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DIRECTV Satellite TV

DIRECTV Satellite TV

Founded: 1994
Corporate Site(s): www.directv.com
# Subscribers: >11 million
Key partner(s): MLB, NBA, NASCAR

based on 34 vote(s)
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The first and largest satellite TV provider in the world, DIRECTV still delivers good overall for most folks. Launched in July 17, 1994, they immediately gave households 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.


Our Review


DIRECTV, along with most traditional TV providers, have taken a major hit over the past few years. Streaming has shifted the landscape of TV programming and for a lot of folks, the lack of flexibility with contract providers like DIRECTV has turned them off. To DIRECTV's credit, they've evolved with the times...

Full DIRECTV review »

TV Plans

DIRECTV Entertainment (165 chs): $69.99
DIRECTV Choice (200 chs): $74.99
DIRECTV Ultimate (270 chs): $104.99
DIRECTV Premier (340 chs): $149.99


DIRECTV is currently offering a solid mix of bonuses when you sign-up. The most valuable of the pack are reserved for new customers, such as the Visa card worth hundreds of dollars. See below for the best perks available:

DIRECTV plan savings

$400 Card Free Genie Free locals HD included

View top DTV Deals »

Popular Bundles


All DIRECTV / AT&T bundles »

Channel comparisonDIRECTV 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
  • 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)

Latest DIRECTV News

As the leader in satellite tv (by subscriber total), DIRECTV is constantly upping the ante on technology, programming and market growth. Over the past decade, they've invested heavily in all 3 categories. Here's a quick look at the latest for each:

  • Technology: starting with the Genie, DIRECTV has redefined what folks come to expect from a TV program guide. From a slick user interface to smart app integration, there's little wonder why the receiver and phone app guides have won best in industry year after year. The Genie may not have the largest hard drive or tuner number (DISH's Hopper takes that crown) but it does so many things well, this whole-home DVR is definitely one of DIRECTV's best attributes.
  • Programming: boasting packages from 155 channels (SELECT) to 340 (Premier), DIRECTV essentially has every high demand channel and network available. There are, of course, the occasional licensing disputes that'll see a channel go dark for months on end, but those tend to cover multiple TV providers at once. With respect to sports, DIRECTV pulls away from the pack when it comes to regional action - they have THE most Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) of any provider out there, cable or satellite. That's a product of their long-standing partnerships with various leagues and teams.
  • Market Growth: this one's really all about three things - keeping the majority of their customer base (especially with the cord-cutting trend), maximizing their sports appeal and with parent company AT&T, saving folks plenty of cash with internet and phone bundles. Online streaming is here to stay and DIRECTV has entered the space themselves with DIRECTV Now but there's little doubt it has impacted business overall. Most folks that wanted to switch to OTT have already jumped ship, so DIRECTV brass expects less of an impact going forward. With regard to AT&T's bundles, most subscribers can save upwards of 40% combining their internet and/or phone service; those discounts are likely to increase in the coming years, especially as competition increases.
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