DISH Network Review 2022: Plans, Pricing, and More

Our TV experts gave DISH our Editor's Choice Awards for best overall TV provider and best TV provider for families—we tell you why in this DISH review.

Editor's choice

Price: $47.99–$127.99/mo.*

Channel count: 50–290+

DVR: 500 hrs.

Top plans Pricing Channels DVR Details
Best value
America’s Top 200
$94.99/mo. 240+ 500 hrs. View plan
Best for sports
America’s Top 120+
$84.99/mo. 190+ 500 hrs. View plan

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Is DISH Network any good?

DISH Network is our pick for the best overall TV provider and the best TV provider for families. You’ll like its prices, two-year price guarantee, parental controls, and powerful Hopper 3 DVR, which beats the poofy pants off competitor DIRECTV’s Genie. Also, HBO® and CINEMAX® are back!

What’s not so good about DISH Network? Well, it has limited bundling options and doesn’t have NFL SUNDAY TICKET (it’s a DIRECTV thing). But, overall, we think you and your family will be happy with DISH TV prices and packages. We’ll tell you more in this DISH review.

DISH Network TV pros and cons

Pros

  • Hopper 3 DVR
  • Inexpensive packages
  • 2-year price guarantee
  • HBO (after a long absence)

Cons

  • No NFL SUNDAY TICKET
  • Limited internet/phone bundling options

DISH Network deals and promotions

DISH has more deals and promotions than we tend to see with other TV providers. Some of these promos are automatic, but most are under the “Special Offers” section (scroll to the middle of the checkout page)—just check the box to get the deal.

  • Free installation: DISH will waive the $199 installation fee for new and qualifying customers.
  • DISH senior discount: There are no DISH Network packages for seniors, but when customers aged 55 or older sign up for DISH TV packages, they get free installation, one free movie rental, six free months of equipment protection, and upgraded identity theft protection.
  • DISH military discount: When you sign up for DISH TV service, active military, veterans, and first responders get one free movie rental plus the eight-channel Stars & Stripes channel pack (regularly $10 a month) at no additional cost.
  • DISH discounts for healthcare workers and teachers: Healthcare workers and teachers get one free movie rental plus the 12-channel Heartland channel pack (regularly $6 a month) at no extra charge when they sign up for DISH.
  • Free premium channels: All DISH Network packages come with three free months of SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, and the DISH Movie Pack™.
  • Movie on Us: You’ll get one free movie rental per month for 24 months just by checking the box when you order DISH.
  • eAutoPay discount: With all packages, DISH gives you a $5/mo. discount for using paperless billing.

To see more money-saving offers from DISH check out our DISH deals page.

DISH Network vs. the competition

Provider Editorial rating* Price range Channel count DVR storage (HD) Simultaneous recordings Details
Editor's choice, best for families
DISH
4.71 $64.99–$104.99/mo. 190–290+ 500 hrs. 16 View plans
Best value
Verizon Fios
4.63 $65.00–$189.99/mo. 125–425+ 50–200 hrs. 2–12 View plans
Best live TV streaming service
YouTube TV
4.50 $64.99/mo. 100+ Unlimited 3 View plans
Best for sports
DIRECTV
4.21 $74.99–$149.99/mo. 160–330+ 200 hrs. 5 View plans
Cheapest
Spectrum
4.06 $49.99/mo.‡ 125+ varies 2 (physical DVR)

Unlimited (cloud DVR)
View plans
Best for user experience
Xfinity
4.27 $60.00–$89.99/mo. 125–260+ 150 hrs. 5 View plans
Cox 3.69 $53.00–$138.00/mo. 75–250+ 250–1,000 hrs. 2–24 View plans
TV + internet bundles only
Optimum 3.88 $59.99–$174.99/mo.† 50–420+ 25–150 hrs. 15 View plans
Astound Broadband 3.40 $83.80–$152.84/mo. 55–304+ 20–75 hrs. 2–6 View plans

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary with location and are subject to change.
‡ For 12 mos.
* DISH Flex Pack ($47.99/mo.) and America’s Everything Pack ($127.99/mo.) are for existing customers only.

Once more for the cheap seats: we’ve named DISH the best overall TV provider and the best TV provider for kids. That might be all you need to make a decision. But if you need to know, like, why DISH rises above other cable and satellite TV providers, here are some of the bigger reasons:

  • Pricing: DISH is cheaper than DIRECTV and, with the DISH two-year price guarantee, your payment won’t change during your two-year agreement.
  • Hopper 3 DVR: DISH’s Hopper 3 ($10/mo.) can record up to 16 shows at once and store up to 500 hours of SD (or 500 hours of HD) movies and shows.
  • Parental controls: DISH partnered with Common Sense Media for its parental controls, which block inappropriate content and help your kids find educational value, positive messages, and good role models.
  • Availability: Satellite TV providers like DISH have about 99% coverage in the US, whereas cable TV providers like Optimum and Spectrum cover smaller regions.

A drawback to DISH, though, is the lack of bundling opportunities since DISH Network doesn’t sell internet service. But you can bundle DISH with Frontier internet if you happen to live in Frontier’s service area. Enter your zip code below to find out if you do.

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Compare DISH Network plans and pricing

Package Price Channels DVR* Details
Flex Pack $47.99/mo.† 50+ 500 hrs. View plan
America’s Top 120 $69.99/mo. 190 500 hrs. View plan
Best for sports
America’s Top 120+
$84.99/mo. 190+ 500 hrs. View plan
Best value
America’s Top 200
$94.99/mo. 240+ 500 hrs. View plan
America’s Top 250 $104.99/mo. 290+ 500 hrs. View plan
America’s Everything Pack $127.99/mo.† 290+ (incl. premiums) 500 hrs. View plan

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary with location and are subject to change.
† Packages for existing customers only.
* Not included in packages. Requires additional free of $10/mo.

The table above shows the four core DISH packages (America’s Top 120 through America’s Top 250) along with two packages available only to existing customers.

Among the core four, we recommend America’s Top 120+ ($84.99 a month, 190+ channels) to sports fans for its abundance of sports channels.

If you’re looking for the best deal, America’s Top 200 ($94.99 a month, 240+ channels) has the most channels for the best price. Some of the extra channels you’ll get include Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Drama, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, GOLF Channel, Telemundo, UniMás, Sundance, and Vice TV. And you’ll still get the Multi-Sports Pack free.

If you’re a current DISH customer deciding whether to renew your contract or switch providers, there are two DISH packages for existing customers.

The DISH Flex Pack gives you 50 popular channels for $47.99 a month, then you can customize your package with add-on packs (priced $6.00–$15.00 a month) that’ll give you either local, kids, movie, or premium channels.

Another package available only to existing DISH customers is the America’s Everything Pack. It has everything in America’s Top 250 plus premium channels like SHOWTIME®, FLIX®, STARZ®, and THE MOVIE CHANNELTM for $127.99 a month.

¡DishLATINO!

Looking for more Spanish-language channels? Well, DishLATINO has entire packages with the entertainment, sports, family, and lifestyle channels you and your family want. For more information, read our DishLATINO reviews:

DISH channels

DISH TV packages come with up to 290+ channels, including many of the most-watched cable channels, tons of kids and family channels, and almost as many sports channels as DIRECTV. DISH also carries several affordable premium movie channels and add-on packs. That’s a lot of information to cover in this DISH review, so we’ve compiled a separate article for you: our DISH Channel Lineup Guide.

DISH Network equipment, specs, and features

So, other than packages, pricing, contracts, and stuff—what else stands out about DISH? Well, you’ll have a tough time finding a better DVR/receiver than the Hopper 3. Also, DISH has excellent whole-home TV options like the Joey and a mobile app, DISH Anywhere, that lets you take pretty much all your DISH content wherever you go.

DISH DVRs and receivers

DISH device Price Leased receiver fee (due at signup) Storage Simultaneous recordings
DISH Hopper 3 DVR $10.00/mo. $50.00 500 hrs. 16
DISH Hopper Duo DVR $5.00/mo. n/a 125 hrs. 2
DISH Wally $5.00/mo. n/a n/a n/a
DISH Joey receiver $5.00/mo. $0 for first three, then $50.00 each n/a n/a
DISH Joey 4K receiver $5.00/mo. $50.00 each n/a n/a
DISH Wireless Joey receiver $5.00/mo. $25.00 each n/a n/a

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary with location and are subject to change.

There are three DISH Hopper DVRs, but you’ll hear more about the DISH Hopper 3 DVR because it’s frequently called the best in the industry. DISH also offers other receivers like the Joeys (for multiroom TV service) and the Wally (which goes with the DISH Tailgater (sold separately) for mobile satellite TV service).

DISH Hopper 3

Some would say the Hopper 3 is overpowered. After all, how many other cable or satellite TV providers’ DVRs can do all of the things below?

  • Record up to 16 channels simultaneously
  • Power up to 7 TVs (with auxiliary Joeys)
  • Store up to 500 hours of HD DVR recordings
  • Pair with Bluetooth speakers or headphones
  • Display 4K resolution
  • Allow you to watch 4 shows or games at once with quad split-screen
  • Built-in Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube (separate subscriptions required)
Dish Hooper 3 with remote

Top to bottom: DISH voice remote, DISH Joey, DISH Hopper 3 DVR.

If you don’t feel the need for this much power, or if you don’t wanna spend $10 a month for a DVR, there are two cheaper, more modest options.

DISH Hopper Duo

The Hopper Duo is DISH’s basic model DVR. It’s still available, and offered to households with DISH service on fewer than three TVs, and it costs $5 a month.

The Duo can record two channels simultaneously (when paired with an auxiliary Joey receiver, which we cover in an upcoming section) and store up to 125 hours of HD recordings. It also has Alexa compatibility, built-in Netflix (sorry, no Prime or YouTube), and Bluetooth—but no 4K support.

DISH Wally

An old-school receiver with no recording capability, the Wally can be used at home or with DISH outdoor TV equipment like the Tailgater and Playmaker (sold separately). The Wally is $5 per month.

DISH Joey

If you have a TV in more than one room, you’ll want a Joey, a small receiver powered by a Hopper or Wally. It gives you all the HD functionality of the main DVR/receiver but in a different room—kind of a “satellite” to the satellite service.

DISH has three types of Joeys:

  • Joey: Connects to your TV by coaxial cable and is compatible with the Hopper 3 and Hopper Duo
  • 4K Joey: Supports 4K resolution and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Wireless Joey: Connects, as per the name, wirelessly
The DISH Joey receiver

Expect to pay $5 per month for each Joey, 4K Joey, or Wireless Joey you want. But beware of the leased receiver fees DISH charges at signup.

For standard Joeys, you’ll pay a $50 leased receiver fee if you choose more than three Joeys. Wireless Joeys have a $25 fee per device and 4K Joeys have a $50 fee per device—in both cases, you’re charged for every device, starting with the first one. So multiroom viewing with DISH can get expensive.

DISH Voice Remote

Hoppers and Joeys come with the DISH Voice Remote, which features backlit keys (handy), a remote locator (even handier), and programmable shortcut keys (handiest of all). Remote models with built-in Google Assistant are also available.

In our tests, the remote’s voice recognition was about 95% accurate. It seemed to fail mostly due to human error, like when we mumbled, talked with our mouths full (how rude), or forgot to hold down the mic button.

The DISH Voice Remote

DISH Anywhere app

Finally, there’s the DISH Anywhere app for Android and iOS, which allows you to watch live, on-demand, and recorded content away from home. Bonus: the app can function as a remote for Hoppers and Joeys, and you can use DISH Anywhere to set and manage DISH’s top-notch parental controls—which is super handy for remotely controlling what the kiddies watch.

You can learn more about the app in our DISH Anywhere app guide.

 

Get DISH Anywhere
Person's hands holding a smartphone and scrolling through sports videos.

DISH Network bundles?

Although there is no such thing as DISH internet service, you can still bundle DISH Network satellite TV plans with high-speed internet from Frontier (assuming you live in Frontier’s service area). For more information—and to see if you can get Frontier internet where you live, read our DISH Internet review.

Final take: Is DISH worth it?

Well, we wouldn’t call DISH our best overall TV provider and the best TV provider for families if it wasn’t worth it. But to reiterate our reasons: we love that DISH has transparent pricing guaranteed for two years, a ridiculously powerful DVR, a feature-rich mobile app, solid parental controls, almost as many sports channels as DIRECTV, and tons of deals and promotions. Plus, HBO is back—so DISH TV service is actually even better now. Go ahead and sign up.

 

View DISH plans

Methodology

Our TV experts spend hundreds of hours watching and reading about DISH Network. For this DISH review, we compared it with other cable and satellite TV providers based on channels, pricing, features, and more. We then share our finding with our readers to help you in your search for TV service. For more information on how we work, check out our “How We Rank” page.

DISH Network FAQ

How much does DISH cost?

DISH TV pricing by package (new customers only):

  • America’s Top 120: $69.99 a month for 190 channels. This is the cheapest DISH package for new customers.
  • America’s Top 120+: $84.99 a month for 190+ channels—including more sports channels.
  • America’s Top 200: $94.99 a month for 240+ channels. This is the package with the best value.
  • America’s Top 250: $104.99 a month for 290+ channels.

Current DISH customers that have completed their two-year contracts can access these packages:

  • Flex Pack: $47.99 a month for 50+ channels. This is the cheapest DISH Network package for current customers.
  • America’s Everything Pack: $127.99 a month for 290+ channels—including free premium channels.

What is the cheapest DISH package?

America’s Top 120 is the cheapest DISH TV package. The package includes 190 channels for $69.99 per month with a two-year service agreement. But if you’re a current DISH customer, you’re eligible for the Flex Pack ($47.99 a month, 50+ channels).

If you’re wondering about the DISH Welcome Package, it’s no longer for sale.

Which is better, DIRECTV or DISH Network?

DISH is better, offering more transparent pricing—including a two-year price guarantee—plus superior DVR equipment and parental controls. DIRECTV has a few more sports channels and one of them is a biggie: NFL SUNDAY TICKET. But DIRECTV monthly payments jump by 30%–38% ($25–$62) in the second year of your contract. For a more detailed comparison of these two satellite TV providers, check out our DISH vs. DIRECTV review.

Does DISH Network offer senior discounts?

There is no DISH senior discount, but Dish55 is a DISH package for seniors or, more accurately, DISH customers aged 55 and older. It offers benefits like a free monthly movie rental and channel pack discounts. To get Dish55, check the box under “Special Offers” at checkout. Be ready to provide proof of age.

Does DISH Network have hidden fees?

Common DISH fees include an early termination fee if you need to end your service contract, local channel fees, equipment fees (for the Hopper Duo, Hopper 3, Joeys, etc.), and late payment charges.

How reliable is DISH Internet?

DISH doesn’t have its own internet service, so it partners with providers like Frontier to offer TV and internet bundles. Check out our DISH Internet guide to learn more about DISH’s internet options.

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