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DirecTV Buying Guide

DIRECTV is a broadcast company that transmits satellite television to over 20 million homes in the United States. Subscribers to DIRECTV sign a contract with the company that allows them to choose between several channel packages that fit both their budgets and their needs.

DIRECTV Package Deals
There are four packages that can be altered to fit your needs; Family, Choice, Choice Extra and Premier Package. Each package includes basic satellite channels as well as local channels. As the package cost increases, more channels are added like HBO, Showtime, Cinemax and Encore.

HD DIRECTV can be purchased to allow viewers to watch their programs in crystal clear high definition. Various local channels, basic cable channels and premium movie channels are broadcasted in HD; requiring subscribers to lease the DIRECTV HD receiver or HD DVR to view in true high definition format.

International Viewing
DIRECTV offers a variety of international packages that cater to those who want to watch news, sports and entertainment from other countries; Brazilian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Filipino, Greek, Korean, Polish, Russian South Asian and Vietnamese broadcasts are available

On Demand Viewing
DIRECTV on Demand gives you access to thousands of movies, shows, music videos sports and more. The programs you want to watch are added to your DIRECTV DVR schedule. They are recorded and saved to the hard drive of the unit. This allows you to watch recorded programming at your convenience..

If you are not home and you remember that there is a show that you want to watch, but forgot to set your DVR, don't worry. DIRECTV All Access allows you to log into your account online, via cell phone, computer etc, and schedule your show to be recorded.

Originally, DIRECTV receivers had to be connected to a phone line to receive new programming information. Now, a receiver can get that same information directly from the satellite. A phone line or a computer network is necessary to purchase pay-per-view items from DIRECTV.

One of the most unique portable electronic devices on the market has come from DIRECTV. Sat-Go, is designed like the shape of a laptop computer which provides you with an array of sports and entertainment that you can watch on the go. As long as you have a clear view of the southern sky, you can always be with your favorite shows and sporting events.

Cable vs. Satellite
When it comes to the rivalry between cable companies and DIRECTV, there are several things to consider when choosing. Both provide different viewing packages for their customers and the most current technology; HD TV, DVRs and On Demand.

Satellite TV's picture quality is superior to that of cable. More HD channels are available which allows for better sound and image quality. Satellite's major downfall is interference with the transmission between the dish on your roof and satellite. Interrupted programming may cause you to lose the signal. Bad thunderstorms and dense foliage can cause problems during installation.

As with all technology, DIRECTV's satellite dishes have evolved to be less susceptible to thunderstorms and trees. Newer satellite dishes, like the 5LNB, transmit information to all five satellites orbiting earth-creating a broader coverage area.

Sports Fanatic
No one can match the service and special packages that DIRECTV offers for sports fans. The NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL are all available through single season packages. Not only can you catch your favorite team, but you are able to catch every team across the country. DIRECTV allows you to have up to eight games on one screen.


Access cards
Ultimate control over your satellite receiver is maintained by a smart card. This credit card-size device is supplied with each unit. It contains a microprocessor that provides security and encryption information. As the gatekeeper of the system, the card must be kept in its slot for the receiver to operate.

Audio-Video Connection
DIRECTV receivers offer you three easy ways to connect to a TV--with 75-ohm antenna, composite, and S-Video outputs. The antenna output uses a screw-on or push-on coaxial cable, just like the line that's feeding from the dish to the receiver. Antennas are tuned on when your TV is set to channel 3 or 4.

HD (High-Definition)
Screen Resolution is a way of explaining how crisp the picture looks. Usually, the resolution is described in numbers and letters. 1080p, 720p, and 1080i are the numbers that are associated with High Definition TV (HDTV). The numbers stand for the lines of pixels in the screen. The total number of pixels is measured by multiplying the lines of pixels (horizontal and vertical). For instance, when a TV is 1080p, it is actually 1920 (horizontal lines of pixels) X 1080 (vertical lines of pixels) = 2,073,600 total pixels. The letters associated with the numbers "P" and "I" stand for progressive and interlaced. Comparing screens with the same resolutions, progressive has double the picture information than the interlaced with a more fluid and stable image. Is there a noticeable difference between 1080p and 720p? Yes, especially when watching HD and Blu-ray DVDs. The 720p image will look as if it is lacking the same quality that the 1080p has.

Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) are found in many places and formats. They have the ability to record TV programming and play it back at a later time. Some DVRs allow the user to pause, playback, rewind, or slow down live TV. DVR features are readily available through TiVo, cable boxes, and Satellite receivers. They come in all shapes, sizes, and price points. Some DVRs have a feature allowing the user to record multiple programs, while watching another channel. Recording and playing programs in HI-Def is easy with a DVR. They also have management functions that will delete recordings when the DVR is too full and prioritize programming.

Professional installation guarantees that your DIRECTV System will be set up properly. Professional installation is especially recommended with DIRECTV Plus dishes, due to their critical pointing and more complicated wiring requirements.

Local channels
DIRECTV delivers local programming selectively. Currently they offer all local channels in 50 major markets with plans to expand to over 90 markets in the near future.

Phone Connections
A phone connection is necessary in order to relay information about pay-per-view ordering activity to the DIRECTV billing department. Customers who don't maintain continuous telephone connection are not authorized to receive select sports programming and must call DIRECTV when ordering pay-per-view.

A device launched into space, orbiting Earth transmitting information between other satellites in orbit as well as receivers on Earth.

Antenna wire is not supplied with the dish. Purchase only the highest-quality RG-6 coaxial cable for connecting between the dish and the DIRECTV receiver.

Satellite Systems Categories:

Satellite Systems
Satellite Systems

Digital Video Recorders (DVR)
Digital Video Recorders (DVR)

HDTV Receivers
HDTV Receivers

Satellite Accessories
Satellite Accessories

Televisions (TV)
Televisions (TV)