What is DIRECTV STREAM?
DIRECTV STREAM is a streaming service from AT&T that lets you watch both live and on-demand content without an annual contract. You can access its catalog directly through your smartphone or smart TV, although an exclusive DIRECTV Stream Device is available to enhance your at-home experience.
As well as providing an easy setup process, the Stream Device comes with a nifty voice-controlled remote, smart home capabilities, and the ability to stream in 4K. Although it was only available in select markets a few years ago, DIRECTV STREAM has since branched out and can now be viewed just about everywhere in the nation.
Here’s what you need to know about DIRECTV STREAM before signing up for the lesser-known service.
DIRECTV STREAM Plans and Pricing
Four plans are available for DIRECTV STREAM. The most affordable option is the Entertainment plan at $69.99/mo., which offers more than 65+ channels and includes a variety of free premium content (Showtime, Starz, etc.) for the first three months.
Bump up to the Choice Plan at $89.99/mo. and you’ll get more than 90 channels, including Regional Sports Networks (including Bally Sports). The two final plans (Ultimate and Premier) feature a bundle of exclusive content and price tags to rival that of a standard cable subscription. Here’s a closer look at all four DIRECTV STREAM plans:
|Number of channels||65+||90+||125+||140+|
|Original content (Yes/No)||No||No||No||No|
|Streaming quality||Up to 4K||Up to 4K||Up to 4K||Up to 4K|
Although it’s the cheapest plan available at $69.99/mo., the Entertainment Plan is still overflowing with content. This includes more than 65 live channels (including Disney, Nickelodeon, ESPN, and more) along with more than 40,000 on-demand titles. It also comes with Showtime, Starz, Epix, and Cinemax free for your first three months.
If you’re looking for a bit more variety from your streaming service, consider upgrading to the Choice Plan. Here you’ll find more than 90 live channels with more than 45,000 on-demand titles and Regional Sports Networks. It’s the perfect option for a large family of diverse interests, although it does carry a hefty price tag of $89.99/mo.
At $104.99/mo., the Ultimate Plan is where much of DIRECTV STREAM’s premium content is hiding. Not only will you have a catalog of more than 125 live channels, but there’s also more than 55,000 on-demand titles available for viewing, Regional Sports Networks, and every STARZ Encore channel.
As the most expensive plan in the DIRECTV STREAM lineup, the $149.99/mo. Premier Plan doesn’t pull any punches. With 140 live channels, 65,000 on-demand titles, Regional Sports Networks, HBO Max, Cinemax, Showtime, and Starz all included, there’s no shortage of great shows and movies at your disposal.
DIRECTV STREAM Supported Devices
DIRECTV STREAM is compatible with many of today’s most popular smartphones and TVs. Whether you’re streaming from a laptop, smartphone, or a smart TV, there’s no shortage of ways to catch up on your favorite shows. The following devices and software are supported by DIRECTV STREAM:
- Amazon Fire TV (second generation or higher)
- Amazon Fire TV Stick (second generation or higher)
- Amazon Fire TV Edition Smart TV (second generation and higher)
- Amazon Fire TV Cube
- Android smartphones (running version 7.1+)
- Apple TV (fourth generation)
- Safari browser (version 13+ is recommended)
- iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touch running version iOS 11+ (iOS 12+ recommended)
- Chrome browser (version 68 or higher)
- Chromecast Built-in TV (select models)
- Chromecast (second generation and higher)
- Edge browser (latest version)
- Roku Streaming Stick and Streaming Stick+
- Roku Express and Express+
- Roku Premiere and Premiere+
- Roku Ultra and Roku LT
- Roku 1 SE
- Roku 2
- Roku 3
- Roku 4
- Non-4K Roku TV
- 4K Roku TV
- Roku Smart Soundbar
- Select Samsung TV models between 2017-2021 (more details)
What to Watch on DIRECTV STREAM
There’s no shortage of great content available on DIRECTV STREAM, although what’s accessible to you will vary by package. For example, anyone who picks up the Choice, Ultimate, or Premier Plan should check out Regional Sports Networks — something that isn’t available to Entertainment Plan subscribers.
Every plan, however, can enjoy channels such as A&E, Animal Planet, Discovery, HGTV, TBS, USA, and more. News networks such as CNBC, CNN, HLN, and MSNBC are also prominently featured across all DIRECTV Plans. Oddly enough, The Weather Channel isn’t included in the standard Entertainment Plan — so avid meteorologists will need to spring for at least the Choice Plan.
Premier Plan subscribers, meanwhile, will want to check out HBO’s catalog of exclusive originals, such as The Wire, Euphoria, Peacemaker, and much more, as well as Yellowjackets, Billions, American Rust, and many more on Showtime. Subscribers can also watch hit originals like Warrior, The Knick, Banshee, and other original series on Cinemax, and Outlander, The Girlfriend Experience, Power, and more on Starz — all at no additional cost.
DIRECTV STREAM Features
Like most other streaming services, DIRECTV STREAM comes with a variety of useful features. This includes a robust DVR, a curated library, and the option to record multiple shows at once.
DIRECTV STREAM offers unlimited storage in its Cloud DVR, although there are a few caveats. For example, recordings will expire after 90 days, and a max of 30 episodes per series can be stored. It’s also an upgrade to the standard DVR and runs an additional $9.99/mo. Without the upgrade, you’re looking at just 20 hours of storage.
DIRECTV STREAM subscribers can stream up to 20 different screens at once, although it’s limited to three away-from-home screens. This means you can stream up to a whopping 23 devices in total at one time.
Parental Controls and User Profiles
Turning on parental controls is simple with DIRECTV STREAM. The service lets you set up a PIN to block certain content on your account and prevent certain users from accessing different channels.
Voice Control Remote
If you spring for the DIRECTV Stream Device, you’ll get a nifty control that makes it easy to get all the action. It even works with voice commands, so you can quickly navigate to your favorite shows, movies, and sports without missing a beat.
The Final Cut
DIRECTV STREAM is a bit more expensive than the competition, but there’s no doubt it offers a bundle of great content. It’s also great to see premium channels such as HBO and Showtime offered as part of the most expensive packages, removing the need for secondary plans and add-on content.
The availability of an actual DIRECTV Stream Device makes this a good middle ground for recent cord-cutters — with a remote, boxtop set, and the best channels and networks, everyone will feel at home with DIRECTV STREAM. And if you don’t opt for the Stream Device, it’s great to know it’s supported by a wide variety of smartphones and other devices.It’s still best to shop around (Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV are the two big competitors), but anyone seeking a premium streaming service that doesn’t cut any corners should find DIRECTV STREAM to be an attractive option.