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DIRECTV STREAM vs Sling TV: Best Option 2024

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Many people are curious which service wins in the debate of DIRECTV STREAM vs Sling TV. DIRECTV STREAM and Sling TV are two live TV streaming services that come with on-demand libraries.

Sling TV offers a more streamlined channels list and number of packages and is able to offer its service at a lower price than DIRECTV STREAM. Because Sling TV offers a relatively small number of channels, you may find some blind spots in your desired content. 

On the other hand, DIRECTV STREAM offers larger channel lists and several different plans. It offers local channels, regional sports networks, and most everything a traditional cable or satellite plan would. 

How to choose the best streaming service for you

Not all streaming services are identical, but neither are all TV watchers: We all have different tastes and preferences. As such, we’ll likely have different needs for our streaming services. Choosing the best streaming service for you means you must ascertain your needs. 

Budget is almost always a factor, and only you can determine your own spending limits. At the end of the day, the most important role a streaming service plays is as a vehicle for the content you want to watch. If you can’t get your favorite channels or shows on a particular streaming service, it might not be the right one for you.

DIRECTV STREAM vs Sling TV compared 

On-demand libraryYesYes
Add-on channelsYesYes
Free trialYesNo

A deeper look at DIRECTV STREAM

DIRECTV STREAM offers five plans: Entertainment, Choice, Ultimate, Premier, and Óptimo Más. The Entertainment package, starting at $79.99 per month, gets you 75-plus channels, and sports fans will be happy to see ESPN, ESPN2, and Fox Sports 1 included. 

Each plan past the Entertainment package snags you more channels at a higher cost. The Choice plan for $99.99 monthly comes with 105-plus channels — everything you get in the Entertainment plan and more, including channels like Big Ten Network, FanDuel TV, NFL Network, and more for you sports fans. 

The Ultimate plan comes with everything in the Choice plan but offers 140-plus channels, including Fox Sports 2 and NHL Network, for $119.99 per month. If you need everything that DIRECTV STREAM can offer, the Premier plan may be your answer: 150-plus channels, including everything from the Ultimate plan, in addition to HBO Max, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and more for $164.99 per month. 

If you don’t need the Premier package but want HBO, STARZ, SHOWTIME, or Cinemax, you can add any or all of those and more to your DIRECTV STREAM plan. If you prefer Spanish-language TV, the Óptimo Más plan, also for $79.99 per month, offers 100-plus channels, including Fox Deportes and ESPN Deportes. Take a look at our full DIRECTV STREAM review to find out more. 

A closer examination of Sling TV

Sling TV offers three package options, all with a hearty discount for new customers. Sling Orange comes designed for sports fans, offering ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, and TBS among its channel list. This array of networks is easily augmented by the Sports Extra package, which consists of 10-plus more networks, like ACC Network, SEC Network, and NBA TV. Sling Orange starts at $40 monthly.

Sling Blue also starts at $40 a month but comes with more entertainment and news networks. You’ll get E!, MSNBC, TLC, truTV, and more. The Sling Blue Sports Extra package comes with NHL Network and Fox Sports 2. If you can’t choose between the two, the Sling Orange & Blue plan costs $55 per month and includes content from both plans. 

Sling TV can offer local networks only in certain areas, meaning that most subscribers won’t get Fox, NBC, CBS, or any other local channel. Sling TV plans that offer local networks cost a little more than the aforementioned prices. 

Sling TV comes with an on-demand library, as well, but it isn’t the most exciting. You won’t find tons of choices, but there’s at least one solid movie or TV option in every genre. Sling TV comes with 50 hours of DVR storage to help you augment the lack of options. 

DIRECTV STREAM vs. Sling TV: Which is cheaper?

Sling Orange, Sling Blue, and Sling Orange & Blue all cost less than DIRECTV STREAM. For less than the cost of a DIRECTV STREAM Entertainment plan, you can purchase Sling Orange & Blue and at least one add-on. You can pause, suspend, or cancel either service at any time. 

Are streaming services worth it?

Traditional cable or satellite TV plans can be costly and excessive — no one wants to pay extra money for channels they don’t want or need. Streaming services let you pick and choose the networks you want more easily and often for a lower price. 

Final thoughts

Sling TV and DIRECTV STREAM are contenders in two different weight classes. DIRECTV STREAM offers a large number of networks but at a much higher price point across the board. Sling TV is more focused in its channel offerings and budget-minded in its pricing. 

If Sling TV offers all the live TV networks you desire, then it’s likely the better option. Why pay more if you don’t need to? Services like DIRECTV STREAM creep closer to traditional cable plan prices and channels lists. 


Is Sling TV better than DIRECTV STREAM?

If you can find everything you need on Sling TV, then it’s a much better option than DIRECTV STREAM based on price alone. If you can’t find everything you need on the Sling TV channels list, then DIRECTV STREAM could have what you’re looking for.

Does DIRECTV STREAM have good quality?

The majority of DIRECTV STREAM content streams in either 720p or 1080p, and you’ll find the streaming options labeled “Best, Better, or Good” in the DIRECTV STREAM app. DIRECTV STREAM doesn’t yet offer any content in 4K.

What streaming service is comparable to DIRECTV STREAM?

Streaming services like FuboTV, YouTube TV, and Hulu + Live TV are comparable to DIRECTV STREAM. These streaming services offer similar channel counts at prices similar to DIRECTV STREAM.

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