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Although winging on an expensive edge, DIRECTV does come with its comprehensive content benefits

Nitika Dahiya | Streaming Expert

I rate DIRECTV a 9.1/10. Earlier known as AT&T TV, DirecTV is all about the cable experience, and the swipe left, and right capability is rather innovative.

Even though the company has significantly increased its material, the service still falls behind every other competitor by a substantial margin.

 

The $85 Choice package, which includes HBO and RSNs, is unrivaled by the competition if you're a sports enthusiast. The Premier DirecTV package costs $139.99 and consists of 140+ channels and 20 hours of Cloud DVR recording time. 

 

Whether you're a serial TV viewer, a sports enthusiast, or a Blockbuster aficionado, DirecTV Stream has a fascinating amount of programming to watch—quality is not an issue. The DirecTV interface is well-designed: it's simple to surf stations and record programs, and it provides HD quality rapidly with a good internet connection.

 

However, DirecTV is incompatible with most gaming consoles which is a technical drawback.

Get Started With DIRECTV Now!

DirecTV is an on-demand and live TV streaming service from AT&T that was previously known as AT&T TV and was recently rebranded as DirecTV Stream.

During the name transition from DIRECTV Now, the service lost a considerable number of consumers, and those numbers continued to dwindle, with the former AT&T TV Now dropping to around 685,000 subscribers in September 2020. The combined service is contract-free and entirely app-based, so you won't need an AT&T set-top box or any other AT&T-branded hardware. It was again rebranded as DirecTV stream on 27 Aug 2021.

DirecTV Subscription cost

  • A basic plan starts at $70, extending to $85 a month
  • The cheapest DirecTV bundle is the Entertainment package, which costs $69.99 per month with no contract or $59.99 per month for the first year of a two-year contract.
  • There are 75 channels available, with a mix of entertainment, sports, news, lifestyle, and family programming, but no premium channels. 
  • As a result, the basic DirecTV package is relatively pricey; 
  • Entertainment, Choice, Ultimate, and Premier are the four month-to-month plans offered by DirecTV.
  • The number of channels you get is the only variation between the plans. 
  • The Choice package, which costs $84.99 per month, brings the total number of channels to roughly 90. 
  • RSNs are the most significant advantage of the Choice plan (and every higher-priced tier) over the Entertainment plan.
  • Alternatives such as YouTube TV and Hulu Live TV offer at least the same amount of channels for less, and even Philo, the cheapest option, offers a similar number of services (although without much news or sports) for a significantly lower price.

Streaming service features

User Interface:

 
  • DirecTV's web interface is less flashy than competitors', with much white space and uniform-looking listings.
  • It is, nevertheless, simple to use, and during my testing, I did not find any stuttering pages or crashes. However, I'd like to see a dark mode.
 

Streaming experience:

 
  • The DirecTV streaming options are simple to use and include all of the standard playback functions. 
  • You receive 15-second rewind and fast-forward buttons (for select channels), a DVR record button, a Restart button, and other capabilities in addition to the standard playback controls.

Multiple profiles:

 
  • Three simultaneous streams (combining mobile and 10-foot devices), with a basic plan of DirecTV and internet connection of over 250mbps. 
  • However, if you're just using 10-foot devices, you'll only be able to watch two streams at once. 
  • DirecTV just increased the number of simultaneous in-home streaming to 20, which is excellent news for families with multiple individuals who want to watch at the same time.
 

DVR Storage:

 
  • Although DirecTV's DVR capabilities have increased, they still fall short of those offered by competitors.
  • You have a chance to record up to 20 hours of content. 
  • It also stores the recordings for up to 90 days with the service. 
  • You may record an unlimited amount of hours for an extra $10 each month, which is a good choice if you aren't always available to view shows when they appear.
 

Parental controls:

 
  • DirecTV is an exception to all live TV streaming providers; it also includes parental controls.
  • You can restrict access to everything that doesn't have a rating under the Settings section and block movies and TV shows based on their rating.
  • Both live and on-demand programming is subject to restrictions.

 

What does it lack?

 

Weak contract option:

 
  • A two-year contract is available from DirecTV, but it's not an exceptionally terrific price.
  • If you sign up for the contract, you'll get an DirecTV Stream set-top box, unlimited cloud DVR (usually $10 per month extra), and a first-year discount, with a hefty price hike in the second year.
  • With a contract, the basic Entertainment DirecTV channel lineup costs $60 per month for the first year, then $93 per month for the second. 
  • The overall cost of both packages is more than merely going month-to-month for two years because of those second-year price hikes.
 

VPN Compatibility:

 
  • I linked my desktop PC and a mobile phone to Top 10 VPN servers in Sweden and the United States for testing. 
  • I had no issue streaming on either my desktop or mobile device using the connection to the US-based VPN server. However, the service stopped operating when I switched to the VPN server in Sweden. 
  • Even if your VPN and video streaming service are working fine right now, there's no guarantee that they will continue to do so in the future.
 

Incompatibility with few devices:

 
  • The lack of gaming console functionality and the rather lengthy load times for navigation and playing are two other significant flaws with DirecTV.
  • A streaming service can no longer afford to be unavailable on popular platforms such as Xbox and Playstation.

Conclusion

DirecTV is a dependable live TV streaming service with features like Lookback and Restart. It does, however, provide an excessive number of channel packages, the majority of which are costly.

DirecTV's DVR capabilities are significantly inferior to those of competitors, and its apps are less appealing. Ultimately, DirecTV failed to impress me. The base Entertainment bundle is reasonably priced, but the higher tiers are prohibitively expensive.