4 things to know before you sign up for DirecTV Now

4 things to know before you sign up for DirecTV Now
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When AT&T’s DirecTV Now first launched in late 2016, money expert Clark Howard was among the first to sign up for the streaming service to find out if it was a good replacement for traditional cable and satellite TV.

But after endless glitches, including error messages and buffering, Clark said DirecTV Now wasn’t ready for prime time.

RELATED: How to cut the cord and never pay for cable TV again

DirecTV Now live TV streaming service review 

In the months that followed, Team Clark began testing other live TV streaming services: Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV — but we decided to revisit DirecTV Now after feedback from Clark’s Facebook fans.

When we shared stories about the other services, some people told us that DirecTV Now worked out all the kinks in 2018.

More than a year after Clark initially tried DirecTV Now, he signed up for a 7-day free trial to see if anything had changed. He told his radio show listeners about his experience the second time around.

“When I tried DirecTV Now for seven days, it was flawless. It was really great,” Clark said.

However, AT&T made some big changes to DirecTV Now’s streaming plans in March 2019, reducing the number of channels offered and raising the minimum monthly price to $50.

Read on to learn what you need to know before you sign up for AT&T’s DirecTV Now streaming service:

DirecTV Now: Table of contents

  1. Channel lineup
  2. Cloud DVR and multiple streams
  3. Compatible devices
  4. Current offers

1. Channel lineup

DirecTV Now’s latest streaming TV plans both include HBO. The more affordable Plus package is priced at $50 per month and comes with more than 40 channels, including local stations where available.

For $70 per month, the Max plan has some live sports networks that you don’t get with the cheaper bundle.

“Both new packages provide slimmer, quality-driven content lineups at competitive prices and with no annual contract. With the MAX package, you get more live sports channels, video-on-demand choices and HBO and Cinemax included.”

New DirecTV Now channel lineups

DirecTV Now Plus: 40+ channels DirecTV Now Max: 50+ channels
HBO Family HBO Family
HBO Latino HBO Latino
AccuWeather AccuWeather
Audience Audience
Boomerang Boomerang
Bravo Bravo
Cartoon Network Cartoon Network
CBS Sports Network
CNBC World CNBC World
Disney Channel Disney Channel
Disney Junior Disney Junior
Disney XD Disney XD
E! E!
Fox* Fox*
Fox Business Network Fox Business Network
Fox News Channel Fox News Channel
Fox Sports 1 Fox Sports 1
Fox Sports 2
Freeform Freeform
FX Movie Channel FX Movie Channel
Golf Channel
Hallmark Channel Hallmark Channel
Longhorn Network*
My Network TV* My Network TV*
Nat Geo WILD Nat Geo WILD
National Geographic Channel National Geographic Channel
Olympic Channel
Ovation Ovation
Oxygen Oxygen
Pop Pop
Revolt Revolt
SEC Network
Universal Kids Universal Kids
USA Network USA Network
YES Network*
*To get a local or regional sports network, your billing address must match a local market and your device must be in that location.

RELATED: Streaming TV comparison: Which service has the best channel lineup?

2. Cloud DVR and multiple streams

DirecTV Now has added 20 hours of cloud DVR to every package and the ability to upgrade from two to three concurrent streams for an extra $5 per month.

Meanwhile, AT&T’s cheaper streaming TV service called WatchTV doesn’t include DVR at all. Read our review here!

3. Compatible devices

For all live TV streaming services, you must have a reliable high-speed internet connection.

To watch DirecTV Now on the big screen, you’ll also have to get a compatible device, such as Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV. Here’s the full list:

Compatible TV devices

  • Amazon Fire TV Edition Smart TV
  • Amazon Fire TV streaming player (2nd generation)
  • Amazon Fire TV Cube
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick (2nd generation)
  • Apple TV (4th generation)
  • Chromecast Built-in TV (Select models only)
  • Chromecast (2nd generation and higher on AndroidTM and iOS devices, Chrome browser)
  • Roku (select models)
  • Samsung 2017 & 2018 Smart TV models

Compatible smartphones & tablets

  • Android phones and tablets running version 5.0 or higher
  • iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touch running iOS 10 and higher

Compatible browsers

  • Chrome, version 58 or higher
  • Safari, version 10 or higher

Video: How to stream DirecTV Now on your TV with Google Chromecast

4. Current offers

AT&T previously offered lots of incentives to sign up for DirecTV Now, including a free Apple TV for customers who prepaid for several months of service.

That deal appears to be gone for the time being, but you can check current offers on AT&T’s website.

Like all of its competitors, DirecTV Now has a free trial period. You have seven days to try out the service before being charged, so you can always cancel if you don’t like it.

Compare your options in Clark’s guide to the best live TV streaming services right now!

DirecTV Now: Pros and cons

Pros Cons
HBO included in new streaming plans Only 40+ channels offered for $50/month
Many supported devices Must upgrade to $70/month plan for some regional sports networks
Only two streams at the same time included

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