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DirecTV vs Dish: Which is More Reliable?

So, you want high-quality audio and picture display and decided to go with satellite television. The next crossroad you bump into is DirecTV vs Dish. Both have national coverage and have services in the same price ranges. Here are the main points on each company, which we’ll elaborate a bit later on:

Pros of Dish:

  • Best balance between the number of channels, its tech features, and the overall cost.
    logo of dish black and red
  • Hopper and Joey boxes; Hoppers allow you to skip commercials during primetime.
  • Live 24/7 assistance.
  • 3-year price lock guarantee.
  • Free installation.
  • Thousands of movies on demand.

directv logo blue and white
Pros of DirecTV:

  • NFL Sunday Ticket is DirecTV exclusive and they also have ABC Family HD.
  • Better customer service.
  • HD / DVR equipment for up to 8 rooms.
  • Free installation.
  • The ability to watch shows from the last 72 hours you did not record.

Full Comparison Between DirecTV & Dish

To accurately portray the similarities and differences between Dish vs DirecTV, we’ll take a look at their packages, pricing, hardware, and customer service practices. And after that, we’ll help you decide whether Dish or DirecTV is the right service for you.

DirecTV vs Dish: Signal Availability

Given that both companies use satellites to broadcast, the signal can be blocked by tall buildings or even trees in its way. If a company doesn’t cover your area, it might be possible the other one will.

DirecTV vs Dish: Packages

Both companies offer 6 package options, but DirecTV has more channels. The basic Dish package has 55+ channels, while the Everything pack has over 320. DirecTV’s basic package has over 145 channels, and the premier package has 315+. However, Dish offers free HD programming while DirecTV applies monthly charges. This is also valid for certain channels like HBO or Showtime.

You can also choose from a selection of sports channels like NBA League Pass, MHL Center Ice, ESPN College Football & Full Court, MILB Extra Innings, or MLS Direct Kick. This applies to both companies.

tv and plant in living room

DirecTV vs Dish: Hardware

Dish has the Hopper which can store 500 hours of high definition content or 2,000 hours of standard definition content. DirecTV’s Genie can only store 800 hours of SD content or 500 of HD content. At the same time, the Hopper can record 16 shows at a time, while the Genie is only able to record 5. If we think about it, we rarely record more than 2 or 3 shows at the time. But we guess it’s nice to have the option.

DirecTV vs Dish: Pricing

Dish has the cheapest packages and products. Their 3-year rice lock guarantee is another nice perk to have. The Hopper from Dish comes with a $12 monthly fee, but DirecTV’s Genie costs $15. They do charge for extra for subscriptions and equipment for other TVs. In terms of subscriptions, the prices are similar and range between $20 and $90 per month.

HBO, for example, costs $17.99 per month from DirecTV and $19 from Dish, while Showtime costs $13.99 from DirecTV and $14 from Dish. But both providers offer discounts for the first 12 months, including free premium channels.

DirecTV vs Dish: Installation

Standard installation services come with most DirecTV and Dish equipment. But while Dish offers free installation in 6 rooms, DirecTV only covers 4. Custom work might be needed in some cases and this will cost extra in both companies. They also offer TV installation for an extra charge.

a satellite receiver dish

DirecTV vs Dish: Customer Service & Assistance

Unlike DirecTV, Dish offers 24/7 live customer support. In fact, Dish is known to have one of the most customer-oriented and friendly policies. However, both companies have prompt tech support teams which usually respond in less than a day.

Other Perks

At the moment of writing, Dish offered the following extra services:

  • 3 months of Blockbuster @Home.
  • HD programming for life.
  • $50 sign-up gift card.

DirecTV customers, on the other hand, have the following perks:

  • NFL Sunday Ticket.
  • DirecTV on Demand, which has hundreds of movies.

Dish or DirecTV? How to Decide

closeup picture of a tv remote

When trying to decide whether DirecTV or Dish is the choice for you, first take into consideration the availability of their signal in your area. If you have relatives or housemates whose native language is not English, the languages each service supports might weigh something too. Dish is the winner here with 19 languages, since DirecTV only has 8. Dish seems to have the best quality/price ratio, but DirecTV has significantly more channels. Therefore, is diversity is important to you, DirecTV is the way to go.

But if you have a larger home or property with more than 4 TVs, you will want to go with Dish. The fact that Hopper can record 16 shows at a time and store up to 500 hours of HD video also is an advantage for those with 5 or more TVs.

All in all, Dish seems to be the overall winner, but Dish has a few perks that might earn them the loyalty of a pretty large customer base. One thing is clear, though. Both companies offer high-quality services for similar prices and are customer-oriented, being prompt in solving their customer’s requests. And this might be the most important thing after all.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4.

About Stevie Myers

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