DIRECTV and DISH are established, experienced brands—and, for ages, they were the only satellite TV providers around. The duopoly twins have high channel counts, good DVRs, and killer perks.
But duopolies, like monopolies, do gross stuff. In satellite TV, that’s requiring contracts, charging activation, cancellation, and reconnect fees—and having convoluted monthly bills.
So which dish-dealer is best? Well, Orby TV tries to simplify satellite TV service—by eliminating those annoyances—while offering one affordable channel package. Orby is the simpler, cheaper satellite provider, but it has high startup costs and poor customer service.
DIRECTV has more channels, more plans, no fee for its Genie DVR (the swanky DISH Hopper 3 is $15 a month), high customer satisfaction scores, and amazing NFL SUNDAY TICKET and HBO Max™ offers for new customers. But the 30–40% price increases in the second year just suck.
DISH has fewer channels (and no HBO®) and packages, and best DVR of the bunch (Hopper 3). But its two-year price guarantee is the clincher, earning our recommendation. Even with the $15 a month Hopper 3 fee, you’ll be better off here than with DIRECTV.
But each satellite provider has its upsides, so check out more details below.