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DIRECTV vs. DIRECTV STREAM: Which service is better?

Compare DIRECTV and DIRECTV STREAM to find the best package for you.

DIRECTV vs. DIRECTV STREAM 2021 quick comparison

What’s the difference between DIRECTV and DIRECTV STREAM?

DIRECTV and DIRECTV STREAM are both available nationwide and they both offer TV packages, so could the two be that different? Actually, yes. DIRECTV has been the premier satellite TV service for over three decades, while DIRECTV STREAM uses an internet connection to stream TV channels.

There are some key differences between DIRECTV and DIRECTV STREAM 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 add-ons from DIRECTV and DIRECTV STREAM to determine the best service for your home.

DIRECTV vs. DIRECTV STREAM packages and pricing

Both services offer four packages to choose from, but DIRECTV has a cheaper base package than DIRECTV STREAM. For a look at DIRECTV vs. DIRECTV STREAM channels, check out our DIRECTV channel guide and full DIRECTV STREAM channel guide.

DIRECTV packages and pricing

DIRECTV STREAM packages 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.* DIRECTV STREAM, on the other hand, can be streamed on almost any device that can access the internet. You can also get a streaming device from DIRECTV STREAM for $5/mo. or $120 upfront.

DIRECTV comes with a significant price increase after the first 12 months — $25-$70/mo. depending on the package. DIRECTV STREAM doesn’t have any contracts attached to it, and the price doesn’t increase. Broadcast fees for both services are included in the advertised price.

DIRECTV vs DIRECTV STREAM’s most popular package


DIRECTV’s starting package 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. DIRECTV STREAM add-ons and special offers

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

DIRECTV special features and offers

  • NFL SUNDAY TICKET – This DIRECTV-exclusive sports package offers “every live, out-of-market game, every Sunday.” NFL SUNDAY TICKET is also available in areas where DIRECTV can’t be installed.
  • International packages – DIRECTV offers more international packages than DIRECTV STREAM with programming available in Cantonese, Filipino, French, Italian, Japanese, Russian and more. Both DIRECTV and DIRECTV STREAM offer Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese and Brazilian based TV packages.

DIRECTV STREAM special features and offers

  • Cloud DVR storage – Record up to 20 hours of content with DIRECTV STREAM’s cloud-based DVR service, with no limit on how many shows you can record at once.
  • HBO Max included – For three months with ENTERTAINMENT, CHOICE 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 when you add the DIRECTV STREAM device to your package.



No. DIRECTV and DIRECTV STREAM are owned by the same company, but they represent different services. DIRECTV is a satellite-only TV service, while DIRECTV STREAM allows you to stream live TV channels through your internet connection.

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.

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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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