Couple on sofa with TV remote

Review: DIRECTV NOW – My First Impressions


If you want to see our full review of DIRECTV NOW please watch the YouTube Video at the top of this page.

Channels & Pricing

AT&T clearly said in the press conference that these plans are subject to price increases. They hinted that price increases would come with new features or channels but no further details have been given.

Here are the channels and pricing AT&T officially announced.

att-direct-now-channel-lineup-1

Fans of HBO® and Cinemax® can add these channels for just $5 each per month in addition to their base programming package.

Select markets will get regional sports networks from Fox, Comcast SportsNet, and YES sports; however, the lineup in the leaked guide looks limited.

AT&T made it clear during the press event that these prices will go up as they add new features and content.

Device Support

DIRECTV NOW will be available at launch through the following:

  • Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
  • Android mobile devices and tablets
  • iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV
  • Chromecast (Android at launch; iOS in 2017)
  • Google Cast-enabled LeEco ecotvs and VIZIO SmartCast Displays
  • Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari web browsers

In 2017, DIRECTV NOW plans to add more devices to the lineup including Roku streaming players and Roku TV™ models, Amazon Fire tablets, and Smart TVs.

Roku separately from the AT&T press conference announced that they will add DIRECTV NOW in the 1st quarter 2017.

FreeVIEW

The FreeVIEW option will enable anyone to enjoy unique and exclusive content free of charge. It’s a highly curated, always-fresh, ad-supported video service with a sampling of on-demand content from AUDIENCE Network, Otter Media properties, and other DIRECTV NOW channels.

This content will be ad supported.

Data-Free Streaming on AT&T

Data-free TV/free streaming for Fullscreen customers: Must stream through DIRECTV NOW or the Fullscreen app. Requires eligibility. DIRECTV & AT&T wireless services and devices. Some restrictions apply. For Fullscreen, other in-app activities may incur data charges.

No DVR 

At no point in the press event or in the press release did DIRECTV NOW say anything about a DVR. You can pause some channels but not others but there is no option to DVR shows.

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  • AKarba

    Signed up first thing this morning. Got hit with Google Playstore not having the app available, emailed DirecTV Now and fifteen minutes later it was live on there. But before then, tried Amazon’s App store.. was able to ‘buy’ it but none of the devices were listed as compatible (none of my three Android phones, Samsung S5, J7 nor Asus fone 2)… and of course Amazon rejected my review listing this detail as it is outside of their guidelines (cough). Can’t use any apps to d/l the apk, so waiting for someone more creative than me to grab the APK so I can sideload it on my unsupported Nvidia Shield TV.

    • AKarba

      ..and after all this, I’m actually a strong supporter of the product. Crazy huh.

    • Chris

      keep us updated if you get it on your shield, I will be trying to sideload it when I get home tonight.

  • jack pollard

    Meh as expected. For my family the PSVue works perfectly. HGTV, DIY, TBS and USA (gotta have Mr. Robot) all included in the $35 price + DVR can’t be beat. As usual you can see the hanky panky starting, hurry up and get your intro price, blah blah blah. No surprise this is just DirectTV model of “take what we want you to get” and nothing innovative.

    • vikings football

      yah, intro price of 35.00/mo x 3 = 105.00 = free apple tv 4 at 149.00 = 44.00 savings on a apple tv plus free 3 months of GOT TO HAVE IT package = 100 channels…when price increase happens, i will then make changes to what makes best for me cost wise when that time comes…in the mean time, i will enjoy the 3 month promo that comes with a free apple tv for only 105.00

      directv now is no different from many other businesses that do price increase later on LOL…for me, its all about me, not anyone else LOL

      • Neil Stapley

        AppleTV=$89 sling for 12mths $300 total $389. Free appletv directv now for 12mnths $420. You’re being conned son, either you didn’t do the math or a plant by ATT. The point of the intro price is to threaten people into sticking with a crap product “stay with us or we are going to jack your price up” sorry not going to ball having a gun to my head.

        • ÇrApple i-Plode 7hiS Kablooey

          Your math and/or pricing is off. First, the latest 4th gen Apple TV costs $149.99 brand new. Unless you are talking about an older model Apple TV or a refurb or anything less then new, it does not cost $89. Second, sling offers nowhere near the amount of channels that DTV Now offers. So comparing the two channel lineups is apples and oranges.

          Personally, I have read your other comments and I think you work for Sling. You’ve been on many sites promoting Sling that there couldn’t be any other reason than you work for them.

          • Neil Stapley

            Its off is it? Sling offer the 4th Gen brand AppleTv for $89 bucks and also have a discounted Roku premier . Just because I am prostling doesn’t I work for them (says the paid ATT stooge) I have only been on this site compaining about the same thing the subpar on demand content. The fact remains Directv isn’t what it claims to be which is being echod across all the reviews. If you had read my other comments you will note they say the same thing. Had the VOD library been what it should be I would have ditched Sling at 9am this morning. So I am either having a discussion with a bot a moron or a paid spokesman as which can no longer be bothered by you. You like the product or are paid to like it, thats good for you I do not.

          • ÇrApple i-Plode 7hiS Kablooey

            And there in lies the problem. Sling is offering a discounted price while DTV is giving you the device for FREE. They are also giving you a Fire TV 2 stick for FREE. Not to mention a promo deal for twice the channels than Slings top tier for less than Sling’s top tier. Oh, and did I mention that the app UI runs circles around Slings abysmal app? It’s day one of the service and DTV Now is way better than Sling and will only get better as time goes on. So, you can call me all the names you want, at least I am not stuck with suck ass Sling. There’s a reason it’s called Sling, because people end up needing a sling after realizing the service sucks and run in front of a car in frustration.

          • vikings football

            right on crapple!!! you tell em LOL

          • Neil Stapley

            By repeating the same thing over and over again the vain hope that some how people just see free appletv isn’t going to make the bribe any better. The 12mnth cost of Directv is $420, 12 month cost of sling is $389. The quality of the apps is not inquestion they are both poor what the difference is the available on demand content which in all your attempts to somehow discredit what I am pointing out is that the available online content for directv now is pathetic. ATT know this which is why they are bribing you with a free AppleTV which once again I point still means you are paying more for over 12mnths but you have your shinny new appletv be happy with that while I have my new appletv which i will end up paying $31 less for. Enjoy.

          • ÇrApple i-Plode 7hiS Kablooey

            Repeating in vain, kinda like what you wereare doing? Again, you’re funny.

            The quality of DTV is far better than sling as I have used both. And again, the cost of Sling for half the channels should be 15 dollars. If Sling offered that same number and quality of channels, do you REALLY think they would still offer it at the same price? I don’t think so. Keeping trying that new math. You might wanna take off your socks and shoes and count your toes as well.

          • Neil Stapley

            Again yes I am repeating this how on gods green earth are you going to watch 100 channels live. Thats is unless you dont have anything to do but watch TV all day. As I have work now I am bored of this enjoy your shows.

          • ÇrApple i-Plode 7hiS Kablooey

            Good that your bored. You bore me also. Maybe I will entertain myself with the 100+ channels I have at my disposal that a pay a low price for. That makes me happy and you will always be a sad Sling customer.

          • RonWilhite1968

            heh..

          • ÇrApple i-Plode 7hiS Kablooey

            I just noticed the moderator has deleted many of Neils posts. So glad for that.

          • Neil Stapley

            Enjoy sitting on your couch watching you 100+ channels most people have jobs and don’t have the time sit around watching all those channels. Happy Viewing.

          • RonWilhite1968

            Lol.. You’re the one drooling over HULU, Netflix, Amazon and the DVR in whatever it is you use. If someone has hours and hours to sit in front of a TV, it’s Neil Stapley. Sheesh.. Did a DirecTV van run over your dog or something?

          • Neil Stapley

            Yes it did actually it was a painfull experience thanks for bringing it up again. Don’t actually remember ever mentioning a DVR but keep it coming this is fun.

          • RonWilhite1968

            “Enjoy your 100 channels that you will only feasibly able to watch a tenth of at the most.” lol… Why such anger.. lol. People on message boards crack me up!

          • Neil Stapley

            Ron didn’t actually start this but I am running with it.

        • vikings football

          you are comparing slings Blue package at 25.00/mo that has less than half the 35.00/mo directv nows intro of 100 channels…also, im looking at it from the point of view what channels are important to me…sling doesnt have any of the discovery channels like discovery, science, destination america…and slings combined orange/blue package is still missing a bunch of other channels i enjoy watching. what works for you might now work for me, vice versa….its like you telling me i should get a big mac instead of a whopper (yes, i prefer whoppers over big macs) LOL

          why are you doing math for something that isnt even close to in comparision as far as the amount of channels? and you act as if you know what channels are important to me LOL

          do yourself a favor and think for yourself…your thinking is off…and besides, i should be good to go with the 35.00/month for my first 3 months…if directv now increases its pricing and i dont like the pricing at that time, im free to cancel anytime…im not stuck with any price increase…btw, dont fool yourself with price increases…it happens to all cable companies and satellite tv providers…dont make it out to be just a one corporation thing LOL

          i was a sling tv customer for 2 yrs, since it first came out…not much has change since (was still waiting for the discovery channels to come, but nadda), directv now is better for what i want. as for the apple tv going for 89.00 in sling, i dont see anything about it in their website…whereas in directv now’s website, you see the apple tv 4 offer right there on the front main page.

          • Neil Stapley

            Yes I am because once the introductory price ends $35 a month isnt going to strech u very far

          • Neil Stapley

            Thinking for my self thats exactly what I am doing. You like the product I don’t. I am calculating what I need, what I want and what is available at the price point I want to pay. I don’t need 100 channels that doesn’t provide a catalogue of on demand contents. The offering is in your face because as you are aware from my other discussion its a bribe to pull you in. Enjoy your streaming I will sleep well at night know I am saving money and getting exactly what I need for the price point I want to pay. Been trialling dtvn app and had to go bacl to sling because it kept erroring out.

      • jack pollard

        Good points, if only you weren’t a purple fan I would take you seriously 😉 Go Giants
        But seriously, I have more then enough streaming devices and I like the PSVue lineup and price and no hassles with ending the plan and all that crap. I also use Tablo for OTA DVR and that covers all our watching needs. I mentioned it to my kids that don’t have as many streaming devices and maybe it makes sense for them.

        • Zerbert Cakes

          How do you watch our Giants on PSVue ? Or do you use antenna

          • jack pollard

            Hey and sorry for the slow response. Antenna when I can and Kodi when I can’t. I probably get around 12 reg season games. I have Sirius and have enjoyed listening to football since I was a kid, I can listen to the Giants announcers last resort. And I like the “our Giants” 🙂

  • Neil Stapley

    The biggest negative for me is the piss poor VOD content. I currently have Sling and the catalogue is far bigger

    • KaysGramma

      I read that they’re stil updating it. I know we checked TWD and there was only one epsiode. Wondering if the rest will follow, or if they’re just starting to build from the day of launch, so new episodes will be added as they air.

      From their Help pages: “On Demand content is added constantly, so check back often! “

      • Neil Stapley

        I understand that might be the case but as it goes right now there isn’t anything they offer other than $5 HBO that stands out. Great channel line up for the price but not much use if I can not watch 90% of it.

        • vikings football

          dude, get the GOTTA HAVE IT package for only 35.00/month…or prepay for 3 months and get a free apple tv 4 that cost 149.00…and you can lock in that price, atleast for a while im sure…a deal if you ask me…this is a better cost/package lineup deal than either vue or sling.

          • Neil Stapley

            Dude already have one and its not a deal its a bribe, entice early adopters with a sub par product and shinny black box. The channel line up is great for the introductory prive however what is the point of 100 channels if you can only watch the content from 3 of them because the on demand is a joke. Its VOD aspect of Sling and Vue that is appealling to CordCutters that is why people are willing to ditch the cable company and subscribe to Hulu, Netflix and Prime aswell as services like sling. ATT have totally missed the train on this, with their industry clout they should have had the VOD catalogue built from the launch not built overtime. I will be sticking with Sling.

          • RonWilhite1968

            Oh relax. When sling came out you could only stream to one device at a time. Remember that? I do. I had it as well. Things change. You can’t expect everything to be perfect at launch. And don’t lump “CordCutters” into a giant basket. I ditched cable and hate Netflix / Hulu / Amazon. I have no time to sit in front of a screen and watch endless hours of television reruns. The only factual point you made is that Apple TV is old and outdated. If this isn’t for you, great. But I’m just taking a wild guess here when I say I’ll bet things will change with the service after day 1. Just maybe…

    • ÇrApple i-Plode 7hiS Kablooey

      Didn’t I see you on another website with the same comment? LOL

      • Neil Stapley

        More than likely

    • vikings football

      you forgot that sling is now two years online…directv now just started dude…when sling first came out, their VOD contant was just as bad LOL…btw, as an ex sling customer for 2 years, i prefer directv nows UI and channel offerings over slings…i was paying 40.00 plus taxes/mo for orange/blue package that is short on channels compared to directv now 35.00 100 channel promo. yes, i wont be surprised if the 35.00/mo increases later…its normal practice in the cable tv and satellite tv industry, so i wont be surprised LOL

  • JeffO

    Thanks for the review, I’ll stay with sling

  • Chris

    Signed up this morning and got my free Apple Tv. Cant wait to get home and check out the service.

  • 1EYEDJimmyBivvins

    No regional sports network no deal. Just like their satellite service they give the middle finger to the entire Philadelphia sports region and their fans. Without CSN Philly DTVNow will do poorly in this region just as their sat. service does. This is nothing more than a steaming pant load. Vue is better in so many ways.

    • vikings football

      better for you in many ways…better for me? not really. i had sling for almost two years, did the vue 7 day free trial…even as i do the 7 day free trial with directv now…i know that i will be sticking with directv now after my 3 month prepay.

  • Reggie Suplido

    Running it now on Apple TV. Noticed that video quality is much sharper vs SlingTv. You can see how sharp the eyes of people are and if you go to CNN, you can see that the ticker underneath is sharp and moving smoother, compared to slingtv.

    Can’t find any live tv stream that’s on 5.1 but I’ve tried several in demand movies and they were on 5.1. I wonder if premium channels (è.g. HBO) are streaming in 5.1.

    So far I’m liking it.

    All the apps are still v1 and I’m sure the interface will get better in time. Regarding desktop viewing, on Safari on the Mac, it asks you to install Microsoft Silverlight. WTH — Someone is still using Silverlight?

  • donald Wyman

    I want to try it but have to wait until they release a Roku app as my living room TV is a Roku TV and I switched all my bed rooms to Roku players as well and don’t want to switch back to fire tv devices just for that besides I am subscribed to sling for 2 more months.

  • Karl Childers

    So far I like the number of channels offered for the price plus the guide is very snappy and easy to use. On the downside I received Error Code 60 several times last night (too many streams even though I was using only one) and this morning the IOS app is unusable with Error Code 30. Hopefully they get the bugs worked out soon.

    Compared with PS Vue I think DirectvNow has a superior channel guide and better channel selection for the price. Vue has a slightly better picture quality (at least to my eyes) and more features.