AT&T launches DirecTV Now streaming service, full details inside

By Shawn Knight ยท 8 replies
Nov 30, 2016
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  1. Cord-cutters and cord-nevers have a new option to choose from today with the launch of DirecTV Now, AT&T’s long-awaited Internet streaming television service.

    The subscription service debuts with… well, who knows what it debuts with. Inexplicably enough, the DirecTV Now website doesn’t provide you with any information about the service like pricing or channel lineup unless you first create an account with them. Maybe it’s just me but this is a glaring oversight that should be rectified ASAP.

    Nevertheless, I was able to find the full channel lineup from Variety which has been republished below:

    • Live a Little ($35/month): A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, Audience Network, AXS TV, Baby First, BBC America, BET, Bloomberg TV, Bravo, C-SPAN, C-SPAN2, Cartoon Network, CMT, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, Crime & Investigation, Discovery, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, E!, ESPN, ESPN2, Food Network, Fox Business Network, Fox News Channel, Fox Sports 1, Freeform, FX, FXX, Galavision, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, HGTV, History, HLN, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, MSNBC, MTV, MTV2, National Geographic Channel, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite, Pursuit Channel, RFD-TV, Spike, Syfy, TBS, TCM, TeenNick, TLC, TNT, truTV, TV Land, Univision, USA Network, Velocity, VH1, Viceland, WE tv, WeatherNation
    • Just Right ($50/month): Everything in “Live a Little” (except Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) plus Big Ten Network, CNBC World, Comedy TV, Cooking Channel, ESPNews, ESPNU, Fuse, Fusion, GSN, IFC, LMN, MLB Network, NBC Sports Network, Nicktoons, OWN, Science, SEC Network, Travel Channel, UniMás, Weather Channel, WGN America
    • Go Big ($60/month, limited-time offer of $35/month): Everything in “Just Right” plus American Heroes, BBC World News, Centric, Destination America, Discovery Family Channel, Discovery Life, DIY Network, FM, Fox Sports 2, FX Movie Channel, fyi, Golf Channel, Great American Country, Logo, MTV Classic, Nat Geo Wild, NBA TV, NBC Universo, NHL Network, Oxygen, Revolt, Sprout, SundanceTV, Tennis Channel, TVG
    • Gotta Have It ($70/month): Everything in “Go Big” plus Boomerang, Chiller, Cloo, El Rey Network, Justice Central, eight Starz Encore channels (Action, Black, East, Family, Classic, Suspense, West, Westerns), Univision Deportes Network

    Cinemax and HBO can be added to any bundle for an additional $5 per month, a reasonable rate compared to what you’d pay from the competition. AT&T is also working on deals to add CBS and Showtime to its lineup but for now, they’re absent.

    The big news here is the limited-time offer to get the Go Big package for $35 per month instead of the regular $60 rate. Subscribers that sign up early can lock the discounted rate in as long as they keep the plan although AT&T says it may be subject to “reasonable” programming price increases.

    DirecTV Now does offer some local channels although like other OTT services, they are only available in markets in which a broadcaster owns and operates a station locally. Again, borrowing from Variety, the local lineup looks like this:

    • ABC: Chicago, Fresno, Houston, L.A., New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Raleigh-Durham
    • NBC: Dallas-Ft. Worth, Chicago, Hartford-New Haven, L.A., Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Washington, D.C.
    • Fox: Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Detroit, Gainesville, L.A., Minneapolis, New York, Orlando-Daytona, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Tamp-St. Petersburg, Washington, D.C.

    In areas where local broadcasts aren’t offered, AT&T tells the publication that it will provide day-after-air primetime shows on-demand. Optionally, you could pick up an antenna and use that for local channels as I do.

    Accounts are limited to two simultaneously streams at any given time. That’s plenty for singles or small families but those with larger families will likely need to schedule their viewing times accordingly.

    DirecTV Now at launch doesn’t include DVR functionality although it will be added sometime next year. PlayStation Vue launched with a cloud-based DVR while rival Sling TV will soon begin beta testing the feature.

    AT&T will be zero-rating DirecTV Now for its wireless customers meaning content watched over the company’s cellular network won’t count against monthly data allotments. That's great news for AT&T wireless subscribers but don't expect the FCC to be happy about it.

    I, for one, welcome DirecTV Now with open arms. When companies compete, customers win.

    Lead image courtesy The Verge

    Permalink to story.

  2. TreyDio

    TreyDio TS Rookie

    Just create an account with a bogus email and you can view all the details.
  3. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,000   +1,320

    Even the cheapest package has at least 3 dozen channels id never use
    hk2000 likes this.
  4. hk2000

    hk2000 TS Member Posts: 16

    This is not an option for cord cutters, nor is any of the Live TV streaming services. I can understand cable companies subsidizing crappy channels by forcing subscribers into packages, but would never pay for a streaming service that tries to do the same. How is it so difficult to allow consumers to select only the channels they need? If every channel can be individually streamed, then there is no technical reason not to be able to allow that. I think the streaming services (Sling, AT&T, Sony....etc) are doing exactly what the cable operators are doing, which is forcing people to pay for and subsidize crappy channels that nobody really wants.
    Why can't they just have all the channels placed into price categories- $1/ch, $2.50/ch $5/ch... and so on and allow users to add the channels they want? I guarantee you, once a service like that comes along, it will run everybody else out of business!
    wiyosaya and dms96960 like this.
  5. mojorisin23

    mojorisin23 TS Booster Posts: 152   +46

    that would be ideal for the consumer, but 75% of the channels would shut down within months. the remaining ones would then be able to hike their fees since there is less competition.

    I think the $35 is definitely a viable option for cord cutters. it provides access to many of the shows people watch on netflix, hulu, etc, while at the same time providing a 'cable' feel so those that are hesitant about cutting the cord have a way to ease into it...
  6. mojorisin23

    mojorisin23 TS Booster Posts: 152   +46

    Is the picture at the beginning the actual interface? That is my biggest question and not one article addresses it. Once I open the app on my apple tv or chromecast (assuming an app exists; again, no journalist has mentioned this very important piece of info), what does it look like? is it intuitive? look like a regular channel listing?
  7. mojorisin23

    mojorisin23 TS Booster Posts: 152   +46

    And lastly, does it work like netflix where I can pick or choose, or does it work like my current Fios where I have to wait for the time for the program to begin? can I go back and watch something from yesterday?

    I have more questions than answers after this article... except (like everything else so not sure why its surprising) you have to provide an email and create an account (its called marketing... they now have your email where you will start getting lots of junk...).
  8. hk2000

    hk2000 TS Member Posts: 16

    Yes, but then what's the point? Where I live, I have Comcast, Verizon and AT&T/Dish as options. They all force feed you channels you'd never want. Streaming services still rely on your ISP (Comcast or Verizon in my case) and thus will end up costing a lot more. My monthly Comcast cable charges are around $75 which include high speed internet and a basic cable service that is comparable to the entry level streaming service offered by AT&T and others. If I kept only the internet service from Comcast, it would cost me $69, plus the $35 for the streaming service, or even the $20 service from Sling (I think), ... you can see where I'm going just isn't a viable option. Now if my ideal solution ends up shutting down 75% of the channels, that is not necessarily a bad thing, other channels with may be more desirable programming will come along- as it stands now, those programmers don't give a **** about what people think because their being guaranteed subscribers regardless how awful or disgusting their programs are or how few actually watch their crap- I say let them die.
  9. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,945   +765

    I totally agree with you. My wife and I have been Dish cord-cutters for almost three years now. I was paying $87/mo for the service that included Encore and a bunch of other channels. It also included our local channels. In all, there were maybe 5 or 6 channels that we watched regularly, and those included our local channels. Dish offered a DVR that we had. Our ISP was/is Time Warner/Spectrum for an additional $35/mo. The value was not there for us. There was no point in us continuing to pay $87/mo to watch 5 or 6 channels when we could get several of those OTA for free.

    While we could subscribe to this, it would be on top of the cost for Spectrum. As a cord cutter, we now pay $14/mo for Netflix, a program from iTunes that my wife watches, and get Hulu with commercials for free using search points from Bing. We use Media Portal and HD HomeRun Tuners for all our local channels OTA, and this setup gets us the OTA DVR functionality that we had. Even with our current setup, there is more content than we can possibly watch. With internet from Spectrum, we pay $49/mo which is $20/mo less than what we would pay for the lowest level of this streaming service and Spectrum. We are saving money with our current setup.

    That said, we do not get to see programs on the cable networks like SyFy and others when they are in first run; however, if we wait, they all pretty much come to either Netflix, Hulu, or OTA. For the money we save, it is worth the wait, IMO. And the amount of money that we have saved by getting rid of Dish has more than paid for the HTPC I built and the tuners.

    Speaking for my wife and I as true cord-cutters, this service holds NO interest for us. On a per channel basis, this service costs more than what we were getting with Dish. I see this as the cable/satellite services trying to repackage themselves and charge more at the same time. It is, in reality, just the same old cable/satellite services that subsidize channels we have no interest in and do not have the time to watch. This is precisely the reason that we cut the cord in the first place, and this offers absolutely no reason for us to string the cable up again which is what we would be doing if we subscribed to this.

    As far as being able to subscribe to singular channels, I might do so if they were no more than $1/mo. Otherwise, we have NO interest in this. It is, as you said, a non-starter for my wife and I as true cord cutters.

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