Many fellow Americans are unaware that satellite TV is an untapped treasure trove. It has the combined potential of exciting local and international cable TV channels and is designed to give users a tailored experience through thousands of on-demand titles. You can surf channels, record live TV shows for later, or browse the wide selection of blockbusters to stay perfectly snugged, entertained, and informed from your cabin in the woods. 

DISH Network and DIRECTV are the dominant players in the satellite TV market. But DISH vs. DIRECTV, how will you determine which out of the two is the best service provider for you? Keep reading to find out. 

DISH Network vs DIRECTV – How Do They Compare? 

DISH Network and DirecTV are America’s two most popular satellite TV providers, offering their multichannel video programming service throughout the country including, Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Together, the two competitors dominate over 36 percent of the USA pay-TV market share. While both, DISH Network and DirecTV use orbital satellites to directly distribute TV programming to their customers, some major differences make one provider better than the other. 

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Let’s look at this side-by-side comparison of DISH vs. DirecTV to understand how the two providers are different from one another. 

Comparison  DISH Network DIRECTV
Type  Satellite pay-TV provider  Satellite pay-TV provider 
Price Range  $79.99 to $109.99 per month  $64.99 to $139.99 per month 
Plans 4
Channels  290+ 340+
DVR Equipment  Hopper Smart DVR Genie HD DVR 
Recording Time 500 hours of HD recording  200 hours of HD recording
Bundle Deals  Available  Available 
Promotions  Not Available  Available 
Coverage Area Available in all the 50 states Available in all the 50 states
Additional Fees One-time activation fee of $50.00 One-time activation fee of $19.95
DVR equipment fee is $15/mo DVR equipment fee is $7/mo
The late payment fee is $10.00 The late payment fee is $6.25 
The early termination fee is $20 per month The early termination fee is $20 per month
Customer Service  4.1 stars out of 5  3.9 out of 5 stars 

Pros & Cons – DISH TV vs DIRECTV

In the table below, we have listed some of the pros and cons of DISH vs. DirecTV to give you a clear picture of what you will get or not get when you subscribe to the service. 

Provider  Pros  Cons 
DISH TV
  • 3-year price guarantee
  • DISH Hopper DVR equipment has 2 TB of storage space
  • You can record your favorite TV shows and movies for up to 500 hrs
  • You can record 16 shows at once
  • Ranked #1 for customer satisfaction
  • A voice-activated remote control is included
  • More options for international channels
  • Requires a 2-year contract
  • Fewer TV channels as compared to DIRECTV
  • Less on-demand titles as compared to DIRECTV
  • Fewer sports channels as compared to DIRECTV
  • Additional costs are slightly higher than DIRECTV
DIRECTV 
  • Plans include local and regional sports networks
  • More options for HD channels
  • Bundling the packages with AT&T internet can lead to monthly savings
  • More channels as compared to DISH Network
  • More on-demand titles as compared to DISH Network
  • All plans include 3 months of free access to premium channels
  • Requires a 2-year contract
  • Price hikes after 12 months of service
  • You can only record up to 200 hrs of shows and movies on Genie HD DVR

DISH TV Network

DISH Network Corporation, formerly known as EchoStar, inaugurated its subscription television service in 1996. The first DISH Network satellite launched into outer space to transmit radio waves back to the earth was named EchoStar I. It had access to the orbital slot 119 degrees west of the longitude. Today, DISH Network has 11 satellites positioned over North America that provide consistently reliable TV, internet, and wireless phone service over the contiguous USA, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Satellite internet and TV service are available in some parts of Canada too. 

Subscribe to DISH TV Plans

  • Up to 500 hours of HD recording
  • Up to 36,000 on-demand titles
  • Plans start as low as $79.99/mo.

DISH Network has close to 7.8 million pay-TV subscribers and around 580,000 Americans are using its satellite broadband service. In January 2015, DISH Network officially unveiled its subsidiary, SlingTV, to complement popular streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu. SlingTV provides internet protocol television service (IPTV) to over 2.5 million subscribers. 

DISH Network pay-TV subscribers have access to the most technologically advanced DVR, Hopper 2 and Hopper 3, that can redirect satellite TV signals to your mobile devices, allowing you to watch TV on the go. 

Currently, DISH Network is offering four standard monthly plans to its customers with over 100 add-on plans for a starting price of $79.99 per month. As an A-lister in the Fortune 500 companies, DISH Network manages its empire from its headquarters in Meridian, Colorado. 

DIRECTV 

Based in El Segundo, California, DirecTV is co-owned by AT&T (70 percent stake) and TPG Inc. (30 percent stake). In early 1994, DirecTV (a division of Hughes Electronics back then) acquired the contract to build and launch its satellites into space. The satellites carried multichannel video programming for affordable television service in rural areas of the country. 

In 2015, AT&T finalized its deal to acquire DirecTV, which led to the launch of DirecTV Stream. Today, DirecTV has around 13.5 million customers that are using its myriad services like DirecTV satellite internet, IPTV service called U-Verse, and DirecTV Stream (a live-TV streaming service). 

Subscribe to DIRECTV Plans

  • Up to 500 hours of HD recording
  • Up to 36,000 on-demand titles
  • Plans start as low as $79.99/mo.

DirecTV delivers multichannel TV programming to its customers through a fleet of 12 satellites in the geostationary orbit. The satellites are positioned between 95 and 119 degrees to the west of Greenwich, ensuring strong coverage in the United States of America, and some parts of Canada and Mexico. 

In 2014, DirecTV became the first television provider to offer 4K, ultra-high definition content. Although the 4K quality content was limited to a few movies included in its on-demand collection, it was an impressive achievement, especially since 4K television sets were so rare back then.  

In present times, the DirecTV channel lineup includes more than a hundred high-definition channels in the categories of sports, entertainment, educational, news, kids, and lifestyle. DirecTV packages start at $64.99 per month and subscribers can avail of additional benefits like Visa Reward Cards, promo rates, and free access to premium channels for three months. 

Plans & Pricing – DISH vs DIRECTV

While both, DirecTV and DISH offer their customers four monthly base plans, their pricing is the real point of contention. DISH TV has adopted fixed pricing, whereas DirecTV plans are offered to customers at discounted rates for the first 12 months. The introductory prices for DirecTV packages are comparatively lower than DISH Network. 

Monthly Plans for DIRECTV

There are four standard monthly plans for DirecTV’s satellite TV service. The channel lineup for these plans is curated primarily for the English-speaking audience and includes the most watched entertainment, sports, kids, infotainment, news, and religious networks. For the first 12 months, DirecTV customers can enjoy the promo pricing on all the plans. In the first year of subscription, users get discounts up to $40 per month. 

Some additional giveaways include a free Genie HD recording device and free access to all the premium channels for the first 3 months. The top-tier, elite-level plan, known as the DirecTV Premier package, includes unlimited access to all the premium channels for a starting price of $139.99 per month.  

Plan Price Channels  Details 
Entertainment  $64.99/mo 165+ 
  • 200 hours of HD recording
  • 3 months of free access to HBO Max, Cinemax, EPIX, STARZ, SHOWTIME.
  • Price increases after 12 months
Choice $69.99/mo 200+
  • 200 hours of HD recording
  • 3 months of free access to HBO Max, Cinemax, EPIX, STARZ, SHOWTIME.
  • Regional sports networks are included
  • Price increases after 12 months
Ultimate $89.99/mo 270+
  • 200 hours of HD recording
  • 3 months of free access to HBO Max, Cinemax, EPIX, STARZ, SHOWTIME.
  • Regional sports networks are included
  • Price increases after 12 months
Premier  $139.99/mo  340+
  • 200 hours of HD recording
  • 3 months of free access to HBO Max, Cinemax, EPIX, STARZ, SHOWTIME.
  • Regional sports networks are included
  • Price increases after 12 months

The DirecTV library contains a large collection of the most in-demand movies and shows. The DirecTV Entertainment package has around 45,000 popular movies and shows that users can watch once they are tired of idle channel surfing. Subscribers can press the MENU button on their remotes and select ‘on-demand’ to access the complete selection of most-watched movies and shows. 

DirecTV also offers customized plans for its Spanish-speaking customers. Add-on packages like the DirecTV Family Package & DirecTV Sports Pack are also available for a small monthly fee of $29.99.  

DirecTV Add-Ons

DirecTV Add-Ons Packages Additional Price 
Sports Package $13.99/ month 
Family Package $29.99/ month 
Xtra Package $10.99/ month 
HBO Max$14.99/ month 
Cinemax$10.00/ month 
MGM+ (EPIX)$5.00/ month 
SHOWTIME $10.00/ month 
STARZ$10.00/month 
Movies Extra Pack $4.99/ month 

Monthly Plans for DISH TV Network

Like DirecTV, DISH Network has four base plans for its consumers throughout the country. Its Best Value Plan is America’s Top 200 package for $99.99 per month. Unlike DirecTV, DISH Network does not offer promotions to its customers and the prices remain the same for three years. The benefit of this is that users do not anticipate a price hike in the second year of service. But on the downside, they do not get the satisfaction of saving up to $480 in the first year. 

Moreover, DISH Network’s low-tier plans cost $15 more than DirecTV’s entry-level plans. So as a first-time satellite TV user, the high price can dissuade people from subscribing to the service.   

All the DISH TV plans come with 3-year price guarantees and 500 hours of HD recording on the Hooper Smart DVR. Customers also get a free voice-activated remote control that allows users to navigate the DISH TV interface via Alexa and Google Assistant. 

Plan Price Channels Detail 
America’s Top 120 $79.99/mo 190
  • More than 28,000 on-demand titles
  • 500 hours of HD recording
America’s Top 120+ $94.99/mo 190+
  • More than 30,000 on-demand titles
  • 500 hours of HD recording
America’s Top 200 $99.99/mo  240+
  • More than 35,000 on-demand titles
  • 500 hours of HD recording
America’s Top 250 $109.99/mo 290+
  • More than 36,000 on-demand titles
  • 500 hours of HD recording

Even though DISH Network plans are around $25 cheaper than DirecTV packages, it does not make a huge difference because you get fewer options for TV channels and on-demand titles. Moreover, premium channels like HBO Max and Cinemax are offered as add-ons for an additional price of $15 per month and $10 per month, respectively. So, in the end, you are paying almost the same price to both providers for equal privileges. 

DISH Network Add-Ons 

DISH Network Add-On Packages  Additional Price 
Premiums and Movies 
HBO Max $15.00/ month 
Cinemax $10.00/ month
STARZ $10.00/ month 
MGM+ Movies  $7.00/ month 
STARZ Encore Movies  $6.00/ month 
Stars and Stripes Pack  $10.00/ month 
Sports 
Multi-Sport Pack $13.00/ month 
English: Willow Cricket  $14.99/ month 
Racetrack TV  $50.00/ month 
Lifestyle 
Heartland Pack  $6.00/ month 
Outdoor Pack  $4.00/ month 

Apart from these add-on packages, DISH Network has around 100 more extra plans (categories: Latino, On-demand subscriptions, international, and adult) that can be stacked on your four monthly base plans for full, in-house, tailored entertainment. 

Additional Charges

There is always a marked difference between the advertised price and the actual price that you pay at the end of the billing cycle. Providers often leave out the extra charges for the service, such as taxes and equipment fees, to make their prices more attractive to consumers. But as the demand for price transparency is growing around the country, providers are mentioning these “hidden costs” as disclaimers at the bottom of the web pages or printed advertisements. Often these disclaimers are so obscure that new customers overlook them and are left wide-eyed when they see the hefty fee quoted on their first TV bill. That is why we are updating you on all the additional costs associated with your DIRECTV and DISH Network subscriptions. 

Additional Costs Associated with DIRECTV

Service Additional Cost
Activation Fee A one-time charge of $19.95
Equipment Rental Up to $7.00 per month 
Late Payment Fee $6.25 per month 
Deactivation Fee A one-time charge of $15.00
Early Termination Fee $20.00 per month 
Regional Sports Fee Up to $11.99 per month 
Taxes Up to $6.00 per month 
Surcharges Up to $8.00 per month 

Additional Costs Associated with DISH Network

Service Additional Cost
Activation FeeA one-time charge of $50.00
Equipment Rental Up to $15.00 per month 
Late Payment Fee$10.00 per month 
Early Termination Fee $20.00 per month 
Regional Sports Fee $12.00 per month 
Taxes Up to $6.00 per month 
Surcharges Up to $10.00 per month 

Installation Fees – DirecTV vs DISH Network 

DirecTV and DISH Network do not charge their customers for expert installation. All the necessary equipment, such as a satellite dish, cables, and TV box, are provided for free. The technician brings them along with him. The professional installation can take around 2 to 3 hours, during which the technician mounts and positions your satellite dish, connects and sets up your DVR box, and activates your service to ensure that everything is up and running before he leaves.

Even though the providers do not charge a cent for expert installation, there is a small activation fee that you must pay to enjoy your satellite TV service on the same day. DirecTV charges its customers $19.99 for activation, whereas DISH TV customers must pay up to $50 for the service.   

Equipment Rental – DirecTV vs DISH Network

Customers with a single TV at home do not have to pay a monthly fee for renting their Genie HD DVR or Hopper Smart DVR. However, those satellite TV customers who have more than one TV set at home will have to order a separate recording device for each TV. In the case of DIRECTV customers, Genie Minis will have to be ordered for each additional TV, and subscribers will have to pay a fee of $7 per month for leasing the equipment. Similarly, all the DISH Network customers will have to pay $15 per month for leasing the extra Hopper Smart DVRs and Joeys.  

Late Payment Fee – DirecTV vs DISH Network

DirecTV and DISH give their customers around 15 days to pay their bills. Those who fail to pay their bills before the due date is charged a late payment fee on their next bill. For DirecTV customers, this late payment fee is around $6.25 per month. Whereas, DISH Network subscribers have to pay an extra $10 for failing to pay their previous bill on time. 

Early Termination Fee – DirecTV vs DISH Network

DirecTV and DISH Network customers have to sign a mandatory 2-year contract to get the service at their address. Canceling the service before the end of the 2-year term results in an early termination fee of $20 per month for every month that is left on the contract. For example, if a DirecTV or DISH Network customer cancels the service after 18 months, he will have to pay $20 per month for the remaining 6 months. Here, DirecTV customers are at a disadvantage because, on top of the early termination fee, DirecTV charges an unavoidable deactivation fee of $15 for permanently canceling the service. 

Regional Sports Fee- DirecTV vs DISH Network 

The benefit of choosing a satellite TV service over a cable TV is that you can access popular regional sports channels even if you are living outside of the region. For example, DirecTV airs Fox Sports Arizona throughout the country despite its coverage of state-specific sporting events. But this exclusive privilege comes at a cost. Subscribers are charged a monthly regional sports fee to access the state or region-specific sports networks. DirecTV customers pay up to $11.99 per month for exclusive rights to regional sports channels, whereas DISH Network subscribers pay a fee of $12 per month for regional sports networks. 

Taxes and Surcharges- DirecTV vs. DISH Network

Like any other TV service provider in town, DirecTV and DISH Network have to abide by the laws and regulations imposed by the state and federal governments. The providers have to pay taxes and other operational costs to the government authorities for the smooth delivery of satellite TV service. A big chunk of these costs is absorbed by the providers, but some amount transcends to the receivers in the form of taxes and surcharges. DirecTV customers pay up to $13 per month in taxes and surcharges, whereas DISH TV users pay around $16 per month. It must be noted that the total amount for taxes and surcharges varies from state to state, depending on the state statutes. 

Contract

Often we are made to believe that annual or biennial contracts are nothing more than a nuisance. The legal agreement stops the customers from switching to other service providers as they worry about the hefty early termination fees. But we do not look at contracts the same way. TV operators are investing hundreds of dollars in the form of giveaways, discounts, and fee waivers to build a customer base. The only thing that they are asking in exchange is that you stick around for a year or two. 

For instance, the DirecTV 2-year contract comes with perks like year-long promo pricing on all the plans, discounted service, giveaways like a $300 Visa Reward Card, and 3 months of free access to all the premium channels. To summarize, DirecTV invests nearly $1,025 in its first-time customers. 

Similarly, DISH Network’s 2-year-long contract comes with a three-year price guarantee on all its plans. So, contrary to the popular belief, we consider contracts to be a win-win solution. 

Who has a Better Channel Lineup?

The TV provider that takes home the crown is the one that can offer all your favorite TV channels at the lowest monthly cost. To answer the question of DISH vs. Directv, which TV programming distributor has a better channel lineup, we did another side-by-side comparison. This time, we compared the individual plans to see the selection of channels and conclude whether you were better off with the DISH Network plans or DirecTV packages. 

Cheapest Entry-Level Plan

The cheapest, most basic, entry-level plan for DirecTV is the Entertainment Package and for DISH Network, it is America’s Top 120 plan. 

Features DIRECTV Entertainment Pack America’s Top 120 
No. of Channels 165+ 190
Price $64.99 per month $79.99 per month 
Entertainment Channels E.g. Comedy Central, Hallmark, E!, FXX, ION, TMC, SyFy, truTV, USA Network, Sundance TV, etc. E.g. Comedy Central, E!, Family Movie Classics, Reelz, SyFy, truTV, Binge TV, Cine Club, etc.
Sports Networks E.g. ESPN, Fox Sports 1, MotorTrend, AXS TV, ESPN 2, and MAVTV. E.g. Fox Sports 1, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Alternate. 
News Channels E.g. BBC America, CNN, FOX News, CNBC, MSNBC, C-SPAN, CGTN, Fox Business Network, NHK, and NewsmaxE.g. CNN, CNBC, FOX News, MSNBC, News Nation, C-SPAN, Weather Channel, CGTN News.
Kids Networks E.g. Cartoon Network, Baby First, Boomerang, Disney, Disney Jr. Nickelodeon, PBS Kids. E.g. Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Baby First, 
Religious Networks E.g. GOD TV, Christian TV Network, Trinity Broadcasting Network, Victory, Word Network. E.g. Christian TV Network, Trinity Broadcasting Network,  Victory, Shepherd’s Chapel Ch.
Educational ChannelsE.g. Animal Planet, Discovery, NASA, National Geographic, History Channel, etc. E.g. Animal Planet, Discovery, History, National Geographic, Law and Crime, NASA, etc. 
Lifestyle Channels E.g. TLC, So Yummy, Shop HQ, QVC, Jewish Life TV, Jewelry TV, Food Network, HGTV, etc. E.g. Food Network, Great American Living, Home Shopping Network, etc.
Premium Channels Free for the first 3 months. HBO Max, Cinemax, EPIX, STARZ, and SHOWTIME. Available as Add-ons only. Cinemax, STARZ, HBO Max, Encore, MGM+, etc. 

JIST: DirecTV has a better channel lineup for kids and sports networks on its Entertainment package. Whereas, DISH offers a wide range of Spanish-language channels on its America’s Top 120 plan. The DirectTV base plan is $15 cheaper but has fewer channels, whereas DISH Network offers 30 additional channels, such as The Cowboy Channel, Travel Channel HD, and The Learning Channel. 

Moderately Priced Mid-Level Plan

Both, DirecTV and DISH Network have a mid-level plan that is moderately priced but offers a wide selection of TV channels. DirecTV’s Choice Package is the most popular plan whereas, for DISH Network, America’s Top 200 plan is the most sought-after. 

Features DirecTV Choice Package America’s Top 200
No. of Channels200+240+
Price$69.99 per month $99.99 per month 
Entertainment Channels E.g. AMC, BYU TV, FETV, IFC, Comedy TV, GAC Family, FXX, Freeform, TBS, TCM, TruTV. E.g. Comet HD, Cozi TV, BINGE TV, BUZZR, BYU TV, Cine Retro, GRIT, ION, MTV. 
Sports Networks E.g. ACC Network, AXS TV, Big Ten Network, ESPNU, MLB Network, NBA TV, TVG HD. E.g. NBA TV, NFL Network, NHL Network, Sports Alternate, SEC Network, TUDN
News Channels E.g. Black News Channel, Cheddar News, HLN, JBS, NHK, Weather Channel, Newsmax. E.g. America’s Voice, BBC America, Headline News, N+ Media, Newsmax HD, etc.  
Kids Networks E.g. Baby First, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, Disney, PBS, Kids, Nickelodeon, Nicktoons.E.g. Baby First, Disney XD, Disney Jr., Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, TeenNick, etc. 
Religious Networks E.g. TCT Network, Victory, Word Network, TBN Inspire, SBN, NRB TV, Living Faith Network, Hope Channel, GOD TV, etc. E.g. UpTV, Daystar, Enlace, Impact Network, TBN Inspire, Three Angels Broadcasting Network, Victory Channel, etc.
Educational ChannelsE.g. Science, Smithsonian Channel, History Channel, Nat Geo Wild, Travel Channel, etc.E.g. HITN, NASA TV, National Geographic, Discovery, Outdoor Channel, Link TV, etc. 
Lifestyle Channels E.g. Celebrity Shopping, Cleo TV, Jewish Life TV, OWN, Once Mexico, RFD TV, TLC, PursuitE.g. RFD TV, The Cowboy Channel, ShopHQ, Recipe TV, Home and Garden TV, FYI HD. 
Premium Channels Free for the first 3 months. HBO Max, Cinemax, EPIX, STARZ, and SHOWTIME. Available as Add-ons only. Cinemax, STARZ, HBO Max, Encore, MGM+, etc. 

JIST: America’s Top 200 plan is $30 more expensive than the DirecTV Choice Package but offers nearly 40 additional channels, including some great regional and specialty sports channels like the Longhorn Network, Pac-12 Network, and MotorTrend HD. On the other hand, the DirecTV Choice package has an amazing lineup of entertainment channels and includes 3 months of free access to all the premium channels. 

Most Expensive Top-Tier Plan 

The most expensive, elite-level plan for DirecTV is its Premier Package which includes all the premium channels. DISH Network’s top-tier plan is America’s Top 250 package. 

Features DirecTV Premier PackageAmerica’s Top 250
No. of Channels 340+290+
Price$139.99 per month $109.99 per month 
Entertainment Channels E.g. BET HER, Cinemax, FLIX, HBO, HBO2, MovieMax, SHOWTIME, STARZ, TCM, etc. E.g. Reelz, Paramount Network, MoviePlex, Lifetime, Hallmark Drama, FXX, etc.
Sports NetworksE.g. Tennis Channel, UniMas, NBA TV, MLB Network, Golf Channel, Fox Sports 2, ESPNU.E.g. beIN Sports, beIN Sports Connect, Fox Sports 2, Golf Channel, NFL Network, etc. 
News Channels E.g. ACCU Weather, Black News Channel, Cheddar News, CNN International, Newsnation, NHK. E.g. BBC America, Bloomberg TV, C-SPAN2, FOX News HD, Headline News, Newsmax. 
Kids Networks E.g. Universal Kids, PBS Kids, Teen Nick, Disney, Nick Jr.E.g. Boomerang, Disney Jr., Disney XD, Nick Jr. Nicktoons, 
Religious Channels E.g. Daystar, Enlace, ESNE, EWTN, GEB America, GOD TV, Hope Channel, Living Faith Nt. E.g. Daystar, Enlace, Impact Network, Sonlife Broadcasting Network, etc. 
Educational Channels E.g. Smithsonian Channel, VICE, Science, Nat Geo Wild, NASA TV, Impact, Fyi, Discovery Life.  E.g. American Heroes Channel, Discovery Family Channel, NASA, Nat Geo Wild
Lifestyle Channels E.g. Aspire 2, Oprah Winfrey Network, Magnolia Network, Pursuit, World Harvest TV, etc. E.g. Cooking HD, Home and Garden TV, Magnolia Network, Outdoor Channel. 
Premium Channels All the premium channels are included in the plan. Only STARZ Encore is included in the plan. Rest are available as add-ons. SHOWTIME is included for 3 months. 

JIST: The DirecTV Premier Package is $30 more expensive than DISH TV’s America’s Top 250 plan. But this additional cost comes with 50 more channels than subscribers can watch. DirecTV has a much better channel lineup when it comes to sports networks and educational channels. Moreover, all the premium channels are included in the package. In contrast, DISH Network customers can only watch STARZ Encore channels with the plan. The remaining premium channels have to be bought as add-ons. 

DVR & Equipment Review – DIRECTV vs DISH TV

DISH Network claims that its digital video recorder (DVR) is the most technologically advanced recording device offered by any TV provider. It gives its customers the Hopper 2 and Hopper 3 DVRs that can redirect TV signals to internet-connected mobile devices so that they can watch TV on their portable mobile screens. In other words, the Hopper Smart HD DVR allows DISH TV subscribers to take their satellite TV and recorded shows all over the country. The Hopper Smart DVR has a storage capacity of 2 terabytes, allowing you to record up to 500 hours of HD-quality content. The fast downloading capacity of Hopper 3 makes it possible to record 16 different video files at the same time. Every Hopper Smart DVR comes with a voice-assisted remote control that is compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa. Instead of wasting time typing out the names of your favorite TV shows and movies, just press the microphone button and speak into your remote control for voice search. For a small rental fee of $10 per month, you can enjoy all the inbuilt apps like Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, and Pandora.  

In comparison, DIRECTV provides a free Genie HD DVR with all its plans. The first digital video recorder is given free of charge, but subscribers with more than one TV set at their homes will have to order Genie Minis for the additional TV screens. Each additional Genie Mini costs $7 per month. The Genie HD DVR has a storage capacity of 1 terabyte and can record up to 200 hours of HD-quality content. You can simultaneously download 5 video files via your Genie DVR. Each Genie HD DVR can transmit signals to 2 Genie Minis. Therefore, homes with more than 3 TV screens will need more than 1 Genie HD DVR for a whole-home DVR service.  With a whole-home DVR facility, you can watch your recorded shows and movies from any room and on any TV screen, regardless of the location of your primary DVR box. The Genie HD DVR does not let you miss the live action. Just hit pause on your recorded video, get the work done, and click resume to start the video from where you left off. 

Streaming Apps Review – DIRECTV vs DISH TV

These days, TV audiences are no longer confined to one room, one building, or one city. The development of streaming applications for mobile devices has made it easy for pay-TV subscribers to take their content with them, wherever they go. In 2014, DISH Network rolled out its DISH Anywhere App for Android and Apple devices (smartphones and tablets) to allow customers to watch live TV, recorded videos, and on-demand content on the go. For the DISH Anywhere app to work, your mobile device must be paired with your Hopper Smart DVR before leaving home. 

Here are the instructions for staying logged into your DISH account through your mobile device:

  • Download the DISH Anywhere app on your mobile device
  • Ensure that your DISH Hopper DVR and mobile device are connected to the same Wi-Fi network
  • Open the DISH Anywhere app on your TV screen
  • Log in using your DISH account details; username and password
  • Click ‘Find Hopper’ to pair your phone with the DISH Hopper
  • Go to settings on your DISH TV to locate the IP address of your Hopper Smart DVR
  • Enter the IP address on the TV screen and click ‘Continue’
  • A prompt will appear on the screen to instruct you to pair your mobile device. The prompt will contain a 6-digit PIN
  • Enter the 6-digit PIN on your TV screen and click ‘Pair’ to link your phone to the Hopper.
  • Pairing your phone to the Hopper will allow you to stay logged in to the DISH Anywhere app on multiple screens, regardless of your physical location. 

Similarly, in 2014, the DIRECTV app was launched on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for Apple and Android users. The app is now available on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, and Roku for live streaming of TV channels, on-demand, and recorded content. The DIRECTV app allows DirecTV subscribers to stream content on 5 separate mobile devices. When it boils down to the streaming apps, we will say that the DIRECTV app is easier to use as compared to the DISH Anywhere app. To access all your DirecTV content on your smart mobile devices, you just have to download the app, sign into your DirecTV account, and start streaming. Now isn’t that a hundred times easier than pairing your phones to the Hopper and staying logged in and losing connection if you log out by mistake? 

Customer Service Review – DIRECTV vs DISH

DirecTV has 5.7 million more subscribers than DISH Network, making it the leading satellite TV provider in the United States. Unfortunately, as more Americans take to streaming platforms, DirecTV is losing subscribers at a rate of 500,000 subscribers per year. Many DirecTV users put the onus on poor customer service and high monthly prices for this divorce. According to the Better Business Bureau, the customer satisfaction rating for DirecTV is 1.07 stars out of 5. But overall, the company has an ‘A’ grade rating. Online customer reviews posted on the website suggest users’ resentment against incorrect early termination fees, improper service cancellation, unexplained costs on the bills, and lack of assistance from the on-call customer service representatives.

Likewise, the Consumer Affairs website has given DirecTV a 3.8-star rating out of 5, citing similar issues with customer service. So, we believe that having more customers can lead to poor customer satisfaction, especially if you do not have enough manpower to handle the large call volume. 

In contrast, DISH Network prides itself on being an award-winning TV provider. It has been ranked No. 1 in Customer Satisfaction for 5 years in a row by the J.D. Power surveys. In 2022, a J.D. Power study recognized DISH as:

  • No. 1 in customer service
  • No. 1 in cost of service
  • No. 1 in billing and payment experience
  • No. 1 in performance and reliability
  • No. 1 in features and functionality
  • No. 1 in communications and promotions 

So, it seems like DISH Network can never go wrong in pleasing its customers. Moreover, the Better Business Bureau gave DISH Network an “A+” rating with a score of 1.11 out of 5. And the positive customer reviews on Consumer Affairs have resulted in a 4.1-star rating for DISH Network. 

Final Verdict – DISH or DIRECTV?

For cord-cutters and rural dwellers, a satellite pay-TV subscription is one of the most reliable forms of on-screen entertainment. Unlike cable TV service, satellite TV subscribers can get signals even in the remotest parts of the country and users don’t need a high-speed internet connection for smooth video streaming. DISH Network and DirecTV are the two dominant satellite TV distributors in the USA. We compared the providers in terms of their plans, pricing, customer service, equipment, and streaming apps. 

Our side-by-side comparison of DISH vs. DirecTV leads us to the conclusion that overall, DIRECTV is a better satellite TV provider because of its cheaper plans, the inclusion of premium channels, and straightforward TV-on-the-go feature. DirecTV offers its customers a better selection of TV channels and has a larger library for on-demand content. But if you want award-winning customer service and the most robust recording equipment, then DISH Network excels in treating its customers like royalty.

So, DISH vs DIRECTV, which is the better of the two? It depends on YOU!