DIRECTV Specials
DISH Specials

Review of DIRECTV’s Choice XTRA Package: the Most Popular

220 channels | $70/mo

The most subscribed-to DIRECTV plan (by a good margin), Choice XTRA is an ideal mix of price and channels. For just $5 more per month than the Choice plan, you’ll get 45 more channels including a ton of new movie and sports programs. On the movie/bio side, some of those new channels include American Heroes Channel (previously Military Channel), Discovery Health, DIY, FXX, FX Movie Channel, H2 (one of my favorites), Oxygen and plenty of others. Cool new options for sports fans include CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 2, Golf Channel, NBA TV, NBC Sports Network, NBC Universo (prev. mun2), NHL Network and the Sportsman Channel.

Features:

  • Over 220 all-digital channels (160+ in HD)
  • All-Included price of $70/mo (Free HD, DVR and receivers for up to 4 rooms)
  • Free NFL Sunday Ticket
  • Free HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ and Cinemax for 3 full months
  • Free Genie DVR system + 3 Genie minis for additional TVs
  • Over 7,000 On Demand shows and movies included (3k more than DIRECTV Entertainment)
  • Free Local Channels (available to >99% of US)
  • Standard Professional Installation included

Ideal for: subscribers that want a bunch of channels AND stick to a reasonable budget. Even though it doesn’t have the regional sports channels found in the next two packages, for the average fan, it should deliver more than enough MLB, NFL, NBA and Hockey action. If your must-have sports channel isn’t included, you can usually add it à la carte for a few extra bucks a month (and avoid having to upgrade plans).

Total Cost (no extra fees):
$70/mo (promo pricing during 1st year)
$118/mo (regular price, 2nd year and thereafter)

DISH plan it most closely compares to:
America’s Top 250 – DISH advertises 290 channels in the 250 plan, but, again, nearly 65 are just Sirius XM radio stations so make sure you compare apples to apples.

Final Thoughts:
I like to get every last bit of value from my TV programming and that’s why I’ve always been drawn to this plan (though I eventually upgraded to Ultimate). Sure, it doesn’t give you a ton of premium movie options, but not everyone needs ’em. Everything considered, if you’re undecided and XTRA falls within your budget, go with it. It’s smack dab in the middle of the five plans and it’ll give you a great idea of how many or few channels you really need…or if just right.



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