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What Is DIRECTV Stream? Everything You Need To Know – Updated December 2021

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It’s official, DIRECTV Stream is finally here. On the surface, DIRECTV Stream is really just a rebrand of AT&T TV (which was a rebrand of DIRECTV NOW). But there are some changes here that you need to be aware of. So we are going to tell you everything you need to know about DIRECTV Stream. And whether it’s worth using as your new Live TV Streaming service.

When did DIRECTV Stream launch?

DIRECTV Stream officially launched on August 26, 2021.

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As mentioned, it’s really just a rebrand of AT&T TV (and AT&T TV NOW), and that’s because AT&T kinda sold off DIRECTV. So it needed to branch out its streaming TV service, and get rid of the “AT&T” name from it. But instead of going back to DIRECTV NOW, it’s now DIRECTV Stream.

How much does DIRECTV Stream cost?

Update: Prices for DIRECTV Stream will increase in January 2022. Except for the entry-level “Entertainment” plan which will remain at $69.99. 

DIRECTV Stream offers four different tiers, similar to AT&T TV. Their no-contract plans start at $69.99 per month for their Entertainment Plan which includes 65 channels. Then there’s the Choice Plan that begins at $84.99 with Ultimate at $94.99 and Premier at $139.99. So you can really pay a ton for streaming TV service from AT&T.

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You can save a bit of money on DIRECTV Stream by going with a contract however. For example, the Entertainment package drops to $59.99 per month. However, the price will go up in the second year of the contract.

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What different tiers are available?

As mentioned already, there are four tiers available for DIRECTV Stream. Entertainment will cost you $69.99 per month and includes 65+ channels. If you want to get your regional sports channels (which, DIRECTV Stream is the only streaming service that has these now), you’ll want to get Choice or higher. This includes 90+ channels for $84.99.

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If that’s not enough channels, Ultimate is available for $94.99 with 130+ channels and Premier is available for a whopping $139.99 per month with 140+ channels.

Contract vs no-contract plans?

DIRECTV Stream is available as a no-contract streaming TV service, which is honestly how you should sign up for it. While the contract plans are cheaper, they then jump to a much higher price in the second year. It’s also almost impossible to sign up for DIRECTV Stream  on a contract. And that’s probably a good thing.

What channels does DIRECTV Stream offer?

So what channels are available on DIRECTV Stream? Well, most of them, to be quite honest. In the table below, you can see how the channel lineups stack up for each tier.

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Entertainment
$69
Choice
$85
Ultimate
$95
Premier
$140
A&E
AMC
BET
Bravo
Cartoon Network
CNN
Comedy Central
Discovery
Disney Channel
Disney Junior
E!
ESPN
Food Network
Fox News
Freeform
FX
FXX
Hallmark Channel
HGTV
History
Investigation Discovery
Lifetime
MSNBC
MTV
Nickelodeon
Paramount Network
Syfy
TBS
TLC
TNT
Travel ChannelX
truTV
USA Network
VH1
WE tv

And here’s how DIRECTV Stream stacks up against the competitors.

AT&T TV
Sign Up
$59
Fubo TV
Free Trial
$65
Hulu + Live TV
Free Trial
$65
Sling TV
Free Trial
$35
YouTube TV
Free Trial
$65
A&EX
AMCX
BETX
BravoBlue only
Cartoon NetworkX
CNNX
Comedy CentralX
DiscoveryBlue only
Disney ChannelOrange only
Disney Junior+$6
E!Blue only
ESPNOrange only
Food Network
Fox NewsBlue only
FreeformOrange only
FXBlue only
FXX+$6X
Hallmark ChannelX+$6
HGTV
HistoryX
Investigation Discovery
LifetimeX
MSNBCBlue only
MTVX+$6
NickelodeonXX
Paramount NetworkX$6
SyfyBlue only
TBSX
TLCBlue only
TNTX
Travel Channel$84.99
truTVXBlue or +$6
USA NetworkBlue only
VH1X+$6
WE tvX+$6

What sports channels does DIRECTV Stream have?

Given the fact that a number of streaming TV services have been forced to drop regional sports networks, you may be interested in seeing which ones DIRECTV Stream actually has. Let’s see how they stack up in both national and regional sports networks.

DIRECTV
Sign Up
$69
Fubo TV
Free Trial
$65
Hulu + Live TV
Free Trial
$65
Sling TV
Free Trial
$35
YouTube TV
Free Trial
$65
ESPNOrange Only
ESPN2Orange Only
FS1Blue Only
FS2$94.99+$11
NBCSNBlue Only
TBSX
TNTX

And these are the regional sports networks that DIRECTV Stream currently has.

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AT&T TV
Sign Up
$69
Fubo TV
Free Trial
$65
Hulu + Live TV
Free Trial
$65
Sling TV
Free Trial
$35
YouTube TV
Free Trial
$65
Altitude$85XXXX
AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh$85XXX
AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain$85XXXX
AT&T SportsNet Southwest$85XXX
Bally Sports Arizona$85XXXX
Bally Sports Carolinas$85XXXX
Bally Sports Detroit$85XXXX
Bally Sports Florida$85XXXX
Bally Sports Indiana$85XXXX
Bally Sports Kansas City$85XXXX
Bally Sports Midwest$85XXXX
Bally Sports New Orleans$85XXXX
Bally Sports North$85XXXX
Bally Sports Ohio$85XXXX
Bally Sports Oklahoma$85XXXX
Bally Sports Prime Ticket$85XXXX
Bally Sports San Diego$85XXXX
Bally Sports South$85XXXX
Bally Sports Southeast$85XXXX
Bally Sports Southwest$85XXXX
Bally Sports Sun$85XXXX
Bally Sports Tennessee$85XXXX
Bally Sports West$85XXXX
Bally Sports Wisconsin$85XXXX
LA FC Sports NetworkXXXX
Longhorn NetworkXXXXX
Marquee Sports Network$85XXXX
MASN$85XXXX
MASN2$85XXXX
MSG$85XXX
MSG+$85XXX
NBC Sports Bay Area$85
NBC Sports Boston$85X
NBC Sports California$85
NBC Sports Chicago$85X
NBC Sports NorthwestXX
NBC Sports PhiladelphiaXX
NBC Sports Philadelphia+XX
NBC Sports Washington$85
NBC Sports Washington+XXX
NESN$85XXX
Root Sports Northwest$85XXXX
Spectrum SportsNet$85XXXX
Spectrum SportsNet LA$85XXXX
SportsNet NY$85X
SportsTime Ohio$85XXXX
YES Network$85XXXX

What local channels are available?

While local channels are indeed free, and you can get them just by buying an antenna for your TV, it is definitely convenient to have it included in your TV service. And DIRECTV Stream does have all of your locals. Here’s how it stacks up to the competition.

DIRECTV
Sign Up
$69
Fubo TV
Free Trial
$65
Hulu + Live TV
Free Trial
$65
Sling TV
Free Trial
$35
YouTube TV
Free Trial
$65
ABCX
CBSX
FOXBlue Only
NBCBlue Only
TelemundoX
The CWX
UnivisionXXX

What features are included with DIRECTV Stream?

The features available on DIRECTV Stream  are very similar to AT&T TV (NOW). That includes DVR support, a ton of simultaneous streams, and more. Let’s go over the features that DIRECTV Stream has.

Is there DVR included in DIRECTV Stream?

Everyone gets 20 hours of DVR included in the price. However, DIRECTV Stream does now offer an unlimited DVR option. Which was previously only 500 hours on AT&T TV NOW. That makes it only the second streaming Live TV service to offer unlimited DVR – YouTube TV is the other.

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Unlimited DVR will cost you $10 per month. It’s one of the few add-ons that DIRECTV Stream offers, but worth the price.

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How many simultaneous streams are included?

Get ready to be blown away. DIRECTV Stream allows you to have 20 simultaneous streams. That’s pretty crazy. As most services only offer 3-5 simultaneous streams. And you can pay more for more streams.

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But there is a caveat, as you might expect. It’s 20 simultaneous streams in the same home and on the same WiFi network. However, it’s only three if you are on different WiFi networks. So if you are sharing DIRECTV Stream with others that are not in your home, you’re still limited to just three streams at a time.

What devices work with DIRECTV Stream?

DIRECTV Stream works on pretty much every device you would expect it too. But if for some reason you don’t have any of these devices, you can “rent” a box from AT&T, which is essentially an Android TV box with DIRECTV Stream pre-loaded on it. And they will happily charge you $5 per month for it. If you don’t have one of the devices below, we recommend buying the Chromecast with Google TV or even a Roku which can be as cheap as $20.

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These devices work with DIRECTV Stream:

  • Amazon Fire TV (2nd generation and newer)
  • Android
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV (4th and 5th generation)
  • Chromecast with Google TV
  • Chromecast Built-in TV (select models)
  • DIRECTV Stream device
  • iOS (devices running iOS 11 and later)
  • Roku
  • Samsung Smart TV (2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 models)

What is the DIRECTV Stream device?

The DIRECTV Stream device is essentially an Android TV box that AT&T is renting to customers. It has the DIRECTV Stream app pre-installed of course. But you can also install other apps from the Google Play store. It also has Google Assistant available, and it’s super easy to set-up. There’s no need to have someone come and install it for you.

AT&T will “rent” this to you for $5 per month. Or you can pay $120 upfront. This is pretty overpriced for what it is. When the Chromecast with Google TV will likely perform better for less than half the price.

Can I keep my existing plan & price from AT&T TV?

Existing DIRECTV Now, AT&T TV and AT&T TV Now customers are grandfathered in. So you can keep your current plan and price.

However, you may find that these plans are better than what you currently have. Even though the prices are now higher. But the bottom line is, if you had DIRECTV Now, AT&T TV or AT&T TV Now, you won’t be moved to one of these new plans. Which is a good thing.

Do AT&T TV customers need to do anything to use DIRECTV Stream?

Nope. Like with most service rebrandings, the current AT&T TV app will be rebranded to DIRECTV Stream. That update will likely begin rolling out on August 26. All you need to do is update the app on all of your devices, and you’re good to go. It’s very likely that the update will happen automatically. So there’s even less to worry about here. Which is really nice.

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Is it worth it to switch to DIRECTV Stream?

This really depends on what channels you need and what content you watch. And if you really want your regional sports networks back. As DIRECTV Stream  is the only service with the regional sports networks right now. And that is also why it is more expensive than other services like YouTube TV.

However, DIRECTV Stream  is becoming a very competitive service with this rebrand. Offering more channels, and also offering an unlimited DVR option. It has me looking twice at the service, considering that was the biggest reason I was sticking with YouTube TV – that unlimited DVR. But it is quite a bit more expensive than YouTube TV when you add the DVR and regional sports. Looking at $95/month plus tax. While YouTube TV is still $65. Are sports really worth an extra $30? Perhaps to some people.

This is what we need in the streaming live TV space, though. We need more competition, and forcing these services to compete with each other is going to either drive the price down, or give us more channels and features to justify that price. Because cable is indeed dead.