Tsue ~ That's What She Said: DirecTV Review: Not Just About Funny Commercials

Friday, April 20, 2012

DirecTV Review: Not Just About Funny Commercials

According to statistics by AC Nielsen Co., you will be spending a total of nine years in front of a TV. If you ask me, it is a heck of a long time. Knowing this, you would surely want to keep yourself entertained. Fortunately, this is what the television is all about. Not all television sets, however, are the same. Some are more entertaining than others and others get boring faster than some. So if you don't want die out of boredom, you will have to choose the best TV provider in town.

DirecTV is one of the top competitors of the game. Based in El Segundo California, DirecTV uses direct satellite broadcasting to provide TV programs to their customers. Being a television provider to over 20 million subscribers, this TV network giant is worthy of our consideration.

In order for us to have a uniform and objective comparison between networks, I would like to propose six criteria to be used in this, and future reviews; namely channels, technology, availability, reception, after-sales support, and affordability. These criteria are the basic factors that consumers consider when subscribing for a TV network. For a network to be the best, it would have to excel on all of these aspects.

I will be judging each criterion based on this scoring system:

1- Bad
2- So-so
3- Fair
4- Good
5- Excellent

To begin, I would like to look on the bread and butter of TV networks which are channels.

Like basketball is to shooting, TV provision is all about the channels. Many would argue that there are other important factors such as rebounding, passing, and stamina; but scoring is the name of the game. So are channels in TV. In terms of quantity, DirecTV offers a great number of channels ranging from 140-285; second only to other giants such as Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse. But when it comes to channels, we do not just judge based on the quantity. What good are channels if no one's watching them? A good channel selection must provide quality shows. DirecTV is one of, if not indeed, the best in terms of quality. It offers the most number of exclusive and HD channels in a basic package. You will not be getting this kind of basic selection with other networks. I think DirecTV is great in this aspect; hence the 4 out of 5.

This aspect is very important as, aside from being cool, added functionality allows us to truly enjoy our entertainment systems without the hassles brought about by our demanding lifestyle. In this aspect, we will consider the gadgets and software support that the network offers. In my experience, I am confident to say that DirecTV is the best in this category. The heart of a TV network system in a household is the DVR. Though all DVR's can do the same, record shows, manage multiple TV's and allows smartphone management, I'm here to tell you that the DirecTV HD DVR does them all best. It offers the best picture quality, best time recording, and most mobile application support like HBO Go. I'm giving DirecTV a perfect 5 on this area.

So what good is a TV network if it's unavailable? Surely, you wouldn't move to another apartment just to have the network; nor would you stop from moving into a place just because the network is unavailable in the new location. You would not have to worry about this with DirecTV. As was mentioned at the beginning, DirecTV uses direct satellite broadcasting. This means that it can reach you anywhere in the USA. DirecTV also offers service in other countries such as Brazil, China, South Korea, Philippines, Russia, Vietnam, and other countries in southern Asia. It will be of little surprise if DirecTV goes global soon. With excellent satellite broadcasting, DirecTV is getting 5 out of 5.

This area is the significant half of availability. You cannot truly consider one available if you can hardly see the program on your screen. Like GPS, DirecTV reception rarely experiences problems. And, like GPS, being surrounded by tall buildings or high terrains can really be a pain as they can, at times, block the incoming satellite signal. DirecTV's reception is not bad, but I would take direct Fibre Optic connection anytime. DirecTV's satellite broadcasting is getting 3 out of 5.

The DirecTV commercial itself would tell you that bad after-sales support will have you waking up in a roadside ditch. In its attempt to prevent you from waking up in a roadside ditch, DirecTV offers after-sales support via phone and computer. However, it was reported their customer service agents have poor communication skills and hardly knows anything but basic troubleshooting. DirecTV may leave you waking up in a ditch after all. Based on the reports, I would give DirecTV a so-so 2.

When it all has been said and done, it all comes down to the price. Even if the service is great, a bad price can really change your mind. DirecTV currently offers the following price plans:

$29 - 140 channels
$34 - 150 channels
$39 - 205 channels
$44 - 225 channels
$89 - 285 channels

Not the cheapest selection in town. But as was previously discussed in the channels category, even the basic $29 plan offers a good selection of HD channels. So you really are getting the most bang for your buck. And with zero start-up cost, you really are saving money with DirecTV. There are also other options to lessen the subscription bill if you know where to look. For instance, you can check some DirecTV promotions. With one of the best service for buck offers, DirecTV is getting 4 out of 5.


DirecTV offers a good number of channels with excellent HD and "exclusives" selection.

DirecTV HD DVR is the best thing in town.

Sattelite Broadcasting makes the service available almost anywhere.

The reception is vulnerable to interruptions.

This can leave you waking up in a roadside ditch.

You are getting the bang for your buck. Great discounts can also be availed using DirecTV promotions.

I'm giving DirecTV 4 out of 5. Certainly, this network is competitive enough to be considered as one of
the best. But is it THE best? There are still rooms for improvement before DirecTV can decisively put its
name on this throne; not to mention that DISH, AT&T U-Verse, and Verizon FiOS are doing a great job for themselves.

Please see my disclosure policy here.


Closer to Lucy said...

I only Direct TV. Love my DVR, love my guide, love my HD....and love my friend rewards :)

Pam said...

We had direct TV but cancelled and got Netflix because we don't watch TV that much. They did have a good selection.

Samantha said...

we love our DVR, well- hubby does. i don't watch a whole lot of TV, but i love me some Big Bang Theory :)

erock said...

This is a nice review, but for my dollar I still prefer DISH over DTV. I had DirecTV for a while, but the channel selection was SO limited on the basic package. I have Dish now, obviously, and love that I get better and more channels, the most HD in the industry, and things like HD Free for Life etc. in terms of technology, Dish is tops! I was selected to do a Dish employee beta-test, and the new Hopper whole home HD DVR has a 2 TB hard drive, can record up to 2,000 hours of content and has fun features like Facebook, Twitter and Pandora. For the channels, the price and the technology, Dish has my vote all the way!

Amy V said...

great review- i appreciate your scoring system! i learned a lot!

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