AT&T WatchTV Review: The $15/month live TV streaming service

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AT&T WatchTV Review: The $15/month live TV streaming service
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If you’ve been looking for ways to cut your cable or satellite bill in half, you’ve probably heard about live TV streaming services like Sling TV, DirecTV Now and YouTube TV.

But there’s now a new affordable option from AT&T — and it’s called AT&T WatchTV.

RELATED: Which streaming service has the best channel lineup?

Team Clark reviews the new AT&T WatchTV streaming service: Here’s what you need to know! 

This new streaming service launched in late June 2018, just a couple of weeks after AT&T completed the acquisition of Time Warner, which has been renamed WarnerMedia.

Team Clark signed up for AT&T WatchTV the first day that it was made available. Here’s what you need to know…

1. What channels do you get with AT&T WatchTV?

AT&T WatchTV comes with more than 30 live TV channels like A&E, Animal Planet, Cartoon Network, CNN, Food Network, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, Lifetime, OWN, TBS, TNT and many more.

The Turner networks that AT&T recently acquired make up a good number of the channels in this skinny TV bundle.

WatchTV home screen from a computer
WatchTV home screen from a computer

What’s missing from the list? You won’t find ESPN, Fox Sports or any sports networks with this package. For that, AT&T would prefer that you pay more for its other streaming service, DirecTV Now.

Local channels (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS) are also excluded from the lineup, but most people can use a digital antenna to pick those up.

AT&T WatchTV channel list: 

  • A&E
  • AMC
  • Animal Planet
  • Audience
  • BBC World News
  • BBC America
  • Boomerang
  • Cartoon Network
  • CNN
  • Discovery
  • Food Network
  • FYI
  • Hallmark Channel
  • Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
  • HGTV
  • History
  • HLN
  • IFC
  • Investigation Discovery
  • Lifetime
  • Lifetime Movies
  • OWN
  • Sundance TV
  • TBS
  • TCM
  • TLC
  • TNT
  • TruTV
  • Velocity
  • Viceland
  • WE tv

UPDATE: In addition to the channels on this list, BET, Comedy Central, MTV2, Nicktoons, TeenNick and VH1 were added to WatchTV in late July 2018. See Clark’s channel comparison chart here.

2. How much does AT&T WatchTV cost?

Since there are fewer channels with AT&T WatchTV compared to DirecTV Now or other leading streaming services, you can expect to pay a lower price.

AT&T is charging $15 a month for WatchTV as a standalone service, but customers who have an AT&T Unlimited & More or AT&T Unlimited & More Premium wireless plan get the streaming service for no additional charge. Read more here.

Like other live TV streaming services, AT&T WatchTV has a free seven-day trial. You can sign up at www.attwatchtv.com.

3. Does AT&T WatchTV include DVR?

AT&T WatchTV doesn’t include any DVR capabilities. In fact, DirecTV Now only introduced DVR in May 2018. Most of AT&T’s streaming competitors offer some type of DVR.

Although WatchTV lacks a DVR, it offers 15,000 on-demand movies and shows that can be bookmarked. See them below under the “My Library” tab:

Bookmark on-demand movies and shows to watch at your convenience
Bookmark on-demand movies and shows to watch at your convenience

4. What streaming devices does AT&T WatchTV support? 

AT&T says WatchTV works on most smartphones, tablets, web browsers and certain streaming devices. At launch, it looks like Roku users won’t be able to use WatchTV.

Supported devices for TV: 

  • Apple TV (4th generation)
  • Apple TV 4K (5th generation)
  • Amazon Fire TV (2nd generation or higher)
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick (2nd generation or higher)
  • Amazon Fire TV Edition Smart TV (2nd generation or higher)
  • Google Chromecast (2nd generation or higher)
  • Chromecast Built-in TV
  • Samsung Smart TV (2017 and 2018 models)

5. Can I watch AT&T WatchTV on multiple devices?

For now, AT&T says you can only stream on one device at a time with WatchTV. That means you’ll get an error message if you try to watch it on your phone, computer and TV simultaneously.

Meanwhile, DirecTV Now ($40 for the cheapest package) allows for two concurrent streams and a third for an extra $5 a month.

My experience with AT&T WatchTV…

If you’ve tried DirecTV Now and like it, you’ll probably be able to navigate AT&T WatchTV very easily. There’s a traditional TV guide, but you can also search for content by categories such as TV shows, movies, comedy, reality and kids.

I tested WatchTV on my phone, computer and streaming to my TV using a Chromecast. There was absolutely no buffering, skipping or error messages.

The initial casting from my phone to my TV took about 10 seconds, but then I was able to switch between channels in about three to five seconds. That’s pretty typical for a live TV streaming service.

I didn’t expect a DVR with a $15/month plan, so the library of on-demand TV shows and movies was a nice feature to have.

AT&T WatchTV's channel guide
AT&T WatchTV’s channel guide

AT&T WatchTV reminds me a lot of a $16/month streaming service called Philo because of the channel lineups. Both services rely heavily on entertainment networks and don’t have local news or sports.

This service isn’t for everyone, but if it has the channels you want and you don’t need DVR or multiple streams — try it out!

RELATED: Best live TV streaming plans and deals in 2018

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Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, MichaelSaves.com.
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