dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
    ISP Rolodex Intro Local ISPs Members U-Verse FiOS FiOS Soon
spc

spacer




how-to block ads



DIRECTV page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 113 reviews (50 good) (38 bad)
bullet Submit a review by email click here
bullet login for new review notification feature

Review by DECJ See Profile

  • Location: La Sal,San Juan,UT
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "SD DVR receiver and service great"
Bad "HD DVR receiver sucks"
Overall "SD service, equipment & PQ great; HD equipment questionable & disappointing"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Mail,DNS,News:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

This really is a review in two parts. The first is for DirecTV's SD service which I give high marks for. The installation, equipment, picture quality, and service was really good for the 6 years we had that service. We had to get our original Hughes SD DVR receiver replaced at one point with their R15-100 SD DVR receiver, but that was handled fine.

The other half of this review has to do with out move to upgrade to HD which we did last December. The installation was scheduled immediately and the installer was totally professional and competent. We got DirecTV's Slimline 3 HD dish and their model HR23NC-700 HD DVR receiver to go along with our new 42" Vizio SV421XVT HDTV and a home theater set up.

The problem is that we have experienced glacially slow performance with respect to the new HR23 HD DVR as compared to their SD DVR's. This is most noticeable when you use the remote to call up "Guide", or to then select and switch to a new channel, or to initiate other such functions. Where DirecTV's SD DVR works as fast as you could push the buttons on the remote, the same keystrokes on the HD DVR remote versus something actually happening on the TV takes a ridiculously long time (and I am typically talking about seconds and not milli-seconds here). Additionally, I don't know if this has to do with the new DirecTV HD DVR remote or the new HD DVR, but we notice that something isn't working as well as before as to either transmission or receiving. We have the same exact remote, and the HD DVR is located in the same very good direct line-of-sight location as the previous SD DVR, and yet, trying to change channels can often be challenging even when the remote is pointed directly at the DVR. For example, if you go to select channel "235", the first or second try yields a "2" or "23". It will often take 3 to 4 tries before the entire "235" gets received and appears on the TV before the channel switch finally occurs.

I understand that DirecTV is going to be coming out soon with a "new & improved" HD DVR to address the problems with the HR series of HD DVR's. However, it will be for a price, which I feel only adds insult to injury for those who already paid for the HR23 model.

member for 6 years, 57 visits, last login: 2.7 years ago
lodged 4.3 years ago

Comments:

Review by Derch See Profile

  • Location: Tulsa,Tulsa,OK
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Fast, easy install. What seemed to be a hassle free cable transition."
Bad "The signal is spotty when it's really cloudy, but thats a given."
Overall "A heck of a lot better than U-Verse and Cox cost and support wise."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I'm very impressed with Directv, there pricing is a lot better than Cox and support is a ton better than AT&T's.

member for 9.7 years, 1992 visits, last login: 6 days ago
lodged 4.4 years ago

Comments:






Review by mgschwendtne See Profile

  • Location: Allentown,Lehigh,PA
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Hardware, interface, picture quality"
Bad "no longer tops in HD, pricing"
Overall "too spendy when compared to dish"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I have had directv for 3 years, I think the picture quality is excellent on HD and SD. The menu's and graphic interfaces are easier to navigate than dish. When they had their HD roll out 2 years they were the king of HD, now it appears they have started to slip adding HD channels that I want to watch. Their pricing is higher than the competition after the 1st years of your contract. Their video on demand is easier to navigate and has more choices than dish. They could be a bit more competitive if they offered a decent package between family and choice

member for 5.5 years, 42 visits, last login: 141 days ago
lodged 4.5 years ago

Comments:

Review by tobyn See Profile

  • Location: New York,New York,NY
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "It worked for about 30 minutes"
Bad "The entire rest of the time"
Overall "Most expensive 30 minutes of TV ever"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

I moved into one of the large apartment buildings in NYC's financial district. I was happily surprised to find out I could get internet service from my previous provider (who I won't name because this isn't about them), but I had to go elsewhere for TV. It was between DirecTV and the cable company that served the building, so I flipped a coin and chose DirecTV.

I called up their installer that handled service to my building, and got a basic package. I don't really care too much about TV, but Thanksgiving was coming up and I was going to have family in town who would want to watch the parade, football games, etc. Fortunately they were able to send somebody out Wednesday morning to set things up.

The installer was prompt, I assume I was his first appointment of the day, and he showed up right at the beginning of my install window, which was nice. The install took a bit longer than I expected considering the dish is already on the roof and the whole building is wired up already, but the picture was crystal clear when the guy left, so I can't say anything bad about the process. I was enjoying channel surfing for the first time in a couple weeks, thought the DVR UI was nice, and was generally pleased with myself for picking DirecTV.

That's when the trouble started.

A couple of my relatives decided to watch an On Demand movie. Shortly after the beginning of said movie, the picture started getting blocky artifacts and the sound clicked, popped, and periodically cut out. I figured it was just the movie, so we switched it back to TV. Sadly, it was the same there. Many channels wouldn't come in at all, and those that would were completely unwatchable due to the artifacts, sound problems, and an occasional switch of the picture or sound (or even both) to a completely different channel.

I tried to contact the installer, but they hadn't left a card or any other piece of paper and their website was down (it was down for well over a day, but appears to be back now). Concerned about a scam (even though they didn't have any of my personal or financial info since setup was free), I went to DirecTV's website and tried to sign up for my account there. They didn't see me as a customer. Great.

Concerned that I had somehow fell for something, I called DirecTV directly trying to get to the bottom of the issue. Of course, before I could talk to someone I had to go through 10 minutes of automated troubleshooting. This process tries to reset your box, which (in my case at least) takes longer than the robot is willing to hold, so don't bother doing it, because if you wait until it's done the robot will simply declare that you've used too much of its valuable time and hang up on you (once it says it's doing this, there's no way to stop it, and there's no warning, so seriously don't bother).

Some time later I got to a very polite and upbeat CSR with virtually no hold time. After explaining what happened, and that I wasn't sure if I had run into some criminals acting like a third party installer (I told her the company name and everything; this bit of info is important later...), I was both happy and a little disturbed to find out that "everything was fine" as far as they were concerned and I was a customer in their system (one that apparently their website couldn't look up for some reason) with the right service package and everything. The nice lady on the other end of the phone offered to help me resolve my online account woes, but I figured we could wait until the TV was working first since scheduling my DVR remotely wasn't exactly top priority.

After reassuring me that this was a very common problem that she could resolve easily, she ran me through the basic reset process for the box which was listed in the troubleshooting steps in the manual that came with it. I had already done this, and it took about 10 minutes, but I complied and the results were as expected: no change. She reactivated things on her end a couple times, with no change either. That was pretty much the end of her ability, so she scheduled a service call for the day after Thanksgiving (Sweet! No football or parade! Thanks DirecTV! Fortunately my building has a lounge with cable...).

On the day of the service call, I received a call from their technician stating that I was in a multiple-dwelling unit building (which I had told them) and that a third party contractor (whose name I had already given them) had to handle all of the installation and service issues. I told the guy fine, and not to come, and since he had no solution for me other than to call the company I couldn't reach, I decided I should cancel my service.

Upon calling to cancel my service, I was told the operator could get in touch with my contractor. Too little, too late. I was not offered any sort of compensation (other than not being forced to pay for the service I already "used" -- THANKS!) for the hassle, so I told them to put the cancellation through. At that point I was informed that I would be charged $200+ because I had agreed to the service for 12 months, which is of course a complete scam since I never actually got to use the service, but I figured it was par for the course at that point and I remembered reading something like that in the fine print so I didn't press the issue. Rest assured I'll deal with that when the bill comes.

So here I am. Four days after ordering DirecTV I am: without television, slightly embarrassed that my family spent the holiday floating between my apartment and the building lounge, waiting on an empty box and a bill for $200.

member for 12.9 years, 26 visits, last login: 4.6 years ago
updated 4.6 years ago

Comments:

Review by obeythelaw See Profile

  • Location: Bayonne,Hudson,NJ
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Excellent HD picture and good SD picture; a good DVR; on Demand works very good"
Bad "not much; sometimes get rain fade in really bad thunderstorm or snow storm"
Overall "When comparing to cable company, Directv is an excellent option in terms of picture quality and technology"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Verizon FiOS
I'm a "new" Directv subscriber. My parents have had it for years and so I was used to Directv already. Now, at my place, I decided to go with Directv after a few years with Cablevision. With Cablevision I would have macroblocking on some channels and the set top boxes were slow and outdated. With Directv the HD quality is outstanding and the SD picture is very good. The boxes are great. The DVR isn't as good as a Tivo but it's better than what I had with Cablevision. Directv's channel lineup is very good with all of the channels that you want and a lot of sports too. The only drawback which isn't limited to Directv, but in severe thunderstorms, the signal will fade in and out and may take a few minutes to come back. I'm really loving directv!

member for 11.2 years, 4979 visits, last login: a few hours ago
lodged 4.7 years ago

Comments:

Review by rcbrcb See Profile

  • Location: Chicago,Cook,IL
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Great HD Programming, NFL Sunday Ticket"
Bad "Equipment Leases"
Overall "Great Provider, so much better than the FCO....."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

Love DIRECTV........

member for 7.4 years, 1789 visits, last login: 192 days ago
lodged 4.7 years ago

Comments:






Review by twgbf See Profile

  • Location: Utica,Oneida,NY
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Great picture quality, good selection of HD channels"
Bad "No local channels"
Overall "Go for it"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Mail,DNS,News:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

I've been thinking about getting Directv for a while and finally decided to do it. I made the order on a Monday and Thursday morning the installer came. The install went well...a few minor issues but overall a smooth process. I have it installed in four rooms - 1 hd dvr, 1 hd receiver and 2 standard receivers. The picture quality is much better than Time Warner and the hd channels look great. I had to call customer service a few times when I got it and they were helpful and courteous.

I am very pleased so far...will update this review in a few months.

Update: 10/15/2009

Still loving Direct TV. The NFL Sunday Ticket is great for a football junkie like me. The dvr makes a little noise now and then but still works fine. To solve the local channel issue I put a Channel Master 4228HD on my roof. I now get crystal clear high def network stations from over 50 miles away. I am much happier with this setup than I ever was with Time Warner.

member for 7 years, 1839 visits, last login: 136 days ago
updated 4.7 years ago

Comments:

Review by JaM4150 See Profile

  • Location: Matamoras,Pike,PA
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Price, Hd line-up, Great Signal, Great Picture"
Bad "No call/No show for first appointment, HD Access fee"
Overall "Go for it"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

I really can't complain about DirecTV service other than the installer being a no call/no show on the first installation appointment. I didn't care that I would receive a $100 service credit if I waited another 8-10 weeks for an available appointment window. The picture quality is great. The HD channel line-up is great. I don't care for the HD access fee. I live somewhere between 80-90 west of NYC. Cable doesn't run down my road. But overall considering the options available to my household: satellite or OTA antenna, I'm happy I chose DirecTV. If the cable company, Blue Ridge Cable, did service my road I'd tell them buzz off. They can't compete with the price, or HD line-up of DirecTV.

member for 8.7 years, 1234 visits, last login: 221 days ago
updated 4.9 years ago

Comments:

Review by Bob61571 See Profile

  • Location: Washington,Tazewell,IL
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Great audio/video, Good Value, Lots of Sports"
Bad "Lose signal in Heavy Rain, No HD for WGN or AMC!"
Overall "Better than cable, for sure"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Frontier Communi..
May 2009 - Ordered Choice Xtra package with Slimline 3S dish, HR22 HD DVR, and H21 receiver for $75.99/month, plus equipment charges. Getting 3 months of free HBO, Starz, and Showtime. Also, $16/month rebate for first year, and $5/month rebate on HD DVR. Ordered thru local installer, for better install service/experience.

Why DirecTV? Left Comcast Digital Starter package , was $60/month. Comcast gripes: 1)Compression caused noticeable audio/video problems with Discovery HD, and local Fox channel. 2)Had digital DVR, but no HDMI DVRs available here when ordered in Spring 2008. Per cable guy, "When Comcast took over from Insight, they sent us all their old junk." 3)MLB Network not available here on Digital Starter, despite MLB PR that available to "digital basic" cable service subscribers. 4)Long telephone hold times(30 minutes plus). 5)Problems with local Comcast not broadcasting Chicago Comcast Sports Net Plus games. Right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing! 6)No Comcast On Demand baseball games here , despite contrary PR. 7)Charged city franchise fee, despite not living in city limits. 8)To upgrade to get MLB Network would cost $20 more per month. For $80/month, I can get much more programming from DirecTV than Comcast.

August 2009 - Good: Love the sports coverage, XM, and great picture/audio. Can get many more channels for $80/month from DirecTV than Comcast. Bad: 1)Have lost signal 4-5 times during heavy rain storms. 2)Why no HD for WGN America or AMC? WGN carries lots of sports: White Sox, Cubs, Blackhawks, Bulls. WGN HD on Comcast and Dish. Also, no AMC HD.

member for 5.9 years, 1754 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 4.9 years ago

Comments:

Review by LadyCash See Profile

  • Location: 43938/43952
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Great Sales Rep, informative installer, good customer service"
Bad "Too many things no clear on website or with sales rep... though rep answered every question I asked"
Overall "It is worth it!"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

I was with cable TV. I let my promotion lapse. I was unable to get into a new promotion. My budget funds shrunk suddenly, so needed to find service for less or opt for no service.

I was with Directv previously for eight years before going to cable tv. I am not "technically new" to Directv. Though much has changed in 3-4 years since I left Directv. I left due to being sold on bundling in a door to door campaign that was apparently going on for the cable company.

I was impressed that the Directv Sales Rep spent 72 minutes answering my questions. We covered packaging, local channels, On Demand through HSI router, promotions, renewing promotions... I had printed out channel line up for each package in order to compare orange to oranges to what was available on cable TV before I called.

I chose the Choice Extra Package DVR +HD, HD Access, HD Extra and Sports Extra for the current promotion price of $55 plus tax/fees. I received additional discounts or discounted prices.

I ordered on a Friday evening on the phone after starting to order online. Direct.com had message box on last page of order to call in for special savings. I cannot comment on the online ordering process as I did call sales.

The installation was scheduled on the very next Monday. The order was Friday evening with installation three days later. I was impressed. I figured it would be a week at the very least.

The Directv installer was very informative despite arriving 15 minutes before the four hour installation window schedule. He was kind enough to call and inform me of his expected arrival time. There had to be some changes made since I had Directv last. The installer worked with me on running new cable for the satellite dish. I did not take the advice of the installer of moving the satellite dish higher (attached on the south facing of the house to our deck). We let a volunteer tree grow that will be an issue in a few years. Mister was not home or available by mobile to see if moving the satellite to a new location higher on the house was acceptable to him. The installer made me aware that if the tree was not topped (or moved) that if we wanted the satellite moved it would cost if a professional installer did it.

The installer made sure before he began that I knew I would not get the local channels at this time. Also, informed me that I would not even get national feeds. This is where I missed the boat. I had not thought to ask about national feeds. We had national network feeds before. He said I must of petition to get them. I do not remember. The installer said our TV was digital therefore could get local channels with antenna.

I will have to check out antennas that do not look like the mammoth of the past.

The only thing that happened that I question is the connection to my HSI. Once the installer was done I asked about it. He asked if I ordered the kit. No. I did not need a kit. I have an open port for HSI for Directv receiver. I asked if he would be connecting it. He said no that I would have to get ethernet cable. I did not question further. Maybe I should of because I discussed this with sales rep. I even gave the distance from HSI cable/gateway to receiver/TV.

The installer went through the control options through the remote once installation was complete. He left all paper work, Directv manual and channel lineup (found out is outdated). He also left his business card.

I was pleased with the installation and professional mannerism of the installer.

I called customer service during installation to get the low down on the national network feeds. I was told I would have to file a petition (same as installer stated). CS rep tried to file it while I was on the phone but could not because the account was still in pending mode. He said to call after installation. I called after installation was complete. It could take as little as two weeks or six months before each network answered my petition. I will receive a call informing of the answer(s) as they are received.

Installation is done and installer left. I channel surf. I soon come to discover that I am missing HD Extra. I call customer service. At first I am informed that is an extra $5 a month. I explain that I went over the order twice with the sales rep and that it was included for free because I was giving an extra discount. I was placed on hold about one minute. He came back to inform me that I have it free for six months. He makes the necessary changes. After resetting receiver, I have the channels for HD extra.

I get the necessary length of Ethernet cable to connect receiver to router. Once I did the connect and test within the set up menu on the screen I had On Demand almost instantly. The on screen message said it could take up to 24 hours.

I experienced the one issue with satellite TV the very night of installation, severe storms. Our service was disrupted only twice for less than 20 seconds both time. That is pretty good considering that we were experiencing high winds (30-50 mph) and heavy rain and lightening. Some areas nearby experienced hail. It was nasty. At this same time... cable HSI goes (as does cable tv in the area).

I used DVR almost immediately. I downed free shows through On Demand. Everything worked great.

I am pleased. I will update this review in 3-6 months.

member for 11.3 years, 222 visits, last login: 130 days ago
updated 4.9 years ago

Comments: