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Satellite TV is still an option worth considering for live TV access in geographic areas that aren’t reachable yet by cable (or internet) connections. Satellite TV companies have also upped their game and offer more channels, packages, programming, and perks to compete with the changing media landscape.
Are you debating between DIRECTV vs Dish? We’ve got your back in our satellite TV guide. We cover everything from each provider, including equipment, channels, pricing, and more. We also feature the most current promotions available for you to save money on your new package.
|DIRECTV (Authorized Dealer) – 855-692-6985|
|DISH (Authorized Dealer) – 855-357-2283|
Debating between satellite vs analog? There are several reasons satellite is better than traditional cable, including:
- Enhanced Picture Quality and Sound: Because cable connections go through multiple network reconfigurations, they degrade the quality of sound and picture. With satellite, the programming bypasses that complicated network web, so your signal is direct and, therefore, unblemished. This direct system allows for ultra-high-definition TV (UHDTV).
- Better Channel Selection – Both DIRECTV and DISH 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 330 channels, DISH offers more than 290, and both provide multiple language options, though DIRECTV has fewer than DISH currently. In addition, you get HD quality local channels.
- Cater Your Viewing – You can select packages specific to your viewing preferences, i.e., sports, kids, etc.
A growing number of homes are changing the channel to one of the two biggest players in the satellite TV market: DIRECTV and DISH Network. Learn the advantages of satellite over traditional cable and analog and compare features, pricing, and more.
Weighing the value of DIRECTV vs DISH is difficult because both products and the services they offer are very comparable.
To determine which is the best fit for you, it is important to know your viewing habits and personal preferences. Then, when you look at the two lists side by side, it will be easier to recognize which provider better meets your needs and desires.
Below is a comparison of some of the basic features of DISH and DIRECTV.
|Number of Channels||330+||290+|
|Custom Design Your Package||No||No|
|Contract Lengths||24 Months||24 Months|
|Price Lock||12-24 Months||24 months|
|DIRECTV Genie HD DVR||DISH Hopper 3®|
|Number of Shows Recorded at Once||5||16|
|Recommends New Shows|
|Transfer Recordings to Mobile|
|Watch Two Shows On One Screen|
(Up to 8 sports channels)
|Watch Four Shows On One Screen|
|Amazon Alexa Compatible|
Learn more about the DIRECTV Genie in this video.
The number of channels offered and the particular programming of those channels differ between DIRECTV and DISH. As mentioned above, DISH offers more than 290 channels while DIRECTV offers 330+.
A closer look at those 330+ 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 family watches. So, take a look and see which satellite provider offers the channels you are seeking.
|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:||SHOWTIME® and STARZ®|
|Premium Channels:||HBO Max®|
|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 their 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||Ultimate Package||Best Value Package|
|Package Name||Entertainment||America's Top 120||Ultimate||America's Top 200|
|Price||$64.99/month for first 12 months (then increase in year 2)||$59.99/month||$84.99/month for 12 months (then increase in year 2)||$84.99/month|
|Number of Channels||160+||190||250+||240+|
|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||A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, ESPN, USA, CMT, Discovery, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, E!, Food Network, FX, HGTV, CNN, Fox News||In addition to Entertainment Package: Cartoon Network, Cinemax, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Fox Sports 1 & 2, HBO, MLB, NBA TV, NFL Network, NHL, Showtime, Starz||In addition to Basic package: BBC America, BET, CBS Sports, Discovery Family, DIY, Fox Sports 2, FYI, Golf, Hallmark, MLB, Nat Geo Wild, NBA TV, NBA Network, NHL, OWN, Outdoor, Oxygen, SCI|
*We selected these channels based on what we thought were some of the most popular channels households wanted in their cable packages.
DIRECTV offers low-priced basic packages, while DISH Network’s starting package is $59.99 per month. For the premium packages, the winner is DISH. America’s Top 200 offers all the same “popular” channels as the Premier package from DIRECTV for less money. However, if you’re wanting STARZ, HBO Max, or SHOWTIME, we suggest you go with DIRECTV.
Below is a broad comparison of all DIRECTV and DISH packages.
|DIRECTV Packages||Price||Number of Channels||DISH Packages||Price||Number of Channels|
|Entertainment||$64.99/month||160+||America's Top 120®||$59.99/month||190|
|Choice||$69.99/month||185+||America's Top 120 Plus®||$74.99/month||190+|
|Ultimate||$84.99/month||250+||America's Top 200®||$84.99/month||240+|
|Premier||$134.99/month||330+||America's Top 250®||$94.99/month||290+|
DIRECTV & DISH Promotions
DIRECTV often has time-sensitive promotions. Check out our DIRECTV Promo Codes page to learn more.
More Satellite Options
Did you know you can also use a satellite for your internet? This could be essential if you live in a more remote area with few utility and communication options.
Do you prefer DISH or DIRECTV? Why?
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