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DIRECTV vs AT&T TV

Compare DIRECTV & AT&T packages, deals, plans & prices

AT&T TV vs DIRECTV comparison in 2021

AT&T acquired satellite television provider DIRECTV in 2015. Even though the communications company also runs AT&T U-verse, the two services differ in several ways.

Both options provide a wide range of channels and enticing sign-up offers. Which is better for you in the long run, though?

Price is obviously a factor in your decision, but you also need to consider things like contract length and availability of your favorite networks. You should also look at whether AT&T U-verse in your area is delivered by fiber or cable.

In this comparison, we'll look at DIRECTV vs. AT&T U-verse so you can get a clear picture of the pros and cons of each before making a decision about the best cable TV service for you.

DIRECTV vs AT&T: TV packages

When it comes to pricing, DIRECTV vs. AT&T U-verse is a pretty even choice.

Both services have similar pricing structures, including the fine print:

  • With both TV services, once your promotional rate expires the monthly cost goes up by about double, depending upon which package you have. This is more of a potential issue with DIRECTV since you're committed for a full year beyond the length of their promotional offers.

  • U-Verse installation is included with your package. DIRECTV also includes installation, however, there may be an activation fee depending on which promotion you sign up for.

  • U-Verse includes the smaller Total Home DVR in your package price while DIRECTV charges a monthly fee for your Genie rental.

AT&T packages

AT&T Internet

Call to order now: (602) 825-2714
Download
100-1,000 Mbps
Channels
65-130
Calls
Unlimited
Monthly Price
$35-160
Editors Take
4.5 / 5
See all plans
Call to order now: (602) 825-2714

AT&T Internet Only Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Internet 100

100 Mbps

$35.00

Internet 300

300 Mbps

$45.00

Internet 1000

1000 Mbps

$60.00

AT&T TV Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Entertainment

65 Channels

$69.99

Choice

90 Channels

$84.99

Ultimate

130 Channels

$94.99

AT&T Landline Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Phone Unlimited

Unlimited

$51.00

AT&T Triple Play Bundles

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Internet + Entertainment + Phone

100 Mbps

65 Channels

Unlimited

$134.98

Internet + Choice + Phone

100 Mbps

90 Channels

Unlimited

$149.99

Internet + Ultimate + Phone

100 Mbps

130 Channels

Unlimited

$159.99

Call now to order: (602) 825-2714
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Flexible bundling options

  • Quickly expanding fiber network

  • DSL service available

  • Extensive rural availability

Cons

  • Contract required

  • Rate hike after the first year

  • Limited availability

Provider Benefits
  • Fiber optic availability

  • 30,000+ Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide

  • Flexible options for bundles

  • AT&T Smart Wi-Fi - Stay connected room to room

  • Combine your services with phone, TV and Internet bundles

  • Availability in some rural areas

  • 24/7 Technical support

  • Customer service available 8am to 7pm local time

Call to order now: (602) 825-2714

AT&T TV deals & pricing

Package

Channels

Price

AT&T Entertainment

65

$69.99

AT&T Choice

90

$84.99

AT&T Ultimate

130

$94.99

All packages include local channels and an on-demand library.

  • U200: 360+ digital channels, HD, DVR and digital music channels included, premium movie channels optional

  • U300: 470+ digital channels, HD, DVR and digital music included, premium movie channels included

  • U450: 550+ digital channels, HD, DVR, digital music and premium movie channels plus HBO and Cinemax included

DIRECTV packages

DIRECTV TV

Call to order now: (888) 474-3309
Download
Channels
160-330
Calls
Monthly Price
$65-135
Editors Take
4.5 / 5
See all plans
Call to order now: (888) 474-3309

DIRECTV TV Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Entertainment

160 Channels

$64.99

Choice

185 Channels

$69.99

Ultimate

250 Channels

$84.99

Premier

330 Channels

$134.99

Call now to order: (888) 474-3309
Pros & Cons

Pros

    Cons

    • Contract required

    • Confusing pricing and extra fees

    Call to order now: (888) 474-3309

    DIRECTV deals & pricing

    Package

    Channels

    Price

    DIRECTV Entertainment

    160

    $64.99

    DIRECTV Choice

    185

    $69.99

    DIRECTV Ultimate

    250

    $84.99

    DIRECTV Premier

    330

    $134.99

    All packages come with the DIRECTV Genie DVR and HD capability.

    • Select: 155+ digital channels

    • Entertainment: 160+ digital channels, ESPN and ESPN2 included

    • Choice: 185+ digital channels, NFL Sunday Ticket included

    • Xtra: 235+ digital channels, DVR rental fee and NFL Sunday Ticket Included

    • Ultimate: 250+ digital channels, DVR fee and NFL Sunday Ticket included, good for movie lovers with the Encore family of channels and The Movie Channel included

    • Premier: 330+ channels, DVR, NFL Sunday Ticket and HBO, Starz, Showtime, and Cinemax included

    Bottom line: AT&T is a strong contender for movie lovers and channel surfers. If you're shopping for a cheap cable TV provider, they also offer a very basic package at a low price.

    DIRECTV has the market cornered on national and local sports coverage and higher channel quality across its mid-tier offerings. DirecTV also offers way more channel options in its lowest tier package.


    DIRECTV vs AT&T: TV channels

    This is where the bulk of your decision-making process rests. Regardless of price, you're not going to want a TV service that doesn't give you your favorite shows, your kids' must-have channels, or coverage of your beloved sports teams.

    So which service has the channel setup you want?

    AT&T TV channels

    • Packages range from 360 to 550 channels/200 HD

    • Solid international offerings

    • Family package missing some basics like Cartoon Network

    DIRECTV channels

    • Choose from 150 to 325 channels/200 HD

    • Solid channel lineups in all packages

    • NFL Sunday Ticket available


    DIRECTV vs AT&T: DVR & equipment

    The DVR receivers that you get with these two providers are similar, with each one providing slightly different benefits.

    AT&T DVR

    • 500 GB -155 hours of HD recording/422 hours SD, or -

    • 1 TB - 330 hours HD/900 hours SD

    • Connect up to 8 TVs (extra rental fees apply to additional receivers)

    • Record 4 streams at once on the smaller DVR, 6 on the larger

    • Manage and watch anywhere with app

    DIRECTV DVR

    • 1 TB - 200 hours in HD/800 hours SD

    • Record up to 5 unique streams at once

    • Connect up to 8 TVs (additional receivers cost extra)

    • 4K capable (must have 4K-compatible TV)

    • Manage and watch on the go with app

    Bottom line: Unless you really need to record six different shows simultaneously or you're already heavily into the 4K scene, the two DVRs are very comparable in terms of function and features. The equipment won't likely be the make or break factor in your decision between DirecTV vs. U-Verse.


    DIRECTV vs AT&T: availability

    Satellite television like DIRECTV has one distinct advantage over fiber and cable services like AT&T U-verse: it's available everywhere.

    • AT&T is available in states: 21

    • DIRECTV is available in states: 50

    AT&T coverage is concentrated throughout the eastern/southern and far western areas of the US, while DirecTV coverage is virtually everywhere.

    See what's available in your zip code with our cable TV provider tool.

    TV providers in my area

    Need help choosing a plan? Call now: (888) 343-5422Find deals in my area

    DIRECTV vs AT&T: contract & fees

    If you don't like long-term commitments, this issue is the one that might swing you in one direction or the other in your assessment of U-Verse vs. DirecTV.

    AT&T contract & fees

    • No contract required for regular pricing

    • One-year contract required for U-Verse promotional offer pricing

    • Early termination fee is equal to $15 per month remaining in the contract (for example - cancel 8 months into a one-year commitment, pay a $60 early termination fee)

    • No penalty for canceling after one year is up

    DIRECTV contract & fees

    • Two-year contract required

    • Early termination fee is equal to $20 per month remaining in the contract (maximum of $480)

    Bottom line: AT&T U-verse contract requirements are shorter and more forgiving, thus it's the better choice if you don't want to be locked in with one provider over the long haul. DIRECTV has a longer contract commitment, but if you want that local sports coverage it may be worth it.


    DIRECTV vs AT&T TV FAQs

    Is AT&T TV better than DIRECTV?

    Which provider is best for you is personal. You'll need to understand what AT&T TV offers, then compare it to Directv. There're some big differences between the two. For example, AT&T TV streams over the internet, whereas Directv offers a satellite service.

    Do AT&T TV and DIRECTV have on-demand?

    With AT&T TV you have automatic on-demand access to channels. If you have Directv, you'll need to enable a playback option manually to get channels on demand.

    What is AT&T TV?

    AT&T TV is the home TV provider from AT&T. Service is streamed through the internet.

    Is AT&T TV replacing Directv?

    At the time of writing, it doesn't seem to be something on the cards. Both AT&T TV and Directv are owned by the same company, but offer different services to customers.


    Recap

    When you're deciding between these two TV providers you should take multiple factors into consideration:

    • Pricing

    • Channel lineup

    • Special interests like movies or sports

    • DVR features

    • Other fees

    Don't forget you can also save more with either provider if you bundle your TV package with AT&T U-verse internet and/or home or wireless phone service.

    Finally, get an even clearer picture of these two services by reading our DIRECTV review and AT&T U-verse review.

    Need help choosing a plan? Call now: (888) 343-5422Find deals in my area
    Rob Webber
    Rob Webber

    Rob has 15+ years experience in the US and UK running price comparison sites for cell phone plans, smartphone deals, TV, and internet. He loves thinking outside of the box to build tools that empower consumers to make more informed decisions.