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Satellite television services are great for how they offer you crystal clear video and audio through signals beamed from space. You just add a satellite dish to the top of your property and aim it clearly into the sky. After this, you will get signals that can be converted by your receiver box. This provides you with many great programs from movie, sports and entertainment channels plus your local networks.

DirecTV and Dish are the two key satellite television services that you can use today. Let’s take a look at what makes these two services different from each other or even similar in some cases. These are services that offer many programming options but it is important to watch for what is available.



DirecTV has been in operation since 1994. The service has grown substantially over the years and since 2015 has been owned by AT&T. The service has close to 20 million customers.


Dish was formed as EchoStar in 1981. It took the Dish Network name in 1996. The service has about 14 million customers.


DirecTV has the better backing as it is supported by one of the world’s top communications companies.


Both services offer a vast variety of major television channels for you to watch. This includes access to all the top-rated television networks plus many premium networks. The options will vary by the package you choose.

DirecTV does offer the NFL Sunday Ticket package. This is not offered by Dish although people can get the NFL Red Zone channel through Dish.

The only other real difference is that the two services have different streaming music channels. Each has dozens of channels in a variety of genres although they come from different services.


This is a push as both services essentially offer the same programming. People who want to watch full NFL games will benefit from DirecTV though.

Package Options


DirecTV has six package tiers for you to choose from. You can order the Select package that comes with about 145 channels for $50 per month for the first 12 months.

The Entertainment package adds the sports networks for $55 per month for the first year. More expensive packages add additional channels with the Ultimate package costing $75 per month in the first year for 240 channels.

The Premier package costs the most at $125 per month for the first year. It offers more than 315 channels with all the major premium networks like HBO and Showtime included.

DirecTV does offer discounts for people who use AT&T services. These include mobile and phone services. However, the discounts are heavily varied and are typically up to 20 percent off of services depending on the particular AT&T systems a person uses. This can directly influence the total cost of services although it is important to watch carefully in terms of how it works.


Dish has four different packages. The Flex Pack costs $40 per month for the first year and allows you to choose channels based on specific categories. The America’s Top 120 Plus package costs $55 per month in the first year and offers local channels and many other channels in a variety of categories.

With the Flex package, it will cost an extra $10 per month to add specific types of channels. These include separate packs for local channels, sports channels, regional sports channels, news channels and even kids programming.

The America’s Top 250 package is the most expensive. It costs $80 per month for the first year and includes all sorts of sports channels and even streaming music channels.


Dish has more flexible packages while the cost is less. Dish has the advantage in this field.


The two companies offer similar installation services. Both of them offer free installation on properties of all sorts. Each company offers licensed contractors that can help with installing your dish and getting your television service set up in your home.


Introductory Offers


DirecTV will provide you with all the premium channels for free for the first three months. You will also get the 2017 NFL Sunday Ticket package for any new contract from the Entertainment package upward.


Dish will give you all premium channels for free during the first three months of your contract. You can also get a free $100 Visa prepaid card with a new contract although the offer code GIFT100 must be added.


Dish has the better option overall although NFL fans will be interested in DirecTV.



The DirecTV Genie HD DVR lets you record and play back shows on any DVR box in your home. This prevents recording conflicts from developing. This links to up to eight television sets in your home and helps you get 4K signals with ease. You can record as many as five programs at once on the Genie. You can even use the Genie to restart live shows up to 72 hours after they have aired.

You can also use the Nomad service to sync shows from the Genie to an online signal on a computer or other device. This works efficiently but it will cost at least $100 for you to get.


Dish uses the Hopper DVR system. The latest model works with 4K signals and can handle up to sixteen programs at a time. It can link to your television set through a Bluetooth signals. It even uses a remote finder system that helps you to find your remote as needed.

With Dish, you can use the Hopper to let you watch programs you recorded on your receiver all the way to your mobile device. You will need to log into a proper app or account online to get access to those programs.


Dish has the better system for how it recorded more programs at a time.

On Demand Programming

Both services offer their own on demand solutions. This is where you can load up programs in real time and stream them to any device that you have a link to. The on demand programming is identical to one another in that both services are at the hands of whatever programs networks will make available for on demand use. Each service offers a simple menu that you can search through on your receiver box. You can use either one to search through different networks or to find shows by genre or title.


This is a tie as the two services have the same on demand functionality.



DirecTV has a full streaming feature that allows you to watch your favorite programs on demand or live on any device you own. You will have to get a proper connection and app on your mobile device for this to work.

You can even use the DirecTV NOW system if you don’t want to get a satellite dish and you want to simply stream live television. This offers more than 120 channels and gives you access to streaming programs in real time. This can work on any smart television set linked to an online signal or on a computer or mobile device.


Dish Network has its own streaming service called Sling TV. This works with dozens of channels and can work on your television, smartphone or computer so long as an online connection is available. It offers about 40 channels though.


The technology is the same for both but DirecTV has more channels to choose from and therefore holds the advantage.

Customer Service

The two companie offer live customer service for all their clients. This allows people to get in touch with professionals at any time of day by phone, online or through social media.

DirecTV does offer a device protection plan for a little more than $5 per month. This allows people to get full protection of their devices and to get reimbursed for any costs associated with replacing devices that stop working.

The customer service departments for both companies do offer similar online interfaces for ordering and changing packages. This includes not only getting access to new programs but also with paying for pay-per-view events. This is especially important for various combat sporting events that cost extra for people to get access to.


This is a push in that the services are practically the same. While DirecTV does offer more protection, it still costs extra for that point.

Final Advantage

While both services have their own ideal qualities, Dish has the better offers and technology to use. Both of these services will help you get great picture quality and on demand programs but Dish makes it easier for you to find packages you want while helping you spend less. This is in spite of how DirecTV offers the NFL Sunday Ticket while Dish doesn’t. Dish does at least have the NFL Red Zone channel. Let us know which option you think is the better one by leaving your vote below.