DirecTV got its start in 1990, and has since grown into a successful Fortune 100 company. They serve over 20 million customers in the United States and 16 million in Latin America, totaling over 37 million customers worldwide. The company offers over 190 full-time HD channels. Currently the consensus winner for sports programming, DirecTV offers NFL Sunday Ticket, NHL Center Ice, and NBA League Pass. They were awarded “#1 for Customer Service Satisfaction” according to the 2014 American Customer Satisfaction Index.
In June 2015, AT&T officially acquired DirecTV creating one of the largest television and communications companies in the world. The projections for this merger are positive for DirecTV customers, giving them bundling opportunities on internet and phone service not available before. Many also predict this merger will allow DirecTV to compete with other cable/satellite companies and their bundling services—where the future of TV is potentially going.
- HD DVR
- Exclusive sports programming
- Additional technology features
- Watch in multiple rooms
- Bundling and competitive pricing
DirecTV is one of the leaders in the satellite TV industry, and they proudly showcase their HD DVR, the Genie, as the new great technology in viewing pleasure. The Genie can record up to five shows at the same time, a definite standout feature among leading DVR providers.
Exclusive Sports Programming
DirecTV has an exclusive partnership with the NFL, offering the NFL Sunday Ticket to sports fans across the country. NFL Sunday Ticket shows all the NFL games every week from your favorite teams. For more features and remote accessibility, you are able to upgrade to NFL Sunday Ticket Max, offering highlights, the RED ZONE CHANNEL®, DIRECTV FANTASY ZONE CHANNEL™, NFL.com fantasy. NFL Sunday Ticket is included for free for a limited time on most initial sign up packages. When charged, costs range between $239.94 and $329.94. This package is a huge selling point, especially for individuals who have moved away from their favorite city and team and want to keep them a part of their weekends.
Not only does DirecTV provide unmatched content streaming for every live NFL game, they also offer similar programming for the NBA, MLB, and NHL. These streaming services, while excellent for sports fans, are not exclusive to DirecTV. All 50 states have access to DirecTV and these excellent sports options.
Additional Technology Features
Tired of finding the schedules so you don’t miss any of your teams’ games or your favorite shows? Now the Genie will arrange a joint schedule of all of your games once you specify your teams. Outside of sports, the Genie will also recommend shows for your viewing based on your prior viewing history. Sometimes it is hard to choose what you want to watch, but DirecTV allows you to do split screen with two shows at once, meaning you don’t have to miss a beat while figuring out where to place your focus.
Lastly, if you find a show that you know you will want to watch, but know you’ll forget about it if you don’t program it in the system, DirecTV will let you search and save the program up to two weeks in advance.
Watch in Multiple Rooms
Another issue in the past was bickering over who got to control the remote. But now any iPhone can act as a DirecTV remote, and up to four different shows can be watched in four different rooms at any given time. So if you have enough TVs in the house, you’ll never have to fight over watching your favorite show again. The Genie displays both HD programming and can be used to record shows. Better yet, those shows can be recorded in HD, meaning you can enjoy them fully without viewing them live.
Even though you can view different shows in multiple rooms, what about all of the extra equipment? With DirecTV, all you need is a Genie Mini in each additional room. And if you have a Samsung or Sony Direct Ready TV, you actually don’t need any external devices to run multiple TVs through the network.
Bundling and Competitive Pricing
DirecTV pricing varies by package. You can expect to pay somewhere between $50 and $187 depending on package chosen. Additional channels (like the NFL Sunday Ticket) may require additional costs. While these prices are competitive, DISH average prices are slightly lower (again, depending on the package) coming in roughly at $39.99.
Due to the recent merger between AT&T and DirecTV, the future looks bright for customers being able to save money on bundling their phone and internet services with their TV programming. As time moves forward, we will know more how much value this will actually bring to current and future customers of DirecTV. The future does look bright for customers being able to save more money and get more services in return for the future.
- Customer complaints
- Equipment and service complaints
- Service charges
DirecTV has a number of customer complaints, bringing up many similar service and experience issues. Before going with DirecTV, be sure to do your homework and review these potential negatives of DirecTV and the satellite TV industry as a whole.
Equipment and Service Complaints
DirecTV is satellite-based, and is subject to all the disadvantages that come with a satellite system: reception is a the mercy of weather conditions. When there are heavy storms, you are more likely to have an effect on you satellite connection. Weather does not affect the quality and availability of cable or fiber optic programming to the same extent as satellite TV service. Be prepared to weather spotty connections during considerably adverse weather.
DirecTV is known for locking customers into great promotional packages for the first year of their contract; however, Once the first year of the contract is complete, year two can brings a heavy increase in monthly programming prices. Be sure to check what your price will be for the second year of service with DirecTV.
Service charges are also very evident through DirecTV. Although this is not foreign to the industry, be prepared to pay an additional monthly fee for each additional television you wish to use DirecTV within your home.
The price is $50/month for 12 months, regularly priced at $90/month. 145+ channels are available in this package.
The price is $55/month for 12 months (with a 24 month agreement), regularly priced at $101/month. Currently, they are running a special offer for $55 for 12 months. The package has over 150 digital channels, including all of the top entertainment and news channels, and three free months of HBO, STARZ, Showtime, and Cinemax. There is a free Genie upgrade, free professional installation, no extra charge for local channels, no startup costs, and no equipment to buy.
Choice runs for $115 per month (although they are running a special offer of $60 per month for 12 months). DirecTV touts this 175+channel package as “the package that beats cable.” It includes everything from the entertainment package, plus 2014 NFL Sunday Ticket. Also, enjoy the ability to see thousands of movies with On Demand.
Xtra is $124 per month, or $70 per month on their special deal. You get all that the Choice has to offer, plus an additional 45 channels. DirecTV says that this is their most popular package.
Enjoy all that Xtra has to offer, plus 20 extra channels, all for $134 per month, or $75 a month under their current special.
DirecTV’s biggest package comes in at $187 a month, or $125 a month under their current offer. This arrangement will have you happily viewing over 315 digital channels.
Promotions may last up to 12 months for DirecTV customers, during which their rates will not increase. If you are not under promotion, however, there is no obligation on the company’s part to keep their prices the same.
The contract is for two years, the first of which will cost $50/month. If you choose to renew your service after that, it will cost you $90/month.
The contract is for two years, the first of which will cost $55/month. If you choose to renew your service after that, it will cost you $101/month.
The contract is for two years, the first of which will cost $60/month. If you choose to renew your service after that, it will cost you $115/month.
The contract is for two years, the first of which will cost $70/month. If you choose to renew your service after that, it will cost you $124/month.
The contract is for two years, the first of which will cost $75/month. If you choose to renew your service after that, it will cost you $134/month.
The contract is for two years, the first of which will cost $125/month. If you choose to renew your service after that, it will cost you $187/month.