Dish Network is the second largest satellite television company in the United States today with over 14 million subscribers. With that many people paying for service, they certainly have to be doing something right. But if you are considering Dish Network service, you want to weight their strengths and weaknesses against other competitors that offer service in your area. In this article, we will consider the Dish Network pros and cons and hopefully give you a better idea on what they have to offer.
Dish Network Pros
1.) Price – Dish Network continues to offer the lowest overall prices in the pay television industry. Their latest promotion gives the customer access to five packages under $50. The Dish deals are of course priced lower during the first year, but several packages are still under the $50 a month price point even during the second year. Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen consistently battles with content providers on behalf of his customers, and the company tries to stay away from striking deals that will cost customers more in the long run.
2.) High Definition – After slipping behind DIRECTVbadly a few years ago in the HD battle, Dish Network came roaring back with plenty of new HD content. While they claim an inflated number of high definition channels (200 plus) in reality they do have a great HD lineup compared to most cable providers. In reality, Dish Network offers around 107 HD channels according the the AVS Forum, with another 90 pay per view HD channels.
3.) DISH DVR – The equipment offered by Dish Network is some of the best out there, even being compared to TiVo HD DVRs. With a new subscription, you can also get up to three HD upgrades, with one HD DVR and up to two additional HD receivers. Keep in mind though there are monthly equipment costs for extra satellite TV boxes beyond the first one.
Dish Network Cons
1.) Programming Disputes – The low price offered by Dish Network is at times offset by the programming disputes that Dish Network has with various content providers. Dish Network will often remove programming from their lineup instead of agreeing to terms they feel are out of line with the industry average. One such dispute with FOX resulted in customers losing channels like FX and National Geographic channel for nearly a month in late 2010. Generally when these disputes occur Dish Network will add in some additional content for their subscribers, as they did last October when the Fox-Dish dispute occured.
2.) Sports Content – DIRECTV is the clear leader when it comes to sports programming, offering exclusive content like the NASCAR HotPass package and the NFL Sunday Ticket. Dish Network again chooses the cost control route when offering sports channels to their customers. Major channels like ESPN and of course your local channels are available, but it can get frustrating if you are a Dish Network customer and want all of the sports content available out there. An example is the YES Network which broadcasts New York Yankee baseball games, which is still not available on through Dish Network.
3.) Satellite TV Contract – Its well known that if you sign up for satellite TV service through either DIRECTV or Dish, you will have to agree to a contract. The current agreement for new customers is two years, meaning if you terminate service before that time period ends you will pay a hefty fee. Satellite providers require this because of the significant investment they make in setting up each new customer. Installation and equipment is not free for the company (though they offer it at no charge to the customer) and as part of the deal they expect you to stay for at least 24 months before leaving so they can make back some of that initial investment.
Once you have weighed the pros and cons of Dish Network service, you can decide if what they have to offer beats your local cable company. Checking out the latest Dish Network specialswill also give you an idea on what you will pay during the first year of service.