Is DIRECTV Satellite Service a good value?

The average DIRECTV customer pays over $100 per month just for TV.

Obviously, there are some cable companies who are charging that amount and giving you internet and landline as well. If you go with streaming services, you can get much of the same content for a much lower price. And yet, I’m going to tell you in this article that DIRECTV satellite service is a much better value. 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.

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.

Streaming’s great but it’s not “there yet”
OK, so streaming packages like DIRECTV NOW offer about half the channels, no DVR, and limited ability to pause live TV. Considering the price difference, you may be able to live without those things. Are you willing to live without HD quality? If you and everyone else near you is streaming at the same time, your quality will drop. Suddenly everything’s blurry and out of sync.

If living without a DVR and without HD is part of your plan, you can scale back to a single receiver and cut your DIRECTV bill by quite a bit. You probably already knew that and you’re not willing to do it. So why would you be willing to do the exact same thing just to say you’re cutting the cord? That doesn’t make sense.

Oh sure, if you get a streaming service you can watch on your phone on that tiny screen. But, of course, you can watch even more channels on your phone with your DIRECTV subscription, and you have access to provider apps like FXNOW and TBS that give you whole seasons on demand. You won’t get access to those if you don’t have a traditional TV service.

Yes, you still need live TV.
Your average millennial 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.

In most cities, you still can’t get live TV over streaming unless you go to the station’s web site, which isn’t a great experience and may not be available on your streaming box. Hulu is great for such things but most programs aren’t available until at least 24 hours after they air. Are you ready to wait that long?

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.

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 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.