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DISH Review

DISH Network Packages for Seniors

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Satellite TV Connection
3 Packages to choose from
SeniorLiving.org Rating:
4 of 5
290+ Channels
$79.99 Per month starting price

DISH is one of the largest and most popular satellite TV providers in the United States. Though many people are choosing to “cut the cord” and ditch their traditional TV packages these days, satellite remains one of the most dependable options in rural areas. Even older adults who live in more populated towns and cities may prefer DISH satellite TV because of the large number of channels and extra features. 

That said, DISH is not the cheapest option on the market. Satellite TV tends to be more expensive than cable TV, and DISH is no exception. This is one of the main reasons that DISH and other satellite TV providers offer so many upfront incentives to justify the higher subscription price. In this review, we will examine how well DISH compares to other TV options for seniors.

What We Like About DISH

  • Three unique TV packages to choose from
  • As many as 290+ channels and 36,000 On Demand titles
  • Three-year price guarantee
  • Multiple devices included, like the Hopper Smart DVR and Voice Remote
  • Next-day installation

Things to Keep in Mind About DISH

  • Prices start at $79.99 per month, far more than some basic cable packages
  • DISH TV is susceptible to weather-related outages
  • Two-year commitment required on all plans
  • Long waits to speak to a customer service representative

DISH Packages at a Glance

DISH offers three standard TV packages based on the number of channels and On Demand titles provided. Prices range between $79.99 and $109.99 per month (not including taxes and additional fees). While these may seem high, they are on par with many satellite and top cable TV providers. As of 2021, roughly 54 percent of consumers paid at least $80 for their cable or satellite TV plan.1  However, DISH still doesn't beat out its biggest competitor, DIRECTV, which offers satellite TV plans starting as low as $74.99 per month.

Pro Tip: Want to compare satellite providers before making a decision? Visit our 2023 DIRECTV review.

Package Number of channels Highlights Best for
America's Top 120 190+ Local channels + all-time favorites Seniors on a budget
America's Top 200 240+ America's Top 120 + additionals sports and entertainment Seniors who want to watch live sports
America's Top 250 290+ America's Top 200 + top movie channels Seniors who enjoy plenty of TV and movie options

Which DISH Package Is Best for You?

There are just three DISH packages to choose from, which makes it easier to select the best package for you. Ultimately, it will come down to your budget and personal preferences. Below, we will highlight the prices and key features of each DISH TV package to help you make the right decision.

America's Top 120

America's Top 120 is DISH's basic TV package. The plan starts at $79.99 per month with a minimum two-year commitment and a three-year price guarantee. With America's Top 120, you get over 190 channels, including some of the “all-time favorite” channels like ESPN and Disney.

FYI: Qualifying new subscribers can often receive perks like a $100 prepaid Mastercard!

All DISH TV packages also include local channels available in your area, so you can catch up on your local news or enjoy other local programming. DISH packages (including America's Top 120) also come with a Google Assistant voice remote, a Hopper Smart HD DVR, 28,000+ On Demand titles, and three free months of the SHOWTIME and STARZ movie channels.

Though the sticker price is not as cheap as some basic cable plans, America's Top 120 by DISH offers many channel options and extra perks. It is especially good if you want access to all of the most popular national and local channels, as well as a Hopper Smart DVR to record and rewatch your favorite shows. If you don't want to stay up late to watch your favorite shows or when you’re out and about when they air, you can simply set it to record and watch it at your convenience.

America's Top 200

America's Top 200 is labeled as the best value plan offered by DISH. The plan starts at $99.99 per month with a minimum two-year commitment and a three-year price guarantee. The $20 price increase gives you everything available in America's Top 120 plus 50 new channels. Some of these channels include the MLB Network, NBA Network, NHL Network, the Golf Channel, and a few additional movie channels like Hallmark, Disney XD, A&E, and Sundance.

This plan is best for older adults who are willing to spend a little bit more to watch live sports. The extra movie channels are also a big plus, as they greatly increase the amount of content available with your plan. With America's Top 200, you also get an additional 7,000 On Demand titles, making it an even greater value for movie fans.

America's Top 250

America's Top 250 is the largest and most expensive DISH plan. It starts at $109.99 per month with a two-year commitment and three-year price guarantee. The package includes everything available with America's Top 200 plus 50 more channels, including Turner Classic Movies, STARZ Encore channels, The Movie Channel, Smithsonian, Bloomberg, Nicktoons, and Great American Country. America's Top 250 also offers a whopping 36,000+ On Demand titles.

This plan is ideal for seniors who want a ton of movie options and are willing to pay a bit more. $109.99 per month is certainly not cheap, but it does come with hundreds of unique channels. Additionally, the thousands of On Demand titles make this plan comparable to multiple streaming services in terms of the amount of available content at your fingertips.

DISH DVR Equipment and On-Demand Content

The Hopper Smart HD DVR is available with all three DISH plans at no extra charge. It can record and save up to 125 hours of high-definition content. It can also record up to six different shows or movies simultaneously. The On Demand feature gives you access to thousands of titles with the click of a button. If you download the DISH app you can also watch recorded or On Demand titles on your phone, tablet, or computer.

Did You Know: By pairing the Hopper with DISH's Joey device, you can use your DVR on multiple TVs, allowing you to start a show or movie on one TV and finish it on another.

One of the best features for seniors is the DISH voice remote. Rather than clicking lots of buttons or scrolling through endless menus, you can simply speak into your remote to find what you want via the Hopper device. The Hopper also has a “find remote” button so that you can quickly find your remote if it goes missing. Though DISH does not offer much in the way of streaming bundles, you can access services like Netflix or Amazon Prime directly from the Hopper menu (as long as you have a separate plan for these streaming services).

DISH partners with dozens of internet providers across the country, including CenturyLink, AT&T, Frontier, and Viasat. For as little as $19.99 per month, you can add an internet plan with your DISH TV package. Though availability will vary by location, you can use your DISH TV with DSL, satellite, cable, or fiber internet.

FYI: DISH does not technically consider its TV and internet deals to be “bundles,” as you are not required to keep one service to take advantage of the other.

Even if you choose to drop your DISH TV plan, you can still keep your internet once it has been activated. With download speeds of up to 5 Gbps from certain providers in select areas, DISH partners with some of the best internet providers on the market.

Does DISH Offer a Senior Discount?

DISH offers some senior discounts for new customers. For example, new subscribers who are 55 years or older can get six months of Dish Project Plus protection for free. This service usually costs $10.99 per month and provides all of the following:

  • Free technician visits
  • Advanced agent access
  • 10 percent Smart Home Services discount
  • Free shipping on replacement equipment

Senior subscribers also qualify for one free On Demand movie each month. Just remember that the Dish Project Plus discount only lasts for the first six months. After this period ends, you will automatically be charged $10.99 per month unless you cancel the service in advance.

The Fine Print With DISH

As with any provider, it is important to read the fine print before signing up for a DISH TV plan. With all DISH plans, you'll need to commit to a minimum of two years and agree to a credit qualification check. If you have poor credit, DISH reserves the right to refuse service or charge you more for the same plans. Upfront activation fees are also contingent on your credit, so you may have to pay additional fees from the start.

You might also have to pay extra fees and taxes based on the service you want. For example, each additional TV on your plan will cost somewhere between $5 to $7 per month. If you cancel your plan early, you'll be charged an early termination fee equal to $20 for each month remaining in your contract. This means that if you cancel a two-year DISH TV plan one year into your contract, you'll pay $240.

The Bottom Line on DISH

DISH offers a lot of channels and additional perks for seniors. While the prices are comparable to many other cable and satellite TV providers, there are still some cheaper options out there. Fortunately, DISH offers several plans to choose from, including plans designed for sports fans and movie lovers. If you're looking to bundle your TV with an affordable internet plan, DISH partners with providers across the nation.

Frequently Asked Questions About DISH

  • Is Netflix free for DISH customers?

    No, Netflix is not free for DISH customers. While the Netflix app is available by default in the Hopper menu, you will need to pay for a Netflix subscription and sign in to use the streaming service.

  • How do I get DISH to lower my bill?

    To lower your DISH bill, you will need to speak with customer service. There is no guarantee that they will agree to lower your bill, but you can reach them through the DISH app or by calling the helpline at 1-800-531-5000. If you tell them that you want to cancel your service, they may redirect you to a Customer Retention specialist who can lower your bill for you.

  • Is DVR free with DISH?

    Yes, the Hopper Smart HD DVR is free. When you sign up for a DISH TV plan, you can even get your DVR set up by a specialist at no extra charge.

SeniorLiving.org Rating:
4 of 5
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