YouTube TV vs DirecTV: Sorry AT&T It’s Not Me It’s You
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I think I can speak for most of DirecTV’s customers when I say we are completely fed up with AT&T. When comparing YouTube TV vs DirecTV, it was clear what we needed to do. We’re paying a lot of money for specific channels, and here lately, we haven’t been able to watch some of our favorite TV shows due to blackouts.
I watch a lot of nighttime TV. Don’t judge me! It’s my way of winding down after a long day, and my husband and I really enjoy relaxing and watching TV together.
But we recently canceled DirecTV (for the second time). Here’s why we cut the cord and started streaming for entertainment.
When AT&T acquired DirecTV, things started going downhill. Currently, we are experiencing blackouts of local networks, like CBS, NBC, and The CW. Quite frankly, I’m over it. In just a couple of months, college football will start, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to miss out on my Florida Gators and other SEC ballgames.
But DirecTV has become slick, much like the cell phone providers, in that they charge early termination fees when you leave the company. It used to be equal to $10 per month of early termination. So if your contract expired in September and you had 3 months left of service, your ETF would be $30.
They’ve since raised their early termination fees to double that ($20 per month), making it a bit more difficult to walk away from the provider.
This isn’t the first time we’ve left DirecTV for streaming.
We first quit DirecTV in 2015 in an effort to save money. I was tired of being a tenured customer and not being offered the same prices as new DirecTV clients. Essentially, it felt like we were paying double the price so that new customers could save 50% off the first year.
That same year we switched from Verizon to Cricket in an effort to save money.
Even though we had to pay about $120 to terminate our contract a year early, it was worth it because we would be able to catch our favorite shows on Hulu and Sling TV. But here’s the thing…we didn’t actually save much money and we weren’t able to get all of the channels we wanted. Sports (and Hallmark channel) lovers beware!
Sling TV and Hulu Plus Aren’t Enough
You can get most of the shows that you need from Sling TV and Hulu + Live TV, but I like YouTube TV a little more than Hulu + Live TV for a few reasons.
Streaming TV Providers’ Cost Comparison
Sling TV costs $25 per month for the Orange plan.
Hulu + Live TV is $44.99 per month and offers all of the channels I would need with the exception of Hallmark. I’m serious about my Hallmark Christmas movies!
YouTube TV costs $49.99 per month and offers similar channels to that of Hulu + Live TV.
YouTube TV vs DirecTV: Key Differences
My family has been using YouTube TV for about a week. Here are some of our favorite features:
- Ability to hide certain channels from your home page. Ok…so when we had DirecTV, this was a major annoyance. When you logged in to the DirecTV app to stream, CNN was the first thing that popped up. Now, political parties aside, the last thing I want to see when I open my phone for streaming is political news (especially CNN). I researched and there is absolutely no way to hide it or to even choose a different channel as your default start channel.
On YouTube TV, you can hide channels from your home screen! Here’s a quick, video showing how to do it.
- You don’t have to be connected to your home wifi in order to stream! With DirecTV, we had to connect to our home wifi, log in to DirecTV, and download saved shows off of our DVR to watch while away from home. So if my husband was traveling for work, and his favorite show recorded on a Tuesday night, he couldn’t watch it until he returned home. Now, with YouTube TV, you can watch your list from anywhere.
- Like Hulu and Netflix, you can set up different family members (up to six profiles) on your YouTube TV account. This means that everyone logs in using their own email, and your kids can each have their own profiles. The difference is you don’t choose a profile from the home screen. You’re simply logged in on your device or TV and you can’t access other family members’ profiles. I love this added privacy.
- Unlimited DVR – With DirecTV, we were limited to only five recordings of any given show at a time. Now, with YouTube TV, we’re able to have instant access to all of the recordings for a particular show. And it doesn’t only record upcoming shows. When you add a show to your list, it automatically adds all of the previous recordings.
Streaming isn’t for Everyone
An important fact to point out is that not everyone can stream. You need to have unlimited broadband internet service in order to effectively stream, or you’ll end up beating your head against the wall in frustration.
If you live out in the country and are limited on your broadband because you don’t have cabled internet (underground), you won’t be able to stream.
This is the case for my mother in law. She lives about 5 minutes away from a town that does offer high speed internet, but the cables don’t go out in her direction. So she has to use over the air wifi, which limits her usage.
Make sure you have a really great internet plan. We used to have Frontier service, but the speed was really mediocre. It was fine for writing blog posts, but when it came time to edit videos for my YouTube channel, it was a no-go.
And streaming was a nightmare. At only 12 Mbps speed, we just didn’t have nearly enough speed for a family of five to be streaming.
So we switched to Comcast for internet. I know there are some horror stories about Comcast customer service, but we have never once had an issue (in four years). That may be because we only have internet and not television service with them.
If you decide to switch to xfinity, be sure to sign up for Rakuten (formerly ebates) first. You can get $17.50 cash back for internet-only services!
Conclusion? You Should Probably Cancel DirecTV for YouTube TV
Let me preface this by saying YouTube TV, owned by Google, isn’t paying me to say this. They don’t even have an affiliate program. So these opinions are my own. I just really dig the new YouTube TV over DirecTV, and I think if it would have been an option back in 2015 when we first tried cutting the cord, we would have signed up then.
Hulu + Live TV is probably a great option if you’re looking to save an additional $5. What’s awesome is the fact that you could try each one out because there are no contracts and decide which one is better!
Now I just have to figure out how to affordably stream the Hallmark channel!
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