TV Answer Man, I’ve been reading about the new DIRECTV Stream at your site. Do they have a free trial so I can check it out? I don’t want to pay unless I can see if it’s any good and it has all the sports teams I follow. — Candy, Reno, Nevada.
Candy, DIRECTV Stream is the new name for the multi-channel, live streaming service formerly called AT&T TV. The streamer is part of the new and separate DIRECTV company along with DIRECTV, the satellite TV service, and U-verse, the pay TV operator once wholly owned by AT&T. The new DIRECTV is jointly owned by AT&T (70 percent) and the private equity firm, TPG (30 percent.)
The newly named DIRECTV Stream is basically the same as AT&T TV. The service offers multiple programming packages starting at $69.99 a month and there are no contracts, unlike the satellite DIRECTV which requires a two-year agreement in exchange for incentives such as free Sunday Ticket.
DIRECTV Stream carries many hard-to-find regional sports channels such as Bally Sports, NESN, Altitude, SportsNet LA, Marquee Sports, and MASN, the TV home of the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals. (Note that the regional sports channels are available in Stream’s Choice plan and above, which start at $84.99 a month.)
But is DIRECTV Stream any good? Is it technically sound?
With some live streaming services, such as FuboTV and Hulu Live, you could find out by using their seven-day free trial. However, like AT&T TV, DIRECTV Stream does not offer a free trial.
But before you run off in despair, Candy, if you scour the fine print of DIRECTV Stream’s web site, you’ll notice that it offers a full refund to new customers if they cancel within 14 days after subscribing.
“You may cancel your DIRECTV STREAM service within 14 days of purchase without paying an Early Termination Fee. All fees and charges paid prior to cancelation shall be fully refunded. If you cancel in the first 14 days of order, you must also return the included DIRECTV STREAM device within 14 days to avoid $120 non-return fee. If you terminate after 14 days and are subject to a term commitment, you must pay an Early Termination Fee,” the site states.
So while it doesn’t advertise a free trial, DIRECTV Stream is basically giving you 14 days to try it out. If you don’t like it, you can cancel and get your money back. That’s just as good as a free trial.
Hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann