In our DIRECTV vs DISH review, we show how DISH and DIRECTV each have their benefits and drawbacks – and which one may be right for you. Ready to switch from cable to satellite tv?
At a high level, DIRECTV is known for better customer service, but DISH is actually the provider with live 24/7 assistance. DISH has the Hopper®, which lets you skip commercials in Primetime, but DirecTV has some basic HD channels DISH is missing (like ABC Family HD). Below are some other important things to consider as you compare DirecTV and DISH, divided into relevant categories.
Each provider offers six different packages to choose from.
|Get DISH||Get DirecTV|
|America's Top 120™||190+||$29.99||ENTERTAINMENT||150+||$24.99|
|America's Top 120™ PLUS||190+||$34.99||CHOICE™||175+||$29.99|
|America's Top 200™||240+||$39.99||XTRA||220+||$34.99|
|America's Top 250™||290+||$39.99||ULTIMATE||240+||$39.99|
|America's "Everything"™ Pak||315+||$86.99||PREMIER™||315+||$89.99|
Directv offers: Select (145+ channels), Entertainment (150+ channels), Choice (175+ channels), Xtra (220+ channels), Ultimate (225+ channels), and Premier (315+ channels). The Premier package also includes HBO, Showtime, Starz and Cinemax. In all packages, local channels are included. With 185 HD channels, DirecTV boasts the most HD offerings. For example, DirecTV offers Disney Channel HD and ABC Family HD, while DISH does not.
If you don’t get the Premier package, DirecTV also offers discounts on premium channels at the beginning of service – and you can also get discounts on additional premium channels once you add one.
With all packages, DirecTV also gives you access to thousands of On Demand shows and movies as part of your package – and though it’s taken the company a while to get technologically savvy, you can now watch a selection of shows anywhere on your laptop, tablet or cell phone.
Meanwhile, DISH offers six packages: Smart Pack, America’s Top 120™, America’s Top 120™ Plus, America’s Top 200™, America’s Top 250™ and America’s “Everything” Pack™.
DISH, on the other hand, also has thousands of movies and TV shows on demand at the push of a button. They also offer DISH Anywhere™, which allows you to watch programs on your smart device, such as an iPad or Android phone.
If you’re a big sports fan, DirecTV is probably the best choice. No matter where you live, DirecTV offers every out-of-market NFL game every Sunday (DISH has other sports, but not the NFL) with the popular NFL Sunday Ticket. You can also watch college football and basketball and purchase add-ons like NBA League Pass, Fox Soccer Plus and MLB Extra Innings.
Winner: DirecTV, which offers more options and isn’t missing any basic channels.
|Monthly Pricing||Dish||DirecTV||Dish (after 12-months)||DirecTV (after 12-months)|
|Get DISH||Get DirecTV||Get DISH||Get DirecTV|
|Additional Receiver Cost||$7||$6.50|
|ETF||$20/month left on contract||$15 + $20/month left on contract|
DirecTV’s packages range from $49.99 to $136.99 a month ($19.99 to $89.99 a month for the first 12-months).
While DISH packages range from $34.99-131.99 a month ($19.99 – $86.99 a month for the first 12-months).
NOTE: both providers offer a discount for the first 12-months. Since you must sign a 24-month contract you will be paying the higher rate by month 13.
Premium programming is comparably priced. DISH charges $19/month for HBO and $14/month for Showtime; DirecTV charges less for each: $17.99/month for HBO and $13.99 for Showtime. Both DISH and DirecTV offer 3 months of free premium channels for new customers. Both companies also require 24-month contracts for the best pricing.
Winner: DISH, which has the cheapest options and cheapest teaser rates.
Call Dish to Speak to a Representative Directly: 855-422-4230
3. Equipment, Special Features and On-Demand
DISH and DirecTV both offer a variety of DVR and non-DVR receivers.
DISH offers the Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR, which lets you record up to 8 shows at once during primetime and instantly skip commercials in recorded PrimeTime Anytime shows. Hopper upgrade is free with a 24-month contract (DVR/receiver fees apply separately). Even more exciting: the new Hopper lets you watch recorded programs on your mobile device free of any additional charges.
|Get DISH||Get DirecTV|
|Watch from any where||Yes||Yes|
|Compatible watch from any where Devices||Mac, PC, iPad, Android Tablet, Kindle, iPhone, Android Phone||Mac, PC, iPad, Android Tablet, Kindle, iPhone 4s+, Android Phone|
|Additonal Equipment to Watch Any Where||No||Yes|
|RF and IR Remote||Yes||Yes|
|Simultaneous Show Recordings||8||5|
|Auto Skip Commercials after 24hrs||Yes||No|
|NFL Sunday Ticket||No||Yes|
|Wireless Remote Boxes||Yes||Yes|
|Max TVs Per Home||6||8|
|On Demand Content||Yes||Yes|
|Download Content to a Mobile Device or Computer||Yes||Yes|
DirecTV doesn’t have a commercial-hopping device, but has recently introduced The Genie, which gives you full HD DVR service in every room with just one HD DVR. The Genie also predicts your viewing habits and records shows you’re bound to enjoy. You can also buy Nomad for $150 and use it with Genie to sync shows for internet-free viewing. And lastly, DirecTV offers a TV option, though it’s mutually exclusive from that of the Genie.
DirecTV charges an additional $10/month for HD service; DISH charges the same, but waives the fee with HD FREE for Life for the life of the account if you enroll in AutoPay with Paperless Billing.
Winner: DISH – The new Hopper® offers more features than DirecTV‘s Genie.
Call DISH to Speak to a Representative Directly: 855-422-4230
Most DirecTV equipment offers include standard professional installation from a highly trained installer who will install your satellite dish, get everything connected and show you how to use your service. Some installations may require additional custom work that is not included.
Similarly, DISH offers free installation for satellite service. You can also purchase custom installation of TVs (such as wall mounting), home theaters and wireless networks.
Winner: Tie – both companies have similar installation procedures.
5. Customer Service
You can call or email DirecTV 24/7 for assistance. If a technician needs to come to your property to fix something, this can often be scheduled for the following day. DirecTV also offers a device Protection Plan for $5.99/month and Protection Plan Premier for $19.99/month.
DISH also offers 24/7 support via phone, email, chat or Twitter. DISH claims to be the only entertainment provider with 24/7 live customer service.
But DirecTV does offer 24/7 technical support (its their customer care center that’s only open 8:00 AM to 1 AM ET daily). Also, you can use DirecTV’s automated phone system and website 24/7 to order movies and events, make payments, change programming and find troubleshooting help.
Winner: Tie – both companies offer standard customer support procedures. DirecTV has a better reputation for customer service, but DISH seems to be making an effort with its 24/7 live customer service.
Dish vs DirecTV Score Chart
|Overall Winner||Get DISH||4 vs 3 points|
|Packages||DirecTV||More options and isn't missing any channels.|
|Price||DISH||Cheapest options and tier rate.|
|Equipment||DISH||Nothing beats the Hopper®.|
|Installation||Tie||Comparable install services.|
|Customer Service||Tie||DISH has 24/7 customer service, but DirecTV is said to be better.|
While DISH may not have every channel DirecTV does, it is the cheapest when it comes to selection packages, and there is no overlooking The Hopper, a tempting feature exclusive to DISH. To make the best choice, check the channel lineups for your favorite channels (especially if HD is a must for you); many of DirecTV’s hundreds of channels might be superfluous to you, anyway. You should also calculate what your bill will be after promotions expire just to avoid any sticker shock.
Call DISH to Speak to a Representative Directly: 855-422-4230
Gadget Review is an authorized retailer of DISH Network L.L.C. DISH, DISH Network and DISH Network logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and/or service marks of DISH Network L.L.C. and/or its affiliate(s). The DISH Network trademarks, registered trademarks and/or service marks are used under license of DISH Network L.L.C. and/or its affiliate(s).
Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."