DIRECTV has been in the cable TV business for decades, and there’s something to be said for going with experience. The company’s streaming spinoff, DIRECTV STREAM, launched as AT&T TV in 2020 and eventually shifted direction and rebranded the following year. More than any other live TV streaming services, it’s tried to bridge the gap between the old world of traditional satellite or cable TV and the new world of live TV streaming.
That’s especially clear in DIRECTV STREAM’s packages, which will feel quite familiar to anyone who has used DIRECTV or similar services in the past. Pricing across its plans is similar, too, with a big difference: There are no contracts, and you can easily watch from anywhere.
Just what will you find in DIRECTV STREAM’s plans? I explored everything the service has to offer to help you answer that question.
What packages does DIRECTV STREAM offer?
DIRECTV STREAM offers four plans. If you’ve used the company’s satellite service, the names and prices will be strangely familiar to you. Packages range from $79.99 to $164.99 a month and feature anywhere from 75 to over 150 channels. All plans include unlimited cloud DVR storage and unlimited simultaneous streams at home, and you can watch on up to three devices outside the home.
DIRECTV STREAM’s packages and pricing compared
DIRECTV STREAM offers a nice range of channel packages. Its base plan is a good entry-level option that features a smaller channel lineup than most competitors’ starting plans, but you can expand your lineup quite a bit from there. Although I tried out the Entertainment plan, I would say the Choice package offers the best all-around value with quite a bit more national and regional sports coverage. The top two plans cater more toward viewers who want niche or premium content in the mix.
|Package||Monthly Price||Channels||Ads||Simultaneous |
|Entertainment||$79.99||75+||Yes||Unlimited at home|
3 outside home
|Choice||$108.99||105+||Yes||Unlimited at home|
3 outside home
|Ultimate||$119.99||140+||Yes||Unlimited at home|
3 outside home
|Premier||$164.99||150+||Yes||Unlimited at home|
3 outside home
DIRECTV STREAM’s basic plan is a nice package for cord-cutters who want access to a well-rounded mix of cable programming. Many of the most popular channels are here, from A&E and ESPN to the Disney Channel and HGTV. There are also channels you won’t find in other platform’s basic plans, such as AMC, BBC America, and C-SPAN.
Admittedly, I found the sports coverage a little lacking in this plan. It doesn’t include regional sports networks (RSNs), and popular networks like ACCN, Big Ten Network, NFL Network, and SEC Network aren’t available. It’s a tough sell when competitors like Hulu + Live TV and Fubo offer many of these channels for a similar price. Still, the plan does include go-to sports coverage on ESPN, ESPN2, and Fox Sports 1 (FS1).
The Choice plan is, by far, the best value most viewers will find on DIRECTV STREAM. For only $29 more per month, you get around 30 more channels, many of which cater to sports fans. The Choice plan includes everything I mentioned above that’s missing from the Entertainment plan, plus channels like MLB TV, NBA TV, Tennis Channel, Golf Channel, and ESPNU. It also adds networks like Game Show Network, Pop TV, Travel Channel, and CNBC World.
The biggest sell for many will be the RSNs, though. DIRECTV STREAM is one of the few streaming services to offer them, and you’ll need at least the Choice plan to keep up with your local teams. It’s worth noting that you’ll pay more to get these from DIRECTV STREAM than you will from Fubo. The tradeoff? DIRECTV STREAM has other lynchpin channels Fubo doesn’t, such as TNT, TBS, and CNN.
The Ultimate plan targets larger families or viewers who want a wider range of niche programming. For $10 more per month, you can add channels like American Heroes Channel, BET Her, Discovery Life, MTV Classic, and Nat Geo Wild to your subscription. All in all, this package comes with more than 30 additional channels compared to the Choice plan.
The Premier plan is the ultimate package for cord-cutters who want the cable experience with loads of premium content. It adds a variety of channels from Cinemax, Max, SHOWTIME, and STARZ, so you’ll never be short on top-notch movies and shows to watch. Beware, though, the price is premium, too. At $154.99 a month, this is one of the most expensive streaming packages on the market.
What channels does DIRECTV STREAM offer?
DIRECTV STREAM offers a curated selection of the most popular cable networks. You won’t find as many niche sports and entertainment networks as you do on Fubo, but you can bet that if it’s a popular choice, DIRECTV STREAM has it.
Again, I found that the Choice plan would have filled in many of the gaps in my Entertainment plan, offering the most balanced package for all-around viewers but also satisfying sports lovers. On the Choice plan, you’ll find some of the most popular networks, such as Bravo, CMT, Comedy Central, Discovery, Food Network, History Channel, CNBC, Fox News, and many of the most popular sports networks mentioned above.
What add-ons does DIRECTV STREAM offer?
DIRECTV STREAM does offer add-ons, though it is largely focused on premium channels and over-the-top services. Here are all the add-ons you’ll find on the platform:
- AMC Plus
- Discovery Plus
- Fox Nation
- MGM Plus
- Movies Extra Pack
- Sports Pack
DIRECTV STREAM free trial and deals
DIRECTV STREAM offers a five-day free trial, which gives you a nice window to try out the service without spending any money. The service also offers $10 off per month for your first three months, and you can add on select premium services like Max or STARZ for free for the first three months.
How to watch DIRECTV STREAM
It’s easy to sign up and start enjoying DIRECTV STREAM. Simply select your plan from the homepage, enter your account and payment information, select your add-ons, and you’re in. You can start streaming on most web browsers, iOS, Android, and Fire mobile devices, Apple TV, Roku, and Samsung Smart TVs.
Is DIRECTV STREAM worth it?
DIRECTV STREAM targets cord-cutters who still want the familiar cable experience, and its packages will feel familiar to anyone who fits into that category. There’s a nice variety of channels here, not to mention a lot to appeal to sports fans. That said, DIRECTV STREAM’s packages can get a little pricey, and many cord-cutters may find they can get much of what they’re looking for for less with some competitors.
Does DIRECTV STREAM have an annual plan?
Like other streaming services, DIRECTV STREAM doesn’t offer an annual plan. You’ll pay by the month, and there are no contracts, so you can cancel anytime.
Does DIRECTV STREAM have unlimited streams?
You can stream on unlimited devices on your home network. Outside the home, you’re limited to three concurrent streams.
Does DIRECTV STREAM allow family sharing?
You can’t create multiple user profiles on DIRECTV STREAM. However, since you can stream on up to 10 devices at home and three outside the home, plenty of family members can watch at home and away.
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