TV Answer Man, I have had DIRECTV for six years and I am not in a two-year agreement so I can cancel now without a penalty. I am thinking of switching to DIRECTV Stream so I can get free HBO Max and eliminate my fees for DIRECTV equipment and so forth. I have a Roku already so I could just watch DIRECTV Stream by streaming. Is there anything that I should know before I switch? — Tom, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

Tom, there are a few things you definitely need to know before you make that switch, particularly as it relates to free HBO Max.

First, while DIRECTV Stream can be more convenient because it does not require a dish nor a two-year agreement, note that its channel lineup is less than half the size of the DIRECTV lineup. (For instance, Stream does not carry the NFL Network while DIRECTV does.) You might want to scan the channel list for each to ensure that you won’t lose a favorite network after switching.

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You also need to know that DIRECTV Stream does not offer the NFL Sunday Ticket, which is a DIRECTV exclusive. This might give you pause if you’re a big football fan.

And finally, it’s true that DIRECTV Stream offers three free months of HBO Max to new customers who subscribe to its Choice plan or above. But that offer is not available to DIRECTV and U-verse TV customers who are switching to DIRECTV Stream.

If you switch from either to DIRECTV Stream, you’ll have to pay the regular HBO Max subscription rate from the start. (HBO Max’s plans start at $9.99 a month with an ads-included version.)

Tom, hope that helps in your decision. Happy viewing, and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann