As the internet and TV industry continues to bloom, we will compare and contrast the two most popular TV service providers in the United States. DISH TV vs. DIRECTV rivalry has been there for ages now and it is set to take new heights in the years to come. Here is a detailed guide of DISH Network vs. DirecTV.


PRICINGStarting from $64.99Starting from $64.99
DVRRecord 5Record 16
INSTALLATIONFree, $19.95 activationFree
ADDITIONAL CHARGESActivation charges. The first receiver is free and $99 for an additional receiver.None


Both DISH and DIRECTV are satellite TV providers. DIRECTV is run by AT&T which is famous for high-speed internet. There are multiple other satellite providers but these two outshine them all because of their extensive channel lineups and connectivity throughout.


DISH and DIRECTV have different plans for TV. There is a wide range of packages for every household. You can have the most basic plan or sign-up for a high-end premium plan with all the exciting channels belonging to all genres.

DISH TV has one advantage over DIRECTV that all the plans are cheaper in the long run and therefore, you can save a little more money. The most basic plan with DISH starts at $64.99 and it has over 190 channels. Bear in mind, this is too much for a basic TV plan as the premium plans with other providers have well over 190 channels. For a premium TV experience, you can get America’s Top 250 plan that has exciting 290 channels and goes for $99.99 per month.

DIRECTV offers different plans according to the number of channels. The Entertainment All-Included Plan has more than 160 channels and goes for just $64.99 per month.

The Ultimate All-Included Plan has more than 250 channels and goes for $84.99 per month. All prices are without taxes, fees, surcharges, and equipment fees.


Just like the other TV providers, DIRECTV requires you to be on a two-year contract. If you cancel your services before the end of the contract term, you are charged an early termination fee. Conversely, there are no contracts with DISH, if you don’t feel like having one. You just have to pay $10 to $15 on top of your bill to skip a contract.

However, DISH still gets cost-effective as DIRECTV is known for the price hikes in the second year of the contract term. The price hike means that your bill will be doubled or they will charge you a significant amount every month.


There is a common saying that the DVR may make or break your TV service. An exceptional DVR is a testament to a great TV service.

DISH TV’s Hoppe 3 DVR is the best choice for an exceptional DVR experience. The DVR costs you just $15 per month. It has a storage capacity of 500HD hrs. You can record 16 shows simultaneously. You can record TV shows in HD and 4K UHD.

DIRECTV Genie is another great choice and there are no extra charges for the service. You can get 200 HD hours of recording. Most importantly, you can record 5 shows at a time, and just like Hoppe 3, it lets you record in HD or 4K.


It is difficult to compare DISH and DIRECTV channels as both of them offer well-rounded channel lineups. However, it is fair to say that DIRECTV is the best choice for sports fans as there is a greater number of channels in this category.

However, if you are a fan of college sports, DISH should be your choice as it offers more variety in terms of college sports coverage. Both of them offer all the popular channels on TV such as the Disney Channel, ESPN, Fox News, HGTV, MSNBC, TBS, Univision, USA Network, and Lifetime Channel.


There are plenty of premium channels you can get with DISH and DIRECTV. The only difference is that the premium channels offered by DISH are easy on the pocket. However, DIRECT has more options when it comes to premium channels.

DISH TV offers HBO® and CINEMAX® included with the TV plans. However, DIRECTV charges up to $30 on top of your regular bill for these channels. Although, if budget is not the problem, DIRECTV has all the premium channels available for selection such as STARZ ENCORE, EPIX, AND SHOWTIME.

If you are into movies, DIRECTV can get you nine additional movie channels such as Hallmark Movies and Mysteries plus three months of free EPIX in just $4.99 a month. Dish offers a similar plan for just $10 a month.


DISH has a free installation which means that the cost of installation from a technician is included. A professional will come to your house and set up everything for you. Moreover, you can track your technician’s location and photo right after scheduling an appointment. The My-DISH app has all the exciting options that you can find anywhere else.

DIRECTV does not charge an installation cost but there are separate charges for the activation. The service activation is $20 for the very first time.

DISH vs. DIRECTV Picture Quality

Both DIRECTV and DISH offer channels in high-definition. You can binge-watch your favorite TV shows and watch your favorite college team play in high-definition.


The prices mentioned above only indicate the charges for the plan. Just like all the other providers, there are some additional charges on top of your monthly bill.

DISH TV Charges

The installation with DISH is free and there are no hidden charges for the installation. If you sign-up for a contract-based service, a $20 charge will be incurred based on the months left on your contract. There are separate charges for the DVR.


The installation for the first HD Receiver is free. However, if you get a second receiver, there is a one-time charge of $99 for additional receivers. There is a one-time activation of $19.95. Just like DISH TV, cancellation of service may result in an early termination fee that amounts to $20 multiplied by the number of months left in the service. The regional sports fee is $9.99 per month.


DISH does not have internet service. However, you can get satellite internet with one of its partners. DISH had an internet service of its own but now it is no longer available. Conversely, DIRECTV plans can be bundled with AT&T’s high-speed internet.

Final Verdict

DIRECTV offers better choices for the sports fan but might get a bit out of budget because of the price hike after the first year. DISH TV, on the other hand, is quite affordable and has no complex charges whatsoever. If you compare DISH reviews vs. DIRECTV, you will find mixed opinions. Therefore, it is not easy to select one. If you want to stay within budget, go for DISH. If you are a sports fan and can pay extra, go for DIRECTV. You can save up by bundling AT&T’s internet with DIRECTV plans.