We all know that the more companies there are fighting for market share, the better it is for consumers. Competition drives down prices, improves customer service, and enables users to enjoy better quality products. When it comes to TV services, you have a variety of options to choose from the major traditional providers. However, there is also another option, which is quite different from the traditional TV service. It’s called satellite TV service. Providers, like DIRECTV, are offering the satellite TV service to the masses for quite some time now and customers seem to be more than happy with their services.
Millennials and others may be considering becoming cord cutters or never subscribing to TV services at all. This may be folly, given the amount of content available on the networks. DIRECTV provides every service and convenience that an entertainment lover could ever need.
Let’s compare DIRECTV with traditional cable, and at the end, give a word about DIRECTV vs. streaming services as well.
In the old days, Cable TV service relied on transmitting data to the user’s screen on radio frequency via coaxial cable. All the channels being broadcast are received, processed, and distributed from a central location. Each channel uses different frequency which allows distribution through the same physical cable.
Then, more recent scientific advances and business competition have compelled companies to lay down underground fiber optic lines. These wires are able to bring you audio-visual signals via light pulses, which help improve the quality of traditional cable TV reception. However, you need a set top box to decode the signals.
Satellite TV, on the other hand, uses those orbiting machines in space to transmit and receive signals in the chain. First, the program creator network broadcasts the signal to a satellite, which then sends the signal down to the provider’s broadcast center. It’s a central location for processing, and distributing the signals. From here, the information is again broadcasted to a satellite, which sends it down to your dish antenna.
The dish antenna must be mounted on your roof, facing south.
How many cable TV providers offer services in your area? Unless you live in a major urban area, it’s likely not a whole lot. The lack of competition means you get lousy deals. You pay more than you should for getting good channels and desirable content.
Cable TV providers don’t operate in many states, and if they do operate in a state, they don’t cover many zip codes. This is not fair! It does make sense for the providers because they have to incur set up costs for laying down optic fiber lines and distribution costs for supplying the services to the end customers. Without a critical mass of potential subscribers, only a handful of companies consider incurring the initial costs.
Rather than getting punished for living in an area which won’t break even for cable TV companies, get DIRECTV because your location doesn’t matter! You just have to put up the antenna and equipment inside your home to get service. No hassle of wiring and outlets.
If you ever decide to move, you don’t have to worry about whether the same service will be available at your new home or not because satellite is available everywhere.
It’s a bit frustrating for consumers that the prices for cable TV and satellite TV services are variable depending on factors such as location, services subscribed, state taxes, surcharges, etc. What is clear is the fact that DIRECTV’s pricing is better value for money for the consumers.
Let’s take a look at the plans and prices of DIRECTV in comparison with Xfinity.
|DIRECTV Plan||Xfinity Plan||DIRECTV Price||Xfinity Price||DIRECTV Channel Count||Xfinity Channel Count|
|Select||Digital Starter (with contract)||$35/mo. * For 12 months||$49.99/mo. * For 12 months||155+||140+|
|Entertainment||Digital Starter (without contract)||$40/mo. * For 12 months||$59.99/mo. * For 12 months||160+||140+|
|Choice||Digital Preferred (with contract)||$45/mo. * For 12 months||$59.99/mo. * For 12 months||185+||220+|
|XTRA||Digital Preferred (without contract)||$55/mo. * For 12 months||$69.99/mo. * For 12 months||235+||220+|
|Ultimate||Digital Premier (with contract)||$60/mo. * For 12 months||$104.99/mo. * For 12 months||250+||260+|
|Premier||Digital Premier (without contract)||$110/mo. * For 12 months||$114.99/mo. * For 12 months||330+||260+|
So, you can see that DIRECTV gives you more channels for a lesser price in most price tiers. Our comparison was with Xfinity, but other cable TV service providers are also at a similar disadvantage to DIRECTV.
We’ve just seen that DIRECTV offers greater amount of channels in most of the packages. However, besides quantity, the quality matters as well. Which service, traditional cable TV or DIRECTV, offers you the most premium and popular channels?
Cable TV will offer you better local content, some of which may not even be available on DIRECTV. This includes public access stations. On the flipside, DIRECTV carries better national and international channel lineups.
|Digital Starter packages||ESPN, HGTV, TBS, TNT, and USA|
|Digital Preferred packages||Disney XD, NFL Network, MLB Network®, STARZ ENCORE®, and TCM|
|Digital Premier packages||Cinemax®, HBO®, SHOWTIME®, and STARZ®|
|Select package||Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, USA, HGTV, TNT|
|Entertainment package||ESPN, ESPN 2, NBCSN|
|Choice package||NFL Network, Game Show, OWN, Nicktoons|
|Xtra package||Universal Kids, NBC Universo, OXYGEN, Golf Channel|
|Ultimate||STARZENCORE, STARZENCORE ACTION, Boomerang, El Rey Network|
|Premier||HBO®, STARZ®, SHOWTIME®, Cinemax® and EPIX®|
All DIRECTV packages from Choice and above have 1 year of NFL Sunday Ticket included at no extra charges. However, next season, the prevailing rate is charged, which is currently $293.94 per season. You can watch up to 8 games on your screen in 4K Ultra HD display with Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 sound.
You can also get HBO free for a year, and Showtime, Cinemax, Starz, and EPIX free for 3 months. Thereafter, regular prices are charged for these channels.
All in all, DIRECTV has better channel lineups than your regular cable TV service.
Cable service providers offer a few international packages, but the availability of channels from foreign countries is much less than on DIRECTV. It’s simply easier for a dish TV service to offer international channels for technical reasons described earlier.
If you have foreign language speakers at home who’d love to consume hours of programming in their native language, then by all means get DIRECTV.
Other DIRECTV Advantages
Besides the clear superiority of DIRECTV described earlier, there are a few extra perks of being a subscriber.
DIRECTV installation is totally free! Compare this with about $70-$100 charged by cable TV companies for installation.
If you need a DVR (we all do), traditional TV service providers will charge you dozens of dollars per month. On DIRECTV, one Genie DVR is free. Additional DVRs cost just a few bucks on DIRECTV.
DIRECTV also charges lower regional and sports fees.
Satellite TV: Here to Stay
It may be fashionable among Millennials to “cut the cord” and switch to streaming TV services because it apparently costs less and all the good content is available on these services. With the rise in number of different streaming services, each with its own monthly fee, soon you’re going to pay as much as you did for Cable TV.
With DIRECTV, you get much more diverse quality content and you get greater quantity of programming as well. You can watch everything on the go on your smartphone using the DIRECTV app. All of this at a price lower than traditional cable TV.
The only downside to Satellite TV is that in a severe storm the service might suffer a bit, but it’s not frequent.
Satellite TV, like DIRECTV service, will always be around. To a family, nothing could be better for entertainment, news, and sports.