DISH vs DIRECTV Comparison

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If you're here, you're probably interested in satellite TV and looking for a bit more info (smart move :). Before you settle on a satellite TV provider, it's always a good idea to perform a DISH vs DIRECTV comparison. Based on our experience and the customer feedback we've received, here are the most important factors to consider:

DISH has cheaper rates than DIRECTV

For years now, DISH's major advantage over DIRECT TV has been their base price. Plans start at $29.99 per month (Flex Pack with $10/mo DVR and $7/mo receiver fees) while DIRECT TV checks in at $50/mo (SELECT plan, but it also includes ALL HD and DVR fees). It's one of the major reasons why DISH has grown so quickly (DIRECT TV came on the scene years earlier). Another great advantage of DISH's lower pricing is the lack of fees to up- or downgrade your service -- you can sign up at a rock-bottom price and they let you adjust your plan at any time to accommodate your schedule and budget. If your primary decision point is price, the edge goes to DISH.

DISH carries more HD channels

If you count up all the HD channels available, DISH has over 200 while DIRECT TV has over 190. However, about 50 of DISH's HD channels aren't full-time (i.e., part of the day, they broadcast in standard definition). Both providers offer local channels in full HD. Quality-wise, they both transmit in 1080p HD, providing the most clarity and color definition available. If you're a sports nut, DIRECT TV carries more (and exclusive) sports channels in high def. All told, this one's a tie.

DIRECTV is the undisputed leader in sports

Speaking of sports, this is where DIRECT TV sharpened its teeth. DIRECTV is the only satellite provider that carries NFL SUNDAY TICKET and NASCAR HotPass (with each, you can watch nearly every game/race of their respective seasons). Each provider carries the NBA League Pass, ESPN Full Court, NHL Center Ice, MLS Direct Kick and Barclays English Premier League. In addition, on both, you can find regional sports coverage via your local FOX Sports channels. So, if you're an MLB or NFL superfan, DIRECT TV is probably your best bet.

Local channels are nearly always available

In the early days of satellite TV, there were plenty of cities (even major ones) that couldn't get their local TV channels. Today, every major city is covered, with only a tiny percentage of smaller cities still being upgraded. If you're a new customer signing up, most promotions now include free local channels (if not, make sure you ask or request it). Local broadcast channels include: ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, etc. Comparison-wise, this one's a draw.

DISH or DIRECTV - so what's the bottom line?

Both DIRECTV and DISH offer a high quality service (especially compared to cable). All things considered, if you're looking to save $10-$50/month (depending on your programming), go with DISH TV. Chances are, DISH's prices will never exceed DIRECT TV's and if you sign a contract during a promotion, you can usually lock in that rate for years. If you need your sports fix (especially with the NFL or NASCAR), DIRECTV wins out. If you're stuck somewhere in between, compare the current deals using the banners below and sign up before they expire!

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