How Does DISH Compare to Other Entertainment Providers?

May 7th 2016
Dish/ Satellite Service: How Does Dish Compare to Other Entertainment Providers?
The promise of satellite television when it first appeared was that we would have a virtually unlimited selection at the lowest prices. So far, the report card on those claims is mixed. There is a lot of content for almost every taste. Prices are good for new customers, but not so much after the introductory rates expire. 
Greater Competition Among Entertainment Providers
The satellite television business began under different names before coalescing into DISH and DirecTV. They both compete with cable providers to bring programming to subscribers. What we have seen develop is more or less parity on price and programming. With few exceptions, the same networks and programming are available. It's around the edges that the differences are found. How sports programming is handled, the DVR service, what specialty channels are available at what price levels - that's where the separation is. 
How Does DISH Compare?
With DirecTV - It was 1994 when DirecTV began offering television programming. EchoStar, operating as DISH Network, came online shortly after. Since then, they have been competing against each other, all the while trying to carve out a niche in the industry. For the most part, DISH has marketed itself as the low-cost alternative, while DirecTV works to appeal to to consumers as having the best programming. They both offer discounts to new customers but require contracts.
With Cable - DISH is very competitive with cable providers on price, especially during the first few months of a contract. It's on the back end that DISH loses its luster. Of course, someone could buy into a deal with a big programming package, then downgrade in the last year of the contract. DISH isn't as good when it comes to On Demand as most cable providers and can sometimes experience service disruptions in bad weather. 
With Online Streaming - TV content from the Internet is still behind when it comes to satellite and cable. It's on the rise, however, and is adding more original programming all the time. Netflix, Amazon and YouTube already have shows in production or in the works. When that is combined with vast libraries of shows and movies, online streaming becomes all the more enticing. Cable companies actually have an advantage over DISH Network and DirecTV when it comes to competing with online TV because they can bundle with fast Internet or phone service to bring the total cost down. The Internet service offered by DISH cannot compete with what the cable companies have. 
Employee Relations and Customer Service
According to the Denver Post, DISH Network was rated as the worst company in America to work for in 2013, the second year in a row the company was rated at the bottom for employee satisfaction. Unhappy workers can lead to poor customer service, but that doesn't seem to be the case with DISH, whose customer service rankings fall about average for telecommunications companies. 
The Hopper - The whole-house DVR offered by DISH is getting high marks. The Hopper is a single storage device that can record up to six shows at a time and share them with TV terminals all over your house. PC Mag Online called it an Editor's Choice Pick for DVRs. It helped spark a sort of DVR arms race, forcing competitors to ramp up plans for advanced DVR equipment as part of their plans. Customer satisfaction is on the upswing since the roll-out of the Hopper. 
Vendors - A downside to DISH, and a big source of the complaints the company receives, is the vendors used for installations and sales. There is little oversight when it comes to proper business practices, and sometimes, unscrupulous installation and sales vendors don't observe good business practices. 
The best tool you can have for selecting the ideal entertainment provider is knowledge. Before diving in to your next cable or entertainment provider, be sure to do thorough research so you can be certain you're choosing the best service for you.

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