Optimum cable or iO as it is often called is one of the big cable operators in the northeast along with Time Warner cable. With a large presence in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, Optimum has the advantage of serving highly populated areas. DISH Network of course is a national satellite TV company, with customers from coast to coast. In this article, we will briefly compare Optimum TV vs DISH Network.
Both DISH Network and Cablevision, the parent of Optimum offer all kinds of special deals for new customers. While these prices look great in advertisements, the reality is that you will pay more than advertised if you stick with either company long term. As we review the packages and pricing from Optimum and DISH Network, we will list the current regular pricing, so you have an accurate picture of what you will really be paying.
With Optimum digital cable, there are several levels of service to pick from, starting with the iO Family cable package. Here you will get more than 100 channels plus your local programming for around $59 per month. Most of the popular cable networks are included like A&E, the Discovery channel, and ESPN. HD channels can be viewed as well as long as you have a compatible iO digital box and an HDTV set.
The two comparable packages offered by DISH Networkto this package would be the America’s Top 120 which is $39.99 a month, or the America’s Top 200 for $49.99 per month. Both of these have a similar number of video channels, but the Top 200 adds around 60 extra Sirius music stations. Both have a similar lineup to the Optimum Family cable package when you are looking at the regular cable television channel part of the package.
The iO package is the next offer from Optimum TV, and is added to the Family package for an additional $11.95 per month. A lot of secondary cable television networks are included in this package like the Hallmark Movie channel, the Military Channel, and G4. This package compares well with the America’s Top 250 package from Dish TV. For $64.99 a month, DISH Network offers around 260 channels total, again adding in many of the second tier cable networks.
Now if you are interested in premium movie channels like Starz, HBO, and Showtime then it pays to compare the DISH Network offers against Optimum to figure out the best setup for your situation. Optimum offers two different packages, the iO Silver and the iO Gold for those who want plenty of commercial free movie entertainment.
The iO Silver package will run you $80.85 per month, and adds in around 25 different movie networks from Encore, Showtime and Starz. With this package, you will get both East and West coast feeds from the networks, plus themed channels for kids, comedy channels, and action movies. Overall, this is a great value when compared to the iO package, as you only pay around $12 more per month for dozens of commercial free networks.
The iO Gold package is the other Optimum digital cable option, and here you get basically everything including HBO, Cinemax, and TMC (The Movie Channel). For $102.95 this package will set you and your whole family up with unlimited entertainment.
Now if your prefer the satellite option, DISH Network offers a similar bundle called the America’s Everythingpackage. This includes nearly 3 dozen commercial free movie networks, and it lines up with what Optimum offers with their Gold package. The DISH Network option is slightly cheaper, coming in at a price of $99.99 per month.
Cable providers do have one big advantage over satellite in that they can also offer high speed internet and home phone service. If you are interested in bundling services, one thing to check into is the Optimum triple play, which can save you some money during the first year of service with their promotional deals for new customers.
Another factor to consider when comparing Optimum vs DISH Network is the charge for the digital video recorder, or DVR. Optimum DVR service is currently charged at $10.95 a month, while the DISH Network DVR fee is $6 per month. DISH Network also offers DuoDVRs, which can connect one standard definition TV and one high definition TV through the same device. For this price you can save over $14 a month if you were connecting two TVs compared to what you would pay Optimum to have two TVs with DVRs set up.
One area though were Optimum beats DISH Network is video on demand. Cable companies like Xfinity and Optimum have spent millions to deploy their On demand platforms to deliver thousands of programs to their customers at a moments notice. Optimum offers Free on Demand, which replays content from regular cable television channels, as well as premium on demand.
Premiums on demand can be added to regular movie channels like HBO for an additional $4.95 a month, and this will allow you to watch all kinds of content from HBO on your own time schedule. Finally, Optimum TV also offers pay per view movie channels for $4.95 each which are generally newer release movies, as does DISH Network. There is a limited selection of on demand through DISH Network, but you have to have a broadband connection to access what DISH Network has to offer in this area.
Another final consideration when comparing DISH Network vs Optimum for many is foreign language programming. DISH Network and DIRECTV are the true leaders in international programming, offering more than a dozen foreign language packages. The DISH Latino package can get you into 50 Spanish Language networks in addition to your English channels, while the Optimum en Espanol offer adds around 35 Spanish channels to your base package for $6.95 per month.
The other foreign language options from Optimum only add a few channels, if you select the satellite option you will get much more for your money with DISH Network.