DirecTV and Time Warner are the two major entertaining television services in the United States. Both these networks provide quality service to their subscribers by delivering their programming in a perfect manner. On comparing DirecTV to Time Warner, subscribers discover a lot of differences in terms of programming, pricing, services and features.

A detailed comparison of DirecTV and Time Warner are enlisted below:


DirecTV delivers its television services through TV satellites. For installation, subscribers need to mount a smart dish in their house or apartment, aligned towards TV satellites to receive programming. MPEG4 technology is used in DirecTV for delivering digital channels in an effective way.

Time Warner delivers its television services through fiber optical cable networks. Time Warner also delivers their channels in digital format. While comparing both these television providers, DirecTV delivers their programming uniformly throughout the U.S region whereas in Time Warner programming are subjected to differ in each region of U.S.

Many rural Americans are unable to get Time Warner cable service because Time Warner cable does not install their services in rural areas due to the prohibitively high installation cost.

However, the major advantage of Time Warner service is the signal strength. TV programming can be viewed by subscribers even in the worst climatic conditions which may not always be possible in case of DirecTV.


Basic Programming

DirecTV delivers over 285 channels in their programming packages whereas Time Warner delivers over 150 channels. On comparing these two television providers, DirecTV has more channels in their basic programming package than Time Warner.

International programming

DirecTV delivers a wide range of International packages in 9 different languages namely Brazilian, Chinese, Cantonese, Filipino, Greek, Korean, Russian, South Asia and Vietnamese. Apart from these, there are many language based packages namely 4 Brazilian package, 2 Chinese package, 3 Filipino package, 2 Greek package, 2 Korean package, 1 Russian package, 5 South Asian packages and 4 Vietnamese packages.

On comparing DirecTV’s International Programming with Time Warner, Time Warner has only 5 channels in their International programming package. The subscribers interested in International programming favor DirecTV.

Sports programming

DirecTV delivers a wide range of sports programming from popular networks. Their sports programs include exciting games from Nascar Hotpass, NFL Sunday Ticket, Grand Slam Golf, Grand Slam Tennis, UFC, WWE and many more. On comparing DirecTV and Time Warner cable is far behind. Though Time Warner delivers sports from popular networks, it has only 33 sports channels. The choice of a die-hard sports fan would always be DirecTV because of the wide variety in sports programming.

Premium programming

The major feature of Time Warner is its Premium programming. DirecTV delivers over 80 premium channels whereas Time Warner delivers over 104 channels in their premium programming. So subscribers interested in premium programming, subscribe to Time Warner.

HD programming

DirecTV delivers over 150 HD channels whereas Time Warner delivers only 118 HD channels.


DirecTV offers exciting services like Pay- per- view, Video on demand, A la carte, Digital phone, Customer care, Internet facility (both DSL and Satellite Internet), DVR and HD services.

Both the service providers are very similar in their services.  Time Warner cable offers cable based Internet service which is faster than DirecTV’s DSL. DirecTV offers satellite Internet that is ideal for rural Americans, a feature not available in Time Warner. Also, Time Warner Cable services may vary from place to place. So, the subscribers are advised to check the availability of programming, pricing, services and features in their locality.


DirecTV provides many basic features that help subscribers to search programming quickly; to see incoming calls with name and number;  lock unsuitable channels from kids; to skip commercials on recorded shows; to pause and rewind live programming. All these basic features are also available in Time Warner. Both these providers deliver some 3D content too in their programming.

The Final Judgment

On a head to head comparison, in terms of programming, pricing, services and features, DirecTV is better than Time Warner in various aspects.

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