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Mediacom vs Dish

Last updated: November 17, 2020

Starts at $39.99/mo
Starts at $59.99/mo

Mediacom has solid TV bundles that are a bit “basic” compared to some other Digital TV offers on the market. Dish TV is my top pick here for TV thanks to their combination of budget pricing and massive premium channel packages. The main caveat with Dish is that it requires a 2-year contract.

Choosing your TV network provider can be quite a headache. Trying to understand what features will work best for your household and whose packages are good value is very confusing.

This matchup of Mediacom, a cable TV provider, and Dish, a satellite TV provider, tries to tease out how the two compare to each other. I check out areas like network speed, channel selections, bundles, and equipment and see who comes out on top.

Mediacom Pros and Cons


  • Gigabit internet plan
  • Weekend & night installation


  • Low choice of channels
  • Many hidden fees

Dish Pros and Cons


  • Top of the line DVR
  • Good selection of channels


  • Satellite TV can be affected by weather
  • Need to remove free packs when they expire

Network Comparison

Dish: Full US Coverage

One key advantage offered by Dish service is that you can pick up satellite pretty much anywhere — even in RVs or rural areas far away from city centers.

The dish comes with your service and a certified technician will help install it and ensure that it's placed in a place that doesn't contradict any local regulations.

If you’re looking at Mediacom for your TV offering, then you’ll be happy to hear that their network upgrade to the new Data Over Cable Service Interface (DOCSIS) Specification has improved network speeds over their cable network significantly. 1 Gbps internet service should be available across their entire network soon.

If you choose to bundle Dish TV with internet, then you’ll have to do some background research on the internet service provider that you choose. Generally, you will find that fiber network providers offer quicker service.

Mediacom vs Dish Internet Performance

Mediacom Wins Big When It Comes to Bundling to Save

With Mediacom, you can choose to combine TV, internet, and/or phone services in limited bundles at 60Mbps, but their main bundle offerings are in their 100Mbps Xtream packages: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Gold Showtime, Gold HBO, and Gold Platinum which also come with a TiVo. [/callout]

Mediacom’s internet speed packages vary. They offer internet with optimum service at either 60Mbps, 100Mbps, 200Mbps, 500Mbps, or 1Gbps. Each has its own monthly data cap which is something to take into account, too. Note that these are max speeds, and what you actually achieve will depend on network load, location, and more.

As Dish doesn’t offer their own internet packages, you’ll need to look into exactly what their internet partners (such as HughesNet satellite or Frontier) in your area provide.

Dish offers bundled services through their partners: each has different deals and differ depending on exactly where you live. Stop by the Dish website to dig into more info about bundles.

Mediacom vs Dish TV Service

Mediacom vs Dish Equipment DVRs

Familiar with TiVo? That’s the DVR that Mediacom use to control their TV service. With the TiVo on hand, you can record up to 6 channels at the same time, and the hard drive stores around 1000 hours of standard definition recording. There are also mobile viewing options with their TV Everywhere service.

Dish’s TV is the Hopper 3, a state of the air affair that records up to 16 channels at once. This model offers around 5000 hours of storage – and Dish also has mobile TV.

On Mediacom’s most basic TV plan you receive 50 channels including CBS, HBO, Fox, and NBC along with 50 music channels. Family TV / Xtream offers 230+ channels including AMC, CNN, Comedy Central, Disney, and more. You can also purchase add-on packs: Sports & Info, Movies & Music or Kids & Variety. Their top Xtreme plan includes all these. In general, Mediacom is known for being a bit light on with their channel choices.

Dish’s most basic channel selection, on the other hand, their America’s Top 120, offers 190 channels. On their top plan, you can watch over 290 channels. Dish also offers add-ons like HBO and Showtime.

If you’re looking at Mediacom’s Family TV package, you’ll have a small amount of included channels like ESPN and NBC Sports Network. Mediacom’s Sports & Info pack is a little light on when it comes to sports. While you have Fox Sports 2, ESPN, beIN, the SEC Network, and the NFL Network, there’s not a great deal there.

If you compare it with the sports available on Dish under their multi-sport package which come with over 25 sports channels including NHL Center Ice, MLB Extra Innings, and NFL RedZone the Mediacom doesn’t compare. Dish TV is currently offering their multi-sport pack free under all plans except their most basic plan. Their base packages come with standard sports channels ESPN, SEC, Fox Sports One, ESPN U, etc.

Mediacom Is the Best Option for Fast Internet

Being able to get 1Gbps internet across most of their network is the drawing card for Mediacom. Their channel lineups are nothing to write home about, and hidden fees are excessive.

Dish TV Is Better for HD and 4K Channel Selection

Dish has a good (and relatively) large selection of channels available for viewers – and for a good price. Even on their base America’s Top 120 package, you’ll be able to get 190 channels included for your viewing pleasure. Plus it’s hard to go past their included sports package – available on the second to base package and up.

Mediacom vs Dish Equipment and Installation Considerations

Time poor? Mediacom are pretty cool with their installation, with night and weekend appointments available, all within a 30-minute window. But this comes with a price tag: an installation fee and an activation fee. You’ll be charged monthly for your TiVo and if you have their internet and choose to rent their modem, that’s another monthly fee. Even if you bring your own DVR, there’s a monthly fee.

With Dish, they’ll give you free installation and hire of their satellite receiver Dish, however, you’ll be charged monthly for the Hopper 3.

TV Nerd Decrees: Dish, for Better Value for Money

Dish has some stand out features: price point, channel selection, and DVR, whereas Mediacom’s only true winning category here is internet speed. If you’re mainly after an internet service with a little bit of TV viewing, choose Mediacom, otherwise, Dish is the answer.

One thought on “Mediacom Cable vs Dish Network: Comparison of Key Differences in TV Service

  1. Anonymous says:

    I just had dish install a Hopper 3 w/sling. My internet is century link and doesn’t have 1gb in our area. I’m looking into mediacom. I’m researching to purchase my own modem and router. I am leanings towards the Motorola MB8600 and AC2600.
    Am I heading down the right track? Do you know if the mediacom installer will reprogram my hopper 3 with the new provider information?

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