Dish Network vs DirecTV (comparative study)

by : Mike Lazier

Dish Network and DirecTV is direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service that broadcasts digital satellite television and audio to households. With the outbreak of satellite television people had many choices to make, which was then resolved by two main competitors, The Dish Network and DirecTV. As the prices were too high for cable TV, subscriber chose satellite TV, but had a question of which provider should be chosen?

A provider is a company that owns and operates satellites in geostationary orbit around the earth. These satellites broadcast the signal down to your satellite dish and from there the signal is transferred to your receiver (black box). The vast majority of satellite TV subscribers in the United States use one out of Dish Network and DirecTV. So this article will concentrate on comparing the two satellite giants in an attempt to help you decide which of the two is best for you.

When a comparative study is done one makes sure of the primary interests of a subscriber like customer services, installation charges, system warranty, channels that are available, etc.

Dish network was launched in December 1995 and soon reached its first million customers by the end of 1997. It is the first in the market that offers a two-way, high-speed internet access via satellite and first satellite TV system to offer over 500 channels all of which are digitalized.

Direc TV was launched in the summer of 1994 pioneering the satellite TV industry. Within a year it reached over a million customers in America. It has over 225 channels with many DVR and HD packages.

Both DISH Network and DirecTV offer 100% digital picture and CD quality sound in all of their programming which gives a crystal clear perfect picture which was not provided by cable TV

The exponential growth of the satellite TV industry builds a high level competition for both DISH Network and DirecTV and hence both are in a position where they can afford to offer the satellite equipment (dish and receivers) free to their subscribers. So for starters, both DISH Network and DirecTV offer free satellite equipment and subscribers just need a card for monthly billing purposes. As the equipments are free of cost, the price of your monthly programming bill depends on which programming package you choose.

DISH Network's America Top 60 programming package starts at $19.99 per month with the availability of local channels with a provision wherein you don’t have to commit a one year contract and wind your subscription without paying the penalty.

DirecTV's Total Choice package with local channels is $44.99 per month. In Total Choice package you get over 130 channels with a criterion of signing a one year subscription agreement. If you cancel your service before the year is up, then you have to pay a penalty fee to DirecTV.

As both satellite giants use the very latest technology in their satellites and receiving equipment, what differentiates the two is in the programming options that they provide to their subscribers. DirecTV is somewhat ahead of the DISH Network in their sports packages, as they offer seasonal sports options like the NFL Sunday Ticket that DirecTV has exclusive rights to. Both providers offer tons of premium movie packages to choose from including HBO, Showtime, Starz and Cinemax.

Dish Network has more satellites in orbit than DirecTV. They have the capacity to offer up to 500 viewing channels, whereas with DirecTV, you can only get 250 channels. DISH Network also offers more foreign programming packages than DirecTV does.

Dish Network uses dishes such as the 36"×20" SuperDish and the Dish 1000 with capability to receive satellite signals from three satellite locations simultaneously. Both Dish 1000 and SuperDish are becoming more common as Dish Network (as well as other DBS services) are attempting to squeeze more programming onto their growing systems, particularly local and national American television network stations, and foreign programming. Whereas DirecTV uses a fixed 18-inch diameter dish antenna to receive its signals to pull up the programs.

In the all important area of customer care, both DirecTV and DISH Network offer outstanding customer care and support. Both offer online FAQ sections and help sections at their websites. You can also call both toll-free to get help with any problem you may be having. Pay-Per-View movies may be ordered either by using your remote control or calling the 800 toll-free numbers for either provider.

Both DirecTV and DISH Network offer free professional installation as part of their free satellite TV promotions. One difference is that DirecTV will install your equipment for free in up to five rooms, where DISH Network presently only installs for free in up to four rooms of your home.

Markets are swarming with the various deals that are offered by the satellite TV providers. But one has to make a choice depending upon prices, subscription deals and quality of customer service.