Is DIRECTV Satellite Service a good value?

The average DIRECTV customer pays over $100 per month just for TV. That’s been true for over five years. A lot of folks are blaming that high price for DIRECTV’s declining subscriber rates. It’s hard to argue with, but is it really true?

Obviously, there are some cable companies who are charging that amount and giving you internet and landline as well. Streaming, once thought of as a good value, increasingly seems like it’s just as expensive as satellite. And yet, I’m going to tell you in this article that DIRECTV satellite service is a much better value than any of those other service. Are you ready?

First, let’s ignore “teaser rates.”

That rate you’ve been quoted, $99 for three services in a bundle? That’s a “teaser rate.” It expires after a year or two. After that, the price doubles or triples. DIRECTV has had deals like this as well, and the industry as a whole suffers from an excess of them. Both DIRECTV and DISH stopped the practice of teaser rates, saying it led to low-quality subscribers who just left at the end of the discounted rate.

Teaser rates are a bad deal for everyone. If you’re trying to keep your costs down, you’ll end up jumping from service to service every year or so, assuming you even have choices in your city or town. This means setting up new appointments, getting new installations where new holes are drilled, and learning new equipment. If that’s not your idea of fun, join the crowd.

Not only that, teaser rates cost longtime customers money. In order to cover the costs of new equipment and low introductory rates, everyone else’s bills go up. If you want to be the guy who’s responsible for everyone else’s bill going up just so yours can go down, that’s up to you. Sooner or later if everyone does that, the whole thing collapses. That’s all I’m saying.

Is streaming really the answer?

Streaming really has made great strides in the last five years. If you are willing to pay for it, you can get a service like DIRECTV Stream that gives you essentially the same experience as satellite TV. But you’ll pay about the same rate.

It wasn’t that long ago that we thought of streaming as the “wonder drug” for keeping your viewing costs down. Of course that was in the days when a Netflix subscription gave you everything you might want. The number of streaming services has exploded in recent years, with each claiming its own “halo” programs that you simply must watch. Some of those services are fairly inexpensive, while Netflix has recently come under fire for its high prices and relatively low quality content.

Satellite TV may not have all the content you want, because those glamorous streaming services have nabbed it for themselves. But the sheer amount of great stuff you get makes it a fantastic option.

Live TV is still a “must have.”

Your average millennial or GenZer will try to tell you that they hardly watch live TV. After all, the news is dated information, sports are too expensive, and who wants commercials? Yes, that’s absolutely true. But on the other hand, if you think about your habits, think about what percentage of shows you watch within 24 hours, and what percentage of those are on the major broadcast networks. If you’re like most people, over half of your weekly watching is from the major broadcasters and you watch most of it either live or the next day.

Unless you use an antenna or pay for a pricey live streaming package, this situaton’s pretty dire here. It wasn’t that long ago that practically all broadcast TV was available on Hulu the next day. Now you need Paramount+, Hulu, and Peacock just to cover yourself.

The bottom line: price vs. value

There’s a big difference between low price and good value. Something with a low price is great, but if it frustrates you and doesn’t give you what you want, it’s not a good value. Streaming everything, and finding out that the quality is poorer and you can’t watch what you want isn’t a good value.

If you want to talk with an expert and figure out the real best value, call us at Solid Signal! We’re here for you during East Coast business hours. Call 888-233-7563!

On the other hand, DIRECTV gives you hundreds of channels to explore, tens of thousands of on demand programs, free previews of premium channels all the time, plus the ability to stream live TV when you want it. Not to mention… pausing live TV when you need to walk away for a minute. That’s what you’ve been used to… why would you give that up?

I said that by the end of this article I’d convince you that DIRECTV Satellite Service is a good value. Have I convinced you? Leave a comment below and let me know.

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 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.