By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
DIRECTV this morning unveiled a new marketing strategy that includes a two-year price guarantee for both satellite and streaming customers, eliminates (or least downplays) the DIRECTV Stream brand for new customers, and introduces a new set-top called Gemini. The company will now refer to both its satellite service and its streaming service in marketing campaigns as DIRECTV rather than DIRECTV and DIRECTV Stream.
Since our article was published this morning, we have received several reader e-mails with questions regarding how the new strategy will affect new and existing customers. We contacted DIRECTV and here are some answers:
Will DIRECTV’s satellite service and its streaming service (now referred to as DIRECTV Internet) have the same channel lineup?
No. But DIRECTV says it hopes to eventually align the new channel lineups or come very close to an alignment. The satellite edition currently has more channels than the Internet plan. For example, satellite customers get the NFL Network while streaming subs do not.
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Will DIRECTV’s satellite service, or streaming service, offer fewer channels than before.
No. The lineups are the same.
Will DIRECTV’s satellite plan still come with a termination penalty if you cancel prior to the end of the two years?
Yes. Any satellite subscriber must pay a penalty of $20 a month for every month left in the two year agreement if he or she cancels early.
Also See: How to Save $24 a Month By NOT Getting the Gemini Set-Top
Will DIRECTV’s Internet service now have a termination penalty since there’s now a two-year price guarantee?
No. There will be no termination penalty. You can still cancel at any time.
Does DIRECTV’s Internet plan require a two-year agreement?
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Will current DIRECTV Stream subscribers see any changes to their plans, pricing or interface?
The DIRECTV Stream logo will be removed if you get DIRECTV via its new set-top, called Gemini. Pricing for existing subscribers will remain the same.
What is the new pricing for new DIRECTV satellite and streaming customers?
The plans for both satellite and streaming will begin at $64.99 a month with a two-year price guarantee. The Choice plan for both services, which include regional sports networks, will be $84.99 a month while the Ultimate plan for both will be $109.99 and the Premier package will be $154.99.
What’s new with this DIRECTV Gemini set-top?
DIRECTV today announced that its Gemini set-top, which has been available in trial markets, is now available nationwide to both satellite and streaming customers. The wireless box allows customers to watch apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube without getting a similar device such as Roku or Fire TV. The Gemini includes a voice-activated remote control. While the Gemini is provided for free, there’s a $15 advanced receiver fee for both satellite and Internet customers who get one. See this page for more details. (Succession’s Brian Cox, aka Logan Roy, is featured in a new advertising campaign for the Gemini.)
Will new DIRECTV Internet customers be able to watch 4K programming from networks such as Fox and ESPN, just as DIRECTV satellite subscribers can?
No. DIRECTV’s satellite plan will continue to offer 4K programming, but not the streaming service. DIRECTV Stream has never offered programming in 4K. FuboTV and YouTube TV are the only live streamers that do.
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— Phillip Swann
Since I have a Roku TV, What would be the benefits of this new Gemini box?
Thom R, my guess is that with the Gemini box and streaming DirecTV you would get the numbering system in the guide??? I know in the past that was one small reason to use their box. None of the other streaming services (???) have a numbering system to make getting to channels easier.
I have had DTV for 20 + Years.
Have the HR-44-500 Genie
and (2) HR-24’s (9) Receivers.
Can Record and Watch (9) shows at the SAME time.
I called DirecTV, got the Philippines,
and talked to her about the New Gemini,
Name is VERY similar to the GENIE,
(we both got Confused about which one we were talking about)
DirecTV EXCELS in CONFUSING customers with their CRAZY Names.
She said the Gemini has ONLY (4) Receivers.
If I wanted the Gemini,
I would have to Return my Existing Receivers
and Pay $ 15.00 MORE per mo.
I ask her how the New Gemini would work with my (3) TV’s
if I RETURNED All my existing Receivers.
I told her I have ROKU and get Streaming.
That threw her, and said I am better KEEPING my Current Set-Up.
The New Gemini ONLY allows me to Watch
“Streaming Services, like NetFlix, etc.
along my Current Package,
will cost me an ADDITIONAL $ 15.00,
GET me INTO a NEW TWO YEAR CONTRACT,
and I will get FEWER Channels
My current Price will NOT Drop to $ 64.99
She said ALL Existing Priced Packages will stay the Same.
I decided to KEEP my current Set-Up.
DirecTV NEEDS to Offer their Current Satellite Service
thru the DISH and the INTERNET.
That way EVERYONE
(Customers in Apartments, Places where DISHES will NOT work)
can get service.
Use ONLY (2 Names)
and DirecTV Internet.
FORGET the DTV “Streaming”
Offer a NEW ON SITE Descrambler (FREE of Charge)
which ALSO allows OTHER Streaming services, [NetFlix, etc.)
which will work MULTIPLE TV’s.
Put DVR in the CLOUD, (The $ 7.00 BOX FEE will Disappear)
LOWER the Program Prices.
DROP the HD Charge for Everyone.
Put SPORTS in a SEPARATE Package.
MOVE ALL Customer Service to the USA.