Today I felt inspired to tell you a little about the differences in TV service providers. I’ve had some good experiences and some bad ones, so these are the differences based on my own personal experiences and the information I am providing is based on that. The reason I feel compelled to talk about this today is because I have had all three big ones; cable (through Charter and MediaCom), Dish Network, and DirecTV. By far one has been superior over all others and I thought it was time I shared that information with you!
Lets start with the first service I ever had, cable. Now I have to admit, cable quality is great, their prices are great…..at first. But once your promo period is up they will jack those prices through the roof, and unless you are a really, really good negotiator (or get someone on the phone who is having a good day), you are probably not going to get that price lowered again. The channel selection is okay, but in my opinion you do not get as good of a channel line-up as you do with some of the other services available (unless you get the most expensive package, which I never do). The customer service was overall not very good with the cable providers either. I have had plenty of conversations with them where I felt like unplugging and sending the whole thing back after I hung up the phone. Not good.
One plus to cable is bundling with their Internet service, which if you are fortunate enough to live in an area where you can get some super high speed Internet this is a great value (again until the term runs out on your promo rate). I have had cable service quite a few times, usually when we first move into a new home we get cable service, and after our promo rate is over we realize it is not such a great deal and look for something better. Charter service was overall better than MediaCom, both in what they offered and in customer service, but unfortunately your provider is usually based on where you live.
My husband and I decided after cable we were going to go ahead and try out Dish Network. At first we thought it was great, the prices were low and the signal quality was good; however, after a little while we realized we just didn’t get a very good selection of channels. They advertise all these channels you get, but seriously, you have a gazillion of those infomercial channels to scroll through just to find what you want to watch. Okay, may not a gazillion, but at least a bazillion 🙂 In addition, a lot of the “channels” they say you are getting in their package are actually music channels. I NEVER listen to those channels because if I have the TV on I want to watch something, not listen to music. If by chance I do want music on, I certainly don’t need over 30 channels of music to listen to, maybe up to five choices would be ideal, but over 30 of my channels are music? These are the details you have to pay attention to when you are looking at how many channels they say they offer (and did I pay attention when I signed up…. no of course not, lol)
You can bundle Dish with your telephone and Internet service, usually AT&T I think, but honestly, we didn’t need telephone service and the Internet wasn’t what we were looking for so bundling wasn’t an option for us. Overall, Dish Network is okay, but if you want more channels and don’t want to scroll through infomercials just to find what you want, I say pick something else.
Okay, so I think by now you know that I am going to tell you that my experience with DirecTV has been great, but let me tell you why. First, they have an awesome channel line-up, and not so many stupid infomercial channels, lol. The prices are a little higher than what you pay for Dish, but what you get for that price is far superior and in my opinion worth it! The quality has been amazing. We’ve had some wicked storms around here and there have been very few times that we have ever lost our signal. The customer service has been good so far. The only issue we ever had with DirecTV was when we first wanted to sign up. The DirecTV installer came out and told us we couldn’t get it at our house because our trees were too tall. I think this guy was just lazy because he didn’t want to put the dish on our roof. We had a local dealer come out and install it for us instead and have been enjoying it since!
One feature I really like with DirecTV is that you can use On Demand on your TV, on your iphone, your android tablet, your ipad, or android phone. On Demand allows you instant access to over 7000 shows and movies. This is an amazing feature when you are on the go and have shows you want to watch, or have little kids who like to watch movies in the car when you are traveling. It looks like DISH has a similar feature according to their website, but it seems as if you have to buy an adapter and you have to order it as an extra feature. I’m not really sure on the details as I don’t have their service anymore, but with DirectTV it is free. As long as the channel is in your package, you can use the On Demand feature.
As with DISH, DirecTV allows you to bundle your service with your telephone and Internet provider. We chose not to do this because where we live (out in the boonies) the fastest Internet we could get was 3mbs download speed and that was just not fast enough. Unfortunately that means we are paying full price to get 12mbs speed from our cable provider…..ouch.
COMPARISON OF DISH AND DIRECTV
Let me give you an example of the difference between these two so you can make a simple comparison. Lets say for example you don’t pick the highest package available, but also not the lowest. If you go with DISH and pick their America’s Choice Top 250, you will pay a regular price of $69.99/month, but they offer a first time subscriber discount. If you sign up online you will get $30 off per month for the first 12 months of service (terms apply, read the fine print). You get over 260 channels (according to the website), the movie channels free for 3 months, and HD is included. This brings your price to $39.99/month for 12 months and then you go back to the regular price.
If you picked a similar package with DirecTV, it would be their Choice Ultimate package (this is what I have). You will get over 225 digital channels, over 55 of which are HD channels. There are also a lot of music channels on DirecTV so that is pretty much a wash with DISH, but the price is really not that much different. For Choice Ultimate you pay a regular rate of $88.99/month without any sign up discounts. If it is your first time signing up with them they offer amazing discounts for the first two years, and at the end of the two years you go back to that regular rate. The discounts are $45 off the bill for the first 12 months, then $20 off for the second 12 months, and then back to the regular rate (terms apply, read the fine print). This brings the price of service down to $39.99 a month for the first 12 months, then $68.99 for the next 12 months. At this point you are basically at the same price for the DISH service for the first two years, and the programming is better in my opinion, lol.
With DirectTV you can also get discounts on top of those listed just for referring people to sign up for their service. You can get $10 off per month for 10 months for each person you refer. PLUS, right now they are offering NFL Sunday Ticket for free (something I did not get when I signed up), and all the movie channels for free for 3 months. All of your equipment is included for free (up to a certain amount), and HD is included.
Keep in mind for both services there are packages that cost more and packages that cost less. I just chose the particular one I did because I think it is the one of the best options for the money.
OVERVIEW AND SAVINGS OFFER
So there you have it, my choice of provider is clearly DirecTV. I think the overall service quality, channel selection, options available, and customer service is superior with DirecTV over all other choices, and since I have had all the other options, I am speaking from experience. If you are looking to sign up with a new provider, or just need to get something set up for the first time, of course you can and should choose what will be best for you and what you think is best for your home. If you decide you want to sign up with DirecTV, I have a $10 off per month offer for you that is in addition to the sign on bonuses listed above.
If you want the offer, just click this link to sign up: DirecTV $100 Off (when you click the link it will say “Levi referred you”, don’t worry, this is my husband, lol). If you call over the phone you can still get the discount, be sure to let them know you have a referral account number and give number 64772503. This will give you $10 off your bill for the first ten months, that is $100 off your bill! A word of advice, you MUST give the account number when you sign up or they will not retroactively give you a referral credit. Trust me, someone forgot to give it once and tried to call back in and get the credit and they would not apply it. They are sticklers on this.
After reading this post, my husband wanted me to let everyone know that he does not have any single preference of provider; probably because he never has a preference for anything but that is another matter, lol. Also, he wanted to let everyone know that he thinks my post is quite biased, to which I informed him “Yes dear, it is an opinion post and I am expressing my opinion. I gave the facts as necessary, however, I was also expressing what my personal preference is.” So, I’ve told you his thoughts on this, whatever that is worth to you. 🙂
Written by Jesica.
Disclosure: By clicking any links or giving referral numbers I will receive a matching discount on my bill, however, all opinions presented by The Mommy Bunch are strictly our own and not influenced by any outside source. DirecTV, DISH Network, or any cable providers listed are not affiliated with The Mommy Bunch in any way.