DIRECTV Satellite TV

Founded: 1994
Corporate Site(s):
# Subscribers: >19 million
Key partner(s): NFL, NASCAR
based on 23 vote(s)
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The first and largest satellite TV provider in the world, DIRECTV doesn't show signs of slowing down any time soon. Launched in July 17, 1994, they immediately gave folks a realistic (and affordable) alternative to grainy over-the-air or expensive cable programming. In the early days, it wasn't all roses though. Satellite TV meant a VERY large dish planted on your roof with, often, spotty reception, especially during wind or rain storms.

DIRECTV Channel Lineup
View and compare all the DIRECTV channels and their packages in our interactive table.

You also didn't have the some of technologies we take for granted, such as an easy-to-use programming guide, DVR, high def, etc. After the turn of the century, DIRECTV (often misspelled as DIRECT TV), spearheaded a boost in equipment and feature innovation. From a dramatic reduction in dish size (thanks to advances in reception technology) to the highly branded TiVO, DIRECTV changed the way we watch TV. Fast-forward to this decade, they haven't missed a beat with ongoing improvements in programming scope (exclusivity with the NFL and NASCAR), receiver upgrades, customer service, PPV and more. Bottom line, DIRECTV is at the top of the heap thanks to their cutting-edge technology and commitment to customer advocacy (98%+ satisfaction rate amongst our readers currently subscribed to DIRECTV). If you're in the market for satellite TV, make sure you give DIRECTV a close look before pulling the trigger.


  • Exclusive sports programming: NFL SUNDAY TICKET, NASCAR HOTPASS, etc.
  • Most full-time HD channels (DISH touts more, but a good % are part-time)
  • Flexible DVR Scheduling - record/manage your shows with any smartphone (via their app) or computer
  • Best on-screen program guide in the business


  • Price per package is about $10 more than Dish Network
  • Less streaming movies compared to DISH's Movie Pass
  • Free installation includes up to 4 rooms (vs DISH's 6 rooms)
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