AT&T Announces DirecTV Now – Streaming TV Service
AT&T / DirecTV made a large splash in the streaming TV space over the Thanksgiving holiday by announcing DirecTV Now, which is the latest attempt by mainstream cable/satellite TV providers to penetrate the quickly growing streaming TV market. AT&T / DirecTV are focusing this offer on millennials who are choosing to spurn traditional cable/satellite subscriptions, though here at FTR we believe the market is much larger than those young millennials!
What Does FreeTVReview.Com Think About DirecTV Now?
Our readers come to FTR for us to help separate the signal from the noise. So what do we think of the offer?
What We Like About DirecTV Now
- Initial entry price of $35 per month is a bit higher than Sling’s $20 a month, but does represent a significant discount from traditional cable/satellite…it should be noted that this introductory price appears to only be available for a few months and is set to increase in the future
- While the channel lineup hasn’t been finalized, the base package appears to have over 60 channels including most of the normal basic cable channels (CNN, CNBC, ESPN, HGTV, E!, Food Network, TBS, TNT, etc..)
- HBO/Cinemax add ons are currently priced at $5 per month (each), which would represent a discount from streaming this channels separately
- Some local channels are available (ABC, NBC, Fox) ONLY in owner operated markets. Explain this leaves the confines of this post, but in certain markets you may get partial coverage of local programming without the need for a HD Antenna
- Streaming service is available on multiple devices (Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Chromecast). It should be noted its not currently available for Roku, but that should change early next year
- Taylor Swift – At the homefront for the FTR crew we have a fair amount of young princesses who can’t get enough Taylor Swift videos/songs. DirecTV Now has announced there will be a dedicated Taylor Swift channel as part of their streaming package.
What We Don’t Like About DirecTV Now
- No DVR capabilities. Lack of DVR functionality is a drawback on almost all streaming services, but Sling TV recently announced a Beta test for a cloud based DVR on their platform. If Sling TV can do it, there is no reason why DirecTV can’t do it
- Longer Term Costs of Service. While the $35 entry price is ok, it appears this may be a limited time offer. If the entry price increases by any significant amount, this may not be a cost effective alternative to cable/satellite, and we’re all about the Benjamin’s here at FTR!. Also the add-on costs if you want a specific channel or group of channels quickly gets you over $70 per month. At this price point, your getting close to normal cable/satellite subscription costs and we quickly lose interest.
- No Showtime – This isnt a deal breaker, as you can still sign up and stream Showtime separately, but we find it odd that DirecTV came to a licensing agreement with HBO but not Showtime. How will we be able to watch The Affair?
- No NFL Sunday Ticket – as a diehard NFL fan, we were excited about the opportunity to stream NFL Sunday Ticket. No dice here, as Sunday Ticket remains an exclusive for DirecTV satellite subscribers
Will the FTR Crew Purchase DirecTV Now?
Overall, we continue to be pleased by more and more traditional cable/satellite TV providers offering streaming TV packages. While we don’t often toot our own horn, we’ve been predicating this would happen for over two years, so it’s nice to see it coming to fruition.
For now, we’ll continue to stick with Sling TV, as for the price/content we feel it’s the best package that meets our needs. That being said, DirecTV Now has some cool features and has filled some of the content holes in Sling TV’s current offering (e.g. CNBC is an added cost for Sling TV but part of DirecTV Now’s base package).
For new cord cutters, I would absolutely review the most recent prices/deals between Sling TV and DirecTV now. DirecTV is a much bigger brand name in the marketplace and we wouldn’t be surprised if they’re able to attract a larger following than Sling TV within twelve to eighteen months.
The FTR Guy
Categorised in: Streaming TV Services