Comcast HD Channel Lineup vs. DISH Network
On the “compare offers” page on the Comcast® website, Comcast claims, “With 10x more HD choices, satellite has nothing on us.” But the funny part is the company is only comparing Comcast HD cable TV to DIRECTV®’s HD offerings. So that world “satellite” is a little misleading. There are, after all, two satellite TV providers in the U.S. and just because Comcast might have DIRECTV beat that doesn’t mean a standard Comcast HD channel lineup would beat out a DISH Network® lineup.
But what do we mean by “beat out”? Well, for starters, yes, a subscription TV provider has to provide as many HD channels as possible, but it also has to do so for a reasonable price. It’s easy enough, after all, to offer tons of HD channels if your rates are exorbitant because a company can expand its bandwidth with all that extra dough. But that’s like those “Value Menus” many fast food joints have: Call it whatever you want, a 99 cent Coke isn’t a “Value” if you’re getting less than if you’d bought your tasty beverage for the same price from a vending machine.
Furthermore, determining the real value a Comcast HD channel lineup offers requires that we compare packages of like cost, for obvious reasons. To wit, you can’t call a package “Basic” and charge nearly $100 per month for it. And you can’t then compare it to a package whose monthly cost is one quarter of that. It would be like comparing a bicycle to a jumbo jet: Sure, they’ll both get you there, but speed and amenities are going to cost a helluva lot more.
Comcast HD Channel Lineup Vs. DISH Network HD Channels
So how do Comcast HD channel lineups compare to DISH Network lineups? Not favorably at all. A Comcast “Basic Package” costs $22 per month, which on its surface seems to beat out DISH Network’s $24.99 per month “America’s Top 120” package. But here’s the catch. As noted to the left of this package’s price, Comcast’s Basic Pack only gives subscribers access to “local news, sports, kids’ programs and weather.” That means the package includes less than 80 channels, none of which are in HD.
Alternatively, you can subscribe to DISH Network’s “America’s Top 120” package for $2.99 more and get 120 SD channels, 105 channels in HD Free for Life, a free connection and startup, and free TV receivers (your choice of either a free dual tuner DVR/receiver or three free standard DISH Network receivers) – for qualifying subscribers with 24-Mo. Agreement and AutoPay with Paperless Billing.
Also, if you were wondering if DISH Network deals like this one are really deals consider this: If you do get 80 channels with a Comcast “Basic Cable” package like this one, you’ll be paying about 27 cents per channel per month. If, on the other hand you were to get the DISH Network America’s Top 120 package we mentioned above, you’d only pay about 13 cents per channel, per month and get all kinds of high-value goodies besides, with 24-Mo. Agreement.
But, just to make sure you’re really following us, let’s also take a look at the number of Comcast HD channels Comcast HD cable TV offers as part of the largest Comcast HD channel lineup. According to the Comcast website, Comcast subscribers can get all the Comcast HD channels available with an $80.85-per-month “Digital Preferred” package. But they will also have to pay additional fees of $9.25 per month per HD receiver, $15.95 per month for a DVR or $15.95 per month for an HD DVR/receiver. So if you need two HD receivers, that would come to an additional $31.90 per month on top of your regular service bill.
Comcast Vs. DISH Network: Premium Channels
What’s more, you have to pay extra for premium movie channels with this Comcast package, meaning that you could end up spending $100 more per month to get channels like the Sundance channel—which are free with DISH Network’s “America’s Top 250” and “America’s Everything” Pak” packages. All told, then, Comcast HD cable TV only offers 143 Comcast HD channels on two TV sets for $202.55 per month.
In contrast, you can get premium channels like the Sundance channel from DISH Network in HD, plus 200 other HD channels for a mere $74.99 per month with the America’s “Everything” Pak package. Not only will you get channels like the Sundance channel with this DISH Network package, but you’ll also get a free DISH Network dual HD DVR/receiver with 24-Mo. Agreement that will allow you to record, pause and rewind live TV on two TV sets (a $6/mo. DVR service charge does apply).
And before you point out that, yes, you need to be in a contract with DISH Network, also consider this: Although the cost for a DISH Network America’s “Everything” Pak will jump marginally in your second year to $104.99 per month, a Comcast Digital Preferred package will still cost about twice as much over the same period.
DISH Network Vs. Comcast: Get More For Less
All told, that means you’ll save $2581.44 over two years with DISH Network. To the folks here at InternetLion.com the answer seems simple: Why pay nearly twice as much for less HD channels?
DISH Network has the best value in TV entertainment and the most HD in the business with the lowest all-digital price nationwide…every day! Click here to learn more about the benefits of switching to DISH Network today.
Disclaimer: Please note that this article was written when the satellite TV provider DISH was branded as DISH Network. As of 2/1/2012 DISH Network has changed their branding name to DISH. Article post date: 12/19/2010.