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DIRECTV Review 2020: Compare Packages, Deals, and Prices

We analyzed dozens of DIRECTV packages to see which ones offered the best deals—check out what we found.

Price: $49.99/mo.–$124.99/mo.

Channels: 155–330*

Package
Best for premiums
PREMIER™ All Included
Best for entertainment
ENTERTAINMENT All Included
Price for first year Channel Count Details
$124.99/mo. 330+ View plan
54.99/mo 160+ View plan

Is DIRECTV service good?

DIRECTV is good if you need total NFL coverage or a quality DVR included with your TV package.

In general, DIRECTV service is consistently above average. Most of its plans include the Genie DVR to record your favorite shows, a season of NFL SUNDAY TICKET, and three months of HBO®, CINEMAX®, SHOWTIME®, and STARZ®.

But if you go with DIRECTV, keep in mind that you’ll have to sign a two-year contract and the prices go up in the second year. And DIRECTV’s NFL SUNDAY TICKET and premium channels autorenew after the free trial period, so forgetting to cancel could ram you in the pocketbook.

Best DIRECTV plans and prices

Package
Best for premiums
PREMIER™ All Included
Best for entertainment
ENTERTAINMENT All Included
Price for first year* Price for mos. 13–24** Channel Count Details
$124.99/mo. $197/mo. 330+ View plan
54.99/mo. $136.99/mo. 160+ View plan

*for 12 mos plus taxes. Autopay & Paperless bill req’d. Prices higher in 2nd year. 

** for 12 mos plus taxes. Autopay & Paperless bill req’d. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $9.99/mo. is extra & applies.

With four packages to choose from, it can be hard to nail down your best option. We recommend ENTERTAINMENT All Included for its excellent for basic channels and PREMIER™ All Included because it lavishes you in premium channels. The latter package basically makes you TV-watching royalty.

DIRECTV Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 200 HD storage hrs. on included DVR
  • 1 season of NFL SUNDAY TICKET included
  • 3 mos. of premium channels

Cons

  • 2 yr. contract
  • Price hike after 12 mos.
  • Autorenewing extras that could cost you

DIRECTV packages and prices

DIRECTV TV packages comparison: channel counts, prices, and more

Swipe Left to See All →
PackagePrice for mos. 1–12*Price for mos. 13–24*Channel count
ENTERTAINMENT All Included54.99/mo*$97.00/mo.160+View plan
CHOICE™ All Included59.99/mo**$115.00/mo.185+View plan
ULTIMATE All Included74.99/mo**$142.00/mo.250+View plan
PREMIER™ All Included124.99/mo**$197.00/mo.330+View plan

*for 12 mos plus taxes. Autopay & Paperless bill req’d. Prices higher in 2nd year. 

** for 12 mos plus taxes. Autopay & Paperless bill req’d. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $9.99/mo. is extra & applies.

With DIRECTV, as your monthly price increases, so does your channel count. That’s pretty standard as far as TV packages go. What you’ll want to consider, however, is that a lot of the channels included with the more expensive DIRECTV packages include a lot of filler channels that you might not need. 

Like we said before, ENTERTAINMENT gives you tons of popular channels for a decent price. Check out the full channel lineups of each DIRECTV package before going for broke.

And, when you’re checking out the prices above, remember that every DIRECTV plan requires a two-year contract. That’s rude, and it probably has something to do with the ugly satellite dish it’ll put up on your south-facing roof. But even worse, DIRECTV raises its prices in the second year, which is a hassle to budget.

DISH, the other prominent satellite TV provider, maintains the same prices for its full two-year contract, so that might be a better option if DIRECTV’s change makes you uneasy.

DIRECTV channel lineup

Swipe Left to See All →
PackageIncluded popular channels
ENTERTAINMENTESPN, ESPN2, NBCSN, and FS1View plan
CHOICE™IFC, Nick Jr., OWN TV, Travel Channel, and UniMásView plan
ULTIMATEEl Rey, STARZ ENCORE, and TMCView plan
PREMIER™HBO, CINEMAX, SHOWTIME, and STARZView plan

See full DIRECTV channel lineups
 

DIRECTV’s ENTERTAINMENT package covers family-favorite channels like ABC and popular sports channels like ESPN. And it’s the cheapest DIRECTV package.

At CHOICE™ and above, you get access to DIRECTV’s perks with no extra cost: a season of NFL SUNDAY TICKET and three months of premium channels for first-time sign-ups.

Again, check out the full channel lineup to make sure you get a package with all the channels you want. If you’re into beIN Sports, A&E, or Pac-12 Network, tough luck—DIRECTV doesn’t offer those.

Still, DIRECTV’s channel lineups are well balanced, with PREMIER™ standing out as one of the few packages out there to include all the big premium channels in its lineup. It’s a go-big-and-go-home situation, where you can get everything you want and never have to leave your couch again.

So, if you have the cash for DIRECTV PREMIER, NFL SUNDAY TICKET, HBO Max, SHOWTIME, CINEMAX, STARZ, and EPIX included with your package is pretty sweet. 

Now that you have a good sense of the pros and cons of DIRECTV packages, you’ll probably wanna check out some of DIRECTV’s main competitors.

DIRECTV vs. the competition

If you’re set on getting satellite TV, DIRECTV really only has two direct (see what we did there?) competitors: DISH Network and Orby TV. (If you’re cable- or streaming-curious, you’ve got way more options.)

DIRECTV vs. DISH Network

There really are only two main trade-offs when comparing DIRECTV vs. DISH: contracts and sports. 

DISH offers a two-year price lock guarantee, which can save you money over the long haul. But DIRECTV has complete NFL coverage and way more regional sports networks than DISH.

TBH, most of the staff at CableTV.com thinks DISH Network is a better deal for most folks (football fiends aside). 

For more details, read our helpful guide “DISH vs. DIRECTV.” 

DIRECTV vs. Orby TV

Orby TV is a newcomer to the satellite TV world, and its $40 per month plan is turning a lot of heads. 

The thing is Orby TV can’t compete with DIRECTV (or DISH) in terms of channel count, DVR storage, and sports coverage. And Orby TV has some pretty wild startup costs, too. We’re talking like $294–$394 just to get your satellite dish and DVR—zoinks!

We say, if you got the cash, go with DIRECTV. To find out more about Orby TV, read our expert review.

Still set on DIRECTV? Read on to see how you can save some cash by bundling your DIRECTV package with internet service.

DIRECTV bundles

DIRECTV + AT&T internet packages

Swipe Left to See All →
PackagePrice for mos. 1–12†Price for mos. 13–24Channel countDownload speeds up to
DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT + AT&T Internet$94.98/mo.$136.99160+10–100 MbpsView plan
DIRECTV CHOICE™ + AT&T Internet$99.98/mo.$154.99185+10–100 MbpsView plan
DIRECTV ULTIMATE + AT&T Internet$114.98/mo.$181.99250+10–100 MbpsView plan
DIRECTV PREMIER™ + AT&T Internet$164.98/mo.$236.99330+10–100 MbpsView plan

Data as of 6/28/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*for 12 mos plus taxes.
†for 12 mos plus taxes and RSN fee

AT&T’s bundles are going to be some of the cheapest you can get with DIRECTV. When you combine internet and TV here, the plans are $10 per month less expensive than they would be separated.

One of the drawbacks is that AT&T Internet speeds vary by location. If you live in an area where AT&T’s internet reaches only 10 Mbps, you’ll still have to pay what those in 100 Mbps areas pay. But if you live in an area where there’s 100 Mbps, you’ll get these deals at a steal.

And think about it: by bundling your DIRECTV package with AT&T Internet, you’ll save $240 per year. Not too shabby.

That said, there are a few more pros and cons to bundling AT&T and DIRECTV, so check those out before you sign up.

DIRECTV + AT&T internet + phone packages

Swipe Left to See All →
PackagePrice for mos. 1–12Price for mos. 13–24Channel countDownload speeds up toPhone plan
DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT + AT&T Internet + Phone Unlimited$114.97/mo.$156.98/mo.160+100 MbpsUnlimited nationwide callingView plan
DIRECTV CHOICE™ + AT&T Internet + Phone Unlimited$119.97/mo.$174.98/mo.185+100 MbpsUnlimited nationwide callingView plan
DIRECTV ULTIMATE + AT&T Internet + Phone Unlimited$134.97/mo.$201.98/mo.250+100 MbpsUnlimited nationwide callingView plan
DIRECTV PREMIER™ + AT&T Internet + Phone Unlimited$184.97/mo.$256.98/mo.330+100 MbpsUnlimited nationwide callingView plan

Data as of 6/28/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*for 12 mos plus taxes.

AT&T doesn’t add on any more discounts if you add home phone to the service. You’ll still get the $20 per month discount all its AT&T Internet and DIRECTV deals have, but that’s all.

Go to our bundles page to learn more.

DIRECTV promotions, deals, and more

DIRECTV always has deals available for new customers. NFL SUNDAY TICKET or NBA League Pass included for the first year of service are two of the most popular deals.

DIRECTV also offers a free DVR, 4K HDR programming, and 72-hour rewind. To put those deals in perspective, most TV providers charge a monthly fee for their DVR and HD channels.

Also, a perk of DIRECTV service is that you can get it almost anywhere in the US, so you don’t have to worry about if it’s available where you live. And there’s even an app on the Google Play and App Store to watch DIRECTV on the go.

With all these DIRECTV specials combined, you can count on watching big league games in pristine quality from anywhere.

Family watching TV at night in living room | CableTV.com

Top DIRECTV features

To sum it up, here are some of the neatest things about DIRECTV:

  • Out-of-region season passes for NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB, and MLS
  • 4K HDR programming on CHOICE packages and higher
  • 72-hr. rewind on select channels
  • Included DVR with 200 hrs. of HD storage

DIRECTV equipment

Unlike many TV services, DIRECTV won’t charge you more for a DVR receiver or set-top box. Instead, without spending another penny, you can save up to 200 hours of HD TV—that’s more than enough space for all eight seasons of The Vampire Diaries.

DIRECTV’s DVR is called the Genie. (Very magic, much wow, insert something about making your wishes come true here.) Presumptive name aside, it’s a solid piece of equipment that gets the job done.

The Genie comes in both wired and wireless versions, and you can hook up more TVs for $7 more per TV per month. That’s a lot of pers, we know, but if you’re paying for service already, it just makes sense to be able to watch DIRECTV everywhere in your house.

We can go on for pages about the Genie. In fact, we already have—check out our full Genie DVR review for everything else you’ll want to know.

Final take: DIRECTV is good for sports and bundling

DIRECTV has some finicky things we don’t like—autorenewing “free” perks and raising prices after it’s locked you into a contract, first and foremost.

But its perks are pretty impressive, especially its sports programming and included Genie DVR. And if you can bundle it with AT&T Internet, the discounts are peachy keen.

DIRECTV service FAQ

Does DIRECTV service my area?

Yes, DIRECTV service is available nationwide.

With the few exceptions of apartment buildings or houses without a south-facing mounting surface (for the satellite dish), you can get DIRECTV service from way down in the Bayou all the way up to the Northern Lights.

Can I install DIRECTV myself?

No, you can’t install DIRECTV yourself. A DIRECTV technician will be dispatched to install your satellite dish and get your DIRECTV service up and running.

During the new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, technicians will be cleaning equipment and practicing social distancing.

How can I watch DIRECTV on the go?

Your DIRECTV service includes on-the-go viewing with the DIRECTV app. With your smartphone or tablet, you can download the DIRECTV app on the App Store or Google Play.

The app will hook you up with DIRECTV live stream TV, but you’ll need internet access. If you want to watch offline, you can download recordings from your cloud DVR ahead of time.

Heads up—DIRECTV has loads of positive reviews on the App Store, but Google Play users comment that a recent update ruined the functionality of the app. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for patches that fix the problem.

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