Here is a brief and succinct guide to the cheapest satellite television service, specifically DISH Network and DirecTV. The battle between the two satellite television giants continue to see who can provide the most channels and best service all for a reasonable price. Pricing for both are pretty similar, especially since both companies offer a $10 HD upgrade fee per month. Here is a brief description of the tiers and packages as well as upgrades and promotions.
DirecTV has three tiers of service. The first is the Family package that starts at $29.99 per month. Features include over 50 all-digital channels, satellite music channels, local programming, and no equipment to buy or startup costs. The middle tier is the Choice package that starts at $29.99 per month. Features include over 150 all-digital channels, satellite music channels, local programming, no equipment to buy or startup costs, and a free HD or DVR receiver (available only online). The Choice extra package is the same except you get 200 channels. There is a Choice Extra + HD DVR package where you get the same features as the normal Choice package but also get a free HD DVR receiver upgrade. The top tier is the Premier package that starts at $83.99 per month. Features include over 265 all-digital channels, satellite music channels, local programming, no equipment to buy or startup costs, and a free HD DVR receiver (available only online). You also receive every premium movie channel: seven HBO channels, twelve Starz channels, nine SHOWTIME channels, and three Cinemax channels. All packages can add optional HD channels for $10 per month. Also available are a variety of sports packs for football, baseball, basketball, or hockey fans.
DISH Network has five different tiers of service: Family, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Everything. The Family Pack consists of over 55 channels featuring sports, news, and children shows as well as local programming. There are two different Bronze packages, 100 and 100+. The Bronze packages feature over 120 channels and are well-priced package, meeting the needs of all members of a family. The 100+ package includes local sports programming. The Silver pack offers 220 channels including Bravo, MSNBC, SPEED, Animal Planet and more. The Gold package includes the Silver pack tier plus SIRIUS music, Biography, and NFL Network. DISH Network’s top tier, appropriately titled Everything Pack, includes 290 channels plus HBO, ShowTime, Starz, Cinemax, and NBA TV. Excluding the Family pack, one can upgrade with optional HD channels for $10 per month. The lower your level, the fewer HD channels you receive (Bronze gets 55 while Gold and Everything get 80 channels). Pricing is as follows: Family $29.99, Bronze $29.99, Bronze+ $29.99, Silver $37.99, Gold $47.99, Everything $84.99. These are monthly rates and are currently special 12-month offers online. Also available are a variety of sports packs for football, baseball, basketball, or hockey fans. These new prices only apply to new customers only.
When comparing pricing and the number of digital and HD channels that you can get, DISH Network is the outright winner. While the DirecTV top tier is only $4 cheaper than DISH Network, DISH Network provides more channels that countermands the $4. While the cheapest might be DirecTV, the best is DISH Network.
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