When you're away from home for a long time, you don't need to cancel your service. You can temporarily suspend it instead.
Suspending your service puts it on hold until you're ready to use it again. This saves you the trouble of returning equipment, dealing with final bills, and then later, scheduling a new install and setting up new equipment.
There's no charge to suspend your service, and you can put your account on hold for as little as 30 days or as long as 6 months. To put your account on hold, call 800.DIRECTV. When prompted, say "suspend services," and follow the instructions.