Founded in 1980 by Charlie Ergen, Candy Ergen, and Jim DeFranco, DISH Network has grown from humble beginnings into a Fortune 250 company. They provide satellite TV to roughly 14 million users around the world. In 2014, they increased revenue 1.6 percent surpassing $14.6 billion. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, they employ approximately 19,000 technicians, customer service representatives, and more throughout the United States. DISH Network is a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ exchange with the symbol “DISH”.
- Competitive pricing
- DVR and other technology
- Mobile app
DISH offers a variety of packages, each with its own value and unique price. The old adage of “you get what you pay for” definitely holds true with their packages. For example, the “Welcome Pack” is on the lower end of the price range, however, there are only 50 channels to choose from. Depending on the package, you can enjoy upwards of 290 channels to choose from. Unlike some other Satellite TV providers, DISH Network offers its services in 40 states in the United States.
One feature they hold over other satellite TV providers is free Blockbuster @Home for three months. Blockbuster @Home is an alternate version of Netflix. Like DirecTV, DISH Network offers HBO, Cinemax, STARZ, and Showtime free for three months with any subscription.
Finally, DISH Network offers 24/7 customer service, so feel free to call in at any time of the day. Despite the amount of time available to reach a customer service representative being 24/7, there have been a number of complaints from customers not getting their issues resolved.
DVR and other Technology
DISH Network’s premier product is their Hopper HD DVR. The Hopper has a 2 terabyte hard drive, which is twice that of the Genie, DirecTV’s competing product. With the extra space, the Hopper can store up to 500 hours of HD recordings, more than DirecTV.
If you ever get tired of commercials, DISH Network allows you to skip them during primetime programming on major networks. While DirecTV allows you to view four different shows in four different rooms, DISH Network increases that standard by allowing six different shows in six different rooms.
If you ever lose your remote, you can use their remote locator to find it. And once you find the remote, you can use it to choose from their selection of 15,000 On Demand movies, which is more than twice that of DirecTV.
DISH Network also offers its customers a user-friendly app to keep track of their favorite programs while on the go. Currently, they have been given 4.1 out of 5 stars on the Android Apps site for Google Play. There have been between 5,000 and 10,000 installs. New features of the app include the following:
- Home Screen that allows user to quickly find content
- All content that is available on your homes tv is available on the app, making it perfect for catching your favorite sports action away from home
- DVR compatible
- Two-year contract
- Service and equipment issues
- Current promotion
DISH Network requires its customers to sign a two year agreement when officially becoming a part of the DISH family. This is not unlike many other TV providers. DISH Network provides a ton of information regarding their packages and related fees. Their main selling feature of a two Year TV Price Lock is appealing to most TV service shoppers.
Service and Equipment Issues
Another common user complaint involves problems with equipment and reception services. Having a TV provider that doesn’t provide consistently good service is not worth the time or the money. Many customers have felt their service with DISH Network was poor in this regard, making their experience not worthwhile to say the least. While many are quick to blame DISH Network as a company, a number of the issues complained about are simply results from the satellite industry as a whole and are not DISH Network specific. Unfortunately, simple things like weather can seriously impact the equipment and service provided.
DirecTV offers a promotional rate starting at $39.99/month, which is lower than DISH Network’s comparable offering. In the past, DISH Network used to offer similar “teaser” rates, but their current promotion doesn’t offer a decreased price; instead, they offer free iPad Minis for signing up. DISH Network also back-loads the two year contract as your monthly rate will increase up to $25 more per month.
DISH Network lacks in some of their HD programming offered compared to their main competitor, DirecTV.
DISH network offers several different packages which allows their customers to find the television service they are looking for at a price they can afford. These are the different packages offered by DISH Network:
- Welcome Pack
- America’s Top 120
- America’s Top 120 Plus
- America’s Top 200
- America’s Top 250
The Welcome Pack comes with over 50 channels including: HGTV, History Channel, Food Network, TBS, Hallmark Channel, and Comedy Central. The monthly cost for this service is $39.99 and it comes with the four-month protection plan. However, free installation and HD is not included in this package.
America’s Top 120
This package gives you 190+ channels for $54.99/month. This deal is not compatible with their “free iPad Mini” offer. A free Hopper upgrade is also included.
America’s Top 120 Plus
For $59.99/month, you get over 190 channels, including regional sports networks, and FUEL TV.
America’s Top 200
This package gives you access to over 200 channels, including Disney, Bravo, Nick Jr., NFL Network, and MLB Network. It costs $69.99/month.
America’s Top 250
$79.99/month after that will get you the top tier package of 260+ channels. This includes DIY Network, The Movie Channel, and H2.
Contracts are 24 months in length. If you cancel a contract early, then you will be charged $20/number of month’s early. If you had a contract that included a free iPad, then the rate is $30/each month left on the contract.
DISH’s movie package plan (Blockbuster @Home, Cinemark, Showtime, etc…) is free for the first three months, but then everyday rates will apply until you downgrade.
HD is free for the first 24 months, after which a $10 fee will be charged monthly.