When you’re ready to get DIRECTV, one of the first things your customer rep will ask is which programming package you’d like. Even though you can easily switch to a smaller or larger plan after your system is installed, it’s a time and money saver to do your research beforehand. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Prioritize your Favorite Channels
We all have ’em… a handful of channels we just can’t live without. As networks constantly add new shows, you’ll probably stumble upon a couple that’ll find their way onto your favorites list. When it comes to picking a programming package (especially if you’re on a budget), it helps to prioritize your shows. For starters, make a quick list of your 5 to 10 must-have programs and the channels they’re on. Then, jump over to the channel list of each of the top 4 DIRECTV packages:
- TOTAL CHOICE ($34.99/mo for 150 channels)
- CHOICE XTRA ($39.99/mo for 205 channels)
- CHOICE ULTIMATE ($44.99/mo for 225 channels)
- TOTAL PREMIER ($44.99/mo for 285 channels)
…or just use our DIRECTV channel guide.
If one of the packages has all you favorites, you’re set. If it’s missing 1 or 2 of the channels on your list, decide whether it’s worth the extra $5-$10/month to upgrade. If you can’t make up your mind, it’s always a good bet to start with the lower package, then move up if/when separation anxiety sets in.
Spread the Wealth
If you have a few people in your household, don’t make the programming decision all on your own (trust me, that can backfire!). Get their top few channels and if they’re not already on your list, let ’em know the difference in cost. Of course, if you’re paying all the bills, it’s really more of a courtesy check.
One of the upsides of having multiple DVRs installed on different TVs is each person can record exactly what they want. So, most larger households are usually better off getting the bigger package and making sure everyone has access to their own receiver.
Sort out the Specialty Channels
Once you’ve settled on a package, you still have the option of adding specialty programming (regional, niche, language-specific channels). Often, you can secure a free trial (or even a lifetime of lower rates) if you get them added to your initial order. So, if you’re looking for premium movies (HBO, SHOWTIME, etc), exclusive sports channels (NFLTicket, MLB Extra Innings, etc) or even an international pack, make sure you inquire during setup to maximize your savings.
You’re in Charge
At the end of the day, the folks at DIRECTV (or at any TV provider) just want you to be happy with their service and programming. With all the free equipment and bonuses they shell out, it’s in their best interest to make sure you stick around for at least a couple years. Keep that in mind during sign-up and take a bit of time beforehand to figure out which package suits you best. In the long run, it just may end up saving you a nice chunk of time and money.