DIRECTV Satellite TV
You've probably seen this one in bars, restaurants, waiting rooms, and anywhere else where people and TVs share a public place. DIRECTV is one of the most prevalent TV service provides, due in part to its popular sports packages like the exclusive NFL Sunday Ticket. Although it is not the cheapest option it does include a lot of great elements. Also, one of the biggest concerns with satellite TV providers is signal and coverage. As with any satellite service, many consumer reviews say that bad weather often disrupts the signal with an unclear picture or with a complete knockout. However, the effects are typically only temporary.
Moving between cable and satellite providers is fairly common. Depending on your needs and new offers, it can save you a decent amount of money too. And if you do opt make the move to DIRECTV, you have a fairly simple installation process to look forward to. First, there is typically no equipment to buy as most fees are waived once you order service. This is a nice little perk which saves you a bit of money since a number of providers either charge you for equipment monthly or upfront. Furthermore, there are no installation fees. Again, this is in direct contrast to a number of providers who charge anywhere from $50 to $100 for installation.
In addition, there are a few perks to look forward to once you begin your service. High-definition has become so ubiquitous that it is generally considered more of a requirement than a luxury. While the majority of cable providers charge an additional fee for HD, however, DirecTV includes that in all of their packages. Moreover, if you don't own an HD receiver, DirecTV will provide you with one. So while DirecTV is generally a bit more expensive than its competitors, they certainly do give you a good bang for your buck.
There are a few things to consider before you begin service, though. The first thing you should be aware of is that DIRECTV only offers service using a dish. This isn't a problem if you own your own home because the service technician will simply install the dish on the side of your house. But if you rent, you will be more limited as to where your dish can be installed. And if you live in an apartment complex or condominium with strict policies regarding dish installation, you may not have the option of using DIRECTV at all. If this applies to you, you'll want to check with your landlord or the management at your complex before ordering services.
Another fact to be aware of is that DirecTV generally requires you to agree to a two-year contract upon installation. So, there is a bit of commitment involved.
Plans and Packages
DIRECTV's array of packages separates it from its competitors as well.
- Select: This is DIRECTV's basic plan and it offers 145 channels for $50 per month.
- Entertainment: This package offers 150 channels for $55 per month.
- Choice: This package offers 175 channels for $60.
- Xtra: This plan offers more than 220 channels for $70 per month.
- Ultimate: This package offers over 240 channels for $75.
- Premier: Like the name suggests, this is DirecTV's most robust package. However, it is a bit pricey. This plan offers over 315 channels for $125 per month.
With options as varied as these, it is unlikely that DirecTV won't have a plan which suits your needs. And if you're a sports fan, DIRECTV is pretty much a must-have. If you want to watch as many NFL games as you can, DirecTV is the only provider that offers the NFL Sunday Ticket, which allows you to watch. And the best part about it is that NFL Sunday Ticket comes at no extra charge no matter the plan you select. In addition, if you're a movie junkie, DIRECTV offers each of the premium movie channels (HBO, Starz, Showtime and Cinemax) as well. And you can get each of them for free for the first three months of your service.
Unlike most cable providers, DIRECTV doesn't actually offer its own internet service. On the surface, this would appear to be a negative as most people prefer to bundle their cable service with internet (and often phone service as well) in order to save money. But DIRECTV has taken some steps to address this. While the company doesn't offer their own service, they do offer internet service as part of a bundle with other providers.
While this does provide customers with varied options in regard to internet service, it also means you are subject to varying speeds and service depending on which provider you select. In addition, you aren't provided with information about internet service until after you have purchased television service.
DIRECTV has third-party contracts with Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, Exede Internet, HughesNet, and Mediacom. Each of these companies offer dial-up, satellite internet, broadband internet and cable internet to DirecTV users.
DIRECTV's customer service is fast and responsive. The company offers general support every day from 8 am to 1 am EST. And they also offer customer support 24 hours per day, seven days per week. However, some customers have complained that DIRECTV appears to be more concerned with convincing you to upgrade than addressing the issue you called them about.
Verdict - Superb
Although DIRECTV isn't the cheapest option you do get a lot for your money, including certain packages that can't be found anywhere else and a whole host of channels.