Don’t have “2019 anxiety” — act now

DIRECTV’s first logo from 1994

The future is not far off. Sometime in 2019, the last satellite operational at DIRECTV’s 119-degree orbital location will be shut off, and at roughly the same time, DIRECTV will stop broadcasting in standard definition. At least that’s what they say, although there are some concerns that haven’t been addressed. I’ll take them at their word, though, because this is a plan that has been in motion since the first DIRECTV-designed HD DVRs hit the market in 2006. Standard definition is out, and it’s all HD from here on.

If you have DIRECTV’s D12 receiver or any older standard-definition receiver, now is the time to upgrade. If it’s just one receiver in what is otherwise an HD setup, then it’s easy. If you’re still using the old round dish, or if you’re using an RV or marine setup that can’t see DIRECTV’s HD satellites, it’s going to be a bit more of an upgrade. Here are some things you need to know.

Just because SD is going away, DIRECTV’s main satellite isn’t.
There are still three satellites at DIRECTV’s primary location at 101 degrees west longitude. They’re all staying in service for a while yet. The channel capacity will probably be mapped to HD channels and that may mean that some older dishes and mobile dishes will still work. I haven’t heard about how that’s going to work, but there’s a possibility that your dish won’t be useless, it just won’t pick up all the channels.

If you think DIRECTV doesn’t care about people with older equipment, you’re wrong.
The company has allocated hundreds of millions of dollars to offset upgrade costs for customers who will be affected here. The best way to find out if you qualify for free upgrades is to call Solid Signal at 888-233-7563. Our team will let you know if you can get a whole new system for zero out of pocket. If you have been with DIRECTV for more than two years and haven’t received any reduced cost equipment, you could qualify easily.

The best time to act is now.
I won’t pretend that I know everything that’s going on in DIRECTV and AT&T’s super secret boardrooms, but I have been told that you won’t see any better promotions than you see today. Waiting is not going to get you a better deal. It’s not like that. In fact, it’s hard to know if today’s deals are even going to be available in the future. With the amount of promotion that’s being put into the DIRECTV NOW streaming service, I wouldn’t be surprised if customers who waited to long to upgrade were just moved over to DIRECTV NOW instead of satellite, and that may not be what you want.

2019 may seem like a long way away, but it isn’t. Now is the time to act… call Solid Signal today at 888-233-7563!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.