DirecTV vs. DISH Picture Quality: Who Has Better Picture Quality? DirecTV or DISH?

Staff Profile image

Written by:

Updated June 27, 2022

When customers inquire about the difference in picture quality between Satellite TV providers, generally they are referring to DirecTV vs. DISH Picture Quality. DIRECTV and DISH, the two biggest names in the business, both do an outstanding job in perpetually perfecting the art of HDTV to give you, the consumer, the best entertainment possible.

While you are here, check out the directv vs. dish network comparison chart.

The Similarities between DirecTV and DISH

Both DIRECTV and DISH offer Blu-ray quality 1080p HD, including local channels, starting at an additional ten dollars per month for the HD option, all you need to have is an HD-ready TV. Both DIRECTV and DISH have On-Demand entertainment in 1080p HD too.

The Differences between DirecTV and DISH


  • If you’re a sports fanatic, DIRECTV offers the most HD sports channels out of any other provider. So if you want to simulate, as much as you can, that you are physically at the game, DIRECTV is probably the best option for you. This is especially promising because DIRECTV exclusively offers the NHL Sunday Ticket—a service that provides access so you can watch any sports game, any time.
  • More than 195 HD channels available, and 170 of those are full-time HD channels.
  • With the DIRECTV Genie, you can revel in the complete HD DVR experience in eight rooms without needing a cable box for each one.
  • In the event that there are five HD shows that you want to record at the same time, the Genie has that capability.
  • DirecTV has a state-of-the-art HD DVR receiver called the DirecTV Plus, which amplifies your HD experience on your HD TV. And if you have a 3D TV, with this receiver, you can immerse yourself in an amazing HD 3D world of adventure.


  • DISH offers HDTV For Life to new customers. HDTV For Life is exactly what it sounds like—as long as you stay with DISH, you’ll automatically get HDTV for the duration of the time that you continue to use them as a provider after the initial payment. All you need is a receiver that supports HDTV. This is a feature that used to be offered by DIRECTV, but has since been rescinded.
  • At no additional cost, you can obtain up to 3 HD receivers, a service which DIRECTV charges much more for.
  • There are more that 200 HD channels available, but they aren’t all full-time HD channels like DIRECTV offers.
  • With DISH’s Hopper, you can hook up six HD TVs, you just need to use additional Joeys in conjunction with the Hopper.

Questions Regarding DirecTV vs. DISH Picture Quality

Having listed each feature in terms of HDTV on both satellite TV providers, and therefore giving you a general idea of what each offers, the next questions that may come to mind are: Who has a better picture quality overall? Are they drastically different? And will this difference make me want to choose one satellite provider over another simply because one of them offers a much better picture quality?

Customers for the most part know the difference between picture resolution and overall quality. After all, customers who are searching for a new TV provider are generally doing so because their previous one lacked in quality and are in it for the experience—having a bad picture can ruin the overall experience quite quickly. So, before focusing on providing great features to satisfy their viewers, TV satellite providers must first offer a fantastic picture quality in order to be considered the best in the business.

The Conclusive Answer: DirecTV

As it turns out, DIRECTTV has the advantage over DISH for picture quality, but the difference isn’t as drastic as one might think. High Definition shows are all the rage these days, and DirecTV has everything going for it in terms of outstanding picture quality, full-time HD channels, and an exemplary customer satisfaction rate.

Casual viewers may not notice the difference, and therefore both options are still viable for them. They just need to weigh the pros and cons in terms of what they want in a package or bundle offered by the provider, and then make an informed decision. TV enthusiasts and those who won’t settle for anything but a crisp, clear picture tend to choose DIRECTV, but in the end the difference in picture quality is not at a huge deal breaker, except for those who primarily are looking to watch sports in HD, in which case, we definitely suggest you stick with DIRECTV.