SVG Icons

DISH Review 2021: Plans, Pricing, and More

DISH earned our Editor's Choice Award for best overall TV provider. Read on to see why we think DISH is a solid choice for your entire family.

Best overall, best for kids

Price: $54.99–$99.99/mo.

Channel count: 50–290+

DVR: 500 hrs.

Top plans
Best value
America’s Top 200
Best for sports
America’s Top 120+
Pricing Channels DVR Details
$89.99/mo. 240+ 500 hrs. View plan
$79.99/mo. 190+ 500 hrs. View plan

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

Find out if DISH is available in your area

Please enter a valid zip code.

Huzzah! DISH is available!

Bummer! DISH is not available in your area, but we can help you find a provider that is.

See Providers

Is DISH Network any good?

DISH is our pick for the best overall TV provider and the best TV provider for kids. 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 Max, HBO®, and Cinemax® are back!

What’s not so good about DISH? Well, it has limited bundling options and doesn’t have NFL SUNDAY TICKET (it’s a DIRECTV thing). But, overall, we think you’ll be happy with DISH.

DISH Network TV pros and cons

Pros

  • Hopper 3 DVR
  • Inexpensive packages
  • 2-year price guarantee
  • Free Multi-Sport Pack*

Cons

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

* With America’s Top 120+ or higher.

DISH Network deals and promotions

DISH has more deals and promotions than we tend to see with other TV providers. The first five deals on our list are under “Special Offers” at checkout. Don’t forget to check the boxes for them—the rest of the promotions are applied automatically.

Free installation

DISH will waive the $199 installation fee for new and qualifying customers.

DISH HBO Max discount

If you sign up for DISH before October 27, you can get up to a year of ad-free HBO Max for $12 a month (regularly $15 a month). If you don’t mind watching ads, you can get HBO Max with ads for $10 a month.

DISH senior discount

When customers aged 55 or older sign up for a DISH TV package, 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 Multi-Sport Pack

If you order the America’s Top 120 Plus package or higher (or DishLATINO Max), you’ll get the 14-channel Multi-Sport Pack (regularly $13/mo.) free. Expires 11/15/21.

Movie on Us

You’ll get one free movie rental per month for 24 months just by checking the box when you order DISH.

Free premium channels

When you sign up for DISH TV service, you’ll get three free months of SHOWTIME® and STARZ®. Don’t forget to cancel before the promo period ends to avoid charges.

$100 gift card

For a limited time, DISH will give you a $100 gift card with online orders.

eAutoPay discount

With all packages, DISH gives you a $5/mo. discount for using paperless billing.

View DISH plans

Compare DISH Network plans and pricing

Price Channels DVR* Details
$54.99/mo.† 50+ 500 hrs. View plan
$64.99/mo. 190 500 hrs. View plan
$79.99/mo. 190+ 500 hrs. View plan
$89.99/mo. 240+ 500 hrs. View plan
$99.99/mo. 290+ 500 hrs. View plan
$139.99/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+ ($79.99 a month, 190+ channels) to sports fans for its abundance of sports channels. Plus, as we’ve mentioned above, with this package and higher, you get the Multi-Sport Pack add-on free (offer ends Nov. 15, 2021). That’s a lotta sportsball.

If you’re looking for the best deal, America’s Top 200 ($89.99 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 an existing DISH customer deciding whether to renew your contract or switch providers, check out the Flex Pack. It’s the cheapest DISH package for current customers and gives you 50 popular channels for $59.99 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 $139.99 a month.

We don’t recommend the America’s Everything Pack (AEP). You can get all of those channels (including FLIX and THE MOVIE CHANNEL) in the SHOWTIME and STARZ add-ons for $10.00 per month (each). Since Top 250 costs $99.99 a month, you could save $20.00 a month by adding them separately instead of paying full price for the AEP.

Get these DISH deals

DISH Network vs. the competition

Provider
Best overall, best for kids
DISH
Best for sports
DIRECTV
Best value
Spectrum
Cheapest
RCN
Most channels
Verizon Fios
$500 contract buyout
Optimum
Best voice remote
Xfinity
Free premiums
Suddenlink
Excellent DVR
Cox
Free HBO Max
AT&T TV
Pricing Editorial star rating* Channel count DVR storage (HD) Simultaneous recordings
$59.99–$139.99/mo. 4.10 / 5.00 190–290+ 500 hrs. 16 View plans
$64.99–$134.99/mo. 3.99 / 5.00 160–330+ 200 hrs. 5 View plans
$44.99–$94.99/mo. for 12 mos.‡ 3.49 / 5.00 125–200+ varies 2–6 View plans
$59.99–$82.12/mo. 3.63 / 5.00 55–304+ 20–75 hrs. 2–6 View plans
$56.00–$96.00/mo. 3.88 / 5.00 125–425+ 50–200 hrs. 2–12 View plans
$74.99–$124.99/mo. 3.71 / 5.00 220–340+ 25–150 hrs. 15 View plans
$60.00–$89.99/mo. 3.66 / 5.00 125–260+ 150 hrs. 6 View plans
$58.00-$124.99/mo. 3.45 / 5.00 225–340+ 75 hrs. 15 View plans
$50.00–$130.00/mo. 3.37 / 5.00 75–250+ 250–1,000 hrs. 2–24 View plans
$59.99–$129.99/mo. 3.13 / 5.00 65–140+ 20 hrs. (w/o contract)

Unlimited (w/ contract)
3 (streams) View plans

* Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary with location and are subject to change.
‡ For 12 mos.

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 are available almost anywhere 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. But most bundles, regardless of provider, save you only around $5 a month. Yeah, five bucks is five bucks—but you’ll save $5 a month with DISH’s eAutoPay discount. So the only thing you’re losing by not bundling is the convenience of having one bill for internet, TV, and home phone.

View DISH plans

DISH Network 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

You’ll hear more about the DISH Hopper 3 DVR because it’s frequently called the best in the industry—but it’s not the only DVR/receiver DISH offers. Here are the top three TV boxes you can get with DISH.

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 7 TVs (with auxiliary Joeys)
  • Store up to 500 hours of HD content
  • 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)

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 the basic model DVR that used to be included with DISH packages (America’s Top 120 and above), but now 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. 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

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.

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.

Get DISH Anywhere
streaming-on-iphone

Final take: Is DISH worth it?

Well, we wouldn’t call DISH our best overall TV provider and the best TV provider for kids 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 killer mobile app, solid parental controls, and tons of deals and promotions. Plus, HBO is back. So DISH is actually even better now. Go ahead and sign up.

View DISH plans

DISH Network FAQ

What is better, DIRECTV or DISH Network?

DISH offers better prices and DVR equipment compared to DIRECTV. Check out our DISH vs. DIRECTV breakdown to learn more about each TV provider.

Does DISH Network offer senior discounts?

Dish55 is a DISH package for seniors who are at least 55 years old. It offers them benefits like a free monthly movie rental and channel pack discounts. To get the discount, check the box under “Special Offers” at checkout. Be ready to provide proof of age.

What is the cheapest DISH package?

America’s Top 120 is the cheapest DISH TV package. The package includes 190 channels for $64.99 per month with a two-year service agreement.

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.

Methodology

Our TV experts spend hundreds of hours watching and reading about DISH Network and other cable and satellite TV providers in order to tell you which ones have the best packages, pricing, specs, and features. For more information on how we work, check out our “How We Rank” page.