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DIRECTV vs DISH: Showdown Between The Leading Satellite TV Providers

DIRECTV vs DISH logos

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

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

 

 

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

Satellite Vs Cable

Trying to decide between satellite and cable? Read about some of the key differences between the two options.

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 your signal is direct and therefore, unblemished. This direct system allows for ultra high-definition TV (UHDTV).

More Channels

Both DIRECTV and DISH have the capability to offer more programming than cable, i.e., more channel choices including productions from other countries and programming in other languages. While DIRECTV offers more than 315 channels, DISH offers more than 290; and both provide multiple language options, though DIRECTV has fewer than DISH currently.

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.

Directv Vs Dish

Weighing the value of DIRECTV vs. DISH is difficult because both products and the services they offer are very comparable. 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 is your best option. Below is a comparison of some of the basic features of DISH vs DIRECTV.

 

DIRECTV

DISH

Free DVR and HDTV equipment

Up to 4 rooms

Up to 4 rooms

Professional Installation

Free

Free

Number of Channels

315+

290+

Custom Design Your Package

No

No

HD Recording

Genie

Hopper®

Contract Lengths

24 Months

24 Months

Price Lock

3 Years

HD Recording: Direct TV Genie Vs Dish Hopper®

HD recording gives you the power to pause, rewind and record live TV. Below is a comparison of DIRECT TV Genie and DISH Hopper.

 

DIRECTV Genie

DISH Hopper®

Number of Shows Recorded at Once

5

8

Recommends New Shows

Checkmark

Transfer Recordings to Mobile

Checkmark

Checkmark

Watch Two Shows On One Screen

Checkmark

Checkmark

Learn more about the DIRECTV Genie in this video:

Number and Variety of Channels Comparison

The number of channels offered and the particular programming of those channels differ between DIRECTV and DISH. As mentioned earlier, DISH offers more than 290 channels while Direct TV offers 315+. But a closer look at those 315+ channels will reveal that more is not necessarily better. What your household likes to watch may not be the same as what your neighbor’s household likes to watch. So, take a look and see which satellite provider offers the channels you are interested in.

 

DIRECTV

DISH

Sports Channels: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, NBA TV, NBC Sports Network, FOX Sports 2, NFL Network, MLB Network, NHL Network, Tennis Channel and Golf Channel

Checkmark

Checkmark

Sports Channels: Big Ten Network, MLB Network Strike Zone, NFL RedZone, Pac-12 Networks and Universal Sports

Checkmark

Premium Channels: Cinemax®, HBO®, Showtime, and Starz®

Checkmark

Checkmark

Premium Channels: Bloomberg and RFDTV

Checkmark

Checkmark

Miscellaneous Channels: Discovery Family Channel, Discovery Life Channel and ION

Checkmark

Miscellaneous Channels: A&E, AMC, BET, Bravo, Comedy Central, Discovery, E!, Food Network, HGTV, History, MTV, MTV2, Spike, TBS, TLC, TNT, USA and VH1

Checkmark

Checkmark

Kid Channels: Nickelodeon, ABC Family, Disney, Disney JR, Disney XD, Nick JR, Nicktoons Network and Cartoon Network

Checkmark

Checkmark

X-Rated Channels: Playboy TV, Vivid TV, Hustler TV, BraZZers TV, Reality Kings

Checkmark

Checkmark

X-Rated Channels: Penthouse TV and UBang

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X-Rated Channels: Cheap Thrills, Hustler HD, TEN, Reality Kings, Girlfriends Films and XTSY

Checkmark

Package Comparison

We’ve taken the basic packages from DIRECTV and DISH as well as the premium packages and compared them side by side so you can see an in-depth review of them. Read further to see who we think offers the best packages.

 

DIRECTV

DISH

DIRECTV

DISH

Package Style

Basic Package

Basic Package

Premium Package

Premium Package

Package Name

Select

Smart Pack

Premier

America's Top 250

Price

$19.99/month for 12 months then $49.99/month

$19.99/month for 12 months then $34.99/month

$89.99/month for 12 months then $136.99/month

$39.99/month for 12 months then $84.99/month

Number of Channels

145+

55+

315+

290+

Contract Length

24 Months

24 Months

24 Months

24 Months

Popular Channels Included

A&E, ABC Family, Animal Planet, BBC, CNBC, CNN, C-Span, Disney, Fox News, Food Network, FX, Hallmark, HGTV, Fox, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, Nickelodeon, TBS, TLC, USA

CBS Sports, C-Span, Food Network, Fox News, Hallmark, Nickelodeon

In addition to Select Package: Cartoon Network, Cinemax, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Fox Sports 1 & 2, HBO, MLB, NBA TV, NFL Network, NHL, Showtime, Starz

In addition to Smart Pack: A&E, ABC Family, Animal Planet, BBC, Cartoon Network, CNBC, CNN, Disney, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Fox Sports 1 & 2, FX, MSNBC, NBA TV, NFL Network, TLC, TBS, USA

*These channels were chosen based on what we thought were some of the most popular channels that households wanted in their cable packages.

To summarize the table above, the Select package from Direct TV is the winner for the basic packages. The Select package offers more channels and, in our opinion, the channels offered are better than those from the Smart Pack offered by DISH. For the premium packages, the winner is DISH. America’s Top 250 offers all the same “popular” channels as the Premier package from DIRECTV for less money. However, if you’re wanting Starz, HBO and Showtime we suggest you go with DIRECTV.

Below is a broad comparison of all of DIRECTV and DISH packages.

DIRECTV Packages

Price

Number of Channels

DISH Packages

Price

Number of Channels

Select

$49.99/month ($19.99/month the first 12 months)

145+

Smart Pack

$34.99/month ($19.99/month the first 12 months)

55+

Entertainment

$59.99/month ($24.99/month the first 12 months)

150+

America's Top 120™

$59.99/month ($29.99/month the first 12 months)

190+

Choice

$70.99/month ($29.99/month the first 12 months)

175+

America's Top 200™

$74.99/month ($39.99/month the first 12 months)

240+

Xtra

$77.99/month ($34.99/month the first 12 months)

220+

America's Top 250™

$84.99/month ($39.99/month the first 12 months)

290+

Ultimate

$86.99/month ($39.99/month the first 12 months)

240+

Premier

$136.99/month ($89.99/month the first 12 months)

315+

Promotions

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

DIRECTV

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

DISH Network

  • DISH is now offering 3-Year Price Guarantee so you can lock in your monthly payment. Use this link or call 855-357-2283 to take advantage of this offer.

How Does Satellite Television WOrk?

Every wondered how something so high up in the sky can beam a signal into your living room that lets you watch your favorite tv shows? Here’s a quick video (under 2 minutes) that explains how satellite tv works.

Share Your Satellite TV Experience

Are you a proud DISH or DIRECTV owner? Which one do you prefer and why?

Our site's mission is to help consumers make more informed purchase decisions. This post may contain affiliate links (marked with "Affiliate" when you hover over them) and we will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through these links. Our website accepts financial compensation to allow us to provide this free service to you, our reader, while eliminating the need to clutter pages with advertisements. Compensation does not influence the rankings of products. More info on our disclosure page.


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.
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  • Chuck Howard

    I keep reading $40-$60 per month rates for directv. I have been a customer for over 10 years and I pay $120 per month. I do have a genie and 2 receivers but get no movie channels. $120 per month! The past couple days, I have been getting a satellite signal lost error of a few of my favorite channels. So, as an appreciation for my 8 years of being a customer, they want to charge me $50 for someone to come out and figure out why I am not getting some of my channels. Plus, it will take 2 weeks for someone to come out. Seriously? 2 weeks? I hate AT&T and was tempted to cancel after the buyout but didn’t. I am now receiving AT&T junk mail every other day. I will be calling Dish tomorrow. I am done with Directv.

  • Ashley Kelley

    Also dish automated help line is way better you don’t have to type in phone number and account number it already recognizes it.

  • Ashley Kelley

    I only switched to direct TV 2 days ago and already regret it. I had the hopper and joey with dish and absolutely loved it ..then direct sends me just a regular DVR and so I can only pause and record in one room. Also all dish channels are HD not the case with direct the only reason I switched is cuz I felt dish doesn’t care as much about loyal customers who have finished out their contract as they do new ones..they only gave me a perk# of $15 off my bill for 6 months after they had just went up on their prices $10 and they didn’t offer to upgrade my equipment. So I called direct after I realized that I couldn’t do what I had with my hopper and joey and they first told me they’d send me the genie for $199 deposit and I freaked out about it and they said they will waive it. I even love the dish guide better, hopefully with the genie I will feel better about it but I dunno, wish I’d just been more persistent with dish. Now I’ll have to wait 2 years either way.

  • SD

    I cancelled Dish and will have Direct TV this Saturday. They have a two-year price guarantee of 175 channels and HBO for $75. Beats the $130 for 120 channels at Dish and I will gain Fox Sports (NASCAR) and NFL package for a year.

    BUT:
    1) I lose the Netflix channel on every TV which meant just clicking into it and stream away.
    2) Also, we have triplets so being able to watch on only 4 of our 5 TVs may eventually become an issue.
    3) The Hopper had Bluetooth so I could use my headphones wirelessly and the Genie does not.

    Did anyone go from Direct TV to Dish that can provide insight from that perspective?

    • Nikki

      I went to Dish from Direct 5 years ago have the 220 channel package 4 TVs no hopper no movie ch for $114/mo including tax. The only reason I’m upset with this set up is they took a few of our channels and put them in the higher package :/ forcing us to upgrade. I am considering going back to Direct but reading all this I may just upgrade at this point. I hated Direct they only offered me a good deal after I switched due to outrageous price increases. So here I am again with increases.

  • Jim Bob

    A directv rep 2 months ago mentioned a month-to-month service for about $40. Is it still available? Does dish have something similar? I’ll go over the air before I agree to a cancel fee possibility of more than $10.

  • It says it integrates with Netflix but doesn’t say you don’t have to pay for it to get it. So I’m not quite sure it’s free.

    • Andrew Anderson

      The promo for new DISH customers right now is Netflix is free for first year.

  • Andrew Anderson

    Did you get DISH already? I love it. Far better technology. I love being able to record 16 shows at once and auto hop (skip) commercials.

    • Neitel Agosto

      No, I don’t have it. When the NBA season is over, I am thinking of canceling this contract I have with Comcast because they are killing my pockets. I pay $130 every month and that’s not even counting the fees they charge me for going over my data.

  • Anony

    Don’t forget to mention the 4K content with the Hopper 3. :o)

  • Phil Guerra

    I’m wanting to switch from Direct TV to Dish, but concerned about losing signal. Direct TV has been pretty good in that dept. here, but as so many have said here, Direct TV pricing is just awful. We signed up 1.5 years ago and our bill has gone from $73/month to $130, and customer service is quite happy for us to switch over to Dish. You would think that they would offer some form of retention promotion or something, but nope, they are quite happy for us to walk, but I am concerned about loss of signal with Dish. Can anyone help with info on this?

    • nikki

      Rare signal loss with Dish.

  • Glenn Dupuis

    I wanted to save some money at Dish. I changed programming @ $111.99 and have now $51.99. No sports except hockey which I don’t watch, no movies at all. I screwed myself I guess.

  • Thanks for the information Joe. This is very helpful. I think our readers will benefit from knowing this information.

  • Where are you getting this information from? If you can send us a link of where this is located we’d be happy to include it in our article. Thank you.

  • Because DIRECTV sent us one of their promotions and we posted it in the comments this means we are dishonest? We would do the same thing if it were DISH. Please see our other comments to you for further explanation.

  • We didn’t know that DISH locks you in for 3 years. Is this stated somewhere online? We’d be happy to add this into the article since this is a huge selling point for DISH. What extra fees are you referring to for DIRECTV? Again, are these posted online somewhere? We want to have as accurate information as possible. Thanks for helping us achieve this!

  • Hi Joe, what fees did you have? We want our article to be as accurate as possible. All of our information is compiled from what we’ve found on DIRECTV and DISH websites. Thanks ahead of time!

  • Kerstin Hilgenberg Branstetter

    I am fed up with direct tv and their lies. We started out with paying a consistent amount of $82.56 for the first year which included HBO. The 2nd year, I get automatically charged for NFL Sunday ticket. Lets not forget to mention that the lousy rep that signed me up promised me 2 years free only to get told that wasn’t true and that it also auto renewed. It’s been a nightmare ever since then. Just got my acct screenshot last night. This month’s bill is a whopping $173. I’ve been promised discounts and rebates only to see them somehow charge them back to me the following month. I’m over it!! Ordering dishnetwork tomorrow. I refuse to pay that kind of money for the 120 plus package with hbo only and only having a simple HD DVR receiver in one room and nothing but a plain box in my son’s bedroom. I’ve been lied to enough. We paid that when we lived in the city with Cox and that included cable, home phone and internet. Dish has far better prices than DTV. If we didn’t live outside of Cox cables service area, we would still have them today. Bye bye dtv!!

  • Joe Hammerdink

    You made a mistake. Just FYI.

  • Joe Hammerdink

    I did the same. I switched to Dish this week, got the Hopper 3 and I love it. Dish is way ahead of the game tech wise and they always have been. What has fueled DIRECTV, sadly, is NFL Sunday Ticket.

  • tommyr

    Well after reading a ton of reviews on both sat companies it looks like I’ll be stuck with Time Warner for a while longer. Which I really hate as they are always raising rates. The whole TV/internet industry seems to be a rip off/scam IMHO.

  • James Mc

    This whole article sounds like it was written by the DIRECTV president. Most of the great stuff about DISH network was conveniently left out. I left DIRECTV eight years ago because of their rude and hard to deal with customer service. I have been with DISH TV since then and haven’t looked back. Tomorrow they are replacing all my equipment with the new hopper 3 with 16 tuners and 4k for no extra charge like they have in the past when ever there is a new upgrade. You can argue package prices but you get what you pay for.

    • Joe Hammerdink

      Exactly. It’s full of misinformation and lies. This is clearly a reseller of DIRECTV.

      • We are affiliate partners with both DIRECTV and DISH. We are not resellers of DIRECTV. How are we making DIRECTV sound better than DISH? Our article clearly shows that DISH has better prices than DIRECTV. We don’t have any promotions for DISH currently, that’s why there is only a DISH promotion listed. DISH and DIRECTV offer about the same number of channels as you can see in our table. We show that the Hopper records 8 shows opposed to Genie’s 5.

        So I ask, what is misleading in this article? We want to provide the most accurate information as possible and we are not leaving any information out on purpose. We appreciate you’re help in keeping our content honest.

        • Andrew Anderson

          Post the free Netflix and price lock 🙂

          • Do one of the companies offer free Netflix? Which one? Also, we have DISH as having a price lock.

  • All of DIRECTV packages include the channel TNT. For DISH, TNT is available on America’s Top 120, America’s Top 200 and America’s Top 250.

  • All of DIRECTV packages include the channel TNT. For DISH, TNT is available on America’s Top 120, America’s Top 200 and America’s Top 250.

  • Kate Gamble

    I am so disappointed and frustrated with the constant downloading delays of on Demand with DISH, is DirectTV any better or is this just what happens with Satellite? I have only been a cable user for 25 years.

    • Joe Hammerdink

      No, they aren’t any better and you will be sacrificing better tech to worse if you leave.

  • Richard

    DIRECTV sucks with customer service. Took five years to finally get correct address on bill and had to order a new box on Friday and guess what. Was sent back by UPS. Not a deliverable address. Then argue 20 minutes with the supervisor. Will re ship receiver. Told if not here by Friday cancel my service. Is Dish any better?

  • Richard

    DIRECTV sucks with customer service. Took five years to finally get correct address on bill and had to order a new box on Friday and guess what. Was sent back by UPS. Not a deliverable address. Then argue 20 minutes with the supervisor. Will re ship receiver. Told if not here by Friday cancel my service. Is Dish any better?

  • Valmara

    I have been trying to decide between DIRECTV and Dish, so thanks for the information. Note that I’m not sure about Dish, but I know DIRECTV charges you $10.00 more if you choose not to have auto-pay. Since I don’t like that because of the potential complications if there isn’t enough in your account (overdraft bank charges and late charges, and possibly more with Direct) or they deduct the wrong amount (like too much, which is what happened to me). I asked for paperless online payment options and that, too, is $10.00 more. In effect, you wind up paying $120.00 more per year than the prices quoted.

  • Patricia Bennett-Mouton

    I am a very unhappy DIRECTV/AT&T customer! I only want to be able to access HBO GO but for some strange reason I cannot set up a DIRECTV access account. Talked to customer service two times for 2 plus hours each time to no avail. Each call ended with a promise to call me back within 24 hours! It has been a week and still no call, email or anything. My contract is up and I just don’t feel like dealing with another satellite company.

    • Jamie Mortakis

      With HBO GO you need to download the app or go to the website and login with your DirecTV Login information. If you do not have HBO then you will not have access to this app.

  • chris whitfield

    As the title states this is to inform people about how DIRECTV really is. This is going to be long and a bit redundant however it must be that way in order to correctly tell the story.

    I recently moved to Lake Havasu City, AZ from California. The plan was to rent a house while I was actively looking for one to buy. I moved into my rental house at the end of 2014. The house had already had DIRECTV prior to me moving in (nicely installed dish on the roof, etc.) We went a couple of months just watching Netflix and DVDs but around Christmas we decided to get DIRECTV.

    I called DIRECTV and explained my situation (rental house but looking for a house to buy) and asked the sales person “what happens when I find the house I want to buy here in the next few months?” The answer and I quote “no problem at all sir, we here at DIRECTV want to make your move as painless as possible…simply take your receivers and remotes to your new house and leave the dish on the rental house…we will come setup everything and get you going again free of charge with a 2 year agreement.”

    Great! So I thought! When I found the house that I was to buy I did exactly what I was told and took the receivers and remote with me to the new address. I then called DIRECTV to have them come set it up. DIRECTV then told me it was going to be $214 to move my service! I explained calmly what I had been told when purchasing my contract. DIRECTV’s response “sorry sir there is nothing I can do.” I then talked to a manager, same result! I had been bold face lied to at the sales stage of my DIRECTV experience. Liars! Who in their right mind would sign a 2 year agreement knowing that they would have to pay hundreds of dollars when they bought a house 6 months later? Nobody. Liars!

    Anyhow I reluctantly paid to have them “move my service”. It gets better, way better. When setting up the appointment for the tech to come out I explicitly said “there is already a dish here at this house, however, it is on a tripod on the side of the house and I cannot have it on a tripod because I am adding on to the house and having a concrete slab poured in the next week
    right where the existing dish is.” The person on the phone said that they noted it on the work order and it would be on the roof or high up on the side of the house.

    Well guess what? Yesterday when I was out of town the installer came to connect everything. My wife and daughter were home in pajamas on the couch sick (it was 8am). My wife again told the installer that the dish had to be on the
    roof or up high on the side of the house (like everyone else that I know has their’s), the installer said “no problem”. The installer did his thing and came back into the house telling my wife that everything was done and all good to go.

    I came home about 3 hrs later from California and being a typical man, I decided to check out the installer’s work. He used the old dish and left it exactly where it was! He lied directly to my wife’s face! (He should be fired immediately!) He also installed the SWM box directly behind my TV and just put it on the ground! (It should be mounted on the wall in the garage nicely like everyone else that i know has it!)

    It gets even better. I call DIRECTV and after their ridiculous automated crappy phone system I finally get a human on the phone. He was
    actually quite nice and told me that the local dispatch office would be contacting me to setup a time to come fix it within the hour (the call not the fix). He took my number down because my wife’s number is on the account and she was going to work. Even though he took my number they continually tried to call her and couldn’t get through because she was working!

    Gets better. DIRECTV left a voicemail that said they were sorry but they were going to have to charge us again to come move the dish! This company is nothing but thieves and liars! I will be posting this everywhere that I possibly can, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Craigslist, forums, everywhere and I will not stop until I am compensated correctly!

    If you are DIRECTV and are reading this my phone number is 928-846-7647.
    Chris

  • J.Catanzar

    I have experience with DIRECTV and Mediacom Cable & Internet. Mediacom (I know this is not a site about Mediacom) had terrible customer service (1 out of 3 experiences with customer service was good, not excellent). I just called DIRECTV today and had to speak with 5 different people. One lady was upset with me that she forgot to “mute” her end and I heard her making sarcastic comments about me. Bless her heart. One guy contradicted everything the previous person told me (basically telling me the last 2 people were “lying and don’t know what they doin'”. I did not like being transferred to 3 different departments. I lost connection with the last customer service rep. and thank God I called back because she said the last person to “fix” my bill “did it wrong.” Instead of paying almost $70 at the end of this month, I don’t have to pay anything (again, thank God I called back.) I have no experience with DISH, but my friends have it and love it. I don’t mind DIRECTV because I remember when it was Primestar (back in the ’90s) when I was a child. I am upset with their customer service. I would go back to Mediacom cable, if I had the option. The 2 terrible experiences with Mediacom was nothing compared to what I just dealt with. I know my DIRECTV does go out quite a bit during storms, same as when I was a child. It does come back on faster. My friends with DISH say that there may be a few hiccups during a storm, but it doesn’t go out as often as mine does. Again, I am not here to praise DISH because I don’t have any experience. One last thing: I wish a satellite or cable company would offer an a la carte option! Man, would that be nice! I don’t watch 51% or greater of the channels I have now with the Choice package. Have a good day, everyone.

  • Name

    DIRECTV took advantage of us twice. Switched to Dish years ago and haven’t regretted it.

    • Joe Hammerdink

      People are brainwashed into believing that DIRECTV is somehow superior because they have NFL Sunday Ticket. When it comes to tech Dish has always been ahead of the curve.

  • We will consider adding that in a future update. Regarding you being charged $77.99 I do not know why that is. If you go to DIRECTV’s website the pricing does not look like that but perhaps it varies based on the area you live in. Maybe you could call DIRECTV and ask them why you are paying so much and you may get a discount?

  • Guest

    This appears to be a DIRECTV marketing article. I do wonder if the writer is receiving benefits. Pricing is wrong, complaints about customer services appears to be wrong to me too. I have had 5 pieces of equipment replaced on various phone calls and it was a minute to get them to replace it.

    • Hi there, I just spent some time fact checking our prices and according to both DISH and DIRECTV’s websites our pricing is correct. Where exactly are you seeing false pricing in our article?
      As for complaints about customer service that is not something we discussed in this article. The comments for this article are not ones that we have “planted” in order to lure our readers into selecting one company over the other.
      As for our writer receiving benefits for this article that is not how our business model works. We have an affiliate relationship with both companies in this article but we do not suggest one company over another based on this relationship. We pride ourselves in providing free, unbiased information to our readers and we do our best to keep our content up to date to help our readers make the most informed decision.
      If you’d like to learn more about our review process feel free to read this article http://www.werockyourweb.com/int/our-review-process/

      • Nick

        You are way off on your Xtra package price. I am looking at my statement from 9/17/15 from Directv, I am being charged $77.99 for the Xtra package. I also have to pay $33.99 for equipment services, which includes $10 per month for DVR service, with an added $3 for whole home DVR service, $13 to watch on 3 TVs, and a $7.99 protection plan. I’m not sure what Dish charges for equipment services, but you may want to add that to your comparisons.

        • We will consider adding that in a future update. Regarding you being charged $77.99 I do not know why that is. If you go to DIRECTV’s website the pricing does not look like that but perhaps it varies based on the area you live in. Maybe you could call DIRECTV and ask them why you are paying so much and you may get a discount?

        • Brianna Tremblay

          I have Dish and i pay $12 for the hopper I don’t pay extra for the DVR I pay only $7.34 extra for my second TV. I don’t pay anything extra for the first TV. I also pay $7.99 for the protection plan and when you sign up for Dish they sign you up with the package that best suits you. I have the everything package which includes all channels including the movie channels they didn’t include in the above which you pay $105 for the first year after the first year you pay $131 before taxes. The customer service isn’t as bad as other people are saying and the awesome thing about Dish is that on your anniversary of signing up with them you get the month free. Dish is way better, with DIRECTV you have to pay extra for on demand and with Dish you don’t.

          • Joe Hammerdink

            You are 100% correct. DIRECTV kills you with all the fees that are somehow never mentioned here.

            I signed up with them years ago on a promo and after that first year I could never get a stable bill. I knew the price would go up after the first 12 months but I didn’t expect my bill to jump around by $50 or more month to month. I felt like I had a full-time job just keeping up.

      • Jamie Mortakis

        The prices are incorrect.
        Package Price varies for what you want.
        Select: $49.99
        Entertainment: $59.99
        Choice: $70.99
        Xtra: $77.99
        In addition DTV charges $6.50 per TV (i.e. 2 TV = $13)
        Also DVR/OnDemand service is $15.

        The prices you are promoting are discounted rates for new customers.

        • I don’t believe our prices are incorrect. The pricing we have listed is directly from the websites. Like you said, the prices are discounted rates for new customers, which is who this article is aimed toward. This is meant for people who are trying to decide which satellite TV provider to go with. Therefore, these prices would be the pricing options they would see.

          Thanks for posting the pricing for current customers. I’m sure our readers will find that helpful as well.

          • Neitel Agosto

            You sound like you been trained in a Direct TV military camp. I don’t trust Direct TV by the way their soldiers talk and explain things…then people get something different on their bill. I have sat here for 30 minutes reading people’s thoughts and complaints and it seems that the merger with AT&T is a disaster, customer service is horrible and people are not happy overall. I’m thinking of staying with Comcast after reading so much negativity coming from both Dish and DIRECTV. I thought I had it bad.

            • I’ve never been in the military or a DIRECTV military camp and I’ve never been a soldier either. I just moderate the comments here for We Rock Your Web. 🙂 I’m not sure what gave that impression, but I try to stay unbiased with my work.

              Both DISH and DIRECTV offer discounted first year prices, which we have displayed in this article. When either company sends us information about a discounted price, I either update our article or post it in the comment section.

              I’m glad you’ve found a good TV provider and I hope your service continues to provide you everything you want and need. Happy viewing!

              • Neitel Agosto

                You give that impression to me. All services whether is DirectTV, Dish, Comcast or whatever are a scam. We are paying for commercials and useless channels.

      • Joe Hammerdink

        Your pricing is horrendously wrong AND you don’t mention that Dish will lock you promo price for 3 years. You aren’t listing all the little extra hidden fees that usually add up to around $30 a month with DIRECTV.

        The price Dish quotes is THE price, not the price plus all their fees to enable this or that.

  • We aren’t aware of a way to do this but while you are switching services talk to DIRECTV about this and see if they have any suggestions.

  • Jmqrz

    Do you have statistics about how many times you loose signal with DISH versus Direct TV? DISH sucks, someone farts in the neighborhood and DISH looses its signal.

    • Hahaha no sorry, we don’t have stats based on that. Hopefully your neighborhood isn’t too gassy! 😉

  • Wayne Odle

    We are going to need fast Internet to stream movies and shows on Amazon and Netflix. A new home will not have a Fios connection, does DIRECTV offer a fast Internet service?

    • Make sure you have a connection speed of at least .5Mbps. The higher the better. You can get this speed from most major carriers. Many carriers now offer 1Mbps and more.

    • Wayne Odle

      Hi Kimberly, thank you. We have use TWC for our Internet, hate them, but it’s the only way to get more than 1 MG, I am very disappointed.

      • DIRECTV partners with other Internet providers to deliver high speed Internet. I suggest contacting them if you’re interested and you should be able to get speeds high enough to stream video.

    • Wayne Odle

      Hi Kimberly, thank you. We have use TWC for our Internet, hate them, but it’s the only way to get more than 1 MG, I am very disappointed.

  • Jon blevins

    Just a quick bit lol. I do work for DIRECTV and the real price difference is in the ARS fees and by the way all of your first year prices are off by $10:
    Select at $19.99
    Entertainment $24.99
    Choice at $29.99
    Extra $39.99
    Ultimate $49.99
    Premier at $89.99
    The ads monthly fee from DIRECTV is $15 and $6.50 per TV where DISH is at $25 and $7. As far as fees go the Hopper does get 6 rec and 3 are dedicated to “primetime” aka it records what it is you want to watch where DIRECTV gives 5 or your choice. And DIRECTV has a lot better on demand and is the only one who does 4k upscaling. Peace out, I’m done smashing DISH lol.

    • Thanks for the price updates, Jon. We will update our article to reflect these changes!

  • laollis

    DISH lies! Big fat liars! We have the Everything Pak and it’s gone from $95 to $140 and now $182. Same service, same TV’s and same pak, past our contract so now just month to month, yet the price just keeps going up.

    • Brianna Tremblay

      I never had that problem. I have the same package and only time it goes up is when I order movie’s.

  • Doug

    Your prices on DIRECTV are off for the 2nd year. You have the ‘normal’ 12 month price listed as the 2nd year when it’s actually MUCH higher. For example, the Select package is actually 49.99 in the 2nd year, not 29.99. The Entertainment package is 59.99 in the 2nd year, not 34.99. Dish has better programming value. This is misleading, hopefully not on purpose.

    • Thanks for pointing this out to us Doug! This was definitely not intentional. I’m not sure if you’re aware but DIRECTV lost a lawsuit a few months ago regarding their pricing not being stated clearly to customers. I assume that they have made it a goal to be more transparent in their pricing after the first year discount, but I’m not certain. Again, thanks so much for pointing this out. The changes have been made accordingly.

      • C

        Looks like changes have not been made so it is still misleading?

        • Oh no! I’m so sorry about that. I had misread the prices. I believe the prices should be accurate now for DIRECTV. So sorry about that and thanks for mentioning it to us again! 🙂

          • Aha

            How much is Directv paying you?

            I don’t care if your goal is to inform new customers. But at least be honest and tell them that after the first 12 months Directv will double your bill and will continue to do so.

            • We have that displayed in our Package Comparison table. Both Dish and DIRECTV offer a similar thing by giving you a discount the first 12 months and charging you more for the second year of your 2 year agreement.

            • Mac jackson

              If you price Directv via the internet, when you go to the price in your cart; just look for the link that shows the full pricing for the two-year contract. Anyone with half a brain can then determine that it goes up considerably over the two-year period.

              Dish also goes up, but they do not show you the same comparison; you have to figure it out yourself. Not hard, but takes a bit more brain power which many people do not, evidently have.

              Directv will be a bit higher starting the 13th month than Dish, that is just their pricing of the programs. But Directv has a better picture than Dish.

              I have had both, and probably heading back to Directv. Dish has been giving me problems about my Hopper which appears to have a HD failing. So, since I am off contract, and their new Hopper 3 is having a lot of problems (per the Dish forum and satellite guys forum) the old tried and true Genie 54 is a better choice. That is unless the person is glued to the TV and needs to record 16 shows a day!

              And the main feature of the Hopper is slowly going to seven day wait before you go do the commercial hopping.

            • Mac jackson

              If you price Directv via the internet, when you go to the price in your cart; just look for the link that shows the full pricing for the two-year contract. Anyone with half a brain can then determine that it goes up considerably over the two-year period.

              Dish also goes up, but they do not show you the same comparison; you have to figure it out yourself. Not hard, but takes a bit more brain power which many people do not, evidently have.

              Directv will be a bit higher starting the 13th month than Dish, that is just their pricing of the programs. But Directv has a better picture than Dish.

              I have had both, and probably heading back to Directv. Dish has been giving me problems about my Hopper which appears to have a HD failing. So, since I am off contract, and their new Hopper 3 is having a lot of problems (per the Dish forum and satellite guys forum) the old tried and true Genie 54 is a better choice. That is unless the person is glued to the TV and needs to record 16 shows a day!

              And the main feature of the Hopper is slowly going to seven day wait before you go do the commercial hopping.

  • Patrick Dukes

    DISH lets you stream all of your subscribed channels on your mobile device through a built in slang in the Hopper and Dish Anywhere app and DIRECTV does not.

    • bur

      Yeah that’s definitely incorrect. You can stream most channels on any mobile device or computer with directv. There’s an app too.

      • Vdzrussell Weeks

        I just terminated my contract with DIRECTV. They only provided a select number of channels to be available on my iPhone. No local channels and no football channels like ESPN, nfl network, nbc, fox, etc. during NFL games. Unless you have Verizon wireless. Dish on the other hand, you can watch any channel you have anytime as long as you have enough cell service or wifi. Even the Dish apps have better reviews and ratings vs DIRECTV apps. On TV the DIRECTV guide is poorly laid out. I wouldn’t recommend DIRECTV to anyone.

      • Joe Hammerdink

        That is not true bur. Out of the box it does NOT work. Not only do you have to pay a monthly fee, you have to pay $100 for the piece that enables it.

        • Andrew Anderson

          Which is currently unavailable to order.

  • 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.

    • laollis

      I totally agree. Their customer service is a nightmare.

      • Snazzy Name

        So is their billing and the knowledge and autonomy of the customer service reps. You can call or chat or get up with them any way you want, but they can’t decide to do anything for you, and if they get tired of you, they’ll say what they want to get you off the phone. Every single month my DISH bill is different. Does that make any sense? I’m stuck in this contract for a year yet, and if I pay all 12 months at once to get it over with, I have to pay another $280 early termination fee. That sounds so wrong but it’s what the 12 year old customer service rep said.
        Does anyone know if DIRECTV buys out your contract at all?

        • Hi there, I just chatted with a DIRECTV rep and she said that they do buy out your contract. So if you’re unhappy with your DISH experience you can switch before your contract is up and DIRECTV should cover it.

          • Joe Hammerdink

            DIRECTV is exactly the same when it comes to CS. Give me a break. You will also pay more per month and be using inferior equipment.

        • Joe Hammerdink

          You do realize you are just giving more money to AT&T right? Also, you will be using inferior tech.

      • pyrotech

        DIRECTV’s is crap too, downright horrible!

  • 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!

    • matt

      5 times as much? Not quite my friend. The genie records 5 things at once and has 1 TB hard drive

      • Brianna Tremblay

        Dish has 2 TB (tons of storage) and if I want more space I can actually buy another hardrive.

    • goshocks1988

      I just switched from Direct to Dish and the Hopper and Joey’s can’t record anything without shutting down a live TV. They sold me a Hopper and 3 Joey’s, only to find out Hopper only supports 2 Joey’s, so how does anybody record 4 to 6 shows at once?

  • 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, [email protected], 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.

  • 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!

    • Neitel Agosto

      No thanks!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

    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

    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.

    • Joe Hammerdink

      Where it counts, technology, Dish is FAR better than DIRECTV. That isn’t preference, that is fact. The DVR Dish offers has twice the capacity and the capability built in to stream all your channels and recorded shows to your mobile devices and tablets free of charge.

      Dish has always been ahead of the curve tech wise. What’s fueled DIRECTV is NFL Sunday Ticket which is outrageously expensive.

  • 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

    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

    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.

  • 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!

    • vons

      Love love love DISH. Can skip through commercials with the Hopper, DISH anywhere works like a charm, plus their red zone NFL is the best. How could you possibly watch all the NFL games on DIRECTV. With red zone you see all the teams when they are in the red zone and tons of times see more than that. Also DIRECTV does not have the PAC-12 network. This is a must if you live in southern California or the other areas in the west where their schools are in the pac 12. Our son had DISH, switched to DIRECTV as he had a friend who worked for them and switched back to DISH as he hated DIRECTV. If you need a recommendation, go with DISH. I have never had a problem with their customer service.

  • 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 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

    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

    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!