Can you bundle AT&T TV with DIRECTV Satellite?

No you can’t, and there’s a good reason for it.

AT&T TV, in case you haven’t seen the many commercials out there, is a streaming TV service that looks and feels like a traditional pay-TV service. It uses a dedicated box with a remote that looks like your pay-TV remote. It’s the best choice for someone who wants to go streaming-only but still likes the convenience of a live TV package.

DIRECTV Satellite, of course, is pay TV delivered over a satellite connection. It’s a powerful system that gives you live and recorded TV using devices you put in your home. It works whether or not the internet’s working.

Both services cost about the same and offer about the same number of channels. DIRECTV Satellite gives you the opportunity to get more international channels and sports channels, as well as more local channels in some places. They’re more alike than they are different.

Bundling doesn’t make sense, at least for now

These are designed to be two different services, and appeal to two different markets. DIRECTV Satellite is the premium service that gives you service in unlimited rooms in the house. It has more premium content, more sports packages, and more international packages. But, the service is designed to work around one service address. If you move frequently or live somewhere that satellite isn’t an option, it’s not your best choice.

On the other hand, AT&T TV is designed for people with a more portable life. You can take the box and connect it anywhere there’s an internet connection. You don’t need to drill holes in the walls to install it, which is great for apartment dwellers.

They really are designed to work with two completely different markets and it doesn’t make sense to bundle them. As I said, at least for now.

What makes sense for now?

DIRECTV Satellite has an app for smartphones and tablets that gives pretty much everything that AT&T TV provides. You get over 150 live TV channels in many markets, and access to the entire streaming on-demand library. While there isn’t an app for streaming boxes, you can cast or AirPlay to most streaming boxes.

AT&T TV also has a streaming app which mirrors the AT&T TV box experience. While the AT&T TV app doesn’t allow for rewinding and fast-forwarding live TV in most cases, it’s identical to the AT&T TV box experience in every other way.

The two apps do pretty much the same thing. If you have DIRECTV Satellite, there isn’t a whole lot of benefit to having AT&T TV as well. And if you have AT&T TV, you’d need to install a satellite dish to get access to DIRECTV.

What about the future?

I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if sometime in the future, the AT&T TV app and the DIRECTV app merged into some sort of super-app. If you had DIRECTV Satellite, you could access recorded content from home. If you had AT&T TV, you could access your cloud DVR. And either way, you could watch live TV and on-demand. Just as I expect HBO GO and HBO NOW to give way to HBO Max, I expect these two apps to give way to something in the future that works with both.

It still wouldn’t really make sense to bundle, because at that point you’d still have the best of both worlds.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.