At the end of July, a press release from AT&T revealed that the company’s DirecTV Now service would undergo a makeover of sorts. Included in the rebranding is a name change to the TV streaming platform. However, it may come with some confusion. Namely, the company is already planning to launch AT&T TV, which is an entirely independent service.
So if you’re already a subscriber to DirecTV Now and are looking to find out more about the rebranding and how it affects you, check out the following review. Additionally, this DirecTV Now review will cover all the basics of DirecTV Now for those who are looking to sign up for the new service.
If you’re already connected to the service, chances are that its name will switch automatically for you very soon. DirecTV Now was already upgraded in March 2019. The company updated it to include networks like HBO.
Firstly, the original DirecTV Now service was created in 2016. The service includes a bundle of streaming channels which are available via devices connected to the internet. The service doesn’t require a TV box or cable, which is why it stands out in the market. Moreover, it’s affordable, at roughly $35 for a monthly subscription with around 60 channels.
The basic package includes major news and broadcast networks, national and regional sports networks including channels like ESPN. Plus, there’s a vast range of entertainment channels. Additionally, the subscription is upgradeable, with $50 to $70 monthly packages that include additional offers. As mentioned, HBO was added in March, but users can also purchase Cinemax, Showtime, or Starz for an extra $5–$8.
For the new AT&T TV Now service, we’ve already mentioned that existing users could see some automatic changes like a logo swap. The company also stated that those users would have to agree to the terms & conditions of the service again.
Moreover, the new service is not rolling out just yet. AT&T’s spokespersons have claimed that more details will be revealed when the revamp of DirecTV Now gets an official release.
Adding to some confusion here is the fact that AT&T offers various streaming services. As mentioned, the new AT&T TV is scheduled for an upcoming release. However, it’s a separate service without the “Now” moniker.
It will also require specific hardware and will be available around 2020. Additionally, other AT&T services include the upcoming Verge TV and AT&T WatchTV, which adds to the list of confusing names. On top of that, it was revealed that AT&T TV Now and the upcoming AT&T TV would share an app.
So to clear up the confusion with the names and services, it’s best to focus on some of the major upgrades to DirecTV Now from spring of this year to give you a better overview of the service.
DirecTV Now Details and What to Expect
After the updates this spring, the service featured 60–120 channels, which is what you can anticipate from the rebranded product. The benefit of this service is the fact that it is compatible with many devices. Some include iOS, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Roku, and streaming-equipped TVs. Also, it’s a fairly affordable service with an average cost of $50 to $70. Another benefit is that it does not require a contract. This service is also available across the entire U.S. and overall more accessible compared to the original DirecTV service which required a satellite and dish as well as additional hardware.
All in all, DirecTV Now’s specs and performance provide easy access to many TV channels nationwide with an affordable price and added convenience. Moreover, users do not need to modify their homes to install any hardware for instance.
Channels and Performance
There are countless variables when it comes to breaking down the channel choices available on this service.
Additionally, with channel packages like Live a Little, Go Big, Just Right, and more, the choice is quite vast. New subscribers can expect to get essential channels like CNN, ABC, Bravo, Lifetime, Discovery, Syfy, Nickelodeon, History, Cartoon Network, Disney, ESPN, Fox, MTV, E!, Animal Planet, etc. The HBO offers are Family and Latino as well as the main HBO channel.
Moreover, the service offers a free trial (one week) and also includes the option of simultaneous streams from two devices. There is a DVR cloud service, which allows users to skip commercials and record up to 20 hours per month for an extra fee. Another package includes 100 recording hours.
The basic concept of DirecTV Now/ AT&T TV Now is meant to appeal to a wide market. Namely, the service is incredibly easy to set up, and it saves you the hassle of bulky hardware. You merely need to get a subscription and ditch your previous TV provider and simply launch DirecTV Now on a compatible device.
Rebranding and Updates
According to the company, the service’s specifications and options will remain unchanged. As stated, existing users will need to agree to the terms again and continue to use the service under the new name.
And as far as quality goes, your device’s screen will greatly impact it. The service adheres to the average resolution to most streaming services and offers 720p for the majority of live channels on mobile devices and other platforms. If you’re a fan of sports channels, the service has 60 fps video, a great option to watch the games in real time!
What’s more, AT&T’s service is fast and loads quickly without errors on various platforms. Some glitches have been documented for Amazon Fire TV though.
Overall, the service provides a wide channel range of various tiers, including premium channels. One factor that all new subscribers should keep in mind is that the channel choice varies according to the region and that some channels may not be offered in your location. Additionally, the service needs a strong internet connection. Nevertheless, there is a broad range of local channels.
Essentially, the revamped AT&T TV Now is a convenient simulation of pay-TV services and cable for an affordable price. And it appears that it is a better choice compared to live TV streaming services like Hulu with live TV and YouTube TV.
It offers more convenience, portability, a vast selection of channels and upgrades, as well as cloud DVR features. When you clear up the confusion with the brand names and other services offered by AT&T, the bottom line is that AT&T TV Now/DirecTV Now is a great choice for TV streaming without additional hardware or contracts!