If you use AT&T for streaming or have been looking at their streaming plans lately, you may have noticed a new name appear this fall: DirecTV Stream. Don’t worry — your streaming subscription probably isn’t changing that much. But what is DirecTV Stream? There are still some things you should know, especially if you are interested in getting an AT&T streaming subscription. Let’s go over all the important questions.
DirecTV Stream is the latest name for AT&T’s streaming service that subscribers can purchase to stream a variety of TV content on their devices. Like many streaming platforms, DirecTV Stream is available on a wide variety of devices and can connect to popular apps like Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and so on. A subscription also lets you support up to 20 devices at once, depending on the package that you choose.
AT&T’s channel lineup remains largely the same. That means you will be able to watch live TV with a subscription to DirecTV Stream. There are a lot of channels, including popular entertainment channels like FX HD, kid channels like Cartoon Network, Sports channels like ESPN HD, and hundreds more. AT&T has a full channel lineup guide so you can check which specific channels are included in each package and what certain channels can be added on for an additional fee. It’s an impressive lineup when compared to other options like Hulu Live TV and Sling TV.
Not really. It’s primarily a branding change that changes the name of the service and offers a new, updated website with a different interface. AT&T TV no longer exists — it is DirecTV Stream right now, and if you already subscribe to AT&T TV you’ll probably only notice a name change on the platform and your bills. We’re not sure why the name has changed yet again (this streaming service has been relabeled frequently), but now it can be more easily compared with DirecTV itself, separate from the AT&T name.
Yes, it is, and it’s important to know the difference if you are shopping for plans. DirecTV refers specifically to the satellite subscription, which requires a satellite dish and doesn’t use internet-based streaming. DirecTV Stream is the internet version where you stream channels using your internet data plan and have additional easy access to apps like Netflix. The channel lineup is very similar, but you may run across small differences, and satellite TV packages generally support more channels than the streaming version.
DirecTV Stream and DirecTV now share a site so you can make quick comparisons — just make sure you don’t get them confused. Also note that they both support saving content via DVR, but Stream uses Cloud DVR via your internet to store shows, with a limited number of hours you can use up.
They are very similar to AT&T’s packages and even have the same names. Let’s take a look:
- Entertainment — $69.99 per month: This is the base package with the fewest channels at the lowest cost. It includes live TV, most on-demand titles (more than 40,000 of them), and 20 hours of cloud DVR storage. Showtime, Epix, and Cinemax are all included free for the first three months, but you will get charged for them after that. This is one of the only upgrades from AT&T TV, which did not offer any free subscription months in this package.
- Choice — $84.99 per month: Choice is a significant upgrade that adds 20 more channels, such as additional ESPN channels, the Cooking Channel, and more — plus a free subscription to HBO Max for a full year. You also get access to even more on-demand titles on the service, and access to regional sports networks that make it easier to watch local games. It offers three free months of HBO Max Showtime, EPIX, and Cinemax to start with.
- Ultimate — $94.99 per month: This includes everything that the Choice package has, plus a further 20 more channels that include things like the NHL Network and FXM, and even more on-demand titles (now up to 55,000). With this package, you get three free months of HBO Max, Showtime, EPIX, and Cinemax.
- Premier — $139.99 per month: The Premier package bumps up the price significantly to throw in subscriptions for all the streaming apps available directly under the AT&T umbrella. That includes HBO Max, Starz, and Showtime, and you get three free months of EPIX too. You’ll still have to pay for entirely separate apps with no AT&T partnerships, like Netflix or Hulu. The number of channels is also increased to more than 140, and you have access to the full list of 65,000-odd on-demand titles.
While 20 hours of cloud DRV storage is included with each package, any of the packages can be upgraded to unlimited cloud storage for an extra $10 per month. Note that additional taxes may apply to all packages, as may periodic discounts AT&T offers. You’ll also have to pay a monthly fee for the use of AT&T’s set-top box.
AT&T also recommends an internet speed of at least 24Mbps and limits users to three concurrent out-of-home streams at a time. Additionally, DirecTV and U-Verse TV customers cannot apply for AT&T TV: You’ll have to contact an AT&T rep and discuss stopping those older subscriptions and switching over to this service.
In short, no. Only for the apps that you pay for, like Netflix, HBO Max, and so on. AT&T doesn’t produce any original content of its own; it manages the platform you use.
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