The third of four tiers of AT&T’s DirecTV service is called Ultimate. It has over 140 channels if you choose to stream it, and over 270 on the satellite version.
For that, you’ll need to pay up to $104.99 per month in streaming world or up to $154 per month on satellite. But the pricing structure is a little more complicated than that, amongst other things.
This package is great for families, as it contains a lot of kids and movie channels.
Having done a whole lot of research onto DirecTV ultimate, I can tell you that there’s a lot to consider before you choose to sign up. So today, we’re going to be taking a look at the following to do with it:
- The main pros and cons
- A quick look at what DirecTV is
- An overview of DirecTV Ultimate and who it suits best
- How much it costs
- The channels you get
- Extra channels you can bolt on
- Where you can get DirecTV
- The other DirecTV packages by comparison
- The competition’s packages by comparison
Let’s go ahead.
AT&T DirecTV Ultimate Pros and Cons
Here’s a quick look at the best and worst bits of AT&T DirecTV Ultimate.
- Cheaper in first two months right now
- Tons of channels, especially on satellite
- The only provider to offer satellite (great for slow internet homes)
- Can come as a bundle with AT&T Fiber
- Satellite is actually cheaper over the past 12 months
- Good choice of family channels and movies
- Satellite package has a long contract of 24 months
- A few additional fees with both options
- Pretty expensive compared to the competition
AT&T DirecTV At a Glance
So what exactly is DirecTV? Well, for a start, it used to be called U-verse, but that name was changed in recent years. But it’s still the same great TV service from AT&T.
It’s also the only one out there to offer both satellite and streaming. Which one you choose will depend on what you prefer and what your personal situation is.
The satellite version will always have a lot more channels. But it also costs a lot more money in the second year, even if the packages are similarly priced in the first.
And the other advantage of DirecTV Stream over satellite is that there is no contract. The satellite packages, however, demand a 24 month contract which is not ideal.
You can stream DirecTV Ultimate on unlimited devices if you choose DirecTV Stream. But you’ll need to have the internet speed to do so.
If you want to take DirecTV out of the house, you can watch it on up to three devices simultaneously away from home. This is true regardless of whether you’re streaming or using the satellite offering.
That’s the same depending on which of the four tiers you choose. They are as follows:
|Max price per month(Stream/Satellite)
|Number of Channels (Stream/Satellite)
|What You Get
|All the best basic channels
|Entertainment plus loads of sports and more
|Choice plus movie channels
|Everything you could want, including HBO Max, SHOWTIME, STARZ etc.
As you go through the tiers, you’ll pay more but get more channels as a result of it. We’ll go into a bit more detail on the differences between the tiers later. But for now, let’s take a closer look at our subject of the day, Ultimate.
AT&T DirecTV Ultimate Overview
As mentioned, Ultimate is the third tier of four for DirecTV. It’s a great package for families, as it contains a lot of kids and movie channels. Plus, it has all the great sports that the tier below, Choice, has to offer. And, all the basics of Entertainment.
Of course, it’s quite a big jump up in price compared to Entertainment and Choice. But it’s still a fair amount more affordable than the top level, Ultimate. We’ll go into more detail on the prices and the channels right now.
AT&T DirecTV Ultimate Pricing
For DirecTV Ultimate with the DirecTV Stream service, you’ll pay a price of $84.99 for your first two months. This rises to $104.99 after the initial two month period
DirecTV Stream also comes with a free 7 day trial period. Your first payment will be due at the end of that 7 day period.
This is a neat way to find out if you like the service or not without having to commit to anything. You can use it to find out which of the four tiers is best for you as well.
Satellite does not offer a trial period unfortunately. There are a few logistical issues with that as a lot more equipment and setup is required.
And that is reflected in the price. For your first two months, you’ll pay $89.99 per month, followed by ten months of $99.99 per month to complete your first year.
For the second year, that price jumps up to $154 per month for the remainder of the contract.
And here’s the thing. You’ll need to commit to a two year contract with the satellite service, whereas DirecTV Stream has no minimum term at all. This means there’s no way of avoiding paying the high rate of the second year of the plan.
Of course, you get a lot more channels for your money here as we are about to find out in the next section. But this is certainly one of the most expensive TV plans out there right now.
By the way, none of these costs include taxes or other hidden fees from AT&T. For example, you’ll need to pay a $19.95 activation fee for the satellite service and you’ll need to hire equipment or buy your own with DirecTV Stream.
You can find out more about the hidden fees with AT&T services here. Make sure you do this before you commit to any of the plans as the fees could end up adding a lot onto your bills. You’ll also be able to find out about cancellation fees in that article.
AT&T DirecTV Ultimate Channels Lineup
So what do you get when you pay that money? Well, there are quite a few additional channels you get with DirecTV Ultimate on top of the first package, Entertainment. So firstly, let’s take a look at what you get there.
|Baby First HD
|Bally Sports 1
After that, there’s the next level up. That’s called Choice, and you get these channels above and beyond Entertainment.
|Big Ten Netw…
|Game Show Nw
|Heroes & Icons
|The Weather Ch
Now, it’s time to take a look at the channels you get with DirecTV Ultimate on top of these two.
|BBC Wrld News
|CBS Sports Ntw
|FOX Sports 2
|FX Movie Chnl
|Nat Geo WILD
Note that the channels listed above are for DirecTV Stream. What you get with the satellite service is a little different.
Plus, the listings above do not include the Spanish language channels which can be added in some areas. You can check out the full listings for everything here.
AT&T DirecTV Ultimate Channel Bolt-Ons
If you feel like Ultimate hasn’t got everything you’re looking for but Premier is working out to be too expensive, you might be able to meet in the middle and get some bolt-ons.
You can choose to buy individual channels on top of your subscription. Those channels, and the prices of them, are as follows. By the way, these are the prices for DirecTV Stream. The bolt-on prices for satellites are ever so slightly different.
|Price per month
|Hallmark Movies Now
|Lifetime Movie Club
|A&E Crime Central
|UP Faith & Family
Pretty neat, right? But actually, there’s one bolt-on that offers better value for money. It’s called the Movies Extra Pack, and it costs just $5 per month right now. For that, you get all these 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)
Finally, it’s possible to add regional sports to your plan with DirecTV Ultimate. This comes at an additional cost of $11.99 per month, and for that you’ll get all the sports in your area.
If you want to take up any of these options, you can do so at the point of purchase. Or, you can add them at any time directly from your DirecTV account.
Just log in, head to ‘Manage My Subscriptions’. All the add-ons are there and waiting to be added.
AT&T DirecTV Availability
At the time of writing, AT&T DirecTV is available in every single state across the US . That’s great news for fans! You’ll be able to get both DirecTV Stream and DirecTV Satellite in every state in the US.
DirecTV is available in the vast majority of each of these states but it cannot service everywhere. The availability differs slightly from town to town, but you can find out what service you can get at https://www.directv.com/city/.
One more thing to note is your internet speed if you’re planning on taking up the streaming service. DirecTV Stream requires a minimum bandwidth of 8 Mbps for one stream .
Of course, if you’re anticipating sharing with multiple users (it’s possible to stream on an unlimited number of devices if you have the speed to do it), you’ll need more than this.
Run an internet speed test at home before you sign up to find out the capabilities of your home internet. This is especially important to do if you live in a rural area.
AT&T DirecTV Ultimate vs Other DirecTV Packages
We’ve had a look at what some of the other packages have to offer in terms of channels. But now, it’s time to compare more closely. Here are all four packages side by side, with their channels and prices.
|Number of Channels
|Satellite Price (first year/second year)
Again, these prices do not include hidden fees and taxes so make sure you look into this while you’re budgeting .
You’ll notice that the gaps in price between each of the tiers are fairly even. So, it’s really down to you to decide which channels you want and what your budget is. With that, you’ll be able to make the decision that’s right for you.
AT&T DirecTV Ultimate vs Competition Packages
But before you make that decision, make sure you check out what the competition has to offer. Here’s a quick look at the most similarly-priced plans from the other big names.
|Price per month
|Number of Channels
|Price per Channel
|The Most Fios TV
|Hulu & Live TV
Of course, we’re looking at the streaming here. That’s because none of these other providers offer satellite TV anymore. The future is streaming! That is, of course, for the people who have fast enough internet to handle it…
By comparison to most of the competition, DirecTV Ultimate is quite a bit more expensive. As you can see, it’s almost 3x more expensive per channel than Verizon’s The Most Fios TV.
That being said, DirecTV has much better availability than Fios TV. The Verizon service is limited to just a handful of states, so most of the US will not be able to get this service.
If you do have the choice, however, the Verizon offering might be the better option for you. Just make sure you have a look at the channel lineup before you come to that decision.
FAQ on AT&T DirecTV Ultimate
Need more info? We believe you’ll find it below.
How do I set up DirecTV?
Getting up and running with DirecTV depends on whether you’re going for streaming or satellite. But, either way, it should be pretty easy. Take a look at our guide to AT&T setup and you’ll find everything you need to know!
Which equipment do I need for DirecTV?
Again, the answer to this question depends on the service you’re opting for. For the satellite service, the equipment will be taken care of. AT&T will need to install a satellite, but the price of that is covered by your contract other than a $19.95 activation fee.
Streaming requires a streaming device. But there’s actually a DirecTV Smart TV app for some TVs. If you don’t have this, you can either rent or buy a streaming device to plug into your HDMI port from AT&T, or pick up a Chromecast, Fire Stick or something similar.
Should I go for DirecTV Stream or Satellite?
If you have slow internet, we highly recommend satellite. However, if your internet is good then DirecTV Stream is the better option in terms of being better value for money. That is unless you feel like you need the extra channels from the satellite service.
Last Thoughts on AT&T DirecTV Ultimate
It might seem pretty daunting to navigate DirecTV Ultimate considering all the variables but we hope you’ve got everything you need from this review. Overall, it’s not the best value for money but it does have great availability, so you might actually not have much of a choice.
Another provider who offers TV with great availability is Cox. So if DirecTV isn’t calling out to you, take a look at their similar plan. It’s called , and you can read about it here.