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."

A Complete List Of All magicJack Features + User Reviews

We think that magicJack is a great product but when we were trying read about it we really struggled in finding a complete list of the features you get with it. Even on the manufacturer website it was scattered and we able to see a short list of key features but never a full list of everything the device has to offer customers.

As a result we decide to compile a complete list below with all features that come with the all of their devices, including the magicJack, magicJack plus, magicJack App, and magicJack Plus 2014. We have added every possible feature that we know of and we will continue to add to this list as we are made aware of anything we missed or as new features are made available. As an added bonus we have also included several user reviews at the bottom that were left at our blog.

Note: We have not differentiated which features come with which device due to the fact that is was almost impossible to tell. As a result it is best to confirm with the company before assuming an older version comes with all of the features below. For the most part all features come with all devices but there may be a handful of exceptions to this rule. In order to confirm you can visit the official website and click on 'live chat'. Once in the live chat you can ask the agent about a specific device and the specific feature that you have a question about. 

- No Monthly Bills
- Unlimited Local And Long Distance Calling For $29.95 Per Year
- Calling For Just $19.95 Per Year When A 5-Year Advanced Plan Is Purchased
- Can Be Used Anywhere That A BroadBand Internet Connection Exists
- Ability To Make Calls Directly Through Your Computer
- Magic Jack's Own Private VoIP Network
- Simple And Automatic Installation
- Works With A Traditional Landline Phone
- International Calling (Rates range from $0.02 to over $1 per minute)
- Call Any Landline, Cell Phone, Or Other MagicJack User
- Free 411 Directory Assistance
- Conference Calling
- Address Book
- Outlook Program Integration For One Click Calling
- Vista, Windows XP, Windows 8 And MAC Compatible
- Works With A Bluetooth Headset
- Caller ID
- Free Call Waiting
- VoiceMail
- Free Call Forwarding
- Emergency 911 Dialing
- magicJack App For Smartphone Calling (currently free)
- Ability Keep Your Old Phone Number
- Connect Through Wi-Fi
- Three-Way Calling
- Visual Voicemail
- Fax Machine Compatible
- Call Blocking
- Caller ID Blocking
- No Computer Necessary
- Free Device To Device Calls
- No Contract Required
- Live Chat Support

Real User Reviews

Bryon Said...

"I tried one a few years ago & it was awful. Serious delay when speaking on both ends, had to be plugged into your PC, couldn't port your number and quality was horrible. 
Fast forward to 2011, my parents are in bad financial shape and barely make it with less than $30 to spare. I switched them to Vonage 2 years ago, because they were getting gouged by the local phone company (WindStream).  
I was flipping channels one day & saw the MJ infomercial and was about to keep flipping when I noticed that this MJ was different, I continued to watch. This was a totally new MJ...The MJ Plus. You no longer had to use your PC & you could port your number!  
With the 30 day trial, I figured nothing to lose. So I ordered one for my parents, the prospect of taking them from $34 a month to $29.95 a year was to good to ignore. Giving MJ a 2nd chance with the MJ Plus was the best thing I ever did for my parents. 
MJ Plus is dramatically improved over the original MJ!!! The ability to plug into the wall instead of your PC was a big plus. Being able to port your number was huge. There was no more delay when speaking. Call quality was crystal clear. We tried it for 2 weeks and there was no way this was being returned! The MJ Plus is AWESOME! My parents have not had a single issue with MJ Plus. 
They even say its much clearer than Vonage. Now they have a more breathing room each month, they are no longer paying $34+ to Vonage and the cost was so low, I just pay the renewal for them.  
Also for anyone still on the fence, please get the MJ Plus, you will not regret it, if it doesn't work out, you can always return it within 30 days and be charged absolutely nothing. Total cost after trial $102.59. That includes the MJ Plus device, first year of service, taxes, government fees, 911 fees. After that its $29.99 a year. The original MJ is $19.99 a year. Even for the first year with all the added cost of the device and fees it breaks down to $8.55 a month. After the first year it drops to $2.50 a month ($29.99 a year). 
Take it from someone who has always been skeptical, tried the original MJ and hated it, came back to give the MJ Plus a spin and is now a very satisfied customer. Oh, yes the customer service still sucks big time! But, I haven't had to contact them for anything. 
I would highly recommend not running it through you computer. Yes, you lose the ability to use the 3rd party add-ons, but its a very small price to pay. The reason for not running it through you computer is the call quality. It causes a slight delay and volume issues. 
Plugging it into the wall eliminates this problem, because the non-computer option has the MJ Plus connected directly to your router via an Ethernet cable, where as plugged into your USB port, there is latency issues with  using USB instead of a direct connect network cable and USB is at the mercy of your computer's available resources, whereas plugging it into the wall doesn't have this issue."
Fran Said...
"I have had Magic Jack for the past three years or more as my long distance number in Canada and it worked fine. Upon renewal this time I had difficulty so I just upgraded to the MJ plus. Now I have 2 MJ plus devices, one is a business line with a Canadian number and the other has a Boston number so I can stay in touch with family that lives in Boston. 
I am going to get a third line and officially get rid of my phone company that cost $50.00 a month. It is a hard decision because I have been with them for the past 15 years and my security and fax systems operate from them. But if I get rid of them I will save $550.00 a year minus MJ plus yearly fee. 
So, everyone out there who are contemplating this service, try it if you don't like it just return it. In my defense I should say I don't work for MJ and their services for dealing with customers problems is not good from my experience but the phone service works. It helps you to save money and you have one less bill per month. 
I hope my testimonial helped someone make a good decision."
Sonmox Said... 
"I had the original MagicJack but was not at all satisfied, so I cancelled the service. A couple of years later, I tried the MagicJack Plus, and the difference was amazing! I have had no issues, and as an experiment, I transferred my fax number from Vonage to MagicJack, and it also worked perfectly (even the number transfer went smoothly). My only issue is that I really need some of the features currently available only with the MagicFeatures program, but I have been unable to contact anyone who knew if the program would work if the MagicJack Plus was not plugged into the computer or if it will work with more than one MagicJack unit. Soon I am going to transfer more numbers to MagicJack."
And there you have it, three wonderful reviews from current magicJack customers. Please see the comments below for even more input from other users. 

Top Digital TV Antenna Manufacturers

If you are trying to decided on a new digital TV antenna in order to get better reception then you have a big decision ahead of you. Not only can they be quite expensive but they can also be very confusing and most people do not have the technical knowledge that it takes to be able to choose the best one for their needs.

One of the first things you will want to do once you decide that you need a new antenna is to sort through the major companies and find out which ones produce the highest quality products at the best prices. Below we have provided a list of some of the top manufacturers along with a brief summary of each one. This list by no means exhaustive and there are many other great manufacturers out there that we will not cover. If you know the type you then you can decide which brand of you want, and finally which antenna retailer you want to purchase from.

RCA: They have been around for a long time and are known as a leader in the electronics and television industry. The produce high quality products and sell them at affordable prices. Antennas however are not their specialty so you cannot find as many personalized options from them. They are more of a one ize fits all type of manufacturer with a standard set of antennas.

Antennas Direct: This brands sole focus is on providing high quality antennas for digital and HDTV signaling. They are not as widely known as some other companies but do provide some of the best antennas in the industry. In fact, their products are so good that they are carried by large retailers such as Solid Signal and Amazon. Antennas Direct is so confident in their product quality that they offer a 90-Day return policy that allows you to return for any reason.

Channel Master: Channel Master has been around for over 60 years and has been slowly adjusting and tweaking their products in order to get them to provide the best reception possible. Channel Master provides one of the widest product lines out of all manufacturers and is a global leader within the industry. They are also one of the most recognized and trusted names in the industry. They are known for providing some of the highest signal gain within the industry.

Winegard: Winegard has been around for over 50 years and with that length of time has become one of the best manufacturers around. Their main focus is on television reception products which mainly consistent of antennas. Winegard has an excellent reputation for providing high quality that gets the job done while also offering affordable prices.

Other Manufacturers: Besides the manufacturers we have provider information on above there are many others that provide high quality antennas at affordable prices. If you still do not know who to go with other manufacturers you can check out include Terk, Antenna Craft, DX, and Terrestrial Digital.

Top Flat Panel TV Wall Mount Manufacturers

If you are looking to purchase a new TV wall mount for your TV then you have a big decision ahead of you. With the evolution of the television from a tube to ultra-slim flat panels a huge demand for wall mounts formed and as a result a large number of unknown manufacturers began popping up quickly. As a result there are a ton of companies out there but they are mostly companies nobody has ever heard of.

With reputable companies out there it is often hard to choose the best product and the nature of the industry being so young makes it that much for difficult. If you are looking to purchase a top quality one then it will certainly not be easy. Below we have provided a list of some of the top manufacturers along with a brief write up about each one. If you know what type of wall mount you want then the next step is to figure out which retailer you want to make your purchase from.
Peerless Industries: Peerless Industries has been a leader in the audiovisual mounting industry for over 40 years now. They is know for its high quality craftsmanship, high quality materials, innovative designs, ease of installation, and affordability. Almost all of their TV wall mounts are universal and work with nearly all Plasma and LCD TVs. Peerless Industries product line includes fixed, tilt, articulating, ceiling, and desktop mounts, just to name a few.

Sanus Systems: Sanus Systems is another wonderful manufacturer that produces all sorts of different audiovisual furniture, stands, and mounts. Sanus, like Peerless, is known for creating extremely high quality products at affordable prices. With this company you can find all different types of wall mounts and nearly all of them are universal and VESA compliant. Their mounts are are state-of-the-art, work with both Plasma, LED, and LCD TVs, and are built to perform while looking great at the same time. They are actually a sub-company of Milestone AV Technologies, one of the most respected and well known names in the AV industry. Sanus is a leading manufacturer in the industry and you would be hard pressed to find wall mounts that exceed theirs in quality.

Mustang AV: Mustang Mounts is a global provider of AV products, including wall mounts. Besides this they also manufacture display and projectors mounts, projecting screens, cables, speakers, power accessories, remotes, and furniture. There are also many other smaller categories of products produced by Mustang that we have chosen not to list. Mustang AV products are known for their high quality construction and are graded for both residential and commercial uses. They have done a great job of providing extremely good prices while not sacrificing quality. As a tribute to its high quality products They also offer various "full satisfaction" warranties on its products. Most of their mounts would be a great options for anyone looking for one.

Chief Manufacturing: Chief Manufacturing is another great manufacturer. They are sub-company of the trusted Milestone AV Technologies name. They more commercially focused but also sells residential products. They are known within the industry for selling one of the highest quality products available and also for its extensive accessory options. Chief generally offers a 10 year warranty on all of its TV wall mounts, which is a best in industry warranty. All Chief brand products are UL, OSHPD, TUV, CE and TUV/GS certified for their safety and wide range of compatibility.

Premier Mounts: Premier Mounts has been around for over 30 years and is a leader in innovation within the audiovisual industry. One of their specialties is TV wall mounts and they are known for creating extremely beautiful, high quality, and innovative wall mounts. They are known for pioneering the concept of Universal wall mounts that work with all TV sizes. They were founded by Len Dozier over 30 years ago in order to fill a need that he saw in the AV industry. Premier mounts is a global company that provides products worldwide wherever they are desired. They are especially known for its high quality and all mounts are required to under go through serious quality control checks before being distributed.

OmniMount: OmniMount, like Premier Mounts, has been around for over 30 years and is consider a global leader in the mounting  industry. Their business is extremely focused and there main line is TV mounts. Their product line includes motorized and flat panel mounts, along with furniture, audio/video racks, and much much more. There total product line includes several hundred different types of mounting options. They are known for producing extremely high quality products and have been recognized on multiple occasions by earning industry awards. If you are looking for a product that provides long term reliability and looks great at the same time they would be one of the best possible choices.

Cheetah Mounts: Cheetah Mounts is relatively small and unknown company that manufacturers and sells TV wall mounts. Their wall mounts are not carried by most retailers but all of the information we have seen regarding them has been very positive. Reports from Amazon show that customers that have purchased them have been extremely satisfied. Product information has shown that theirs appear to be made of high quality materials. The most noticeable thing regarding the Cheetah brand is that they are some of the lowest priced in the industry. If you are looking for a cheap product that has yet to prove itself to be inferior then you might want to try them out. If it ends up being bad you could either return it or only be out the $20-$40 that you paid for one.

VideoSecu: VideoSecu is another less known company that appears to produce high quality products. Although their quality is not as good as the premier brands this is generally reflected in the price. VideoSecu offers a 90-day warranty on all products. This company produces all kinds off different wall mounts including tilt, fixed, swivel, and articulating styles. VideoSecu also produces a bunch of different, non wall mount products. In order to ensure a high quality product VideoSecu has a rigorous quality assurance program. If you are looking for a cheaper product then a VideoSecu would be a good choice. Most of the feedback from Amazon customers so far has been pretty good.

MagicTalk Phone Review - Stand Alone magicJack App Software

Magictalk is no longer available for download or use. Instead you can continue to get magicJack telephone service by either purchasing one of the devices or simply downloading their smartphone app for any IOS device, iPod, iPhone, iPad or Android device. Although a good idea it came about right around the explosion of smartphones and never really took off. 

What Is MagicTalk?
It is a 100% software based program from makers of the magicJack and magicJack plus. This new software program is free to download and offers its users free local, long distance, and international calling to all magicJack users along with free incoming calls from land lines and cell phones. However, in order to make outgoing calls to cell phones and land lines you must upgrade from the basic to preferred service. It costs just $19.95 for a full year of unlimited local and long distance calls to the United States and Canada.
How Is It Different From Magic Jack?
The primary difference is that it is not a device but merely a software program. This of course means that you are unable to hook up a regular phone and therefore all calls are made directly from your computer screen. Since there is no device to purchase they are offering some free services. This includes unlimited free calls to any magicJack or magicTalk user along with free incoming calls from cell phones and land lines. As state above, in order to be able to place outgoing calls to non magicJack numbers you must upgrade for just $19.95 for each year of unlimited service to all United States and Canadian numbers.

Is There An App For Smartphones?
Yes! They have an app that will be released very shortly for Android phones, Iphone, Blackberry, Ipad, and other smartphones. This app will allow users to make free phones calls via their cell phone whenever they have a wifi connection. All they have to do is make their call directly through the app. The app is expected to be free and provide the same basic membership that the computer based program offers with the need for an upgrade to a preferred membership for all outgoing calls to non magic Jack numbers.

What Is The Benefit Of magicTalk Over One Of The Other Devices From The Company?
Many they want to get one of the devices and have a full set of features but for those that are simply looking for a very minimalist version of magicJack this could be right for them. The main advantage of course being that it can be used totally free of charge as a way to make calls. This can come in handy for those without a lot of money and no phone or even for those with a cell phone that simply want to save their limited minutes.

The MagicTalk Bottom Line
It is an interesting twist and adds to the suite of already powerful magicJack products. It is essentially a PC softphone that can be used to make calls without ever having to actually use a phone of any sorts. You can't beat free and that's what they are offering with this new software program. The free service does have its limitations but it could be a great way to save cell phone minutes while at home.