AT&T TV has a new name: DirecTV Stream. Due to the split of DirecTV and AT&T, the service has been renamed. Despite this, though, it maintains the same basic features and packages as its predecessor.
Source: DirecTV Stream
DirecTV Stream is an internet TV streaming service, and it was previously known as AT&T TV. AT&T launched its AT&T TV Now service in 2016 with much fanfare. Between 2016 and the end of 2018, the service managed to amass nearly 2 million customers. That made it one of the most-used services of its kind on the market, second only to Sling TV.
However, early in 2019, the company restructured its service, significantly raised prices, and reduced the size of its introductory packages. That led to a mass exodus. As of April 2019, AT&T TV Now lost around 20 percent of its subscribers after hitting its peak in October 2018. That’s 350,000 AT&T TV Now subscribers who decided to take their dollars elsewhere.
And then, in 2021, AT&T renamed this service twice – once in early 2021 to simply “AT& TV” and then again to DirecTV Stream in summer 2021. This happened because DirecTV was sold by AT&T TV, and this sale included the service formerly known as AT&T TV.
DirecTV Stream 60-Second Review
DirecTV Stream’s no-contract offer provides a service that is similar to the previous AT&T TV service. You’ll get the same DVR, simultaneous streams, and other features.
In 2019, DirecTV Stream increased its prices dramatically. This drove customers away and now leaves the service in a somewhat precarious position compared to other, lower-cost options like Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, Philo, and YouTube TV.
DirecTV Stream might still have a subscriber base out there, even as it still continues to bleed customers. But it will likely have to make some dramatic changes if it wants the service to remain competitive and attract new customers (or bring back previous customers).
DirecTV Stream Pros and Cons
Unfortunately, the bad may outweigh the good for DirecTV Stream.
- Full list of local broadcast networks. Most competing services don’t offer every popular local broadcast network. DirectTV Stream,, however, has the full list: ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX, as well as a few others many cord-cutters may want.
- Large number of supported apps. DirecTV Stream has among the largest number of supported devices for a service of its kind.
- 72-hour rewind feature. It’s 72-hour rewind feature is not unique, but a distinct benefit to using the service as it allows a constant stream of on-demand content without using DVR storage.
- Pricey. DirecTV Stream is the most expensive service of its kind on the market while offering fewer channels for the price than its competitors.
- Decent app library. Many users complain about DirecTV Stream’s downtime and service interruptions that occur on a regular basis.
- Limited DVR. DirecTV dragged its feet adding a DVR option. Then, when it did, it added a very limited DVR, though it’s now upgradeable.
- Limited device support. DirecTV Stream works on a wide number of devices, but there’s a glaring lack of game console apps and limited web browser support.
DirecTV Stream is now the most expensive service on the market in terms of cost. Its cheapest, entry-level package clocks in at $69.99/month, with higher-tier packages costing up to $119.99/month.
You’ll get 65+ channels with the Entertainment package, 90+ channels with the Choice package, and 130+ channels with the Ultimate package.
These package options can easily leave most cord-cutters reeling a bit, and understandably so. At the high end, DirecTV Stream is more expensive than some traditional cable TV packages. Yes, you’ll mostly get well-known and popular networks, but the cost leaves a lot to be desired when compared to other services.
DirecTV Stream Channels
This service offers the following channels in its different streaming packages (not an exhaustive list):
- ABC (select markets)
- Cartoon Network
- CBS (select markets)
- CNBC World
- Comedy Central
- Disney Channel
- Disney Junior
- Fox (select markets)
- Fox News Channel
- Fox Sports 1
- FX Movie Channel
- Hallmark Channel
- HBO Family
- HBO Latino
- My Network TV (select markets)
- Nat Geo WILD
- National Geographic Channel
- Nick Jr.
- NBC (select markets)
- NBC Sports Network
- Universal Kids
- USA Network
- CBS Sports Network
- Fox Sports 2
- Golf Channel
- Longhorn Network
- MSG (select markets)
- MSG+ (select markets)
- Olympic Channel
- SEC Network
- YES Network (select markets)
- Animal Planet
- AXS TV
- Baby First
- BBC America
- Bloomberg TV
- Comedy Central
- Discovery Channel
- Food Network
- Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
- History Channel
- Investigation Discovery
- Motor Trend
- Nick Jr.
- Nickelodeon / Nick at Nite
- One America News
- Paramount Network
- Telemundo (select markets)
- TV Land
- Univision (select markets)
- We TV
- A Wealth of Entertainment
- Comedy TV
- Cooking Channel
- Justice Central
- MLB Network
- SNY (select markets)
- Tennis Channel
- Travel Channel
- TV One
- The Weather Channel
- BBC World News
- CBS Sports Network
- Destination America
- Discovery Family Channel
- Discovery Life
- DIY Network
- MTV Classic
- NBA TV
- Sportsman Channel
- El Rey
- Starz Encore Action
- Starz Encore Black
- Starz Encore Classic
- Starz Encore East
- Starz Encore Family
- Starz Encore Suspense
- Starz Encore West
- Univision Deportes Network
DirecTV Stream Local Channels
One of DirecTV Stream’s best selling points is the fact that it has the most number of local broadcast networks and regional sports networks. Through this service, you may be able to access:
- The CW
- FOX regional sports networks
- NBC regional sports networks
As with other services, your access to these networks depends on whether or not AT&T was able to secure broadcast rights through your local provider. If not, you won’t get that channel, although you may get an “On-Demand” version of that network that allows you to watch nationally-broadcast shows and events after they air.
In some instances, you may also get the HD version of the network, or a standard version.
Use the DirecTV Stream Channel Lookup Tool to determine which local networks DirecTV StreamT offers in your area.
DirecTV Stream Stream Quality
The biggest limitation of DirecTV Stream’s streams is on its mobile apps. Smartphones, as well as tablets with LTE chips, by default only stream video at 480p. You can unlock this and enable high-definition streaming (typically 720p). Unless you qualify for AT&T Wireless’s free TV feature, you could also face throttling if you exceed your data caps.
As long as you have a Wi-Fi or a wired connection, however, DirecTV Stream streams everything in at least 720p high definition. The exact resolution varies by channel – some provide a 1080p feed while others only stream at 720p.
DirecTV Stream will also adjust the streaming quality based on the quality of your internet connection. It recommends that households have internet connections running at least 12 Mbps to ensure the best quality.
Unfortunately, you may face a lot of service disruptions while trying to stream. A common complaint with DirecTV Stream is downtime. You can find a regular stream of complaints about this at DownDetector, which tracks downtime for numerous websites.
DirecTV Stream has apps for Apple TV and Roku set-top boxes as well as devices built on the Chromecast or Amazon Fire platforms can watch DirecTV Stream too. But the streaming service has some major gaps in its device support strategy. Game console owners, for example, are left in the cold without app support.
Subscribers can stream content on up to 20 devices at a time.
Browser support is the biggest hole in DirecTV Stream’s service. The streaming service only supports Chrome and Safari web browsers.
The full list of supported devices includes:
- TV streaming media players: Apple TV (4th gen and up, 5th gen and up for 4K), Amazon Fire TV (2nd gen and up, 1st gen for Cube), Chromecast (2nd gen and up), Roku (most models)
- Smart TVs: Samsung TV (2017 and 2018 models), Android TV (4.4 and up), Roku TV (7000X), Mi TV, Amazon Fire TV Edition smart TV (2nd gen and up), Chromecast Built-in TV
- Mobile devices and tablets: Android (5.0 and up), iOS (10 and up), Amazon Fire (tablets)
- Desktop browsers: Chrome and Safari recommended
DirecTV Stream on Roku
The DirecTV Stream app can be used on most Roku devices, including Roku Express, Roku TV, and Roku Streaming sticks. Some device version limitations may apply, and your experience may be limited with older versions. The Roku version of the app has a 3.3 out of 5-star rating on the Roku Channels store.
DirecTV Stream on Fire TV Stick
The DirecTV Stream app works on 2nd Generation Amazon Fire TV devices, including the Fire TV Stick. The app is rather poorly received on Amazon Fire, however, with a 2.8 out of 5 stars on the app store.
DirecTV Stream on Apple TV
Apple TV users can download the DirecTV Stream app on Apple TV (4th Generation or newer) and Apple TV 4K (5th Generation or newer).
DirecTV Stream on iPhones and iPads
The DirecTV Stream app is available for use on iPhones or iPads through the App Store. You’ll need an Apple device running iOS 10+. The iOS app is poorly rated, however, with a 2.3 out of 5 stars. Users consistently point to issues with the app freezing.
DirecTV Stream on Android Phones and Tablets
Android users can download the DirecTV Stream app on devices running Android 5.0 or newer. Be warned: the app has a paltry 2.7 out of 5 rating on Google Play. Users appear to be particularly displeased with streams that won’t load, freezing, and the price increases.
According DirecTV Stream, the service has 40,000 to 55,000+ titles in its on-demand library, depending on the package you choose. Some of that is thanks to the 72-hour rewind feature, which keeps broadcasts from its channels available to users for 3 days after they air.
However, much of that content is owned by AT&T, making it content that is likely going to stay in place for quite a while.
You can get to the on-demand content in two key ways. You can easily choose the “Discover” option, or you can use the search function to look up specific TV shows or channels. Any on-demand content available from those channels or with those titles will be there for you to stream immediately.
DirecTV Stream offers a cloud DVR for subscribers, but it’s the worst in the market, by far. Regardless of which package you choose, you’ll get a 20-hour cloud DVR. That’s smaller than anything any other service offers, but it’s worse: DirecTV Stream also puts a time limit on videos. Your recorded videos will expire in 90 days. And if you’re recording episodes of a single series, you’re limited to 10 episodes from that series.
However, you can pay a $10/month fee to get unlimited storage. Note that you can still only record 30 episodes from each TV show, even with this upgrade.
You can get to your saved videos by going to “My Library”. The cloud DVR works on most, but not all, of DirecTV Stream supported devices, and in some cases, you can skip through commercials.
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DirecTV Stream Customer Support
If you need help with your DirecTV Stream subscription, you’ll find a few support options:
- Phone support
- Knowledgebase Help Center articles
- Live chat
- Community forum
- Social media (Twitter, Facebook)
To put it frankly, the DirecTV Stream support page is a mess. It’s altogether difficult to find what you’re looking for. Your best options are to either use phone support if you can tolerate that option, or the online live chat if an agent is available.
I always opt for live chat, and I found that that option was at least fast. The agent was helpful as well.
You can easily cancel DirecTV Stream through your account settings. Just do the following:
- Open your account and click on the gear symbol for the account settings
- Click on “Account details”
- Click on “Manage subscription”
- At the bottom, select “I want to cancel”
- In the next screen, select “Continue to cancel”
- Click “No need to chat, continue to cancel”
Now that you can negotiate for a lower subscription price if you do choose the chat option before you cancel.
DirecTV Stream Refund Policy
You cannot get a refund from DirecTV Stream. This is a policy that exists across the internet TV industry. DirecTV Stream will let you finish the remainder of your paid-for subscription period after you cancel.
Even with the state of things as they are, DirecTV Stream could still be a good option if you’re trying to replace cable TV. At $69.99 per month at a minimum, the lowest cost option isn’t the best on the market, but it might come with a complete line-up of local channels for you and is one of the few live TV services left still offering regional sports networks.
Still, you may be able to work out a better deal through other options. DirecTV Stream’s pricing leaves a lot to be desired, and its poor app quality may provide a frustrating experience. But if you can muscle through for the regional sports, it’s still a safe subscribe.