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.
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
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|
|Cartoon Network||Cartoon Network|
|CBS Sports Network|
|CNBC World||CNBC World|
|Comedy Central||Comedy Central|
|Disney Channel||Disney Channel|
|Disney Junior||Disney Junior|
|Disney XD||Disney XD|
|Fox Business Network||Fox Business Network|
|Fox News Channel||Fox News Channel|
|Fox Sports 1||Fox Sports 1|
|Fox Sports 2|
|FX Movie Channel||FX Movie Channel|
|Hallmark Channel||Hallmark Channel|
|My Network TV*||My Network TV*|
|Nat Geo WILD||Nat Geo WILD|
|National Geographic Channel||National Geographic Channel|
|Nick Jr.||Nick Jr.|
|Universal Kids||Universal Kids|
|USA Network||USA 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.|
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
- 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
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.
In May 2019, AT&T began offering $15 off for the first two months of DirecTV Now with promo code 15OFF2.
Not sure about DirecTV Now? Compare more options in Clark’s guide to the best live TV streaming services right now!
DirecTV Now: Pros and 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|
More Clark.com stories you may like:
- Clark Howard: YouTube TV is the best live TV streaming service
- 5 things to know before you sign up for Sling TV
- 4 things to know about Hulu’s live TV streaming service
- PlayStation Vue: 4 things to know about the live TV streaming service
- This cheap live TV streaming service is only $16/month