Have you thought about getting satellite TV in your home? If so, DISH Network is likely one of your top choices. DISH Network service includes hundreds of channels and high-quality equipment for whole-home DVR. DISH TV is an excellent option for many households, but it's a good idea to know exactly what it offers and how it fits into your entertainment needs. 

DISH Network Review

  • Pricing and Packages
  • Channels
  • Service Bundling
  • Add-Ons
  • Equipment
  • Special Offers
  • Contracts
  • Taxes
  • Fees
  • Customer Service
  • How to Cancel Dish

DISH Network is one of the top satellite TV providers in the United States. In addition to satellite TV, it also partners with several internet providers to make it easier for customers to group their services.

Even if DISH Network is high on your list of considerations for your next TV service, there's a lot to think about regarding the best provider. Does DISH include all the channels your family watches the most? Can you record your favorite shows so you can catch up later? What sports and local channels are included in each package?

Learning all the ins and outs of DISH Network's TV service can help you decide if you should start your search elsewhere or sign up right away.

Why Choose Satellite TV Instead of Cable?

Cable TV is usually the more affordable option with fewer service interruptions than satellite TV. However, not all TV viewers will prefer cable TV over satellite TV. 

People looking for live TV programming often choose satellite TV when cable isn't offered in their area. This typically is the case in rural areas without cable TV wiring. With satellite TV, households can install a satellite dish to receive internet service and TV service, even when their area isn't as grid-connected. 

Satellite TV also has cheaper DVR services than cable TV does, on average. Viewers can add affordable DVR equipment to their plans to record shows and movies they want to watch later if they can't catch them live. 

Another bonus for satellite TV customers is its access to live TV content. For instance, satellite TV providers are known for giving customers the best of the best when it comes to sports, including add-on sports packages that let them catch all their games, regardless of whether they're available in their market area. Additionally, to watch live TV, satellite customers don't need to rely on a stable internet connection or cable connection to catch the latest TV content. 

What Is DISH Network?

The DISH Network Corporation is one of two of the most popular satellite TV providers in the United States, with its top competitor being DIRECTV. Today, it provides satellite TV services to over 19 million customers across the country.

Originally offered in the early 1990s, DISH has released some of the most notable technology in satellite TV services throughout the years. For instance, DISH Network was one of the first to release a DVR system in 2001, allowing TV subscribers to record their favorite shows for on-demand viewing later. A few years later came the TV receiver that allowed DISH customers to have TV service in any room of their homes.

DISH has since created one of the best TV streaming service options, known as Sling TV, for TV viewers who cut the cable cord in favor of an affordable, customizable TV service. 

DISH Network's current services offer DVRs that hold up to 2,000 hours of recorded programming, nationwide coverage, and four plans for DISH customers to get exactly what they want from their TV services. 

Although NFL fans often prefer DIRECTV for its NFL Sunday Ticket package, DISH Network offers plenty of other benefits for customers, including affordable pricing and two-year contracts with guaranteed rates.

DISH Network Review

If you're deciding on the best satellite TV for your needs, DISH is an excellent service to consider. We break down DISH Network to help you determine if this TV provider is your best option.

Pricing and Packages

DISH Network has four primary packages for customers to choose from, plus four Latino programming packages. All DISH packages include a two-year contract with guaranteed pricing, meaning that your rate will not increase during those two years. You can also customize any package with add-ons that fit your lifestyle and entertainment needs.

America's Top 120

Get 190 channels on this plan, which includes favorites like Cartoon Network, Animal Planet, the Disney Channel, and other top channels most people expect from any TV provider. Additionally, other channels like Family Movie Classics, Headline News HD, and Law & Crime beef up the offerings for a well-rounded entertainment solution starting at $69.99/month during your two-year price guarantee. 

America's Top 120 Plus

With this package, DISH subscribers get all the channels included on the America's Top 120 plan, plus extras that are ideal for sports lovers. For instance, this lineup adds Big Ten Network and SEC Network, and you'll get an extra Fox Sports channel to catch your favorite sports highlights and rundowns. America's Top 120 Plus starts at $84.99/month. 

America's Top 200

For $10 more per month than America's Top 120 Plus, America's Top 200 gives everything in the previous two tiers plus even more sports and entertainment. Extra channels in this package include NHL Network, MLB Network, and the Golf Channel. Disney XD, Bravo, Hallmark, and the Game Show Network are a few additional entertainment channels for subscribers. 

America's Top 250

America's Top 250 is best for movie lovers, as it includes everything from the previous packages plus 17 more movie and entertainment channels. Nicktoons, STARZ Westerns, The Movie Channel, and Turner Classic Movies are only available with this package, which starts at $104.99/month. 

Latino Programming

DISH TV's Latino programming includes Spanish channel options and entertainment. However, the four Latino packages work similarly to DISH's primary packages. Depending on your chosen level, you get between 180-270 channels. Customers also get six free months of the DISH Protection Plan, free HD service, and a two-year price guarantee. Each package is also customizable with add-on packages or channels, like Showtime or the Dish Movie Pack.

Channels

DISH Network Corp offers a wide range of channels, including access to local channels for sports, news, and other live programming, plus optional premium channels, like HBO and Showtime. All in all, there are more than 290 channels and 36,000 on-demand titles available to you, depending on your chosen DISH package. Expect to get all the channels you want to watch on DISH, with several packages to choose from to get just the right mix of entertainment, sports, and movies that your household watches.

Unlike DIRECTV, DISH does not have the NFL Sunday Ticket allowing viewers to stream all NFL games. However, NFL fans can watch NFL Redzone on DISH, which gives NFL game highlights and expert commentary. 

Service Bundling

You might also be interested in bundling your TV programming with high speed internet service when you order satellite TV service. Bundles can reduce your costs to have both services.

Unfortunately, DISH does not offer any direct cost-saving bundles for its TV service and high-speed internet. However, you can get discounts on internet services through DISH's partnerships with some of the best internet providers. DISH partners with satellite internet providers like Viasat and HughesNet, and also has partnerships with DSL, cable, and fiber internet providers – including AT&T, CenturyLink, and Earthlink. 

Reach out to DISH Network to see what partnered internet provider is available in your area and your expected costs as a DISH Network customer. 

Add-Ons

DISH Network offers a variety of add-ons. Enhance your DISH TV package with multiple channel packs that give you the TV stations and movie channels you want to watch.

Multi-Sport Pack

The Multi-Sport Pack is one of the more popular DISH TV packages. It's included on America's Top 120 Plus and higher packages for free and is currently unavailable for the base package. This pack includes 27 extra channels perfect for sports lovers, including NBA TV, Longhorn Network, and NFL Network.

Sports Season Passes

Want to catch all the games of your favorite sports? DISH doesn't carry an all-season NFL package like DIRECTV, but it does have access to hockey, baseball, and basketball with NHL Center Ice, MLB Extra Innings, NBA League Pass, and NBA Team Pass. The prices of each package vary and are only available during the season. 

Premium Movie Channels

Add the DISH Movie Pack to your plan for 11 additional movie channels, including Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, Sony Movies, and HDNET MOVIES. Or, you can opt for your favorite premium movie networks, like HBO Max, Cinemax, or Showtime, to catch your favorite movies. Some premium channels, like STARZ and Showtime, are available for free on specific plans. Prices for movie packs and premium channels range from $6-$15/month. 

Family Programming

Take advantage of DISH Network's add-ons that are fit for the whole family, like DogTV for $4.99/month, which includes programming specifically designed for dogs who love to watch TV. Gallery is also available free for three months on specific packages, adding a channel with ambient noise that's perfect for relaxing or meditating. Or, choose the Heartland Pack for $6/month, adding 11 channels, like Game Show Network, Oprah Winfrey Network, and Discovery Family. 

Outdoor Pack

Add Outside TV, World Fishing Network, Sportsman Channel, and Outdoor Channel to catch all your favorite outdoor sporting events and programming for just $4/month added to your current package.

On-Demand Subscriptions

DISH's On-Demand Subscriptions let you access on-demand programming whenever you're ready to watch using your Hopper DVR and broadband internet connection. Discovery+, ViX+, and COCINA ON are available from $2.99-$6.99/month.

International Live TV

Enjoy TV programming from around the world with DISH's International TV Packages, available in more than 20 languages. Prices and channels vary based on the language and plan you choose but generally range between $19.99-$29.99/month.

Spanish Programming

Whether you have a traditional or Latino package, you can add DISH's special Spanish programming to your monthly bill. Get 34 extra channels with the Latino Bonus Pack for $10/month, or add Spanish movies, entertainment channels, sports, and more with other plans costing from $2-$9/month. 

Equipment

In addition to the satellite dish you'll receive for your DISH Network service's initial installation, you can also request DVR equipment from DISH. A DVR lets you record shows and movies you want to watch later, either by recording them manually or setting the DVR system to record your shows when they're scheduled to air.

Hopper 3

DISH's DVR is known as the Hopper. Its most recent version, Hopper 3, supports up to seven TVs and records as many as 16 shows at one time. It also comes with 2 TB of storage space, allowing as much as 2,000 hours of recorded TV shows saved right on your DVR. 

Hopper 3 also includes apps for your favorite channels and streaming platforms, like Netflix. A smart remote lets you control Hopper 3 and your TV easily with forwarding, pausing, and rewinding features. Use the AutoHop feature to automatically skip commercials as you watch. It even includes a voice remote with Google Assistant, so you can tell Hopper 3 exactly what you'd like it to do. And, integrate Hopper 3 with Google Home or Amazon Alexa for even more whole-home connectivity.  

Joey

Speaking of whole-home connectivity, DISH's Joeys keep your DISH service and DVR available throughout your home. Wired and wireless Joeys are available as receivers to connect to any TV in your home, giving you the same DVR capabilities on those TVs that you get with your Hopper-connected TV. A new 4K version gives connected 4K TVs 4K streaming capabilities. For TVs without 4K compatibility, the 4K Joey supports High-Definition programming. Currently, 4K Joeys are only available with Hopper 3 devices.

Special Offers

Unlike DIRECTV, DISH Network provides customers with several special discounts they can use to lower their monthly bills if they qualify. Not only can these discounts give you the best deals on current packages, but they'll also add some extra perks to your service:

  • Healthcare customers: DISH customers who work in healthcare can get the Heartland Pack free, with channels like Discover Family and Hallmark Channel. They also get one free movie rental per month and access to the DISH Anywhere app.
     
  • 55+ customers: Customers 55 or older can get best-value pricing, plus free in-home tech support visits, one free movie rental monthly, and six months of Dish Protect Plus.
     
  • Military service customers: Customers currently in or who have served in the military can qualify for this deal, which includes the Stars & Strips Pack, a free Hopper upgrade, and one free monthly movie rental.
     
  • First responder customers: Eligible first responders also get extra channels with the Stars & Stripes pack, an upgraded Hopper DVR, and a monthly movie rental for free.

Contracts

DISH requires customers to sign a two-year contract when they sign up for DISH service. However, this contract comes with a significant perk for customers: it locks in their rate for those two years, so the cost of service won't go up within that time.

Compared to DIRECTV, which only locks in an introductory rate for one year, this two-year guarantee can help customers budget for their service and enjoy a low rate for a longer period. 

However, if you want to cancel DISH satellite service before your two-year contract is over, you'll pay an early termination fee of $20/month for the number of months left on your plan. So, if you still have 11 months left, you'll owe DISH $220 to cancel.

Taxes

It's important to note that DISH Network TV service won't cost the same in every state. Most states have a sales tax that automatically applies to your service, and the amount of that tax varies by state.

Some states also add other taxes that increase the overall cost of the service. For instance, Tennessee has a satellite sales tax of 8.25% for the sale of satellite services, including satellite TV. Kentucky adds a video excise tax of 3.0% for multichannel video programming, which DISH provides with its satellite TV services.

In other states, you'll find gross receipts taxes, which are applied to a company's gross sales. For example, Maine charges a 6.0% tax on DISH for its services within the state, which it passes off to consumers.

Review your state's tax laws to determine what kinds of extra tax charges you might find on your bill. You can also reach out to DISH customer service to inquire about potential tax charges.

Fees

In addition to your usual package pricing, DISH charges other fees that could increase the cost of your service. However, it’s important to note that this is typical for many TV providers, including satellite, cable, and streaming services. 

Some of the fees you may find on your DISH bill include shipping fees for equipment unless you have DISH Protect, appointment fees for installations or repairs, late payment and payment extension fees, and removal fees for specific services or programming within 30-180 days of adding them. DISH also charges early termination fees and fees for unreturned TV equipment, like Hopper or Joey. Finally, depending on your package and included services, you may see charges for your DVR services and equipment.

Customer Service

At certain points throughout your DISH TV service, you may need to contact customer support for help with technical issues, setting up equipment, or understanding your bill or services. Fortunately, DISH includes a large knowledge base on its website for customer self-help with answers to many common problems and frequently asked questions.

For issues that require speaking with a person, you can contact DISH’s technical support 24/7 by phone at 800-333-3474. Customer service agents are also available via live chat and through the same phone number every day of the week from 8 AM to 12 AM. Alternatively, you can get your questions answered quickly by contacting DISH on Twitter or Facebook.

How to Cancel Dish

If you decide you’d like to cancel your DISH Network service to switch to a different provider, you can contact customer support at 866-974-0781. When you call, a DISH representative will provide you with additional options that you might choose instead, like:

  • Pausing your service: Whether you’re experiencing financial hardship or just want to pause your service temporarily, DISH can stop your service and payments without any penalties to your account.
     
  • Moving your service to a new residence: DISH makes it easy to move somewhere else without interrupting your service by offering a free installation, equipment upgrade, and Multi-Sports Pack for three months after your move.
     
  • Cutting the cost of your bill: DISH works with you to lower the cost of your bill without giving up the channels you love to watch if you decide you’re paying more than you’d like to for your TV service.

If you still want to cancel, you can. However, be aware that you’ll pay a $20 fee for every month still left on your two-year contract to cancel early. Alternatively, you can schedule a cancellation with DISH when your current two-year period is up to avoid automatic renewal.

Should I Subscribe To DISH Network?

We know how important it is to find the right satellite TV service that lets you access Food Network, Disney Channel, and your favorite movie channel options from any TV in your home. For many customers across the United States, DISH Network is the right choice. Not only does it offer attractive introductory prices, but those prices stay in effect for two years with the two-year price guarantee, compared to DIRECTV’s one-year price lock.

However, if you’re an NFL fan who loves to catch all the latest games, then DIRECTV could be a better option. It’s the only satellite TV network that includes the NFL Sunday Ticket, one of its most popular offerings. 

Still, DISH’s massive selection of channels and acclaimed Hopper 3 DVR equipment and Joey receivers make it a well-rounded satellite TV provider. Don’t forget that you can shave money off your monthly bill if you fall into a special discount group, like healthcare workers or military personnel.