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DIRECTV STREAM vs. DIRECTV Satellite: Which Option is Best for You?

directv stream vs. directv satellite

Curious about who wins in the fight of DIRECTV STREAM vs. DIRECTV Satellite service? The biggest difference between DIRECTV STREAM and DIRECTV satellite is in how you access the content. DIRECTV STREAM leverages your existing internet connection to offer you streaming access to live TV networks, similar to other popular streaming services.

DIRECTV satellite, however, is a more traditional method of TV access — instead of using your internet connection, your live TV networks come through a satellite dish attached to your property.

Satellite plans with DIRECTV come with many of the same perks that come with DIRECTV STREAM. If you don’t have a reliable home internet connection, then DIRECTV satellite will likely serve your needs a little better. 

How to choose the best streaming service for you

Choosing the best live TV streaming service is like determining your favorite food: Everyone has different factors they use to make their decision. If budget is your primary concern, many low-cost streaming services are available. If you need specific channels, you’ll want to focus on streaming services offering those channels. 

DIRECTV STREAM and DIRECTV Satellite compared 

On-demand libraryYesYes
Add-on channelsYesYes
Free trialYesNo

A deeper look into DIRECTV STREAM

As previously stated, DIRECTV STREAM is the over-the-web streaming service offered by DIRECTV. Subscribers have four DIRECTV STREAM plans to choose from, with each one costing (but also offering) more than the last. 

The Entertainment package starts at $79.99 per month (excluding any promotional offers) and offers 75-plus channels, including ESPN and Fox Sports 1 (FS1). The Choice package offers 105-plus channels, including everything in the Entertainment package and Big Ten Network, MLB TV, and NBA TV, for $108.99 per month (excluding any promotional offers). 

For households needing more, the Ultimate package contains everything in the Choice package and even more channels, like NHL Network and Discovery Family, for $119.99 per month (excluding any promotional offers). The most channel-laden package, Premier, costs $164.99 per month (excluding any promotional offers) which is a lot for a streaming service, but you’ll get everything: HBO Max, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and more.

Naturally, with so many channels to choose from, you might find yourself in need of a DVR — try as you might, it’s difficult to watch two things at the same time. DIRECTV STREAM users get unlimited cloud DVR storage they can access anywhere, anytime from the DIRECTV app. 

A deeper look into DIRECTV Satellite

Satellite TV has existed for decades, and many modern audiences might look down on the technology as old hat. DIRECTV rewards customers for choosing the older tech because DIRECTV satellite offers the same plans at the same prices as DIRECTV STREAM with one key difference: bonus channels for satellite TV customers. 

The Entertainment package comes with over 90 bonus channels for $69.99 per month for the first two years, the Choice with over 95 extra for $84.99 per month for the first two years, the Ultimate with over 130 for $114.99 per month for the first two years, and the Premier with 190-plus for $159.99 per month for the first two years. This more than doubles the available channel count for each tier.

Satellite customers are subject to a one-time activation fee ($19.95) but will get free installation of their home satellite dish. Additionally, satellite customers may be subject to an early termination fee. 

For less tech-savvy audiences, the satellite TV experience offers a more familiar user interface. If you struggle to learn new apps, DIRECTV satellite might make more sense for you than DIRECTV STREAM. 

DIRECTV STREAM vs. DIRECTV satellite: Which is cheaper?

DIRECTV satellite plans cost less than DIRECTV STREAM month to month but they also come with an activation fee. DIRECTV satellite customers might also be subject to a $20 per month cancellation fee if they cancel their service before the end of the two-year price guarantee.

Are streaming services worth it?

In many instances, streaming services can cost less than traditional satellite or cable TV. Not this one, however. Streaming services do tend to offer more freedom of access than cable or satellite — you’re not tied to a satellite dish, and all you need is an internet connection. 

Final thoughts

Unfortunately, the “DIRECTV STREAM vs. DIRECTV satellite” question doesn’t have a definitive answer, but that doesn’t mean one is inherently worse than the other. In this instance, the service that best fits you is going to be the one that better suits your lifestyle. 

If you solely watch TV at home, then DIRECTV satellite is going to offer you more bang for your buck. If you find yourself streaming your content on the go, DIRECTV STREAM is going to suit your needs better. 


Which is better: streaming or satellite?

Streaming services are better for people who watch their content on the go, since an internet connection is so readily accessible. Satellite is better for audiences who want more channels for their subscription cost and are content consuming their content at home.

Can I use DIRECTV STREAM if I have DIRECTV satellite?

You can’t use DIRECTV STREAM if you have DIRECTV satellite, but you can still stream DIRECTV using the DIRECTV app. You’ll just need to sign in with your DIRECTV account information to start streaming.

Does DIRECTV STREAM cost more if you have DIRECTV?

DIRECTV STREAM is completely separate from DIRECTV satellite service. DIRECTV STREAM’s cost doesn’t change if you have DIRECTV.

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