DirecTV Now is a popular live TV streaming service with over 120 channels in their lineup. If you’re looking to get tons of great channels off-contract and instant streaming on demand, DirecTV may be right for you. Their offers include tiered pricing plans, premium programming options, and access to as many as 25,000 On Demand movies and shows. Compared to cable or satellite TV, DirecTV Now doesn’t require annual contracts or credit checks. You can cancel your service at any time, as well as upgrade or downgrade your plan without fees. Overall, DirecTV is a good option for anyone looking to do away with their cable box but still have the freedom to watch the channels they love.
The service is provided by telecom giant AT&T and is separate from their wireless service or DirecTV services. DirecTV customers can sign up for DirecTV Now, but they will still have to fulfill their contract agreement with the satellite provider.
- Can watch on 2 devices at the same time
- Large selection of on demand content
- Affordable HBO at only $5/mo.
- Currently has no DVR funtionality
- Cant watch local channels
Packages and Pricing
The first thing you’ll notice about DirecTV Now is their wide channel selection. The number of popular channels included in their cheapest plan helps them out-rank competitors in this area. DirecTV Now has four plans to choose from. Each higher tier includes all of the channels in the previous package with the addition of 20 new channels. Additionally, they offer premium channels like HBO and STARZ at unbeatable prices that other streaming providers fail to match.
|Live a Little||$35/mo.||60+||VIEW PLAN|
|Just Right||$50/mo.||80+||VIEW PLAN|
|Go Big||$60/mo.||100+||VIEW PLAN|
|Gotta Have It||$70/mo.||120+||VIEW PLAN|
Starting with DirecTV Now’s cheapest package, just $35 per month will get you access to 60 channels. Typically, TV providers’ cheaper plans lack the popular channels that people want to see in their lineup. But this isn’t the case with DirecTV. Their base plan includes most of the popular channels that you’ll want to have access to. For example, families can enjoy Disney channels, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, and TeenNick on the base package. Sports fans will find ESPN, ESPN 2, and Fox Sports 1 included in this package as well. You’ll also have access to popular news networks such as FOX News Channel, CNN, and NBC. Other key entertainment channels like CBS, A&E Network, and E! Now are also included. DirecTV really stands apart from other service providers in this realm by offering a great channel selection right out of the gate. This gives DirecTV Now a slight edge over Sling TV. Though Sling TV has cheaper options, their base plan only includes 30 channels.
Jump up a plan with DirecTV Now and you’ll arrive at what they refer to as their “Just Right” package. This will give you an additional 20 channels over their base package, including SCI, Travel Channel, AWE, ESPN Network, Nicktoons, Pop, The Weather Channel, and more. This is the perfect mix of sports and entertainment with some additional kid-friendly channels making it an ideal option for families.
Pay $10 more a month and you’ll get access to 100 channels. With this package, you’ll be able to watch things like Universo, Universal Kids, Discovery Family, TVG, GOLF, MTV Classic, and Nat Geo Wild. Again, this plan will boost your viewing options. However, some people may find the $60 monthly price steeper than they’d like to pay.
DirecTV’s most expensive plan will cost you $70 per month. This includes their full lineup of 120 channels. For example, you can watch STARZ ENCORE, Boomerang, Chiller, Univision Deportes Network, and El Rey in addition to the channels included in all lower-priced plans. This is the way to go if you’re looking for the best channel selection you can get.
Additional Options with Premium Channels
People who opt to pay for cheaper packages can still add STARZ channels to their monthly plan for an additional $8 per month. All DirecTV Now subscribers can also get Showtime for $8 per month, HBO for $5, and Cinemax for $5. This is a surprising deal since other streaming providers charge much more for these premium channels. For example, Sling TV charges an additional $15 per month for HBO and $9 per month for STARZ, while Dish charges $10 per month for Cinemax.
Limitations And Things To Keep in Mind
You should note that DirecTV Now lacks a few key sports channels like NFL Network, NFL RedZone, and Fox College Sports. DirecTV’s satellite plans include some of these channels, but you’ll be facing contracts and expensive renewal prices if you go this route. If these channels are important to you, look into Sling TV’s Spots Extra package.
You’ll be able to stream DirecTV Now simultaneously on up to two devices at once. At the time there are no options to increase this number. This may not be a problem for individuals and small families, but larger families may run into issues with this limit. In comparison, Sling TV’s services include up to 4 simultaneous streams of live TV and at least 3 streams for all HBO channels.
If you’re looking to get local channels, DirecTV Now may be able to provide these to some extent. They do offer local channels in specified market areas. In order to take advantage of this and watch your own local channels, your streaming device must be in the same location as the zip code you entered for billing purposes. So, you won’t be able to watch local channels when you’re away from home.
Whether or not you’ll be able to access local channels depends on DirecTV Now’s agreements with local markets at your location. For example, DirecTV Now added CBS broadcasting to their services for all customers in August 2017. However, their customers will only be able to live stream from local CBS stations in 25 U.S. markets. You can use DirecTV Now’s helpful channel lookup tool to search for your local and regional networks.
Currently, DirecTV Now is only available in 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Unfortunately, residents of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will not be able to access their services. Likewise, you won’t be able to stream DirecTV now if you’re traveling outside of the country.
What You Need To Get Started
One of the best things about streaming services is that you don’t have to deal with antennas, cable boxes, tangled cords, or drilling holes in your wall. Forget about letting strangers into your home to set things up for you. With DirecTV Now, all you have to do is create an account, select the plan and premium packages you want, and you’re good to go.
However, you will need a supported streaming device or browser before you can start watching. Chances are you’ll already own one of these. DirecTV Now’s streaming is supported on Roku players, Roku TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Google Chromecast. Watching from your mobile device is also supported. This is handy because it allows you to watch your shows while you’re on the road. If you don’t have any of these devices, you can still watch DirecTV Now on an up-to-date Chrome or Safari Web browser.
Extra Features and Benefits
One neat feature that DirecTV Now provides is a way to watch shows that you just missed on live TV. You can accomplish this using their 72 Hour Rewind. This allows you to turn back the clock on certain supported networks to watch a show that aired up to three days earlier.
Another great thing that DirecTV Now does is offer a free Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV with your streaming plans. You’ll have to prepay for three months of DirecTV Now to get the Apple TV 4K. For an Amazon Fire TV, you have to prepay for two months of streaming. These are both great deals, as you’ll pay $179 for an Apple TV at retail and $69.99 for an Amazon Fire TV.
Still not sure of DirecTV is right for you? You’re in luck, because they’re currently offering a heavy discount for new subscribers. You can watch the 60 channels on their cheapest plan for just $10 per month for three months. After this, your service will renew at the full $35/month price. DirecTV Now also has a 7-day free trial offer which will give you a little taste of what you can expect with their services.
If you’re already an AT&T customer, you can save even more with DirecTV Now. They’re offering their Live a Little package for just $20 a month, instead of $35, if you have an eligible AT&T unlimited plan. The fine print states that your plan must cost at least $65/month to be eligible and you won’t get this discount until you’ve been billed for three months of DirecTV Now.
DirecTV Now doesn’t currently have a DVR. They have announced that they plan to introduce a Cloud DVR option to their customers in early 2018. Their current lack of DVR functionality may be a problem for people who are used to recording live shows and watching them later with the ability to skip commercials.
You can still get the same pause, play, fast-forward, and rewind power over some shows with DirecTV Now’s On Demand content. Of course, live content won’t be available On Demand, but many shows will show up in this section just hours after their air. DirecTV Now claims to have over 25,000 On Demand shows. Just beware if you’re expecting no commercials with On Demand shows. Many channels will still include commercials and not all shows will allow you to fast forward through them, even in On Demand. Networks like HBO will not broadcast commercials, but there is no real way to determine which On Demand shows will include ads until you start watching them. This may be frustrating for some users.
Unlike with traditional cable and satellite TV, you can change your DirecTV Now plan at any time. You can do this without having to contact support. All you have to do is sign into your account online. Likewise, you can also cancel your account at any time.
You can head over to DirecTV Now’s help page if you have any questions. Their help center isn’t terribly thorough, but they’ve been sure to cover the basic questions that their customers may be asking. There is no way to contact their support team by phone. But, they do have an instant chat available as well as a twitter account where you can send your questions. They claim to answer help related questions on twitter 24/7. You can find additional help sources on the AT&T Community Forums.
DirecTV Now is going to be a great option for you if you like the tiered price model of traditional cable or satellite TV. Though the company doesn’t offer customizable packages like Sling TV, DirecTV Now does include quite a large assortment of channels. The channel lineup in their cheapest plan is impressive, and their unbeatable prices on premium channels like HBO and Cinemax definitely make their services something to consider.
However, if you’re interested in just a few channels that are only available with their more expensive plans, you’ll be stuck paying for all their other channels as well. The unpredictable nature of commercials and limits on pausing, rewinding, and skipping forward through On Demand shows may provide some frustration. Additionally, their current lack of a DVR option may be a deal breaker for some.
Despite this, a free trial, three months of discounted streaming, and a free Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV are all tempting offers. This makes it easy to try out DirecTV Now without long-term commitments and determine if they are right for you.