In a world that has become heavily based on multimedia, there is fierce competition between content providers to attract paying customers. The benefit of competition for consumers is that it ultimately forces services to offer better features at more attractive prices. The cable and satellite world is an excellent example of this competitive market, and there are many different providers to pick from which can ultimately fit your desired needs and budget.
In the following article, I am going to cover ten significant competitive advantages of DISH’s satellite services and explain why these benefits are worth considering during your search for the best-suited cable or satellite provider. While this was a sponsored opportunity from DISH, all opinions expressed here are my own.
1) Price (Value On The Dollar)
One of the biggest factors when choosing a cable and satellite provider is the cost of the service. There are several packages available within DISH starting at just $49.99 per month for America’s Top 120 with a slight increase package over package as you unlock access to more channels. As with most satellite subscriptions, DISH requires a 2-year contract although you will not be met with any cost increases during your second year of service like with other competitors.
If you opt for the America’s Top 120+ package or higher, DISH throws in a free subscription to the premium content provider HBO for the first 12 months. While this is only free for half of your contract, you can cancel it before you are billed for the 13th month. DirecTV on the other hand only offers premium channels for the first three months then renews at $53.99 unless canceled.
2) Hopper 3 DVR Technology
The latest and greatest DVR receiver from DISH, the Hopper 3 is truly an impressive device. It packs a 2TB internal hard drive meaning that the Hopper 3 can handle 500 hours of HD video storage (or 2000 hours of SD video) and enough built-in tuners to record up to 16 shows at once. Compared to cable competitions this is 833% more storage (compared to 60 hours of HD recordings) and 250% greater than their biggest satellite provider DirecTV (compared to 200 hours of HD recordings).
3) Wireless Joey Transmitters
As someone who just purchased a home that was renovated without proper cable wiring throughout the walls, this became a burden that either result in an ugly appearance as visible wires run throughout your home or costly endeavor as you hire the cable company or a private electrician to properly install the cabling within the walls.
With DISH, you only need one physical wire running to the base Hopper 3 unit and then utilize an extension to transmit a signal over the air to their Wireless Joey devices that can be installed in any room.
An added advantage of this setup is that it makes for a cleaner look as it is one less wire to run and can be hidden behind your TV or in a cabinet quite easily. There is an additional one-time charge to upgrade to the Wireless Joeys, but in a case like this, the expense is typically worth it.
4) Built-In Netflix & YouTube Support
Collectively, we spend more than a billion hours a day watching YouTube and 116 million hours on Netflix thus making them two of the largest video content providers in existence. While many people still have an active cable or satellite subscription, most still watch a significant amount of content on YouTube or Netflix on a monthly basis.
Newer smart TVs often offer a dedicated app for accessing these services, or you can pick up a dedicated streaming device. However, DISH has made accessing these services even easier with dedicated apps built into their new receivers for browsing Netflix and YouTube from any room. This streaming service support is a free feature that doesn’t require any additional costs besides a Netflix subscription (YouTube browsing is always free).
5) HopperGO, Mobile Streaming & Offline Downloads
A few years back at CES, DISH announced their HopperGO which is an optional device that sells for a flat fee of $99. The HopperGO is a unique concept that is unlike anything else on the market. Its sole purpose is to store DVR content for offline streaming to your various mobile devices (can stream five different shows on up to 5 different devices simultaneously) making it an ideal companion for tech-savvy travelers.
Beyond the HopperGO, every DISH customer has access to mobile streaming via the DISH Anywhere app. The great thing about the DISH Anywhere app is that it offers live streaming of all the channels you pay for with your regular in-home DISH receivers along with On-Demand (Internet connection required). If you have extra storage on your mobile device, the app allows you to download individual episodes from your DVR for offline viewing.
6) Voice Remote & Amazon Alexa Support
One of the coolest and most convenient features in the Hopper 3 is the support for voice controls. This feature can be utilized with two different devices in one of two different ways: by way of the optional Voice Remote (sold separately) or via the widely popular Amazon Echo product line.
The Voice Remote sells for $35 and is an accessory that adds convenience to your life. Offering both voice recognition (when the voice button is held down) as well as a touchpad that is swipe and clickable, navigating through the interface and find relevant content is easier than ever. Out of the box, the voice remote requires manual pairing although it is a simple process that only takes a few minutes.
Amazon’s Alexa-enabled Echo devices offer a great deal more capabilities on top of DISH’s voice remote support. Pricing starts at $49.99 for the Echo Dot or $179.99 for the full-size Echo (Amazon has since released other Echo spin-offs like the Tap, Look, & Show although the Echo Dot and standard Echo are the most popular). Setting up an Alexa-enabled device to work with the Hopper 3 does require setup, but the process is simple, and there is a step-by-step guide available.
7) Convenient UI & Features
DISH’s technical team desires the best consumer experience possible, and this is evident in their product designs and features.
The Hopper 3 user interface is clean with appealing interface icons and design elements. From an organization standpoint, DISH categorized the specific menus into their relevant categories.
Finding your desired content (movies, shows, sports, etc.) is straight-forward resulting in less frustration and never missing a minute of your favorite show or sports event.
Something unique about the DISH Hopper and Joey remotes is that they offer a unique feature that almost anyone will find useful: a remote control locator! Simply click the ‘Locate Remote’ button on your receiver and the pair remote will begin to beep and light up to help find it.
8) 4K UHD Support
While 4K broadcasting has not gone mainstream on any cable or satellite provider, DISH’s Hopper 3 does natively support 4K TVs for certain elements. For example, the Hopper 3’s user interface will scale natively to UHD thus present a clean and eye-pleasing experience without any pixelation or stretching artifacts.
In the content aspect, the Hopper 3 offers UHD resolution for some OnDemand movies and shows as well as UHD streaming via the incorporated Netflix app. If you are familiar with the Netflix service, you probably already know they have a premium subscription offered at $11.99/month that provides more simultaneous streams in addition to accessing a growing library of 4K UHD content.
Is 4K broadcast programming due in the future? Absolutely, but much like the transition from standard definition to high definition, this is a slow and feeble process that will eventually become a reality. In the meantime, DISH’s Hopper 3 takes advantage of UHD displays catering to the increased resolution in more ways than its competition.
9) Stellar Customer Support
Cable and Internet service providers are notorious for having terrible customer service, so the consumers' perspective as a whole for internet/cable/satellite customer service is a jaded. Fortunately, DISH has excellent customer support and has won awards for their high level of consumer satisfaction in the past.
Subscribers can access DISH support 24/7 through phone or online communications, whereas most cable TV providers only offer online support on weekdays. As always, we recommend doing all support inquiries and troubleshooting for anything tech related over email/online chat, so you can easily save/print a copy of what the support representative says in the event of false or misinformation.
10) Nationwide Availability & International Channels
A benefit to satellite reliance is that its signal can be intercepted from nearly any area without the need for a dedicated cable like with a traditional cable company. DISH's versatility makes it ideal for both city living and rural areas alike and also allows customers the opportunity to utilize the ‘Move With DISH’ feature that allows you to transfer your service from one address to another for a minimal hassle and an affordable fee (ideal for cross-state moves).
If you are an international resident living in the U.S., DISH makes it easy to access native broadcasting from your home country with packages based on South Asia, Middle East, East Asia and European programming. Currently, DISH offers over 270 international channels broadcast in 28 different languages making for the widest selection for any nationality.
For those interested in signing up for DISH's service, you can do via their website or by calling their qualified sales team at (877)934-4557.
As a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and our Managing Editor, Colt loves testing out the newest tech products/services. His goal is to help better educate other consumers to ensure the most satisfying purchases decisions on consumer electronics and services. When he is not working on creating new content, Colt enjoys spending time with his two Australian Shepherds, Mia and Zoey.