Sling TV is the cheaper option, but DIRECTV streaming has the most channels
Sling TV vs. DIRECTV Streaming
If you’re trying to decide which streaming service to get and you’ve narrowed it down to Sling TV and DIRECTV streaming, then you’re in the right spot. We’re here to help you make that difficult decision. So let’s dive in.
Sling TV doesn’t offer HBO, and this is Sling’s biggest downside. But it has lower package prices for those trying to save as much money as possible.
DIRECTV streaming has some premium channels included (you heard me: included) in its plan and has more channels overall.
Although Sling TV doesn’t have the king of premium channels (HBO) Sling TV is still our winner.
How do Sling TV’s and DIRECTV's streaming prices compare?
Sling TV has two inexpensive options if you're OK sacrificing a chunk of channels to keep prices down, but if you want the full suite of what Sling TV has to offer, you'll need the more expensive package.
Streaming with DIRECTV gives you up to 150 channels. Now, the price tag is pretty high, but you’ll get a plethora of popular lifestyle, sports, kids, and news channels.
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.
Do Sling TV and DIRECTV streaming come with additional fees?
Neither streaming service has fees that you’re obligated to pay unless you want more DVR storage space.
Sling TV gives you a 50-hour cloud DVR storage space, and it charges an extra $5 per month for its 200-hour cloud DVR. It’s absolutely worth the extra $5 if you’re sharing with 3 other roommates. Trust us.
DIRECTV streaming gives you a tiny DVR storage space of 20 hours.
If you’d like to record more than just five Supernatural episodes, 10 Teen Titans Go! episodes, and three movies, you’ll want to pay an extra $10 for DIRECTV's streaming service's unlimited DVR storage space.
YouTube TV is the only service that includes unlimited DVR storage space in its service, and DIRECTV streaming is the only service to offer it as an add-on.
For some, it might be nice that the enhanced cloud DVR is optional if you’re not really into recording. DVRs are super convenient, but the more you can customize your service, the better chance you have of getting exactly what you want.
Which channels do Sling TV and DIRECTV streaming have?
Depending on the plan you get, both services have an almost equal amount of popular channels. If you love your Hallmark Channel Christmas movies and your kids love Paw Patrol, DIRECTV streaming is for you. Sling TV offers Hallmark Movies for an additional $6/mo.
Of course, DIRECTV will have more popular channels to stream because of its overall channel count, but check out the channel lineup for Sling TV and DIRECTV, just in case. Price aside, though, DIRECTV streaming wins this section.
Data effective 11/06/2023.
Sling TV vs. DIRECTV local channels
Back in the day, cable was the most reliable way to get good channels. But times have changed—and if you want to cut the cord and still watch ABC, FOX, CBS, CNN, or CNBC, check out both services to see if they offer them in your area.
Sling TV vs. DIRECTV streaming premium channels
An upside to streaming with DIRECTV: Max, Cinemax, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and MGM+ is included in all the packages for free for three months. It’s a solid win for everyone in the family with the variety.
And it can’t be overlooked that Sling TV doesn’t have Max at all (or CINEMAX)!
So if you can live without Succession, The White Lotus or The Last of Us, you’ll do great with Sling TV. But if you and your kids want to catch the cute new Scoob! series, you’ll have to pay a little extra for DIRECTV streaming. (Who doesn’t want to watch Scooby-Doo and the gang?)
Sling TV price
DIRECTV streaming price
|Included with PREMIER, or $15.99/mo.|
Data effective 11/06/2023. Offers are subject to change.
Which sports channels does Sling TV and DIRECTV streaming have?
The section you’ve all been waiting for (*drumroll*): the sports channel lineup. And we must say, DIRECTV streaming is a clear championship winner in this department.
If you’re looking for the most sports channels, DIRECTV offers up to 20 sports channels, whereas Sling TV offers fourteen.
So, it’s not hard to see that DIRECTV streaming is the option for sports aficionados.
Sling TV has the following sports channels:
- NBA TV
- NFL Network
- NBC Sports Network (NBCSN)
- Tennis Channel
And DIRECTV has the following sports channels:
- Big Ten Network
- CBS Sports Network
- FS1, FS2
- Golf Channel
- Longhorn Network
- MLB Network
- MSG, MSG+
- NBA TV
- NBC Sports Network
- NHL Network
- Olympic Channel
- SEC Network
- Tennis Channel
How do Sling TV’s and DIRECTV's DVR compare?
Sling TV beats DIRECTV streaming in the DVR game.
Sling TV comes with 50 hours of DVR storage or you must pay $5 per month for 200 hours of DVR storage.
DIRECTV includes a 20-hour cloud DVR storage, but you can upgrade for $10 per month to an unlimited DVR storage space.
We like how Sling TV comes with a 50-hour DVR storage, which makes the case for Sling TV even stronger.
But if you and the fam like to record everything under the sun, we like how DIRECTV tends to those families.
DVR storage hrs.
50 hrs., saves indefinitely
|20 hrs., saves for 90 days|
Sling TV or DIRECTV streaming: Which gives you a better user experience?
Sling TV’s user experience is smoother than DIRECTV's.
The Sling TV channel guide is similar to that of traditional cable. It has channel scrolling, time scrolling, and channel categories. There’s also a view that lets you see next week’s schedule so you can scope out which action movies you want to watch while cuddling with a glass of wine.
DIRECTV's channel guide for its streaming service is about the same as Sling’s, with some key differences. When you click on one of the genre tabs, you get a listing of only the current showings and what’s on for the next couple of hours. And if you want to exit the genre tab, you have to exit the channel guide altogether.
That’s not very convenient—or intuitive.
DIRECTV streaming suggests a minimum of 12 Mbps for each user, and Sling TV recommends at least 25 Mbps. Get one of the best internet services for streaming to have yourself an uninterrupted movie marathon.
On which devices can you stream Sling TV and DIRECTV?
These days, we want our streaming service to be compatible with our phones, tablets, and TVs. After all, your commute on public transit is the perfect time to catch up on The Expanse.
Download the app on these devices so you can watch your favorite shows anywhere, any time.
You can stream Sling TV on these devices:
- iPhones, iPads (iOS 9 and up, iPhone 4.0 and up)
- Android smartphones, tablets, and TVs
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple TV
- Xbox One
- Google Chromecast
DIRECTV streaming is available all day long on these devices:
- iPhone, iPad (iOS 9 and up, iPhone 4.0 and up)
- Android smartphones and tablets
- Roku TV, Streaming Stick, Premiere, Ultra, Express, etc.
- Apple TV
- Amazon Fire TV, Stick, and Cube
- Google Chromecast
- Samsung Smart TV
- Chrome, Safari
Recap: Sling TV is the winner
After comparing price, channels, DVR, user experience, and the bonuses, Sling TV comes out ahead. Streaming with DIRECTV is a great option for the family with its variety, and for premium-channel and sports fanatics, but Sling TV is a great option for anyone trying to save a buck.
- Pricing: All of Sling TV’s plans ($40–$55) are cheaper than DIRECTV STREAM’s plans ($70–$160).
- Channels: DIRECTV is perfect for those who want lots of live TV channels rather than just 50 or less. You’ll just have to make sure Sling TV’s channel lineup will satisfy the family’s watching needs. And don’t forget that Sling doesn’t have Max or CINEMAX.
- Sports channels: DIRECTV holds the championship belt between the two because it has a great variety of sports channels with major sports coverage. Sling TV offers fourteen sports channels, including ESPN, ESPN2, NBA, NHL, and FS1.
- DVR: Sling TV includes a 50-hour DVR storage while DIRECTV streaming includes 20. Sling TV offers a 200-hour DVR storage space for $5/month and DIRECTV lets you upgrade to an unlimited DVR for $10/month.
- User experience: Sling TV has a simple cable-like channel guide and DIRECTV streaming gives a rough channel guide experience.
If you’re still on the fence, you can dive into the nitty-gritty details in our full reviews:
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