Can you stream music using your DIRECTV Receiver?

DIRECTV has had streaming music for close to 20 years. It’s always enjoyable to me to show people who didn’t know that they had this option. It’s like giving them free money really.

Old-school: Satellite delivered music

DIRECTV has had satellite-delivered music for years. They’ve switched providers several times. Right now they’re using Music Choice. If I had to guess, they’ll stay with Music Choice for a long time. It’s what most cable providers use and it provides a rich experience that includes trivia, text, and even videos.

For those people who just want the same music experience they’ve always had, browse to channels in the 800 range. These channels are available even if you aren’t connected to the internet.

The way we all do it today: the streaming experience

Most DIRECTV receivers are connected to the internet. If you’re not, you probably should be. It’s a very easy process especially on the Genie devices. If you’re not connected there’s probably a message in the menus next to the Settings option:

From there it’s very easy to walk through the process of connecting using a wired or wireless connection.

Once you’re internet-connected, you’ll have the option to use the more modern forms of music streaming. You can get to these by pressing the RIGHT arrow on your remote, or pressing MENU and arrowing down to Apps.

Depending on what else is going on, you might see the streaming apps at the top of this menu. If you don’t, just arrow down.

When you launch Music Choice from the app instead of tuning to a channel, you get the full experience you really want. Once you do it you’ll never want to tune direct to a channel again.

Remember Pandora?

DIRECTV has partnered with Pandora for about a decade. No, they’re not as good or as popular as Spotify. But they do provide a very decent listening experience  and it’s totally free with DIRECTV. I know that some folks have asked for Spotify instead of Pandora but I don’t see that happening at the moment.

You’ve probably heard of iHeartRadio…

If you use your radio in your car you’ve probably heard of iHeartRadio. It’s a streaming service that provides tons of radio stations from all across the country. If the station you listen to is part of iHeartRadio they probably tell you so a few times an hour.

iHeartRadio has commercials — lots of them — but if you’re looking for local information it’s really the best. Just like the other two options, there’s no cost to use it on DIRECTV.

Find out more about streaming music options on DIRECTV

We’ve written a complete setup guide for DIRECTV’s music options. Check it out here. You’ll find everything you need for a great music experience and there’s nothing more to pay. That’s great news for people who are drowning in streaming subscription fees.

By the way… commercial customers will generally not have access to anything but the basic Music Choice system, even if they’re internet-connected. This is due to the copyright structure for music. It’s based on the maximum number of people who could potentially hear a song played. Commercial customers can use Music Choice with no problem but any other form of music, even playing the radio, could either have higher costs or technically be against the law.

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.