast, and hiker, and enjoys spending time with his wife, friends, and dogs, Bella and Lily.
  • Guest

    Dish customer service sucks. It is all fine and good until one of your old boxes starts to act up and then it is like pulling teeth to get them to replace it. When you call with an issue, they are pretty incompetent and then have the nerve to try and sell you some other service. I preferred the “old” days when I could go to a retailer and just buy the box that I wanted rather than having to deal with DISH directly.

  • Guest

    I only had one problem with DirecTV. There was a billing snafu, but it was corrected without much difficulty.

  • Guest

    Can you update this article: Dish Network canceled AMC, but still charges customers for it.

  • Guest

    I like DISH for a lot of reasons, especially after having DirecTV for 2 excruciating years, and the main reason is the technology. I love the new Hopper, and when a DISH employee told me it could record more shows at once, and had FIVE TIMES the amount of recording space over DirecTV’s comparable HR34, I was sold. I can record up to 6 live HD programs at once, and the wife loves that each of our four connected TVs has access to the main DVR playlist. I can watch what I want, she can do the same, and the kids have SO many movies stored on the DVR. It’s just a better product!

  • Guest

    I can certainly attest to the fact that more channels isn’t necessarily a good thing. We carried the Top 250 package for years and recently downgraded to a smaller package because we weren’t watching but 10 or so channels. It was a huge waste of money. In fact, we were wasting almost $40 a month. Since downgrading the only problem we’ve seen is if there’s nothing to watch on the channels we watch 99% of the time, we’re stuck finding something to watch on Netflix, but big deal.

    I can also say that satellite service is a million times better than cable. I grew up with cable TV and when we got Dish Network when I was in high school, I was hooked. Dish Network is a much better provider than any cable service. Not only does the picture look better, but the prices are much better for what you get.

    I think the key with any service is to look at the packages carefully and choose a package that has what you watch most. For us, that was a package that included History, Discovery, HGTV, Travel, and SyFy. We do miss Nickelodeon from time to time, but we can always watch Spongebob on Netflix or Amazon.

  • Guest

    I have to say that I’ve been a huge Dish fan and have never paid for another service. Something I really love about the company though was that I recently looked at my options and found that I could get all my favorite channels for a much lower price. My boyfriend and I were originally paying for the Top 250 package, which was $64.99. However, we were able to downgrade to the $34.99 package and still have every channel we watch on a daily basis.

    In my opinion, it’s not so much about changing companies to save money as it is looking at your current service. Chances are a number of families are spending much more than they need to. Don’t believe it? Look at my example. We were able to cut our bill by over $500 a year with just a bit of tweaking. If you would like to stick with the same service, contact your company and ask about signing another two-year contract. In many cases, they will lower the price of your current package to keep you on board. Carefully consider your options before going through the hassle of changing services. Not only will it be easier to change your package, but in some cases you may end up paying two bills when you switch to another company.

  • Guest

    Right now I do not have any kind of television service. We recently moved and I did not sign up for any kind of service when we moved. Part of the reason was that I just had to much to do to this house to be worried about paying for programming. The other part was that I don’t like to sign up for things like that in the warmer months because we end up playing with our new “toy” of television programming instead of going outside and enjoying the nice weather. But, as things cool off and we get settled into our new home, I am thinking more and more about getting either Direct TV or DISH Network. If I order it this fall, we can have some entertainment over the winter. By the time summer rolls around again, we will still have entertainment, but it won’t be such a new thing to us so we won’t devote our days to it.

    I have no idea which one I am going to sign up for yet, but I appreciate the information offered here. This information makes it a lot easier to make a decision because we can debate the facts and our own preferences.

  • Guest

    I’ve always been a Dish Network fan. Honestly, even if it were the more expensive of the two, I would still be a Dish Network subscriber. However, I did notice something strange the other day. I saw a commercial for a show that was coming on a channel that I was watching, but there was a small image that had the Dish Network logo marked out. I was confused as to why a program would only be shown on Direct and not Dish. While I understand that each company offers different channels, this wasn’t something I had seen before.

    I do have to admit that I love the feature where if the weather knocks out the signal, Direct has a background image, rather than the generic alert that the signal has been lost. Of course, that’s not enough to get me to change providers. There is so much I love about Dish Network that I just can’t imagine switching.

    However, if Direct wanted to offer a la cart programming, I would switch providers in a heartbeat, but I doubt this will ever happen. So, until that day comes, I will remain a loyal subscriber to Dish Network and will continue to recommend the service to others.

  • Guest

    For a very long time I was stuck on cable television. I just thought it was kind of odd to have a signal kind of sent down to me. I realize that probably shows my age, but thankfully I am old enough not to care.

    When I was growing up, cable was new and it was a really big deal. I mean, if you had cable, you must have been a wealthy family because the rest of us were still dealing with 3 channels on a clear day. Old habits die hard I guess, which may be why I was so stuck on cable.

    For me, all that changed when I moved to an area that did not have cable. They only had satellite television. I had a daycare and there were some programs that were educational for the kids, so I bit the bullet and got DISH. I loved it right off the bat. It was actually cheaper than what I had been paying for cable and I had more channels to choose from. I would not go back to cable for anything now. I love DISH too. I would not switch over to DirectTV because I am a creature of habit. Of course, that might possibly change if I ever move to an area doesn’t have DISH, but since I don’t plan on moving in the near future I think I’m okay.

  • Guest

    I currently have Dish Network and have actually had Dish Network for as long as I’ve had satellite service, even when I was still living with my mother. I may be biased because it’s the only service I’ve ever had, but I have used DIRECTV in other people’s homes and I just didn’t care for the experience. I also don’t like the fact that the company jacks the price so high after a few months. Obviously, both companies use lower prices to lure in customers, but Dish Network is more upfront about how the prices will change.

    Of course, for those that are looking to save money, no matter which company you’re with, you can always contact the company about switching services. If your 2-year contract has come to an end, you can use the strategy to receive a lower price on your bill. While it may require another 2-year contract, the savings can be well worth it. You may even get updated equipment and free movie channels for a few months to help sweeten the deal.

    I plan to stick with Dish for many, many years to come. Unless another TV service hits the market and makes it more cost-effective to use their service, I can’t imagine the need to switch.

  • guest

    I think the AMC thing made my choice for me. There are so many shows on TV now that are just pointless and do nothing to foster any kind of intellectual, moral, or creative development. AMC has some decent shows that I enjoy watching. I don’t care for most of the channels that these services offer because they just show things that I am not interested in. But AMC, Lifetime, Discovery…channels like these are ones that I can get behind.

    If AMC really does not get the views that it needs to make it worth airing, that is a pretty sad indication of the times we live in. I know that some people only have this service so they can watch sports that are not aired on regular TV or something similar, but other people just want to watch the raunchy stuff and that is just scary and sad.

    I am with AMC on this one and I will make my choice based on the status of their relationship. It’s a matter of choosing quality viewing. I understand they have to make money, but I find it hard to believe that AMC is actually making them lose money. I am sure there are many more channels that make less.

  • guest

    I don’t know if it’s because I grew up watching DISH Network or if it’s something more, but I just prefer it over DIRECTV. I do love that this article showed a breakdown on the prices of the channels and while many were cheaper through DIRECTV, I still think it’s worth it to pay for DISH Network. My bill is currently around $120 and this includes America’s Top 250, Blockbuster@Home, HD for 2 TVs, DVR service, a protection plan, and HD 250 Free. This means we’re paying around $4 a day for great TV and movies delivered to our home.

    Personally, I feel it’s an awesome deal. As someone who works from home, the TV is on in my house anywhere from 12-16 hours per day. I can’t imagine not having this service. Of course, I also love the fact that DISH Network is upfront about their costs and how they will change after the introductory period and that they’re always adding more channels and upgraded equipment. I can’t wait to add the Hopper to our package and eventually I want to be able to watch DISH on my smartphone, but haven’t got around to setting everything up. Regardless, I love DISH Network and would never switch.

  • guest

    The area I live in makes choosing between cable and satellite pretty easy. I live in a rural area that is probably lucky to have broadband, much less the option of cable. So, if I want to watch tv, I have to get a satellite package. At least one of the options (cable) got narrowed down for me. Now I just have to pick my satellite provider.

    What I am most interested in is channels that are educational. I don’t want my children sitting around watching stupid shows that are just going to drain their brains. But, if they are educational, I don’t mind them spending a few hours at a time in front of the tv. My own interests are along the lines of history and science programming. These also happen to be subjects that my children are interested in and I know that channels like the Discovery Channel and the History Channel make educational materials that are interesting enough to get the attention of my children.

    I will most likely go with the DirecTV package because it seems to have far more reasonable prices than the Dish Network package.

  • guest

    I did not realize how much cheaper DirectTV is than Dish Network. The only thing is that out here in the country I am not sure which one would service my area. I currently do not have any kind of paid programming because I do not watch television enough to warrant it. But, I have been considering it for my daughter and for the winter months, when having something to watch my be kind of nice.

    I used to be against paid programming because I grew up in a time when we had three channels and when we finally got a television with a remote, the remote actually made a clicking sound when you pressed the buttons. I felt like it was against my better judgement to pay for television given my own experience. But then I started thinking about the educational shows that are on television and how my daughter and I might both benefit from being able to watch those.

    I truly love the History Channel and the Discovery Channel. My daughter even gets into the kind of shows that are hosted on these types of channels. I don’t want her to be watching things he shouldn’t but I am all for the educational benefits.

  • Guest

    I had Direct TV for a while and I can’t say that I was overly impressed. There seemed to be an awful lot of filler channels that I had no interest at all in. Of course, my son was impressed, but he comes from a different generation. My generation may be old school, but we sure did save more money than the generation of today.

    When I was growing up, we never once paid for television. We had an antenna hooked to the television and we actually had to turn a dial to change the channel on the television. In fact, even when we did get a remote, it made a loud “click” every time you pressed a button. We had 3 channels…up to 5 if it was really clear day. And, I don’t think we were missing much by that. Saturday morning was awesome because we knew cartoons would be on and we would gather around the tv with our cereal bowls.

    Today, kids don’t have to wait for anything. It’s all right there at their command. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t get Direct TV for your kids. I’m just saying that if you do, maybe you should take the time to moderate their use of it in order to cultivate some sort of patience and appreciation.

  • Guest

    Customer service vs product: I have also dealt with both Dish Network and Direct TV. And my final decision will always be with the customer service they provide. Let’s face it nobody can watch that many channels but we all need help when it goes wrong.

  • Guest

    Dish Network has better customer service. I have dealt with both Dish Network and Direct TV. While Direct TV may be better for NFL, their customer service is terrible. Dish blows them away on that aspect. That is why I will always choose Dish.

    • Guest

      It is interesting how everybody has different experiences. I had DISH Network for year and I always had customer service issues. Then I got Direct TV at work and I was blown away at how good their customer service was. It was so good in fact that I switched my home service to Direct TV and I have never been happier.

  • Guest

    You’re certainly right about the greater benefits of satellite and that’s a lot of why I went with DISH Network. However, DISH takes the cake with their free HD programming for life offer and their Sling Adapter which lets me watch my TV on my Smartphone any where in the world. I also found that they have better prices. It’s made me want to go nowhere far from my employee account I get through DISH.

  • Anonymous

    Right now I’m a cable person. When I was in my old place, we had satellite through a new company that I will not name. Needless to say, it was horrible. The cable and web went out every single time the wind blew. Then they sometimes did not send anyone out, and when they did, the person sometimes was not able to fix the problem. That scared me enough to get cable here.

    Well, cable is full of hidden fees and when there is a big storm, the cable actually goes out and my neighbors’ satellite stays on. Unbelievable. Cable doesn’t go out when the wind blows, but, DirectTV and Dish seem like superior products to cable. They are more affordable, and you get more channels. Their fees don’t change every month either.

    Everyone that’s ever had cable says the same thing about random, changing bills every month. I really hate that. I also like how you get premiere cable features with basic satellite service. Like you get DVR services where you can rewind what you’re watching. I love that and with cable it costs like $10 to $20 extra a month. Good satellite seems like an excellent investment. Thanks!

  • Genie Info

    It looks like DIRECTV finally has their response to DISH Network’s Hopper in their new GENIE DVR.

    Being able to record up to five shows at once and the ability to stream the content looks awesome. Does anyone have any personally experiences with the DIRECTV GENIE before I make the switch?

    • Bob

      I have had the DIRCTV GENIE for about a month now. First, it is definitely an upgrade over the old DVR. Being able to record five shows at once is a big improvement over the two with the old system. I haven’t had any issues with pausing in one room and resuming in another. There is a slight delay with the remote, but it is faster than the old system. I also like that the client boxes just need power, they are not wired as they ‘talk’ to the main box wirelessly. I was told if one of the client boxes stops working, the main box needs reset, which is a slight hassle since it is another room, but I haven’t had to reset it yet. So far so good.

    • Lisa

      Horrible problems with the Genie… intermittent service on client boxes with just white screens. When you call tech support they simply say they are working on it and that it is a software flaw. I’m going to Dish.

  • Kimberly

    DIRECTV is having a Black Friday Blowout Deal. For a limited time you can save an extra $5 every month for 12 months. You also receive a FREE Genie upgrade and 3 FREE months of Showtime, HBO, Starz, and Cinemax. Call 877-451-0661 more information!

  • a web rocker

    Why on earth is Dish Network thinking of canceling AMC? With Mad Men, The Killing, The Pitch and so many other great shows?!? That would be suicide (no Lane Pryce pun intended)! Mad Men is my favorite show ever! If you like it too, please help save it by letting Dish know that WE WANT AMC AND MAD MEN!

  • Anonymous

    The choice was difficult, but ultimately it came down to going with DISH network for my household. Part of the reason was that we are not home all the time and some people (me) travel a lot, so the extra recording time made all the difference in being able to watch the shows we want. It also came down to some other choices that were big at my house. For instance, we are all huge soccer fans so Fox Soccer Plus was a big draw, and the international channels with Japanese, Italian, and other languages were also a huge draw. I appreciated the price breakdown because I think if price was ultimately the deciding factor, that would have been the most help, and certainly it was interesting to see how DISH stacks up. If there were not those specific channels that I wanted to have more than others, price would have probably been the biggest motivator for sure. Although it does look a lot like the pricing plans are overall pretty similar, and I would say we get a good value for our money, with over three-hundred and fifty channels to choose from so we never get bored.

  • Anonymous

    From what I have found as a customer in the media services industry, you can get very similar service from a multitude of providers and the industry is such that you can generally change from one service provider to another rather quickly and easily because they all want our business. With that being the case, the real difference will come with customer service.

    Now DirecTV does offer the NFL Sunday Ticket that their competition does not, and that is no small advantage to be sure. However, the NFL Network and NFL Redzone channels have gone a long way towards evening the playing field. They are available on Dish Network and other providers as well and it has provided a clear alternative to the costly NFL Sunday Ticket that many seem to enjoy.

    Aside from that though, programming is largely the same. Dish just went through a pretty well publicized showdown with Viacom over the price of their channels, but ultimately they had to pay in order to remain competitive with the other major players. This is not likely to change as consumers grow to expect such things.

  • Anonymous

    This is actually a problem for me because I am in the process of moving and I really don’t know if I want to stick with the cable that I currently have. Like a few years back I had satellite from a company that will remain nameless (not Direct or Dish) and the service was terrible and it was always going out. So when we moved to this apartment, we made sure to get cable because we wanted to make sure our service would not be interrupted on a regular basis. We actually had cable in the apartment before this one and the service was excellent. Because we moved up north, we had to get new cable.

    Well, this wasn’t so terrible, but my main complaints were that every month there were new random unexplained charges that added up sometimes to $15 or more. Then when the cable went out with big storms, the other people in the building who had satellite had service. I was baffled. However, the good satellite service here might only be because the satellites are up so high on top of the building.

    • Marc

      A consumer satellite signal for both DISH Network and DIRECTV will produce the exact same quality picture, regardless to whether the dish is directly on the ground or 1000 feet in the air. The reason is that there are satellites in orbit over 22,000 miles away. The height of a building means nothing. However, if the dish is off as much as 1/4 of an inch on the ground, then is can be off as much as 700 miles in orbit. The new high definition dishes must be precise. DIRECTV has software in their HD equipment that will not allow a receiver to be activated by a technician unless the signal integrity meets a minimum threshold (which is quite high). When a DIRECTV technician shows up at a customers residence, an IV retest (installation verification test) must be ran anytime a work order is generated. The technician cannot close the work order unless that signal meets minimum threshold.

  • Anonymous

    I always heard those two companies mention that they had better picture quality over cable; however, I just thought it was just hype. I just thought it was something that, as a cable company, you just say. I didn’t realize that there is actually a reason why DirecTV and Dish Network might have better picture quality than your standard cable package.

    Honestly, I thought that cable would have a better picture, because I just figured the signal was coming through wires directly into your home and that’s was an uninterrupted signal. Now I can see that DirecTV and Dish actually have clearer signals than cable.

    It makes sense that your cable company signal reconfigures itself at different points along its route to your home. Your satellite service is just flying through the air, so there’s nothing but a breeze to get in its way. However, some people have said that satellite can be a problem in in climate weather. Personally, I have seen satellite TV do very well in bad weather. Another company, (not DirectTV or Dish), did very poorly, but all the people I know that have these providers, says good things.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for compiling this. I really appreciate your article because I’m planning to make the switch to a satellite company because of some weather outage nightmares.

    I have to admit though that these companies are really quite similar. I mean, I’m not sure that I see much difference between the two. For me, it would probably end up boiling down to whichever company had the best offer at the time I ordered the service.

    It’s interesting that each cable or satellite provider has a relationship with the channels that is separate and unique. I never thought of things like that.

    The “falling out with AMC” section of your article brought that to my attention. On my current cable system, I have a few Christian channels that I love, and I notice that a lot of times they ask if you are at a friend’s house and you want this channel at your house, then call your cable company. However, I did not realize that each and every single channel was negotiated on terms like this. It must be an overwhelming business to run a cable company if things are like that.

  • Anonymous

    The point the article makes about HD services is very well made and a good summary of the issues at hand. Many users who are looking for a potential satellite switch or upgrade are not very interested in HD, since the satellite search is typically dominated by how many channels you can get. But in the midst of all those channel choices, take a close look at the quality of the satellite provider, too. The more HD channels, the better. I know, it may not seem like a major concern right now, especially if you have a low-cost, but in the future you will be grateful if you take some time now and tackle the issue. Sport channels alone are a good example of the different between standard and HD channels, but they are not the only stations to benefit. Food channels take on a whole new meaning with HD quality, too. Movie channels will also see some improvement. And if you have an old TV, don’t let that stop you. Chances are good you will end up replacing your TV before you replace your satellite services.

  • Anonymous

    The DIRECTV versus DISH debate might as well be Coke versus Pepsi. In the end, whichever one you pick is going to come down to your personal preference. And in all honesty, for me it comes down to which service my friends had, too, since of course I want to watch the same shows as them and get a first-hand look at how well the service does when I watch TV at somebody else’s house. Really that is all that it comes down to!

    Most of the channels I do not ever watch, and the debate about which premium channels have better shows is a never-ending one. I think the sports channels probably are a make-or-break, though, come to think of it, since usually people are pretty set in what sports/teams they watch. Probably there are a lot of people that would be swayed by the International channels, although in my group that is not such a big draw. The recording options are a great feature, too, though very similar. Like I said, I think it really comes down to wanting a certain sports channel, or whichever service your friends recommend is good.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, I guess if you really like to record and save stations, DISH Network would be your best bet! That’s a lot of hours! However, it is also important to note that you can use up your recording hours very quickly, depending on what you want to watch and what you want to save. I know some families where each parent and each child has programs to save and it can be a constant battle to clear out old shows to make room for the new versions. So if you have a big family or if you really like watching multiple shows at one time, you may be more interested in the service that offers you more hours. However, this may be subject to change in the future. Saving and pausing programs is becoming very, very common. I wouldn’t be surprised in the network providers started to increase the amount of saveable hours they offered in response to the greater demand. Technology is constantly moving, so they will probably gain the capability to offer more space over time anyway. Which, for some families, would be a dream come true anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Most people think that both of the major satellite TV providers are pretty much the same. Therefore, making a decision between the two basically comes down to the flip of a coin. Or perhaps one has a slightly better, or worse, reputation than the other in your particular area.

    While it is true that there are a number of similarities between the two, there are also some significant differences. Ultimately, the decision comes down to whether or not your personal preferences will be better met with one or the other. As an example, take a look at the Direct TV packages and channels for sports lovers. They offer a lot more sports channels, including some exclusive options like the NFL Sunday Ticket and the NCAA March Madness. Additionally, they offer many of these sports channels in HD, which is a tremendous advantage to any true sports fan.

    On the other hand, Dish Network offers more total channels. They also offer several more movie and premium channels than Direct TV. Additionally, Dish Network usually has a price that is slightly cheaper.

  • Bryan

    Both direcTv and dish offer more options tham my local cable company. The picture quality & reliability are the same. Dish network does offer more stations, but direcTv has more of the more popular networks. Both have ondemand. DirecTv has the NFL Sunday ticket but dish does not (direcTv exclusive contract expires in 2015 & has not been renwed at this point). This was an important factor in my decision to buy direcTv.

    I like the genie whole home DVR. I have not used the hopper by dish so I can’t compair the systems. However, based on the specs & other comments the hopper sound like it is better than the genie. I have the genie with 3 clients and 3 other HD receivers. All receivers can access the whole home DVR.

    DirecTv is less expensive for the service I receive. I have 7 receivers in my home & 2 receivers in my RV. With the direcTv slimline 5 dish with SLM, I only need one dish for the 7 reveivers in my home & could add more receivers. I subscribe to the premier package, the HD extra package, & equipment protection plan. My total monthly charges without any discounts is $215 for all 9 receivers. With discounts, my average monthly charges over my 2 year contract is $181. I also receive the NFL Sunday ticket and MLB package at no charge for 2013. With Dish network, I would have needed 2 accounts for the number of receivers I wanted.

  • Anonymous

    When I was looking into which plan to go with (including consideration of Time Warner Cable), I found that the Tennis Channel offers exclusive coverage of the French Open via a channel the call something like Tennis Channel Mix. It is great – you can see 6 games going on at once!! I found this out and switched 3 years ago and have not looked back, especially this time of year when the French Open is LIVE!