DISH Network Satellite TV vs. Cable TV: Which is Best?

May 15


Brian Stevens

Brian Stevens

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Looking to transition from over-the-air TV or cable TV to satellite TV and wondering whether DISH Network or cable TV is the better option? This comprehensive comparison will help you make an informed decision.


DISH Network Satellite TV vs. Cable TV: A Detailed Comparison

DISH Network has been in fierce competition with U.S. cable companies for years,DISH Network Satellite TV vs. Cable TV: Which is Best? Articles vying for your business. While DISH Network has been gaining customers, many cable companies have been losing theirs. Here's a detailed look at why this is happening.

Fees and Subscription Costs

Cable TV Fees

Cable TV fees can vary significantly depending on the region. On average, a monthly cable subscription costs around $39.95. For instance, in some areas, the base fee is $37.30 per month for 64 channels, with an additional $10.95 per month for digital channels.

DISH Network Fees

DISH Network's subscription fees start at $19.99 for 40 channels and $29.99 for 230 channels, which includes 60 Sirius radio channels. All of DISH Network's programming is in digital format, and there are no extra charges for it.

Fee Increases

Over the past three years, cable TV fees have increased by an average of 22%, while DISH Network's fees have remained stable (source).


Cable TV Equipment

When you subscribe to cable TV, you typically receive free cable boxes. However, if you want a DVR (digital video recorder) receiver, you will need to pay extra.

DISH Network Equipment

With DISH Network, you get a free satellite TV dish and a four-room receiver system at no additional cost. Additionally, DISH Network offers a free DVR receiver or a free HD (high definition) receiver.


Cable TV Installation

Cable TV installation fees can vary by region. For example, installation in some areas costs $39.95 for one room and $9.95 for each additional room.

DISH Network Installation

DISH Network provides free installation for an entire four-room satellite TV system. The installer will also guide you on how to operate your new system.


Cable TV Programming

Cable TV offers a limited number of channels in digital format.

DISH Network Programming

DISH Network offers an extensive range of 350 channels, including:

  • 52 music channels
  • 60 Sirius satellite radio channels
  • 31 movie channels
  • 10 sports packages
  • 21 international channels
  • 80 pay-per-view channels

All DISH Network programming is in digital format, providing a higher-quality picture and more realistic sound. DISH Network also boasts the most HD programming (source).

Reliability and Customer Service

Cable TV Reliability

Cable TV blackouts average between 3% to 5% per year.

DISH Network Reliability

DISH Network's blackout rate is significantly lower, averaging around 1% per year. Additionally, DISH Network has consistently ranked higher than any cable company in J.D. Power's customer satisfaction ratings for the past five years (source).

Customer Service

In many regions, cable TV customer service is limited to regular business hours. In contrast, DISH Network offers toll-free and online customer service 24/7, 365 days a year.

Interesting Stats

  • Customer Satisfaction: DISH Network has been ranked highest in customer satisfaction among all TV providers for five consecutive years (source).
  • Fee Stability: While cable TV fees have increased by 22% over the last three years, DISH Network's fees have remained unchanged (source).
  • HD Programming: DISH Network offers the most HD programming compared to any other TV provider (source).


When comparing the number of channels, cost of programming and installation, picture and sound quality, reliability, and customer service, DISH Network emerges as the clear winner. Whether you're looking for a wide range of channels, stable fees, or excellent customer service, DISH Network offers a superior experience.

This article provides a detailed comparison between DISH Network Satellite TV and Cable TV, helping you make an informed decision based on fees, equipment, installation, programming, reliability, and customer service.