In August 2019, DirecTV Now was rebranded as AT&T TV Now. AT&T launched its new live TV app called AT&T TV, which consists of ATT TV Now (formerly DirecTV Now) and AT&T TV.
With this change AT&T is trying to provide cord cutters a complete package, unlike any other streaming service, providing the exact perks of cable TV without the hassle of cable or satellite.
What happened to DirecTV Now?
- DirecTV Now has changed its name to AT&T TV Now
- There are two services within AT&T TV app: ATT TV and ATT TV Now(DirecTV Now)
So AT&T rebranded the DirecTV and announced a slight change in the terms and conditions with the rebrand and promised no price changes.
ATT TV Now features
True Cloud DVR service: ATT TV Now offers a cloud DVR storage on devices namely: Android, iOS, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, SmartTV’s, Roku, and all browsers. It allows you to record your favorite TV and movies and watch it later.
The True Cloud DVR was pretty limited and could store only 20 hours of content but now it’s risen to 500 hours (Store content for 90 days). Where cheaper rivals like Sling TV (Sling offers 20- hours of free DVR with an extra $5/month offering up to 50 hours).
Additionally, AT&T TV Now’s True Cloud DVR service from its competitors is it doesn’t restrict ad-skipping on any channels or content that you’ve stored on DVR.
HBO is available on the package: Both AT&T TV Now Plus and Max give you access to HBO channels: HBO, HBO Family, HBO Latino, and more. Most of the other live streaming services like Sling TV and Youtube TV require you to shell out a few more bucks to include the HBO package.
Simultaneous Streaming on up to 3 screens: You can stream on up to 3 devices at the same time without any restriction-that include your TV, phone, or your tablets. It’s on par with other streaming services. Sling TV offers 3 streams ($30+$5 for additional device). YouTube TV provides up to three simultaneous streams.
AT&T TV NOW channels
Although Plus and Max plans are the primary plans, ATT NOW provides seven different plans with varying channel lineups.
|Plan||Monthly Price||Number of Channels|
Plus Plan($55/month): ABC, BET, Boomerang, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CBS, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, The CW, Disney Channel, Disney Jr., ESPN, FOX, FOX Business, FOX News, FS1, Freeform, FX, FXX, Hallmark Channel, HLN, MSNBC, MTV, National Geographic, NBC, NBC Sports, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Ovation, Oxygen, Syfy, TBS, TCM, Telemundo, TNT, TruTV, Universal Kids, USA, VH1
Max Plan($80/month): Everything in Plus, Big Ten Network, Cinemax, CMT, FOX Sports regional networks, Golf Channel, HBO, MSG, MSG+, Paramount Network, Spectrum SportsNet, TV Land
Enter your zip code to see the complete list of the available local channel and regional sports network.
Besides the channels offered on the basic packages, AT&T TV Now offers a bunch of add-ons that you can watch. And obviously you’ll need to churn out a few extra bucks for such networks. Here are a few add-on packages you can add:
Premium networks available: HBO (included with basic packages), Cinemax($11/month), Showtime($11/month), Movies Extra Pack($5/month) and more.
Spanish add-ons: For just $15 a month, you can get access to AT&T TV Now Español, which gives you access to more than 50 Spanish channels along with the standard channels. They include Azteca, BabyTV, Ecuador TV, and 50 more.
International channels add-on: Just like the Spanish add-on, AT&T TV Now offers three different international packages although the selection of channels is not as vast as the Spanish package and the price is significantly higher. You can choose between Vietnamese (9 channels-$20/month), Brazilian (2 channels-$30/month), Korean(12 channels-$30/month)
How is the UI?
The user interface is similar to the grid guides on cable or satellite TV. We have to say that the grid guide is so far the best we’ve seen when it comes to Live streaming services. It comes very close to the feel of cable TV-and that’s probably the only best thing AT&T TV app has to offer.
The grid displays available channels in alphabetical order and you can also filter channels by the genre. The channels also display the next two hours of programming in a large thumbnail next to the channel and hovering over the program shows a short description of the program.
The DVR menu is also quite easy to use although hard to find in the interface. There’s a list of all recorded shows with another list of upcoming recordings you’ve scheduled. There’s an obvious feature that lets you quickly delete and manage your recordings. All this helps quite a lot in managing the limited DVR cloud storage that ATT TV Now offers.
One of the major drawbacks of the interface is the disregard for personal customization. You can’t have multiple user accounts on AT&T TV Now like Youtube TV. The recommendation section does not recommend according to your taste but instead offers generic programs and specific picks.
The continue watching section lists the shows and movies you haven’t finished rather than letting you pick off where you left. Also, AT&T TV Now has a cable TV old feature where you swipe left and right to chronologically flip through channels like cable or satellite TV-this feature is useless at best.
So besides the grid-style interface, the user experience is among the worst among live streaming services. The menus are clumsy and confusing, and navigation is glitchy and animation breaks down occasionally along with frequent glitches and errors.
The app just crashes without warning and sometimes stops responding Trying to find something can be hard and time-consuming with AT&T TV Now’s user interface-making you wish you had just stuck to cable TV.
Video and sound quality
The highest quality resolution offered by AT&T TV Now is 720p on live channels while it supports 60 frames a second video on most local broadcast, sports and news channels on Apple TV, Roku and Fire TV.
ATT TV doesn’t support streaming in 4k.
The video is far better on smaller screens than smart TVs. The streams are fast to load and quite smooth but they occasionally display error messages and random glitches that ruin the viewing experience. Very often such errors are persistent, popping-up frequently and can be annoying while watching live shows. Sound supported is Dolby Digital 5.1 audio on Apple TV.
You can watch ATT TV on Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, Web Browsers, iPhone/iPad, Android Phone/Tablet, Samsung Smart TV, and Android TV.
You can’t watch it on gaming console like PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, etc. Some smart TV like LG Smart TV or VIZIO Smart TV are also not compatible. You will need a different streaming device to watch on these console or TV.
So what’s wrong with ATT TV Now?
From the dollar perspective: ATT TV Now Plus and Max plans offer 50 and 71 channels respectively along with HBO channels. Seems like a great deal if the base package channels line up with your needs – but if you consider the price you have to pay and knew that the base package doesn’t include AMC, HGTV as well as all regional sports channels without add-on packages, you’re better off searching for better options like Youtube TV ($50/month), Hulu live ($55/month)or Sling TV ($45/month).
User experience: The service is slow and cumbersome, the app is glitchy and full of bugs. The channels don’t show up from time to time and frequently display error messages.
The process of signing in, navigating, and finally finding something to watch just so that the video is an error message is sure to infuriate customers who shell out upwards of $80.
Lack of personalization: Unlike its competitors, AT&T TV doesn’t let you customize or personalize your grid layout. For some reason, the folks at AT&T think viewers still have the old habits of watching cable and satellite TV and probably think that a good grid layout will satisfy the customer instead of catering to his/her viewing needs.
Access to sports networks: One of the sneakiest ‘gotchas’ employed by AT&T TV Now Plus ($65/month) is that they lack regional sports networks. If you’re one sport savvy viewer wishing to catch up with the latest games, you’ll be disappointed to know you have to upgrade to an $80 AT&T TV Now Max to get ESPN and some sports coverage.
There are selected packages that you need to pay for live sports to get commercial-free live access. An NBA premium league pass on AT&T TV costs $40 per month. Also, local broadcast and sports channels are available only on selected markets or are totally unavailable.
Although marketed as a complete replacement for cable and satellite TV, AT&T TV Now leaves much more to be desired as a complete cable cutter.
Yes, it offers a lot of channels and add-ons for its $55-$80 price range including HBO, national sports, and local news but it has the worst user experience of any live TV streaming service.
Though they have increased the space of true cloud DVR and adding some channels it’s hard to find any other reason to opt for AT&T TV Now.
But if you still wish to test out AT&T to see if it fits your taste, AT&T offers a seven-day free trial before billing you for the first month of service. Just be sure to remind yourself on the sixth day before you’re billed. On a positive note, if you happen to get billed, you can cancel anytime as there’s no contract of service.