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DISH television reviews

Staff rating
Customer rating
Price: $56.99 - $137.99/moChannels: 330+DVR storage hours: 125-500
staff review
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Researched by
Rebecca PalmerSenior Staff Writer
Headshot of Bri Field
Reviewed by
Bri FieldAssigning Editor
Updated 3/3/23

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DISH offers affordable satellite TV with a top-shelf DVR

DISH offers a sweet three-year price guarantee and one of the best DVRs available, but picture quality is unreliable, and you’ll miss out on regional sports networks.

What we like

  • Industry-leading DVR
  • Three-year price guarantee
  • 24/7 technical support
What we dislike

  • No regional sports networks (RSNs)
  • Higher rates for add-ons
  • Hefty early cancellation costs

Our expert assessment

Upfront pricing, but fewer channels and occasional picture problems

DISH stands out in the satellite TV space for its straightforward billing and three-year price guarantee for new customers. The basic package starts at about the same price as DIRECTV’s lowest-tier package, but premium packages cost a lot less. You’ll pay a little less for cable TV compared to DISH in many parts of the country, but things like competition between carriers and available technologies lead to big geographic differences.

DISH has a lot to offer casual viewers, but you won’t have access to NFL SUNDAY TICKET or any 24/7 channels in 4K resolution like you would with DIRECTV. There might be occasional problems with the picture quality for live sports, but those issues are rare for movies and most TV shows. Compared to cable TV, DISH usually offers better picture quality and many more channels.

While DISH is a lot more straightforward than DIRECTV, there are a few fees that can sneak up on you, including a local broadcast fee. You can get out of that fee by finding another way to watch local channels, but be sure to read your bill carefully each month.

Industry-leading DVR, voice remote, and streaming options away from home

DISH Hopper DVRs are fantastic, and they easily outshine the competition. The Hopper 2 is the standard model and comes with voice control, a Netflix app, and internal Wi-Fi. The Hopper Plus, released in 2022, is an add-on streaming box that lets you add thousands of streaming apps. With DIRECTV’s set top box, you miss out on the apps.

If you upgrade to the Hopper 3 or Hopper Plus with DISH, you’ll pay about $5 more each month. But you get a whole lot for the money. The super-powered DVRs can record up to 16 shows or games at once and save 500 hours of HD recordings. Plus, they're 4K-enabled and beam your DVR content straight to your smartphone or additional set-top boxes around the house so you can watch from anywhere. It also comes with more streaming apps than the basic version, plus built-in Bluetooth so you can watch with earbuds.

The Hopper 3 and Hopper Plus at extraordinarily powerful, but you won’t be able to use all the extra features if you don’t have high-speed internet. If you do, and you want to catch a metric ton of games and shows on your schedule, we think the extra monthly cost is worth it.

Equipment and installation
DISH antenna and DVR installation included for most buyers

DISH covers satellite antenna installation and DVR setup for what it calls “credit-qualified customers,” meaning customers who sign up for a two-year contract. Some competing cable companies charge closer to $100 for installation, so it’s nice to see both top satellite providers—DISH and DIRECTV—cover the initial setup.

Your standard monthly package price with DISH includes rental of one Hopper Duo DVR, but you’ll pay extra to add a wireless Joey receiver for other TVs or to upgrade to the Hopper 3. You will also pay extra for DISH Outdoors, a portable satellite antenna and receiver system you can mount on your truck or RV. If you already have DISH at home, the Outdoors setup doesn’t cost much more, making it a great option for camping or tailgate parties.

If you want to skip the Hoppers and Joeys altogether, you’ll need the Wally receiver and your own hard drive for recording shows. DIY DVR with DISH isn’t worth the hassle for most folks, but it is an option if you're tech-savvy and already own the equipment.

There’s also an option for people who don’t want the contract: Flex TV. You have to buy your DVR outright and pay for the installation out-of-pocket, but you can skip the credit check and pay for TV month to month.

Sports and premium channels
Fewer games and less 4K, but much better prices

DISH can’t compete with DIRECTV’s exclusive access to NFL SUNDAY TICKET and its growing list of options in 4K resolution. There are no regional sports networks, either. But you’ll pay a lot less for DISH (in both English and Spanish) and still get access to a wide variety of pro and college sports. The lowest-tier package includes five different ESPN channels and FOX Sports 1 HD, and you can add the Multi-Sport Pack plus your regional sports channel for about $25 per month. To catch the best pro basketball, hockey, and soccer games, you’ll need to upgrade to the second-tier package.

Where DISH lacks in NFL coverage and 4K sports, it shines in entertainment. A huge list of movies and shows is available at all pricing levels, and you can add even more by going up a tier. You can also add channels like Encore and EPIX for a monthly fee. Other add-ons cost a dollar or two more than they do with the competition, but you’ll still pay less overall. DISH wins points for having a user-friendly, sortable channel guide on its website, making it easy to choose the right package for your needs.

We stand by the validity of our reviews and are committed to transparency: Our team uses consumer sentiment software to source customer reviews, which are entirely unique to this website. Reviewers attest to being current customers of the providers they review and are not incentivized to speak positively or negatively about their experience. We do not alter the reviews in any way. Learn more about how we source reviews.

DISH customer ratings overview

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Our reviews come from real customers who weren't incentivized to leave a review. The rating distribution typically shows a range of experiences and opinions that helps you get a sense for the average customer experience, not just extremes.

Top reviews from DISH customers

Nakiafrom Chicago, IL
DISH Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 9/10/2022
Everything needs to be improved
Cheyannefrom Bullard, TX
DISH Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 9/9/2022
There are many features that I enjoy from dish. I mainly use the DVR the most to be able to watch my favorite shows anytime. I also enjoy that Netflix and Youtube are included with wifi so I can watch what I want on those platforms as well.
Keshsfrom Cool , AL
DISH Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 9/5/2022
Dish isn't as good as it used to be
Marlenefrom Portland, OR
DISH Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 9/4/2022
Their customer service is great. I generally like their programming. They need to improve on recordings, you can't record more than 2 at once and you can't watch live tv at the same time.
Christopher from Dayton , OH
DISH Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 9/1/2022
It's horrible they're always stealing money from me. They take stuff I've had for 5 dollars and charge me 70. They cut out all the time
Harishraifrom Parkville, MD
DISH Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 8/27/2022
They have got very wide selection of tv channels, suitable for all ages of people. DVR facility adds to the fun when you can view recorded programes at a time convienent to you.
Zachary from Martins Ferry, OH
DISH Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 8/25/2022
We've had dish for almost 5 years and haven't even had a real issue. The bills never really gone up and they take great care of their products
Cassandra from Joplin, MO
DISH Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 8/25/2022
Dish has been a great service provider. However the only thing we do not enjoy are the repetitiveness of channels and when it rains very lightly we tend to lose signal.
Jalilfrom Griffin , GA
DISH Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 8/24/2022
I love the way I can change channel . I can play music and the videos . I can get online movies that just came out
Jasonfrom Wasilla, AK
DISH Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 8/22/2022
I don't think they would have to improve much I'm more then likely happy with dish network thank you dish team
Anniefrom Saugerties , NY
DISH Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 8/21/2022
It's an amazing internet and cable provider.
Bonniefrom Inver Grove Heights, MN.
DISH Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 8/19/2022
It is fine, except when there is a storm. Picture goes out.
Shawnfrom Kei, OR
DISH Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 8/15/2022
Its ok but not enough real shows
Johnfrom Lanesboro, MA
DISH Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 8/15/2022
Do not like packages do not like sports do not like no veriety do not like that you cannot customise what you want. Do not like there prices
Noriafrom Teaneck, NJ
DISH Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 8/15/2022
I think dish is a great company that offers great service
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