Yes, of course you can order DirecTV without a contract. It's called the "purchase option". You must call 800-531-5000 and ask to speak with a support agent. Most are not familiar with the process, but asking for supervisor to assist will get you what you need. Just bear in mind you said this is your goal. Judging from your post, you're not very familiar with the equipment nor programming. See below for additional info.
Now, there are some caveats to this option. Don't expect all the bells, whistles, freebies, etc..if you go with the purchase option, there is no contract/agreement. That means you are a "month-to-month" customer. This gives you the freedom to turn it on and off at will (a month at a time, anyway).
1. Don't buy equipment from eBay..if it doesn't work or it's unauthorized, you pay to replace or fix. You cannot complain to DirecTV or anyone else, except perhaps eBay. Good luck with that.
2. When you place your purchase option order with DirecTV, you will be required to purchase 2 receivers. There is no option for 1. There is no option for 3 or more either. It's 2 only. However, you can always sell the one you don't want on the open market, for about the same you paid for it, or maybe more. You would be able to purchase more receivers later if you need. Good luck with that.
3. You will not get any discounts nor promotions. I'll say it again--you will NOT get any discounts nor promotions. Full price from day one, on any package you choose.
4. You will pay for installation as well.
5. All funds are collected at time of order. There is no buy now, pay later.
6. Typical prices for receivers range from ~$150 for 2 standard receivers to ~$299 for 1 HD-DVR and 1 standard..the agent/supervisor will give the actual pricing.
7. Install should be approx $49-99 (as part of the total charge at time of your order--check with agent for exact pricing, it could be more).
8. Programming pricing is as follows (until any price increase in the future)
a. Family--$29.99/mth (60 channels/promoted as "over 50 channels")
b. Entertainment--$54.99 (160 channels/promoted as "over 140 channels")
c. Choice--$64.99 (178 channels/promoted as "over 150 channels")
d. Xtra--$70.99 (221 channels/promoted as "over 205 channels")
e. Ultimate--$77.99 (244 channels/promoted as "over 225" channels)
f. Premier--$124.99 (310 channels/promoted as "over 285" channels)--this pack contains all 48 premium movies channels from HBO/Starz/Showtime/Cinemax (yes, Encore too)
g. All packages contain additional 40+ part-time/specialty channels that are not in the channel count. That would be cheating. See E*
h. Local channels not guaranteed. All depends on where you live. 95% of the USA has local channel availability.
i. There is no credit check on purchase option orders.
j. Your equipment will be yours to keep, to sell, whatever you like. There is a 90 day warranty on equipment.
k. Florida has a 13% tax on this type of service.
Hope this helps. As you can see, it is a bit more expensive to forgo the 2 year agreement. That is the price of freedom."