The DISH vs AT&T U-verse Comparison Guide

NOTICE: Due to pricing changes, this page is considered *under construction*

Pay less with DISH and get better technology than you would with AT&T U-verse.
DISH Network versus Directv. Who has a better deal?

The above compares the regular, non-promotional pricing for DISH and AT&T U-verse.

What you get with DISH that you don't with AT&T U-verse:

  • More programming for less money
  • Free Hopper HD-DVR upgrade
  • The ability to watch live or recorded TV anywhere on all your favorite channels.

DISH and AT&T U-verse are both well-known TV services. This guide will show you the differences between the services. As a DISH retailer, we are somewhat biased towards DISH network but in this guide we will do our best to give you objective facts to help you make your decision. And of course, we have live reps available to talk with you.

We believe DISH is the better choice for you with all the package options they offer along with the superior technology.. Read more to find out why.


DISH wins versus AT&T U-verse in many categories. As you can see (pictured right), AT&T U-verse's pricing is slightly higher in their packages. DISH's most popular package, America's Top 200 is $69.99 per month. AT&T U-verse's U-200, a popular package is $77.00 per month with a similar channel lineup.

But, does AT&T U-verse offer more? How much are you really getting for that price?

AT&T U-verse states they are a leader in providing TV service. There are several aspects in determining how good a TV provider is, and that will can be decided by the consumer. A good point of reference is: number of channels per package, and cost per month. Let's look at some examples.

Example (1): Two popular packages. Every day prices--no promotions.

Example (2): Same packages as above, but this time with a two-room HD-DVR system. Everyday prices--no promotions.

The examples like this hold true for virtually every side-by-side comparison. DISH offers you more channels overall for less money per month, especially when you factor in the equipment fees.


Switch to DISH today and we will offer you a $75 Cash Back rebate.

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How does DISH HD and HD-DVR receiver upgrades compare to AT&T U-verse's?

Above we talked about package pricing. DISH and AT&T U-verse have similar package pricing with AT&T offering slightly more channels but for more money each month. But when you start comparing the HD receiver upgrades, HD service, and the different HD-DVR offers, like the Hopper or the AT&T U-verse HD-DVR, then the argument is becomes very one-sided. In this section we will show you how superior the Hopper is and let you determine which offer is best for you.

Both DISH and AT&T U-verse have several HD, HD-DVR, and equipment upgrades:

HD Service: DISH's offer versus AT&T U-verse's offer.
DISH's offer: HD service is free for 24 months. Agree to the contract, and AutoPay billing, and that's it. Any HD receiver will work and most of the most popular programming packages qualify for this.

AT&T U-verse's offer: HD service is available for a monthly tech fee (other than the U-450 package). To get HD, you need to purchase their premium package which is $124.00/mo and includes that HD fee.

HD service is not free with AT&T U-verse. Plus, there's an additional fee to add DVR functionality.

FREE HD Receiver upgrades (non DVRs): DISH versus AT&T U-verse
DISH offers
up to three non-DVR, HD receiver upgrades free (more on DVR offers below). The HD free for 24 months promotion with DISH does not require that you order an HD-DVR.

AT&T U-verse does not offer a non-DVR, HD receiver. HD service is not free with AT&T U-verse but is rolled into your monthly package price (HD Tech Fee). If you order any of their packages, U-Family and up, then you will receive their Total Home DVR.

DVR and HD-DVR Receiver upgrades (this deserves its own section).

... AT&T U-verse charges extra for a Whole-Home DVR experience.

... DISH charges $12 per month for a Hopper HD-DVR.

Introduction to DVR offers
DISH has two types of Digital Video Recorder (a.k.a., DVR) receivers: a regular HD-DVR, and Whole-Home HD-DVR. AT&T U-verse only offers one HD-DVR receiver model. The difference is exactly what it sounds like. The regular DVRs are designed to deliver DVR to a limited number of TVs in the home while the Whole-Home DVRs are designed to deliver DVR to all of the TVs in the home. Only DISH gives you offers for each type of DVR.

Regular HD-DVR Receivers and Upgrades: DISH vs AT&T U-verse
DISH offers one free HD-DVR receiver upgrade. The DVR service is $7 per month and the HD service is free for 24 months. DISH has two different HD-DVR receivers. One is the ViP 722k, which is a two-room HD-DVR, the other is the ViP 612, which is a single-room HD-DVR. You can use this receiver upgrade and still get two additional non-DVR HD receiver upgrades for free.

AT&T U-verse charges a hidden upfront fee when ordering the regular HD-DVR. This receiver only operates one TV so you will need to purchase an additional box which carries an extra monthly fee to watch TV in another room. Also, they charge a monthly fee for the DVR service on this type of receiver.

Whole home HD-DVR promotions. DISH's Hopper and Joey vs. AT&T U-verse's Standard HD-DVR
This comparison probably deserves its own webpage, but for now, we will describe the two offers for you briefly and cut right to the chase.

DISH offers one Hopper and three Joey's as free receiver upgrades. Hopper DVR service is $12 per month. HD service is free for 24 months. The Hopper receiver fee is included in your channel package price, and each Joey is $7 per month and has full HD-DVR access via the Hopper. This free upgrade will service up to four TVs and can record up to six HD channels simultaneously. If you want service on six TVs you will need one additional Hopper ($49) and one additional Joey ($99), totalling an upgrade fee of $148. With two Hoppers you can record up to nine HD channels simultaneously. All six TVs can watch separate channels at the same time.

AT&T U-verse offers an HD-DVR whichalso has "Whole Home" capabilities. The DVR service fee is packaged in with the package price. However, HD service is only available in their premium (U450) package. If you want service on six TV's you will need one multi-room DVR, and add compatible boxes in every other room which carry additional fees and cause your monthly bill to grow rapidly.

DVR service fees and promotions
DISH charges $7 per month for regular HD-DVR service, or $12 per month for the Hopper HD-DVR service. In both cases, HD service is free for 24 months. It's as simple as that.

AT&T U-verse combines their DVR fee with their packages. You must get the premium package to receive HD. You can experience Whole Home DVR functions, but with far less capabilities than the Hopper gives and you will end up paying lots of money extra per month to get service 6 rooms of your home.

Promotions that you could consider "exclusive."

Both DISH and AT&T U-verse offer a lot of promotions for new customers. If monthly price, or the equipment promotions aren't enough to decide one way or another, sometimes the exclusive promotions can. That's what we'll discuss here.

DISH offers a few exclusives that AT&T U-verse cannot offer. One is DISH's TV Anywhere features, which use Sling functionality. Sling--built into the Hopper for free--allows you to watch recorded or live TV content anywhere you want with devices such as: mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. AT&T U-verse's streaming of live TV is extremely limited, covering only 50 channels; of which the local networks--like ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX--are not included. Another is Dish Movie Pass. Dish Movie Pass includes streaming video to your TV or PC, and adds 20+ premium HD channels to your programming package.

AT&T U-verse, currently offers a 6 month promotional price for their packages. Like many others, they offer you more discounts when you bundle your services. They do offer you a gift card when you sign up but only for multiple services. They offer very little for customers looking for just TV services.

Promotions both DISH and AT&T U-verse do well

As we stated in the beginning of this guide: Both DISH and AT&T U-verse are very popular TV services. They both deliver a high quality product. Some of the differences are stark, like the monthly price being lower with DISH, and the superior technology you get with DISH. Other differences are more nuanced. But both companies have similarities in their offers that they both do well.

Both companies will offer free promotions and gift cards to provide incentives for signing up. Both also offer tons of HD programming and On Demand content. AT&T and DISH are both promoting 3 months free of premium movie channels like HBO, and Starz, although AT&T's is only for the premium U450 package.

We hope you enjoyed our DISH versus AT&T U-verse guide! If you still have questions, or would like to order, please call1-800-970-9509, , or customize your package.


All AT&T U-verse pricing and policy information sourced from www.AT&T and/or live AT&T U-verse associates.