DirecTV Now is the new streaming service coming from AT&T. After months of hype and speculation, with details trickling out slowly about the live streaming service, DirecTV Now is finally live. This is another exciting choice for cord cutters that will aim to compete with other live streaming, cable alternatives like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue. Thanks to removing the equipment and labor that comes with cable services, DirecTV Now is able to offer more competitive rates for people that have left cable.
The details about DirecTV Now have come pouring out on the heels of the company’s big launch press conference, and more information is sure to be released in the coming days as customers get their hands on the service. We know a number of things, which is why we’re opening the dialogue with this DirecTV Now review, but some things we won’t know until they’ve fully gone live. Until then, this DirecTV Now review will fill you in on everything we know from the cost to the DirecTV Now channels list (note: you can also call 877-625-6921 to speak to a DirecTV customer service rep to learn more about signing up for the service).
What is DirecTV Now?
DirecTV Now is a new live streaming service that will be similar to Sling TV and PlayStation Vue. Starting at $35 a month for the base package of over 60 channels (although they will be offering their more robust 100+ channel package for the same price for a limited time at launch), it will focus on live channels and it will cater to cord cutters. As this is truly more of a cheaper alternative to cable or a cable replacement, the goal will be gaining that customer base that left cable because it was too expensive.
We also know that DirecTV Now will limit subscribers to two concurrent streams per account. So if more than two people in your household want to use the service simultaneously, you’d need to get another account.
What is the DirecTV Now Channels List?
The company says that you can expect “much of what is available” from DirecTV to be available with DirecTV Now. The base package priced at $35 a month will include 60+ channels. They will offer local channels in select markets, as well as a mix of premium channel add-ons, like HBO.
In total, there will be 4 different channel packages, ranging from $35 a month up to $70 a month.
The packages are as follows (see above photo for full package details):
- Live a Little ($30/month, 60+ channels)–Channels include locals in select markets and Fox News, CNN, ESPN, ESPN2, Nickelodeon, MSNBC, Hallmark, Disney Channel, HGTV, USA, TNT, AMC, FX, FXX, Bravo, Animal Planet, and more.
- Just Right ($50/month, 80+ channels)–Includes all channels in lower package plus regional sports networks in select markets, and ESPNews, NBCSN, MLB Network, SEC Network, Big Ten Network, IFC, Travel Channel, OWN, The Weather Channel, YES Network, and more.
- Go Big ($60/month, 100+ channels)–Will be priced at $35/month for a limited time at launch (pricing good for as long as you remain a customer). Includes all channels in lower packages as well as FS2, NBA TV, Golf Channel, NHL Network, DIY, FYI, Nat Geo Wild, Sundance TV, BBC World News, Tennis Channel, and more.
- Gotta Have It ($70/month, 120+ channels)–Includes all channels in lower packages as well as Boomerang, Chiller, Cloo, El Rey, Starz Encore (8 channels), Univision Deportes, and more.
- HBO and Cinemax can be added to any package for $5 each.
How Much Will DirecTV Now Cost?
Current information points at the pricing for DirecTV Now’s basic package to start at $35 a month. This package will include over 60 channels, and subscribers will have the option of adding other channels/packages on top of this, similar to what Sling TV offers with its genre-specific add-on packages. Reports state, “With DIRECTV NOW®, you can stream live TV and On Demand programming with several packages to choose from. Premium channels like HBO and Cinemax can be added at any time.”
Additionally, DirecTV Now will be offering device deals to new subscribers who commit to 1-3 months of service. For those who sign up for a month of service, DirecTV Now will offer a free Amazon Fire TV Stick. Those who sign up for 3 months of service are slated to get a free Apple TV.
DirecTV Now Review: Any Special Features?
We know that DirecTV Now will be available on various streaming and mobile devices, including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Google-cast enabled LeEco TVs and VIZIO SmartCast Displays, iPhone and iPads, Android mobile devices and tablets, and web browsers. Noticeably absent from this list is Roku, which the company says it hopes to support in 2017.
It’s been leaked that many, but not all, of the channels will have a 72-hour catch-up window, allowing you to go back and watch any shows you might have missed over the last 3 days.
It’s been announced that multiple streams will be limited to two concurrent streams, which may affect people sharing their accounts within their family.
If you’re a AT&T mobile user, you won’t be charged for the data you’re using to watch DirecTV Now. Of course, critics and cell users of other companies may take issue with that as an unfair advantage. Still, it is one thing we know you can expect.
Looking for DVR functionality? Unfortunately, the first version of DirecTV Now will not include a cloud DVR. However, AT&T plans on adding the functionality at some point next year.
DirecTV Now Review: What Service Will Be the Best?
DirecTV Now is most comparable to Sling TV and PlayStation Vue. It’s hard to say which service will end up being the best. Really the service that comes out on top often depends on personal preference. If you want flexibility and value, Sling TV is probably your best bet with its low price point starting at $20 a month and its skinny add-on packs of channels. If you just want a huge volume of channels, DirecTV Now or PlayStation Vue may be the best option for you. Of course, PlayStation Vue has mobile restrictions that make mobile watching nearly impossible so that gives DirecTV Now an edge.
Will There be a DirecTV Now Free Trial?
DirecTV Now will offer a free 7-day trial, which is the same thing competitors Sling TV and PlayStation Vue offer. Customers who choose not to keep the service after the trial will be downgraded to DirecTV Freeview, which is a lower tier, limited content package supported by ads.
DirecTV and AT&T will still be offering traditional cable services, as well. Of course, if you’re looking to save money, DirecTV Now might be the cable/streaming service you’ve been waiting for!
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