Many fellow Americans are unaware that traditional 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 pay-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 pay-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.

Both DISH Network and DirecTV use orbital satellites to distribute TV programming directly to their customers. However, DirecTV also allows its customers to access its plans through their existing high-speed internet connection. Despite some similarities in features, the major differences between the two providers can make one a better choice over 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. 

ComparisonDISH NetworkDirecTV
TypeSatellite pay-TV providerpay-TV provider
Price Range$84.99 to $114.99 per month$69.99 to $159.99 per month
ChannelsUp to 290+Up to 150+
DVR EquipmentHopper Smart DVRGenie HD DVR / Gemini
Recording Time500 to 2000 hours of HD recording200 hours of HD recording / Unlimited
Bundle DealsAvailableAvailable
Coverage AreaAvailable in all the 50 statesAvailable in all the 50 states
Additional FeesOne-time activation fee of $50.00One-time activation fee of $19.95
DVR equipment fee is from $10.00 to $15.00/mo.Advanced Receiver Services fee is $15.00/mo.
The late payment fee is $12.00The late payment fee is $6.25
The early termination fee is $20 per monthThe early termination fee is $20 per month
Customer Service4.1 stars out of 53.9 out of 5 stars

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, commonly referred to as DISH, has 15 satellites positioned over North America that provide consistently reliable TV service over the contiguous USA, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This satellite TV service is also available in some parts of Canada.

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 currently has close to 7.73 million pay-TV subscribers. In January 2015, DISH Network officially unveiled its subsidiary, Sling TV, to complement popular streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu. Sling TV provides internet protocol television service (IPTV) to over 2.1 million subscribers. 

DISH’s 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 three standard monthly plans to its customers with over 100 add-on plans for a starting price of $84.99 per month. As an A-lister in the Fortune 500 companies, DISH Network manages its empire from its headquarters in Meridian, Colorado. 


  • 2-year price guarantee
  • More TV channels compared to DirecTV
  • The DISH Hopper DVR has a storage capacity of up to 2 TB
  • 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
  • Additional costs are slightly higher than DirecTV
  • Less on-demand titles as compared to 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 11.85 million customers that are using its myriad services like DirecTV pay-TV service via satellite or internet, 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 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. DirecTV has made 4K content more accessible through its pay-TV service with the launch of Gemini Air, a streaming device that connects to your existing internet connection to provide access to all the networks.

In present times, the DirecTV channel lineup includes more than 150 channels in the categories of sports, entertainment, educational, news, kids, and lifestyle. DirecTV packages start at $69.99 per month and subscribers can avail additional benefits like Visa Reward Cards, promo rates, and free access to premium channels for three months. 


  • No satellite equipment installation is required as customers can also access all DirecTV plans through their existing internet connection
  • 2-year price guarantee
  • Lower starting price
  • Extensive On-Demand library
  • With satellite plans, users get 200 hours of HD DVR storage, while internet-connected TV plans offer unlimited storage
  • Premium channels included in the Premier package
  • All the other plans include a special offer on premium networks


  • Requires a 2-year contract
  • Provides fewer channels than DISH
  • Every plan requires a monthly $15 ARS fee

Plans & Pricing – DISH vs DIRECTV

While both, DirecTV and DISH offer their customers several monthly base plans, their pricing is the real point of contention. Both providers fix your price for 2 years, but DirecTV plans have a low starting rate compared to DISH. Moreover, they also have different features, terms, and promos.

Monthly Plans for DIRECTV

There are four standard monthly plans for DirecTV’s pay-TV service, and you can either access them through satellite or your existing high-speed internet connection. 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. DirecTV’s plans have a lower starting price point than DISH, beginning at $69.99 per month. However, it charges a monthly $15 advanced receiver services fee with every package, bringing the starting total to $84.99 per month. Moreover, you can add your favorite regional sports networks for an additional $15.99 per month on DIRECTV Choice and higher plans. Although these prices may seem high, DirecTV locks in your plan’s price for two years, providing a break from the ever-increasing costs of other providers.

Some additional giveaways include a free Genie HD recording device or Gemini Air, depending on the service, 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 $159.99 per month. 

DirecTV PlanPromo PricePrice w/ req’d ARS feeChannelsContact DirecTV
Entertainment$69.99/mo.$84.99/mo.75+Call Now
Choice™$84.99/mo.$99.99/mo.105+Call Now
Ultimate$114.99/mo.$129.99/mo.140+Call Now
Premier$159.99/mo.$174.99/mo.150+Call Now
*price includes taxes, fees, AutoPay and Paperless Bill discount
**price with 2-year agreement
***RSNs are available on Choice and higher packages for an additional fee of $15.99/mo.

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. It also offers add-on packages like the DirecTV Family Package and Sports Pack. In fact, this Sports Pack is included in all DirecTV plans at no additional costs for the first 3 months.

DirecTV Add-Ons

DirecTV Add-Ons PackagesAdditional Price
DirecTV Sports PackFree for 3 mos., then $15.99/mo.
Movies Extra PackFree for 3 mos., then $5.00/mo.
MaxFree for 3 mos., then $14.99/mo.
CinemaxFree for 3 mos., then $11.00/mo.
MGM+ (EPIX)Free for 3 mos., then $6.00/mo.
SHOWTIMEFree for 3 mos., then $11.99/mo.
STARZFree for 3 mos., then $11.00/mo.

Monthly Plans for DISH TV Network

On the other hand, DISH offers three base plans nationwide. Its Best Value Plan, the America’s Top 200 package, is priced at $104.99 per month. Like DirecTV, DISH Network also locks the prices of its plans for two years. The benefit of this is that users do not anticipate a price hike in the second year of service. It is worth noting that DISH Network’s entry-level plans cost $15 more than DirecTV’s. The higher price point may discourage first-time satellite TV users from subscribing. However, DISH has an extensive channel lineup, providing over 290 channels to its customers.

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 DISH TV plans come with a 2-year price guarantee, up to 35000 free On-Demand titles, and include a 500 GB storage capacity on the Hopper 2 DVR. Additionally, customers receive a free voice-activated remote control that allows them to navigate the DISH TV interface via Alexa and Google Assistant.

America’s Top 120$84.99/mo.190
America’s Top 200$104.99/mo.240+
America’s Top 250$114.99/mo.290+
*price without AutoPay discount and DVR fee
**with a 2-year price guarantee

Even though DISH Network plans are around $15 cheaper than DirecTV packages, you get fewer options for On-Demand titles. Moreover, premium channels like Max, Cinemax, MGM+, and STARZ ENCORE are offered as add-ons for an additional price that ranges from $7 to $16 per month, each. So, in the end, you are paying almost the same price to both providers, but you get more channels with DISH.

DISH Network Add-Ons 

DISH Network Add-On Packages Additional Price
Premiums and Movies
Max $16.00/mo.
Cinemax $10.00/mo.
MGM+ Movies $7.00/mo.
STARZ Encore $6.00/mo.
Stars and Stripes Pack $10.00/mo.
Multi-Sport Pack $13.00/mo.
English: Willow Cricket $14.99/mo.
Racetrack TV $50.00/mo.
Heartland Pack Included for 1 year (for new and qualifying customers)

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

ServiceAdditional Cost
Activation FeeA one-time charge of $19.95 (only applies to DIRECTV connected via Satellite)
Advanced Receiver Service Fee$15.00 per month
Late Payment Fee$6.25 per month
Equipment Non-Return FeeA one-time charge of $45.00 – $135.00
Early Termination Fee$20.00 per month for the remaining months
Regional Sports FeeUp to $15.99 per month
Equipment Upgrade FeeUp to $399.00

You may check out DirecTV’s website for further information on additional costs.

Additional Costs Associated with DISH Network

ServiceAdditional Cost
Activation FeeA one-time charge of $50.00
DVR Service$10.00 to $15.00 per month
Late Payment Fee$12.00 per month ($10.00/mo. in VA, ME, and AZ)
Early Termination Fee$20.00 per month for the remaining months
Unreturned TV Equipment$50.00 – $350.00

You can visit the provider’s website for more information on additional charges from DISH Network.

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 TV service on the same day. If you choose to be connected via satellite, DirecTV charges $19.95, while DISH TV customers must pay up to $50. DirecTV also provides a self-installation option if you choose to access its plans via your existing high-speed internet connection.

Equipment Rental – DirecTV vs DISH Network

Customers with a single TV at home are not required to pay for the first Genie HD DVR/Gemini Air or Hopper Smart DVR. However, households with multiple TVs have to order a separate recording device for each set. DIRECTV customers, for instance, require a separate Gemini Air or Genie DVR for each extra TV for an additional monthly fee.

Similarly, DirecTV customers pay a monthly $15 Advanced Receiver Services Fee. In contrast, DISH Network charges up to $15 per month for 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 are 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 $12 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.

Regional Sports Fee- DirecTV vs DISH Network 

The benefit of choosing either DirecTV or DISH over cable TV is that you can access popular regional sports channels even if you don’t live in the area. For example, DirecTV airs Fox Sports Arizona throughout the country despite its coverage of state-specific sporting events. While DISH doesn’t charge a regional sports fee, DirecTV does offer this exclusive service to its customers for $15.99 per month.

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. 


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, both DirecTV and DISH’s 2-year contracts come with perks such as guaranteed pricing, discounted services, and giveaways like reward cards. Additionally, DirecTV offers a deal on premium networks, providing three months of free access to entertaining content. So, contrary to popular belief, we consider contracts to be a win-win solution.

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. 

FeaturesDIRECTV Entertainment PackAmerica’s Top 120
No. of Channels75+190
Price$69.99 per month$84.99 per month
Entertainment ChannelsE.g. AMC, Comedy Central, HGTV, E!, FXX, ION, IFC, MTV, Paramount Network, Revolt, etc.E.g. Comedy Central, E!, Family Movie Classics, Reelz, Syfy, truTV, Binge TV, Cine Club, etc.
Sports NetworksE.g. ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports 1, and FUEL TV (internet only)E.g. Fox Sports 1, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Alternate.
News ChannelsE.g. AccuWeather, Bloomberg TV, CNN, FOX News, CNBC, MSNBC (satellite only), C-SPAN, Fox Business Network, NHK (satellite only), etc.E.g. CNN, CNBC, FOX News, MSNBC, News Nation, C-SPAN, Weather Channel, CGTN News.
Kids NetworksE.g. Cartoon Network, Baby First TV, Boomerang, Disney, Disney Jr. Nickelodeon, etc.E.g. Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Baby First,
Educational ChannelsE.g. Animal Planet, Discovery, NASA TV, etc.E.g. Animal Planet, Discovery, History, National Geographic, Law and Crime, NASA, etc.
Lifestyle ChannelsE.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 ChannelsFree for the first 3 months. Max, Cinemax, EPIX, STARZ, and SHOWTIME.Available as Add-ons only. Cinemax, Max, STARZ 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. 

FeaturesDirecTV Choice PackageAmerica’s Top 200
No. of Channels105+240+
Price$84.99 per month$104.99 per month
Entertainment ChannelsE.g. AMC, BYU TV (satellite only), FETV (satellite only), IFC, Comedy TV, Game Show Network, FXX, Fuse, Lifetime, MeTV, OWN, etc.E.g. Comet HD, Cozi TV, BINGE TV, BUZZR, BYU TV, Cine Retro, GRIT, ION, MTV.
Sports NetworksE.g. ACC Network, Big Ten Network, DirecTV Sports Mix (satellite only), ESPN, ESPNU, FanDuel TV, MLB Network, NBA TV, etc.E.g. NBA TV, NFL Network, NHL Network, Sports Alternate, SEC Network, TUDN
News ChannelsE.g. Cheddar News, CNBC World, CNN International, HLN, Justice Central, NHK (satellite only), Newsmax, NewsNation, etc.E.g. America’s Voice, BBC America, Headline News, N+ Media, Newsmax HD, etc.
Kids NetworksE.g. Baby First, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, Disney, PBS, Kids, Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, etc.E.g. Baby First, Disney XD, Disney Jr., Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, TeenNick, etc.
Educational ChannelsE.g. Science, The History Channel, Nat Geo Wild, Travel Channel, etc.E.g. HITN, NASA TV, National Geographic, Discovery, Outdoor Channel, Link TV, etc.
Lifestyle ChannelsE.g. 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 ChannelsFree for the first 3 months. Max, Cinemax, EPIX, STARZ, and SHOWTIME.Available as Add-ons only. Cinemax, Max, STARZ Encore, MGM+, etc.

JIST: America’s Top 200 plan is $20 more expensive than the DirecTV Choice Package but offers approximately 135 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. 

FeaturesDirecTV Premier PackageAmerica’s Top 250
No. of Channels150+290+
Price$159.99 per month$114.99 per month
Entertainment ChannelsE.g. BET HER, Cinemax, Family Movie Classics, HBO, HBO2, INSP, MovieMAX (satellite only), SHOWTIME, STARZ, TCM, etc.E.g. Reelz, Paramount Network, MoviePlex, Lifetime, Hallmark Drama, FXX, etc.
Sports NetworksE.g. MLB Strike Zone, Motor Trend, Next Level Sports, NFL Network, NFL RedZone, etc.E.g. beIN Sports, beIN Sports Connect, Fox Sports 2, Golf Channel, NFL Network, etc.
News ChannelsE.g. ACCU Weather, BBC News, Cheddar News, CNN International, NewsNation, NHK (satellite only).E.g. BBC America, Bloomberg TV, C-SPAN2, FOX News HD, Headline News, Newsmax.
Kids NetworksE.g. PBS Kids, Teen Nick, Disney, Nick Jr, etc.E.g. Boomerang, Disney Jr., Disney XD, Nick Jr. Nicktoons,
Educational ChannelsE.g. Smithsonian Channel, VICE, Science, Nat Geo Wild, NASA TV, Impact, Fyi, Discovery Life, etc.E.g. American Heroes Channel, Discovery Family Channel, NASA, Nat Geo Wild
Lifestyle ChannelsE.g. Aspire, Magnolia Network, Pursuit, World Harvest TV, etc.E.g. Cooking HD, Home and Garden TV, Magnolia Network, Outdoor Channel.
Premium ChannelsAll 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 $45 more expensive than DISH TV’s America’s Top 250 plan. However, this additional cost comes with fewer channels than DISH’s 290+ networks. DirecTV has a much better channel lineup when it comes to premium networks since this plan includes all of them at no additional cost. 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 to $15 per month, viewers can enjoy all the built-in apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, and Pandora.

In contrast, DIRECTV offers a free Gemini receiver whether you opt for satellite or connect through your existing internet connection. This device seamlessly works with a Genie DVR for satellite customers. However, DIRECTV charges a monthly ARS fee of $15, which covers the DVR service. The initial digital video recorder is provided at no extra cost, but customers with multiple TVs may need additional Gemini receivers, each requiring a one-time fee of $49. For DirecTV’s satellite customers, the Genie DVR provides 200 hours of storage with a 1 TB capacity, while TV customers connected via their internet enjoy unlimited cloud storage.

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 4.12 million more subscribers than DISH Network, making it the leading pay-TV provider in the United States. However, the company is experiencing a decline in its subscriber base at a rate of 4,395 customers per day due to the rising popularity of streaming services. Many DirecTV users blame the company’s poor customer service and high monthly fees as the primary reasons for this trend.

According to the Better Business Bureau, the customer satisfaction rating for DirecTV is 1.06 stars out of 5 with an ‘A+’ grade rating, an improvement from last year. However, the Consumer Affairs website has given DirecTV a 3.5-star rating out of 5, citing issues like incorrect early termination fees, improper service cancellation, unexplained costs on the bills, and lack of assistance from the on-call customer service representatives 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. 

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 6 years in a row by the J.D. Power surveys. In 2023, the J.D. Power study recognized DISH as:

  • No. 1 in customer satisfaction
  • 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 

DISH Network has a reputation for satisfying its customers due to excellent services. The Better Business Bureau has given DISH Network an “A+” rating with a score of 1.1 out of 5. However, the company has received negative feedback from Consumer Affairs regarding high costs, receivers, and other issues, resulting in a low 2.4 rating.

Final Verdict – DISH or DIRECTV?

For rural dwellers, a 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 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 TV provider because of its cheaper plans, the inclusion of premium channels, and straightforward TV-on-the-go feature. DirecTV also offers its customers a more curated experience and 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!