If you’ve heard about DirecTV Now and fuboTV but can’t decide which to get, keep reading. We recently pit DirecTV Now vs. fuboTV to find out how these two next-generation internet TV services compare. Continue on to find out 11 facts you need to know before you buy.

Overview

Here’s a bird’s eye view of what DirecTV Now and fuboTV bring to the table.

DirecTV Now

DirecTV Now channels galore
Source: DirecTV Now

Best features

DirecTV Now’s key asset is its massive channel menu. Other “skinny bundle” internet TV services want you to go on a “TV diet,” but DirecTV Now replicates the cable TV experience with its generous subscription packages. You’d have to pay over twice as much per month to get the same set of channels from a traditional cable company.

Downsides

The main weakness DirecTV Now has is its limited feature set. All the other internet TV services launched with recording features, but DirecTV Now did not. Additionally, DirecTV Now has tight account sharing limits. You can only stream to two devices at once. However, DirecTV Now will will close the feature deficit and introduce ultra HD channels this spring when it debuts the 2.0 version of the DirecTV Now app.

Subscriber count

DirecTV Now’s channel-first strategy seems to be working. DirecTV Now rang in 2018 by announcing that it had surpassed 1 million subscribers. It’s one of the fastest-growing internet TV services on the market.

fuboTV

Source: fuboTV

Best features

Instead of attempting to be all things to all TV fans, fuboTV opted to specialize in two key areas: sports and Spanish-language channels. fuboTV’s main selling point is that it has more sports channels than any other internet TV provider. It also has a video recorder that lets you save recordings to the internet and a well-rounded list of popular cable TV channels.

Downsides

The main issue with fuboTV is that it’s a sports-oriented streaming service that lacks ESPN. In addition, many of its sports channels look choppy at 30fps. fuboTV only has two 60fps channels. Another problem: fuboTV is pricey compared to the competition.

Subscriber count

Last time fuboTV announced its subscriber count was in October of last year, when it hit the 100,000 subscriber mark. According to fuboTV CEO David Gandler, 150,000 fuboTV subscribers logged in to watch the Super Bowl.

DirecTV Now Vs. fuboTV: In-depth Comparison

Ready to dig into the nitty gritty details? Here are 11 facts you should know about these internet TV services before you sign up.

Fact 1: DirecTV Now Has Lower Prices (and Far Better Special Offers)

Though DirecTV Now and fuboTV are both cheap compared to cable, DirecTV Now’s least expensive subscription is $10 less than fuboTV’s.

Unless you only want to get Spanish or Portuguese channels, you’ll have to pay at least $45 to get fuboTV. DirecTV Now’s cheapest plan costs $35 per month.

DirecTV Now has 4 different plans:

  • Live a Little: 60+ channels / $35 per month.
  • Just Right: 80+ channels / $50 per month.
  • Go Big: 100+ channels / $60 per month.
  • Gotta Have It: 120+ channels / $70 per month.

fuboTV’s main plan is fubo Premier, which costs $45. In addition to Premier, there’s also an $18 Spanish-language pack called fubo Latino and a $20 Portuguese-language pack called fubo Portuguese.

  • fubo Premier: 80+ channels / $45 per month
  • fubo Latino: 13 channels / $18 per month.
  • fubo Portuguese: 5 channels / $20 per month.

Another factor to think about when considering price is the fact that DirecTV Now has better deals and discounts compared to fuboTV. If you’re an AT&T Unlimited subscriber, you can get $15 off any DirecTV Now plan. And if you pay for three months of service in advance, you can get an Apple TV 4K for free.

Apple TV DirecTV Now
DirecTV Now has better deals compared to fuboTV. Source: DirecTV Now

fuboTV’s only promotion is a $25 discount for your first month of fubo Premier. After that, you have to pay $45.

Fact 2: DirecTV Now Has More Channels (Barely)

When it comes to total available channels, DirecTV Now is king of the hill. DirecTV Now’s “Gotta Have It” base plan comes with 120+ channels.

On the other hand, fuboTV isn’t far behind. fubo Premier comes with 80+ channels — and if you buy all of fuboTV’s add-on packages, you can get well over 100 channels.

fuboTV has 8 channel add-on packages:

  • International Sports Plus – $6 extra, 5 channels
    • Fox Soccer Plus, ChelseaTV, GolTV English, GolTV Spanish and TyC Sports
  • Sports Plus – $9 extra, 15 channels
    • 6 regional Pac-12 channels, NFL RedZone, 3 Fox College Sports channels, GolTV English, GolTV Spanish, TyC Sports, FNTSY Sports Network and Fight Network
  • Showtime – $11 extra, 9 channels
    • 9 different Showtime movie channels
  • Portugese Plus – $15 extra, 3 channels
    • GolTV Spanish, BTV, RTP International
  • Mundo Plus – $6 extra, 5 channels
    • GolTV Spanish, TyC Sports, Cine Sony, Fox Life, Nat Geo Mundo
  • Fubo Latino – $13 extra, 6 channels
    • GolTV Spanish, TyC Sports, BabyTV HD, Cine Sony, Fox Life, Nat Geo Mundo
  • Cycling Plus – $9 extra, 1 channel
    • fubo Cycling
  • Kids Plus – $3 extra, 1 channel
    • BabyTV HD

DirecTV Now only has 4 channel add-on packs. For $5 extra each, you can tack on HBO and Showtime and for $8 more, you can get Showtime and STARZ.

Fact 3: fuboTV Has Way More Sports Channels (but Not ESPN)

Though DirecTV’s channel menu is bigger overall, no other internet TV service has more sports channels than fuboTV.

However, there is big gap in fuboTV’s sports lineup: ESPN. ESPN’s parent company Disney and fuboTV have not been able to reach an agreement, so fuboTV does not carry cable’s most popular sports channel.

Despite the fact that ESPN is not on the menu, fuboTV’s $45 fubo Premier plan does still have a very solid sports lineup.

Sports channels that come with fubo Premier:

  • NBC Sports Network
  • NFL Network
  • Pac 12 Networks
  • Big 10 Network
  • CBS Sports Network
  • NBA TV
  • Fox Sports 1
  • Fox Sports 2
  • Big 10 Network
  • NBC Golf
  • Fox Desportes
  • Eleven Sports
  • Olympic Channel
  • Fox Soccer Plus
  • 10 different BeIN sports channels

If you’re willing to pay $9 extra for the Sports Extra channel add-on, you can add even more sports channels.

Channels that come with fuboTV’s Sports Extra:

  • NFL RedZone
  • 6 Pac 12 channels
  • 3 Fox College Sports channels
  • GolTV (English and Spanish)
  • TyC Sports
  • FNTSY Sports Network
  • Fight Network.

DirecTV Now has a small but solid selection of sports channels– and ESPN is on the menu.

Sports channels that come with DirecTV Now:

  • NBC Sports Network
  • CBS Sports Network
  • ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS and ESPNU
  • Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2
  • Golf Channel
  • MLB Network
  • NBA TV
  • NHL Network
  • Olympic Channel
  • Sportsman Channel
  • SEC Network.

Fact 4: DirecTV Now Has Better Looking Streams

DirecTV Now is one of the only internet services with 1080p / 60fps channels.

“1080p” refers to resolution– or, the number of pixels that a stream can display. 720p streams display 720 vertical lines of pixels at once and are considered to be “standard HD” streams. 1080p streams can display nearly twice as many vertical pixel lines.

The difference between 1080p and 720p is not huge, but you can still see the difference in some situations:

“FPS” stands for “frames per second.” The more frames per second, the smoother the stream looks.

Here’s a YouTube video that illustrates the difference between 30fps and 60fps:

Currently, you can stream the following DirecTV Now channels in 1080p / 60fps: CBS, CBS Sports, The Olympic Channel and POP.

In spring, DirecTV Now will upgrade most of their channels to 1080p / 60fps and introduce 4K channels. 4K streams contain nearly four times as much information compared to 1080p streams.

On Reddit, DirecTV Now’s beta testers have reported that nearly all the channels in the beta version of the DirecTV Now app are in HD.

“Not sure if others have noticed, but DirecTV Now BETA now offers streams of up to 1080p/60fps at 10Mbps using the high efficiency video codec (H.265) on capable devices like AppleTV 4K.” – Redditor / DirecTV Now beta tester milan03

The official version of the new DirecTV Now app will come out sometime this spring.fuboTV maxes out at 720p, and only two channels deliver 60fps: Fox Sports and BTN. Other channels are stuck at 30fps.

Fact 5: DirecTV Now Unlocks More Cable TV Apps

If you’ve ever visited a cable TV website or opened a cable TV app, you may have run into a screen that prompts you to enter TV Everywhere credentials.

Without TVE, you’re usually limited to short clips and bonus content. With TVE, however, you can watch full episodes of shows and sometimes even access live TV streams.

DirecTV Now lets you unlock 53 TVE websites/apps:

  • Broadcast networks: ABC, Fox Now, NBC.
  • News: CNBC, BBC America, MSNBC Now, Viceland.
  • Movies: IFC, SundanceTV.
  • For kids: DisneyNOW, Nick, Nick Jr.
  • Sports: WatchESPN, BTN2GO, NBC Bay Area, NBC California, NBC Chicago, NBC Mid-Atlantic, NBC New England, CBS Sports, Fox Sports Go, MLB.com At Bat, MLB Network, FOX Sports Go, NBC Golf, The Olympic Channel, NBC Sports,
  • Arts and education: Nat Geo TV, FYI, History.
  • Lifestyle: Lifetime, A&E, BET, CMT, LOGO MAX GO, MTV, WEtv, VH1.
  • Entertainment: Freeform, Comedy Central, AMC, FX Now, Oxygen Now, SYFY Now, TV Land, Sprout Now, Bravo Now, HBO GO, Showtime Anytime, USA NOW, Paramount Network.
  • Spanish: Telemundo Now, UNIVERSO NOW.

Note: Some of the apps listed above won’t work with DirecTV Now unless you buy the appropriate add-on. For example, you can’t unlock the HBO or Showtime apps unless you pay extra to add them to your DirecTV Now plan.

fuboTV is not that far behind DirecTV Now when it comes to TVE compatibility. fuboTV can unlock 34 TVE websites/apps:

  • Broadcast networks: CBS, NBC, CBSN, Fox Now.
  • News: CNBC, Viceland, MSNBC.
  • Movies: None.
  • For kids: None.
  • Sports: beIN SPORTS, beIN SPORTS en Español, BTN2Go, Olympic Channel, Fox Sports Go, MSG Go, Pac-12, NBC Sports.
  • Arts and education: Nat Geo TV, FYI, History.
  • Lifestyle: A&E, E! Now, Esquire TV Now, Lifetime.
  • Entertainment: Hallmark Channel Everywhere, FXNOW, UDN, Oxygen Now, Syfy Now, Sprout Now, Bravo Now, USA Now.
  • Spanish: Galavision, Universo Now, UniMas, Univision.

Note: You can’t unlock the MSG Go app unless you get the MSG (Madison Square Garden) channel through FuboTV. Currently, only New Yorkers can get MSG. The same principle applies to fuboTV’s other apps as well. If you don’t have the channel, you can’t unlock the app.

Fact 6: fuboTV Has Better Recording Features

Most internet TV services have cloud DVRs (Digital Video Recorders). DVRs let you record TV content and save your recordings to the internet.

fuboTV’s DVR lets you record 30 hours of content and keep it as long as you want. DirecTV Now’s DVR is still in beta. When DirecTV Now’s official DVR comes out this spring, though, DirecTV Now subscribers will be able to record 100 hours of content.

Fact 7: Both Services Have Weak Account Sharing Features

If you intend to share your internet TV service with your family, you may find both fuboTV and DirecTV Now to be somewhat restrictive. DirecTV Now and fuboTV will both limit you to two simultaneous streams.

DirecTV Now plans to upgrade to 3 simultaneous streams this spring, though.

Fact 8: DirecTV Now Has a Much Bigger On-demand Library

DirecTV Now currently has 25,000 on-demand shows and movies, and it plans to bump that number up to 35,000 this spring.

The fuboTV website doesn’t say exactly how much on-demand content you get when you subscribe. However, last time we checked out fuboTV’s on-demand library we only found a few hundred titles.

Fact 9: DirecTV Now Doesn’t Have an Android TV App

If you have an Android TV, you’ll have to either sideload the DirecTV Now Android app or find some other way to tune into DirecTV Now.

Fact 10: They Both Lack Game Console Apps

DirecTV Now and fuboTV both lack PlayStation/Xbox apps. Both services, however, have apps for most mainstream devices.

DirecTV Now apps

  • Living room devices: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and Roku.
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: None.
  • Mobile devices and tablets: Android and iOS.
  • Game consoles: None.
  • Desktop browsers: Chrome and Safari.

fuboTV apps

  • Living room devices: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Chromecast and Roku.
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: None.
  • Mobile devices and tablets: Android and iOS.
  • Game consoles: None.
  • Desktop browsers: Chrome is recommended.

Fact 11: They Both Have 7-day Free Trials

Still not sure which is right for you? Try them both out yourself and see what you think.

Shortcode TV Subscription Desktop Directv black 700px

 

FuboTV Shortcode

 

DirecTV Now vs. fuboTV: Which Is Better?

The answer depends on how much you like sports, how picky you are about picture quality– and how much you trust AT&T to deliver on the promises it made at the beginning of this year.

If you’ve been reluctant to cut the cord because you don’t want to miss out on sports action, fuboTV could be the streaming service you’ve been waiting for. Otherwise, DirecTV Now is a much better deal.