To sustain this free service, we receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. This doesn’t affect rankings. Our review process.
Trying to decide if you should go with DISH Network over cable, another satellite service, or cutting the cord altogether? DISH offers more extensive programming options than cable, including productions from other countries and programming in other languages. It also offers more than 290 channels, multiple language options and HD quality local channels. But is DISH worth making the switch?
- Pros & Cons
- Packages & Pricing
- Key Features
- What Do Users Think Of DISH?
- DISH vs Cable vs Streaming
- Budget-friendly packages with no hidden fees
- Price-lock guarantee for life of contract
- Free installation and no activation fee
- 290+ channels (but fewer than DIRECTV)
- Ability to record up to 16 shows at once (500-hour capacity) with Hopper 3®
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Parental locks
- Requires a 2-year contract (early termination fees)
- No longer offers HBO
- Long wait times for customer support
- Added monthly fees for Hopper 3® and add-on receivers
- Weather can affect satellite signal (true of all satellite services)
We’ve included some highlights of the DISH Network channel lineup with each package. You can find a complete channel list on their site.
|America's Top 120||America's Top 120 Plus||American's Top 200||America's Top 250|
|Price Per Month||$59.99||$69.99||$79.99||$89.99|
|Popular Channels Included||AMC, ESPN, USA, CMT, Discovery, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, E!, Food Network, FX, HGTV, CNN, Fox News||In addition to Top 120: 13 sports channels, including SEC Network, Big Ten Network, Pac-12 Network, NFL Network & Regional Sports||In addition to Top 120 Plus: Hallmark, Disney XD, BET, Bravo, A&E, Sundance, MLB Network, NBA Network, NHL Network, Golf Channel||In addition to Top 200: 17 movie channels, including Turner Classic Movies & The Movie Channel; Smithsonian, Bloomberg, Nicktoons, Great American Country, TheBlaze|
All DISH Network packages come with:
- Free standard installation
- No activation fees (unlike DIRECTV)
- Smart HD DVR Hopper Duo, which gives you access to Amazon Alexa and apps like Netflix, Pandora and GameFinder
- HD for all available channels (including your local channels)
- Voice remote
- Free premium channels for 3 months
Premium Channels: For $20/month you can add on Showtime, STARZ, STARZ ENCORE, EPIX and DISH Movie Pack. You can also subscribe to Showtime or STARZ alone for $10/month each. Unfortunately, if you want HBO, DISH no longer offers it.
Sports Packages: DISH offers multiple sports packages. It’s most popular is Multi-Sport Pack with NFL RedZone for $13/month, but they also offer NBA League Pass, NHL Center Ice, MLB Extra Innings, Fox Soccer Plus and more.
Other DISH add-ons: International, Latino and Adult Channels
We’ve got some discounts for you, coming soon!
Included in every package is DISH Anywhere, which gives you access to thousands of TV shows, movies and more on your computer, smartphone or tablet. You can even watch on-demand content and your recorded shows and set recordings through DISH Anywhere.
Advanced HD Recording
If you record a ton of shows, DISH could be your best option. The DISH Network Hopper 3® lets you record up to 16 shows at once, with a storage capacity of 500 hours (HD quality). You only need one in your home, and you can connect other TVs to the Hopper 3® using their add-on receivers, called Joeys. The downside is this will run you an extra $15 per month (and each Joey receiver is an added $7-10 per month). Learn more about Hopper 3®.
DISH also offers HopperGo, a portable media storage device that lets you transfer your DVR recordings from your Hopper 3® and watch them anywhere using the DISH Anywhere app (download for Google Play or iOS). You can connect and watch on up to 5 mobile devices at once. HopperGO is a flat fee of $99.
Unfortunately, this is the area where DISH takes some major hits. DISH customer service is available 24/7, but users report extremely long wait times (45 minutes or longer) before reaching a support rep. We also found many complaints about unhelpful support reps and service technicians being unable to resolve equipment problems in your home.
Here are some DISH Network complaints and positive reviews we’ve found online from real customers.
Appreciate good customer service! I understood what was to happen upon installation. I had questions about channel line up; I called and spoke with customer service, who was patient and courteous. She even sent me a PAPER line up of channels…doesn’t have ALL the problems AT&T had, which I HATED! GOOD VALUE!- Christie, Consumer Affairs, 12/18/2018
Just switched to DISH…The installer was great – friendly & professional. He re-installed the dish at my request so that it was not visible from the street. He crawled up in my hot attic to run the coax inside my walls (I’m an electrical contractor so I had conduit and pull string already set up). The picture and features are awesome, including 16 tuners and a voice activated remote. – Mark F., Yelp 5/5/2018
Switched from DirecTV and had Joey/Hopper installed. CONSTANTLY having issues with freezing up, not communicating, etc. Called repeatedly for help and still have issues at least every 2-3 weeks. At almost $200/mo after promotion time ends, everything I care to watch (if the system works) is additional $$$. After the smoke and mirrors game of “what you get for your money per month” ends, prepare to re-finance your mortgage just to cover your monthly bill. I recommend watching the movie Anger Management to prepare yourself for your experience (DirecTV is no better). – Mark, Consumer Affairs 4/6/2019
February of last year I started having issues with my Hopper and Joeys not connecting. Over the next 2 weeks I had 5 or 6 different technicians out to my home all coming up with different issues that it could be and trying to fix it. The third or fourth technician came out with his boss and the problem still wasn’t fixed. Finally I called into Dish frustrated, threatening to cancel because I had to miss work without pay and had to spend countless hours talking to tech support about a problem that your trained technicians couldn’t figure out. The option I was given is to just replace the malfunctioning equipment. I had to pay over $100.00 for the new equipment install plus miss work AGAIN. I would now like to cancel, except low and behold I have to pay an ETF because I HAD to replace YOUR malfunctioning equipment and I was locked into a 2 year contract (was not explained this by the technician or the customer service representative). Not only was I locked into a 2 year contract I had to pay over $100.00 to replace YOUR faulty equipment…are you kidding me? – Amber S., BBB 3/29/2019
DISH gives the likes of DIRECTV and Sling TV a run for their money. Their pricing and packages are extremely competitive, and DISH’s DVR recording is the best you’ll find. And if you’re addicted to Amazon Alexa, that’s another plus.
However, there are certain dealbreakers for some people, most notably their poor customer support reputation and the fact that they no longer carry HBO of any kind. See how DISH compares to DIRECTV to learn which satellite service is best for your family, and don’t miss our DIRECTV review as well.
Fed up with a large all-in-one bill and paying for channels you don’t need? If you’re considering cutting the cord entirely, visit our streaming media show down to see how streaming media services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and even Youtube compare.
Are you considering satellite service over cable or streaming?
Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.