Best satellite TV packages
Thanks to satellite data threshold limits, any Viasat Internet package you select will have some limitations on video streaming. Picking out a DIRECTV package to go with your internet package is often a better idea to get your TV fix than trying to stream Netflix or Hulu with your satellite connection.
Satellite TV service from DIRECTV will deliver year-round entertainment. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about keeping track of monthly data thresholds or rationing out internet use so you can catch the latest season of NCIS, Vida, Blue Bloods, or Young Sheldon.
As an incentive to bundling DIRECTV and Viasat, Viasat will take $10 a month off your internet bill for the first year of your service.
Check out our top picks.
Get Viasat Internet at speeds up to 12 Mbps with a 35 GB monthly data threshold (after threshold is reached, data may be slowed).
Best for families
Rates and availability may change and are based on data pulled on 12/4/2019. Price is for the first three-months, with a 2-year contract, autopay, and paperless billing, not including fees, taxes, or equipment rental costs. Prices for Viasat internet service rise in the fourth month, and DIRECTV prices rise after month 12.
How good is DIRECTV Satellite TV service?
DIRECTV is a highly rated satellite TV service offering coverage throughout the US. Although it came in second to DISH according to J.D. Power, DIRECTV is still rated highly for reliability and overall customer satisfaction.
One thing to keep in mind is that even if you have a Viasat satellite dish, you will need to get a separate DIRECTV satellite dish installed on your home. Installation costs are also charged separately.
DIRECTV pros and cons
- Wide variety of entertainment in each package
- Price hike in the second year
- Required 2-year contract
- Early Termination Fee (ETF) of $20/mo. for every month left on the contract
Viasat TV and internet bundles
Pick a DIRECTV and Viasat bundle, and save $10 per month.
|Package||Price||Channel Count||Get Bundle|
* for 24 months plus taxes and fees w/ 24-mo. agmt. AutoPay and Paperless Bill req’d. Advanced Receiver Service Fee $15/mo. is extra and applies.
*New approved residential customers, price incl. TV pkg & equip. fees for first TV. Add’l fees may apply to non-qualified customers. Early agmt termination fee applies ($20/mo.) & add’l fee(s) may apply if equip. not returned. Credit card req’d. Restr’s apply. $19.95 activation & equipment lease req’d for satellite customers. Equipment lease req’d for DIRECTV via Internet customers in some sales channels.
DIRECTV package details
Any DIRECTV package can be added to any Viasat internet plan, which makes for a wide range of package options. The chart above only includes all of the DIRECTV options but does not include all the internet speed and data options.
You can get Viasat satellite internet everywhere in the US, but speed and data availability vary based on your location. In some areas, speeds up to 100 Mbps are available, while in other areas you can get speeds only up to 12 Mbps.
Viasat and DIRECTV increase prices at different times during the two-year term, which makes pricing more confusing for people who bundle. Viasat prices increase in the fourth month, while DIRECTV prices go up after the first year.
DIRECTV TV tech
Getting Viasat and DIRECTV as part of a bundle doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be able to get both installations done on the same day. You will need a separate satellite dish for DIRECTV and Viasat, and you will have separate installation fees.
All DIRECTV channels are digital, and many are available in HD (high definition) picture quality. HD (or 1080p) is the same picture quality you get with Blu-ray. You can get up to 200 full-time HD channels with DIRECTV, depending on your DIRECTV package.
One DIRECTV Genie HD DVR is included with your monthly service fee, which is great. Many companies charge a separate fee for the DVR, and encourage you to get a DVR in every room.
If you enjoy watching TV in different rooms of the house using a laptop, tablet, or your phone, you can watch with the DIRECTV app. The app minimizes the need to have multiple DVRs set up all over your home, although it will increase your internet data usage.
The DIRECTV app also lets you watch your recorded content away from home. The catch is that you must first download it on your device while you’re at home (on the same Wi-Fi connection as your DVR). The app also gives you access to On Demand content from any location.
You can also use the DIRECTV app and mobile DVR to watch your favorite shows when you’re away from home. With this app, you can watch on any device, anywhere you have an internet connection. The DIRECTV app supports up to five screens at once.
Amazon Echo integration
You can control your DIRECTV service by voice if you have an Amazon Echo. Once you’ve connected your DIRECTV Genie to the internet, you can use voice commands to turn the TV on and off, change the station, or find movies. You can get a short list of DIRECTV commands for Amazon Echo.
Viasat and DIRECTV installation
When you sign up for DIRECTV, you’ll schedule an appointment for an installation technician to come to your home. Plan to be home and available for two to three hours. Installation will include mounting a satellite dish on your home, running wires through the house, and setting up equipment. DIRECTV does not have a self-install option, as installation is complicated and should be handled by a professional.
You will also sign up for an installation appointment for your Viasat internet service. Your Viasat technician will also install a Viasat satellite dish on your home, so you’ll need to have space for two satellite dishes if you want Viasat and DIRECTV.
DIRECTV has a low installation fee of $19.95. You do need to sign a two-year contract, but most of the cost of professional satellite dish installation is taken care of by DIRECTV.
Viasat charges a $99 installation fee, but you can find free installation deals in some parts of the country. As with DIRECTV, you will need to have a credit check and sign a 2-year contract.
If you cancel both DIRECTV and Viasat services before your two-year contract is up, it could cost you quite a bit. DIRECTV and Viasat both charge an Early Termination Fee (ETF) if you need to cancel early. Viasat’s ETF is $15 per month for each month remaining on your contract, and DIRECTV’s ETF will cost you $20 per month for each month remaining on the contract.
We like DIRECTV’s wide range of entertainment options, including the sports channels. DIRECTV receives consistently high ratings from J.D. Power and is rated high for reliability and programming.
Viasat Internet is a good option if you don’t have access to any other Internet Service Providers. But since Viasat is satellite internet, it has certain shortcomings.
We don’t like the way the prices for both Viasat and DIRECTV increase over a two-year contract term, steadily hiking up monthly costs for people who bundle these two services. Overall, customers who sign up knowing about the price increase up-front should be happier with their service and less disgruntled about changing prices.
Despite Viasat’s efforts to provide internet speeds that support video streaming, we find that video streaming is difficult with Viasat. Video streaming will take a lot of data and can be interrupted frequently due to latency.
Viasat has a feature called the Video Data Extender that helps minimize data usage while streaming, but using it won’t prevent constant buffering on some plans if your speed still isn’t fast enough.
Because of these video streaming obstacles, bundling Viasat with DIRECTV service is a good way to save on data and prevent unwelcome buffering. If DIRECTV is out of your price range, try using a TV antenna to pick up local channels for free.
But customers who are lucky enough to have a DIRECTV and Viasat bundle will definitely have more entertainment options at home.