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

Compare DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse TV plans to find the best TV package for you.

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

DIRECTV and U-verse TV are both AT&T services, so could the two be that different? Actually, yes. There are some key differences between DIRECTV and U-verse TV you’ll want to know if both are available in your area.

Take a look at the pricing, available channels, customer satisfaction scores and more from DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse TV to determine the best service for your home.

DIRECTV vs. AT&T U-verse TV quick comparison

  • Satellite TV
  • Available throughout all 50 states
  • TV packages start at $35/mo.*
  • Channels range from 155-330+
  • Record up to five shows at once
  • Bundles best with AT&T Internet
  • Two-year contract required
  • Internet-protocol TV
  • Available in 21 states
  • TV packages start at $35/mo.*
  • Channels range from 190-565+
  • Record up to four shows at once
  • Bundles best with AT&T Internet
  • One-year required

DIRECTV vs. AT&T U-verse TV availability

DIRECTV is available throughout all 50 states. All you need to be eligible for DIRECTV service is a clear view of the southern sky and a place to mount a satellite dish. This makes DIRECTV a popular TV option for rural areas, but the service is often equally as practical in suburbs or cities. Trees, buildings or other obstructions that may block satellite signal could render DIRECTV unavailable at your address, however.

AT&T U-verse TV is available in 21 states. Primary service regions include the South, Midwest parts of Nevada and much of California, according to the FCC. Channels and pricing for U-verse TV packages may vary by location.

Check to see if DIRECTV and U-verse TV are available in your area. You may also find there are other TV providers that offer service in your ZIP code.

DIRECTV vs. AT&T U-verse TV package options and pricing

DIRECTV has more base TV packages to choose from, but U-verse TV offers higher channel counts than DIRECTV. For a look at DIRECTV vs. U-verse TV channels, check out our DIRECTV channel guide and U-verse TV channel guide.

Pricing for DIRECTV vs. U-verse TV packages is very similar, and adding AT&T internet to a DIRECTV or U-verse TV plan can save you up to $10/mo. on your internet bill.

DIRECTV vs. U-verse TV pricing

ProviderStarting price range*ChannelsEquipment fee*DVR service fee*Contract
DirecTV DIRECTV$35-$110/mo.155-330+First receiver free, starting at $7/mo. for each additionalUp to $25/mo.Two years
AT&T U-Verse AT&T$35-$110/mo.190-565+First receiver free, starting at $10/mo. for each additionalIncludedOne year

Both services come with a significant price increase after the first 12 months. If the pricing increase after 12 months is a concern, keep in mind that DIRECTV requires a two-year contract whereas U-verse TV only requires a one-year agreement.

Call to hear more about DIRECTV and U-verse TV packages in your area. Our TV experts will help you find the right DIRECTV or AT&T U-verse plan for your home.

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

You can take advantage of add-on packages and special offers available with DIRECTV or AT&T U-verse TV services. Here are some of the extras you can get from DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse 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 U-verse TV.
  • Premium channels included for three months – Cinemax®, HBO®, Showtime® and STARZ/ENCORE® are included when you order the ULTIMATE package or below.
  • International packages – DIRECTV offers many more international packages than U-verse TV with programming available in Cantonese, Filipino, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian and more. Both DIRECTV and U-verse TV offer Spanish base TV packages.

U-verse TV special features and offers

  • HBO® and Cinemax® included for three months – When you order a U-verse TV package that does not include HBO or Cinemax, you can enjoy the networks free of charge for the first three months of service.
  • EPIX® included for one month – In addition to getting HBO and Cinemax included for three months, you can also get EPIX included for the first month of service at no extra cost.

DIRECTV vs. AT&T U-verse TV and internet bundles

If your address is eligible for AT&T U-verse TV, it will likely also be eligible for AT&T internet service, so U-verse TV bundles will include an AT&T internet plan.

DIRECTV bundles also include AT&T Internet where available, but you may have other options if your address is not in an AT&T-serviceable area. Since DIRECTV is available in more places than AT&T Internet, your DIRECTV bundle may feature internet service from another provider such as CenturyLink, Frontier or Verizon.

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

DIRECTV vs. AT&T U-verse TV customer satisfaction

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) gives TV providers an annual customer satisfaction score based on feedback from actual customers. When scoring providers, the ACSI considers factors such as service quality and customer service experiences.

According to the ACSI, DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse TV consistently score higher than many other TV service providers, including most cable providers. Here’s how they scored over the past three years:

Provider2019 score2018 score2017 scoreAvg. past three years
AT&T U-Verse69/100707069.7

DIRECTV vs. AT&T U-verse TV frequently asked questions

Can you switch from DIRECTV to U-verse?

New DIRECTV services come with a two-year agreement. Switching from DIRECTV to U-verse while still under contract with DIRECTV may result in a fee, even though DIRECTV and U-verse are both AT&T services. Once your agreement with DIRECTV is up, you can switch to U-verse if the service is available in your area.

Is AT&T discontinuing U-verse?

Since acquiring DIRECTV, AT&T has slowed its expansion of U-verse TV services. Currently, there are no immediate plans to discontinue U-verse TV in serviceable areas. U-verse TV is a great option in areas where DIRECTV is unavailable, such as apartment complexes that restrict satellite dishes or homes that do not have clear access to the satellite signals.

Is there a fee to cancel DIRECTV?

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.

Is DIRECTV better than cable?

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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