Getting rid of cable is an enticing prospect. Who doesn’t want to drop a monthly $100-plus bill? And all those commercials! Good grief.
What’s the alternative? You could pay for internet, and then pay for services like Hulu, Netflix, HBO, and Amazon. Those services quickly add up in price, and monthly internet costs are high.
There’s another option: streaming television over the internet – legally – through services like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue. These services offer channel lineups that are similar to those you already have through cable packages, but they cost much less and run on devices you already own.
AT&T just announced its own service of this kind: It’s called DirecTV Now, and it’s the best deal by far. Here’s how it stacks up against the competition.
1. DirecTV Now
It’s an introductory price, but if you sign up for DirecTV Now in the near future, you’ll lock in a $35/month price for over 100 channels. That price lasts until you cancel your subscription.
That is, by far, the best deal being offered in online TV streaming. It includes channels like Comedy Central and CNN, as well as biggies like Disney and ESPN, and more niche channels like MTV Classic and Oxygen.
Even if you miss that introductory price, the normal $35/month package includes over 60 channels – a big jump over the competition.
BONUS: With DirecTV Now, you can add HBO for just $5/month. That’s a $10 savings on the usual $15/month HBO Now pricing.
2. Sling TV
Sling offers the second-best option for cord-cutters who want to keep a semblance of a TV plan. It’s less expensive, but offers fewer channels than the competition. Most notably, the $20 base level plan from Sling includes channels like ESPN, CNN, and Cartoon Network. That’s great!
But it’s also entirely missing all local channels – stuff like ABC, NBC and more, which are offered by the competition.
3. PlayStation Vue
PlayStation Vue is the strongest competition for DirecTV Now’s lineup, but it’s no competitor in price. The least expensive PlayStation Vue package costs $40/month – it’s on sale currently, and usually costs $50/month – and offers a similar lineup to the $35/month package from DirecTV Now. Except it costs $5 more and has fewer channels.
Make no mistake: PlayStation Vue is a great service. It’s got an unlimited cloud DVR function that enables easy save and replay of TV shows across devices (that’s a function unique to PS Vue, though it’s coming to the competition in the next few months). Vue is slick and fast. But it’s easily bested on price by DirecTV Now.
All of which is to say: If you snag the introductory price of $35/month from DirecTV Now for the package that includes over 100 channels, the price is dramatically better than anything else being offered.