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DIRECTV STREAM vs. YouTube TV: Best Option 2024

directv stream vs. youtube tv

Which service wins best option in the debate of DIRECTV STREAM vs. YouTube TV? Television audiences of a certain age will likely remember seeing commercials for DIRECTV back when it was just a satellite TV provider.

Rather than let the new names in streaming, like YouTube TV, have all the fun, DIRECTV has taken its satellite channel offerings and transferred them to a web-based streaming platform, DIRECTV STREAM. So in a nutshell, DIRECTV STREAM is the same DIRECTV you (may) know and love just via the internet rather than a satellite connection, making it a competitive live tv streaming service.

YouTube, like DIRECTV, is a name with a pedigree. This web-based video giant has taken its platform a step further and now offers live TV networks in addition to all your web-based YouTube favorites. The different reputations of these two companies mirror the differences in what they offer — or, in some cases, how they offer it. 

DIRECTV STREAM and YouTube TV compared 

On-demand libraryYesYes
Add-on channelsYesYes
Free trialYesYes

How to choose the best streaming service for you

Choosing the best streaming service to suit your viewing desires first requires that you know what channels you’re looking for. Is sports streaming important? Or maybe access to on-demand libraries. Once you know what your priorities are in that regard, you can start checking your network needs against what each streaming service offers. 

A deeper look into DIRECTV STREAM

DIRECTV STREAM offers four different plans, each with more channels than the last. The Entertainment package starts at $79.99 per month (for the first three months) and gets you 75-plus channels, including ESPN, ESPN2, and Fox Sports 1 (FS1) for sports fans. Spanish-speaking households might enjoy the Óptimo Más plan for $79.99 per month, which grants users 100-plus channels like ESPN Deportes and Fox Deportes.

As you progress through the plans DIRECTV STREAM offers, more networks become available. Starting at $108.99 per month (for the first three months), the Choice plan nets you 105-plus channels: everything in the Entertainment plan and more, such as Big Ten Network, ESPNU, MLB Network, NBA TV, and NFL Network. At $119.99 per month (for the first three months), the Ultimate plan gets you everything from the Choice plan and, once again, even more networks — like Fox Sports 2 and NHL Network for sports fans. 

DIRECTV STREAM’s Premier plan offers 150-plus channels, including HBO Family, HBO Comedy, SHOWTIME networks, STARZ, and more, for $164.99 per month (for the first three months). This makes DIRECTV STREAM one of the most expensive streaming services available, but it offers a veritable ton of content for what you pay.

As far as add-on packages go, expect most of the standard cable fare. HBO Max, Cinemax, STARZ, SHOWTIME, and more are all available to add to your DIRECTV STREAM plan. Find out more in our DIRECTV STREAM review

A deeper look into YouTube TV

YouTube TV is much simpler than DIRECTV STREAM in regards to the number of plans on offer: YouTube TV offers a Base Plan and a Spanish Plan for $72.99 and $34.99, respectively. The Base Plan nets you 100-plus channels, including networks like ABC, Fox, CBS, ESPN, FS1, and even more.

Sports fans will be happy to see NFL Network, ESPNU, TNT, and NBA TV included in the Base Plan. Optional add-on networks include channels like NFL RedZone, beIN SPORTS, and Fox Soccer Plus for sports fans.

As with DIRECTV STREAM, you can add HBO, SHOWTIME, and STARZ to your YouTube TV plan. If you’d prefer, you can bundle HBO Max instead of the HBO channel.

If you live for your local sports teams, you’ll get a robust lineup of local networks. You won’t find yourself out of the loop in your own community because you don’t use a traditional TV service — you’ll get the same local news and sports as anyone else in your area.

DIRECTV STREAM vs. YouTube TV: Which is cheaper?

DIRECTV STREAM offers one plan (Entertainment) that is cheaper than the YouTube TV Base Plan. But after the first three months, the Entertainment plan’s monthly price increases to $79.99, a couple dollars more than YouTube TV’s Base Plan. YouTube TV also offers its Spanish Plan for less than DIRECTV STREAM.

You can cancel your YouTube TV plan whenever you like for no extra charge. When you cancel your DIRECTV STREAM plan, you will incur an early termination fee if you signed a contract for a specific length of service.

Are streaming services worth it?

Streaming services offer the same content you get with live TV with a smattering of modern features that improve the live TV experience. Many streaming services cost less than traditional cable TV plans, as well. 

Final thoughts

When you compare them, DIRECTV STREAM and YouTube TV offer similar services. They both offer similar channel lists that include local channels and big-name sports networks like ESPN, NBA TV, and NFL Network. Both offer all the standard cable plan entertainment fare, including similar premium add-ons like HBO and STARZ.

The biggest difference is in price. If you can get every network you need with YouTube TV, then there is no reason to pay more for a DIRECTV STREAM plan. However, it’s worth the higher monthly fee if you need the extra channels that DIRECTV STREAM offers.


Is DIRECTV STREAM better than YouTube TV?

DIRECTV STREAM offers more channels than YouTube TV but is more expensive. DIRECTV STREAM also offers channels that YouTube TV doesn’t.

What’s the downside of YouTube TV?

YouTube TV doesn’t include as many channels as some DIRECTV STREAM plans. If you need one of those channels, you’re better off with DIRECTV STREAM.

What’s comparable to DIRECTV STREAM?

YouTube TV is comparable to DIRECTV STREAM. Other streaming services, like Hulu + Live TV, are also comparable to DIRECTV STREAM.

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