UPDATE: As of March 13, 2019, DirecTV Now has reduced the number of packages down to 2 and the cheapest option starts at $50 a month. In a time where cord cutters are looking to go more a la cart, DirecTV Now has gone the opposite direction and has bundled HBO into both available plans.
Furthermore, the new plans will not carry cable favorites like A&E, Lifetime, Discovery, Food Network, OWN, AMC, IFC, and WeTV.
Basically, DirecTV Now will be a lot more expensive, with fewer package options, and fewer channels. It’s difficult to even recommend the service as an option to cord cutters.
For current customers, AT&T confirmed that the prices of all DirecTV Now base packages will increase by $10 per month effective April 12, 2019. That’s the second price increase in less than a year. If you had the “Live a Little package those price hikes amount to a 43% price increase.
Customers with those packages — Live a Little, Just Right, Go Big, Gotta Have It, and the Spanish-language Todo y Más will retain their current lineups as long as they keep the service.
What is DIRECTV NOW?
DIRECTV NOW is a live TV streaming service from AT&T that offers most of the channel you would receive through a more traditional pay TV services. It’s essentially a way to watch live TV online without needing cable. I go over the features of the service in this post, but you can try the service out yourself through a 1-week free trial.
The service will allow customers to watch 2 streams simultaneously per subscription and includes a cloud-based DVR. An additional 3rd stream can be added for an additional $5 per month.
You will need some type of internet access once you drop your current pay-TV provider. Check out this article on home internet providers for more information. Let’s take a look at the channels available on this new streaming service.
DIRECTV NOW Channels
With DIRECTV NOW, you can stream the broadcast networks ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox in many local markets.
DIRECTV NOW streams local broadcast affiliates in over 200 markets. Where local channels aren’t available customers will be able to watch prime time shows the next day on-demand. You can even watch your local network channels when you are outside your local market. Check the table in the section below to see which local broadcast affiliates are available in your city.
When it comes to channels like AMC, HGTV, and Discovery, DIRECTV NOW simulates traditional pay-TV services better than most solutions out there. They offer just about every channel you can find on cable. However, the channels are offered through three package ties.
DIRECTV NOW Packages and Prices
The table and information below provide an overview of DIRECTV NOWs packages and prices.
The “Plus” tier is priced at $50 per month and contains ABC, AccuWeather, Audience, Boomerang, Bravo, Cartoon Network, BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nick, Nick Jr., VH1, CBS, CNBC, CNBC World, CNN, CW, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, E!, ESPN, ESPN2, FOX, FOX Business Network, FOX News Channel, FS1, Freeform, FX, FX Movie Channel, FXX, Hallmark Channel, HBO, HBO Family, HBO Latino, HLN, MSNBC, My Network TV, Nat Geo World, National Geographic Channel, NBC, NBCSN, Ovation, Oxygen, Pop, Revolt, SYFY, TBS, TCM, Telemundo, TNT, TruTV, Universal Kids, Universo, USA Network, and VME.
The Max tier will include ABC, AccuWeather, Audience, Big Ten Network, Boomerang, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CBS, CBS Sports Network, Cinemax, CNBC, CNBC World, CNN, CW, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, E!, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPNU, FOX, FOX Business Network, FOX News Channel, FS1, FS2, Freeform, FX, FX Movie Channel, FXX, BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nick, Nick Jr., VH1, CMT, Paramount, TV Land, Golf Channel, Hallmark Channel, HBO, HBO Family, HBO Latino, HLN, Longhorn Network, MSG, MSG+, MSNBC, My Network TV, Nat Geo World, National Geographic Channel, NBC, NBCSN, Olympic Channel, Ovation, Oxygen, Pop, Revolt, SEC Network, SNY, SYFY, TBS, TCM, Telemundo, TNT, TruTV, Universal Kids, Universo, USA Network, VME, and Yes Network
Regional sports networks will only available only in certain markets
DIRECTV NOW has made its cloud DVR available to all customers. The free version of the cloud DVR is included with all tiers of service and includes the following:
- Skip commercials on a whim
- Stream at home or on-the-go
- Get 20 hrs of digital recording time
- Keep your favorites for up to 1 month
Showtime, Starz, and Cinemax can be added to any tier for just $11 each. HBO is included in both the Plus and Max packages.
Local Channels Streaming on DIRECTV NOW
|Salt Lake City||UT||Fox||NBC|
|San Luis Obispo||CA||Fox|
|West Palm Beach||FL||ABC||NBC|
DIRECTV NOW and AT&T Data Usage
As a benefit to AT&T data plan customers, DIRECTV NOW will not count against their data usage. This practice is referred to as “zero rating” and allows AT&T to provide preferential treatment to their service leaving internet service providers that don’t own TV networks at a competitive disadvantage. But I digress.
Free HBO for AT&T Mobile Customers
AT&T Unlimited Plus customers can enjoy free HBO with their wireless plan. According to an AT&T press release, starting Friday, September 15th, 2017 AT&T, Unlimited Choice customers will enjoy the same benefit. AT&T Mobile customers can watch HBO through the DIRECTV NOW and HBO GO apps.
Furthermore, AT&T mobile customers get a $25 monthly bill credit that can be used towards a DIRECTV NOW subscription. This means AT&T mobile customers can get the DIRECTV NOW live a little package with Free HBO for only $10 a month. I know that seems too good to be true, but it is.
With the new iPhone being released it may make sense to switch your wireless service to AT&T and get HBO and DIRECTV NOW for $10 per month. Check out AT&T Wireless offers.
DIRECTV NOW Supported Devices
DIRECTV NOW is supported on the following devices:
- 4th Gen Apple TV
- Google Chromecast, 2nd gen and higher
- Amazon Fire TV
- Fire TV Stick
- iOS devices
- Chrome and Safari browsers
DIRECTV NOW Review Rating
Due to the lack of channels on the service, combined with the expense, I rate DIRECT TV Now 2 stars out of 5.
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