DIRECTV, sometimes misrepresented by its improper spelling DIRECT TV, is a direct broadcast satellite service that recently partnered up with AT&T to offer great TV programming along with internet services. Customers enjoy things like HD programming, On Demand content, DVR services, and a whole host of local and premium channels. While in constant competition with a number of other TV providers, DIRECTV continues to thrive and offer quality programming through a number of different packages while also offering innovative technology through things like the DIRECTV Genie (including the Genie remote) and the DIRECTV internet service. Recently, the company has made their pricing clearer and while the price might seem high to people, there are at least no more hidden fees or surprise price jumps that have angered customers in the past. This review, like similar DIRECTV reviews, aims to highlight the product’s numerous features and services as well as its prices and customer service options so potential customers can make an informed decision.
While DIRECTV reviews can be quite helpful in this sense, there are other tools available that can help customers figure out which TV providers offer exactly what they’re looking for. When considering this, most customers look to see if the channels they really enjoy are offered by specific providers. This is usually done by researching each individual provider and searching through their channel lists. This works but is daunting. To simplify this, there is a great tool provided by Xtreme Satellite TV that allows customers to select the channels they want from a list and then choose the TV providers they want to compare. The tool compiles a comparison list that will tell customers whether or not the providers in question carry the channels they want. This is a great tool that all people who are looking for a new TV provider should use to make sure that they’re getting what they want from the best company that fits their all-around needs.
Like most TV providers, DIRECTV offers different service packages that offer a range of features and different channels. The company currently offers six different packages for customers to choose between. They offer the Select package, the Entertainment package, the Choice package, the Xtra package, the Ultimate package, and the Premier package. In addition to those, customers can choose to add on things like sports packages and premium movie packages. There are also four Spanish-language packages. Those are the Mas Latino package, the Optimo Mas package, the Mas Ultra package, and the Lo Maximo package.
The Select package offers over 145 channels including favorites like USA and TBS along with a three month trial of 46 movie channels as well as equipment fees for two rooms and HD DVR service fees. The Entertainment package offers the same perks but increases the channel list so customers get over 150 channels including various ESPN channels. The Choice package offers over 175 channels including OWN and NBC Sports, the same perks as the lower packages, and adds on the NFL Sunday Ticket (more on that later). The next package up is the Xtra package which offers over 220 channels including the NHL channel and all perks included in the lower packages. The Ultimate package offers over 240 channels including favorites like the Starz movie channels along with the three-month trial for other movie channels, the included fees, and the NFL Sunday Ticket. The Premier package provides customers with all of the same perks as the lower packages but offers over 315 channels and throws in a sports package that provides another 38 sports-related channels including international and regional sports.
Regarding the Spanish-language packages, DIRECTV’s Mas Latino package offers over 115 channels while the Optimo Mas package offers more than 195 channels with three months of free access to premium channels, and a cover for the Genie HD DVR service fee as well as monthly equipment fees for up to two rooms. The Mas Ultra package offers over 235 channels while the Lo Maximo offers more than 340 channels. Both of those packages offer the same fee coverages but the difference comes in the premium channels. The Mas Ultra package only offers the three-month trial of premium channels while Lo Maximo includes all premium channels in the cost. Both of the highest level packages add on the NFL Sunday Ticket, too.
The NFL Sunday Ticket is a separate package that customers can add on to their own if they don’t get it with their desired package. This programming option allows customers to watch every live NFL game each Sunday even if it’s out-of-market. Customers are able to watch on any device through their DIRECTV account for no extra cost once they subscribe. There is also the NFL Sunday Ticket Max package that includes Fantasy Zone and Red Zone channels for a full experience. This package is perfect for people who may be a fan of a team that isn’t televised in their area.
All of these packages can be combined with add-on packages for additional viewing options, too. To best choose a package, customers should look at what is being offered in each and decide which has the programming that suits their desires the best and add on other things they may want but that aren’t included in their selection.
While this DIRECTV review is mainly about their TV service, it should be noted that the company does offer internet service that can be purchased in a bundle with the TV service. Internet service can be provided through a number of companies that work with DIRECTV including parent company AT&T, CenturyLink, Exede, Cincinnati Bell, HughesNet, Windstream, Verizon, and Mediacom. Internet speeds and choice of internet provider solely depends on the location of the customer in question; rural areas and urban areas will most likely have differences in their internet services including on how it is delivered. Individuals should inquire about service for their particular area.
Channels Offered by DIRECTV
DIRECTV offers a large channel list that rivals a lot of the competition. There are hundreds of available channels as well as sports packages that are exclusive to DIRECTV (NFL Sunday Ticket). The TV provider offers premium channels including over 30 movie channels as well as international programming, and family networks great for all ages. Depending on the package purchased, customers can access over 300 networks including over 200 HD channels and On Demand programming. To check if specific channels are available, potential customers should use the aforementioned tool on Xtreme Satellite TV to see if their favorites are available with DIRECTV.
Equipment Options and Fees
After some controversy regarding fees and price jumps DIRECTV no longer has any hidden fees. They now have “all-inclusive” pricing that includes the usual fees for things like DVR service, HD programming, and On Demand service. Depending on a customer’s location there may not be additional fees for local channels or for regional sports networks. There are also no fees for things like receivers or installation.
In terms of equipment, customers can choose from different receivers that offer different capabilities. There is the DIRECTV DVR, the TiVo HD DVR, the DIRECTV HD DVR, and the DIRECTV Genie DVR. The capabilities are as follows:
- DVR: 100 hours SD, 125GB (no HD capability, no simultaneous recording)
- TiVo HD DVR: 100 hours of HD, 400 hours of SD, 500GB, records two shows at once
- HD DVR: 100 hours of HD, 400 hours of HD, 500GB, records two shows at once
- Genie: 200 hours of HD, 800 hours of SD, 1TB, record up to five channels at once
Since the Genie is quite popular, here is a quick DIRECTV Genie review. This receiver allows customers to enjoy their recorded shows from any room all from a single source. This means that customers can record a show in one room and watch it anywhere else in the house. It also offers the chance to record up to five different channels at once so no one in the house misses the show they want to see even if they come on at the same time. Additionally, the wireless Genie Mini lets customers connect to their Genie DVR when outside.
Features Offered through DIRECTV
Besides the DVR services that were outlined above, DIRECTV offers other features as well. Customers can enjoy a large choice of channels including local channels, premium channels, movie channels, On Demand service that offers access to thousands of movies and TV shows, and DIRECTV Everywhere which lets customers watch content from any device no matter where they are through their DIRECTV account. Customers will also benefit from professional installing in four rooms.
The pricing for packaging can vary based on a customer’s location. There are also promotional rates that can vary depending on location. However, there are average prices that are listed on the company’s website. All contracts require a two-year commitment even though promotional prices are only good for one year. Here are the promotional rates for the available packages (taxes not included):
- Select package: $50 a month
- Entertainment package: $55 a month
- Choice package: $60 a month
- Xtra package: $70 a month
- Ultimate package: $75 a month
- Premier package: $125 a month
- Mas Latino package: $67 a month
- Optimo Mas package: $50 a month
- Mas Ultra: $60 a month
- Lo Maximo: $125 a month
Add-on packages, including the NFL Sunday Ticket, are an additional price unless a customer chooses a package that has the package included within it.
The way a company treats their customers is important. DIRECTV customer service is considered to be one of the best available. Customers can contact DIRECTV by phone or they can chat with a representative through the website. The website also has helpful links that can allow a customer to troubleshoot their service on their own before contacting outside help. There are even options for hearing impaired customers.
DIRECTV might seem like an expensive option when compared to other providers but they do offer quite a lot for the price. Their HD programming is better than most as is their channel list and package options. The fact that customers can only get the NFL Sunday Ticket through DIRECTV is a huge selling point on its own. Couple that with the potential to get the 1TB worth of DVR storage and it’s no wonder why customers still choose DIRECTV over other providers. Hopefully, this review has provided more information than past DIRECTV reviews and will help potential customers make informed purchasing decisions.