DISH vs. AT&T U-verse
At a Glance
Type of Service
Type of Service
$59.99–$89.99 per month
$35.00–$110.00 per month
$10.00 per month
Included in package price
Included in price
$35.00 activation fee
Data effective 12/13/2017. Pricing subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.
Is DISH or AT&T U-verse the best TV provider for you?
Choose DISH for nationwide availability and one of the best DVRs in the biz.
DISH TV service is available almost everywhere in the country, which makes it easy to recommend to people who move frequently and don’t necessarily want to change TV providers every time. DISH also offers affordable pricing and the most powerful DVR you’ll find anywhere. These upsides are balanced by a long contract and convoluted bundling options, but overall we think DISH makes a great choice—especially if you don’t need to bundle internet with TV.
Choose AT&T U-verse for the huge channel selection and lightning-fast service.
AT&T U-verse is now the top-ranked provider in nearly every category in our annual subscriber survey, including in overall customer satisfaction. AT&T combines great customer service with a ton of channels and the reliability and speed of fiber technology, so it’s easy to see why people are so happy with them. If it’s an option where you live, we highly recommend it.
Check out our complete review of AT&T’s TV service.
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Customer Satisfaction Ratings
Installation & Setup
DISH has long been a leader in installation and setup satisfaction, and it makes sense that the company would try to provide a good experience in this category. Installing a satellite dish can be a little involved and it’s often the first major contact a customer has with the company, so providing a good experience can set the tone for the life of the contract. With a guaranteed seventy-five-minute window for service appointments and an installation fee that’s included in the price of the contract, DISH definitely delivers.
DISH Installation Fee: Included in price
AT&T U-verse(4.26 /5)
AT&T’s installation score improved significantly this year—it rose by nearly a full point. AT&T doesn’t charge an installation fee, and the activation fee is a modest $35.00. Unfortunately, there is no self-installation kit available from AT&T, but the process is pleasant and affordable enough that we’re not too bothered by it.
AT&T U-verse Installation Fee: $35.00 activation fee
DISH offers a standard channel assortment. At 290+ channels, the total count is a little lower than others, but all the standards are there so you likely won’t be pining for much. There are also plenty of sports and premium packages to choose from, like HBO®, Cinemax®, MLB Extra Innings, and NBA TV.
Check out DISH’s full channel lineup.
DISH Channels: 290+
AT&T U-verse(4.22 /5)
AT&T U-verse has one of the highest channel counts of any TV provider out there, which likely contributes to its high score in this category. With over 550 channels to pick from, we don’t think you’ll have any trouble finding something to watch with AT&T U-verse. The usual premium-channel suspects are also available, like Cinemax®, STARZ®, and sports favorites like the SEC Network and NBA League Pass.
Check out AT&T U-verse’s complete channel listing.
AT&T U-verse Channels: 550+
Like its rival satellite TV provider, DIRECTV, DISH advertises 99% signal reliability. Generally speaking, that’s what you’ll get. Just be aware that there is a possibility of weather-related interference when you’re dealing with satellite signals. Basically, if you live in an area that’s prone to heavy rains or snow, DISH may give you more trouble than land-based TV services like cable or fiber.
DISH Type of Service: Satellite
AT&T U-verse(4.18 /5)
This is another area where AT&T experienced big gains in satisfaction. As a fiber/DSL hybrid network, signal reliability should be excellent, and survey results are finally starting to live up to that expectation. In fact, AT&T now ranks first in reliability among providers. Fiber networks transfer TV signals to your home faster than satellite or cable, and that’s exactly what AT&T will deliver without missing a beat.
AT&T U-verse Type of Service: Fiber
DISH’s pricing is middle-of-the-road. Its budget packages aren’t quite as cheap as AT&T’s, but the high-end prices aren’t quite as high either. DISH’s rating here reflects that—it also falls right in the middle. Our favorite package is America’s Top 250™, which offers 290+ channels for $89.99 per month.
DISH Price: $59.99–$89.99 per month
AT&T U-verse(3.83 /5)
AT&T U-verse ranks first in monthly bill satisfaction and for good reason. Not only are the prices reasonable—with packages starting as low as $35.00 per month—but they also just get you a lot for your money. With its $35.00 package, for example, you get over 200 channels—for $35.00. Not many other providers can match that. In terms of value, we like the U300 package, with 470+ channels for $60.00 per month.
AT&T U-verse Price: $35.00–$110.00 per month
Tech Support & Customer Service
For the first time in several years, DISH is not at the top of our list for customer support. What happened? Well, nothing really. DISH’s score actually increased over last year’s—the problem is that every other provider’s score also increased, some by quite a bit. So, it’s not so much that DISH is doing something wrong as much as everyone else has started (finally) doing something right. The DISH Spokeslistener is as available as ever, though, so if you do need help, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting it.
AT&T U-verse(4.06 /5)
In addition to monthly bill satisfaction, AT&T now ranks first in tech support and customer service as well. The company’s support site is easy to use and helpful, with a good search function located front and center. There have been some issues getting a domestic call center in the past, but calling during regular business hours should help on that front.
Mobile Viewing Apps
You have a few options if you want to bundle internet or phone service with DISH. The company used to offer its own satellite internet, but it now partners with HughesNet for satellite service and with a variety of local Internet Service Providers for cable or fiber service.
If you want to add HughesNet internet service to your DISH service, plans start at $49.99 per month. The availability and cost of other plans depends heavily on where you live. Enter your zip code below to see what’s available near you.
AT&T Internet service is excellent. If you live in an area that can get U-verse TV, you can bundle with AT&T Internet or possibly AT&T Fiber, which offers speeds up to 1000 Mbps. The fiber service is priced reasonably, with packages starting at $60.00 per month for 100 Mbps and $80.00 per month for the Internet 1000 plan.