DirecTV Shopping Guide

By: Teddy Low

As the first satellite TV provider in United States, DirecTV was first launched in year 1994. They gained more than 300,000 subscribers in year one and the number increased exponentially since then. Nowadays, DirecTV stands as one of the world biggest satellite TV providers with more than 20 million users around the States. Now in case you’re one of those shopping for DirecTV, here are some useful reviews on the satellite TV service.

Standard DirecTV deals

Just as most satellite TV deals available in the market, you will get free satellite system, free DVR and HD upgrades, free incentive gifts (such as DVD player), and free premium movie channels for DirecTV standard deals. However, shoppers should be aware that in order to be eligible in such deal, you must commit to a 12 – 18 months service contract.

Programming with DirecTV

DirecTV offers about 250 programming choices, covering a wide range of movie, news, documentary, music, as well as International channels. The standard options with DirecTV are nothing different when compare to other paid TV services like Comcast and Dish Network.

What differs DirecTV from the rest is its supreme sports broadcasting packages. In fact, DirecTV gives a better option to sport with its exclusive rights on NFL, MLB, and NASCAR sports packages.

On the high definition side, DirecTV currently offers about 10 major HD including HBO HD, Showtime HD, ESPN HD, ESPN 2 HD, Universal, TNT HD, Discovery HD and HD Net Movies. In case you are not aware, DirecTV is, in fact, serving less HD channels when compare to Dish Network 70+ HD programming choices. Thus if you are looking for a TV service to boost maximum HDTV usage, perhaps DirecTV is not your best choice in the market.

DirecTV also serves local channels when available, this include local channels like CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, PBS, WB, UPN, as well as certain local independent stations. In the larger markets, the locals are carried on the main satellite location. In smaller markets, the locals are carried another sat location where HD and most Spanish language programming is located, requiring a slightly larger oval dish, capable of receiving signals from both satellite at once. In markets that lack a WB affiliate, DirecTV includes WBZL-TV from Miami or KSWB-TV from San Diego (both stations will join the CW network in September, 2006). Certain persons who live far from a city with television stations and who cannot easily receive television over-the-air, known as a 'white area', can receive feeds from New York & Los Angeles for CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox. A national PBS channel is also available. In early 2006 DirecTV began the roll out of HD locals in the largest cities, which require new set-top boxes and an even larger dish capable of "seeing" four satellite at once.

At a glance: DirecTV vs cable TV

Cable TV is ‘old-school’, pioneer in paid TV services; and cables offer valuable add-on services such as cable Internet and cable phone services. DirecTV is still consider ‘new’ when compare to the cables. However, DirecTV programming choices are wide, their monthly cost is lower, and they offer exclusive sport packages that you cannot get elsewhere.

At a glance: DirecTV vs Dish Network

Both Dish Network and DirecTV are offering their service based on the same technology. Thus, it is not surprise to see that their offers are in fact more or less the same. From incentive gifts to systems built up to programming choices - they are just too similar.

The slight differences between Dish Network and DirecTV are the pricing and programming. DirecTV’s packages cost a little more when it comes to monthly subscriptions but as mentioned, they do offer better sport events coverage compare. Dish Network, on the other hand, have more International (non English) and HD channels.

DirecTV installation

The installation process with DirecTV is pretty simple and fast. The system can be installed to your existing TV system regardless on your TV model or the type of building you are living. Landed or terrace house, condominium or shop lot – they are just fine with DirecTV systems. To install personally, users can setup the DirecTV satellite system by referring user manual guides. However Standard installation is provided free by most of the DirecTV dealers, thus it’s actually not an issue to worry about.

Last piece of advice: Shop wisely.

It’s common that consumers tend to follow the crowd. As DirecTV growing more and more popular, I’m not surprise there are shoppers that order DirecTV just because their neighbors have it too. However, this is not the wise thing to do. Come’on, why waste money on TV subscription that you never watch? So hey, be realistic, DirecTV do offer great deals online – however, shoppers are recommended to shop according to their needs. If you watch TV twice a week, there’s no point to have 256 channels in your TV.


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