DIRECTV STREAM Review 2021

Does DIRECTV STREAM deliver the ultimate live TV streaming experience?

DIRECTV STREAM Plans
Plan
Price
TV channel count
Details
ENTERTAINMENT$69.99*65+View Plan
CHOICE$84.9990+View Plan
ULTIMATE$94.99130+View Plan
PREMIER$139.99140+View Plan
Data as of 11/04/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* for 12 mos plus taxes and Regional Sports Fee w/ 24-mo. agmt. Prices higher in 2nd year.*
for 12 mos plus taxes and Regional Sports Fee w/ 24-mo. agmt. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $8.49/mo. is extra & applies.*
Michael Archambault
Sr. Writer, TV & Streaming
Read More
Published on August 26, 2021
5 min read

DIRECTV STREAM, formerly known as AT&T TV, 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.

With DIRECTV STREAM, subscribers can access up to 140+ channels, including must-have sports and premium movie options. You can access it easily via DIRECTV STREAM’s set-top box or through your favorite streaming media player, such as the latest season of WestWorld on HBO Max or the exciting Korean zombie show, Kingdom, on Netflix.

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

How much does DIRECTV STREAM cost?

Family Watching TV

Pricey, but a solid selection of content

DIRECTV STREAM isn’t necessarily cheap, but it 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-great if you’re a sports fan or want to watch the latest Blockbusters.

For those interested in HBO Max, the service is included in the Premier plan. Both the DIRECTV STREAM Choice and Ultimate plans include HBO Max at no additional cost for three months with an additional charge per month after that.

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.

DIRECTV STREAM package comparison
Plan
Price
TV channel count
Details
ENTERTAINMENT$69.9965+View Plan
CHOICE$84.9990+View Plan
ULTIMATE$94.99130+View Plan
PREMIER$139.99140+View Plan
Data effective 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
DIRECTV STREAM Device avail. for $5/mo. on 24-month installment agmt for well-qualified customers. Others pay $120 upfront for device. Taxes due at sale. See details.

If you want to save a bit more money by bundling, you can purchase DIRECTV STREAM alongside AT&T Internet for a reduced monthly cost.

The bundles are currently available in 21 states and feature either high-speed internet or 1 GIG Internet for increased speeds so that you can enjoy a smooth buffer-free TV experience.

What other costs are associated with DIRECTV STREAM?

DIRECTV STREAM has done a great job with eliminating contracts and hidden fees, so you should find any surprises hitting your bill each month. Aside from adding premium networks, sports, or international content, the DIRECTV STREAM Cloud DVR is one charge to consider.

If you want to record your favorite TV programs and movies when you aren’t around, DIRECTV STREAM Cloud DVR allows you to record up to 20-hours of content and store it for 90-days.

For an additional charge of $10/month, you can record an unlimited number of hours, an option to consider if you aren’t always available to watch programs when they air.

Further on in our review, we’ll dive into more detail surrounding DIRECTV STREAM’s streaming device, but know that it will cost you $5/month over 24-months or $120 upfront if needed. We believe that most subscribers won’t need/want the streaming device, so keep reading.

What channels does DIRECTV STREAM have?

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

Selecting the right DIRECTV STREAM 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 65+ channels, users can step up to the Choice, Ultimate, or Premier packages to obtain more channels.

Be sure to check DIRECTV STREAM’s official website for a complete channel lineup.

Entertainment Package ($64.99/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 ($94.99/mo.)

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

Premier Package ($139.99/mo.)

  • CINEMAX HD
  • Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
  • HBO
  • SHOWTIME®
  • STARZ®

*Data as of 8/26/2021. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

What about premium channels?

DIRECTV STREAM offers a selection of some of the most popular premium entertainment channels including HBO Max™, CINEMAX, SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, and EPIX.

Each premium channel will cost you an additional monthly fee, as shown below, but can be a movie lover’s best friend.

DIRECTV Stream premium channel pricing

*Data as of 8/26/2021. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

What about sports channels?

Currently, the only sports channel available as an add-on is NBA League Pass for $40.00/mo. This is great for basketball fans but not so great for everyone else.

Sports fans will need to consider stepping up to one of DIRECTV STREAM’s more expensive monthly packages to obtain everything they want to watch.

Entertainment Package

  • ESPN HD
  • ESPN2 HD
  • FS1
  • NBC Sports Network

Choice Package

  • Big Ten Network HD
  • ESPNews HD
  • ESPNU HD
  • MLB Network HD
  • NBA TV
  • Tennis Channel HD
  • TVG

Ultimate and Premier Packages

  • CBS Sports Network
  • FS2
  • Golf Channel
  • NHL Network
  • Olympic Channel
  • Sportsman Channel

*Data as of 8/26/2021. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

What about international channels?

Last, but certainly not least, DIRECTV STREAM offers several different international channel add-ons for consumers. The international channel lineup currently includes Deportes, Español, Brazilian, Korean, and Vietnamese.

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

DIRECTV Stream international channel pricing

*Data as of 8/26/2021. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Do I need DIRECTV STREAM's streaming device?

The simple answer is no

Since DIRECTV STREAM is a streaming service, you won’t be provided a traditional cable box to place under your television. Subscribers can choose to either pay for DIRECTV STREAM’s streaming device or use a streaming media device they already own.

DIRECTV STREAM is currently compatible with Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Roku, or Chromecast. If you already own one of the devices mentioned above, all you’ll need to do to get started is download the DIRECTV STREAM app from your device’s App Store and sign in.

For those on the go, DIRECTV STREAM can also be accessed via an Android device, iPhone, iPad, or either the Safari or Chrome desktop web browser.

But how is DIRECTV STREAM's streaming device?

The first thing with DIRECTV STREAM’s streaming device that stands out is the price at $120, or $5/month over 24-months.

At $120, the DIRECTV STREAM streaming device is one of the most expensive options available, barring the Apple TV.

One benefit of the streaming box is the included remote powered by Google. Not only does the DIRECTV STREAM remote mimic a more traditional television remote, but it also offers voice control built-in to quickly launch your apps, such as Netflix, or tune to your favorite channels.

The DIRECTV STREAM streaming device features support for 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 STREAM’s streaming 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.

Recap: Is DIRECTV STREAM worth it?
Overhead Shot Looking Down On Woman At Home Lying On Sofa, Drinking Coffe, and Watching TV

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

Overall, DIRECTV STREAM does offer a compelling amount of 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 streaming TV space, better-priced options are available.

For example, DIRECTV STREAM’s Premier package will cost you $139.99 and get you 140+ channels, plus 20 hours of Cloud DVR recording time.

However, on the opposite side of the fence, a service such as FuboTV will cost you $79.99 for their Elite package with 165+ channels, as well as 1000 hours of Cloud DVR recording time.

Is DIRECTV STREAM 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 STREAM package comparison
Plan
Price
TV channel count
Details
ENTERTAINMENT$69.9965+View Plan
CHOICE$84.9990+View Plan
ULTIMATE$94.99130+View Plan
PREMIER$139.99140+View Plan
Data effective 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
DIRECTV STREAM Device avail. for $5/mo. on 24-month installment agmt for well-qualified customers. Others pay $120 upfront for device. Taxes due at sale. See details.

Do you have DIRECTV STREAM? How has your experience been? Drop us a comment below and let us know what TV streaming service you love.

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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