If you’re looking at satellite TV for your rural home because it’s your only option or just because you like satellite better than cable, you will most likely consider the two largest satellite internet providers. DIRECTV and Dish Network provide service throughout the United States in large cities, small towns and rural areas. While they both provide the same service, there are several differences between the two. In the battle of DIRECTV vs. Dish Network, you must weigh all the benefits and costs.

DIRECTV vs. Dish Network on the Basics

When you’re looking for affordable satellite TV, you will find that both DIRECTV and Dish Network provide several options. Both offer low introductory packages under $100; however, you get more channels with Dish Network than with DIRECTV.

On the other hand, DIRECTV has more HD channels to give you better quality entertainment. You also get more sports channels with DIRECTV. So, if you’re looking for the NFL Sunday Ticket, you’ll definitely be interested in DIRECTV packages.

DIRECTV vs. Dish Network Packages

When you take a closer look at the packages the two providers offer, you can see benefits for both. DIRECTV has more low-tier options, starting with 145 channels at an introductory price of just $50 per month. While the Dish Network price is lower at $40, you only get about 50 channels. Don’t forget to factor in the differences in channels with the DIRECTV vs. Dish channel lineup to ensure you get the package you really want.

As you move up the level of packages, you’ll see that DIRECTV offers 240 channels for just $75 per month for the first year. Dish Network is comparable at $65 for the same number. Overall, you have more options with DIRECTV which has several packages to choose from to fit a variety of customers.

As you work your way up the packages, they include more channels along with the basic ones in the base packages. HD service is more important at these higher levels for many people since they want to watch their live sports in high-definition. When you compare Dish vs. DIRECTV for the best channels, DIRECTV is the winner. It includes the NFL Sunday Ticket, which is an exclusive feature. Similar channels exist for MLB, NHL and the NBA.

DIRECTV vs. Dish Network Channels

When you compare the channels in DIRECTV packages versus Dish Network packages, both companies have similar options. They will include some of the most basic channels, such as local channels, Disney, Lifetime and other family-oriented programming.

The difference is obvious with DIRECTV programming, when you look at sports channels. You can enjoy all your favorite teams and sporting events with numerous channels dedicated to sports.

With the top tier packages that include premium programming, you can enjoy the popular movie channels like HBO, Cinemax and Showtime. Dish does not have as many options since it has only four packages to choose from. While you get numerous channels with each package, you have fewer options to customize. It can end up being more expensive if the package includes channels you don’t want. Those costs per month for channels you aren’t watching will add up in time.

It’s important to look at the DIRECTV vs. Dish channel lineup to see which channels you want for the programming that matters to you. You’ll want to make a comparison of similar packages for a more accurate price. While DIRECTV has more packages, you can find one similar to each of the Dish packages offered. You will even discover Latino programming and other specialty channels to choose from.

DIRECTV vs. Dish Network: HD DVR

DIRECTV and Dish Network allow you to record your favorite shows with an HD DVR for your whole home. You can pay a monthly fee for a DIRECTV Genie receiver, which stores your shows, and then add a Genie Mini for your second TV. This allows you to watch your shows in any room of the house where you have a DVR and record up to five shows at once.

With the choice of Dish Network, you also have a DVR receiver called the Hopper. You add a Joey in the second room so you can watch where you want. Record up to the maximum hours and watch it in another room with either provider and the right receiver.

With both companies, you get up to three receivers along with the Genie or Hopper for your home without paying an additional price. A receiver for an additional room is an extra fee. Additionally, you can choose other options, such as a wireless receiver, for an extra fee. Just remember that HD service often comes at an additional cost and the HD receiver adds a monthly fee, as well.

DIRECTV vs. Dish Network: Other Benefits

In many ways, these two service providers are similar and provide the same basic service. For instance, with Dish Network vs. DIRECTV for new customers, you’ll find they both work hard for your business. They offer free installation, a monthly discount for a period and a free trial of certain premium channels. Both Dish and DIRECTV require a 24-month contract for new customers. Just make sure you find out what the cost is per month after the promotion, so you won’t be surprised by the change.

Another way the two companies are similar is they both have mobile apps that make it easy to schedule recordings and do other things on the go. You can even stream shows from your tablet or smartphone with these apps.

One way DIRECTV wins out over Dish is the number of TVs you can connect. With DIRECTV, you can have up to eight in the home with four showing the same shows at one time. Dish has the option to watch the same show on four TVs, as well, but it only supports seven TVs total.

You can enjoy your favorite movie on demand with Dish packages or DIRECTV packages. However, DIRECTV carries more titles in its library, making it the best option for those who like to watch on demand.

Before you decide on one satellite provider over the other, you should read reviews online to determine which one is the best fit for you. When you want to get the most for your money, you’ll want to compare channels and costs, what package includes channels you watch the most and other features to enhance your TV viewing.

DIRECTV vs. Dish Network: Save More with Bundles

When comparing Dish vs. DIRECTV, you can’t forget about ways to save money. To determine what the true cost is per month, you must factor in the DVR service and any other fees you must pay. At the same time, you can save and cut costs when you bundle your TV with other services.

For instance, you can combine DIRECTV with internet and with the home phone to reduce your overall costs per month. It also allows you to pay one bill for multiple services. The savings you get with bundling can make your entire bill much more affordable. The difference is usually worth changing your current service to a bundle. It’s important to look for the most savings when setting up your account.

As you can see, in the battle of DIRECTV versus Dish Network, the result is really up to you and what you’re looking for. Both providers offer a valuable product for those who don’t want cable or can’t get it. However, before you order, make sure you know what you’re getting. Many times, it’s more than just a matter of channels and costs. Ultimately, it’s the service that gives you what you want.

There is no easy choice when it comes to the two biggest satellite TV providers in the United States. DIRECTV and DISH have many differences in what they offer to customers, but neither one stands out as the clear winner. You may be looking for satellite TV because you prefer it over cable, or you may live in a remote area where satellite TV is your only option. Either way, we hope to give you some guidance in this article that will give you a better idea of what these two have to offer and which one is best for you.

DIRECTV vs. Dish Network: at First Glance

Let’s take a preliminary glance at what these two giants have to offer before we dive in deep. Both DIRECTV and DISH Network have comparably affordable options. If you’re looking at introductory packages, without extra features, you can find multiple options from both providers for less than $100.

If you are just looking to save money and are considering the smaller packages, you will get more channels with DISH Network. But you’re not just looking at quantity; you also need quality. While DISH wins when it comes to the number of channels overall, DIRECTV provides more HD channels. DIRECTV also provides more sports channels, which is what some people are looking for in a TV package. So far, the competition between these two is still up in the air. The winner is going to have to be determined by a closer look at the packages, channels, and features of the two satellite TV companies.

DIRECTV vs. Dish Network: a Closer Look at Packages

The packages offered by these two companies are very similar in the numbers. Remember, the biggest differences are in the details. The lowest-tier plan offered by DIRECTV starts at $54.99 and comes with 160+ channels. Compare this to DISH which is a little more expensive, starting at $64.99, but comes with 190 channels, about 30 more than DIRECTV’s. Remember to weigh not just the number of channels but which channels are being offered as well. If there are particular channels you are hoping for, you can check out each provider's channel list to see which one carries the channels you want, and which plan from that provider you will need to sign up for to get those channels.

At the low end, DISH had more channels than DIRECTV, but if you jump to the top of the list and look at high-tier packages, the pendulum shifts in the other direction. While DIRECTV’s lowest-tier package had the cheapest price for the smaller number of packages, at the highest-tier it has the more expensive price for more channels. DISH’s top-tier package comes in at $99.99 per month for 290+ channels; DIRECTV’s top-tier package comes in at $124.99 for 330+ channels. All prices listed are promotional prices and will go up after a year or two.

The top-tier packages will still offer the basic channels that you get with the lower-tier packages but also provide some of the extras you may be hoping for, including more HD channels. Many people are hoping to watch their shows, movies, and sports in high definition. If that is you, DIRECTV may be the way to go. It offers more HD channels in your satellite TV package, including HD sports channels. Whether you are looking for football, baseball, basketball, or hockey, DIRECTV packages are more likely to have what you are looking for.

DIRECTV vs. Dish Network: Channels

As mentioned before, this decision is about more than just the numbers. It’s also the content. When looking at the channels offered by DIRECTV and DISH, there will be a lot of overlap. Some of the most common channels people watch, such as local channels, Disney, and Lifetime will be available no matter what provider you choose.

Another category to consider is premium channels like HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime. These premium channels often come at an extra monthly price, but both DISH and DIRECTV include a number of premium channels for free at the beginning of your subscription. After the free period runs out, you can continue to subscribe to these channels for a monthly fee. If you are really hoping for premium channels, it is best to compare which ones are offered by which provider, how much they cost per month, and how long you can get them for free at the beginning of your subscription.

If what you want is sports, DIRECTV is known to be the best provider in that area. It has a host of local sports programming, national sports competitions, international matches, and even some premium sports features, such as NFL Sunday Ticket. Sports fans will almost definitely want to choose DIRECTV so they can keep up with their favorite sports teams.

When comparing channels, it’s a very close call. Both offer an amount of channels comparable to their prices. DIRECTV has the cheapest low-tier option and the most expensive high-tier option (with more channels to go with it), but it’s all going to come down to which one gives you what you need. Making a list of the channels you desire most and comparing it to the channel lists of DIRECTV and DISH is a great way to see which will give you what you want.

DIRECTV vs. Dish Network: HD DVR

Both DISH and DIRECTV have HD DVR options to make sure you never miss the shows you love. With DIRECTV you have the option of paying a monthly fee to use the Genie receiver, with additional Genie Minis for each additional TV. The Genie can record up to 5 shows at the same time, record up to 200 hours of HD programming, and allows you to go back and watch any show you’ve missed in the past 72 hours.

DISH also has a series of DVRs for you to choose from, ranging from the Hopper Duo all the way up to the Hopper 3, which can record up to 16 shows at once and store up to 2,000 hours of HD programming. You can also purchase Joeys to spread your DVR capabilities to other TVs in your house.

With either company, you can get three extra receivers in addition to your Genie or Hopper for free. However, additional options such as an extra receiver in a different room or choosing a wireless receiver over a wired one will cost you an additional fee. Extra receivers and other features will be added to your monthly fee.

DIRECTV vs. Dish Network: Other Features

When it comes to basic features, you will find that DIRECTV and DISH Network are very similar. Both are going to make extra efforts to serve you so that you choose their product. Such efforts include giving you free installation, providing a discount on your monthly bill for the first year or two of service, and including several premium channels for free for the first few months. It’s important to check on the prices after the promotional period to make sure you are making the best long-term decision. Whichever one you choose, new customers will be required to sign a 24-month contract when they sign up.

Another feature offered by both companies is mobile apps that can both manage and use the TV services. With the DIRECTV and DISH mobile apps, you can schedule recordings and manage your services even when not at home. You can also use these apps to stream shows, movies, and sports straight to your smartphone or tablet.

When it comes to the number of TVs you can connect, DISH and DIRECTV are again pretty similar. If you want to watch the same show on multiple TVs at once, both services max out at four TVs. As far as the number of TVs that can be connected at the same time, DIRECTV allows up to eight and DISH allows up to seven.

Another important feature to many satellite TV customers is on demand movies. Both DISH and DIRECTV have a number of packages available for on demand watching, but DIRECTV comes out slightly ahead with more on demand options in its library.

For a comparison of other features, it’s best to look at customer reviews. The numbers don’t always give a good representation of the quality of service, but customer satisfaction is a good measurement. By finding some customer reviews, you can see what others thought about the channels, features, and services and how they compared to the costs.

DIRECTV vs. Dish Network: Bundles

It’s important to look at opportunities these two providers can give you to save money when comparing prices. To determine the true cost of a satellite TV package, you also have to consider the price of DVR services, any other fees applied, and whatever bundling features are available that will help you cut costs in other areas.

DIRECTV provides you with two big bundling opportunities: internet and home phone. By bundling your satellite TV with internet, home phone, or both, you can save a lot on your monthly bill, making your monthly total much more affordable. The amount of monthly savings offered is often enough that it is worth switching service providers just so you can save on a bundle. The amount you can save should affect your decision as much as the amount it will cost.

DIRECTV vs. Dish Network: Conclusion

These two companies offer two very similar products, but each with very important distinctions. While both DIRECTV and DISH Network offer great satellite TV, they aren’t going to suit every person equally. The decision ultimately comes down to your particular needs. With a range of prices, a range of channel packages, and a range of differing features, you need to choose the company that is best for you. Remember to look at more than just the numbers. Quality is just as important as quantity. Figure out what you want, and find the provider that can give it to you.

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