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DIRECTV and DIRECTV NOW: Satellite or Streaming?

Fortunately, we’re here to help!


DIRECTV is a satellite television service with an annual contract that will require equipment installation (the satellite, of course). If you live in an apartment complex, rent or are part of a homeowners’ association, check with the management company, landlord or association leaders about any regulations that might affect your ability to get DIRECTV.

One the satellite television service’s most basic packages starts at SELECT with more than 155 channels and goes all the way up to PREMIERE with more than 330 channels. And, with the Genie® HD DVR, you can record up to five shows at one time, store up to 200 hours1 of shows and movies, watch some shows that have aired in the last 72 hours and restart live shows from the top2.

You can also take DIRECTV on the go — whether it’s live or recorded — provided you have the DIRECTV app3 and that your Genie® is connected to the Internet.


DIRECTV NOW is an online streaming service, so you can use it on a desktop, laptop, compatible tablet or compatible cell phone — as long as you’re using Google Chrome or Safari — or other devices, such as Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast or Apple TV. It is not yet available on gaming consoles and select Samsung 2017 and 2018 Smart TVs.

With DIRECTV NOW, you’ll want to check your internet speed options and ensure you have the minimum requirements for the best streaming quality. Try it out with Kinetic Internet, which has speeds up to One Gig, for a total entertainment package.

The streaming service, which has no annual contract, has five channel packages, ranging from the LIVE A LITTLE with 65+ channels — including CNN, HGTV, ESPN and Disney Junior — to the GOTTA HAVE IT with 125+ channels. You can find what channels each of the five packages include here. The streaming service is also offering True Cloud DVR BETA4, giving users 20 hours of recording time. Your streaming service will renew monthly until you cancel, but restrictions apply so check the offer details.

Now that you know the differences between the two, you can decide on which great entertainment package would best suit you and your family. Check out our Digital TV page to learn more about the DIRECTV options in your area.
1. Actual recording capacity varies based on type of programming being recorded.
2. Available on select channels. Restart/Rewind features compatible with Genie® Minis. For restart to work, show must be airing for at least 2 minutes. Visit directv.com for details.
3. DIRECTV App and Mobile DVR are available to U.S. Residential DIRECTV customers (excludes Puerto Rico and U.S.V.I.) who stream on a compatible device using the DIRECTV App. App uses location info. To stream from your DVR you must have a Genie HD DVR model HR44 or higher that is connected to the Internet at the time you stream or download from it to your device. To download, your mobile device and DVR must both be connected to your Wi-Fi network. Wi-Fi data usage charges may apply. Some Limits: Mature, music, pay-per-view and some On Demand content is not available for downloading. Live streaming channels are based on your package & location. Your DVR can stream to one mobile device at a time. Rewind and fast forward not available on all channels. All functions and programming subject to change at any time.
4. Functions may be limited in beta. Compatible device required. Not available for select channels. Data connection required. Recordings expire after 30 days. Restrictions apply.
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