How to switch from Dish to DirecTV

By Contributor
Example of DirecTV receiver

Choosing a TV provider is not always an easy task. There are many choices, variety and pricing plans. You also need to consider who will be watching the channels and what your needs are.Dish and DirecTV are the main satellite TV providers in the country. While their offerings are essentially the same, their levels of service and pricing may prove one to be better for you than its rival.

Compare the packages and decide which satellite channels fit your household needs. Many of the packages are wrapped up the same but can leave out desired features and channels.

Include the price of lease fees and/or DVR rentals in the total monthly price when comparing packages. Introductory prices should not be taken into consideration.

When you decide or if you have questions, call (800) 494-4388 for home service. For a business, call (888) 200-4388. These numbers are only for signing up and general questions. You can also sign up online by using the link listed in Resources below. Be sure to read the fine print, terms, conditions and special offers before doing so.

Set up a time for the satellite provider to come out and install your new service. They may take down your Dish Network satellite. Keep this in a safe place, since you may need to send back parts of the dish, receiver and remote, depending on the terms of your contract. Or, if you own the equipment, you may wish to resell it.

On installation day, be sure an adult is home during the specified 4-hour time block. While this may be inconvenient, it is necessary. If they do not show up within the allotted time, call DirecTV immediately.

When they do arrive, ask for ID and show them where the receivers are to be installed. Let them know you have Dish Network and that they will need to remove it. Most will not have difficulty doing so. They will also run through the basic operation of the receiver and remote with you before they leave.

DirecTV will call and activate your service using your home phone or the phone you specified. It is helpful to also have receivers hooked up to a phone line to download current information and updates to your receiver.

Double-check to be sure the installers brought and installed the correct receivers. For example, two DVRs or two stand-alone receivers. Make sure everything is working on all TVs before the installers leave the premises. Also, check that there is no damage or extra holes drilled where there should not be.

Take time to get familiar with the new channels by using the on-screen channel guide as well as paper guides. You may also want to save channels as favorites so you can start with a smaller group to learn.

Set up your account on the Internet so you can keep track of the guide and channel offerings better as well as what you owe. You will need your account number, which can be found on your bill, or the customer service representative will provide it at the time you place your order.

Once you know everything is functioning as it should and you are satisfied, call Dish Network at (800) 333-DISH to cancel your subscription. Find out if you need to send back equipment and what the deadline is for doing so.

Tip

Each room will have a receiver with DirecTV; there are no shared signals. Submit any rebates online. You may also receive rebates instantly if you sign up online.

Warning

DirecTV will usually require a 2-year commitment. If you cannot maintain the service for 2 years, do not sign up, or move to the lowest package possible. If there is a problem with the installation, or anything is not as stated in the contract, contact DirecTV right away at the number you receive at your appointment.