Live streaming TV: DirecTvNow vs Sling

My trial with PS Vue is over and now I am trying DirecTvNow.  I am already a long time user of DirecTv (satellite) and have been pleased with their service, so I entered this 5-day trial with a positive outlook.  There were some glitches in my viewing late Wednesday night, but it was not as bad as Vue.  I do like the guide and it is easy to navigate.  However, unlike Vue or Sling, there’s currently no DVR, although I have seen posts that there is a Beta version to select customers.

My choice is now narrowing down to Sling or DirecTvNow.


At first, I thought it was a no brainer to go with Sling, based on cost and that I have a DVR option (for an additional $5).  Based on going off the Sling Blue package at $25 + the DVR, my monthly cost is $30 for 45 channels.


However, I looked at the “basic” channels and I don’t get CBS, ABC, or Channel 13 (KTLA) that DirecTvNow offers.  To get ABC on Sling, that’s an additional $5 but that’s only offered under the “Orange” package, which means I would have to buy both the Orange and Blue at $40.  My monthly cost to add Orange and ABC would be $45.


Comparing DirecTvNow

DirecTvNow has 4 tiers of service:

  • Live a Little, starting at $35,
  • Just Right at $50,
  • Go Big at $60, and
  • Gotta Have It for $70

Compared to Sling, the Basic is not a bad value. Sling’s basic is the orange package at $20 but you only get 33 channels.  DirecTvNow may be $15 more but you get 60 channels.

If I want to get all the basic broadcasting channels, it would be $45 for Sling, but $35 for the basic DirecTvNow, which is now making DirecTvNow a better deal.

If I were to add the NHL hockey channel, it would be $5 more on Sling, making my monthly cost $50, but I would have to get the $60 package for DirecTvNow, as the $50 package for DirecTv now doesn’t have hockey.  Still, for $10 more, I would get over 100 channels.


Sling Orange (Basic)


DirecTvNow Live a Little (Basic)

The only drawback for DirecTvNow is the lack of DVR, but as mentioned there’s one in the works.  DirecTvNow has 2 incentives right now: prepay just ONE month of service and get a free Roku stick or 4 months (of at least the $35 service) and get a free AppleTv. Many people have said that the AppleTv has made streaming even better, and you can view programs in 4K.

I am not planning on making any decision until my trial period is over, but I do believe I can live without a DVR, since (aside from sports) all the tv shows are on demand.  If that’s my decision, then my pick would be DirecTvNow.  Best of all, there’s no contract, so I can always go back to Sling.

Next: Streaming with DirectvNow


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