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DIRECTV Frequently Asked

Have questions about DIRECTV? Get your answers here!

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Does DIRECTV offer my local channels?

Yes, DIRECTV offers local channels, including locals in HD, to nearly 94% 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 98% of US homes. DIRECTV is available in 100%.

How does DIRECTV's HD channel lineup compare to Cable?

DIRECTV offers over national HD channels - Cable can't even come close!

Is installing DIRECTV difficult?

FREE DIRECTV installation is done by top-of-the-line professionals, so you don't have to worry about setting up your system; you know it will be done right the first time.

Still have questions? Read on, or CALL US at 1-888-662-8395
and we'll answer everything you want to know.

About DIRECTV and DirectStarTV

DIRECTV Programming



Installation and Service


About DIRECTV and DirectStarTV FAQ

Q: What is DIRECTV?
A: DIRECTV is first in the nation for digital satellite entertainment service. Using the most advanced satellite technology, they deliver access to more than 285 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. Purchase DIRECTV and you’ll receive a wide selection of entertainment that will please everyone in your family - all in the digital-quality visual and audio that DIRECTV is known for.

Q: Why should I get DIRECTV?
A: With DIRECTV, you get programming, value AND service! You can choose from more than 285 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: Get more than 285 available channels of entertainment with DIRECTV’s programming and service features. Customers have access to popular networks like Disney Channel, CNN, ESPN and TNT, as well as up to 55 Pay Per View choices a day, including major Hollywood films and special events. They also offer an unprecedented professional and collegiate sports subscription lineup, including NFL SUNDAY TICKET™, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NHL® CENTER ICE®, MLB EXTRA INNINGS™, MLS DIRECT KICK™, ESPN GamePlan and ESPN FULL COURT. There's even more! DIRECTV SPORTS PACK premium service and The PREMIER Package deliver 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: How do I contact DirectStarTV?
A: Simply click on the Contact Us page or call us toll-free at 1-888-662-8395.

Q: What are DirectStarTV's call center hours?
A: Our call center is open for phone calls Mon-Fri 7am-2am EST, Sat and Sun 8am - 12am EST.

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 DirectStarTV via this website, or call us at 1-888-662-8395. We'll send you new equipment and install it for of charge (for up to 4 rooms).

Q: I had DIRECTV service in the past. How can I restart it?
A: Call DirectStarTV at 1-888-662-8395 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

Q: How does DIRECTV service compare with cable?
A: DIRECTV provides a programming service specifically created to offer customers more options and value for their entertainment dollar. The DIRECTV service combines America's favorite network channels, other popular networks not available from many cable services, a Pay Per View service with more than 55 choices of movies and special events, local channels in most markets, plus an unprecedented sports subscription lineup. No other system offers as many quality program options.

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.

The PREMIER base package includes all premium services available on DIRECTV so you don't have to worry about missing any of your favorite programs.

Q: Does DIRECTV offer music channels?
A: Yes! Through an alliance with XM Satellite Radio, 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 (see International Programming).

DIRECTV features Spanish-language channels, including sports, movies, news, music and educational networks.

That's not all. See more international programming.

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.



Q: What is DIRECTV DVR service?
A: It's the most advanced, easy-to-use service available that can digitally record and store television programming without videotape. Set up a Series Link to automatically record your favorite shows every time they air on DIRECTV - even if the network lineup changes. DIRECTV DVR service provides you with more flexibility to watch shows when you want, giving you more control of your television viewing experience.

With a DIRECTV Plus DVR receiver, you can record up to 100 hours of your favorite shows* - even record 2 shows at once while watching a 3rd recorded show. It lets you pause up to 90 minutes of programming, and instantly replay, rewind and play it back - in normal speed, slow motion or frame by frame.
*Actual recording capacity varies depending on the type of programming being recorded.

Q: How do I get the DIRECTV Plus DVR receiver?
A: Just add a DIRECTV Plus DVR receiver when you place your order today. The DVR receiver is FREE with qualifying programming after an instant rebate! Offer details. And DVR Service is just $7/mo. with any DIRECTV package.

Q: Can the DIRECTV Plus DVR service suggest shows on DIRECTV that I might want to watch?
A: Yes! When you use your remote control to rate the shows you watch, the DIRECTV Plus DVR receiver learns what types of programs you like and dislike. Then it recommends, and can even automatically record shows that match your interests.

Q: What if I only want the DIRECTV Plus DVR receiver to record shows or movies featuring my favorite actor?
A: The DIRECTV Plus DVR receiver can do that! Just use your remote control to tell the DIRECTV Plus DVR receiver your favorite actor, director or category (like drama, comedy or football); then it will find and can record the programs that match your interests.

Q: How will I know when the receiver's memory is getting full?
A: The DIRECTV Plus DVR receiver will tell you if there isn't enough memory left to record the program you've requested. Then you simply delete older recorded shows to make room for newer ones.



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

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: How can I arrange for a professional installation?
A: You need to do nothing now. Within 24-72 hours after you order DIRECTV service from DirectStarTV, we will contact you to confirm your order and schedule your installation.

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: Why do I need a phone line for DIRECTV to be installed?
A: You do not need a phone line to have DIRECTV installed; you can enjoy DIRECTV without a phone line. However, if you want DVR Service and/or you want the ability to order Pay Per View channels from your remote control, a phone line is required to send the information for DVR Service and Pay Per View requests to DIRECTV.

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.


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. It features 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 from boxing to soccer, including the best from the world of international soccer from GolTV. There is exclusive access to the NFL SUNDAY TICKET package, as well as sports subscriptions like MLB EXTRA INNINGS, MLS DIRECT KICK, NBA LEAGUE PASS, and more.
Blackout restrictions and other conditions apply to all sports programming. Sports subscriptions automatically continue each season at a special renewal rate, unless customer contacts DIRECTV to change service.

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 1-888-662-8395.