By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, I tried to subscribe to DIRECTV’s Internet plan today with the Gemini set-top included and the customer service rep said it would require a two-year agreement. Is that supposed to be the case? I thought that was for satellite. Now it’s streaming, too? Can you check on this? — Earl, Galveston, Texas.
Earl, DIRECTV last month 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.
However, if you try to subscribe to the streaming version of DIRECTV, you have two options: One with the Gemini box and one with your own streaming device. If you use your own streaming device, there is no two-year price lock although you can get $10 off each of the first three months of service. If you get the Gemini box with the streaming plan, there is a two-year price lock, just as there is for the satellite plan.
But there’s a two-year contract requirement for the satellite plan so is there also one for the Gemini-included streaming plan?
Answer: No. A DIRECTV spokesman this week confirmed to The Answer Man that there is no two-year contract with streaming, Gemini box included or not. However, while the Gemini is provided for free, there’s a $15 advanced receiver fee for both satellite and Internet customers who get one. (You also have to pay a regional sports fee if a RSN is included in your plan. See this page for more details.)
The Gemini set-top, which is wireless, 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.
Earl, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann