What’s your TV-watching love language? Are you the type that likes to sit down and flip through channels until you find the one? Maybe for you, the one is a rerun of Jurassic Park 3 on FX, or watching a few touchdowns on NFL Redzone, or (gulp) Keeping Up with the Kardashians on E!.
If you’re looking for channel variety, you’ll find it with DISH. On top of that, you’ll get tons of channels for an actually decent price. Just check out the prices below to see what we mean.
- Straight-up pricing (looking at you, DIRECTV)
- Plenty of sports (the most college football coverage available)
- Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility
- No HBO of any kind
- No NFL SUNDAY TICKET
- More expensive than DIRECTV for the first year
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, check out the DISH packages available in your area. Enter your ZIP code here.
DISH packages and pricing
Whatever package you choose, your monthly bill should always stay the same.
DISH TV prices and packages
|Plan||Price w/2-yr. contract||Price w/o contract||Channels||Learn more|
|Flex Pack||N/A||$37.99/mo.||50||View package|
|America’s Top 120||$59.99/mo.||$79.99/mo.||190||View package|
|America’s Top 120 Plus||$69.99/mo.||$84.99/mo.||190+||View package|
|America’s Top 200||$79.99/mo.||$94.99/mo.||240+||View package|
|America’s Top 250||$89.99/mo.||$104.99/mo.||290+||View package|
Price and channel inclusion vary according to location. Data effective 1/15/2019.
* All offers require credit qualification, 2-Year commitment with early termination fee and eAutoPay. Prices include Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.
With the risk of sounding dramatic, price hikes are easily in the top 10 worst things about TV subscriptions.
Well, guess what—price hikes aren’t a thing with DISH. You get what you pay for, and your monthly bill should stay the same. Sigh, if only The Simpsons could have stayed the same since the 90’s.
You’ve got five different DISH channel packages to choose from. The package you choose depends entirely on your TV tastes.
You can relax knowing that every DISH package comes with your local networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC), plus ESPN, Disney Channel, HGTV, and Food Network. Don’t you feel better knowing you’ll get your sports fix, Joanna Gaines fix, and Guy Fieri fix with even the most basic channel package? We feel better.
To find out what truly sets each DISH channel package apart, you’ll want to take a gander at the full channel list.
What’s the difference between the packages?
You get a good value with any of these DISH channel packages. As long as you find the cheapest package with all the channels you want, rest assured you got a good deal for satellite TV. Especially considering that DISH doesn’t stuff the channel count with random music channels or anything like that. You get straight-up pricing for channels that you’ll actually watch.
Is DIRECTV cheaper than DISH?
Depending on your package choice and add-ons, DISH will probably end up being cheaper by the end of the two-year deal for you.
Get your TV and the internet in the same place and maybe save a few bucks.
It’s a good feeling when you get everything done in one quick phone call. DISH doesn’t provide internet directly, but DISH can hook you up with one of two internet providers:
Those two providers cover most of the country, so if you want to bundle DISH with internet, you’ve got the choice. If you have your choice between the two, we’d recommend going with Frontier over HughesNet for higher internet speeds.
Stack those deals
You can learn more about DISH deals here.
To contract or not to contract
Contracts will save you money, but you lose some freedom.
As is the case with most TV providers, you gotta sign up for a contract to get the best deal.
What’s cool about DISH is that it gives you the option to live without a contract—without a code. Much like the loose-cannon cop that always solves the case in the end. Sorry, I blacked out for the last two sentences.
You’ll save $10–15 going with a two-year contract, which saves you $240–$360 over the length of the contract.
Early termination fees
The downside, of course, is that you can’t get out of your contract without incurring some serious cancellation fees.
How heavy are these cancellation fees?
When you get your bill every month, here are all the items that could make up the sum:
- $59.99–$89.99 per month depending upon what channel package you choose
- $15 per month for the Hopper 3
- $5–$7 per month for every additional Joey DVR
- $4–$200 per month if you get any add-on packages or channels
- $7 fee for any late payments
Good news—installation is free with DISH. According to DISH’s website, its installation team will mount your satellite dish and set up your DVR system “free of charge for a limited time.”
It says limited time, but that offer has been on the table for, like, the past two years. So you should expect free installation whenever you buy DISH at this point.
All you need to do is set an appointment, and the DISH specialists will be there within a 75-minute window.
Spend your life livin’ in a channel-flippers paradise
Let’s play a game. Name any channel you can think of, and let’s see if DISH carries it. I’ll go first (and also second and third and fourth).
- Does DISH have the MLB Network? Yes, it does.
- Does DISH have Boomerang? Yes, it does.
- How about Sundance TV? Of course it does.
- Okay, now I’ve got you—Does DISH have HBO? Sadly, it does not.
Long story short, DISH has basically every channel you can name except HBO.
Leading the way for college sports
Double check the DISH channel list and make sure all of your favorite channels are accounted for. But whether you’re a sports, lifestyle, reality, or general entertainment fan, you should find basically everything you need with DISH.
Can I get add-on channels?
Let’s be honest—DISH’s premium channel game is about as good as the Lakers without LeBron James. In other words, it’s pretty weak. There’s no HBO, CINEMAX, or STARZ. Here’s what you do get:
DISH premium channel pricing
|DISH Movie Pack||$10/mo.||View plans|
Sorry, you’ll need to look elsewhere to get your Game of Thrones or Outlander fix. Thankfully, most premium channels have stand-alone streaming services, like HBO Now.
Still, it would be nice to get a deal with your DISH subscription instead.
Best packages for sports
DISH carries essentially every sports channel you could ever want. Except there’s one massive elephant in the room—no NFL SUNDAY TICKET.
If you want all of DISH’s sports channels, though, we recommend America’s Top 200 channel package. Here are all the channels you get:
- MLB Network
- NBA TV
- NHL Network
- Pac-12 Network
- SEC Network
Can I get sports for a cheaper package?
Gone are the days of checking the TV guide to see when the next episode of Survivor is on. Most of your DISH channels come with tons of on-demand content so you can watch any of the shows you may have missed—no need to plan your schedule around the TV guide.
DISH serves up on-demand content in a similar fashion to Netflix. You can enjoy lots of the latest movies and TV shows.
Good luck deciding on something when you have so many options.
Equipment & features
The best DVR in the business
DISH DVR options
|DVR price||Storage hours (HD)||Simultaneous recordings||Automatic commercial skipping|
|Hopper Duo||$10/mo.||125 hrs.||2||Yes|
|Hopper 3||$15/mo.||500 hrs.||16||Yes|
Let’s put those 500 recording hours in context—it would take 63 hours to watch all seven seasons of Game of Thrones. It would take 327 hours to watch The Simpsons from start to finish. It takes 127 hours to watch all of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
In other words, you’ll have time to record basically everything, and it will take you a long, long time to run out of space.
The other cool thing about the Hopper 3—you can record 16 things at once. That means no more arguing about wanting to record Monday Night Football over The Bachelor.
Not bad for just an extra $15 a month.
Connecting multiple TVs to your Hopper DVR
So by now, you’ve definitely picked up on the kangaroo theme. Can you guess what the little DVRs are called that connect to the bigger DVR? Did you guess Joeys? You’re right—they’re called Joeys.
For every extra TV you have in your house, you’ll want to get a Joey to connect it to your DVR. It will cost you an extra $5 a month per Joey to avoid fighting over a single TV’s DVR.
DISH Anywhere app
The DISH Anywhere app works exactly how it sounds—if you already have DISH service, you can watch TV on your phone, tablet, or computer wherever you are.
For example, let’s say you’re on a family trip to Disneyland, and your daughter desperately wants to meet Elsa. The only problem—it’s a three-hour wait. Fortunately, you can just watch the football game while you wait. Sure, you’re paying $100+ to wait in line, but at least you’re watching good TV.
The DISH Anywhere app also lets you watch recorded content offline. There’s no need to worry about streaming with data or watching while in airplane mode. Just make sure to download your recorded content with Wi-Fi before you go out in the world.
What about DISH and 4K?
Want a more in-depth 4K comparison? Check out our review of the best TV services for 4K.
The awards speak for themselves
DISH has won so many customer service awards that you should expect the representatives to be very accommodating.
Here are all the awards DISH has won from J.D. Power for its customer service and other awesome attributes:
#1 in Customer Service*
#1 in Performance and Reliability*
#1 in Cost of Service*
#1 in Billing Experience*
*Dish Network received the highest numerical score in the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Telecom In-Home Service Technician Study, based on 3,744 total responses from 8 companies measuring experiences and perceptions of customers, surveyed December 2017-January 2018. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com/awards.
Speaking from personal experience, DISH customer service is extremely helpful and friendly, but don’t be surprised if you get sold to a little bit.
We talked to a customer service representative about Joey DVRs, and within a minute they were selling us pretty hard on upgrading our subscription. But just say you’re not interested, and they will understand.
The cheaper of the two major satellite TV services
If you decide to go with satellite over cable TV, DISH is a smart choice.
What matters the most at the end of the day is that DISH’s two-year contract ends up being cheaper than DIRECTV in most cases.
You might miss out on a cheap introduction price for the first year of your contract, plus premium channels like HBO, but you get the essential channels for a decent price with DISH.
What’s your DISH experience been like? Do you prefer DISH over DIRECTV or cable? Let us know in the comments below.