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Verizon Fios TV vs. DIRECTV STREAM

Our experts cut deep into these TV providers’ prices and contracts to save you from a bad deal.

Best picture quality

Price: $65.00–$105.00/mo.
Channel count: 125–425+
Max DVR storage: 50–200 hrs.

Free premium channel trials

Price: $69.99–$139.99/mo.
Channel count: 65–140+
Max DVR storage: 20 hrs.–Unlimited (stores for 90 days)

Data effective as of post date. Not all offers available in all areas.

Neither Verizon Fios TV nor DIRECTV STREAM is the perfect TV service. Like most other live TV streaming services, DIRECTV STREAM requires an internet connection and streams live at only 720p. Verizon Fios TV’s landline service has a much better picture quality but comes with oodles of equipment costs.

If you have to choose one, we say go with Verizon Fios TV. It will probably cost you just the same as DIRECTV STREAM, but it looks better and has more flexibility in choosing the channels you want.

Verizon Fios TV vs. DIRECTV STREAM pros and cons

Verizon Fios TV

Stunning picture quality
Tons of channels
Lots of equipment fees

DIRECTV STREAM

Premium channels included with top package
A streaming device included
Live shows stream in 720p

Compare Verizon Fios TV and DIRECTV STREAM head to head

Price Channel count DVR storage Simultaneous recordings Details
$65.00–$105.00/mo. 125–425+ 50–200 hrs. 2–12 View plans
$69.99–$139.99/mo. 65–140+ 20 hrs.–Unlimited (stores for 90 days) Unlimited View plans

Data effective as of post date. Not all offers available in all areas.

Sometimes numbers are a great way to understand what a service can offer you. And sometimes—like this time—there are more numbers under those first numbers that spoil the whole thing.

On the surface, Verizon Fios TV costs less and has more channels. But what you don’t see here is that Verizon Fios TV comes with tons of equipment costs (including a router—even if you’re not getting internet). And that enormous channel lineup is inflated by a truly untenable number of duplicated SD and HD channels.

DIRECTV STREAM packages are more expensive than Verizon Fios TV’s, but don’t necessarily offer more value. Sure, its largest package comes with all the premium channels included, but you can add those to Verizon Fios TV’s biggest package and still pay about $10 per month less.

And those unlimited DVR hours from DIRECTV STREAM? Recordings will delete themselves after 90 days anyway. Horrible.

No siree, we do not like either provider’s sneaky costs and shortchanges. We try not to be downers around here, but we recommend you consider Verizon Fios TV only if you’re bundling it with internet—at least then the router charges make sense.

Or, if DIRECTV STREAM’s streaming appeals to you, try just about any other streaming service. There are so many good ones out there, and they won’t tie you down with contracts.

If you want to see what other traditional TV services are in your area, we can help you out. Enter your zip code below, and we’ll pull up your options.

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Verizon Fios TV vs. DIRECTV STREAM prices and plans

Verizon Fios TV may have only three plans to DIRECTV STREAM’s five, but they pack a punch. You’ll get lots of HD channels with Verizon Fios TV, something DIRECTV STREAM can’t offer for live TV.

Verizon Fios TV pricing and plans

Price Channel count Popular channels Details
$65.00/mo. 125+ Choose your 5 favorite channels and Verizon builds a package for you. View plan
$85.00/mo. 300+ ESPN, Hallmark Channel, TLC, and Discovery channel View plan
$105.00/mo. 425+ Disney Junior, DIY Network, Pac-12 Network, and SHOWTIME® View plan

Data effective as of post date. Not all offers available in all areas.

Your Fios TV package is a lot more flexible than most other TV packages you’ll see these days. You pick five channels to get, and Verizon fills up the rest of your channel lineup with similar channels. It’s a great choice if you know what you like.

Or, if you’re struggling to choose one package out of the three, Verizon Fios also has a special Fios TV Test Drive package. For $65 per month, you have 60 days with access to all 425+ channels that Verizon Fios TV carries. Watch whatever you want, and at the end of the trial period, Verizon recommends a plan that fits how you watch.

DIRECTV STREAM pricing and plans

Price Channel count Popular channels Details
$69.99/mo. 65+ ESPN, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, MSNBC, and TLC View plan
$84.99/mo. 90+ Nick Jr., Travel Channel, UniMás, and HBO Max (3-mo. subscription) View plan
$94.99/mo. 130+ DIY Network, Nat Geo WILD, Golf Channel, and HBO Max (3-mo. subscription) View plan
$139.99/mo. 140+ CINEMAX®, STARZ®, SHOWTIME®, and HBO Max View plan

Data effective as of post date. Not all offers available in all areas.

If you want DIRECTV STREAM and you’re not sure which package to get, go with CHOICE™. It comes with all the basic channels, plus a few more family favorites and a three-month HBO Max subscription (we think HBO Max is the bomb).

You won’t have to worry about extra equipment costs with DIRECTV STREAM, but its plans cost more than Verizon Fios TV’s to begin with. We love to come up with odd-ball suggestions on who might want an underdog service like this, but beyond the HBO Max trial, DIRECTV STREAM is so lackluster that we’re coming up blank.

DVRs

Both Verizon Fios TV and DIRECTV STREAM offer DVR service. Verizon Fios TV attaches many hidden fees to its equipment, so expect that to add up. DIRECTV STREAM’s unlimited cloud DVR doesn’t cost much, and it has some cool features, but your recordings last only 90 days.

Fios TV One vs. DIRECTV STREAM Cloud DVR

DVR
Fios TV One
DIRECTV STREAM Cloud DVR
Price Storage Simultaneous recordings Video quality Details
$8.00–$42.00/mo. 50–200 hrs. 2–12 Up to 4K Ultra HD View plans
Included–$10.00/mo. 20 hrs.–Unlimited (stores for 90 days) Unlimited 1080p View plans

Fios TV One

There’s a big price range for the Fios TV One. What you’ll pay depends on which TV package you get (the bigger the package, the more equipment discounts) and which DVR service you sign up for.

If you get Your Fios TV, you’ll have to pay $12 per month for each HD set-top box. With the More Fios TV and the Most Fios TV, you get your first set-top box included, with all additional boxes costing the regular price.

Once you have your HD set-top box, you can sign up for a DVR service. Here are the specs and basic prices, but Verizon gives you a discount with The Most Fios TV package:

  • Standard DVR ($12/mo.)—watch on 1 TV at once, record 2 shows at once, store 50 hrs. HD
  • Enhanced DVR ($20/mo.)—watch on 5 TVs at once, record 6 shows at once, store 100 hrs. HD
  • Premium DVR ($30/mo.)—watch on 10 TVs at once, record 12 shows at once, store 200 hrs. HD

If you have more than 5 TVs, you won’t be able to sign up online for that many HD set-top boxes at once. You’ll need to call a Verizon agent to add them.

DIRECTV STREAM Cloud DVR

With the DIRECTV STREAM Cloud DVR, you don’t have to worry about all those extra fees Verizon Fios puts on its equipment. You don’t even need an HD set-top box to watch DIRECTV STREAM—you can bring your own streaming device or rent one from DIRECTV STREAM for $5 a month.

Another cool trick with the DIRECTV STREAM Cloud DVR is that you can record as many shows as you want at once. That will really come in handy when 20 of your favorite shows are playing at the same time.

What we don’t love is all the limits DIRECTV STREAM imposes on your cloud DVR recordings.

You get only 20 hours of HD recordings included unless you pay an additional $10 a month for unlimited storage. Plus, all DIRECTV STREAM Cloud DVR recordings stay for just 90 days. And if you’re trying to record an entire series, good luck.

After 30 episodes from the same show, DIRECTV STREAM starts deleting your earlier recordings, even if you recorded them in the last 90 days.

Woof—DIRECTV STREAM’s cloud DVR was its chance to shine, and it totally biffed it.

Installation

Verizon Fios TV installation costs a whoppin’ $99—unless you order online, in which case installation comes included. You can opt for a professional to install your TV equipment or do it yourself if you’re handy (and your house already has fiber wiring).

Aside from arming your TV with a streaming device (and making sure you’ve got an internet connection), DIRECTV STREAM doesn’t require any installation. Just download the DIRECTV STREAM app, and you’re good to go. At least DIRECTV STREAM wins one round.

Streaming apps

While DIRECTV STREAM is available only as a live TV streaming service, Verizon Fios TV offers both traditional TV service for your home entertainment and an app for on-the-go streaming. Nice flexibility, Verizon.

Fios T‪V app

If you’ve got an iPhone, you can download the Fios TV app on the Apple App Store, where it currently has a 4.5 out of 5.0 rating. On Google Play, the app has 3.8 out of 5.0. Or you can get it on Amazon for Android, where it has 4.2 out of 5.0. Those high scores put the Fios TV app in third place for the top three traditional TV streaming apps.

DIRECTV STREAM app

Most major streaming devices have DIRECTV STREAM available in their app stores. For your mobile devices, find DIRECTV STREAM on the Apple App Store (4.4/5.0), Google Play (3.7/5.0), and Amazon for Android (3.9/5.0).

Internet bundles

You can get internet from Verizon Fios, but DIRECTV STREAM doesn’t currently offer internet bundles. While Verizon Fios doesn’t offer bundling discounts, its internet packages usually come with promotional gifts, so you can still count on some free stuff if you get TV and internet together.

Check out our internet deals page to see what freebies you can expect from Verizon Fios right now—we update this page every month.

Final take: Is Verizon Fios TV or DIRECTV STREAM better?

In the contest between Verizon Fios TV and DIRECTV STREAM, Verizon Fios’s high-definition picture and flexible channel lineups win out. But we’re not fans of either service because they both come with lots of hidden fees.

We recommend you check out other traditional TV or streaming TV options before you settle.

See all your options

Not sure if Verizon Fios TV or DIRECTV STREAM have what you want? We don’t blame you—there are better options out there. Enter your zip code below, and we’ll show you every TV provider in your area.

Please enter a valid zip code.

Verizon Fios TV vs. DIRECTV STREAM FAQ

Is DIRECTV STREAM or Verizon better?

For TV, Verizon is better than DIRECTV STREAM. Verizon Fios TV has the most channels, better picture quality, and no contracts.

Is AT&T TV NOW going away?

AT&T TV NOW is now DIRECTV STREAM. This live TV streaming service has changed names (and prices) a bunch of times, but it’s still relatively the same service.

What's the difference between AT&T TV and AT&T TV NOW?

Both services have been replaced by DIRECTV STREAM. Originally, AT&T TV replaced AT&T U-verse as AT&T’s primary TV offering. It was a live TV streaming service, just like AT&T TV NOW was. However, AT&T TV required a two-year contract for the best prices, and AT&T TV NOW didn’t have any contracts.

Can you stream DIRECTV STREAM?

DIRECTV STREAM is wholly a streaming service. You can watch it on most streaming devices (including your phone) with the DIRECTV STREAM app (available in your streaming device app store, Apple App Store, or Google Play).

Methodology

Our experts carefully compared Verizon Fios TV and DIRECTV STREAM’s prices, plans, and specifications to each other and dozens of traditional TV and live TV streaming services. We combed through the sign-up process to find every hidden fee, and we listened to what customers are saying about their service.

To learn more, check out our full explanation of how we rank on CableTV.com.