If you're going away for an extended time, you can temporarily suspend your service. 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.
This saves you the trouble of returning equipment and closing your account, only to order a new install later.
To put your account on hold, call 800.DIRECTV. When prompted, say "suspend services," and follow the instructions.