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Last updated: October 10, 2022

Starts at $7.99/mo
Starts at $54.99/mo

Disney Plus and DIRECTV STREAM are both great streaming services and cable alternatives, but they’re structured differently. To weigh Disney Plus vs. DIRECTV STREAM, we’ll need to talk about how each service works and why one may suit your streaming needs better than the other. Let’s dive in!

Disney Plus: On-Demand Streaming From Disney


  • Highly affordable
  • Features content from Disney and sub-brands such as Marvel Studios, National Geographic, and Star Wars
  • Can be bundled with Hulu and ESPN Plus


  • Somewhat limited to original content
  • Smaller library than other on-demand alternatives

DIRECTV STREAM: A Cable-Like Streaming Service With Live TV Channels


  • A cable-like experience for less than the price of cable
  • Easy to watch live broadcast events
  • Includes familiar channels such as AMC, ESPN, and TNT


  • Like most live services, it’s pricier than on-demand alternatives
  • Not as customizable as some other live TV services
  • Large bundles can feel a bit too cable-like

DIRECTV STREAM Replaces Cable, While Disney Plus Features a Robust On-Demand Library

Cutting the cord means getting rid of cable and satellite. But we cord-cutters don’t typically stop watching TV — instead, we replace our old cable channels and shows with streaming services.

But “streaming services” is a big category, and different platforms work in different ways. You may rent or buy a digital copy of a movie on a marketplace like Amazon and pay by the movie (or TV show episode). Or you may pay by the month instead, choosing a subscription service like Netflix. There are differences between subscription services, too: Some offer all-you-can-stream menus of on-demand content, while others show live programming.

The most famous streaming service is “subscription on-demand,” which means you pay a monthly fee to stream movies and TV shows from an always-available content library. You may be familiar with this model from Netflix, and it’s also how Disney Plus works. If you subscribe to Disney Plus, then you’ll pay a small fee once a month to access all the movies and TV shows in the app.


DIRECTV STREAM is a different sort of service. It models itself more after cable. DIRECTV STREAM is a “multichannel” service, which means it offers live channels you can tune in to — networks such as AMC and TBS, alongside on-demand content. DIRECTV STREAM’s impressive channel selection is one of the things we raved about in our review of the service. It’s a lot like cable, except DIRECTV STREAM comes over the internet, its content is somewhat slimmer (with fewer “filler” channels that nobody watches), and it’s more affordable.

Both Disney Plus and DIRECTV STREAM are subscription services — you’ll pay a monthly fee to sign up — but they offer different programming and ways to watch. Disney Plus lets you start and stop Disney-owned movies and TV shows from an always-available library, while DIRECTV STREAM is all about live channels of the sort you’d have with cable or satellite.

DIRECTV STREAM Offers the Latest Broadcast Content, While Disney Plus Brings the Originals

The key difference between Disney Plus and DIRECTV STREAM is what content you’ll get.

DIRECTV STREAM is a more cable-like experience, with over 140 live TV channels. You can expect new episodes of hit sitcoms and dramas, reruns, and even movies (although they’ll be the versions edited for cable). DIRECTV STREAM’s channels are just like those on cable or satellite. A perk of the service, DIRECTV STREAM automatically saves shows and movies that have recently played on its channels so you can check them out later for on-demand viewing.

Disney Plus movie selection
Disney Plus movie selection

Disney Plus has an on-demand catalog of all things Disney. That means Disney animated classics, of course, but also hits from other Disney-owned properties such as Marvel Studios and Star Wars. Disney Plus also has its own original content, including the hit live-action Star Wars show “The Mandalorian.” These titles are always available on demand, and you can even download them for offline viewing.

Disney Plus Is More Affordable, While DIRECTV STREAM Is More Functional

Disney Plus and DIRECTV STREAM are two very different types of services, and the prices you’ll pay for them are very different too!

On-demand services tend to be cheaper than live multichannel (cable-like) ones, and that rule holds true here. Disney Plus is considerably cheaper than DIRECTV STREAM.

Disney Plus is pretty cheap even by the standards of on-demand services: $7.99 per month (or $79.99 per year), which is about half as much as the most popular Netflix plan. Due to its smaller catalog of shows and movies, Disney Plus is naturally cheaper. Still, Disney offers plenty to watch, including hit movies from Marvel Studios.

DIRECTV STREAM starts at $54.99 per month for the ENTERTAINMENT plan. That’s a lot more than Disney Plus, but it’s pretty typical for live TV streaming services with a full suite of cable-like channels.

Disney Plus vs. DIRECTV STREAM: Which Suits You Best?

If you’re deciding between two services as different as Disney Plus and DIRECTV STREAM, the decision shouldn’t be too tough. If you’re looking for an affordable streaming service that gives you on-demand content, then Disney Plus is the better option. If you crave live TV, then you’ll want to look more closely at DIRECTV STREAM because Disney Plus doesn’t have what you’re looking for.

Of course, these two streaming services aren’t your only options. If Disney Plus sounds like the better of the two, then weigh it against Netflix or Hulu. You could even bundle Hulu and Disney Plus, along with ESPN Plus.

If the DIRECTV STREAM approach to streaming is more your style, then you should check out DIRECTV STREAM’s direct competitors, such as Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV. These services offer a live television solution that will make your cord-cutting transition from cable relatively seamless.

3 thoughts on “Disney Plus vs. DIRECTV STREAM: Which Should Cord-Cutters Choose?

  1. says:

    How come AT&T TV don’t merge internet and cable together

    1. vicki elliott says:

      When I spoke to someone at directv they said paramountplus and Disney would be499. eachamonth wecoulgethem on tv now how does this work

  2. Peggy says:

    What channel is Disney plus

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