DirecTV Now for iOS & Apple TV picks up easier UI, beta cloud DVR & more

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 8
AT&T's DirecTV Now on Tuesday rolled out an updated app for iPhones, iPads, and the Apple TV, attempting to fill in gaps and address complaints about the live TV service.

DirecTV Now on iPhone


The most obvious change to the app is a new user interface, intended to make it easier to jump to favorite channels and shows. Viewers can also continue to watch one show while browsing for something else.

The service has also expanded access to a beta Cloud DVR feature, allowing people to record up to 20 hours of programming. Video can be saved for up to 30 days, and users can specify whether they want to record an entire series or just the latest episodes. DirecTV added that in the next few months it will be adding more features and plans, including the ability to save up to 100 hours for 90 days for an extra $10 per month.

DVR recording is blocked for some content, such as NBC's "Saturday Night Live."

Miscellaneous changes include access to local channels when traveling, streaming to a third device for an extra $5, and a expanded library of on-demand content, with over 25,000 titles. On some channels people can watch shows the day after broadcast.

DirectTV Now plans start at $35 per month. At the moment the service is still offering a special promotion in which people can get a free Apple TV 4K if they prepay for three months at a cost of $105.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    supadav03supadav03 Posts: 384member
    Why is certain content blocked from DVR? I hate that we are still waiting for feature parity between cable and live streaming services. I’ll make the jump when they add closer to one-to-one 
  • Reply 2 of 21
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,368member
    Curious that SNL can be requested to be recorded (see the r.h. pic), but it won't be.
    edited May 15
  • Reply 3 of 21
    tylersdadtylersdad Posts: 127member
    So how do you know which shows can/can't be recorded with the DVR? Is there a list somewhere? Or some published criteria?
  • Reply 4 of 21
    deminsddeminsd Posts: 67member
    Signed up yesterday to get my free ATV 4K and discovered dtvnow doesn't offer CBS.  They have ABC, NBC and FOX, but no CBS.  Sort of a deal breaker...

    And the interface was horrible.  Just trying to figure out how to get to local channels was a chore.  Hopefully this will be better.
    edited May 15 supadav03
  • Reply 5 of 21
    Roger_FingasRoger_Fingas Posts: 105member, editor
    tylersdad said:
    So how do you know which shows can/can't be recorded with the DVR? Is there a list somewhere? Or some published criteria?
    We attempted to find some shows to record when working on the story. You'll get a notification saying show X or Y isn't available for DVR.
    tylersdad
  • Reply 6 of 21
    nemawormnemaworm Posts: 11member
    deminsd said:
    Signed up yesterday to get my free ATV 4K and discovered dtvnow doesn't offer CBS.  They have ABC, NBC and FOX, but no CBS.  Sort of a deal breaker...

    And the interface was horrible.  Just trying to figure out how to get to local channels was a chore.  Hopefully this will be better.
    I have CBS and CBS sports on my dtvnow app in LA area.  Might be location specific if it's not showing up on your app.  On the discover tab click on networks and see if CBS is showing up.  Otherwise it's in alphabetical order in the guide.
    edited May 15
  • Reply 7 of 21
    deminsddeminsd Posts: 67member
    nemaworm said:
    deminsd said:
    Signed up yesterday to get my free ATV 4K and discovered dtvnow doesn't offer CBS.  They have ABC, NBC and FOX, but no CBS.  Sort of a deal breaker...

    And the interface was horrible.  Just trying to figure out how to get to local channels was a chore.  Hopefully this will be better.
    I have cbs and cbs sports on my app in LA area
    That is odd.  I'm in San Diego, and no CBS.  I also notice that you have KCAL 9 and CBS.  How do you have both?  Isn't your KCAL 9 also CBS?  
    In my guide (just updated app), I have NBC and ABC (but not KGTV or KNSD local for ABC and NBC, although I assume they are the same) and no CBS (or KFMB local).

    I found the local channel lookup on their site, and from San Diego, there is only ABC, FOX and NBC available.

    I feel ripped off.  :(
    edited May 15
  • Reply 8 of 21
    nemawormnemaworm Posts: 11member
    deminsd said:
    nemaworm said:
    deminsd said:
    Signed up yesterday to get my free ATV 4K and discovered dtvnow doesn't offer CBS.  They have ABC, NBC and FOX, but no CBS.  Sort of a deal breaker...

    And the interface was horrible.  Just trying to figure out how to get to local channels was a chore.  Hopefully this will be better.
    I have cbs and cbs sports on my app in LA area
    That is odd.  I'm in San Diego, and no CBS.  I also notice that you have KCAL 9 and CBS.  How do you have both?  Isn't your KCAL 9 also CBS?  
    In my guide (just updated app), I have NBC and ABC (but not KGTV or KNSD local for ABC and NBC, although I assume they are the same) and no CBS (or KFMB local).

    I found the local channel lookup on their site, and from San Diego, there is only ABC, FOX and NBC available.

    I feel ripped off.  :(
    Sound's location specific.  I wonder if you can do a Proxy to change your location to LA if it would appear.  On their package page it shows CBS on all it's packages ( I have the GO Big plan special when it first came out in 2016 which includes cbssports.  Click on discover and networks and see if CBS is in the network lineup.  I wonder if CBS is a national channel for their tv shows and kCAL 9 is the local channel for LA news, etc.   Would be interesting if as you travel on your cell phone if the channels appear or disappear depending on where your at or if it's tied to your billing address.  From their website, it kind of sounds like it's tied to your IP address which can be changed by a proxy.  I'll have to remember to look next time I travel.

    https://www.directvdeals.com/directv-now/channels/
    edited May 15
  • Reply 9 of 21
    deminsddeminsd Posts: 67member
    nemaworm said:
    deminsd said:
    nemaworm said:
    deminsd said:
    Signed up yesterday to get my free ATV 4K and discovered dtvnow doesn't offer CBS.  They have ABC, NBC and FOX, but no CBS.  Sort of a deal breaker...

    And the interface was horrible.  Just trying to figure out how to get to local channels was a chore.  Hopefully this will be better.
    I have cbs and cbs sports on my app in LA area
    That is odd.  I'm in San Diego, and no CBS.  I also notice that you have KCAL 9 and CBS.  How do you have both?  Isn't your KCAL 9 also CBS?  
    In my guide (just updated app), I have NBC and ABC (but not KGTV or KNSD local for ABC and NBC, although I assume they are the same) and no CBS (or KFMB local).

    I found the local channel lookup on their site, and from San Diego, there is only ABC, FOX and NBC available.

    I feel ripped off.  :(
    Sound's location specific.  I wonder if you can do a Proxy to change your location to LA if it would appear.  On their package page it shows CBS on all it's packages ( I have the GO Big plan special when it first came out in 2016 which includes cbssports.  Click on discover and networks and see if CBS is in the network lineup.  I wonder if CBS is a national channel for their tv shows and kCAL 9 is the local channel for LA news, etc.   Would be interesting if as you travel on your cell phone if the channels appear or disappear depending on where your at or if it's tied to your billing address.  From their website, it kind of sounds like it's tied to your IP address which can be changed by a proxy.  I'll have to remember to look next time I travel.

    https://www.directvdeals.com/directv-now/channels/
    I thought I read on their site when I signed up that no matter where you are, you get the channels available that match your billing zip code.  

    I do have VPN software on my iPhone so I could try a different location and see.  I do have CBS Sports Network, but not the actual CBS network.

    EDIT:  Just tried it.  The app uses location services (on my iPhone), not IP.  If I turn off location services, it won't let me stream (but the VPN does work because when I choose an east coast VPN server, the guide in the app shows 3 hours ahead).  AND, it had CBS!  Darn it!
    edited May 15
  • Reply 10 of 21
    nemawormnemaworm Posts: 11member
    I do have VPN software on my iPhone so I could try a different location and see.  I do have CBS Sports Network, but not the actual CBS network.
    The Streaming tv in the US really needs standards in place.  There’s too many deals that take place between local networks and national networks.  I hate it when the blocked message comes up that such and such network show can’t be streamed on your mobile device do to streaming rights.  It’s crazy when a deal can be cut with Verizon blocking everyone other than Verizon from mobile nfl football game streaming how that monopoly got approved without all the other cable companies up in arms is a mystery.  Guess they got in before streaming and LTE/phone speeds became a thing. There’s also various Nbc shows that get blocked on mobile.  Makes no sense if you’re paying for a internet based tv service why these restrictions are in place compared to wired cable tv.  There’s still a lot of room for improvement no matter what service everyone is on.  The tech is there but the standards are lacking. 
    edited May 15
  • Reply 11 of 21
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,995member
    deminsd said:
    nemaworm said:
    deminsd said:
    Signed up yesterday to get my free ATV 4K and discovered dtvnow doesn't offer CBS.  They have ABC, NBC and FOX, but no CBS.  Sort of a deal breaker...

    And the interface was horrible.  Just trying to figure out how to get to local channels was a chore.  Hopefully this will be better.
    I have cbs and cbs sports on my app in LA area
    That is odd.  I'm in San Diego, and no CBS.  I also notice that you have KCAL 9 and CBS.  How do you have both?  Isn't your KCAL 9 also CBS?  
    In my guide (just updated app), I have NBC and ABC (but not KGTV or KNSD local for ABC and NBC, although I assume they are the same) and no CBS (or KFMB local).

    I found the local channel lookup on their site, and from San Diego, there is only ABC, FOX and NBC available.

    I feel ripped off.  :(
    DirecTV doesn't have an agreement with the CBS station in San Diego for streaming. I remember losing CBS in San Diego on regular DirecTV a few years ago over a contract dispute. The problem with the CBS station in San Diego is it's owned by a small media company here. Since it's a small TV market, I doubt it's high on the priority list for DirecTV to get a deal done. 
  • Reply 12 of 21
    I’ve heard the new DirecTV boxes are terrible.

    Welcome to AT&T.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    nemaworm said:
    I do have VPN software on my iPhone so I could try a different location and see.  I do have CBS Sports Network, but not the actual CBS network.
    The Streaming tv in the US really needs standards in place.  There’s too many deals that take place between local networks and national networks.  I hate it when the blocked message comes up that such and such network show can’t be streamed on your mobile device do to streaming rights.  It’s crazy when a deal can be cut with Verizon blocking everyone other than Verizon from mobile nfl football game streaming how that monopoly got approved without all the other cable companies up in arms is a mystery.  There’s also various Nbc shows that get blocked on mobile.  Makes no sense if you’re paying for a internet based tv service why these restrictions are in place compared to wired cable tv.  There’s still a lot of room for improvement no matter what service everyone is on.  The tech is there but the standards are lacking. 
    Agreed. I'm trying out DTVN, and annoyed already that I can't use my DTVN login to stream shows in the TBS app, even though TBS is part of the channel lineup. YouTube TV and PS Vue are nonstarters in our house because they don't include A&E, Comedy Central, Lifetime, MTV, VH1... Sling is lacking CBS and ABC... I happen to be lucky to live in a market where DTVN does carry the broadcast channels though.

    While the 20 hour / 28 day DVR limit seems awfully limited, I'm hoping that it will be "good enough" when combined with the networks' apps for watching older episodes. Also curious to see how well Apple's "TV" app will tie all this together. Like, if I have a series set to record via the DTVN DVR, will that automatically get bumped to the top of the list in the TV app when a new episode is ready to view? If watching TV requires checking in 2 or 3 different places to see "what's on", the wife acceptance factor is going to bottom out really quickly. And Netflix is already taking up one of those roster spots since it doesn't integrate with "TV".
  • Reply 14 of 21
    tylersdadtylersdad Posts: 127member
    I’ve heard the new DirecTV boxes are terrible.

    Welcome to AT&T.
    I have one of the most recent DTV boxes, a Genie. It works very well. The only dislike is the new UI they released a few weeks ago. Other than that, it does exactly what you'd expect it to. 
  • Reply 15 of 21
    eacummeacumm Posts: 91member
    deminsd said:
    Signed up yesterday to get my free ATV 4K and discovered dtvnow doesn't offer CBS.  They have ABC, NBC and FOX, but no CBS.  Sort of a deal breaker...

    And the interface was horrible.  Just trying to figure out how to get to local channels was a chore.  Hopefully this will be better.
    It depends where you live, I live in Orlando, FL. I don’t get CBS Live but I do get CBS on demand , my kids life in Miami, FL. And they do get CBS live and on demand.
  • Reply 16 of 21
    I've had DirecTV Now since around when it came out 1-1/2 years ago. Was VERY VERY VERY buggy at launch for sure. I kept it concurrent with Dish (with the Hopper, etc.). It improved over time but I still needed a DVR function. Have been on DirecTV Now BETA for around 7 months or so which has the DVR feature which was also VERY VERY VERY buggy in the early betas (it was truly beta). It improved over time and they have been making rapid new BETA releases about every week. It was good enough a few months ago that I cancelled Dish and have been 100% DirecTV Now BETA for a few months and really hadn't used Dish much at all for at least 8 months anyway. I live in 2 places so this is prefect that I don't have to pay for 2 services. DirecTV Now is good enough for your only TV service especially with the individual apps that you can sign into with your DirecTV Now subscription.

    As of now, it does NOT have rewind of live TV shows - you can't jump back 10 seconds of a live TV show. A number of shows allow you to restart from the beginning but then you can't fast forward. A 10-15 second jump back would be great to have, but it doesn't have that feature. I have learned to adapt. Also, if you have been watching a show from the beginning and say 15 minutes into it you want to record it, it will only record from when you select record onward (unlike say Dish Hopper). Also, if you select rewind to watch the show from the beginning (if that show has that option) there is no option to also then record the show from the beginning --- odd. The only saving grace is the show might be available on one of the apps instead.

    Sure I have a wish list for improvements and features, but for me it has been running very smoothly and the picture quality on my Apple TV 4K on a 4K tv is better with DirecTV Now than on Dish satellite service. I did a complete comparison before cancelling Dish and Dish picture quality was worse that DirecTV Now on an Apple TV 4K on a 4K tv. I give it a "B" which takes into account the price, quality and performance. Add a few more features and it would be pushing an "A". I'll note, I get all the local channels in my area.
  • Reply 17 of 21
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,821member
    deminsd said:
    nemaworm said:
    deminsd said:
    Signed up yesterday to get my free ATV 4K and discovered dtvnow doesn't offer CBS.  They have ABC, NBC and FOX, but no CBS.  Sort of a deal breaker...

    And the interface was horrible.  Just trying to figure out how to get to local channels was a chore.  Hopefully this will be better.
    I have cbs and cbs sports on my app in LA area
    That is odd.  I'm in San Diego, and no CBS.  I also notice that you have KCAL 9 and CBS.  How do you have both?  Isn't your KCAL 9 also CBS?  
    In my guide (just updated app), I have NBC and ABC (but not KGTV or KNSD local for ABC and NBC, although I assume they are the same) and no CBS (or KFMB local).

    I found the local channel lookup on their site, and from San Diego, there is only ABC, FOX and NBC available.

    I feel ripped off.  :(


    I'm going to assume CBS wants you to subscribe to their own streaming service for their Content. Pay the $5.99 to do that. Personally, I think this DirectTVNow 3 month deal is a great way to get a new AppleTV for only $105. Plus you get 3 months of service for basically FREE. In fact this is how I got my Last one, it's not 4K though. I don't have any 4K TV's. It's temping to just go ahead and get another one. Normal price is $179. That's a $74 savings. I'm using mine all the time, mainly for PLEX, and a little Youtube and Netflix. I get the rest of my TV by a Antenna.

    Getting a lot of my content, OTA (Over the Air) I'm not wasting my 1TB cap streaming a lot of this. I DVR to my TIVO. All costs me ZERO per month. All these DirectTVNow, and SlingTV and others, I feel I already have way to much crap to watch on TV to pay even more money.

    I just renewed my Comcast Cable bill. I didn't want a bundle and be paying for crap I'm never going to use. Paying the $8 for a transmission fee for TV I'm not even watching from them anyway. Internet Only though was a few dollars more. Better off to get the dumb bundle once again. This time I got them to drop Internet Only down $15 making it a little cheaper than the bundle. I think I now pay $79 a month for 250Mbps Down, 10Mbps Up, Internet only. Every year when my Comcast bill jumps up to the normal price, I call and get it dropped down again for another year. I'm saving $40 a month from what it jumped up to. That's a $480 savings by taking the time to make a phone call. If you're dumb enough to pay them another $10 a month to rent a cable modem, STOP IT!!! Save $120 a year owning your own. Get a cable modem. About $80, and any router you want. Don't get a all-in-One. May take you a couple years to pay off getting both, but then you're saving every year after.

    You can have your Cable service for as long as you're alive, unless something better comes out. 10 years of Cable Modem rental is $1200. That really isn't a long period of time. If there's a series you really like on HBO or Showtime. For me it's Game of Thrones, wait for the season to end or ending in a week, Sign up and binge watch the whole season. Than anything else you want for the month and then cancel and wait until next year and sign up for another month. Save a lot of money doing this. Why pay $180 for the year when you can just pay $15 for the 1 month. All kinds of legal things you can do to save money.

    You want to see the new Star Trek on CBS, wait until the season ends, which it has for the first season, pay the $5.99 and watch it all in a month and cancel. There's really not much else worth paying $6 a month for. If you can use a Antenna, that's the way to Go. One of the first things I did when I got my house 5 years ago was mount a large directional antenna up on top of the roof. Ran all new wires. It's grounded!!! Antenna is Grounded, the COAX wire is grounded. I get ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW, PBS all in HD and 5.1 Surround sound. This is what the Optical port on your HDTV is for. To send 5.1 from the TV's HD tuner down to your Surround Sound receiver. I also get METV, and AntennaTV and others. When I'm on my roof and there's not a single antenna anywhere in site looking all around, I laugh and think SUCKERS!!!!

    There's a lot of DVR options if you're using a Antenna. I use a Tivo Roamio in my Family Room and Tivo Mini's in the Bedrooms. So I can watch in one room and continue in another. But there's also Tablo, SimpleTV, and even Chanelmaster DVR+. That's 4 DVR options to record OTA.
    edited May 15 mbenz1962
  • Reply 18 of 21
    citpekscitpeks Posts: 18member
    DirecTV doesn't have an agreement with the CBS station in San Diego for streaming. I remember losing CBS in San Diego on regular DirecTV a few years ago over a contract dispute. The problem with the CBS station in San Diego is it's owned by a small media company here. Since it's a small TV market, I doubt it's high on the priority list for DirecTV to get a deal done. 
    Exactly.  Media licensing in general, and not just Blu-ray, is what Jobs called a "bag of hurt."

    In markets where a network doesn't own the local station, that station is the franchisee, and holds the contractual rights to broadcast that network's programming to that area.  Any service that wishes to carry that network's programming, in addition to the local content produced by the station itself (like news), has to cut a deal with the station, or the company that owns the station.

    In markets where the networks own and operate the local station, it's easy; there is no middleman or other party involved.  AT&T can cut a deal directly with CBS and be done with it.

    These constraints apply not just to DTVN, but all services that want to provide locals, and why they're often the last pieces to fall into place.

    As far as the new app, I find it not as simple to navigate, and wish there was an option for a dark mode for the guide.

  • Reply 19 of 21
    FolioFolio Posts: 368member
    citpeks said:
    DirecTV doesn't have an agreement with the CBS station in San Diego for streaming. I remember losing CBS in San Diego on regular DirecTV a few years ago over a contract dispute. The problem with the CBS station in San Diego is it's owned by a small media company here. Since it's a small TV market, I doubt it's high on the priority list for DirecTV to get a deal done. 
    .......

    As far as the new app, I find it not as simple to navigate, and wish there was an option for a dark mode for the guide.

    After five minutes of trial and error, I prefer the new UI at least as it appears on the iPhone X. Much more capability and info.  I never thought I’d be one to view TV on phone, but it’s not bad in many cases. But yeah, I hope they add option for old black mode. Still wish a faster toggle btwn two stations too, unless I’m missing something. 
  • Reply 20 of 21
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,900member
    DTV Now streaming quality is still a shit vs Netflix, Hulu or even Sling TV.
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