They all have their advantages and disadvantages, and indeed, which is "best" varies from person to person, from situation to situation, from locality to locality.
Dish Network tends to be known for, on average, being a little less costly than the others, but that comes at the cost of services provided. Comcast varies from place to place - in some places, service is superior to DirecTV, and in other places DirecTV is better. DirecTV does really well, price-wise, when you switch to satellite, but after your promotional period ends, they tend to be the most expensive option, when taking into consideration your overall cost of television, telephone and Internet service.
In the end, on average, folks get what they pay for. There is no free lunch; there is no super-secret great deal.
Personally, I think they are all pretty equal evils. However, DirecTV has a worse costumer service rating than Dish, so if I were to choose satellite, I'd go Dish. You couldn't get me near DirecTV unless you paid for. For regular cable, they're all greedy corporations. Comcast is one of the lowest rated in customer service, a fete they've managed to hold for years now. Like I said, though, I'm not sure the others are really any better.
Some are, but ours is a family business owned by the Walsons. They do sometimes have poor customer service issues but being one of the smaller companies, it's not that difficult to talk to someone higher up and get things resolved.
I have never had dish, but my experience of directv in comparison to comcast is great. I think comcast is wonderful...until you have a technical problem. Their customer service is awful, they'll pat you you on the head and "transfer you to their supervisor" I SAY COMCAST SUCKS!
Due to costs, I just dropped AT&T U-verse (for TV), and went with Directv, but now questioning the move. The biggest reason is that w/ AT&T U-verse, we were able to watch/record up to 4 channels at the same time. With directv, we can only watch/record 2 at the same time....unless you want to pay $400 to upgrade to their super home system.
It's been less than 48 hours since the directv install, and I was told it would cost $480 to cancel. TO ANYONE CONSIDERING TV SERVICE, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND NOT USING DIRECTV!!!!!!!!!
If you like sports, stay away from Dish for the most part. Check your address to see what RSN's (regional sports) you are eligable for. At least after 4 months of no AMC channels, they made a deal. AMC is already back, IFC, We and Sundance returns Nov. 1.
After 2yrs with comcast and the prices almost doubling after the promo (triple play) I have now cancelled my TV service (and phone) and gone with Dish.
No regrets so far, prices and options for your account are all clear and well presented online and very easy to change directly online (add or remove channels without penalty as long as you keep the channel for a month).
Prices are the cheapest of the three and their hopper DVR is a great piece of kit.
Can't comment on Direct TV but I would never go back to comcast for TV or phone (constant nuisance calls). I have had to stick with them for internet.
I personally do not like direcTV, because my mother had it and she constantly had problems with it. Whither it be, having things record or the bill being upped after the deal was over, or what have you. So I wouldn't even try them in my opinion. As far as Comcast, I had a friend that had it and when bad weather came it cut out. Now that was back in 2009, so I don't know if that has changed or not. But I can't stand that. Now as far as Dish Network, I had them for a little bit. They weren't bad and never really had any problems. But I didn't keep it long enough to actually find out if it would all start happening or not. Now I just use Netflix,Crackle, or other things like that.
I can't imagine a situation in which I'd be willing to subscribe to Comcast again. Their customer service was so consistently incompetent it drove me bananas, and others I've spoken with seem to have the same opinion. Luckily when I lived in the D.C. area RCN was an option. Their service was very reliable, and on the rare occasions when we had an issue they dealt with it efficiently.
We had comcast for 5 years and every year the price seemed to go up for some fee etc. It never failed that when my husband set down to watch his favorite team on television the game was frozen or lost signal. so we did our research and found that DirectV was our best bet. Been with them for 2 years and no problems so far. If you are interested in trying Directv use this referral 71590299 to get $10 off your bill each month.
Cable companies vary GREATLY from one city to the next, even from one neighborhood to the next.
My mother-in-law lives in a privately owned senior citizens "village". While she was on vacation, the superintendent allowed the cable guy to enter her house, replace all her cable receivers and generally leave a mess (furniture not put back in place, etc.
When she returned nothing worked, not TV, no internet - nothing. After calling the cable company 3 or 4 days in a row, finally a repair man came out and took one look and said, they used all the wrong equipment - replaced everything again including the wiring, finally got TV and internet back up.
When the weather warmed up her A/C would not cool the house, so she had the superintendent call an A/C repair man who checked out the unit, it was working fine, but he found the cable guy had fallen on the A/C ductwork in the attic and half of her cold air was keeping the attic nice and cool, so they had to have a sheet metal man in to repair that damage.
As for DirecTV and Dish Network, some say DirecTV has a slightly better HD picture, but they also say Dish has better equipment. We have had Dish for 13 years and only lose signal during heavy rains, and even then it sis only for maybe 15 minutes at a time max.
Dish is cheaper than DirecTV and channel offerings are very similar.
The new Dish Hopper 3 with 16 tuners sounds tempting, but we already have 2 Hopper 2's and 1 Joey, so the Mrs and I can each have our own receiver plus one in the guest room.
My mother in law has had more down time with cable because it seems to take them so long to get anything fixed - several days.