DISH vs AT&T : Which is Better?

DISH vs AT&T : Which is Better?
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DISH offers 190–290 channels, a two-year price lock, and the best DVR on the market—the Hopper 3. It's also our choice for best overall and best children's television provider.

AT&T TV is a live TV streaming service that offers 65–140+ channels, cloud DVR, enticing new client offers, and contract and no-contract options. However, in comparison to the DISH Hopper 3, the patented TV box is unremarkable.


Price: $64.99–$99.99/mo.*
Channels: 190–290+

2-yr. price guarantee
Best DVR

DISH plans


Price: $59.99–$129.99/mo.**†
Channels: 65–140+

Free HBO MaxTM and NBA League Pass offers for new customers
No-contract plans (for a fee)
High prices

at&t plans

Pros and Cons of both Providers


✓ 2-yr. price lock
✓ Best DVR
✓ Best kids’ programming and parental controls
✗ DVR fees
✗ No HBO


✓ Free HBO Max and NBA League Pass offers for new customers
✓ No-contract plans (extra fee)
✓ Easy, fast self-installation
✗ High prices
✗ Lower channel counts

Head-to-head Comparison

Provider PRICE CHANNELS DVR Storage Simultaneous Recording


$59.99 - $139.99/month 65 -140+ 3 -20 VIEW PLANS


$64.99 - $99.99/month 190 - 290+ 16 VIEW PLANS

DISH offers much more channels than AT&T TV but at a higher price. With the $15 monthly charge for the Hopper 3 DVR, they go up even more. However, the DISH two-year price lock means there will be no rate hikes in the second year.

AT&T TV, like any other live TV streaming service, has fewer outlets, but AT&T can't always seem to give up its old cable tricks. Even before the second-year price rise, its two-year contract plans are expensive, and its no-contract plans come with a hefty fee.

Price and Plans

When it comes to taxes, both DISH and AT&T TV have them. Let's see which of these TV services offers the best value for your money. However, since we're contrasting satellite TV to streaming TV, it's a little more difficult.

Dish Price and Plans

DISH promotes America's Top 200 ($89.99 per month, 240+ channels) as the best value of its four plans. We had agreed before DISH's latest rate hikes. When we run the numbers using marketed channel counts, America's Top 200 ($99.99 a month, 290+ channels) comes out to $0.37 per channel, while America's Top 250 ($99.99 a month, 290+ channels) comes out to $0.34 per channel.

As this 290+ channels in America's Top 250 include every network DISH offers, as well as some good premium channels—EPIX DRIVE-IN, HDNET MOVIES, STARZ ENCORE (five channels), THE MOVIE CHANNEL, MoviePlex, HDNet, and more—we believe Top 250 is the best DISH bundle.

AT&T TV Price and Plans

AT&T TV is offered in the same way that conventional cable and satellite TV is, with contracts, too many packages, high rates, second-year cost increases, and other features that live TV streaming services aren't expected to provide.

To be fair, AT&T TV does offer a no-contract option for an extra $10.00–$20.00 per month. “There will be no significant price increase in month 13,” it promises. However, it's worth noting that this doesn't mean the bill will never go up—just that it won't happen in the 13th month.

However, AT&T TV offers some attractive introductory offers, including a free year of HBO Max, a free season of NBA League Pass, and three months of CINEMAX, SHOWTIME®, STARZ, and EPIX. These offers can be combined, but they all include AT&T TV's CHOICETM plan ($84.99 per month for no-contract edition, 90+ channels) or higher.

So, if you don't mind signing up for AT&T TV just to cancel it four months later when your promos expire, go ahead and do it—just make sure you choose a no-contract package. To avoid the hassle, we recommend using DIRECTV's satellite TV service or a separate streamer.


The best DVRs are those that offer you far more storage hours for the longest storage time with playback controls—at the best price. So, who comes out on top: the satellite juggernaut or the hybrid streamer?

DISH Hopper 3 vs AT&T TV streaming box


The DISH Hopper 3 has more DVR capacity than you'll ever require. It can hold 500 hours of high-definition movies and shows, which is a lot for almost everyone. You can also record up to 16 shows at a time and retain them for as long as your DVR space allows. It's well worth the additional $15.00 a month. If that's too much for your pocket, most DISH packages include the Hopper Duo (125 hours, 2 tuners) for free.

AT&T TV streaming box

The streaming box from AT&T TV isn't needed. The AT&T TV app works with other devices* that you might already own, and its cloud DVR isn't dependent on specific equipment. AT&T TV no-contract plans provide 20 hours of cloud DVR storage, with unlimited storage available for an additional $10.00 a month. Unlimited DVR is included with a two-year deal. You can record an infinite number of shows at once in both cases, but recordings expire after 90 days. Although more expensive, DISH Hopper 3 DVR service is a better offer.


DISH offers free standard installation, and you can even monitor your technician's progress on the day of your request.

AT&T TV installation is much simpler, and you can do it yourself. It's as simple as connecting the AT&T TV streaming system to your TV and following the on-screen instructions. Simply download the AT&T TV app and sign in if you already have a supported account.

Streaming apps

You can watch all of your live Television stations, on-demand movies, and shows, and DVR recordings on the go with the DISH Anywhere app. DVR timers and parental controls can also be easily set and controlled. Outside the home, however, only one household member can watch DISH Anywhere. Apart from that, it's an excellent app.

Since the app is the operation, you can do something with the AT&T TV app. Outside your house, however, up to three people can watch AT&T TV at the same time. It can even be watched by up to 20 (!) people at home, but that won't help it overtake DISH Anywhere. In a single household, who wants so many streams?


DISH does not provide internet access, but it does affiliate with internet providers to provide internet and phone bundles (CenturyLink, Earthlink, Frontier, Verizon, Kinetic by Windstream, ViaSat, and HughesNet). If there are any bundle savings, they can differ depending on the internet provider.

AT&T TV packages provide unrestricted national calling and AT&T DSL internet service with speeds up to 100 Mbps. With these bundles, you can expect to save $5–$10 every month.


Okay, we completely gave it away when we said DISH was our editorial choice for the best overall TV provider. We're just verifying that, and telling you that it's still the best TV provider for kids.

If you want HBO in your TV service, AT&T TV will offer it to you for free for a year.

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