Reassessing My Streaming TV Plan (Again)

Barely a month ago, I took a look at my streaming TV setup. At the time, I compared my current setup with is DirecTV Now, which I’m getting a $20 discount on at $45/mo, and a box from my local TV provider which I’m paying about $35/mo for after taxes and fees.

That puts my current plan at $80/mo, which I can admit is a little pricey. I justify this by the ability to stream on the go, since my cellular service is through AT&T and the fact I get a ton of channels for what I pay DirecTV for. Things even got better last week when they added single sign-on and Siri support for the Apple TV. I was feeling pretty good about the service overall.

Then I received an email from them today which dampened that feeling. It reads as follows:

Starting today, DIRECTV NOW℠ is offering new packages, PLUS and MAX. Each package has a different channel lineup than what you currently have, and both include HBO®.

These PLUS and MAX packages both offer HBO included, but offer far fewer channels than I receive now with still no locals in my area.

Go Big is yours to hang on to, even though it’s not available to new customers. However, because programming costs continue to rise, your package will be increasing $10/mo beginning 04/26/2019. As a long-time streamer and early-adopter of DIRECTV NOW, you have an exclusive deal on your Go Big package and continue to save $25/mo on access to over 100 channels.

That $25/mo number is half true. The raise in cost would bring my base package to $50/mo, so with the Go Big package currently costing $65/mo and no longer being offered, I’m not even going to entertain looking at it as a $75/mo package. Also remember, they’re still inconveniencing me by making me get an extra box for local channels, since my garden level apartment has too much interference for an antenna.

To see if these packages are a better fit, check out our comparison tool to help make the differences clear. If you do choose a new package, you won’t be able to get Go Big back or the discount you’re used to.

These packages offer much less content than I receive now at a higher rate than the competition. No thanks.

Thank you for streaming with us.

Sincerely, Your DIRECTV NOW Team

All of this has me looking at some of the other options for streaming TV. The First thing I did was look at the channels I currently receive and looked at the ones I legitimately like having. From there, I compared the offerings from YouTube TV, Hulu TV, and Playstation Vue and put them into a chart so I can get a real grasp of what I’d be missing from the others. In most cases, if a channel was missing from one of the others, it was missing from all of them or available with an upgrade in my service.

There’s a few channels I wouldn’t receive at all, with this being BET, NHL Network, Reelz, The Weather Channel, and VH1. Of these, the only one I’d miss is the NHL Network, but I could have ways around that during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. There’s the case of Comedy Central, where I tend to watch the shows there via Hulu anyway, so no loss there. All in all, the best deal would come from YouTube TV, as it’s the cheapest options and the extra networks I’d miss would be Cooking Channel, NFL Network, and Viceland, all of which I’d be ok with missing.

Check out the chart below:

DirecTV Now YouTube TV Hulu TV PS Vue
Locals +$35  *
BTN  * Core
CNN  *  *
Comedy Central H H H
Cooking Add On Core
ESPN  *  *
ESPN 2  *  *
ESPN U  * Core
FS1  *  *
FS2  *  *
Fox SN  * Core
HBO +$15 +$15 +$15
MLB  * Core
MSNBC  *  *
NBA TV  * Core
NBCSN  *  *
NFL Net Core
Olympic  * Core
SEC  * Core
TBS  *  *
Weather Channel
TNT  *  *
USA  *  *
Viceland  *
Total Cost w/ HBO $90 $55 $60 $65

All of this said, I’m going to give YouTube TV a run and see how it holds up. I’m also keeping an eye on what Apple offers later this month. As I mentioned before, the beauty of streaming TV is you’re not stuck with any one provider. It’s all about who provides the most content you want at the best value for you.