DirecTV Stream vs DirecTV via Internet: The Differences And How To Choose

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DirecTV Stream and DirecTV via Internet are very similar services but they are not identical. Taking a moment to better understand the finer differences can help to make choosing between them a little easier.

DirecTV Stream has been around for some time now. Previously known as DirecTV Now, AT&T TV Now, and AT&T TV, DirecTV Stream is a streaming-only live TV subscription service that requires access to an internet connection.

DirecTV via Internet is a new extension of the existing DirecTV service. However, unlike DirecTV, which delivers live TV content via satellite, DirecTV via Internet is just that – DirecTV delivered to homes via an internet connection.

With both of these live TV services relying on an Internet connection, and providing a choice between the same four live TV plans, you will largely get the same product and experience regardless of which service you opt for.

That said, some homes may find one service suits their needs better than the other.

DirecTV StreamDirecTV via Internet
Price p/m$74.99+$64.99+
Price guaranteeX2 Years
Gemini deviceX
Sign UpSign Up

DirecTV via Internet is for DirecTV customers

DirecTV via Internet is primarily designed for DirecTV customers. This not only means those that are already signed up to the satellite service and considering switching to streaming, but also those that prefer the idea of a traditional live TV package and provider over streaming alternatives.

One of the ways that DirecTV via Internet provides more of a traditional live TV experience is by prioritizing the use of its own set-top box. In fact, you now get the same Gemini player regardless of whether you sign up to DirecTV via Satellite or DirecTV via Internet. At least one Gemini Device is required to sign up to DirecTV via Internet, and customers have the choice of renting additional boxes for other rooms.

DirecTV via Internet is basically DirecTV via Satellite but without the need for a satellite dish. This focus on a traditional TV experience highlights another major difference between DirecTV Stream and DirecTV via Internet – how long you are expected to commit for.

DirecTV Stream is a better short-term service

One really good way to figure out which service is right for you is to try and determine how long you expect to remain a DirecTV customer. While this might seem somewhat difficult to do in advance, DirecTV Stream is better as a short-term solution while DirecTV via Internet might better suit long-term customers.

For example, the streaming device that DirecTV via Internet customers are encouraged to get with their live TV package works in a similar way to devices used with traditional live TV services. In other words, subscribers pay a monthly device fee and are expected to return the device if they end their subscription.

For reference, the device doesn’t have to be returned if it was previously purchased outright, but it won’t prove to be quite as useful if attempting to use it with other live TV streaming services.

In addition to additional equipment and fees, DirecTV via Internet customers are also able to lock in a guaranteed price for two years when signing up, avoiding any unexpected price increases down the road. In contrast, DirecTV Stream subscribers have no similar protections.

Even though DirecTV Stream subscribers don’t have to rent DirecTV equipment or pay additional fees each month, if the price of DirecTV Stream increases next month, subscribers will end up paying the higher price next month.

DirecTV Stream vs Internet – how to choose summary

If you’re still unsure of which DirecTV service is right for you then it all boils down to what you want from a live TV provider. If you want a traditional TV type of service and experience where you use a set-top box and are expected to stay with the same company for a year or two, then DirecTV via Internet will probably suit your needs more.

If, however, you are looking for a more modern approach to live TV, you want to use your own streaming player, and expect that you might want to cancel at some point (either on a temporary basis or to switch services), then DirecTV Stream is likely to be the better option for you.

John Finn
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John Finn

By John Finn

John Finn is the Founder and Editor of Streaming Better, a platform created in 2019 to help consumers navigate the complicated live TV streaming and subscription service market.

John has been covering technology for various online publications since 2014. After originally covering the wider tech industry as a writer and editor, John now spends his time focusing on the emerging video-streaming market, including live TV streaming, SVOD, AVOD, FAST, and TVOD services.

In a bid to keep up to date on the industry, John actively subscribes to multiple streaming services at the same time. However, John continues to advocate that the best approach for consumers is to rotate between streaming services as needed.

A Psychology graduate from England, who now lives in the US, John previously worked in the aviation industry as an airline reviewer. While reviewing airlines isn't quite the same as reviewing devices and streaming services, John brings the same analytical eye to all of his reviews and industry analysis, along with a special emphasis on what's best for the consumer.

Connect with John
X: @J_Finns

2 replies on “DirecTV Stream vs DirecTV via Internet: The Differences And How To Choose”

I have canceled my DirecTV satellite service effective 9-13-23 . I have signed up for DirecTV via internet service effective upon activation of the Gemini Air device they mailed to me or Sept 3rd whichever comes first. The monthly bill is going to be 105.98 for the Choice package .
I have now been made aware of DirectTV Stream Service. I’m have read that there is no 24 month commitment, no Advanced Receiver Fee or no Regional Sports Fee either, is this true?
I need to be able to watch TV at my primary residence and also at my part time residence which is 90 miles away , two different zip codes. i dont want to use only mobile devices at my part time residence , i want to use two different home networks . Would this be possible ? If so it is possible with either DirectTV via internet Service and Directv Stream Service? I do not feel I need the added features that the DirectTV streaming device has to offer . I have Roku sticks on all the TV’s at both properties. I appreciate any comments or assistance you can provide .

Hi Steve,

Congratulations on canceling the satellite service.

Yes, you are right about DirecTV Stream. This a no-contract version of DirecTV via Internet and suits those not wanting to be locked into a long-term contract. And yes, there’s no Advanced Receiver Fee, so long as you are not using one of DirecTV’s devices – you can just use your Roku devices instead.

If you want access to RSNs, then you will need to sign up to DirecTV Stream’s Choice package – RSNs are included with Choice, so while no RSN fee in the traditional sense, you are still paying more than the cheaper Entertainment plan, and primarily for RSNs.

With the two properties, this is something you’ll have to test out to be sure. Technically, DirecTV Stream designates a Home network so you cannot have two equal experiences in two different homes. However, DirecTV tends to be more forgiving in this respect and does make clear that “two streaming devices connected to a TV can be accessed out of the home.” I would assume this would include your Roku Stick, and as long as you are regularly checking back in with the Home network every so often, this might not be an issue for you. Again, the only way to know for certain is to try the service out.

Either way, DirecTV via Internet won’t be any different in terms of the two locations, as I believe the limitations are exactly the same as with DirecTV Stream.

Hope this helps.

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