Live TV services have been quick to win the hearts of new cord-cutters with YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream at the top. For the sake of answering what you came here for, YouTube TV has a well-rounded collection of titles with an impressive channel lineup whereas, DirecTV Stream is a better fit for sports fans interested in large bundles.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to individual preferences when choosing streaming services is in question. But many of them are geo-restricted in the UK.
When live TV options are being weighed and considered, it’s not just a YouTube TV vs. DirecTV Stream competition – cord-cutters are even torn between a YouTube TV vs. Sling TV debate.
This guide covers a detailed comparison of YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream, so you’re in a better position to choose for yourself. Let’s start!
YouTube TV vs. DirecTV Stream: Quick Comparison
Both YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream offer a commendable mix of channels mainly covering entertainment, news, and sports. Take a glance at our quick YouTube TV vs. DirecTV Stream comparison:
|Feature||YouTube TV||DirecTV Stream|
|Base Plan Subscription Price||£52.96/mo (64.99 USD/mo)||£57.04/mo (69.99 USD/mo)|
|Free Trial Availability||Yes (Varies: Usually 7 days)||5 Days|
|Simultaneous Streams||3||20 (Connected to a home network)
3 (Away from the home network)
|Cloud DVR Storage||Unlimited (Free)||Unlimited (Costs £8.14/mo (10 USD/mo)|
|Live TV Channels||85+||65+|
|Premium Channels||HBO Max, Showtime, and more||Cinepax, Epix, STARZ, and more|
The content and subscription plans are probably the deal makers or deal breakers for a particular streaming service.
YouTube TV has only two subscription plans: Base at £52.99/mo (64.99 USD/mo) and Spanish at £28.53/mo (34.99 USD/mo).
A YouTube TV membership includes 6 accounts with access to 85+ channels (regional sports networks, local CBS, and Fox streams) and unlimited DVR.
On the other hand, DirecTV Stream has 4 plans at different price points making it more complex than YouTube TV. Of course, the highest-priced package offers the most content to its subscribers.
The cheapest plan is Entertainment which offers 160+ channels at £61.14/mo (74.99 USD/mo). At £65.22/mo (79.99 USD/mo), the Choice plan comes close to the base plan of YouTube TV. Ultimate has 250+ channels at £81.53/mo (99.99 USD/mo) and Premier gives access to 330+ channels at a price tag of £122.30/mo (149.99 USD/mo).
Free Trial Availability
DirecTV Stream free trial lasts for 5 days. Whereas, the free trial duration for YouTube TV varies. You have to manually check how many days are left before your account turns into a paid membership.
To do so, open the YouTube TV app > Settings > Membership to see the number of days left.
Besides the price point, cord-cutters are concerned about the content they’ll be able to watch with a Live TV streaming service. Luckily, both DirecTV Stream and YouTube TV have a wide variety of channels and on-demand content for their subscribers.
When comparing the channel count, the DirecTV Stream channel list takes the trophy home with 140+ channels while YouTube TV follows behind with 85+ top channels. But, you’ll need to pay a higher price to access the channels on DirecTV Stream.
Even though DirecTV Stream has a long list of channels, YouTube TV has a better well-rounded list on its base plan.
What Sports Channels Are Available On DirecTV Stream and YouTube TV?
DirecTV Stream offers an extensive variety of sports channels including ACC Network HD, Big Ten Network HD, CBS Sports Network HD, ESPN HD, ESPN 2 HD, ESPNU, ESPNews HD, Golf Channel HD, and more.
However, you need to upgrade the DirecTV Stream plan to catch up on most sports networks. On the Entertainment plan, you only get access to ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD, Fox Sports 1 HD, and MotorTrend HD.
YouTube TV offers a decent sports channels lineup of 85+ sports channels including all ESPN networks, CBS Sports, NBC Sports, The Tennis Channel, NECN, NBA TV, Olympic Channel, NFL Network, the SEC Network and others.
Regional Sports Networks (RSNs)
The availability of sports channels depends on your ZIP code on DirecTV Stream and YouTube TV.
On DirecTV Stream, you can check the regional sports networks available in your ZIP code by going to the “Regional Sports & Local” tab under the “TV Channel Lineup”.
YouTube TV offers a similar feature to check the regional sports available in your ZIP code.
If catching up on games of your local teams is a priority, DirecTV Stream will suit you better as it has a greater variety of RSNs. On the Choice plan and above, you can watch regional sports programming from these channels:
- FOX Sports RSNs
- Telemundo East
- AT&T SportsNet
Do YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream Have Local Networks?
Yes, both YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream offer quality content from local networks. You can watch live and local sports, news, and shows from FOX, CBS, NBC, TNT, and HGTV. The local and regional programming depends on your 5-digit ZIP code.
Similar to YouTube TV, DirecTV Stream has local and regional sports networks including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox affiliates, YES Network, and Bally Sports South.
Considering the impressive local network coverage, it’s a tie between YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream.
Additional Programming (Add-On Packages and Premium Channels)
YouTube TV keeps additional programming simple with a 4K-Plus and a Sports Plus add-on. The 4K-Plus upgrade costs £8.61/mo (9.99 USD/mo) for the first year and then £17.23/mo (19.99 USD/mo). You also get access to unlimited simultaneous streams and an option to watch recordings offline.
DirecTV Stream offers better add-ons and international packages with access to Vietnamese, Korean, Brazilian, and Latino channels.
You can also explore the add-ons for DirecTV Stream and check them out for yourself!
Which Service Has A Better Cloud DVR?
If we compare the cloud DVR of YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream, then YouTube TV is the clear winner. YouTube TV offers unlimited cloud DVR at no additional cost whereas, DirecTV Stream only offers 20 hours of free cloud DVR storage. To get unlimited cloud DVR storage, you have an option to upgrade at a cost of £8.14/mo (10 USD/mo).
Which Service Has A More User-Friendly Interface?
Both YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream have an easy-to-navigate interface. However, YouTube TV’s interface is familiar making it easier to watch YouTube TV UK.
On YouTube TV, there are three tabs: Home, Library, and Live. DirecTV Stream doesn’t fall behind in user-friendliness either – but it inclines more towards a traditional cable TV guide with four tabs. Out of the four tabs, one is dedicated to the on-demand library and the live TV channel lineup is called the Guide – similar to traditional cable.
Contrary to YouTube TV, you’ll see one big video player on DirecTV which has to be closed manually. If we compare the two interfaces, YouTube TV is a clear winner.
YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream are compatible with a range of devices and browsers letting you enjoy cable-free live TV on the go. To help you make an informed decision, we have enlisted the supported devices for YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream separately.
YouTube TV Supported Devices
YouTube TV supports streaming on multiple devices including:
- Phones and tablets (running version 5.0 Lollipop or later)
- iPhones and iPads (iOS 11 or later)
- Streaming media players (Chromecast devices and AirPlay)
- Smart TVs (Android, Samsung, LG, & HiSense smart TVs)
- Game consoles (Xbox, PS4, PS5 & Roku)
DirecTV Stream Supported Devices
You can watch DirecTV Stream on the following compatible devices:
- DirecTV Stream device
- Amazon devices
- Android devices (version 7.1+)
- Apple and iOS devices
- Roku devices
- Samsung TV
Which Service Has A Better On-Demand Library?
DirecTV Stream has a bigger collection of on-demand titles as compared to YouTube TV.
While both YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream offer an impressive collection of on-demand titles, DirecTV Stream wins with an extensive collection of 40,000+ titles on its Entertainment Plan. Currently, YouTube TV has only 2000+ on-demand titles from many networks.
As you upgrade your DirecTV Stream plan, the number of on-demand titles increases.
- Entertainment: 40,000+ on-demand titles
- Choice: 45,000+ on-demand titles
- Ultimate: 55,000+ on-demand titles
- Premier: 65,000+ on-demand titles
How Many Simultaneous Streams Are Available?
You can watch YouTube TV on three devices at the same time. But with a 4K Plus add-on, you get access to unlimited simultaneous streams.
On the other hand, you can enjoy your favourite content on all the devices connected to the home network with DirecTV Stream. A total of 3 devices can be accessed out of your home network at the same time.
How Many Profiles Can You Have On YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream?
A single YouTube TV membership allows up to 6 user profiles while DirecTV Stream does not allow creating user profiles.
With a user profile, your live TV viewing experience gets personalized. However, you won’t be able to experience this feature on DirecTV Stream.
Does The Service Have Parental Controls?
Yes, YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream offer parental controls which is great for home entertainment. You can manually select the kind of content you want to stream.
As you cannot create individual user profiles on DirecTV Stream, your chosen settings are automatically applied to the entire viewing experience. On YouTube TV, you can set parental controls for different profiles.
Which YouTube TV and DirecTV Channels Are 4K?
Neither YouTube TV nor DirecTV Stream offers a lot of content for 4K streaming.
YouTube TV isn’t originally a 4K streaming platform but it has a limited library of content available for 4K streaming.
On YouTube TV, 4K Ultra High Definition playback is available with the 4K Plus add-on on selective on-demand and live content. You’ll have to pay an additional price of £16.23/mo (19.99 USD/mo).
DirecTV offers 4K streaming only if you purchase a DirecTV streaming device on the following channels:
- Ch. 104 – 24/7 channel featuring shows, original series and documentaries
- Ch. 105 – Live sporting events
- Ch. 106 – Live sporting events
- Ch. 107 – Pay Per View movies
- Ch. 108 – Pay Per View movies
- Ch. 1104 – 4K On Demand
What Are The Internet Speed Requirements?
For YouTube TV, you require a minimum of at least 3 Mbps for an SD quality streaming experience and 7 Mbps for an HD experience on a single TV.
DirecTV Stream recommends 2.5 Mbps per stream to have an optimal SD viewing experience. For HD, 8 Mbps are required.
What Are Other Cable Alternatives?
When comparing YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream, there are definitely other alternatives available too. We carried out extensive research to find the best alternatives, such as:
Similar to YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream, some live TV alternatives are not available in the UK because of licensing agreements and distribution policies. So you’ll need a premium VPN like ExpressVPN to virtually locate yourself in a supported region.
FAQs: YouTube TV vs. DirecTV Stream
If you prefer a well-rounded list of channels to stream at an affordable price, then YouTube TV is better than DirecTV Stream. The latter works better if you want to watch regional sports networks (RSNs).
The problem is that YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream are geo-restricted in the UK and you’ll need a reliable VPN service like ExpressVPN to unblock them.
Final Verdict: Which Streaming Service Is Better?
After contemplating and weighing several aspects of YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream, we can confidently call YouTube TV the winner. However, you may choose otherwise – as it all boils down to your live TV preferences.
To make it even easier for you, choose DirecTV Stream if you’re a sports fan. Go for YouTube TV if overall affordability is a concern and if you prefer the clean and familiar YouTube interface.
Now, we hope that this guide has put the YouTube TV vs. DirecTV Stream battle to rest and you’re well on your way to subscribing to a live TV service!