AT&T launches DirecTV Now streaming service with free Apple TV offer

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2016
In a bid to draw subscribers to its new DirecTV Now over-the-top internet streaming service, announced on Monday, AT&T is giving away Apple TV and Fire TV Stick hardware with certain pre-paid monthly packages.







Customers who purchase three months of any DirecTV Now package will get a fourth-generation Apple TV, while those who sign up for at least one month of service can grab a Fire TV Stick, AT&T said in a statement. While not specified, the company is likely doling out the cheaper 32GB Apple TV variant as part of the deal.

With the service going live on Nov. 30, packages start at $35 per month for more than 60 channels, DirecTV Now's promotion almost pays for itself, as 32GB Apple TV models currently retail for $150. For a limited time, subscribers can choose the "Go Big" package and net more than 100 channels for $35 per month. Like past AT&T promotions, the special Go Big pricing remains active with a continued subscription.

Regular monthly pricing is split into four tiers: Live a Little with more than 60 channels for $35; Just Right with more than 80 channels for $50; Go Big with over 100 channels for $60; and Gotta Have it with more than 120 channels for $70. HBO and Cinemax are also available as $5 per month add-ons.

Further, AT&T mobile customers can stream content for free via the DirecTV Now app. In a move likely to cut into T-Mobile's Binge On business, AT&T will waive in-network data fees associated with DirecTV Now or the company's existing FreeVIEW and Fullscreen on-demand services.

"We're extending our entertainment portfolio for those who value premium content but also want more TV freedom suited for their lifestyle, whether watching at home or on their mobile devices. This is TV your way," said AT&T Entertainment Group CEO John Stankey.

DirecTV Now supports a wide variety of internet-connected devices including Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, Android hardware, Chromecast (Android at launch; iOS in 2017) and Google Cast-enabled LeEco ecotvs and VIZIO SmartCast Displays. Subscribers can also access programming through web browsers like Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer.

More importantly, DirecTV Now will offer a number of popular cable channels to OTT subscribers, including properties owned by AMC, Discovery, Disney, NBCUniversal and Viacom, among others.

DirecTV Now goes live on Wednesday.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    I have yet to get in to the DVR features of Vue, so I'm not as miffed by the lack of that (yet).

    To lock in 100 channels at $35/mon + get a free Apple TV (of which I do need another) will absolutely make it worth me jumping on that deal and trying it out for 3 months.

    If I hate it after 3 months, I'll have paid less than the retail price of the Apple TV, and can go back to Vue if I want.
    Deelron
  • Reply 2 of 32
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,748member
    sog35 said:
    No go. Playstation Vue is far superior.

    For the same price of $35 you get almost as many good channels, plus DVR and more local channels (at least in my area)
    The free $110 AppleTV is nice, but I'm not giving up 3 months of being able to DVR for that.
    Prompted by your endorsement I'm giving PSVue a spin for a week. So far the interface seems a mess, but perhaps it will grow on me.
  • Reply 3 of 32
    They still don't get it. We DONT WANT bundles, we want ala carte!  With 60 channels, I'm sure 50 will be junk. 
    sockrolidzroger73
  • Reply 4 of 32
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,748member
    jacknc said:
    They still don't get it. We DONT WANT bundles, we want ala carte!  With 60 channels, I'm sure 50 will be junk. 
    Yeah, I looked at their channel lineup and it really added nada (that I have any interest in) to what I already have. But I'd lose FoxSports Florida and the ACC Channel. And unless i want to pay another $15/mo I'd lose Redzone. The Apple TV isn't needed so I'll pass. Maybe next year when they get they stuff together. At least it's a whole lot easier now to switch around between streaming providers. As little as a couple years ago it was pretty much lock-in to one or two providers if you wanted "cable channels". That alone assures more competition and more aggressive pricing. 
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 5 of 32
    Where's the link for the detailed channel list in each package? sog35, where is the info about no DVR and only 2 streams? No DVR is definitely a deal-killer for me. Only 2 simultaneous streams I could probably be able to work with.
  • Reply 6 of 32
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,448member
    scott r said:
    Where's the link for the detailed channel list in each package? sog35, where is the info about no DVR and only 2 streams? No DVR is definitely a deal-killer for me. Only 2 simultaneous streams I could probably be able to work with.
    Isn't the point of streaming video services that the content is ON DEMAND? You don't need a DVR. That's the whole point of the Apple TV. I've used a Roku that had a number of services activated, like CBS All Access, Amazon Prime & Starz, ABC, HBO Go, etc. And whatever show I wanted to watch was available to me whenever I wanted them. Is that not the case here as well? 

    If it's strictly love streaming then it's pointless.
  • Reply 7 of 32
    Do you not realize that you can download all of the channels apps and verify all of them with your DirecTV login info with the new One Login feature? And then you'll have your DVR for each channel.  
    Metriacanthosaurus
  • Reply 8 of 32
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,968member
    sog35 said:
    No DVR.
    Only 2 streams at a time.

    Who does AT&T think we are?

    Do they think we are a 1960's family that all gather in the living room to watch television all together? Why else only allow 2 streams at a time?

    No DVR? What is this? 1980? So I have to watch TV on someone elses schedule? So I'm forced to watch hours of commercials every week?

    No go. Playstation Vue is far superior.

    For the same price of $35 you get almost as many good channels, plus DVR and more local channels (at least in my area)

    But this is ZERO surprise. AT&T has been screwing customers for over 100 years. 

    The free $110 AppleTV is nice, but I'm not giving up 3 months of being able to DVR for that.
    You seem to like Sony Vue but seems overly PR about Vue. Isn't Vue also has many issues like restricts streaming out side of your home IP ? Vue just recently supported on Apple-TV. Before bad mouthing Direct TV Now, we know pricing but let's wait to see channels line-up for each package and than compare Apple-to-Apple.
    edited November 2016 stanthemanMetriacanthosaurus
  • Reply 9 of 32
    FatmanFatman Posts: 299member
    I like competition! waiting to see the comparison to PS Vue to see if worth switching. I've been using Vue for 3 months now. Vue is decent, interface runs more smoothly on an Amazon Fire TV than PS3 (wouldn't recommend). Don't have a PS4 or Apple TV so can't compare, but on my Roku the interface is overly simplified and confusing and lacks the guide. I follow NY sports but I live in CT, so I've missed some NY football  games - because they broadcast New England instead (CBS) I do get Yes network for Yankees and ESPN. I get the CT based CBS live - but no NBC & ABC live TV! I think that's ridiculous, since I can get those channels for free if I had an antennae! It's getting there ... my guess is another yr or two and we'll have 3 or 4 solid options that include all major networks live and all sports. One last thing, you'll need ~30Mps for stutter-free quality picture.
  • Reply 10 of 32
    People, I highly recommend getting the early bird $35 deal for the 100+ channels and get grandfather'ed in.

    If you can live with the 2 streams for a little while then go for it.  
    This limit will not last long because it simply cannot if this project is to succeed.
    They are doing it now to try out the system and avoid too much password sharing in multiple households.
    New technology will soon come out especially with AppleTV where they can better control the password sharing with single signon.
    AT&T has an App but the AT&T App is not needed on AppleTV for the channels that have their own AppleTV App that can authenticate or use single sign-on.

    This is just the beginning folks, this service will become a lot more flexible and a lot better over time.  
    Especially as more competition surfaces because AT&T wants to get all cord cutters on board at $35 and lock them in.
    AT&T is betting the farm on this.  So, I say get in on the $35 early bird deal if you can.

    The question I have now is:  How does Apple make money on these services?

    The deals are as follows:  (Not sure of the exact channel line ups yet.)

    DirecTV Now Service  (Bundles)
    1--Early Bird deal of $35 for 100+ Channels
    2--$35 for 60+ Channels
    3--$50 for 80+ Channels
    4--$60 for 100+ Channels
    5--$70 for 120+ Channels

    Full Screen Service
    1--Short internet content for $6 per month

    Free View Service
    1--Free Ad supported content  $0 per month.



  • Reply 11 of 32
  • Reply 12 of 32
    For those who are confused, DirecTV Now streams LIVE TV and is NOT an on demand service. Thus it is similar to regular cable, satellite and over-the-air service, not on demand services like Netflix, Hulu+, et al. As for DVR, go out and buy one having in/out HDMI as well as support for 75-ohm cable input for over-the-air, cable and satellite services. 

    The parts I like best about the AT&T service is the single-sign-on capabilities, the fact I can use my iOS devices (though my iPad is wifi only) AND I can watch on my laptop (for when my wife watches her cooking show on TV,  I can catch up on the episodes I've missed. 

    Plus I can get that new AppleTV-4  I was planning to buy to supplement the AppleTV-3 I currently have!

    Now, how to convince the wife that we REALLY, REALLY need this expense.
    mac_128
  • Reply 13 of 32
    So, who supplies my internet signal to watch this great service on my AppleTV? AT&T? Signal is spotty sometimes!
  • Reply 14 of 32
    So, who supplies my internet signal to watch this great service on my AppleTV? AT&T? Signal is spotty sometimes!
    That would be up to you. Being as it is a streaming service you will not need high-speed upload capability, thus any download capability of (minimums noted) 6mbps (megBIT per second) for a single 480p stream, 10mbps for a 720p stream, 15mbps  for a 1080p stream, and 25 Mbps for a single 4k stream. Double each for 2 streams, triple for 3 streams, etc...!

    My current service is point-to-point radio (expensive!) with a maximum rating of 10mbps down/5 up, thus I would only be capable of a single, good, 720p download stream, so long as the signal isn't interrupted. IF I ran two streams simultaneously (such as when my wife and I use our laptops to watch previous episodes) the video quality would be degraded or I would experience buffering problems. BTW: I live in an area without cable nor DSL and I have a neighbor's treelike and a mountain blocking my view to satellite, thus I cannot get a different Internet service until the new optical fiber comes out our way--next year, perhaps. 

    I hope this answers your question to your satisfaction.
  • Reply 15 of 32
    Do you not realize that you can download all of the channels apps and verify all of them with your DirecTV login info with the new One Login feature? And then you'll have your DVR for each channel.  
    This is an extremely valid point, that shouldn't be overlooked.

    As a DirectTVNOW subscriber, I'll be able to login on iOS devices and Apple TV with Single Sign On (SSO) using DirectTV credentials, and all of the individual cable Apps that provide no shortage of On Demand content will be included with my monthly fee.
    mac_128gocolts1818
  • Reply 16 of 32
    Yeah...  That Go Big column sure looks good at $35 doesn't it?
    Even if you have a cable contract that you can't get out of, you can still get Go Big to use away from home and lock-in until the cable contract runs out.

  • Reply 17 of 32
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,968member
    Don't have complete details about their channels line-up in table comparison form yet at "https://www.directvnow.com/" But, I tell you from the channel line-up picture on Verge site, it is pretty good selection. I have feeling if AT&T pulls of with decent UI and minimum buffering issues than the price and channels line-up seems no brainier. Direct TV Now will give lots of competition to SLING and others. Over-time, AT&T needs to offer add-on packages for International channels. HBO and Cinemax for $5 is great deal. To me, I will try 1-week or may go straight upfront 3-months to get free Apple-TV.
    2-stream is no problem for many. But, if large customer base demands 3 or more simultaneous streams, than AT&T will offer. DVR function coming next year. So, overall it is worth try out if you do TV streaming

  • Reply 18 of 32
    sog35 said:
    Do you need DVR?

    Don't get DirectTV. Sure they say it will be available next year. Next December? And how much will it cost. Sorry I won't believe it till I see it. AT&T has 100 years of broken promises and tacking on fees and extra charges. You seriously think they will give a DVR for free? LOL.

    Do you need more than 2 Streams?

    Don't get DirectTV. 2 streams is absolutely pathetic for a $35 service.

    $35 Grandfathered price is a scam.

    This is not a locked in price. The press release and presentation clearly stated that if content costs go up they can charge more than the $35. As long as they raise prices on the other plans. LOL. Of course AT&T is going to raise prices, they always do. They will raise the prices and then offer discounted prices for new subscribers. That $35 plan can easily balloon to $50-$60 in 12 months. 

    Free AppleTV is nice.

    Yes it is. But don't forget the time investment you will be making to setting up the service. Hopefully canceling won't be such a pain.

    Is it worth it?

    For some it maybe. If you don't need a DVR or more than 2 streams. Channel lineups vs Vue are very similar. For myself the $35 Vue package has more channels I like then the 100 channel $35 DTV package. Getting a free AppleTV is nice. For myself I just can't give up DVR. No way, no how.

    I'm so sick of commericals. I can't stand them. I had SlingTV for 1 week and it was absolute hell being forced to watch commercials and watching TV on someone elses schedule.

    If you have a cell plan with AT&T this may be nice also. But really, why are you still on AT&T in the first place?

    1. Why do you consider DVR to be a dealbreaker? The entire purpose of these services is the LIVE TV channels. As far as I'm concerned, DVR = On Demand = Plenty of other services for that. Like Hulu, which I already pay for. Why would I need to DVR episodes of Bob's Burgers on DirectTV when I can just watch them On Demand from Hulu?

    2. I do not need more than 2 concurrent streams in my house. We have 2 TV's. I don't intend to share this with 5 people in other households. And my kids have plenty of other things on their mobile devices to watch between Netflix, Hulu, my Plex library, etc. etc. etc. 2 streams is not going to be an issue for me.

    3. Crap on the price and deal all you want, but it is what it is: $35/mon for 100 channels. Until its not. Playstation Vue is $39/mon for far fewer channels. There is no guarantee that either service remain at that price for any length of time, so the argument that "AT&T will raise prices" is non-argument. So will Sony.

    4. Free AppleTV is more than "nice". I actually need a second Apple TV 4th gen, so this is an absolute steal that I will not be passing up.

    5. Is it worth it will be answered after I've used and experienced it. There is literally no way to answer that until you actually try it and judge the experience and value for yourself.

    Oh and since you neglect to mention it...$5/mon addon for HBO, vs. $15/mon addon with Vue. That alone is a big deal.
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 19 of 32
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member
    sog35 said:
    No DVR.
    Only 2 streams at a time.

    Who does AT&T think we are?

    Do they think we are a 1960's family that all gather in the living room to watch television all together? Why else only allow 2 streams at a time?

    No DVR? What is this? 1980? So I have to watch TV on someone elses schedule? So I'm forced to watch hours of commercials every week?

    No go. Playstation Vue is far superior.

    For the same price of $35 you get almost as many good channels, plus DVR and more local channels (at least in my area)

    But this is ZERO surprise. AT&T has been screwing customers for over 100 years. 

    The free $110 AppleTV is nice, but I'm not giving up 3 months of being able to DVR for that.
    Still, I'll sign up for 3 months to get a free ATV4.
    Metriacanthosaurus
  • Reply 20 of 32
    sog35 said:
    fallenjt said:
    sog35 said:
    No DVR.
    Only 2 streams at a time.

    Who does AT&T think we are?

    Do they think we are a 1960's family that all gather in the living room to watch television all together? Why else only allow 2 streams at a time?

    No DVR? What is this? 1980? So I have to watch TV on someone elses schedule? So I'm forced to watch hours of commercials every week?

    No go. Playstation Vue is far superior.

    For the same price of $35 you get almost as many good channels, plus DVR and more local channels (at least in my area)

    But this is ZERO surprise. AT&T has been screwing customers for over 100 years. 

    The free $110 AppleTV is nice, but I'm not giving up 3 months of being able to DVR for that.
    Still, I'll sign up for 3 months to get a free ATV4.
    That is a good deal. But I have a feeling even that will have some type of catch
    There is almost no chance of this - but they haven't exactly confirmed that you get to keep the AppleTV if you cancel. LOL. No way would they pull that. It would reek of "cable box rental" and the whole thing would crumble.

    There is no unspoken catch. They are legitimately hoping to get users to pay for 3 months of 100 channels at $35 and are willing to give you an Apple TV to experience it on. During that 3 months its going to hurt Sling and Vue because I'm not going to be paying for those. Not until I decide to cancel DirectTV, or not all if I keep it.
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