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:
|DIRECTV||DIRECTV – 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).
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.
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.
|Free DVR and HDTV equipment||Up to 4 rooms||Up to 4 rooms|
|Number of Channels||315+||290+|
|Custom Design Your Package||No||No|
|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 Hopperå¨|
|Number of Shows Recorded at Once||5||8|
|Recommends New Shows|
|Transfer Recordings to Mobile|
|Watch Two Shows On One Screen|
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.
|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|
|Sports Channels: Big Ten Network, MLB Network Strike Zone, NFL RedZone, Pac-12 Networks and Universal Sports|
|Premium Channels: Cinemaxå¨, HBOå¨, Showtime, and Starzå¨|
|Premium Channels: Bloomberg and RFDTV|
|Miscellaneous Channels: Discovery Family Channel, Discovery Life Channel and ION|
|Miscellaneous Channels: A&E, AMC, BET, Bravo, Comedy Central, Discovery, E!, Food Network, HGTV, History, MTV, MTV2, Spike, TBS, TLC, TNT, USA and VH1|
|Kid Channels: Nickelodeon, ABC Family, Disney, Disney JR, Disney XD, Nick JR, Nicktoons Network and Cartoon Network|
|X-Rated Channels: Playboy TV, Vivid TV, Hustler TV, BraZZers TV, Reality Kings|
|X-Rated Channels: Penthouse TV and UBang|
|X-Rated Channels: Cheap Thrills, Hustler HD, TEN, Reality Kings, Girlfriends Films and XTSY|
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.
|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 DIRECTV 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 120ã¢||$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 200ã¢||$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 250ã¢||$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+|
Below are some promotions that we’re able to extend to our readers for a limited time.
- 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 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.