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.
AT&T said it had 1.8 million DirecTV Now subscribers as of October 2018. It’s “Live a Little” package is $40 per month after a $5 price hike and provides 60+ channels — with no cable box or long-term contracts.
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 has several streaming TV plans to choose from, but its “Live a Little” package is probably best for cord-cutters who are trying to save money.
It costs $40 a month for more than 65 networks, including sports, entertainment and local channels.
DirecTV Now “Live a Little” package: $40/month
|A&E Network||Cartoon Network
||Food Network||Investigation Discovery||SYFY|
||Fox||Lifetime TV Shows & Movies||TBS|
||Fox Business Network||MSNBC||TCM|
||Fox News Channel||MTV||TeenNick|
|Animal Planet||CNN||FOX Sports 1||MTV2||Telemundo|
||Freeform||National Geographic Channel||TLC|
|BBC America||Disney Channel||Galavision
||Nick Jr.||TV Land|
|BET||Disney Junior||Hallmark Channel||Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite||Univision|
||Disney XD||Hallmark Movies & Mysteries||One American News||USA Network|
||E! Now||HGTV||Paramount Network||Velocity|
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
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.
DirecTV Now: Pros and cons
|Great channel lineup for $40 base package||Only 20 hours of free cloud DVR storage|
|Many supported devices||Only two streams at the same time|