What’s the best value in pay TV?

I have a feeling most of you know what I’m going to say here. This is, after all, a blog dedicated to satellite television and other forms of entertainment. But let’s take a moment to look at two specific choices for entertainment: DIRECTV Satellite and DIRECTV NOW.

Both great options…

DIRECTV Satellite TV has been around since 1994. It started out as a high-tech, DIY solution for getting pay television in areas where you had no other choice. Sure, cable companies were out there in 1994, but DIRECTV offered a unique value. You bought everything outright and installed it yourself, and then you paid less than the cable company would charge and got more channels.

In the last decade especially, DIRECTV Satellite has moved from a DIY alternative to a top-end, premium choice. Cable and satellite costs have gone ever-higher thanks to skyrocketing content fees. DIRECTV Satellite has become the choice for people who want to “have it all” — you can still install yourself or you can take advantage of professional installation. There’s still a lower programming tier that’s competitive with cable, but you also have the choice of the top end package with plenty of premium and sports channels. Of course DIRECTV satellite also has NFL Sunday Ticket exclusively, along with the best selection of sports programming.

DIRECTV NOW has only been with us a short time but it’s proven to be a popular way for people to get live channels and a “pay-TV like” experience. Although the app runs on your own device, you get a guide, local channels, and DVR function just like a traditional pay-TV plan. As with satellite, there are price points for nearly every budget. In fact recently DIRECTV NOW revamped their pricing so that it’s much more similar to DIRECTV Satellite.

With DIRECTV NOW, you depend on your internet service provider to give you enough capacity to stream two live programs in HD. In some areas that can be a challenge. Tightly packed suburbs may have clogged internet when kids are home streaming. Rural areas may just now be getting acceptable speed from fiber.

Which is better for you?

It’s going to end up being a personal choice. DIRECTV Satellite is going to be the best option for a lot of people, though. In terms of actual value for the money, it beats anything else. Sure, we all know that streaming is the future but today, satellite still offers more. Take a look at everything you get with a DIRECTV Satellite subscription

  • hundreds of channels of free TV
  • Up to 7 recordings on one DVR or multiple DVRs if you want
  • Unlimited locations within the home
  • Free app with over 100 channels of live TV
  • Save your recordings as long as you want
  • Clear clean picture that isn’t affected by internet congestion
  • Available NFL Sunday Ticket
  • Three live channels of 4K content

That’s a lot of value and yes you could potentially pay a lot. But, if you’re taking advantage of everything DIRECTV has to offer, it’s absolutely worth it. DIRECTV NOW is great but look at some of the comparisons:

  • Fewer live channels than satellite
  • No more than 2 locations active at the same time
  • 30-day limit on some recordings
  • Subject to problems if the internet gets congested
  • No 4K, No NFL Sunday Ticket

There is one thing about DIRECTV NOW though…

DIRECTV NOW lets you come and go as you please, with no contract. There’s no equipment to buy, no long-term agreement to sign. DIRECTV Satellite starts you with a 2-year contract and after that, a new 2-year contract will start any time you change or upgrade your equipment. If you are thinking about moving or if you’re just not sure about your financial picture, the month-to-month aspect of DIRECTV NOW can be really appealing.

DIRECTV NOW also works in areas where you can’t put a satellite dish. If you’re in a mobile home park there may be no stable place to put a dish. Apartment dwellers may not have access to a view of the sky. If you have internet service, you can get DIRECTV NOW on your phone, tablet, or streaming box.

The choice is yours

No matter whether you choose satellite or streaming, there’s one place you can get the best home entertainment. You can call Solid Signal at 888-233-7563 and our experts will help you choose the right entertainment package for you, and can even help you get set up with DIRECTV NOW if you want! Call us, or fill out the form below and we’ll be happy to help!

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.