Sling TV vs DirecTV Stream: Streaming Service Comparison

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If you’ve finally made the jump from cable to streaming, you might be overwhelmed by the options that you’re finding that are now available to you.

Many streaming packages are designed to give you the look and feel of cable for less money.

This guide is a comparison of two streaming services — Sling TV and DirecTV Stream (formerly AT&T TV). By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision on what you need in an online streaming service.

In a hurry? You can jump straight to Sling TV or DirecTV Stream to try their services yourself. Sling TV offers a $10 first month, while DirecTV Stream guarantees your money back within 14 days!

In the sections below you’re going to be able to compare channel lineup, features, device support, and pricing. This will allow you to determine the overall value of each service when it comes to your needs.

So, if you’re considering Sling TV or DirecTV Stream, and you’re still not sure, this comparison should give you all the details you need to make a good choice!

Sling TV vs DirecTV Summary

Sling and DirecTV Stream greatly vary in price, so at first sight, it’s a poor comparison. Sling starts at $35 per month while DirecTV Stream subscription begins at $69.99 per month.

However, Sling TV add-ons allow huge customizability and you can easily craft a plan that competes with DirecTV’s upper-tier packages.

DirecTV’s add-ons are more about premium entertainment, while Sling allows you to create an all-rounder plan for an affordable monthly price. What they do have in common is that there is no contract — you can cancel anytime.

As for local channels, it’s harder to access them with Sling TV — you may need an indoor antenna.

Device support is definitely better with Sling since they have more compatible gadgets you can stream on. Still, DirecTV Stream is ideal if you have particular devices, like a Samsung TV, since DirecTV supports Samsung TVs up to date.

Overall, Sling TV is a better value streaming service, though if you want everything that’s available in the premium entertainment category, there’s little that DirecTV doesn’t offer. You just need to pay for it.

Read on to see how Sling vs DirecTV compares side-by-side.

Try Sling TV at $10 for the first month OR Get DirecTV Stream with a 14-day money-back guarantee.

Sling TV vs DirecTV Stream At a Glance

This is a breakdown of some of the factors that generally help people choose between services like Sling TV and DirecTV Stream.

This provides you with a quick look at some of the most important factors in a streaming service aside from channel availability and price.

DirecTV Stream Plans
DirecTV has four plans — you can read more about them below.
  • Features – Sling TV and DirecTV do share a lot of the same features. You can stream on multiple devices simultaneously. You’ll have an on-demand library at your disposal and you’ll also be able to use TV Everywhere apps with your package. Sling includes 50 hours of cloud DVR storage, while DirecTV includes 20 — but DirecTV gives you unlimited space for $10 per month.
  • Device Compatibility –Both Sling TV and DirecTV Stream work on a variety of devices, including Apple TV, iOS and Android phones and tablets, Fire TV, Roku, Chromecast, and computers. Both services will also work with some Smart TVs. Sling TV devices also include Nvidia Shield, AirTV, and Xbox One. Unfortunately for DirecTV, their range of supported devices is far narrower.
  • Deals & Free Trial – Sling and DirecTV give you a chance to experience their service free for one week. Beyond that, Sling TV usually offers member incentives where you get a special deal or a piece of free streaming equipment for pre-paying for a specific amount of service (check out current Sling TV offers here).

Overall, Sling TV is going to be your best option if you’re concerned with price. With Sling TV, you have the chance to get more and pay less — in other words, value. That’s not always the case with DirecTV Stream. They share many of the same features, so in the end, this one might come down to price. If it does, Sling TV would be the winner.

Let’s keep moving and look at the Sling vs DirecTV channel lineup.

Sling TV vs AT&T TV NOW Channels

Both Sling TV and DirecTV Stream offer multiple package options. With that in mind, we’ll look at a basic overview of the available channels and then do a more specific Sling TV vs AT&T TV NOW comparison of the channels further in the comparison.

Sling TV gives you the choice of three packages:

Sling Orange30+$35/mo
Sling Blue 40+$35/mo
Sling Orange + Blue 50+$50/mo

Sling Orange includes popular channels include AMC, Comedy Central, A&E, Cartoon Network, ESPN, Food Network, TBS, Disney, TNT, and more. It’s a plan geared towards sports fans and families.

On the other hand, Sling Blue offers 40+ channels with channels like AMC, Discovery, History, FS1, HGTV, TBS, FX, USA, and more. Most of the additional channels here are news channels — it’s a plan that mostly consists of news and sports networks.

When you combine Orange + Blue for $50 per month, you get 50+ channels, a combination of Orange and Blue. This is when we can begin the Sling vs DirecTV comparison, as DirecTV Stream’s base plan gives you 60+ channels for $69.99 per month!

And we haven’t even discussed what you can do with add-ons — we’ll get to that later. Now let’s see DirecTV Stream’s packages.

Head-to-head, it looks like this:

Sling TV
Orange + Blue50+$50/mo
DirecTV Stream

Read on to see the specifics about which service has particular types of channels, or how you can get them for an additional fee.

What About DirecTV’s Plans?

DirecTV has four packages, all of which are more expensive individually than both Sling Orange and Blue combined. These plans are:

   News and Info19+25+27+27+
*Regional sports networks

The main selling point of DirecTV Steam is the exclusive access to dozens of regional sports networks and particular premium channels when you subscribe to the Choice plan, or upwards.

Despite Sling TV’s great range of sports channels, you just don’t get that, and that’s the price to pay for hardcore college sports and major league fans who want to see local action.

The premium entertainment channels start to show up once you fork out $94.99 per month — these include the likes of Starz Network and HBO, several channels from both. You can get some of these with Sling, but HBO is a good example of one that you cannot.

It is in fact the inclusion of such premium channels that makes the difference in price for DirecTV plans, and the RSNs are responsible for the $15 extra between the Entertainment and Choice plans.

So, if you want some premium channels and not others, keep reading to see the add-ons and premium channels comparison of Sling vs DirecTV.

Premium Channels: The Price Differentiator Of DirecTV Plans

Here are some of the most popular premium networks and how you can get them with Sling TV or DirecTV. More specifically, how much it will cost you.

How To Get On SlingHow To Get On DirecTV
Starz*$9/mo add-onincluded for $94.99/mo
Showtime*$10/mo add-onincluded for $139.99/mo
Epix*$5/mo add-on$4.99/mo add-on
HBO*n/aincluded for $139.99/mo
All also available as add-ons with DirecTV Stream

You can see the trend — as you want more premium channels, it seems like you need to move up to higher-priced plans with DirecTV. It’s not the case. You can also get these channels as add-ons, but you need to dig the website or contact support.

As with Sling TV, these premium network add-ons are optional and you can beef up a humble streaming plan for a month, maybe two, and cancel the add-on if you’re not seeing value.

In this sense, both services are convenient. DirecTV simply uses such channels to mark up the higher tier plans, although you do get additional channels (140+, to be precise).

Try Sling TV at $10 for the first month OR Get DirecTV Stream with a 14-day money-back guarantee.

Add-On Comparison

Both Sling and DirecTV have add-ons, but the structure is different.

With Sling, you can actually get well above 100 channels if you choose your add-on plans with care.

Sling TV’s list of add-ons includes 8 separate add-on packs that range between $6 to $11 dollars per month. However, you can get four add-ons of your choice for $13 extra, or all available add-ons with your chosen plan for $21!

So, this means if you get a Sling Orange + Blue plan with all available add-ons, you’re paying $71 per month for well over 100 channels, 50 hours of DVR, and more — that’s still only $1.01 more than the cheapest DirecTV Stream plan with 60+ channels and 20 hours of DVR.

Sling TV AMC
Dashboard on Sling TV

It’s clear that Sling TV is the best budget choice.

As for DirecTV, the add-on structure is simpler with fewer discounts. The options you have, include:

  • Premium channels like HBO Max, Cinemax, EPIX, SHOWTIME, and STARZ
  • Additional DirecTV devices for a higher multi-screen limit.
  • Unlimited hours of storage of Cloud DVR
  • Access to new releases, popular titles, documentaries, and rarely accessed movie channels like HBO
  • Latino channels included in Deportes, and Español.
  • International TV plans with Brazilian, Korean, and Vietnamese networks

Sports Channel Comparison

Both providers are great for sports, though Sling TV is better value. Both allow you access to major leagues like NFL, NBA, MLB, and more, though Sling TV doesn’t provide as many RSNs.

Still, see for yourself:

  • Sling TV: Multiple ESPN networks including ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3. You’ll also have some regional content from FOX Sports Networks and NBC Sports Networks, FS1, NFL Network, and others. You can get the most of Sling’s sports channels if you get the Orange + Blue combination plan.
  • DirecTV Stream: Depending on your area you may receive all four local channels you need for the most popular sports coverage. Other sports channels include ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, NBCSN, TBS, USA, and TNT. You’ll also get dozens of regional sports networks (RSNs) with DirecTV, most notably the Bally Sports package (formerly FOX Sports regional).

News & Local Channel Comparison

Both providers have a decent news roaster. This one depends on where you like your daily dose of stories from across the country or globe.

  • Sling TV: Local news may be available from FOX and/or NBC, though availability is quite limited. You’ll also have Cheddar News, Viceland, Newsy, and CNN (more Sling TV local channels here). It’s important to note that you may need an indoor antenna with Sling TV — they offer this for free with selected pre-paid monthly offers.
  • AT&T TV NOW: Local news could come from ABC, NBC, FOX, or CBS, depending on your location. You’ll also have CNBC, FOX News, HLN, MSNBC, and CNN. The range is broad and you get close to 30 news channels with the highest-tier plan.

Entertainment Channel Comparison

Here are some of the most popular general entertainment channels you can expect to see with Sling and DirectTV. Still, once you consider the add-on options of Sling TV, it becomes a more appealing competitor in both channel selection and value.

  • Sling TV: AMC, Bravo, FX, Comedy Central, truTV, Disney, HGTV, Food Network, Lifetime, TBS, USA, and many others.
  • AT&T TV NOW: HBO, HBO Family, Audience, BET, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CW, Disney XD, FX, Freeform, Oxygen, Nickelodeon, and USA.

Try Sling TV at $10 for the first month OR Get DirecTV Stream with a 14-day money-back guarantee.

International Channel Availability

Sling TV has a Latino plan, mostly aimed at Spanish-speaking audiences. This plan is also available on-demand, or live for $20 — you get 20+ Spanish channels.

DirecTV also has at least a dozen Spanish channels available, and even more in two add-ons:

  • Deportes add-on for $5 per month, including:
    • Univision Deportes
    • ESPN Deportes
    • Fox Deportes
    • TyC Sports
  • Espanol add-on for $15, which includes:
    • Univision
    • Univision Deportes
    • Discovery Channel en Español
    • ESPN Deportes
    • Cinelatino
    • Fox Deportes
    • TyC Sports
    • Estrella TV

Sling TV vs DirecTV Stream: Final Thoughts

Both services tick the basic boxes. They’re available on mobile, have the most popular channels, and they allow you to cut the cable.

But if you’re like most streaming households and your choice comes down to price, Sling TV is the service for you.

DirecTV offers a few great options including HBO, but at the end of the day, they cost more, offer less room for customization, and give you fewer channels.

Otherwise, the features of the two services are similar. Sling TV gives you a chance to enjoy cable at a price you can afford. You can visit our Sling TV review for more details.

It’s worth noting that if you’re in it for HBO, your best bet is DirecTV. They also have easier access to local channels. The service is more expensive than most others, but that’s alright for some streaming service hunters. You can learn more by visiting our DirecTV Steam review.

Both services offer something that makes their service unique and worthy of consideration. Luckily, both Sling and DirecTV are contract-free. Sling also has a $10 first month offer, while DirecTV offers a 14-day money-back guarantee. This gives you a chance to experience each service for yourself before you make any decisions!

Are you ready to stream one of these services?

Try Sling TV at $10 for the first month OR Get DirecTV Stream with a 14-day money-back guarantee.

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