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What is DirecTV Stream: plans, pricing, channels, and more

DirecTV Stream is the latest name for AT&T’s live tv and on-demand streaming service, previously called AT&T TV, among other names. If you’re looking to cut the cable cord, DirecTV Stream might be one service to consider among other services such as Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and more. 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 app icon on Apple TV.
Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

What is DirecTV Stream?

DirecTV Stream is the most recent incarnation of AT&T’s streaming service that has had more than a few name changes. It combined the names of more regional streaming services under the DirecTV banner into a single name. 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.

What channel options does DirecTV Stream have?

AT&T TV’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. DirecTV Stream 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.

AT&T TV search function.

Is DirecTV Stream different from AT&T 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.

Is DirectTV Stream different from DirecTV?

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.

MLB on DirecTV Stream ad.

What are the pricing and packages for DirecTV Stream?

They are very similar to AT&T’s packages and even have the same names. Let’s take a look:

  • Entertainment — $70 per month (currently available for $50 for the first two months): This is the base package with the fewest channels (75+) 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, Starz, Epix, and 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 — $90 per month (currently available for $70 for the first two months): Choice is a significant upgrade that adds 30 more channels (105+), such as additional ESPN channels, the Cooking Channel, and more. You also get access to 5,000 more on-demand titles on the service (over 45,000 in all), and access to regional sports networks that make it easier to watch local games. It offers three free months of HBO Max (new users only for this deal, not previous AT&T TV subscribers), Showtime (you’ll need a separate subscription for this one), Starz, EPIX, and Cinemax.
  • Ultimate — $105 per month (currently available for $85 for the first two months): This includes everything that the Choice package has, plus a further 35 more channels (140+) 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 (again, new users only), Showtime, Starz, EPIX, and Cinemax.
  • Premier — $150 per month (currently available for $130 for the first two months): 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, Cinemax, 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 150, and you have access to the full list of 65,000-odd on-demand titles.

You are also able to sign up for a free five-day trial period as a new subscriber. Previously, DirecTV Stream required an extra fee for unlimited cloud storage for TV recordings. Now unlimited cloud DVR storage is automatically included in every package. However, 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.

Does a DirecTV subscription come with any original content?

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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