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YouTube TV vs DIRECTV Stream: Which TV Streaming Service is Right for You?

youtube tv vs directv stream

When it comes to streaming services, two names shine brightly for their wide range of offerings and distinct features: YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream. While both services have a large selection of channels and features, their target markets are slightly different. Understand the comparison of YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream in terms of pricing, channel lineup, features, and overall user experience to help you decide which one is right for you.

What is YouTube TV?

Google, a major player in the tech industry, runs the streaming service YouTube TV. Launched in 2017, it offers live TV streaming from various major broadcast and popular cable networks. With YouTube TV, you can watch your favorite shows, movies, news, and sports events on almost any device with an internet connection, including smart TVs, streaming devices, smartphones, and tablets.

What is DirecTV Stream?

One of the top satellite TV providers in the United States, DirecTV, offers DirecTV Stream, formerly known as AT&T TV. Introduced in 2019, DirecTV Stream allows you to stream live TV channels, on-demand content, and DVR recordings without the need for a satellite dish or a long-term contract.

Compare YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream

DirecTV Stream and YouTube TV differ in several key areas:

YouTube TV vs DirecTV Stream Pricing

YouTube TV: YouTube TV offers a single package priced at $72.99 per month. This plan includes more than 85 channels, including well-known cable networks like ESPN, CNN, and HGTV, as well as major networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox. There are no hidden fees or contracts, and you can cancel anytime.

DirecTV Stream: DirecTV Stream offers several packages, starting with the Entertainment plan, which has more than 65 channels, at $79.99 per month. The Choice package, priced at $98.99 per month, offers over 90 channels, including regional sports networks. Premium channels and add-ons are also available for an extra fee on DIRECTV Stream.

Winner: YouTube TV wins this round with its slightly lower base price and transparent pricing structure.

YouTube TV vs DirecTV Channel List

YouTube TV: YouTube TV offers a diverse channel lineup that includes major broadcast networks, news channels, sports channels, and entertainment channels. Some notable channels included in the lineup are ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN, CNN, AMC, and FX.

DirecTV Stream: DirecTV Stream offers a wide selection of sports and entertainment-focused channels, including ESPN, TNT, TBS, HGTV, FX, and regional sports networks. It also offers access to local channels in select markets.

Winner: DIRECTV Stream wins this round for its wider selection of channels, particularly in the sports and entertainment categories.

DirecTV Stream vs. YouTube TV Features

YouTube TV: YouTube TV offers many features, such as an intuitive interface, limitless cloud DVR storage, and the ability to view on numerous devices at once. It also includes features like personalized recommendations and the ability to pause, rewind, and fast-forward live TV.

DirecTV Stream: Similar services of YouTube TV are available with DirecTV Stream, such as cloud DVR storage and multi-device viewing. It also includes advanced features like the ability to stream on up to 20 devices at once and the option to watch select channels in 4K Ultra HD.

Winner: This round is a tie, as both services offer a similar set of features with some minor differences.

YouTube TV vs. DirecTV Satellite User Experience

YouTube TV: YouTube TV is known for its intuitive interface and easy-to-use features. Many devices, including PCs, tablets, smartphones, and streaming devices like Roku and Apple TV, can access the service. The user interface is the same on all of these devices, so switching between them is simple.

DirecTV Stream: DirecTV Stream offers a user-friendly interface similar to traditional cable or satellite TV. Many different devices, including game consoles, smart TVs, and streaming players, can access the service. The user interface might be a little trickier for certain users than YouTube TV’s, though.

Winner: This time, YouTube TV prevails because of its consistency and ease of use across platforms.

DirecTV Stream vs. YouTube TV: Difference in Picture Quality

When you look at the picture quality of DirecTV Stream and YouTube TV, both services offer high-definition streaming for a clear view. But there are differences:

  • DirecTV Stream has some channels in 4K Ultra HD, which is higher quality for certain TVs. YouTube TV mostly has standard HD and 1080p.
  • DirecTV Stream is known for smooth streaming with little buffering. YouTube TV is also good but might buffer more during busy times.
  • Both work on smart TVs, streaming players, and phones. But to watch 4K on DirecTV Stream, you need a 4K TV and device.
  • You need 25 Mbps of internet speed for 4K on DirecTV Stream, and 13 Mbps is good for HD on YouTube TV.

If you care a lot about picture quality and have a 4K TV, DirecTV Stream’s 4K might be better. But if you’re okay with HD and care more about channels and cost, YouTube TV is a good choice.

Is YouTube TV better than DirectTV?

Choosing between YouTube TV and DirecTV depends on what you value most. YouTube TV is easy to use and has a fixed price, which is great if you like simplicity. DirecTV offers more channel options and possibly better picture quality, but it may be more complicated and have extra costs. Consider what matters most to you, like channel selection, ease of use, and cost, to decide which service is best for you.


  • Hailey Wilkinson

    Hailey is an accomplished writer with eight years of experience in top tech magazines, specializing in all things smart and innovative. As a tech aficionado, she is always up to date with the latest gadgets and appliances. When she's not immersed in the digital world, you can find her collecting sneakers or venturing into the great outdoors. Hailey is a versatile individual with a passion for technology, fashion, and the beauty of nature.