Tired of scanning through all the shows on your streaming service and not finding anything that makes you want to hit play?
Maybe it’s time to un-cut the cord and check out DIRECTV for a consistent lineup of channels jam-packed with your favorite shows.
DIRECTV packages and plans
|DIRECTV SELECT™||$35/mo.||155+||View plan|
|DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT||$40/mo.||160+||View plan|
|DIRECTV CHOICE™||$45/mo.||185+||View plan|
|DIRECTV XTRA||$55/mo.||235+||View plan|
|DIRECTV ULTIMATE||$60/mo.||250+||View plan|
|DIRECTV PREMIER™||$110/mo.||330+||View plan|
Data effective 8/10/2018. Offers are subject to change.
* Requires a 2-year contract plus autopay and paperless billing enrollment. Price increases after the first year.
- One of two ways to get NFL SUNDAY TICKET
- DVR with 200 hrs HD storage
- Mid-contract price increases
- Two-year contract
Video last updated Aug. 2018
DIRECTV packages and pricing
DIRECTV’s pricing starts out great, but expect prices to skyrocket in the middle of your contract.
DIRECTV’s prices start out pretty reasonable. Up until the PREMIER™ package, you’ll pay around 25 cents per channel for your first year. (The PREMIER™ package costs about 30 cents per channel—so not much more.)
If you ask us, forking over a quarter to get ESPN, Discovery Channel, or the Travel Channel is more than worth it. The problem, however, is that you’re paying a quarter for each channel (and there are a lot of them) that you’ll probably never watch.
You can bundle any DIRECTV package with AT&T or CenturyLink internet. Here’s a few that caught our eye.
DIRECTV bundle prices
|DIRECTV package||Channels||Internet package||Price||Details|
|DIRECTV SELECT™||155+||AT&T Internet 10-100 Mbps||$75/mo.*||See bundle|
|DIRECTV XTRA™||235+||AT&T Fiber Internet 300||$115/mo.*||See bundle|
|DIRECTV PREMIER™||330+||AT&T Internet 100||$150/mo.*||See bundle|
|DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT™||160+||CenturyLink 25 Mbps internet||$85/mo.**||See bundle|
|DIRECTV CHOICE™||185+||CenturyLink 80 Mbps internet||$100/mo.**||See bundle|
Data effective 8/10/2018. Offers are subject to change.
* For 12 months with a 2-year TV contract and 1-year internet contract plus paperless billing and autopay. DIRECTV price increases for months 13–24.
** 2-year contract required for DIRECTV. DIRECTV price increases for months 13–24.
Prices and channel lists for your DIRECTV portion of the bundle won’t change—that is to say, you’ll get the exact same channels and pay the exact same price as you would if you just got DIRECTV on its own.
Show me the HD
But if you bundle DIRECTV with AT&T, you’ll save about $10 per month on your internet. That’s a win-win in our book.
You’ll find most—if not all—of your favorite channels even in DIRECTV’s cheapest package.
DIRECTV channels comparison
|Service||Number of channels||Average price per channel*||Find out more|
|DIRECTV||155+–330+||40 cents||View plans|
|DISH||190–290+||33 cents||View plans|
|Xfinity||140+–260+||36 cents||View plans|
|Spectrum||125+–200+||51 cents||View plans|
|Frontier||315+–400+||24 cents||View plans|
Data effective 8/10/2018.
* Prices shown require a 1- or 2-year contract.
As far as what you’ll pay per channel, DIRECTV isn’t the cheapest—or the most expensive. But we should note that the cheapest, Frontier, has a fairly limited coverage area. Since DIRECTV is satellite TV, it’s more than likely you can get all those channels beamed down to your TV no matter where you are.
DIRECTV premium channels
If you’re all about those premium channels, you’ll want to grab the PREMIER™ package. Here’s what’s included:
DIRECTV PREMIER™ package premium channels:
- 10 HBO® channels
- 7 STARZ® channels
- 8 SHOWTIME® channels
- 8 CINEMAX® channels
Of course, you can always tune into HBO and find out who’s next on the Game of Thrones chopping block (when the next season releases, anyway) by adding all four premium channel networks to whichever DIRECTV package you please. (This requires an extra fee each month, of course.)
DIRECTV sports packages
One of DIRECTV’s best perks is that it’s pretty much the only TV service out there that offers you the chance to watch NFL SUNDAY TICKET.
If your sport of choice doesn’t happen on the football field, no worries. DIRECTV still has you covered.
DIRECTV sports packages and channels
- NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX: NFL SUNDAY TICKET, RED ZONE CHANNEL, DIRECTV FANTASY ZONE CHANNEL, Short Cuts
- DIRECTV SPORTS PACK: Universal Sports Network, ESPN Classic, beIN SPORT, Univision Deportes, MLB Network
- MLB EXTRA INNINGS®: Mix Channel, MLB Network, MLB Network Strike Zone
- FOX SOCCER PLUS
- NBA LEAGUE PASS
- NHL® Center Ice®
DIRECTV local channels
Looking for the lowdown on local weather or want to get your Bob Ross on? DIRECTV also offers a wide selection of local channels.
DIRECTV local channels
|Network||Number of affiliates||View details|
Local channel availability may vary by location. Data effective 8/10/2018.
We should mention that just because DIRECTV has affiliate channels with these networks doesn’t necessarily mean that all programming will be available in your area.
Yes, there’s that pesky location disclaimer again.
For example, if you have a local channel that you watch CBS programming on, you may not get access to all CBS programming. That’s because CBS doesn’t own your local channel; it just has a contractual agreement with your local channel. Weird, we know.
DIRECTV DVR and equipment
DIRECTV’s DVR is easy to love—it won’t get in the way of your binge-watching.
Our DIRECTV package came with a Genie DVR, and we have to say we were impressed. In fact, the Genie is one of our favorite DVRs to date.
Setting up the DVR and remote was easy-peasy, and we found the menus logical and easy to navigate.
DIRECTV Genie HD DVR price
|Up-front price||Monthly fees||Storage hours||Details|
|$49 for 5th and 6th receivers||$7/mo. for each additional receiver||200 (HD) / 800 (SD)||Learn more|
But we still wanted to push the Genie’s limits. DIRECTV boasts that it can record up to five shows at once, so we put that to the test and recorded all the shows on our must-watch list.
We’re happy to say we didn’t miss recording a single show, even during Sunday night primetime. That’s when the Genie’s recording capacity of 200 hours in high definition (HD) came in handy.
Surprisingly, the only thing that filled up the DVR was when someone recorded what seemed like every episode of Law & Order SVU . . . (Maybe that’s not surprising since that show has more than 400 episodes.)
What about the Genie Mini? Well, aside from being a lot smaller than the main Genie DVR, we didn’t notice any differences.
Actually, it was nice to start watching Atlanta in the living room with a late-night snack, then move to the bedroom after.
Honestly, the only piece of DIRECTV equipment we had any trouble with was the satellite dish. And we’ll fully admit that was our fault. Turns out you need to make sure your satellite dish is in the right place. (Who’da thunk?)
If you live in a place where it snows, you need to have access to your dish to get that pesky snow off—otherwise you’ll lose your signal. Lesson learned.
DIRECTV Restart and 72 Hour Rewind
Have you ever started browsing Facebook or Imgur, only to realize your favorite show started seven minutes ago? Yeah, us too.
Lucky for us, DIRECTV’s Restart and 72 Hour Rewind features have our backs.
With Restart, you can start a show over if you tune in late. That’s included at no charge—but the downside is it’s available only on a limited number of channels. You can find out which ones here.
If you’re a few days late to the show, 72 Hour Rewind is your new best friend. It lets you go back to check out a show you missed, even if it aired three days ago. But just like Restart, it’s only available for certain channels. You can find the full list of channels with 72 Hour Rewind here.
DIRECTV customer service
DIRECTV’s customer service rates well compared to other TV subscription services—but average overall.
Judging by the comments we tend to get, DIRECTV customer service is pretty much in line with the rest of the TV industry: not great.
But once in a blue moon, we’ll experience a customer service rep who just gets it, like the time we asked how many HD channels the SELECT package has. The service rep gave us the answer, then also shared a PDF with all the channels included in the SELECT package. Nice.
Recap—Is DIRECTV good?
Aside from the price hikes, we highly recommend DIRECTV.
Despite a few disappointments, like the price hike in the middle of your two-year contract, we still think DIRECTV is one of our favorite TV subscription services—maybe even our favorite.
- Plans: Each of DIRECTV’s six packages include a wide range of popular channels, plus the option to add on a multitude of sports, entertainment, foreign language, and premium channels.
- Pricing: Package prices start out competitive, but you’ll need to sign a two-year contract. And after your first year is up, those prices skyrocket and become not so competitive.
- Channels: Did we mention DIRECTV is the only place you’ll find NFL SUNDAY TICKET? Plus you’ve got a buffet of other channel choices, like HBO, Univision Deportes Network, and the doggo-friendly DOGTV. Woof.
- Genie DVR: We’re pretty stoked about the Genie DVR’s features: it stores up to 200 hours of HD programming, plus you can record up to five shows at a time. And the Restart and 72 Hour Rewind features are your best friend when time gets away from you.
- Availability: Unlike some other TV services, DIRECTV is satellite-powered and therefore available nationwide.
Is there something about DIRECTV we missed? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Q: Which DIRECTV package has ESPN?
Every DIRECTV package has ESPN except the SELECT package—but you can still get it with an add-on package.
Q: Which DIRECTV channels are in 4K?
DIRECTV has three channels offering 4K programming: 104, 105, and 106.
- Channel 104: Mixed content
- Channel 105: Pay-per-view movies
- Channel 106: Event channel
1. American Customer Service Index, “ACSI Telecommunications Report 2018 Download”