FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

I've heard that weather frequently interrupts DIRECTV reception. Is that true? DIRECTV delivers a digital signal 99.96% of the time.
Does DIRECTV offer my local channels? Yes, DIRECTV offers local channels to 99% of US households. HD local channels are available to 98% of US households, and even if locals aren't offered in your area, you may still be eligible to receive non-local feeds of major broadcast networks.
Is DIRECTV as widely available as Cable? More - Cable is available in only 97% of US homes. DIRECTV is available in 100%.
Is installing DIRECTV difficult? FREE DIRECTV installation is done by experienced professionals, so you don't have to worry about setting up your system; you know it will be done right the first time. Standard professional installation in up to 4 rooms only.
About DIRECTV (Click to expand)
Q: What is DIRECTV?
A: DIRECTV is the nation's #1 digital satellite entertainment service provider. Using the most advanced satellite technology, they deliver access to more than 325 channels of programming to homes and businesses that have DIRECTV receiving equipment, which features a small satellite dish, a digital set-top receiver and a remote control. The DIRECTV service offers an incredible selection of entertainment for every member of the family - all in the digital-quality picture and sound that DIRECTV is known for.
Q: Why should I get DIRECTV?
A: With DIRECTV, you get programming, value AND service! DIRECTV lets you select from more than 325 available channels featuring the best premium movie channels, family programming, sports, music, Pay Per View movies and events, local channels and more. And you get all-digital picture and sound, so every channel comes in crystal-clear.
Q: What programming does DIRECTV offer?
A: DIRECTV programming and service features access to more than 325 available channels of entertainment. Customers have access to popular networks like Disney Channel, CNN, ESPN and TNT, plus Pay Per View choices including major Hollywood films and special events. DIRECTV also offers an unprecedented professional and collegiate sports subscription lineup, including NFL SUNDAY TICKET, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NHL® CENTER ICE®, MLB EXTRA INNINGS℠, ESPN GamePlan and ESPN FULL COURT. There's even more! DIRECTV SPORTS PACK delivers sports action from across the nation. Plus, adult channels like PLAYBOY TV are available on an a la carte basis.
Q: How much will DIRECTV service cost me each month?
A: Click here to see all of DIRECTV's best deals and offers on monthly programming.
Q: Is DIRECTV service available in Canada or Mexico?
A: DIRECTV is legally prohibited from transmitting a signal outside of the continental United States.
Q: I have another satellite service. How do I convert to the DIRECTV service?
A: It is simple to convert to DIRECTV from another satellite service. Just order DIRECTV from via this website, or call us at 1-800-653-1730. We'll send you new equipment and install it for you.
Q: I had DIRECTV service in the past. How can I restart it?
A: Call at 1-800-653-1730 and we will connect you to an agent that can help you.
Q: Do I need to a credit card to place a DIRECTV Residential order?
A: Yes, you must have a major credit card available to place your DIRECTV order (pre-paid cards are not accepted).
DIRECTV Programming FAQ (Click to expand)
Q: Does DIRECTV offer channels on an a la carte basis?
A: You may add individual premium services to your base package. DIRECTV offers these premium options: HBO®, Starz®, SHOWTIME®, Cinemax®, and DIRECTV's SPORTS PACK. Adult channels like PLAYBOY TV are also available on an a la carte basis, plus an incredible line-up of international services and sports subscriptions.
Q: Does DIRECTV offer music channels?
A: Yes! Through an alliance with SonicTap, DIRECTV offers audio-only channels that range from choices like Soft Rock, Jazz and Country to Hit List, Easy Listening and many more.
Q: Does DIRECTV offer programming in other languages?
A: Yes! DIRECTV offers programming from all over the world.
Q: Are there parental controls?
A: Yes. DIRECTV's built-in "Locks and Limits" feature allows parents to set rating and spending limits on DIRECTV programming. Consult your System Manual for details.
Q: How do I activate Secondary Audio Programming (SAP)?
A: The specific steps depend on the brand and model of your receiver. Your owner's manual will give you the details.
Q: Is the DIRECTV signal compatible with surround-sound technologies?
A: The DIRECTV System is compatible with Dolby Pro Logic Surround-Sound and Dolby Digital. To get true surround-sound, you will need a Dolby Pro Logic or Dolby Digital surround sound processing unit. Basically, you will be able to experience surround-sound with DIRECTV programming if your home theater system has surround-sound capability. If you have more questions, contact your equipment manufacturer or salesperson.
Q: How do I know what other great shows are coming up on DIRECTV?
A: Just use your DIRECTV on-screen program guide to search for programs up to two weeks in advance.
Q: I have children at home. Can I control the programming they see on the DIRECTV Multi-Satellite System?
A: Yes. A special feature called "Locks and Limits" lets you restrict access to channels and programs so you can make sure they are viewing age-appropriate shows. You can even set a spending limit on Pay Per View purchases, to help stay within the family budget. Learn more about these features in your System Manual for more details.
Q: What if DIRECTV does not offer locals in my area?
A: You have two options.

(1) You may connect an off-air antennae to your DIRECTV receiver in order to receive your locals. Since the DIRECTV receiver is 100% digital you will be able to pick up your local channels.

(2) you can go to DIRECTV's website after you activate your service and obtain a waiver form to be approved by your local affiliates. Then you can subscribe to a New York or Los Angeles feed of the major networks.

HD DIRECTV FAQ (Click to expand)
Q: What is HDTV?
A: HDTV (High-definition television) is a new system of television that improves both production and reception of broadcasts for a picture quality up to 10 times better than standard definition. HDTV features increased lines of resolution and an improved aspect ratio (relationship of width:height): 16:9 as opposed to the 4:3 ratio of conventional screens.
Q: What equipment do I need?
A: For high-definition programming from DIRECTV, you'll need an HDTV-ready set with a built-in DIRECTV® receiver or a standalone DIRECTV HD Receiver. You will also need a DIRECTV Slimline satellite dish.
Q: Can I keep using my standard DIRECTV equipment with an HD-ready television?
A: Your current standard DIRECTV equipment will provide you with digital-quality programming as long as you have the system with either an analog or HDTV set, but will not display HD programming.
Q: Is audio quality better with HDTV?
A: At best, standard-definition shows have 4-channel Dolby surround sound (left, center, right and one rear "surround" channel), but they usually have 2-channel stereo. High-definition broadcasts (when available from the programmers), on the other hand, support 5.1-channel Dolby Digital surround sound (left, center, right, left and right surround and a subwoofer-the part for booming bass). This is similar to the sound you hear in a movie theater or, with the properly equipped home theater, on a DVD. Not all HD broadcasts have 5.1 Dolby Digital, but the majority do, and you'll hear and feel the difference. Of course, you'll need a home-theater audio system to take full advantage of it. Dolby, Dolby Digital and the double-D symbol are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.
Installation and Service FAQ (Click to expand)
Q: What is included in a Standard Installation?
A: A standard installation includes the following:
  • Up to 125 feet RG6 cable per receiver
  • Mounting of Dish on pole up to 5 feet only if required for line of sight- not per the customer's request
  • Connect primary receiver to phone jack (up to 25 feet)
  • Connect off-air antenna($50)
  • 6 feet HDMI cable per installation
Q: What equipment do I need?
A: The DIRECTV System includes a digital set-top receiver, a satellite dish antenna with a triple-output LNB and a universal remote control. The receiver with remote control can also be leased without a dish antenna for customers who already have DIRECTV service. In order to enjoy the full benefits of this service, your receiver must be continuously connected to a land-based phone line. You'll find the receiver under the Philips, Sony and Hughes Network Systems brand names.
Q: Can I install the DIRECTV System myself or should I hire someone?
A: DIRECTV customers who use professional installers typically have fewer technical concerns later on, and, with DIRECTV, standard professional installation is included with your system.
Q: What should I expect when a professional installer comes to my home?
A: The professional installer will completely install your DIRECTV System for you. This includes installing a dish on your roof, balcony or other location, connecting your receiver to your TV, and a brief lesson on using your system.
Q: Can I use my existing wiring for DIRECTV?
A: If the cable in your house is RG-6 coax cable, you can use it to connect your DIRECTV Receiver to your satellite dish. If your cable is not RG6 coax, you will need to run new cable. It is important that you use RG6 cable due to the frequency of the digital signals it must carry.
Q: Can I install the satellite dish inside my house?
A: In order to receive the signal, the dish must have a direct line of sight to the south through a window. However, many types of window glass degrade the satellite signal. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you install your satellite dish outside in a suitable location.
Q: If I install my satellite dish outside, will it get stolen?
A: The satellite dish is the least expensive component of the DIRECTV System and is basically useless without the set-top receiver. Also keep in mind that the dish is small enough to be placed in an inconspicuous location on your home or property.
Q: Can I paint the satellite dish?
A: It's okay to paint your dish if you don't use lead-based or glossy paint. Glossy paint could damage the Low Noise Block (LNB) converter by increasing the signal reflection. You should not paint the LNB itself.
Q: If I move, can I take the receiving equipment with me?
A: Yes. DIRECTV distributes programming across the continental United States. You will receive more info on how to transfer your equipment in your new customer packet.
If you're moving to Alaska or Hawaii, you may need new receiving equipment. If you're moving outside the U.S., DIRECTV won't be able to serve you.
Sports blackouts and your ability to receive local channels or broadcast network services may be affected by your new address.
Q: Can weather interfere with my reception?
A: Television reception on the system is highly reliable year-round and nationwide. DIRECTV service is only minimally affected by weather, under extreme conditions. If a signal interruption happens at all, it is usually less than one minute long.

Sports blackouts and your ability to receive local channels or broadcast network services may be affected by your new address.

Q: How do I install the DIRECTV System on my RV or boat?
A: You can either purchase a self-installation kit or hire a professional installer.
DIRECTV Spanish Programming FAQ (Click to expand)
Q: What does DIRECTV Spanish Programming service included?
A: DIRECTV Spanish Programming offers the most comprehensive Spanish- and English-language programming service at an affordable price. Packages feature more than 55 Spanish-language channels*, including sports, movies, news, music and educational networks, plus English-language channels.

*Includes English-language broadcast channels with alternate Spanish-language audio access.

Q: What sports programming is available?
A: You'll have access to a range of sports, plus the exclusive access NFL SUNDAY TICKET package, and sports subscriptions like MLB EXTRA INNINGS, MLS DIRECT KICK and NBA LEAGUE PASS.
Q: What equipment do I need to receive DIRECTV Spanish Programming?
A: If you already have DIRECTV, you'll need to find out if you have a Multi-Satellite System. Check by tuning your TV to Channel 400.

If you are considering getting DIRECTV, request a Multi-Satellite System when you make your purchase, whether online or at retail. Spanish on-screen guides available on select models.

Q: Can I install the DIRECTV Multi-Satellite System by myself?
A: Because the dish must point to two different satellite positions, we strongly suggest that you have your DIRECTV System professionally installed. Most of the time, standard professional installation is included with your new system. If you are upgrading your equipment through DIRECTV Customer Service, most offers may include standard professional installation as well.
Q: Can I still use the DIRECTV System equipment I have now?
A: You may want to install your existing set-top receiver in another room of your home. That will give you access to any DIRECTV® programming you receive today.
Q: Is the DIRECTV Spanish Programming available outside the United States?
A: No. DIRECTV Spanish Programming is a service offered only to DIRECTV customers who reside in the United States.
Q: Do you have Spanish-speaking customer service agents available?
A: Yes. Customer service is available in English and Spanish. Call us at 1-800-653-1730.
Business FAQ (Click to expand)
Q: How do I order DIRECTV for a business? (Click to expand)
A: Simply call the ACN sales line 1-800-653-1730, select 2 for commercial sales and one of our dedicated representatives will gladly assist you. Commercial sales can be made by phone only.
Q: Who is eligible for a commercial account?
A: Businesses that require less than 7 receivers (or 10 receivers for a bar or restaurant) and are in a 3 story building or less are eligible for DIRECTV. Multi dwelling units such as apartments, hotels and dorms are not eligible. Shopping plazas are not considered a multi dwelling unit and are eligible for DIRECTV pending the above qualifications.
Q: What are the hours of operation of the commercial agents?
A: The sales center is open Monday - Friday: 8:00 am to 9:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Eastern time. Closed Sunday.
Q: Does DIRECTV run a credit check?
A: DIRECTV does require a credit check for commercial accounts.
Q: Is there an installation fee to get a DIRECTV commercial account?
A: No. If you select a qualifying package and the receivers you choose fit within the parameters outlined, new DIRECTV customers are eligible for a free standard installation.
Hours of Operation (Click to expand)
Q: What are the hours of operation of the commercial agents?
A: The sales center is open Monday - Friday: 8:00 am to 9:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Eastern time. Closed Sunday.
Q: What are the hours of operation of the residential agents?
A: The sales center is open Monday - Friday: 7:00 am to 1:00 am, Saturday: 8:00 am to 12:00 am and Sunday: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern time.
Q: What are the hours of operation of the Spanish agents?
A: The sales center is open Monday - Friday: 9:00 am to 11:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 am to 9:00 pm Eastern time. Closed Sunday.