4 Things To Know Before You Sign Up for DIRECTV STREAM

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If you’re tired of paying a big cable bill each month, you could save some money by cutting the cord and subscribing to DIRECTV Stream (formerly AT&T TV) in 2022.

This live TV streaming service is one of the most expensive options on the market, but it may be the closest experience to traditional cable or satellite TV for cord-cutters who want to maintain that feeling while shifting to streaming.

Feeling the heat from popular streaming services such as YouTube TV, Hulu +Live TV and Sling TV, DIRECTV has leveraged legacy satellite TV technology into creating a competitor in this space.

But is it good enough? Are its prices palatable, especially in light of the latest price hike that took effect in late January 2022? And will you be able to avoid all the fees that DIRECTV tries to hook you with along the way?

In this article, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about DIRECTV’s live television subscription service.


November 2022 Update:

  • DIRECTV STREAM’s “Movies Extra” add-on package added ISNP in November 2022.
  • DIRECTV STREAM’s latest new customer promotion in November 2022 includes $10 off per month for the first three months of a subscription by using “SCORE” as a promo code. This is a total potential savings of $30.
  • The new user promotion that offered three months of several free premium networks with the Choice or Ultimate packages appears to have expired.
  • Just in time for football season, DIRECTV STREAM has made some additions to the service for sports fans. The “team recordings” function will record the games for your favorite teams, and it will automatically extend the recording to ensure you get the full game if it runs past the scheduled time slot. “My Team Carousel,” “Team Pages” and “Team Matchup Pages” are other functions for enhanced in-app viewing.

What Is DIRECTV STREAM? Team Clark Reviews the Live TV Streaming Service

DIRECTV STREAM

DIRECTV STREAM is a live TV streaming service offered by AT&T, which has been responsible for popular cable television (U-VERSE) and satellite television (DIRECTV) products in recent years. This service previous was known as AT&T TV until a rebranding in August 2021.

While this service does away with many of the junk fees that you might have come to expect from AT&T cable or satellite brands, you’re going to find that this service is on the expensive side of the live TV streaming market.

The cheapest package, branded as the “Entertainment Package”, offers roughly 80 channels for a monthly base price of $69.99. That’s higher than top competitors YouTube TV and Sling TV.

And it only gets more expensive from there with a package menu that goes as high as $149.99 per month for the Premier option.

The pitch from DIRECTV STREAM is that you’re getting a more premium streaming experience with some of its packages, which include channels that many other streaming services don’t carry.

In fact, due to contract disputes with other streaming services, many customers may find that DIRECTV STREAM is the only streaming option for the regional sports networks that carry the games of their favorite MLB, NHL and NBA teams.

Read on for my detailed analysis of DIRECTV STREAM’s channel lineup, cloud DVR offering, supported devices and more.


Table of Contents: 


1. What Channels Do You Get With DIRECTV STREAM? 

With DIRECTV STREAM, the questions you’ll be asking about channels are probably a little different from those you might about a cheaper streaming service.

Instead of, “Does this service offer my favorite channel?” you’re probably more likely to ask, “Can I find the channels I like in a DIRECTV STREAM package and still save money?”

DIRECTV STREAM is not short on channels. But with four subscription tiers that start at $70 per month and go up from there, things can start to add up pretty quickly.

If you’re looking to use DIRECTV STREAM as a streaming service because it offers the regional sports network that broadcasts the games of your favorite team, it’s worth noting that you’ll probably have to upgrade to the Choice Package ($90 per month effective Jan. 23, 2022) to get those channels.

DIRECTV STREAM carries local channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX affiliates) and regional sports networks (Bally Sports South, YES Network, etc.), but you’ll want to verify exactly what’s available in your area by entering your ZIP code on the DIRECTV STREAM website.

It’s worth noting that you will be eligible to get HBO Max, SHOWTIME, STARZ, EPIX and Cinemax at no additional charge for the first three months of your new subscription. DIRECTV STREAM previously offered a free year of HBO Max, but that’s no longer available.

Below is a list of channels offered on each DIRECTV STREAM subscription tier. If you want to compare DIRECTV STREAM’s channel lineup to other streaming TV services, see our side-by-side chart or use our live TV streaming channel tool.

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Available Premium Subscriptions

You may have noticed that DIRECTV STREAM does not offer add-on channel packages like some of its competitors. Rather than one base subscription level like YouTube TV or Hulu + Live TV have, DIRECTV STREAM works from a four-tier subscription menu.

But you can add premium channel subscriptions to your DIRECTV STREAM package.

Here are some of the premium options available:

The Premier package, which is the most expensive, includes all of the above at no additional charge.


2. Does DIRECTV STREAM Come With DVR Capabilities? 

With an entry price of $70 per month, one would hope that DIRECTV STREAM would offer a great cloud DVR solution included with the subscription.

And the service is delivering on that in 2022. After initially offering just 20 hours of cloud DVR functionality with each package, DIRECTV STREAM now offers unlimited DVR space.

Here’s a look at how DIRECTV STREAM’s cloud DVR storage space stacks up against some of its top competitors.


3. How Do You Stream DIRECTV STREAM?

One of the biggest perks of cutting the cord and opting into a service like DIRECTV STREAM is the variety of ways in which you can enjoy the content.

Not only can you move seamlessly from device to device, but you can also take your recorded content with you thanks to the portability of the cloud DVR.

You can stream DIRECTV STREAM on your smartphone, tablet, computer or your TV. All you need is high-speed internet access to enjoy.

If you’re planning to watch on your television, you’ll need a streaming device like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV stick.

Here’s a list of compatible devices according to DIRECTV STREAM’s website:

  • Amazon Fire TV devices
  • Apple TV
  • Roku devices
  • Chromecast with Google TV
  • Android phones and tablets
  • ioS (Apple) phones and tablets
  • Samsung smart TVs

DIRECTV STREAM also sells its own streaming device that is customized for its service. It uses Google technology for voice commands and has one-click options for accessing your AT&T channel guide and cloud DVR.

Be careful! This could be a real money trap.

The device costs $120 upfront or $5 a month for 24 months.

DIRECTTV stream device sales page

This is an unnecessary device that can rope you into a pseudo-contract if you choose to pay for it monthly.

Remember: One of the huge benefits of switching from cable or satellite to streaming is getting AWAY from that type of arrangement.

Paying out of pocket for a device like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV stick is not only significantly cheaper, but it keeps you from any obligation to AT&T in the process.


4. Does DIRECTV STREAM Allow for Multiple Streams? 

If you are considering cutting the cord and have a household with more than a couple of viewers, you’re probably concerned with how many people can watch your streaming service at once.

This is one area in which DIRECTV STREAM does shine.

No matter which package you choose, you’re going to get access to up to 20 simultaneous streams at once on your home network. If you’re away from your home network, you still get three concurrent streams.

Each DIRECTV STREAM account is allowed one user profiles for customization of content.

Here’s a look at how the simultaneous streams and user profiles stack up against some of the top competitors in the space.


Pros and Cons for DIRECTV STREAM 

ProsCons
One of the best streaming services for regional sports networks.Among the most expensive live streaming TV packages on the market
Local channels are includedThe cheapest package that includes regional sports networks is $90 per month.
Up to 20 concurrent streams on your home networkOnly one user profile allowed

DIRECTV STREAM has its strong points, but it is the most expensive live TV streaming service on the market.

Many prospective customers may find that a service such as YouTube TV offers many of the same things for a lower cost.

The one exception is regional sports networks. This is one area where DIRECTV STREAM enjoys a competitive advantage over YouTube TV and many of the other top competitors.

But before you pay what will probably be $90 per month (or more) to get those channels, check our guide for watching sports without cable for alternative solutions.

If you’re streaming on a budget, it’s really hard to recommend DIRECTV STREAM. There are comparable options on the live TV streaming market that will keep more money in your wallet each month.


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