Verdict: With packages that start at just 19.95 a month, we found DISH to be the best satellite TV service out there. You can find out more and sign up for DISH here.
DISH or DirecTV?
For years, I had digital cable. I hated my service, but I stuck with it, thinking that it wasn’t going to get any better. I suffered through the outages, the high bills, and the terrible customer service. At one time, I was paying well over $200 a month to my cable company for a bundled package with my internet and home phone, and I finally decided that it was enough. That was too much money to give to the local provider that couldn’t even ensure that my service was going to work from day to day. So finally, I made a decision to check out satellite TV that I had been hearing so much about. That night I ended up researching both DISH and DirecTV.
I found that in most cases DISH is the better service, below I will explain why.
The first thing I noticed when I compared DISH and DirecTV was the fact that the DISH packages were generally cheaper each month than comparable DirecTV packages. I decided to go with the Turbo HD Gold package, which is around $40 a month, however with Comcast I was paying over $100 a month for the same exact channels. On top of these savings, DISH actually has a deal going right now that your first twelve months are just $19.95, regardless of what package you sign up for.
Some inexpensive DISH plans to consider are:
The second reason I decided to go with DISH was because of the large amount of channels in HD that DISH offers. DISH not only has an affordable HD packages, with their Turbo HD service they have the largest selection of HD channels out of all cable and satellite TV providers.
This was a main selling point for me, considering I just bought a new 47 inch LCD TV and wanted to take advantage of the full 1080p broadcasts that DISH offers. Comcast currently only broadcasts channels in 1080i.
Overall, if your looking for the most affordable TV service out there, I recommend DISH . You will get the most bang for your buck and can potentially save hundreds of dollars a year over comparable cable or DirecTV packages.
You can find out more information and sign up for DISH here.
Update: USDISH approves just about everyone to get Satellite TV through DISH. I recommend trying to order DISH through USDISH, they are a reputable Satellite TV dealer and should get you approved.
Signing up for Satellite TV service goes smoothly for most people, however one thing that isn’t really mentioned alot is that you need to pass a credit check in order to get DISH and DirecTV. Now this credit check is very easy to pass (its not like trying to get a mortgage or car loan) however for those of you who may have bad credit or no credit there is an alternative.
If You Can’t Get Approved with USDISH:
DISH currently offers a way to prepay for satellite service. With DISH Pre-Paid you don’t have to sign a contract and you dont receive a monthly bill. This also eliminates having to give them a credit card or social security number when you sign up, which you generally have to do if you sign a contract. You simply pay for the service in advance by purchasing a pre-paid card at radio shack or your local electronics store. You then activate the pre-paid card over the phone.
There are a variety of packages available with DISH Pre-Paid including:
- Smart Pack
- America’s Top 120™
- America’s Top 200™
- America’s Top 250™
- DISHLATINO® Basico
- DISHLATINO® Plus
- DISHLATINO® Dos
- DISHLATINO® Max
You can also get premium movie packages such as HBO, Cinemax, Showtime and Starz.
DISH Pre-paid is also great if you have a second home or vacation home that you only spend a few months a year at. This way you just pay for the time you will use, instead of paying monthly since you may not be there for most of the year.
There are a few catches with DISH prepaid. First you need to make sure you have hardware that will work with the pre-paid service. You can purchase the hardware required at Radio Shack as well. Secondly, when you factor in the cost of the hardware the service is more expensive than signing a contract, however for those who can’t get the service through a contract this is a pretty good alternative.
If all else fails you can always try to repair your credit and re-apply in a few months.
UPDATE: DirecTV is now offering customers 50% off for their first 12 months, and other awesome deals – you can sign up here.
If you’re in the market for satellite television, there are two main players that you are probably looking at: DirecTV, and DISH. Both are completely viable, well-thought-out solutions that deliver the product that they promise. Both offer competitive home television solutions, good picture quality, and good customer support. In essence, both are services that are deserving of your consideration (and money).
However, we are blessed with a free market economy, where one product will always trump the other one. Superiority of design, engineering prowess, and the actual company behind it generally outdo the competition, and it is by this formula that many products have come and gone from the market. This is the very concept that has shaped our economy, and by now you’re probably wondering why this is relevant.
We’ve prepared a bit of a death match between the two main satellite providers in America – DirecTV and DISH – and have begrudgingly set them at each other in an epic battle to the end. Who will remain? Keep reading.
DirecTV – Features, Benefits, and General Information
DirecTV is a name that is synonymous with satellite television. When satellite television service was in its infancy, DirecTV was there. As the service expanded and grew, DirecTV was there. And, as the industry transformed into a complete multimedia solution, DirecTV was there. You could say that DirecTV is in it for the long haul.
DirecTV has gained a good reputation for being a quality satellite provider that offers value, customized packages, and ease of use for the customer. One of the main attractions to DirecTV is the fact that it is seemingly plug and play- once the technicians leave your home, your TV just works. There are no games to play, no hassles to experience, no hoops to jump through- just a working television set (err, up to four of them actually).
DirecTV’s lowest package (the Family package) runs $29.99 a month for 55 channels. At this price, which is pretty low considering the quality of the audio/video and the fact that the channels included are good channels, the customer is also given the option of having up to four receivers installed for free- how’s that for value?
Of course, there are packages that soar right through the entire pricing spectrum: $29.99 a month (Family), $49.99 a month (Choice), $54.99 a month (Choice Xtra), $59.99 a month (Plus DVR), $64.99 a month (Choice Xtra HD), and $69.99 a month (Plus DVR HD). The base package (the Family package) includes 55 channels, whereas the top end Plus DVR HD package includes 195 channels, HD content, local channels, as well as 68 XM Satellite radio channels. That’s a whole lot of TV.
DISH – Features, Benefits, and General Information
DISH is not as well known as DirecTV, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t making a big splash in the market. In fact, since DISH launched a few years ago, customers have been flocking to the service, credit cards in hand, literally begging DISH to take their money. Why?
DISH has a lot going for them: high-quality broadcasting, capable hardware, desirable packages, great rates, and plenty of customization. Their HD DVR units are second to none, offering the whole experience and enough technical features that they blend in perfectly to any home theater setup.
While the hardware is decent, what really makes a good television provider is the content that it is able to deliver. On that note, DISH does well. Their packages range in price, starting at just $19.99 a month for 55 channels and reaching as high as $104.99 a month for 320 channels and, of course, packages and pricing everywhere in-between. DirecTV however has landed an exclusive deal with the NFL for Sunday Ticket which provides total coverage of football and the NFL this is one major thing that DISH currently lacks.
Which Service is Better?
Pitting DirecTV against DISH was a difficult task, as it was hard for our testers to focus on the task at hand. Both providers have excellent services, and on that level we are able to say that we liked them both. However, in the interest of Darwinian science we’re going to find just one contender that does the job better than the other.
That contender is DirecTV, and here’s why: throughout the duration of our testing we couldn’t help but feel more at home with the software provided by the DirecTV. It flowed better, looked better, and was a lot faster too. Scrolling through various options menu’s was simple and easy to accomplish, and though that could be done on DISH as well, we found it easier and faster on DirecTV.
The DirecTV HD DVR is the best around right now, and though DISH’s incarnation is a very good example of what a HD DVR should be, the one offered by DirecTV is just a teeny bit better.
We predict that DISH will start to gain ground in the market, however we still recommend DirecTV because of their superior content and hardware. You can sign up for DirecTV here.
NBC is putting their hopes on “The Cape”, a show about a cop turned masked hero, for the mid-season.
The show’s star David Lyons (“ER”) recently explained that his character, Vince Faraday, doesn’t have any special powers but, after he is framed and assumed to be dead, he goes underground and is adopted by a carnival troupe/band of thieves led by the mysterious Max Malini (Keith David, “Death at a Funeral”).