When looking at satellite TV service, no doubt you will want to consider the DIRECTV pros and cons and compare them with either your cable company or Dish Network. Also if you have an HDTV, you no doubt want a provider that can give you plenty of content at an affordable price. Does DIRECTV HD have what you want? Lets consider a few of the good and bad things in order to help you make an educated decision about satellite service.
1.) Content – DIRECTV generally has more content for a lower price when comparing it to you cable television company. Now of course this will vary in different parts of the United States, so you have to get in touch with your local cable carrier to see what they have to offer. But as a general rule, DIRECTV will give you more channels for the money when comparing their channel lineups with cable.
2.) Sports- DIRECTV has become the leading satellite TV company when counting subscriber numbers because of their commitment to sports programming. Their big draw is the NFL Sunday Ticket package, which is a DIRECTV exclusive. Other sports packages available include the NBA League Pass, MLB Extra Innings, and the NHL Center Ice bundle. Some of these are found on cable and Dish Network, but often they are not, leaving DIRECTV as your best option for sports programming
3.) HD Content – While DIRECTV has slipped a bit in the last year, falling behind competitors like Dish Network and Verizon Fios, they still offer a fairly hefty HD lineup. While DIRECTV promotes having more than HD channels, the actual number is closer to 90 when pay per view and video on demand offerings are subtracted. Still, they come out ahead of most cable TV companies who offer between 20 and 70 hi def channels depending on the carrier and city you live in. DIRECTV has announced their new satellite will allow them to offer up to 200 HD channels, but whether they will actually have this number is up for debate.
4.) Price – Because satellite TV companies have lower costs than cable, their packages are generally lower overall. DIRECTV deals can get you into a fairly robust programming package for about $35 a month to start, though that price does increase to the regular rate after the first year of service. Monthly DVR fees are lower than cable, though they do charge $10 a month for HD access.
So there are a few of the positives when looking at DIRECTV, lets take a look at the other side of the coin.
1.) Satellite Dish Installation – In order to get DIRECTV service, you of course have to have a satellite dish installed to receive the signals. This works ok if you are a homeowner, or rent a home and you landlord is fine with this situation. But if you live in an apartment or condo, your options may be limited. Apartments and condos that face north are oftentimes unable to get service, and even if you face south you may have problems. Usually a private balcony or deck area is needed where you can have the satellite put on a tripod. The future may be brighter though, as DIRECTV and Dish Network are placing receiving units on large apartment buildings that can be shared by the tenants inside.
2. ) Contract – DIRECTV generally requires a two year contract for those subscribing for the first time. This insures they can recoup the costs involved in having the satellite TV system installed, and in providing the equipment necessary. If you are moving soon, you may want to wait to have DIRECTV installed until you know you can fulfill your end of the contract without interruption.
3.) Bundled service – Satellite TV is set up to provide you with one service, video entertainment. Cable television companies have expanded over the past 10 years by offering not only video service, but high speed internet and voice service as well. DIRECTV internet service is offered through partners such as Verizon, AT&T, and Qwest, who can provide you with a DSL line where available. Other DIRECTV internet service is resold through WildBlue, which offers their own satellite internet service. While these solutions may be workable depending on your situation, they are not really triple play bundles like your cable company offers.
4.) Weather – So how about the question of weather. Everyone seems to have their DIRECTV horror story about how they lost service during a snowstorm. And of course it was during the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl and the fifty people at their house didn’t get to see the end of the game. Well, there certainly is the danger of losing service during a heavy rainstorm or if excess snow gets on your satellite dish. Personally, I have lost service twice during 18 months of DIRECTV service, both times for about 30 minutes and both times during very heavy rain. Yes it happens, and yes you will be affected if there are lots of heavy storms in the area you live in. That being said, you won’t have 100% uptime with you cable company either, its just something that happens from time to time no matter which provider you choose.
So there are a few of the pros and cons of DIRECTV. If you are looking for current deals and offers on satellite service, check out the latest DIRECTV promotional offers and save yourself some cash.