‘Entertainment’ is the entry level package from AT&T’s DirecTV service (previously known as U-verse). It costs $74.99 on satellite (rising in the second year) or $69.99 to stream after a special introductory price period.
Because it’s the least expensive package from DirecTV, Entertainment is best for those on a budget who want to keep all the basic channels.
The package features over 75 channels to stream or over 165 channels on satellite and comes with extra benefits too. But is it any good? I’ve been doing my homework on it to find out.
Having gathered all the information about DirecTV Entertainment possible, I’m ready to tell you all about the following factors of it:
- Its pros and cons
- Some info about DirecTV
- Who the Entertainment package is best for
- How much it costs
- The channels you get
- Bolt-ons you can choose
- DirecTV availability
- This package vs the other levels
- This package vs the competition
So don’t go anywhere!
DirecTV Entertainment Pros and Cons
Here’s a look at the best and worst bits of DirecTV Entertainment.
- Lots of flexibility of choice
- Reduced pricing on first months
- Impressive streaming capabilities (unlimited devices)
- Options to tailor your package with add-ons
- Not as many channels for streaming
- Long contracts
- Satellite very expensive compared to the competition
What Exactly is DirecTV?
Previously part of the AT&T U-verse, DirecTV is now a standalone television service owned by AT&T. You can get one of the four packages as either a streaming service or satellite.
Which one you choose affects the service you get and the price you pay, as will become clear throughout this article.
There are four levels for DirecTV that we’ll go into in more detail later on in this article. Each of these levels brings in more channels and benefits but for higher prices.
You can find out more about each of the packages and DirecTV as a whole in our overall guide to it.
Is DirecTV Entertainment the Best Package?
If you’re looking to get the basic channels and save some money on your monthly bill, Entertainment will be the right option for you. This is the most affordable package of the four.
If you choose Entertainment as part of the streaming service, you’ll get 75+ channels. If you go for satellite, that number jumps up to 165+, mainly as you get a lot of local channels. We’ll go into more detail on what those channels are later.
So if you’re not worried about sports, movies and such and just want regular television, Entertainment will be best for you.
Should you go for streaming or satellite? That depends on what you’re looking for. Streaming is the better option if you want to share with multiple users as you can stream on unlimited devices at the same time, depending on how fast your internet is. But satellite has a lot more channels.
Plus, you can take it on the go with you with the DirecTV mobile app. However, only three streaming devices can be used outside of the house simultaneously. This feature is available for satellite customers as well.
Here’s the thing, though. Streaming and satellite might look similarly priced, but with satellite, you’ll have to commit to a two year contract where the second year is a lot more expensive. On the other hand, streaming lets you cancel whenever you wish.
One circumstance where you won’t be able to get DirecTV Stream is if you don’t have fast enough internet, as the minimum recommended speed for one stream is 24 Mbps.
AT&T DirecTV Entertainment Pricing
|Package Name||Number of Channels||Streaming Price||Satellite Price (first year/second year)|
Note that none of these prices include taxes and fees. You can find out more about those in our article on AT&T hidden fees.
You might have noticed that the satellite option gets very expensive for your second year. Make sure you factor that in when budgeting and deciding which one to go for!
Right now, AT&T is offering a deal where customers can get a reduced price for the first two months before it goes up to full price. That reduction is $20 per month for the streaming packages or $10 per month for satellite.
The prices listed above also include a $5 discount for Autopay and Paperless Billing. If you don’t want those, you’ll need to add the $5 per month back on.
There is another extra cost to consider. If you wish to go for streaming, AT&T will try to rent or sell you their streaming device. It costs $5 per month for 24 month contracts, $10 per month for 12 month contracts or $120 if you choose to buy it outright.
If you prefer, you can get around this by buying your own streaming device. For example, you could pick up a Google Chromecast for around $30, which we recommend.
Something else worth noting is that AT&T offers a 5 day free trial with its streaming services, for any package. You can get started with that at their website.
AT&T DirecTV Entertainment Channel Lineup
So what do you get for your money? Here’s the complete list of channels for DirecTV Stream.
|A&E||AccuWeather||AMC||Animal Planet||AXS TV|
|Baby First HD||BBC America||BET||Black News||Bloomberg TV|
|Boomerang||Bravo||C-SPAN||C-SPAN 2||Cartoon Netw…|
|Comedy Central||Discovery||Disney Channel||Disney Junior||Disney XD|
|E!||ESPN||ESPN2||Food Network||Fox Business|
|Fox News||Fox Weather||Bally Sports 1||Freeform||FX|
|FXX||GEM Shopping||Hallmark||Hallmark Movie||HGTV|
|Motor Trend||MSNBC||MTV||MTV 2||National Geo…|
|NBC Sports||Nickelodeon||Ovation||Paramount TV||QVC|
|TNT||TruTV||TV Land||TV One||USA Network|
As we mentioned, DirecTV has quite a few more channels than DirecTV Stream. A lot of these are music channels. There’s also the likes of local news channels, and a few others such as The CW, Galavision and more. You can check out the full list here.
AT&T DirecTV Entertainment Add-Ons
If you like, you can add on extra channels or packs of channels on top of your standard DirecTV Entertainment package. This might work out better than upgrading to one of the other packages, as you’ll only be paying for what you really want.
Here are a few of the extra channels you can add on top of your regular Entertainment subscription:
|Channel||Price per month|
|Hallmark Movies Now||$5.99|
|Lifetime Movie Club||$3.99|
|A&E Crime Central||$4.99|
|UP Faith & Family||$5.99|
There may be slight discrepancies between the prices of these channels for streaming and satellite. Plus, they could be subject to change at any time.
If you prefer, AT&T also offers a pack of channels that you can also bolt onto your regular subscription. It’s called the Movies Extra Pack and it contains the following channels:
- Hallmark Drama (Ch. 564)
- Hallmark Movies & Mysteries (Ch. 565)
- HDNet Movies (Ch. 566)
- MGM HD (Ch. 567)
- Sony Movies (Ch. 568)
- Smithsonian Channel (C. 570)
- Crime + Investigation (Ch. 571)
- MTV Live (Ch. 572)
- ShortsTV (Ch. 573)
The cost of that? A very decent $5 per month, which actually works out cheaper than buying Hallmark Movies & Mysteries as a single channel.
You can add any of these channels or packs through your DirecTV account. Just log in and head to ‘Manage My Subscription’. You’ll see all the add-ons in there.
AT&T DirecTV Entertainment Availability
AT&T’s DirecTV service is available in every state in the US . That’s pretty cool news!
However, the coverage varies a little from city to city, so make sure you check the DirecTV website to find out what’s available in your location.
Your DirecTV availability is also affected by the internet speed you get at home. While AT&T does provide internet services to each of those states, not all of them are fast enough to power DirecTV Stream.
The minimum bandwidth for this is 24 Mbps . And that’s just for one stream. While most of the US will be able to get much faster speeds than that, some rural areas may struggle.
If you live in a rural area of the US with AT&T Internet and struggle for speed, we recommend doing a speed test before you consider picking up DirecTV Stream.
You can find out more about AT&T’s availability as a whole here.
AT&T DirecTV Entertainment vs Other DirecTV Packages
Are you sold by Entertainment, or do you feel like you need more channels? While it’s all good to add bolt-ons, a lot of people will be better suited to upgrading to one of the other packages.
We’ve already looked at the prices of the other three DirecTV packages, so let’s have a refresh and take a closer look at what’s involved.
|Plan||Max price per month(Stream/Satellite)||Number of Channels (Stream/Satellite)||What You Get|
|Entertainment||$69.99/$102||75+/165+||All the best basic channels|
|Choice||$89.99/$124||105+/200+||Entertainment plus loads of sports and more|
|Ultimate||$104.99/$154||140+/270+||Choice plus movie channels|
|Premier||$149.99/$209||150+/340+||Everything you could want, including HBO Max, SHOWTIME, STARZ etc.|
Remember, all these prices are lower for the first couple of months of each contract thanks to a deal AT&T has on right now.
Plus, the price of the satellite channels are cheaper for the first year, but you are locked into a two year contract. Stream, on the other hand, has no minimum contract at all.
Also, all the satellite plans come with the hardware included. You’ll get free rental of the Genie HD DVR, which allows you to record 72 hours worth of television and has other cool features.
Stream does not come with equipment rental. You can choose to rent a device from AT&T for as little as $5 per month, or you can just buy a third party one such as a Google Chromecast. We recommend the latter.
AT&T DirecTV Entertainment vs the Competition
It’s all well and good choosing from AT&T’s DirecTV packages, but could it be possible to get a better deal elsewhere? Well, the short is… maybe. DirecTV is actually pretty expensive compared to a lot of the competition, but it does have better service.
We compared DirecTV Entertainment to the entry level of the main competition. You can see the results in terms of stats here:
|Plan||Price per month||Number of Channels||Price per Channel|
|Verizon Your Fios||$70||125+||$0.56|
|Hulu & Live TV||$69.99||75+||$0.93|
Again, none of these prices include additional fees and taxes. So, they won’t be a true representation of what you actually pay. Make sure you do your homework into the additional fees before you choose one or the other.
Before you commit to any of these plans, however, make sure you consider availability. You won’t actually have a choice in a lot of the US as different providers service different areas.
If you like the look of any of the plans listed above, you can find out if you’re eligible for them on their websites.
AT&T DirecTV Entertainment FAQ
Got more questions about AT&T DirecTV? The chances are, you’ll find the answers below.
What’s the difference between DirecTV and U-verse?
It can be confusing to see these two names popping up, but the answer is simple. U-verse is what DirecTV used to be called before it was given a rebrand. Now, U-verse is no longer used, so you can forget all about it!
Do I need to install a dish to get the satellite service?
Yes. If you don’t have a suitable satellite in your home already, you’ll need one to get up and running with the DirecTV satellite service.
Fortunately, AT&T does not charge for the hardware or for the setup. That makes those high prices for the service begin to look a little more worth it, even with the long contract.
The only cost you will have to pay here is a one time activation fee of $19.95. But that’s not bad considering the amount of work that has to be done to get you up and running.
What does DVR mean?
You might see the phrase DVR being thrown around when looking at the DirecTV satellite service.
But it’s nothing complicated. It simply stands for ‘Digital Video Recorder’, so it’s a reference to the hardware you’ll be able to loan for free with your plan.
Wrapping Up on AT&T DirecTV Entertainment
The entry level plan from DirecTV is a pretty strong one overall. It has a neat interface, a good selection of channels and good coverage. The only thing that holds us back is that it’s pretty expensive compared to the competition, both for the streaming and satellite services.
If you are sold by this, or if you live in an area where AT&T is the only provider that services you, you might want to take up their internet service too. Your best bet is Fiber, if you’re lucky enough to be able to get it.
Find out more about the best AT&T Fiber plan for most people here.