DIRECTV vs. AT&T TV: Which service is better?

Compare DIRECTV and AT&T TV plan by plan to find the best package for you.

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DIRECTV vs. AT&T TV 2021 quick comparison

What’s the difference between DIRECTV and AT&T TV?

DIRECTV and AT&T TV are both AT&T services, they’re both available nationwide and they both offer TV plans, so could the two be that different? Actually, yes. DIRECTV has been the premier satellite TV service for over three decades, while AT&T TV’s streaming TV with Cloud DVR is the new kid on the block.

There are some key differences between DIRECTV and AT&T TV you’ll want to know, especially since both TV services are likely available in your area.

Take a look at the pricing, available channels and bundle options from DIRECTV and AT&T TV to determine the best service for your home.

DIRECTV vs. AT&T TV packages and pricing

DIRECTV has more TV packages to choose from and offers a cheaper base package than AT&T TV. For a look at DIRECTV vs. AT&T TV channels, check out our DIRECTV channel guide and full AT&T TV review

DIRECTV plans and pricing

AT&T TV plans and pricing

DIRECTV service requires a receiver for each device in your home and luckily, the first one is on them. Each additional device is available for rental for $7/mo.* AT&T TV also requires receiver rental for each device in your home for $10/mo.* The first device is free to subscribers as well. 

Both services come with a significant price increase after the first 12 months. DIRECTV increases from $25-$70/mo. after 12 months, depending on the plan, whereas AT&T TV increases $45-$65/mo. after the first year. Broadcast fees for both services are included in the advertised price.

DIRECTV vs AT&T TV’s most popular plan


DIRECTV’s starting plan is only $5 more each month but includes 100 additional popular channels and networks. If you’re looking for more bang for your buck, the ENTERTAINMENT package from DIRECTV has the best value.

DIRECTV vs. AT&T TV and internet bundles

DIRECTV and AT&T TV bundles include AT&T internet where available, but you may have other options if your address is not in an area with access to AT&T internet service

Since both DIRECTV and AT&T TV are available virtually everywhere, your internet and TV bundle may feature internet service from another provider such as CenturyLink, Frontier or Verizon. You just won’t get any discount if you go with one of those providers.

AT&T TV and DIRECTV bundles that include AT&T Internet will look very similar in price and internet speeds. AT&T TV and DIRECTV bundles where AT&T internet is not available will vary based on which internet providers are in your area.

DIRECTV vs. AT&T TV add-ons and special offers

You can take advantage of add-on packages and special offers available with DIRECTV or AT&T TV services. Here are some of the extras you can get from DIRECTV and AT&T TV.

DIRECTV special features and offers

  • NFL SUNDAY TICKET – This DIRECTV-exclusive sports package offers “every live, out-of-market game, every Sunday.” Though DIRECTV is part of the AT&T family, NFL SUNDAY TICKET is not available with AT&T TV.
  • International packages – DIRECTV offers more international packages than AT&T TV with programming available in Cantonese, Filipino, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian and more. Both DIRECTV and AT&T TV offer Spanish based TV packages.

AT&T TV special features and offers

  • Cloud DVR storage – Record up to 500 hours of content with AT&T TV’s Cloud-based DVR service, with no limit on how many shows you can record at once.
  • HBO Max included – For one year with CHOICE, EXTRA and ULTIMATE packages, and for length of service with PREMIER.
  • Voice Control with built-in Google Assistant –  Change the channel or search for shows using your voice with the AT&T TV remote.


What’s the difference between AT&T TV and AT&T TV NOW?

While AT&T TV is technically a streaming service, its 4K DVR, picture quality, channel options, 500 hours of Cloud DVR storage and two-year agreement make it similar to a conventional cable TV provider. AT&T TV NOW is a streaming-only, no-contract service, similar to Netflix or Hulu, that requires you to have your own streaming device, such as a Roku or Amazon Fire TV.

No. AT&T and DIRECTV are owned by the same company, but they represent different services. DIRECTV is a satellite-only TV service, while AT&T represents other arms of the company such as AT&T fiber internet, home phone and AT&T TV.

Only if you are currently in a contract. DIRECTV requires a two-year service agreement for new services and may enact a one-year service agreement in special circumstances such as a change of address. If you cancel while under contract, you may incur a cancellation fee of up to $500. There is no fee for canceling DIRECTV service if you are not currently under contract.

DIRECTV, and satellite TV in general, has specific advantages and disadvantages over cable TV. For example, DIRECTV is available in more areas and typically offers more package options and better picture quality. On the other hand, DIRECTV has longer contract obligations than most cable TV companies and you may experience service disruptions during times of inclement weather.

DIRECTV doesn’t provide internet itself, but if AT&T is available in your area, you can bundle it with the satellite TV service for $10/mo. savings.

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Lisa Iscrupe

Written by:

Lisa Iscrupe

Writer, Broadband & Data Content

Lisa uses years of experience in sales and customer service for internet-TV providers to inform her writing on broadband. Her work has been referenced by CNN and other national sources. In Lisa’s Words: Ever… Read more

Robin Layton

Edited by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband Content

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