DIRECTV Internet Packages Review

Does DIRECTV's internet TV service deliver the ultimate live TV streaming experience?

Directv
DIRECTV
3 out of 5 stars
3
Prices
$69.99-$159.99
Channel Count Range
75–185
Michael Archambault
Jan 31, 2024
Icon Time To Read5 min read

DIRECTV, the satellite TV giant, now offers consumers a way to stream live television and sports via their home internet connection without the need to install a temperamental satellite dish or go through the process of wiring a home for cable. Plus, you'll dodge a two-year contract and get more channels than a satellite package.

With DIRECTV via Internet, subscribers can access up to 185+ channels, and you can easily access it via DIRECTV's streaming set-top box or through your favorite streaming device

Let’s take a deep dive into DIRECTV's internet plans to see if it’s the right TV service for your home.

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Find DIRECTV internet and TV bundles available near you.

How much does DIRECTV via Internet cost?

Pricey, but a solid selection of content

DIRECTV charges the same for its satellite and internet plans. The packages aren't necessarily cheap, but DIRECTV does offer a healthy selection of content to binge.

Subscribers can start with the basic ENTERTAINMENT package or upgrade to CHOICE, ULTIMATE, or PREMIER for more channels and content, which is great if you’re a sports fan or want to watch the latest Blockbusters.

For those interested in Max (formerly HBO Max), Cinemax, Paramount+ with SHOWTIME®, or STARZ, all of these services are included in the PREMIER plan, and you get them free for three months with the CHOICE and ULTIMATE plans. And lucky for sports fans, you also get DIRECTV Sports Pack (including NFL RedZone) included with the PREMIER package.

DIRECTV packages comparison
Plan
Price
TV channel count
Details
ENTERTAINMENT$69.99/mo. + tax*90+
CHOICE™$84.99/mo. + tax*125+
ULTIMATE$114.99/mo. + tax*160+
PREMIER$159.99/mo. + tax*185+
* Price subj. to change for new and existing customers.

*New approved residential customers, price incl. TV pkg & equip. fees for first TV. Add’l fees may apply to non-qualified customers. Early agmt termination fee applies ($20/mo.) & add’l fee(s) may apply if equip. not returned. Credit card req’d. Restr’s apply. $19.95 activation & equipment lease req’d for satellite customers. Equipment lease req’d for DIRECTV via Internet customers in some sales channels.

If you’re looking for a more affordable yet still well-rounded TV streaming service, we recommend that you also look at one of our favorite options—fuboTV.

What channels does DIRECTV have?

A vast library of content, if you’re willing to pay for it

Selecting the right DIRECTV package is essential, as you neither want to be underwhelmed by the content or overpaying for channels that you’ll never watch.

While the ENTERTAINMENT package includes over 90+ channels, users can step up to the CHOICE, ULTIMATE, or PREMIER packages to obtain more channels.

Be sure to check DIRECTV's official website for a complete channel lineup, but here is a snapshot of channels from each package:

ENTERTAINMENT Package ($69.99/mo.)

  • Animal Planet
  • BBC America
  • Cartoon Network
  • CNBC
  • Discovery Channel
  • Disney Junior
  • Food Network
  • Freeform
  • FX
  • Hallmark Channel
  • HGTV
  • HISTORY
  • Lifetime
  • MSNBC
  • National Geographic
  • TBS
  • Univision
  • USA

CHOICE Package ($84.99/mo.)

  • ACCN
  • BTN
  • Cheddar News
  • CNBC World
  • Cooking Channel
  • Game Show Network
  • IFC
  • Nick Jr.
  • Nicktoons
  • Tastemade

ULTIMATE Package ($114.99/mo.)

  • BBC World News
  • Destination America
  • Discovery Family Channel
  • DIY Network
  • FX Movie
  • Lifetime Movie Network
  • MTV Classic
  • Nat Geo Wild
  • Oxygen True Crime
  • STARZ Encore™
  • Universal Kids

PREMIER Package ($159.99/mo.)

  • CINEMAX HD
  • Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
  • Max
  • Paramount+ with SHOWTIME®
  • STARZ®

*Data as of 01/31/2024. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Internet vs satellite channels

Some channels are only available via internet or satellite connection

Channels exclusive to internet packages:

  • A&E (ENTERTAINMENT)
  • Fox Soul
  • Lifetime (ENTERTAINMENT)
  • Tastemade Home
  • Tastemade Travel

Channels exclusive to satellite packages:

  • BYUtv
  • Cowboy Channel
  • CTN
  • Daystar Espanol
  • Enlace
  • Hope Channel
  • MAVTV
  • NASA TV
  • ShopHQ

Which premium channels can you get with DIRECTV?

DIRECTV offers a selection of some of the most popular premium entertainment channels, including Max™, CINEMAX, Paramoun+ with SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, and MGM+. You get all of these channels free for three months with packages ENTERTAINMENT through ULTIMATE, and if you get PREMIER, you get all of these channels (besides MGM+) included in your package.

After three months, or if you choose to buy a la carte, each premium channel will cost you an additional monthly fee, as shown below.

DIRECTV premium channel pricing
Channel
Price
Max™$15.99/mo.
Cinemax®$11/mo.
Paramount+ with SHOWTIME®$11.99/mo.
STARZ®$11/mo.
MGM+$6/mo.
Movies Extra Pack$5/mo.

*Data as of 01/9/2024. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Which sports channels can you get with DIRECTV?

Currently, there are two sports add-ons available: NBA LEAGUE PASS Premium for $22.99 a month and DIRECTV Sports Pack (including NFL RedZone) for $14.99 a month. A PREMIUM plan gets you DIRECTV Sports Pack for free, while CHOICE and ULTIMATE include this package free for three months.

Sports fans will need to consider stepping up to one of DIRECTV's more expensive monthly streaming packages to obtain everything they want to watch, as ENTERTAINMENT doesn't include any free add-ons.

ENTERTAINMENT Package

  • ESPN HD
  • ESPN2 HD
  • FOX Sports (FS1)
  • MotorTrend HD

CHOICE Package

  • ACC Network HD
  • Big Ten Network HD
  • ESPNews HD
  • ESPNU HD
  • FanDuel TV
  • Golf Channel
  • MLB Network HD
  • NBA TV

ULTIMATE Package

  • CBS Sports Network
  • FOX Sports (FS2)
  • NHL Network
  • SEC Network

What about international channels?

Last but certainly not least, DIRECTV's packages offer consumers several different international channel add-ons. The international channel add-on options currently include Brazilian, Korean, and Vietnamese. DIRECTV streaming also provides a package that broadcasts in both English and Spanish called Óptimo Más.

As with other add-ons, costs for international channels are monthly, in addition to your base package.

DIRECTV international channel pricing
Channel
Price
ÓPTIMO MÁS™$74.99/mo. + tax*
KOREANDIRECT™$30.99/mo. + tax
VIETDIRECT™ PLUS$19.99/mo. + tax
BRAZILIANDIRECT™$29.99/mo. + tax
* Price subj. to change for new and existing customers.
WorldDirect a la carte packages require activation of qualifying base package.

Do I need DIRECTV's streaming device?

The simple answer is no, but it is included

Since we're talking about DIRECTV's internet TV service, you won’t be provided a traditional cable box to place under your television like you would for its satellite service. Subscribers get their first receiver, the Gemini Air, included in their package. 

But if you already have a streaming device you love, DIRECTV's internet TV service is currently compatible with Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Roku, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV, or Chromecast. All you’ll need to do to get started is download the DIRECTV app from your device’s App Store and sign in.

For those on the go, DIRECTV's internet service and TV app can also be accessed via an Android device, iPhone, iPad, or either the Safari or Chrome desktop web browser.

DIRECTV's satellite packages come with the Genie DVR. The two DVRs differ slightly. You get 200 HD hours and unlimited storage with the Genie while the Gemini Air gets you unlimited hours with up to 9 months of storage.

But how is the Gemini Air?

The first thing with DIRECTV's Gemini Air device that stands out is unlimited DVR storage. Plus, your recordings will last 9 months.

The Gemini Air remote mimics a more traditional television remote, but it also offers voice control built-in to quickly launch your apps, such as Disney+, or tune to your favorite channels. You'll also be able to watch anything aired from the past three days.

The Gemini Air also supports 4K content and Dolby Atmos 5.1 surround sound, so you can enjoy your favorite content as though you were in the cinema.

While DIRECTV's Gemini Air device is quite impressive, we have a hard time recommending it over one of the more popular options from the likes of Amazon, Apple, or Roku. Both Amazon and Roku offer less expensive devices and provide a superior app catalog with a larger selection of streaming services and video games. But your first Gemini Air will be included with your package, so it's worth a try.

Recap: Is DIRECTV worth it?

When it comes to DIRECTV, we can’t help but talk about the price.

Overall, DIRECTV offers compelling content to watch whether you’re a serial TV fan, a sports fanatic, or a Blockbuster aficionado—quality is not the issue. But, with newer companies breaking ground in the TV space, better-priced options are available.

For example, DIRECTV's PREMIER package will cost you $160 and get you 185+ channels and unlimited hours of Cloud DVR recording time, and your recordings will be deleted after nine months.

However, on the opposite side of the fence, a service such as fuboTV will cost you $89.99 for their Elite package with 250 channels, as well as 1,000 hours of Cloud DVR recording time, and your recordings will never expire.

Is DIRECTV worth the big dollars? It’s a compelling service, but overall, we think you could spend your money smarter elsewhere due to the high price. Other streaming TV services offer a comparable experience for much less of your hard-earned dollars.

Be sure to check out our guide featuring the best live TV streaming providers for more great options.

DIRECTV packages comparison
Plan
Price
TV channel count
Details
ENTERTAINMENT$69.99/mo. + tax*90+
CHOICE™$84.99/mo. + tax*125+
ULTIMATE$114.99/mo. + tax*160+
PREMIER$159.99/mo. + tax*185+
* Price subj. to change for new and existing customers.

*New approved residential customers, price incl. TV pkg & equip. fees for first TV. Add’l fees may apply to non-qualified customers. Early agmt termination fee applies ($20/mo.) & add’l fee(s) may apply if equip. not returned. Credit card req’d. Restr’s apply. $19.95 activation & equipment lease req’d for satellite customers. Equipment lease req’d for DIRECTV via Internet customers in some sales channels.

Michael Archambault
Written by
Michael Archambault
Michael was born a geek, always interested in technology and how it affects the world around us. He has spent the last eight years writing about consumer and business tech for some of the world’s top brands and publications, including Samsung, Skyword, Digital Trends, Lifewire, and DPReview. Michael graduated from the New York Institute of Technology, earning a BFA in Communications and Media Production. When he’s not writing on Reviews.org, you’ll find Michael spinning a vinyl record, reading a good mystery novel, or hanging out with one of his cats (which has yet to turn him completely into an eccentric cat-man).

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