DirecTV vs. Dish Network Comparison Chart And Reviews

Below we have provided a DirecTV vs. Dish Network comparison chart of the difference in services that each of them provide along with several reviews from current and past customers. 

As you can see the both offer very similar services but there are subtle different between Dish Network and Direct TV. There are many different options for subscription television service but if you want satellite these are your two exclusive options. Be sure to take your time and look over the chart carefully in order to see the differences and make sure one or the other services isn't lacking an essential feature that you cannot live without. 

The bottom line is to make sure you are very informed before agreeing to any contract or commitment. If want a quick and easy way to do this our chart below is far and away the best out there. We looked and looked, thinking we would find a bunch of tables comparing the two services, and we did, but they were insufficient at best, always only comparing a few things. Instead ours gives a full look at both companies and compares just about anything you could think of between them.
*This chart is up-to-date as of February 10th, 2014

DirecTV Dish Network
Number Of Subscribers Largest in the U.S. with over 20 million subscribers 2nd largest in the U.S. With over 14 million subscribers
Signal Technology 100% digital 100% digital
Required Equipment Satellite dish and receiver Satellite dish and receiver
Start up Costs Free equipment and installation with a 2 year contract Free equipment and installation with 2 year contract
Contract Options Contract Required – Includes free equipment, installation, and discounted prices Contract required for free equipment, installation, and discounted prices. Month-to-month available for a higher monthly price and installation fee
Number of HD Channels Over 195 full-time HDTV channels Over 200 HDTV channels (not all full-time HD)
Basic Programming Packages
Welcome Pack - 40 channels for $19.99/month (Reg. $19.99)

Select - Over 130 channels for $24.99/month (Reg. $49.99) Smart Pack - 55 channels for $19.99/month (Reg. $32.99)

Entertainment - Over 140 channels for $29.99/month (Reg. $57.99) America's Top 120 - 120 channels for $29.99/month (Reg. $54.99)

Choice - Over 150 channels for $34.99/month. Includes Free NFL Sunday Ticket (Reg. $66.99) America's Top 120+ - Over 190 channels for $34.99/month (Reg. $59.99)

Xtra - Over 205 channels for 39.99/month. Includes Free NFL Sunday Ticket (Reg. $73.99) America's Top 200 - Over 240 channels for $39.99/month (Reg. $69.99)

Ultimate - Over 225 channels for $44.99/month. Includes Free NFL Sunday Ticket (Reg $81.99) America's Top 250 - Over 290 channels for $44.99/month (Reg. $79.99)

Premier - Over 285 channels for $92.99/month. Includes Free NFL Sunday Ticket, 35 specialty sports channels, and all premium movie channels (Reg. $129.99) American's Everything Pack - Over 320 channels for $89.99/month. Includes all premium movie channels. (Reg. $124.99)
Package Differences Averages 20 more channels for comparable packages Offers cheaper packages for those that want a very basic package
Movie Packages HBO The Works, STARZ Super Pack, Showtime Unlimited, Cinemax HBO The Works, STARZ, Showtime, Cinemax
Sports Packages Leader in sports programming with MLB Extra Innings, Sunday NFL Ticket, NCAA Mega March Madness, NBA League Pass, NHL Center Ice, ESPN Full Court and MLS Direct Kick. Along with more PGA and Tennis than anyone else. Offers a wide range of local, regional, and national sports packages. Offers similar services to DirecTV (No NFL Sunday Ticket).
Local Channels Included For Free with all packages Available for an extra fee
Geographical Availability Available nationwide Available nationwide
Customer Service Availability Outsourced. 24 hours per day via email, chat, or phone. 7 days a week. (phone hours limited) In-house. 24 hours per day via email, chat, or phone. 7 days a week. (phone hours limited)
Customer Service Rating Rated #1 in satellite TV customer service. Live support is not available 24 hours per day. Rated very well but behind Direct TV. Does offer 24 hour live support via chat.
Equipment Warranty Generally 12 months Generally 12 months
Special Discounts Offers very aggressive first year discounts on all 2 year contracts. Sometimes includes a partial discount for the second year as well. Offers cheap packages for the first year when you sign a two year contract.
Exclusive Programming Options Sunday NFL Ticket, Full NFL Redzone None or not made clear on the Dish site
DVR Options Premium DVR services for additional fee from the Genie. Record up to five shows at once. Premium DVR services for additional fee from the Hopper. Record up to three shows at one time. Skip commercials during prime time with the Hopper
Online Streaming Options Stream most shows the day after they air along with thousands of on demand programming options. Thousands of live and on demand options
Cost For Additional Receivers $5 per month $7 per month

Dish Network User Reviews:

Darren said...
"We signed up for Dish tv a year ago. We didn't get the DVR at that time. We were told later after a year we could get a free upgrade to the DVR. Upon calling Dish to do so we were told that now we have to purchase the DVR to do so. Also after 11 months the price went up, which was expected, but the programs also changed and some channels were dropped from the program guide and we would now have to upgrade to have them. One channel that I know of was AMC. Not happy with Dish TV and would not recommend them to anyone. There are to many channels that are repeat channels. That must be how they say they can give 120 channels in the least expensive package."
Josh said... 
"We recently signed up for Dish. The total installation went very smoothly and the tv is functioning as it should. The only complaint I have at this point is when we received the first bill the sales tax was wrong. The sales tax for my state is 6% and they charged over 10%. I called and was informed that is was a different dept. that handled that. They gave me an email address because there is no phone and said it would take 4 weeks to get a response. What a way to run a business. I hope the rest of my experience with Dish goes more smoothly."
Kaylee said...
"Dish is terrible if you live in apartments. They do not accommodate. When I had them install in my current apartment I had to down grade from what I wanted since the dish was too big to install.. Now I am moving and landlord said that having Dish has not worked out at their location because they cannot place it anywhere but on the roof which she will not allow because of drilling. I contacted Dish and they can't accommodate me since the landlord is breaking the law by saying we can't install there. 
They mention something about drilling a pole into the ground but said I have to pay for that. How is it my fault that the apartment does not have a balcony or anywhere convenient that would make the land lord happy? Then Dish can’t even get there information together about my cancellation and two people are telling me different prices. Go with Comcast if you’re in an apartment you will never have to bother with this installation hassle. Dish is the worse idea I ever had unless maybe I had my own house. Now I have to pay to cancel. All they want to say is my landlord is breaking the law."

DirecTV User Reviews: 

Anonymous said...
"The Direct TV company is nothing short of a headache. First off I called and changed my service and did not receive the channels I was promised. I called several times and was told that the service I paid for was changed by them without my permission. Then I said I no longer wanted the service after fighting for two months with this evil company. Now I am being forced to make a lump sum payment of over $350 for a change that was made to my service WITHOUT my permission! 
They won't even take payments on the trumped up false charge. This vile company expects me to bounce my house payment and live on the streets instead of splitting the payments into smaller more manageable payments. This company DOES NOT CARE about their customers. They have no sense of humanity and only care about money. They will lie to you at every given chance and make changes to your service without your permission! Direct TV is nothing but a loan shark company."
Sadie said... 
"I realize that there are only two satellite companies to choose from but, I see only one that goes above and beyond in all areas especially equipment and customer service. I have been appalled with the prices and quality I have seen for service through Direct TV. Not only do they NOT have dual receiver technology but they charge $99.00 per room since their receiver is only capable of supporting one TV. This can get very expensive if you need multiple rooms connected. 
Direct is not able to bring local news and weather to every market in the US, and charge an extra $10/monthly in some areas. I have also noticed that they offer fewer programming choices and do not offer movie channels like; HBO Comedy, HBO Family, HBO Latino, EPIX, and Turner Classic Movies to name a few. HD options are also depleted and the cost is unreasonable for certain sports channels. 
I happen to work for DISH network but I have been a customer long before I joined the DISH team. I have one DVR for the two rooms I need service in and I don't pay extra for the second room. I can also pause and rewind live TV therefore I don't remember the last time I had to watch a commercial.  
Honestly, I have been so happy with my DVR and the all the special features available that I would never give up those features for technology that is less than par. I have been really happy with Dish network and with everything they do to make the entertainment experience special, I will give my thanks by continuing to be a loyal customer for years to come!"
CoSkier100 said...
"I do not recommend DirectTV if I could do it over again.
List of problems: 1. Overcharges -- double charges for Showtime & HBO when I hadn't signed up for either services. They were only going to remove charges for the last 60 days because it was my responsibility to check monthly and make sure they were charging the agreed to amount.  
2. Broken receivers, which means no TV. Here's the kicker if though, if the receivers break due to no fault of you, you still pay shipping to send it back and get a new one. The first time it broke I still had to pay service for the days I didn't have TV. The 2nd time I got them to credit my account for lost time. 
3. Watch the promises they make when trying to get you to sign a contact, they will say whatever it takes and then not follow through. I told them no HBO or Showtime and I did not want to have to call & cancel after three months, I was told no problem, only to find out they added it and started charging my account.  
4. The dish sometimes does not work during big snowstorms and blizzards, so when you get those days you get off work you also get a day off of TV.

I've been told by most of my friends that I have infinite patience, but really DirectTV has warn my last nerve."


  1. Just came across this posting and wanted to comment. Choosing the right satellite company is a hard decision, and it is in the end the consumer’s choice, but there are some differences between the two that could ultimately make a customer go for one more than the other. I work with DISH Network and DISH is the fastest growing satellite company. DISH is the #1 in customer satisfaction and has the most advanced technology people are looking for. As well as pricing, they offer great new customer promotions with free HD rcvr upgrades, free promotional programming, and great sports add on. Qualified existing and new customers can also receive HD programming free in any Americas Top Package Direct only offers it for people who pay for there most expensive package and you have to be a new customer.

  2. I have had both Directv and Dish. I prefer Directv. Better picture, more HD (without the most expensive package, as stated above). I could not even get my local channels in HD thru Dish - Free thru Directv. Ask a friend - Just saying, don't believe everything you read.

  3. Direct TV has better features in every aspect. Also, if you have Dish and you are using dual tuners you only get 720 on one tv and 480 on the other. The price difference between the two isn't much but Dish Network goes out about 3x as much statistically.

  4. I had Dishnetwork for 12 years, their prices are a bit more than directTv, but well worth it.
    I've had directtv now for 2 months and they're programing is not equal to dishnetwork for the same price. Of all the stuff you might want to watch in HD would be the nature programs, NatGeoWild then the Animal channel. Well, you can't get Nat geo Wild in HD, no matter what you pay. Some channels aren't available at all with DirectTv. Free Speech TV channel just became available, I'd been able to get that channel for 7 years with Dishnetwork. Also RT channel isn't available either. They promote their business through commercials many times a day. If they were so good they wouldn't need to. Dish network never did. Also, on DirectTv you get a right-wing judgement of content with their parental guidance area, probably put together by the Heritage Foundation/Koch bros.
    I'm sorry I changed but now I have a 2 year contract. Can't wait till it's over.

  5. I notice that your review above says that you can't get DirectTV in Oklahoma City but I just talked to an operator today and they signed me up for programing in Oklahoma City. I will be a new customer so don't know about service yet.
    I am leaving the U-Verse AT&T after only 2 1/2 weeks because I hate the way the menu program guide works besides they told me I could get the Hallmark programs and they DON'T even offer any of them. Thankfully I can get out of the contract because only with them 2 1/2 weeks. April 14, 2012

    1. Thank you for the information. We have updated our review to include the latest locations where DirecTV is available.


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