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Meet DirecTV Now, AT&T's 100-Channel Streaming Service

Cord-cutters looking to shed their monthly cable bills have another option for getting their favorite shows streamed into their home in the form of DirecTV Now. And this one features a lot of channels.

After weeks of teases for its streaming service, DirecTV owner, AT&T took the wraps off DirecTV Now today (Nov. 28). The streaming service starts at $35 a month for a package that includes 60-plus channels and scales up to a $70-a-month 120-plus channel package. The service launches this Wednesday, Nov. 30.

Those channels will include programming from some pretty noteworthy broadcasters. Including network broadcasts from the likes of ABC, NBC and Fox, DirecTV Now will offer channels with content from Disney, ESPN, AMC, A+E, Turner, Viacom, Starz, Univision, Scripps, Discovery, Hallmark, Fuse, Bloomberg and Revolt. HBO and Cinemax are available, too, though as $5 monthly add-ons to your DirecTV Now package.

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Notably missing from that list are CBS and Showtime, though AT&T executives stressed during today's launch event that they hope to one day reach an agreement with those broadcasters. DirecTV's popular NFL Sunday Ticket, which gives subscribers to the satellite TV service access to every NFL game, also won't be part of the DirecTV Now streaming package, at least for now.

In addition to the 60- and 120-channel tiers, DirecTV Now will feature a $50-a-month, 80-plus channel package and a $60-a-month subscription offering 100 channels. That latter package is the most intriguing, since AT&T will offer 100 channels for $35 a month as a limited-time promotion to attract early adopters.

DirecTV Now compares well with competing streaming services on quantity and price. While Sling TV starts at a lower $20-a-month cost, that basic offering features 30 or so channels. PlayStation Vue's most compelling package currently costs $55 a month and promises 90 channels including sports and movie networks.

Those other two services offer something DirecTV doesn't at launch, though: DVR capabilities for recording programs and watching them at your leisure. PlayStation Vue already boasts a DVR feature; Sling TV announced today that it's launching a beta for its DVR service next month. AT&T says DVR features won't be available on its service until next year.

AT&T hopes to compete with Sling TV and PlaysStation Vue in other ways, though. For starters, if you're an AT&T Wireless customer, you'll be able to watch DirecTV Now programming without affecting your monthly data allotment. AT&T is also looking to lure new customers with hardware. Prepay for three months of DirecTV Now and you can get an Apple TV set-top box; prepaying for a month of service gets you an Amazon Fire TV Stick. LeEco will offer you three months to a year of DirecTV Now service if you buy one of the company's selected phones or TVs, while Lenovo is offering a free month of the streaming service when you buy a laptop with a Core i3, i5 or i7 processor.

In addition to Apple TV and the Fire TV Stick, DirecTV Now will also work with Android mobile devices, iPhones, iPads, Fire TVs, GoogleCast-enabled LeEco TVs and Vizio SmartCast displays, and web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari. Chromecast will support DirecTV Now on Android at launch; iOS support for Chromecast will follow in 2017. AT&T also plans to add support for Roku devices, Amazon tablets and Samsung Smart TVs in 2017.

Information is still emerging about DirecTV Now, such as in what markets you'll be able to live stream network TV programming and which ones will offer on-demand viewing the next day. We plan to have a better sense of what you can expect from DirecTV Now and how it compares to rival streaming services by the time streaming begins on Nov. 30.

  • mpmajor
    Ya sounds nice but if you live in a city with a franchise with just one internet company, CableOne which has a low cap, then this becomes difficult. At least until we get better compression ratios.
    Reply
  • jsmithepa
    I still don't know if this is via dish or DSL.
    Reply
  • Math Geek
    this is through your internet connection and will not require a cable box like the satellite based directv service does. any of the streaming boxes will work fine, such as roku, apple tv and so on.

    what i'm waiting to see is the channel lists for the various packages. currently use PS vue service and if they can do better i'll switch in a heartbeat.
    Reply
  • jsmithepa
    18935268 said:
    this is through your internet connection and will not require a cable box like the satellite based directv service does. any of the streaming boxes will work fine, such as roku, apple tv and so on.
    The mention of Rokus, AppleTV etc obviously make this a TV-Over-Internet, but the reason whether via dish or DSL matters to me is, my last-mile landline is crap and AT&T is not replacing those wires any time soon, so to get decent broadband speed, it has to be dish, and the last time I asked the dish people they didn't do Internet, hoping this may have changed.
    Reply
  • Math Geek
    ok i see what your asking. but as far as i know about this, it comes over the internet. how you get the net access to your streaming box is up to you :)

    but obviously a constant connection is important as is not having any data caps. not a good idea for folks dealing with a monopoly data cap situation. they are stuck with cable like the companies want them to be.
    Reply
  • jsmithepa
    18935313 said:
    how you get the net access to your streaming box is up to you
    Hence the reference to DirecTV (the dish people) is confusing. I thought AT&T may had partnered with the satellite folks...

    Always wondered whether carriers purposely market their stuff with confusion. It only serve to push me away.
    Reply
  • Math Geek
    at&t owns directv now. which is why they are connected to so much advertising.

    i'm wondering if they will try to bundle net aceess, mobile phone and this streaming service. could be an interesting mix if you're in the at&t market.

    i use verizon for net access which is the best in my area, but gave up on all the cable companies. we stream with Playstation right now but if this is better we'll switch in a heartbeat. no contracts so no worries about fees for leaving :)

    very curious about "early adopter deal" of $35 for 100 channels. sounds real awesome if they channels are decent
    Reply