DirecTV Now dropping Safari support for browser streaming in favor of Chrome exclusivity

in Mac Software edited June 2017
AT&T's DirecTV Now has started to warn users of its Internet TV service that it will stop supporting Safari on Mac for streaming video at the end of June, with subscribers advised to switch to Google Chrome if they want to continue streaming through a browser on the Mac desktop.

AppleInsider reader Dan Shearin noticed a message to users upon logging into the service in Safari, a notification confirmed by AppleInsider's own test. The message briefly advises of the change in browser support, advising DirecTV Now will only work "exclusively" with Chrome to provide the "best streaming experience."

"We will no longer be supporting Safari or Internet Explorer browsers after June," the notice reads, before continuing "of course the DirecTV Now app will still be your go-to when streaming on your mobile devices." The message concludes with two links, with one keeping the user viewing the site in Safari, while the other takes the user to a page to download Chrome.

So far, this notification appears to be the only sign of the change in support for DirecTV Now, with no mention in its support pages.

The service's Help Center pages state it is compatible with Internet Explorer 11 or later for Windows, Chrome from version 50, and Version 8 of Safari or later. A further note recommends Chrome for online streaming, before suggesting Internet Explorer and Safari could be used to "manage your DirecTV Now account."

It is likely that, after support for Safari is dropped, the ability to access accounts will still be available to Safari users beyond June.

AppleInsider contacted AT&T regarding the matter. AT&T declined to comment on the reasoning behind the shift, but did advise "the screenshot you were sent is accurate."

AT&T launched DirecTV Now in November 2016, and pulled in more than 200,000 paying subscribers within one month of its launch, possibly due to a promotion involving a free fourth-generation Apple TV. At launch, the service suffered from a number of performance issues, with users locked out from streaming content and feeds interrupted during peak viewing times.


  • Reply 1 of 54
    pbruttopbrutto Posts: 29member
    Ewwwww chrome...
  • Reply 2 of 54
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 783member
    The DirecTV NOW service was a joke from the very beginning. The ONLY thing good I have to say about them is that they gave me a truly free Apple TV 4 after refunding my 3-month trial.

    I use Chrome on my work PC. It like to lock up once or twice a day and it keeps dropping support for things forcing me to use Internet Explorer.

    I was very pleased with Safari at work until Apple discontinued the PC version.
  • Reply 3 of 54
    There could be a difference between "it flat out won't work in Safari" and "use Safari at your own risk and if you call support, we won't answer any Safari questions."  Hopefully they are just doing the latter and are not planning on using any Chrome-specific tech (if there is such a thing).  This sounds silly, but I've worked at places where "we no longer support IE" just meant a) we don't test on EI and b) if you report a IE-specific bug, we'll (probably) ignore it.  Frankly if they are writing good, modern code it should work just fine on Safari.
  • Reply 4 of 54
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,362member
    Wow, who made this monumentally stupid decision? Dropping Safari support is insane and moronic. IE I can understand, but Safari?
    schlackStrangeDaysMuntzspliff monkeymagman1979lolliverpscooter63smiffy31redgeminipajbdragon
  • Reply 5 of 54
    sgordonsgordon Posts: 49member
    totally ridiculous, don't they realize that browsers are browsers... you don't like what browser i use thats fine i just won't use your service
  • Reply 6 of 54
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,716member
    Do they have an TV app? Personally the majority of my viewing is done either in IOS or on TV. I guess their stats are telling them its just not worth keeping anything but Chrome alive.
  • Reply 7 of 54
    seanrseanr Posts: 15member
    Wow, I can't wait to have to use Chrome so my Mac's fans will spin up to full blast because CPU usage maxes out.
  • Reply 8 of 54
    Strange that there's no mention of Firefox. If there's one thing that keeps Chrome from becoming my primary browser, it's that it lacks options. I can and do customize Firefox like crazy, although I try to keep extensions to a minimum to prevent conflicts and bogging down the browser. Google wants to treat me like an idiot and offers very few preferences. I also hate how Chrome does some things, like never focusing on a new tab when I open a link in it with command-click.
  • Reply 9 of 54
    ryanarrryanarr Posts: 3unconfirmed, member
    No chance I'll use this service anyway, so this doesn't affect me directly, but this is a really poor precedent. I remember plenty of sites either refusing to work or simply failing if I used any browser other that IE 5 on my iBook. That kind of hegemony was terrible back then, and it's no better now.
  • Reply 10 of 54
    schlackschlack Posts: 711member
    Dumb. Alienate every Apple user who prefers Safari. Can it be so hard to support Safari?
  • Reply 11 of 54
    I mean, if they developed a native Mac / PC App that was just a WebKit wrapper and there was no browser support at all...people wouldn't complain much.

    This is essentially the same thing, targeting one specific browser.

    Chrome is being used this way by more and more companies.
  • Reply 12 of 54
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,566administrator
    paxman said:
    Do they have an TV app? Personally the majority of my viewing is done either in IOS or on TV. I guess their stats are telling them its just not worth keeping anything but Chrome alive.
    They do.
  • Reply 13 of 54
    tbstephtbsteph Posts: 93member
    It's ATT's choice. Yet, I fail to see how this action will improve their customers' user experience in anyway. What would be their motivation to make such a change :wink: ?
  • Reply 14 of 54
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,926member
    Lawsuit in 3, 2, 1...
  • Reply 15 of 54
    wozwozwozwoz Posts: 256member
  • Reply 16 of 54
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    Huh. Guess I won’t ever use their service, since they don’t seem to care about me or my privacy.
  • Reply 17 of 54
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,294member
    For a relatively new product, the decision to alienate a ton of people who only use Safari is pretty bizarre. 
  • Reply 18 of 54
    My trial lasted less than one day.
  • Reply 19 of 54
    AppleishAppleish Posts: 514member
    The orange troll gifts with AT&T a giant tax cut and the end of net neutrality.  'What could go wrong?,' you say.
  • Reply 20 of 54
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,508member
    bdkennedy said:
    My trial lasted less than one day.
    So did they find you "Not Guilty"? Sure hope so.

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