RV Satellite Dish Comparison: DISH vs DIRECTV

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Just because you are an RVer and drive 8 to 10 hours a day does not mean that you do not have time for recreation. Setting up a 12 volt TV in your RV is easy peasy, but a TV alone won’t do the job for you.

But, being a camper who is always on the move, you cannot opt for cable TV (unless you are at an RV Park). A satellite TV service seems to be your best bet. Which is better for RV: DISH or DirecTV?

For a direct broadcast satellite service, you need an antenna instead of a cable to receive the satellite signal. The satellite dish does this job of receiving the signal and converting it into visual and sound through the TV. 

Both DISH and DirecTV, which are popular US-based satellite service providers, offer portable satellite dish for RV. Let’s compare and see which one suits you the most.

Which is better for RV: DISH or DirecTV?

Brief Introduction of DISH and DirecTV

AT&T owned DirecTV has more subscribers compared to Dish. It also has more standard and HD channels accompanied by various types of sports packages.

The company transmits the channels by using KU and KA satellite bands.

To receive these High Definition channels, campers need a three-piece LNB oval dish.

DirecTV also has a wide range of local channels, including West Coast feeds and East Coast feeds, which they provide using regular broadcasting networks.

dish or directv for rv
Satellite TV is an easy entertainment option in RV.

DISH (Digital Sky Highway) satellite belongs to the DISH Network. It uses only the KU band for transmission due to having fewer channels.

The system of pay-as-you-go subscription is highly beneficial for campers since they can disable the service when not camping.

The service reactivation is also possible whenever they are back on the track.

Taking a DISH service means you need to set up two satellite dishes. If there is a delay during changing channels, avoid it by switching to an oval dish from dome-shaped dishes.

DISH or DirecTV for RV? Head to Head Comparison

To know which is better for RV: DISH or DirecTV, consider these following points:

Installation Process

No matter which service you opt for, you need to go through the setup process.

Both TV service providers offer a free satellite dish installation service upon signing up for a package.

Afterward, you have to make an appointment over the phone call, and the company will send professional technicians to your address for installation.

You can even track them to know when they will arrive at your doorstep.

Available Channels

For many of you, the number of available channels is the main attraction of satellite service. Both DirecTV and DISH offer an array of channels.

DirecTV has more than 330 channels, while DISH Network is trailing behind with over 290 channels.

DirecTV’s sports channel lineup demands special mention.

It not only offers more sports channels than DISH but also gives football fans special access to the highly popular NFL Sunday Ticket and games not available locally.

DirecTV offers six packages, ranging from 155 to 330+ channels.

On the DISH network, you can subscribe to one out of four packages, ranging from 190 to 290+ channels.

is dish or directv better for rv
DirecTV offers more channels than DISH Network.

Digital Video Recording Facility

If you are a DVR fan and love to record your favorite programs to watch later, you need to take a close look at the DVR facilities provided by these companies.

It is possible that based on this factor, you may find out which is better for RV: DISH or DirecTV.

Both DISH and DirecTV offer DVRs to their subscribers to record favorite programs and permanently store them. But DISH DVR is better for avid TV watchers.

Hopper 3 DVR of DISH Network can record a maximum of 16 programs simultaneously. It has a storage facility of 500 hours of HD videos and 2000 hours of SD videos. Storage upgrade is available for a fee.

On the contrary, Genie DVR of DirecTV records five programs at the same time and store 200 hours of HD programs. There is no need to pay for it though, as comes for free with DirecTV packages.

Which is Better for RV: DISH or DirecTV?

Is DISH or DirecTV better for RV? It’s evident from the above discussion that DirecTV offers more channels than DISH. At the same time, it offers a wide range of sports programs, including the ticket for exclusive NFL Sunday.

But you cannot completely rule out DISH from the equation. Although DirecTV offers free DVR recording service, DISH customers get access to the highest-storage DVR of both the networks, named Hopper 3, which also offers a built-in Netflix service.

In the end, it comes down to the personal choice of the campers. Both the service providers offer HD and 4K programs that every member of your family can enjoy. You can pick any of them for your RV.

Choosing a Satellite TV Service: Some Important Things to Know

No matter which service you choose, you need to have a clear concept about the types of satellite dishes, as it is the major equipment necessary in this process.

Most of the latest RV models come with satellite TV installation. Some RVs even offer the facility to install an external dish.

Roof-Mounted Dome Dishes

The latest roof-mounted satellite dishes can adjust automatically to receive the satellite signal.

These dishes come with a dome-shaped cover that works as a protector.

The small size is its biggest drawback, as the satellite dish size directly determines the signal strength. 

These dishes may not get the strongest signal all the time.

Tripod-Mounted Dishes

These are larger dishes that you can mount using a tripod.

This is the portable version of satellite RV dishes, and you can set them up after reaching the destination.

portable satellite dish for RV
A portable satellite system from DISH.

Final Verdict

As a boondocker, you can enjoy camping in the countryside without giving up home-based facilities like watching your favorite channel or sports program.

Both these satellite TV service providers are good. If you can decide on which is better for RV: DISH or DirecTV, you will never have to think of anything else for entertainment on the move.

About Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman is an interesting travel blogger and outdoor photographer with a great sense of humor. He owns an RV Accessories shop in New York City so he has the knowledge necessary to provide thorough reviews and give advice on how to choose the right products for RV travel. He puts all that RV knowledge and experience to good use in his sharing posts. Besides product buying guides/reviews, Chris also writes informative articles, how-to articles and RV camping guides in his own interesting viewpoint. Chris’s blog is one of the most reliable information sources for RV campers no matter if you're an expert or a determined beginner.

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