Spectrum advertises a lower starting price than DISH for the first year. That said, the company charges several fees that DISH waives (e.g. local channels, installation, and select equipment), making Spectrum’s actual rates higher than the sticker price. And when you compare Spectrum TV packages against DISH packages by channel count, DISH comes out the clear winner for value per channel.
In the second year, Spectrum’s monthly rates nearly double, surpassing DISH’s second-year price by a good $25/mo.
|DISH Network||Charter Spectrum|
|Package name||DISH America’s Top 120||Spectrum TV Select|
|Year 1 price||$64.99/mo.||$44.99/mo.|
|Year 2 price||$64.99/mo.||$85.99/mo.|
|Year 3+ price||$79.99/mo.||$85.99+/mo.|
|Price protection||2-year TV price guarantee||12-month intro price|
|Contract length||2 years||None|
|HD service fee||FREE||FREE|
|Premium channels||FREE 3 mos.*||No free preview period|
|On Demand library||80K titles||50K titles|
|DVR receiver||Included or $50/mo. upgrade||$19.98/mo.|
|Secondary receivers||Start at $5/mo.||$19.98/mo.|
All offers require credit qualification and 24-month commitment and early termination fee with eAutopay. Offer ends 11/15/21. Call for details. 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. RSN Surcharge up to $3/mo. applies to AT120+ and higher packages and varies based on location
*After 3 mos. you will be billed $30/mo unless you call to cancel.
Read just about any review of DISH equipment from a tech publication, and you’ll find that DISH leads the pack when it comes to technology. Only DISH has the Hopper 3 - our most powerful DVR.
Whether you upgrade to the Hopper 3 or stick with the Hopper 2 Smart HD DVR, included with all new packages, DISH equipment is powerful and versatile, yet easy to use. It syncs your TVs, your phone, and select smart home devices to your DISH subscription to make TV simpler and more fun to watch.
|DISH Hopper 3 Whole-Home DVR||DISH Hopper 2 Smart HD DVR||Spectrum Guide DVR|
|First receiver price||$5/mo.||$0/mo.||$19.98/mo.|
|HD storage hours||500||125||60|
|Supported TVs per DVR||7 with Joey receivers||2 with Joey receiver||1|
|Secondary receiver price||$5–10/mo.||$5–10/mo.||$19.98/mo.|
|Integrated apps||Netflix, GameFinder, Weather Channel||Netflix, GameFinder, Weather Channel||Netflix|
|Wireless receiver options||✔||✔||x|
|4K Ultra HD||✔||✔||x|
|View multiple channels at once||✔||✔||x|
|AutoHop commercial skips||✔||✔||x|
|Smart home integration||✔||✔||x|
|Mobile streaming||100% of live, DVR, and On Demand content||100% of live, DVR, and On Demand content||Select live and On Demand content|
|App users supported||5||5||3 unless at home|
Watching 4K requires a 4K TV
Spectrum is still streamlining its legacy networks (Time Warner, Charter, and Bright House) into one cohesive service, and that makes the connection quality spotty in certain areas. On the other hand, DISH has a reputation for excellent service and customer satisfaction.
From the first day of service, DISH tunes in to you. DISH puts an end to “waiting for the cable guy” with a transparent installation scheduling process. And as for everyday network performance, don’t worry too much about the weather—it’s not the ’70s anymore, and satellite has evolved into a reliable technology.
|DISH Network||Charter Spectrum|
|Signal reliability||99.9%||Depends on area|
|FREE standard professional installation as soon as tomorrow||✔||x|
|75-minute service window and track-your-technician||✔||x|
|TV and internet availability outside densely populated areas||✔||x|
|Satellite internet speeds up to 100 Mbps||✔||x|
Subject to availability. Restrictions apply. Internet not provided by DISH and billed separately
DISH vs. Spectrum Internet Options
Spectrum groups TV and internet service together into one network and often offers discounts for bundling. However, Spectrum availability is limited to areas where it’s cost-efficient for them to build and maintain an underground cable network.
DISH offers internet through two partners: (1) Frontier, which provides DSL and fiber options for urban and suburban areas, and (2) Viasat, which serves families who live past where cable providers say it’s necessary to go. Contrary to popular ideas about slow satellite internet, Viasat speeds run up to 100 Mbps in select areas.
Bundling internet with your DISH plan gives you savings from two sources—and you don’t have to give up an internet or cell phone plan you already like to get the best deals on DISH TV.
DISH Satellite TV Customer Service vs. Spectrum Support
If you run into problems with DISH, you can rely on a deep customer service site, detailed help videos, and courteous and knowledgeable phone support 24/7.
For Spectrum, merger issues make customer service complicated. Since the brand has so many fragmented legacy networks, not to mention 7 different brands of receiver from those services, it may take more time and troubleshooting to get the help you need.
Got an issue with DISH service right now? Check out the DISH experience for yourself.