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DIRECTV television reviews

Staff rating
Customer rating
Price: $48.99 - $134.99/moChannels: 350+DVR storage hours: 200
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Rebecca Palmer smiles for the camera
Researched by
Rebecca PalmerSenior Staff Writer
Headshot of Bri Field
Reviewed by
Bri FieldAssigning Editor
Updated 3/6/23

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DIRECTV offers the best of sports and entertainment in HD

DIRECTV is our top choice for regional sports networks and offers channels for every appetite, but watch for price hikes, second-rate DVR tech, and hidden fees.

What we like

  • Exceptional sports lineup
  • Crystal clear 4K picture
  • Installation included with activation fee
What we dislike

  • Big price hike in year two
  • Steep early termination costs
  • Lots of hidden fees

Our expert assessment

Phenomenal lineup of channels and games, but watch for hidden fees and price hikes

DIRECTV’s satellite service is a solid choice for viewers who don’t have access to cable TV or fast internet, and it’s the only way to catch every Sunday NFL game. However, its high prices, required two-year contract, and steep second-year price hikes (up to $70 per month) make it a poor fit for budget-conscious shoppers.

Starting with DIRECTV’s first-tier subscription, you get access to HGTV, cable news, Nickelodeon, and ESPN. That basic offering starts at about the same price as its biggest competitor, DISH. For around $10 more each month with DIRECTV, you also get one season of NFL SUNDAY TICKET. But compared to both satellite and cable TV competitors, DIRECTV gets expensive fast.

With DIRECTV’S top offering, PREMIER, you get more than 340 channels. That’s more channels than you can get through most other cable or satellite services and more channels per dollar. You might not care about all the channels—specifically the music and advertising ones—but there’s sure to be something for everyone. You’ll pay extra for sports add-ons, but prices for these extras are on par with the competition.

Intuitive Genie HD DVR can record five shows at once, but no Netflix or voice control

DIRECTV’s Genie HD DVR receiver is everything you’d expect from a premium cable TV or satellite service. It can record five channels at once and store up to 200 hours of HD content. That’s not quite as many channels as with the latest DISH Hopper 3 DVR, and you also get less storage capacity than with almost any live TV streaming service we tested. But unless you need to record a ton of content or several channels at once, DIRECTV’s tech should be adequate.

The included backlit remote comes with all the controls you expect for finding, recording, and selecting channels. It doesn’t come standard with voice control, but it’s possible to set that up if you have one of Amazon’s Alexa devices. You also won’t be able to watch streaming services like Netflix and Hulu on your Genie, but that comes standard with DISH.

DIRECTV reports 99% signal reliability (virtually the same as DISH), but if you live in an area with a lot of storms or other interference, it’s possible for your signal to drop out. If that happens, you can still access your DVR, find on-demand content, or stream online. You can also stream away from home using the DIRECTV app on your iPhone or Android.

Equipment and installation
Satellite install and first DVR included, but extra receivers will cost more

Professional installation of your new DIRECTV satellite dish is included with your subscription and $19.95 activation fee, but you’ll have to schedule an appointment with a local technician. DISH also includes installation at no extra cost, but traditional cable TV providers can charge $50–$100 or more, even if you do the work yourself. Included installation is a big benefit, but you’ll pay for it in the long-run over the course of your two-year commitment.

Rental of your first Genie HD DVR receiver is included with your subscription, but you may have to pay up to $25 every month to use the HD DVR. You will also be charged $7 per month (plus activation fees) to rent additional mini receivers or to upgrade to the wireless version of the Genie HD DVR. Check the fee schedule from DIRECTV for a complete breakdown.

In comparison, DISH charges about the same for additional receivers and about $10 less to connect your DVR every month. Most cable companies also charge a DVR connection fee, but the DIRECTV DVR fee is one of the highest we found.

Sports and premium channels
Catch every SUNDAY NFL game and tons of movies and shows

DIRECTV is the only way to get NFL SUNDAY TICKET, at least through the end of this season, and it offers more regional sports coverage than the competition. That’s a big win! It offers premium packages for MLB, NBA, and international sports as well, but you’ll pay extra. You can also get a wide variety of college games, but it might be easier with DISH than with DIRECTV.

For the best of the best in entertainment and solid foreign language coverage, DIRECTV has you covered. If a particular channel isn’t included in your package, there’s a good chance you can add it for a fee. You even get the first three months of top movie channels included with the second and third tiers—just don’t forget to call and cancel or you’ll be charged premium fees.

We stand by the validity of our reviews and are committed to transparency: Our team uses consumer sentiment software to source customer reviews, which are entirely unique to this website. Reviewers attest to being current customers of the providers they review and are not incentivized to speak positively or negatively about their experience. We do not alter the reviews in any way. Learn more about how we source reviews.

DIRECTV customer ratings overview

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Our reviews come from real customers who weren't incentivized to leave a review. The rating distribution typically shows a range of experiences and opinions that helps you get a sense for the average customer experience, not just extremes.

Top reviews from DIRECTV customers

Samuel from Beaumont , CA
DIRECTV Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 9/15/2022
This is the first streaming service I've ever used but DirecTV has good service and limited sports coverage.
Demarcus from Houston , TX
DIRECTV Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 9/13/2022
By selling better products
Reinierfrom Tampa, FL
DIRECTV Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 9/13/2022
very good at home that fences have various novels or series
Kristenfrom Fresno, CA
DIRECTV Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 9/13/2022
I like the product and the programs and the price i pay and i also like that i can watch it on the go
Rileyfrom Fort Collins , CO
DIRECTV Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 9/11/2022
I get altitude sports and get to watch the Denver nuggets
Cherylfrom Howell, NJ
DIRECTV Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 9/10/2022
always reliable, a lot of stations and different shows to watch
Brianfrom Las Vegas, NV
DIRECTV Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 9/8/2022
The best thing about DirecTV is the fact that seniors can use it and not get frustrated while using it. They get it. But other factors that make it so good are the premium pachages. Lots of variety and good prices. I especially like the tools available that help me make sure I don;t miss a TV pshow. I have many dhows programmed to recorded ona recurring basis. If I do miss I can recall an episode on and streaming version of a channel . I feel DirectV is easy to use and gives you a great experience. One other thing, the picture is crystal clear and is a reliable picture too.
Colleenfrom Waipahu, HI
DIRECTV Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 9/8/2022
The ONLY thing I have liked about DIRECTV is the whole-home DVR. Other than that, the service is horrendous. Any time it rains my reception goes out and I miss shows. In addition, the customer service is horrible.
Tylerfrom Vienna, MO
DIRECTV Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 9/8/2022
Since I began using Directtv I can honestly say that the quality and selection of new movies and shows is excellent.i really enjoy the DVR feature so can watch what ever show or movie id missed on the go.
Amyfrom Aurora, CO
DIRECTV Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 9/7/2022
its been good and it taken a great care of me and keeps improving with features
Paulfrom Houston, TX
DIRECTV Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 9/6/2022
Direct TV experience, it come many special programs, it is very enjoyable.
Clayfrom Hampstead, MD
DIRECTV Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 9/5/2022
Too expensive. Loose reception often.
Pascalinefrom Camden, SC
DIRECTV Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 9/5/2022
The DVR storage isn't as good as DirecTV and we seem to lose internet connection while our other devices don't.
Wendellfrom Hanahan , SC
DIRECTV Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 9/3/2022
The direct tv improves many things for me it helps with my English
Christina from Colorado Springs , CO
DIRECTV Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 9/3/2022
They could improve their customer service
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Endnotes and sources
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