Sling TV vs. DIRECTV NOW: Which is the best option to help you cut the cord?

Taylor Gadsden
Taylor Gadsden
Jun 3, 2019

Cable and satellite TV subscribers are leaving their providers behind in favor of streaming services that promise more customization for a fraction of the monthly price. Cable replacement options like Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW are at the forefront of the cord-cutting movement.

But when it comes to pricing, network selection and features, which service is the best alternative for cable? Find out now with our quick comparison of Sling TV vs. DIRECTV NOW.

Starting price$15/mo.* for Sling Orange or $15/mo.* for Sling Blue with promotional offer$50/mo.* for Plus plan
Channels168+ U.S. entertainment channels depending on plan 45-125+ channels depending on plan
Premium and international add-ons$5/mo.- $18/mo.* $5/mo.- $30/mo.*
Simultaneous streamsUp to four streams with Sling Blue + Orange planUp to two streams included and add a third for $5/mo.*
Cloud DVR $5/mo. for up to 50 hours of storage for unlimited time Free Cloud DVR with up to 20 hours of storage for 30 days
Video quality1080p 720p
Device compatibilityAmazon Fire devices, Android tablet, phone and TV, Apple TV, Chromebook, Chromecast, Google Chrome Browser, IOS devices, LG TV, Microsoft Edge browser, Roku, select Samsung smart TVs, Windows 10, Xbox and Xfinity X1 Roku devices, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Samsung smart TV, iOS 10+ devices, Android phones 5.0 or higher, Chrome 58+ web browsers and Safari 10+ web browsers
Extra perksFree Roku® Express or RCA HDTV Indoor Antenna and AirTV Player when you subscribe and prepay for Sling TV HBO and Cinemax add-ons included with select plans

Best network selection: Draw

In this first round of Sling TV vs. DIRECTV NOW, we find that both offer basic and premium plans that include a varied selection of major networks like CNN, Food Network and Comedy Central. And unlike standard TV service, you’ll pay less for more input in the networks that are included in your channel lineup. Both services also offer genre-specific, premium, sports and international add-ons for an additional monthly fee. The sky’s the limit with either service, as long as you’re willing to pay.

Best experience: Draw

When it comes to cable replacement services, the key to a good experience is pretty simple. Does the service adequately replace cable? With enough networks and customizations, including DVR options, to satisfy most TV fanatics, it’s safe to say that either DIRECTV NOW or Sling TV should do the trick. Both services are even offering free perks with new subscriptions to sweeten the deal.

Best value: Sling TV

There’s no getting around it. When you pit Sling TV vs. DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV matches up in terms of channel selection and customizations. They’re also doing it for a fraction of the monthly cost. Even Sling TV’s top tier plan is less than the price of DIRECTV’s most basic package. Sling TV is also offering better video quality (1080p) and up to four simultaneous streams versus DIRECTV’s 720p with up to two streams.

When it comes down to it, the best cable replacement service for you is based on what you’re looking for. If a free DVR and HBO sounds like a better deal for a higher monthly price, DIRECTV NOW may be your best bet. However, if you’re looking to save money on your entertainment, Sling TV has the best selection.

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