Channel Surfing Man

New Details About DIRECTV NOW’s New DVR Leaked Today


Channel Surfing ManRecently DIRECTV NOW announced that they had started beta testing their new DVR feature with a plan to roll it out to everyone this fall.

Now, we get our first look at the new DVR feature- thanks to some leaks that came out this morning from our readers. (Note: these leaks come from the new mobile DIRECTV NOW app.)

According to beta testers the new DVR currently offers 100 hours of DVR. Shows you record can be found in a new My Library area on the new DIRECTV NOW app. In My Library, you can watch your shows or simply swipe left to delete the recordings you no longer want.

To setup a recording you tap on a record button.  You can also record any show you are watching right now by clicking on the menu buttons on the top corner of your app and selecting record. To see details for future shows you may want to record, check the “shows feature”.

Here are some screenshots of the new DIRECTV NOW app and DVR:

According to all reports, the beta services is still very much in beta, but users have said that it seems to work well. Hopefully, that means AT&T is still on track to release the full DIRECTV NOW DVR to everyone this fall.

As for how many people got into the beta, we are still unsure, but as best we can tell the number is still very small.

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  • risingtide

    100 hours DVR is too small. But if it’s no additional cost and it lets you fastforward and it works on all channels, then it is still much better than Sling and Hulu DVR.

    • SlowingYourCommute

      I agree but 100 hours is still more than most cable DVRs (75 hours). I wish they would allow recording locally to a NAS.

      • risingtide

        When I had U-Verse, I had 200 hours DVR and I don’t think there came a time when I had to use all of it. So, I can make 100 work. I think.

    • mnsportsgeek

      Disagree. 100 hours would be just fine.

      • risingtide

        not if you watch lots of shows and you want to record lots of their episodes. but, yes, I will take 100 hours happily.

    • Thomas Hessel

      100 should fine, especially if you can use the on demand service to augment that.

      • risingtide

        Their On Demand is terrible but at least they support most major 3rd party login apps where I can watch hundreds of episodes with less commercials.

        • Thomas Hessel

          Yeah totally agree, Slings is much better.

          • risingtide

            Sling On Demand is pretty bad too. It doesn’t have all the shows and doesn’t let you fast-forward at all. I’ve found PS Vue to be the best On Demand out of all of them.

  • icwhatudidthere

    Yeah, the biggest question is if it’ll force you to on-demand versions with forced commercial watching. I hate that Hulu does that and it still counts against your DVR quota.

    Also on my DVR wishlist, the ability to pad recordings so you don’t miss post coverage.

    • JWort93

      I’m pretty sure you can always start the recording from the dvr tab in the app, and you aren’t forced to watch the on-demand version then.

      • icwhatudidthere

        Thanks. Much better. I’m on the free trial and just figuring out the new UI. The Lineup version pointed me to the on-demand version and the Manage DVR version had the recorded version.

      • Vegas Steve

        Many streamers force you to the on demand version once it’s available (and you must watch the commercials too!). Will have to wait & see on DTVN.

    • risingtide

      Hulu wouldn’t force people to watch the on-demand version since you pay for the DVR and it’s limited storage. (unless you’re talking about the free 50 hours, limited DVR). YouTube TV does it because they give you unlimited storage for 9 months.

      • icwhatudidthere

        It was UI confusion.

        • risingtide

          Their UI is terrible. I used to be a big fan of Hulu until their new UI made it so difficult to access content.

  • mnsportsgeek

    It sounds like at the moment you cannot setup the app to record series and you cannot extend recordings. I hope these features are added before the public launch.

    • risingtide

      Do you have another source? I don’t believe this fully covers the feature. It doesn’t mention a lot of things. So, that doesn’t mean you can’t record series.

      • mnsportsgeek

        The original source came from the comments section of this website on a previous story. His comments have since been deleted, but that is what he said before the comments were removed.

        • risingtide

          interesting how you would delete someone’s comments and then steal their idea.

          if that’s true, then i hope they get it right before going public. I really want to be able to record a series and not worry about recording each episode one by one.

          • Joseph Blow

            He probably deleted the comments because he’s really not supposed to be sharing information about the Beta. Due to non disclosure agreements when you sign up for the beta.

          • risingtide

            I highly doubt that. Most people don’t even use their real names here and it’s not like AT&T would figure out who they are by leaking about the DVR here. So, if he did it the first time, he would probably not worry about keeping the comment.

  • MacHead84

    I’d be more than happy for 100 hours if no extra costs were involved

    • LMan

      I Agree! Offer 100 Hrs. at no extra charge, and charge extra if you want more storage.

      • risingtide

        that would be the perfect deal.

    • Iphart

      DirecTV Now’s DVR would be an option.
      And this option regardless of the size won’t be free.
      Just wait-and-see.

    • Evan

      100 hrs = 100 1hr episodes or 100 1hr shows.

  • JGaLaXY

    100 hours not enough? Jesus what are you guys keeping on your dvr? lol Like Full seasons?

    • risingtide

      Yes, I record full seasons. And then there are shows that I just want to record as many episodes as possible even if i’ve watched them like a million times. And then there are movies.

      • JGaLaXY

        some of these seasons eventually go on sale for like 5 to 10 dollars on Vudu lol, if they actually vie us 100 free hours of DVR, that would be amazing

        • risingtide

          I’m pretty excited about the 100 hours. Don’t get me wrong. And I don’t NEED the 200 hours, to be honest. I can live without it and still enjoy the service.

    • Daniel Richards

      I liked Vue’s DVR concept, it would “record” EVERY EPISODE of a show and keep it for a month, this gave me the chance to watch a lot of repeat older episodes of shows that I missed, like episodes of Worlds Dumbest or Income Property or any of the Holmes shows on DIY or HGTV so I can see episodes that are old but I hadn’t seen before, limiting to 100 hours makes this more difficult as it would reguire a LOT more “maintenance” on my end of having to see what episodes aired every few days and delete ones I have watched to keep space available, it was much easier when you could just record everything and not have to worry about hours of space left, just know you needed to go through it once a week and watch all the episodes you missed.

      • JGaLaXY

        I wouldn’t mind that either

    • pawdog

      I seldom start on a new show until I see if it will be picked up for a full season. So a DVR would need plenty of space especially at the start of the fall season. There will likely be 10 or more hours a night of new shows in the beginning to sample. When you add in existing shows 100 hours is actually a joke.

  • Mugley

    Why limit the hours of the DVR at all except to create a reason to charge people for more space? Cloud DVR’s don’t operate the same way as the physical DVR’s in our homes do they? I thought adding a show to your DVR just adds that show to a list of shows in your DVR on your account. It doesn’t actually create a copy of the video and take up additional space on the server. I would like to see them match what PSVue is doing. There may be a limit to the number of shows you can add to your DVR but I never ran into it when I had PSVue. I’m using DirectTV NOW for the time being because I got in on the $35 promo and I’m just hanging in there to see what the new app with the DVR is going to look like so see if I want to keep my subscription or go back to PSVue.

    • MacHead84

      “I thought adding a show to your DVR just adds that show to a list of shows in your DVR on your account. It doesn’t actually create a copy of the video and take up additional space on the server. ”

      I guess that depends, it may well create a copy specific to your account, based on when you “started to record it” if a person clicks record in the last 10 seconds on a football game, does it pull back the last 4 hours or does it record from there? If the channel doesnt support RESTART it probably has to record from that moment due to DTVN contracts with networks.

      • risingtide

        They don’t need a copy for everyone. They just need one video. I believe all the live-streaming services record the show from the beginning, even if you started halfway into the show.

        And even if the recording starts at the time you hit the record, they could still share the same video file but have your account set to start at a certain time.

    • risingtide

      The show still occupies space on the server even though it’s technically one copy being shared by everyone.

      • Daniel Richards

        yes, but the difference is if you are Vue and you record 1 copy of EVERYTHING then you know EXACTLY how much space you need in terms of storage (number of channels x 24 hours in a day x 28 days), if you have a set hours limit then you know a theoretical maximum number of hours of recording based on the number of users you have and the more users you get the higher that capacity becomes, so if you keep separate recordings for each user and you have half a million users then you need capacity for 50 Million hours worth of TV then when you reach a million subscribers you need a 100 million hours of recording capacity where Vue with 1 recording of EVERYTHING even if they had 130 channels (far more then any streaming service) thanks to there 28 day time limit only needs 87 thousand hours of recording capacity.

        so unless they are still only keeping 1 copy of everything like Vue does they are WASTING A TON OF SPACE and if they are keeping 1 copy of everything then they are ripping off customers by setting an unnecessary storage capacity limit.

        • risingtide

          Exactly! Most of these services are not technologically savvy like Google or Sony. So, they don’t see how easy and inexpensive it would be to keep just one copy of every episode for 28 days (or whichever number they choose) and just make it available to whoever has “recorded” the episode.

          It’s both technologically and economically easier to save everything and put a time limit as opposed to limiting or setting aside storage for each user.

          • Mugley

            Thank you both for making my point in a more eloquent manner. It doesn’t seem to make sense from a business perspective to implement a DVR any other way. I am concerned that they will implement a DVR like Vue has done and only keep a single copy of all programming for a period of time but try and introduce some sort of silly tiered storage pricing model. I don’t think there should be any additional cost associated with a DVR.

          • Daniel Richards

            the only argument are those people that want to use a DVR for long term storage, usually used for sporting events where you can’t buy a copy, so it’s either illegal download or DVR to get that. I personally don’t get that, I just buy the DVD’s or whatever for shows I want longterm storage for and don’t care about sports.

  • Soyntgo4it

    Looks okay just need more room, still not getting all the channels content I don’t have CBS or FOX. I do have NBC and ABC as live channels with my local news stations, but some shows are restricted and some wont play when they are aired gives and error message kinda of annoying.

  • Get ready for a price increase….

  • Daniel Richards

    100 Hr’s is already a FAIL, especially if they pull a Sling and cut that in half for people that weren’t part of the Beta, you people need to LEARN from Vue and Youtube TV, UNLIMITED DVR STORAGE with a TIME LIMIT to how long the recordings last is the future.

    Also that app is UGLY, whats with all the white backgrounds, what is this iOS, keep the DARK THEME of the current app.

    • risingtide

      YouTube TV and PS Vue are made by Google and Sony – some of the world’s biggest tech companies. So, they know how to handle servers and storage and they have great developers. On the other hand, Sling and DirecTV Now are developed by cable companies that are not competent in software development or server management. So, they don’t know how to handle simple things.

  • Robert Beier

    100 hours + the 1TB I have with my antenna is a good start. Still would like to see more, but it is better than what Sling is offering. Still leaves a lot of questions: cost, number of concurrent recordings (hopefully no limit!), FF through commercials??

    • risingtide

      Cloud “recordings” shouldn’t have a limit of concurrent recordings since they’re not actually recording or tv-tuning anything.

  • jmgnyc

    So DirectTV Now is turning out to be just like a regular cable company in terms of packages, pricing, missing functionality, strange limitations, and add ons. Not to pick on DirectTV Now since they’re all pretty much the same but buying a live TV package that just happens to be delivered over the internet rather than COAX and a cable box isn’t really cord cutting in my opinion. It just another cable package but with a different delivery method.

    • GersonT1000

      The difference is that you’re not paying $100-something to get that package like cable TV, and that you can use your service anywhere you go and not just inside your home.

      • Mari

        And the biggest savings — no equipment rental!!

    • BrianH1972

      $35 lifetime offer for over 120 channels. Not sure what regular cable company you use because I was dropping $120+ for what I get now for $35.

      • jmgnyc

        The difference between my triple play and internet/phone only is $70. That includes HBO, Showtime, and Starz. Subtract from that what I’d have to pay for them separately and that’s about $35. My point isn’t about money though. It’s that a package of channels with a DVR is not my ideal. That’s just cable. The whole idea of channels is outdated in my opinion. I much prefer either the Netflix model, everything on demand without commercials, or a PPV model buying a season of a show on Amazon, iTunes, or Vudu. I guess I just don’t have use for live TV and dealing with a DVR, cloud or otherwise, getting nickel and dimed for extra storage, or to be able to FFWD through commercials, or having to rent a box, or paying for a channel just to get one show, or having them disappear after a certain date.

        • GersonT1000

          Well, having a DVR is basically having a no-commercial on-demand service, and if you have enough or unlimited DVR storage you don’t have to buy seasons of shows like Amazon. Of course, you can’t watch after you delete them while technically you can always watch if you buy (unless the company goes out of business), but there have been very few shows that I’ve watched episodes for again in the future.
          Live TV is also a must for watching shows that you and your friends talk about and to watch sports. With DirectTV, you can watch all kinds of live sports, especially playoffs. You don’t get that with Amazon, iTunes, Vudu or Netflix.

          • jmgnyc

            I agree, an unlimited DVR is getting close to OnDemand and commercial free. Yet we have Hulu charging extra to skip commercials (and that doesn’t work all the time), time limits in other service, and storage limits in other. Then there’s all the fast forwarding issues, it works, it doesn’t work, it’s too slow, you overshoot.

            I seldom watch shows again myself. Although I end up buying a season pass I almost consider it a rental fee. I don’t store them locally and I don’t have to worry about expiration dates, fast forwarding or DVR space.

            Hulu without live TV commercial free option is a good choice for most shows I want to keep up with weekly. To bad that don’t always hold full seasons though after the season is done. CBS is a pretty great model. Full seasons, no commercials. I subscribe for a month to bing watch the recent season of something then put the subscription back on hold.

            I rarely watch live TV even sports. With cable I’d usually DVR it, then start watching 15-30 minutes in to be able skip commercials. It’s a hack when it comes down to it and the current crop of streaming services don’t really match up to cable DVRs quite yet.

            Finally, it would be great to get live TV for the very few times I watch it for news and then for sports, but isn’t the idea of buying a bundle just so I can watch live sports just what everyone is complaining about? Yes streaming service bundles are cheaper in some case but it’s still a bundle. I’d rather subscribe to MLB, NFL, ESPN or whatever sport network as a stand alone rather than have to get a bundle to see them.

          • GersonT1000

            I agree that many cord cutters leave cable to escape the bundle. However, many people (like me) like the content of cable and just want it cheaper. I mean, there’s tons of garbage that nobody watches like the music channels and reality show channels, but somewhere in there is the stuff you’re interested in. In regards to subscribing to the sports networks, it would be great but the problem is you usually can’t stream local games so it makes no sense if you want to follow your local team (unless you do workarounds with VPNs). I definitely used to enjoy watching time delayed, DVR’d sports to start late and skip commercials and finish around the same time and I need to check if I can record games on Sling and hopefully in the future on DirectTV.

            Basically, cable has a lot of good content (too much content, not necessarily good) but you’re stuck to watching in your home, the interfaces are bad, on-demand is super slow to work through (based on my experiences with TWC and Fios), and you have to pay for equipment and DVR. I’m very happy with paying $20 for Sling’s old beta plan with 100hr DVR and $35 for DirectTV Now Go Big promotion. I have just about all I like to watch on cable, can watch sports, I can watch anywhere, and the equipment was cheap. I wish I could just change channels easily like on cable with a numbered remote, but that’s a small price to pay for all I’m getting and the money I’m saving.

            I also have the satisfaction of not giving a dime to the evil cable companies except for having to pay for internet. (Yes, Sling and DirectTV are owned by satellite/cable operators but I’m giving them as little as possible and I’m not paying their stupid made up fees like RSN fees and “HD” fees :-)).

    • NSFW777

      My biggest problem with DirecTV (SAT) is the equipment charges. I have three TV’s and have to pay for each box every month, there is also the advanced receiver charge or whatever. A $59 package easily becomes $100. Would be nice if we could just buy our equipment outright. DirecTV(NOW) at least helps alleviate some of those issues.

      • GersonT1000

        You’ll never win with cable. Even if they sold it to you, they would jack up the prices to an amount where it made no sense to buy.

        • NSFW777

          someday we will look back and say, “wait what? you had to put a satellite dish on your house to get tv? ” everyone will be getting their TV over streaming. there is no going back.

  • Pebo Bryson

    You guys really really like your DVRs.

    • RookieCordCutter

      I just like watching what I want on my schedule, not theirs, and skipping commercials. And I know, the commercials help pay for the show, etc. but I’m paying for cable which also helps pay for the show.

  • mau47

    I would much rather have an hour cap vs a retention cap and I think 100 hours (if it launches with that) will be enough for most people. Personally we never really went above 40-50 on the TiVo before we dropped it but there are some shows that we prefer to binge watch so the 28 day cap of Vue was garbage for us since we would save up episodes and watch them all around the time of the season finale.

    • Daniel Richards

      see I just used Netflix for Binging on the few shows I do that with (like Walking Dead, because that show is WAY to slow to watch week to week), i’d much rather be able to record whatever I want with no limits, they could go for a higher time limit, like the 9 months on Youtube TV and that would solve your issue.

  • Jack Astor

    I’d be happy if I could get through a whole show with no buffering. I have no use for a DVR feature.

    • Iphart

      So why are you paying them. Try other options.

  • REP

    They better let me record LIVE sports channels…or this will be a SCAM!!

    Also, they better come out with a better app for FireTV…this shyt is slow ass like a turtle…actually not turtle, snail! The streaming is…..t e r r i b l e! Nothing have changed since Day 1. Meanwhile the one streaming from the browser is extremely quick. I mean go figure….why couldn’t they fix the FireTV one. It seems like nobody is working at AT&T to try to fix this problem….or maybe just 1 dude working in the office, while others are on vacation.

    • Vegas Steve

      I agree the FireTV app is slow. However, the Android TV app is non-existent. If they could tackle Fire TV they surely could port something similar to Android TV.

  • Evan

    Why can’t it just record automatically new episodes of my favorited shows? I have to know when my ahows are on? PS Vue is do much easier. I never know when shows are on with Directv Now. New episodes air and I don’t know it. New shows primere and I don’t know. Horrible interface. Too basic.

  • De

    I think 100 hours is a good option if that’s going to be the default storage. I used to be with Directv satellite and, had an Hr34 DVR that was designed for whole house dvr and that did 200 hours HD. It would be cool, if they offer additional storage for a small fee. I started cutting the cord right before DirecTV now went live and, finally cut the cord fulltime a couple of months ago. I haven’t had a dvr since. It was a little hard at first not having one but so far the wife who used it the DVR the most has adjusted pretty good without one.

  • Spicoli

    100 hours? What year are we in, 2001?

    • Nicholas Tene

      just watch the show then delete the episode.

    • GersonT1000

      There’s so much to watch on TV and streaming services these days that sometimes it takes months for me to watch something, or I record the entire season to binge watch it at the end. You can’t do that with Vue like you can with Sling because the month old episodes will get deleted, so I enjoy the Sling DVR model.
      I kept the 100 hour Sling DVR beta and love it. Hopefully DirectTV Now will not cut down to 50hrs to the non-beta customers like Sling did. Either way, I can split my recording between the two services.

  • chenriii

    Unfortunately there’s no way I can make 100 hours work. I record the entire live news show output, every day, of the three news nets, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. CNN broadcasts live news shows from 4AM to midnight Eastern on weekdays, from 5AM to 8PM Eastern on weekends. Fox News broadcasts live news shows from 5AM to 11PM Eastern on weekdays, from 6AM to 8PM on weekends. MSNBC broadcasts live news shows from 5AM to midnight on weekdays, from 7AM to 6PM on Saturdays and from 7AM to 7PM on Sundays. So that’s 20 hrs. + 18 hrs. + 19 hrs on weekdays, for a total of 57 hours on a weekday, 15 hrs. + 14 hrs. + 11 hrs. on Saturdays for a total of 40 hours on Saturdays and 15 hrs. + 14 hrs. + 12 hrs. on Sundays for a total of 41 hrs. on Sundays. So the 100 hrs. is used after less than two days during the week, and after just over two days on the weekend. Which leaves no room at all for special programs, movies, events, etc. etc. Completely impractical.

    Gotta say I’m really disappointed. I was really looking forward to making the switch, but there’s no way I can make this work. Guess I’m staying with Vue, even though Vue doesn’t have the C-Span channels, has no phone tech support on the weekends, has no ability to record show reruns, etc. etc.

    By the way, the “nine month” Youtube DVR is a bad joke. Because of their insistence on replacing DVR recordings with On Demand recordings when the OD’s become available, you really don’t have nine-month DVR with no commercials; in fact, you rarely have more than one or two days. On the other hand, Vue’s “28 days” is actually a lot more, at times, because they allow On Demand recordings to stay much longer than 28 days. So, in fact, in a way, Vue’s DVR is actually STRONGER than Youtube TV’s.

    • tffl

      What do you record on that allows you to store the apparent 1000s of hours you require? And when do you watch it – since it seems you daily record enough that it would take 2 days or more (without break) to watch?

      • chenriii

        Excellent questions.

        Vue provides a full TWENTY-EIGHT DAYS of storage. It has no limit at all on the number of hours one records. That’s how it’s possible for me to record all that material. Keep in mind too that Vue can record on an infinite number of channels at the same time. There’s no two-channel or three-channel or four-channel limitation (for all I know, this may be the case with all of the OTT services; the only ones I’ve ever tried are Vue and Hulu Live TV, and both can record on an infinite number of channels at the same time (though Hulu’s 50-hour limitation kinda renders that capability moot!)).

        As for when I watch it, keep in mind that I don’t watch it all. I skim through each show to find stories in which I’m specifically interested (don’t really care for the endless stuff from the left (MSNBC) about Russia, the endless stuff from the right (Fox News) about MS-13, the endless stuff about trials and near-miss airplane incidents (CNN), etc. etc.). Figuring that I start watching around noon, I make my way through the MSNBC shows from 5AM Eastern to current time usually within about 90 minutes, then do the same with CNN, then the same with Fox News. That’s how I keep abreast of what’s going on. The Vue DVR has a very powerful 64X visible Fast Forward on the Fire TV ap, which is what I use; that’s part of what makes it all possible.

        Hope that makes sense. Don’t hesitate to ask if anything above is unclear or you have further questions.

        The bottom line: Vue’s DVR is set up perfectly for folks like me; it’s far more powerful, for example, than my old DVR on my Verizon FIOS TV service. Some talk about how yes, cable TV is better than OTT, but too expensive. In my case, cable TV has NOTHING to recommend it; less flexible DVR and higher bills into the bargain. Useless for someone like me.