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The Ultimate Guide to DIRECTV NOW (August 2017 Edition)


It was no surprise when DIRECTV developed a platform for streaming content. Find out what benefits the service has to offer cord cutters, below.

The Basics

DIRECTV NOW is a streaming service from AT&T. The company is promoting the service as an alternative to cable, without a contract, and with the ability to choose a package that works best for your personal preferences.

The service gives you access to live TV, with a guide to let you see what’s airing and the ability to flip through channels, just like you would with cable. And, just like with cable, you’ll still have commercial breaks.

What might set DIRECTV NOW apart from other services is the name recognition. DIRECTV has been installing satellite dishes since 1990 and has built up a loyal group of customers. Creating a streaming option has allowed DIRECTV to continue providing quality content, without the need for satellite dishes or an annual contract. It’s an easy transition for those who are already AT&T customers, and a good option for anyone who wants to cut the cord.

AT&T customers have an added advantage when it comes to choosing DIRECTV NOW for their streaming content provider. Those who use AT&T for their cell phone service can watch DIRECTV NOW content on their mobile devices without using mobile data.

The service works both at home and on mobile devices. Each account allows for simultaneous viewing on two devices at a time. While the service doesn’t currently have a DVR option available to all users (more on that below), an On Demand content feature allows access to content just a few hours after airing.

 Device Compatibility

DIRECTV NOW works with most major devices, listed here:

  • Apple TV
  • Google Chromecast, 2nd gen and higher
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Fire TV Stick
  • Roku
  • iPad, iOS9 and higher
  • iPhone, iOS9 and higher
  • Android 4.4 and higher
  • Chrome 50+
  • Safari 8+

Choosing a Package

 DIRECTV NOW has four package options:

  • Live a Little – 60+ channels
  • Just Right – 80+ channels
  • Go Big – 100+ channels
  • Gotta Have It – 120+ channels

The packages start at $35/month. Each level includes basic channels like ABC, NBC, Fox, and TLC. As you upgrade to higher levels, you’ll have access to additional channels for shows, movies, music, and sports. Recently, DIRECTV NOW and CBS made a deal to add the channel to the lineup. Check out the DIRECTV NOW website for a breakdown of the channels offered.

The service also gives you the option of adding on HBO, Starz, and Cinemax to any package for an additional fee.

Another advantage for AT&T customers is reduced pricing on DIRECTV NOW. AT&T Unlimited subscribers get a $25 discount on their subscription, bringing the cost down to as low as $10/month.

New Features and Updates

 In the interest of keeping up with competitors, DIRECTV NOW has been working on rolling out new features and updates to its service.

The most talked about update to the service recently has been the number of channels and affiliates being added. Some users have noticed more local channels being added to their guides, and the company is continuing to quietly add more local content around the country.

An initial major selling point of the service was the 72 hour rewind feature. It allowed users to go back and watch programming that had aired within the past 72 hours. The feature was taken away but made a comeback this summer. The feature now also allows you to restart a show from the beginning.

DIRECTV NOW responded to a frequent customer request for a recording option by coming up with a plan for a DVR beta. A select group of existing customers have gotten access to the feature while the company tests out the new feature.

The company is also working hard to make improvements on existing features by asking for customer input. AT&T has been looking for feedback about buffering via phone interviews and participants for an in depth study at their offices in El Segundo. This feedback should lead to more improvements, and potentially more user-friendly features in the future.

Ready to Try?

DIRECTV NOW is offering a 7 day free trial of any of their packages, so you can try the service out before starting a paid subscription.

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  • brewcrew87

    DTVN’s on demand takes days if not weeks to have a show appear after first run. Definitely not “hours” as you stated.

    That has been a known issue all along.

    • Richard Footitt

      Hmmm…… I haven’t seen that. I have watched shows immediately after they air.

      • Chris Chapman

        Almost everything I watch On Demand is available the next day on Sling. In speaking with DirecTV Now Customer Service, it takes them 72 hours.

        • Robert Anthony Hartzell

          Which is not true. Even after 72 hours, some new episodes will not appear. It really is frustrating because both DTVN’s reps and the marketing they’ve been using makes On Demand sound like it’s supposed to be working and punctual, when in reality it’s very delayed. When you try to explain this to them via chat or their forum, they tell you it will passed on to their tech team. Problem is it’s been reported for several months, with no improvements.

          • Chris Chapman

            Yep – I’ve seen it take as much as 2-3 weeks. Frustrating. I grab a free trial every now and then to see if it’s improved….but it ‘s still not as good as Sling and with no DVR that’s a firm no in my book.

      • Robert Anthony Hartzell

        It varies on networks and shows.

  • Michael Smith

    Interesting that DTVN doesn’t carry the NFL Network. They add that channel to their basic package and then they will be king again!

  • Carl DeVaughn

    I tried them a second time. However, they most definitely do not have shows on demand within a few hours. It’s more like a few weeks.

  • Mike Carver

    The strangest thing with DTV Now is you can only get Hallmark Movies on the Live a Little Tier. I no family members that will not do without Hallmark Movies. So they are unable to pick a higher tier which might have another channel they need. So they are forced to stay on the lowest tier and look for other options for other channels.

  • ROB

    Try the on demand…. video and audio don’t sync…. pitiful

  • BrianH1972

    Please help. DTVNow chat reps (not techs) had zero clue than the obligatory delete and reload app instruction.

    The DTVNow “pause” button pauses but DOES not resume where the pause is, it resumes at the live feed. This happens on Apple TV and Fire. It has happened since day 1. When I tried to get help from the worthless “Help Center” they simply have zero clue about any problem or any solution.

    • Jon Hauge

      It’s not a feature to continue after a pause of live tv. Probably will not get that until DVR is an option.

      • BrianH1972

        Its not a feature to continue a pause? Then why have a pause? Why can’t the fake techs (operators) explain that pausing and being able to un-pause is not supposed to be a features? Why do they pretend that if I delete and reload the app it will work?

        If you are correct than that is even more absurd. The operators know less than you about their own features. They have added a feature that does half a feature. Like building a car that can go but not stop.

        • Jon Hauge

          Pause is a feature for VOD. I can’t answer for the techs.

  • Jared Danielsen

    Thanks Bill!

    • Bill Eastman

      Been with them from the beginning and have Go Big and HBO. I got free AppleTV but that is over. Get free Roku Premire by prepaying 2 months.

  • Jimmy Sterling

    Love dtv now best service out there