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DIRECTV STREAM Review 2024: Cost, Plans, and More

Our experts have spent hundreds of hours researching and testing DIRECTV STREAM and found that it's a good deal for rookie cord-cutters.

Most streaming sports channels

Price: $69.99–$159.99/mo. (plus tax)

Channels: 75–150+

Cloud DVR storage: Unlimited

Streams: 3–unlimited

Data is as of time of post. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Is DIRECTV STREAM good?

DIRECTV STREAM is a good live TV streaming service, but it’s pricier than most of the others we’ve reviewed at CableTV.com. Still, if you like the fat channel lineups of satellite TV and don’t mind an equally fat monthly bill, DIRECTV STREAM could be the luxury live TV streamer for you.

DIRECTV STREAM is the latest in a long line of rebrands for AT&T/DIRECTV’s live TV streaming service, formerly known as AT&T TV, AT&T TV NOW, DIRECTV NOW, AT&T Watch TV, AT&T U-verse, and probably some others we missed over a lunch break. It’s been a long streaming journey.

As with its previous makeovers, DIRECTV STREAM is less of an improvement on its live TV streaming service than a continuation with a new skin. It still delivers some of the highest channel counts in streaming, but it also costs about the same as satellite TV service—which kind of skirts the unspoken “streaming is cheaper than traditional TV” rule.

Pros

  • Large channel counts
  • No contracts
  • Free premium channel trials
  • Unlimited Cloud DVR storage
  • First upgraded Gemini device included

Cons

  • Expensive plans

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DIRECTV STREAM deals and promotions

DIRECTV STREAM usually offers a decent amount of sign-up deals and promotions. Here are its most vibrant deals:

  • Free premium channels: New DIRECTV STREAM subscribers can get free premium channels, including MaxTM, SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, CINEMAX, and MGM+TM, on select plans for three months.

DIRECTV STREAM plans and pricing

Plan Price* Channels Streams Cloud DVR Details
DIRECTV STREAM ENTERTAINMENT $69.99/mo. (plus tax) 75+ 3 (unlimited on home network) Unlimited View plans
DIRECTV STREAM CHOICE $89.99/mo. (plus tax) 105+ 3 (unlimited on home network) Unlimited View plans
DIRECTV STREAM ULTIMATE $114.99/mo. (plus tax) 140+ 3 (unlimited on home network) Unlimited View plans
DIRECTV STREAM PREMIER $159.99/mo. (plus tax) 150+ 3 (unlimited on home network) Unlimited View plans
DIRECTV STREAM ÓPTIMO MÁS™ $74.99/mo. (plus tax) 100+ 3 (unlimited on home network) Unlimited View plans

*2-year low price guarantee.
Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

DIRECTV STREAM’s plans mostly mirror those of DIRECTV satellite—the difference being that DIRECTV Stream requires no annual contracts or extra equipment (like a receiver box or roof dish). It does offer the option of renting a branded streaming box (a leftover from the AT&T TV era) for an additional $5 a month, but we’d recommend using or buying your own streaming device.

DIRECTV STREAM vs. the competition

Service Price Channels Multiple streams Cloud DVR Details
DIRECTV STREAM $69.99–$159.99/mo. 75–150+ *3–unlimited Unlimited (9 mos.) View plans
YouTube TV $72.99/mo. 100+ 3 Unlimited (9 mos.) View plans

Read YouTube TV Review
Hulu + Live TV $76.99–$89.99/mo. 85+ 2 Unlimited (9 mos.) View plans

Read Hulu + Live TV Review
Philo $25.00/mo. 70+ 3 Unlimited (1 yr.) View plans

Read Philo Review
fuboTV $32.99–$99.99/mo. 65–260+ 10 1,000 hrs. View plans

Read fuboTV Review
Sling TV $40.00–$55.00/mo. 30–45+ 1–4 50 hrs. View plans

Read Sling TV Review
Vidgo $69.99–$99.99/mo. 110–250+ 3 20 hrs. View plans

Read Vidgo Review

*Unlimited in-home streams; limited to 3 concurrent out-of-home streams. Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Apart from high channel counts, there’s not much that elevates DIRECTV STREAM over the rest of the live TV streaming pack. The closest comparison would be fuboTV, which features similarly loaded channel lineups and pricey plans—but DIRECTV STREAM includes unlimited Cloud DVR storage.

DIRECTV STREAM channels and add-ons

As we’ve said, DIRECTV STREAM features a lot of channels—but the majority of the channels you’ll probably want reside in the higher-priced plans. On the upside, DIRECTV STREAM’s add-on package choices are strong.

Live channel lineups

Channel ENTERTAINMENT CHOICE ULTIMATE PREMIER
Local channels*
A Wealth of Entertainment
A&E
ACC Network
AccuWeather
AMC
American Heroes Channel
Animal Planet
aspireTV
AXS TV
BabyFirst HD
BBC America
BBC World News
BET
BET Her
Big Ten Network
Bloomberg TV
Boomerang
Bounce TV
Bravo
Cartoon Network HD
CBS Sports Network
Cheddar News
CINEMAX® $11.00/mo. $11.00/mo. $11.00/mo.
Cleo
CMT
CNBC
CNBC World
CNN
CNN en Español
CNN International
Comedy Central
Comedy.tv
Cooking Channel
COZI
C-SPAN
C-SPAN2
Daystar
Destination America
DIRECTV 4K
DIRECTV 4K Live
DIRECTV 4K Live 2
Discovery
Discovery Family
Discovery Life
Disney Channel
Disney Junior
Disney XD
E!
EarthxTV
ESPN
ESPN2
ESPNEWS
ESPNU
Family Movie Classics
FanDuel TV
FM
Food Network
Fox Business Network
Fox News
Fox Regional Sports Networks
Fox Soul
Fox Weather
FS1
FS2
Freeform
FuelTV
Fuse
FX
FXM
FXX
FYI
Galavisión
Game Show Network
GET TV
Golf Channel
Great American Family
The Grio
GRIT
Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
Heroes & Icons
HGTV
HISTORY
HLN
Home Shopping Network (HSN)
IFC
Investigation Discovery (ID)
ION
Jewelry Television
Justice Central
Lifetime
LIfetime Movie Network (LMN)
LOGO HD
Longhorn Network —
Magnolia Network
MaxTM (formerly HBO Max) $15.99/mo. $15.99/mo. $15.99/mo.
MeTV
MGM+ $6.00/mo. $6.00/mo. $6.00/mo.
MLB Network
MOTOR TREND
MTV
MTV2
MTV Classic
Nat Geo WILD
NBA TV
NewsMax
NewsNation
NFL Network
NFL RedZonew
NHL Network
Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite
Nick Jr.
Nicktoons
Ovation
OWN
Oxygen True Crime
Paramount Network
PBS Kids
Pop
QVC
QVC2
QVC3
REELZ
Revolt
RFD-TV
Science
Scientology Network
SEC Network
SHOP LC
ShortsTV
SHOWTIME® $11.00/mo. $11.00/mo. $11.00/mo.
Smithsonian Channel
SportsGrid
Sportsman Channel
STARZ® $11.00/mo. $11.00/mo. $11.00/mo.*
SundanceTV
Syfy
Tastemade
Tastemade Home
Tastemade Travel
TBS
TCM
TeenNick
Tennis Channel HD
TLC
TNT
Travel Channel
truTV
TUDN
TV Land
TV One
UniMás
Universal Kids
Universo (NBC)
Univisión (Este)
UPtv
USA Network
VH1
VICE
WE tv
Weather Channel
YES Network

*Availability varies by area. Data effective as of post date.
* Some STARZ channels are included in ULTIMATE

YouTube TV can give you more live TV channels for about the same price as DIRECTV STREAM’s cheapest plan, ENTERTAINMENT. But, if you’re looking to splurge, DIRECTV STREAM’s PREMIER gets you over 140 channels and even includes HBO, CINEMAX, SHOWTIME, and STARZ.

Sports channels

Channel ENTERTAINMENT CHOICE ULTIMATE PREMIER
ACC Network
Big Ten Network
CBS Sports Network
ESPN
ESPN2
ESPNEWS
ESPNU
FanDuel TV
FS1
FS2
Fuel TV
Golf Channel
MLB Network
MOTOR TREND
NBA TV
NFL Network
NFL RedZone
NHL Network
Pursuit Channel
SportsGrid
Sportsman Channel
Tennis Channel HD
TUDN

Data effective as of post date.

If you’re a serious sports fan, DIRECTV STREAM’S ENTERTAINMENT plan probably isn’t going to cut it—you’ll want CHOICE or above. Also, DIRECTV STREAM carries more RSNs (regional sports networks) than most live TV streaming services, something to consider if you’re all about the home team(s). (Note: your billing location determines which RSNs you receive.)

The one sports bummer here: NFL SUNDAY TICKET is now exclusive to YouTube TV and not available through DIRECTV STREAM.

Local channels

Channel* ENTERTAINMENT CHOICE ULTIMATE PREMIER
ABC
CBS
FOX
NBC
The CW
PBS
Telemundo

*Availability varies by area. Data effective as of post date.

Just like its fraternal satellite twin DIRECTV, DIRECTV STREAM carries most local channels in most areas. That’s not bad, considering other live TV streaming services don’t carry many (or, in some cases, any) local TV stations affiliated with ABC, CBS, FOX, or NBC.

Premium add-on channels

Premium channel ENTERTAINMENT CHOICE ULTIMATE PREMIER
Max (formerly HBO Max) $15.99/mo. $15.99/mo. $15.99/mo. Included
CINEMAX $11.00/mo. $11.00/mo. $11.00/mo. Included
MGM+ $6.00/mo. $6.00/mo. $6.00/mo. Included
SHOWTIME $11.00/mo. $11.00/mo. $11.00/mo. Included
STARZ $11.00/mo. $11.00/mo. $11.00/mo.* Included

Data effective as of post date.
* Some STARZ channels are included in ULTIMATE

DIRECTV STREAM offers the big five premium add-on channels: HBO Max, CINEMAX, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and MGM+. YouTube TV is the only live TV streaming service to offer all five of these add-ons.

DIRECTV STREAM specs and features

After its lackluster debut two years ago, DIRECTV STREAM has finally brought its features up to par with streaming industry favorites YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV. (‘Bout time!) We’ll break down everything from DIRECTV STREAM Cloud DVR storage to compatible devices below.

Cloud DVR

DIRECTV STREAM now offers unlimited Cloud DVR storage for nine months. Competitors like YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV also feature unlimited Cloud DVR storage for nine months, so don’t let recording all your favorite shows tie you to DIRECTV STREAM. You’ve got options, dear reader.

Simultaneous streams

Service Simultaneous streams Within home network
DIRECTV STREAM 3 Unlimited

DIRECTV STREAM allows for three simultaneous streams outside of your home network, and unlimited within it. If you somehow have dozens of TV watchers in your house, we strongly suggest upgrading your internet service—DIRECTV STREAM says you’ll need at least 8 Mbps of speed to stream smoothly, but we suggest at least 25 Mbps.

Compatible devices

Device DIRECTV STREAM
Amazon Fire Cube, Stick, TV
Android phones, tablets
Android TV
Apple TV (4th gen.)
Apple TV 4K
Chromecast, Chromecast with Google TV
Echo Show
iPhone, iPad
LG TVs (select models)
Nintendo Switch
NVIDIA SHIELD Pro TV
PC, Mac web browsers
PlayStation 3, 4, 5
Roku Ultra, Express, Premiere, Stick, TV
Samsung TVs (select models)
TiVo Stream
Wii
Xbox One

Data effective as of post date.

Like AT&T TV before it, DIRECTV STREAM doesn’t require a provider-supplied streaming box—but it’ll gladly rent it to you for an extra $5 a month. We recommend using the DIRECTV STREAM app with your own streaming device instead; rental fees add up over time.

Video and audio quality

DIRECTV STREAM, like other live TV streaming services, streams live at 720p HD, with on-demand content available in 1080p or Blu-ray quality. DIRECTV STREAM doesn’t support 4K Ultra HD, either live or on-demand.

DIRECTV STREAM channel guide
DIRECTV STREAM channel guide.

DIRECTV STREAM’s audio feed is standard 2.0 stereo, with some available in Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound. Sorry, no Dolby Atmos here.

Is DIRECTV STREAM worth it?

Like its AT&T predecessors, DIRECTV STREAM operates more like a standard satellite TV service than a live TV streaming service, in both performance and price—emphasis on price. All that’s missing is the roof dish and the two-year contract (good riddance).

We’d say DIRECTV STREAM isn’t worth it for experienced, budget-conscious cord-cutters, but more for streaming newbies who want to switch from satellite TV painlessly: DIRECTV STREAM looks and functions almost identically to DIRECTV, right down to the interface and channel selection.

DIRECTV STREAM FAQ

Is DIRECTV STREAM different from AT&T TV?

DIRECTV STREAM is the new name of AT&T TV (previously AT&T TV NOW, and DIRECTV NOW before that). DIRECTV STREAM’s features, plans, and pricing are the same as AT&T TV’s were, for now.

How much does DIRECTV STREAM cost?

DIRECTV STREAM offers four plans: ENTERTAINMENT at $69.99 a month (75+ channels), CHOICE at $84.99 a month (105+ channels), ULTIMATE at $114.99 a month (140+ channels), and PREMIER at $159.99 a month (150+ channels).

Can you stream DIRECTV STREAM on a smart TV?

Yes, the DIRECTV STREAM app is compatible with 2017 and newer models of Samsung smart TVs. It’s also available on Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, Android TV, and Chromecast with Google TV devices.

What is the difference between DIRECTV and DIRECTV STREAM?

Content-wise, there’s not much that separates DIRECTV from DIRECTV STREAM. But DIRECTV is a satellite TV service with a two-year contract and dish installation, while DIRECTV STREAM is a live TV streaming service that requires no long-term commitments or bulky equipment. We explain these differences in more detail on our DIRECTV STREAM vs. DIRECTV page.

Methodology

Our experts employed hours of hands-on testing and eyes-on viewing, rating DIRECTV STREAM on bang for your buck, reliability, features, and customer satisfaction. Then we matched it up against other live TV streaming services head to head to give a clearer picture of its strengths and weaknesses. For more information on our methodology, check out our How We Rank page.

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