Best Satellite TV Provider Comparison: DISH vs. DIRECTV

What’s better, DISH or DIRECTV?

Better is in the eye of the beholder—but if we may say so, DISH provides better value over time and better equipment.

DISH Network vs. DIRECTV Satellite TV Packages and Pricing

Is DISH Network really cheaper than DIRECTV?

For almost all packages, DISH offers a lower out-of-pocket cost and higher value than DIRECTV, even when DIRECTV advertises similar or lower starting prices.

Compare DISH and DIRECTV packages, and you’ll see the best value advertised for both brands. But when it comes to DIRECTV vs. DISH channels available for that price, DISH gives you at least 30 more. DISH also waives many upfront fees, including HD service and installation in multiple rooms.

The starkest DISH vs. DIRECTV price difference, though, comes in year two. DIRECTV prices skyrocket after that point—and you can’t avoid paying them unless you cancel your contract and pay $20 for each month remaining. On the other hand, DISH prices stay the same for the entire length of your contract.

Package nameDISH America’s Top 120Entertainment
Channel count190165+
Year 1 price$79.99/mo.$74.99/mo.
Year 2 price$79.99/mo.$107.00/mo.
Price protection3-year TV price guarantee24-month pricing
Contract2 years2 years
HD service feeFREEExtra
Local channelsIncludedLimited
Premium channelsFREE 3 months*FREE 3 months–1 year
On Demand library80K titles65K titles
HD DVR receiverIncluded or $5/mo. upgradeIncluded
Secondary receiversStart at $5/mo.Start at $7/mo.
InstallationFREE in up to 6 roomsFree for first room, $99+ for additional rooms
Activation feeFREE$19.95

3-year price guarantee requires credit qualification and 2-year commitment and covers core programming, local networks, and equipment. Prices include Hopper Duo for qualifying customers. Hopper, Hopper w/Sling or Hopper 3 $5/mo. more. Upfront fees may apply based on credit qualification.

*After 3 mos. you will be billed $30/mo unless you call to cancel.

DISH vs. DIRECTV Satellite TV Equipment Comparison

Compare the DISH Hopper vs. DIRECTV Genie.

DISH's most powerful receiver on the market, the Hopper 3 DVR beats the Genie for recording capability, storage space, and extra features—like the smart Voice Remote you can’t lose. Plus, when you compare DISH Network vs. DIRECTV for how smoothly you can extend your system to other rooms, DISH offers more types of secondary receivers, at better pricing, with free installation.

DISH Hopper 3 Whole-Home DVRDISH Hopper 2 Smart HD DVRDIRECTV Genie HD DVR
First receiver price$5/mo. upgrade$0/mo.$0/mo.
Simultaneous recordings1625
HD storage hours500125200
Supported TVs per DVR724 active, 8 total
Secondary receiver price$5+/mo. each$5+/mo. each$7+/mo. each
Smart home integrationAmazon only
Wireless receiver options
4K Ultra HD
View multiple channels at once
Room-to-room playback
Integrated Netflix appx
AutoHop commercial skipsx
Easy primetime recordingx
Remote finderx
Voice RemoteOnly via mobile app
Mobile streaming100% of live, DVR, and On Demand content100% of live, DVR, and On Demand contentSelect live TV, DVR, and On Demand content
App users supported555

Watching 4K requires a 4K TV

DISH TV vs. DIRECTV Satellite TV Service Comparison

As satellite providers, DIRECTV and DISH Network stack up about the same for overall service quality: they both provide popular programming and HD channels with high reliability to cities large and small. In terms of customer interaction, however, DISH takes a slight edge with a more reliable, transparent, and affordable installation process to start off your new satellite TV service.

Signal reliability+99.9%99.9%
TV and internet availability outside densely populated areas
Installation appointments as soon as tomorrow
FREE standard professional installation in 1–6 roomsx
75-minute service window and track-your-technicianx

+99% signal reliability based on data from set-top boxes. Not a guarantee of signal in all weather conditions.

Streaming with Satellite TV Provider Mobile Apps

Compare DISH Network and DIRECTV mobile streaming apps.

Like the DISH Anywhere app, the DIRECTV App lets you take your TV subscription on the go. The key difference between DIRECTV and DISH: the DISH app acts as a true extension of your home DVR, letting you stream 100% of your live channels, recorded shows, and On Demand library anywhere you have internet access. With DIRECTV, you have fewer On Demand options for mobile viewing.

**Watching live and recorded TV anywhere requires an internet-connected Hopper w/Sling or Hopper 3 and compatible mobile device.

woman browsing media content on TV

Compare DISH and DIRECTV Satellite Internet Service

Neither DISH nor DIRECTV runs an internet service. However, both partner with certain internet providers to make switching your telecom services easier. And with satellite internet partners, both providers can get you internet packages in places where cable isn’t available.

woman using laptop overlooking scenic valley

DISH Satellite TV Customer Service

DISH dedicates itself to tuning in to you, from the channels, equipment, and service it offers to the excellent customer support. If you run into a problem with DISH service, you can turn to the extensive tech support website and reach out for DISH customer phone support if you can’t find the answer.

man with headset at work

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