Are you considering signing up for ATT Now as your Streaming TV Provider? If so, this article is for you. We’ll tell you the pro’s and con’s of using AT&T Now from a point of view of an actual consumer.
Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series devoted to helping people learn how to stream tv online. If you want to see a review of all the major streaming tv providers and know which services I recommend (hint: it’s NOT ATT Now), then be sure to watch this vid…
What is AT&T Now?
AT&T Now is a Streaming TV App that will allow you to enjoy a tv viewing experience similar to having cable tv.
Is AT&T Now the same as DirecTV Now?
I get it, not everyone has heard of “AT&T Now” and a lot of people are confused. This streaming service used to be called “DirecTV Now”. In 2019, AT&T changed the name of “DirecTV Now” to “AT&T Now”.
AT&T Now FAQ’s
What is AT&T Now’s Website?
How do I watch AT&T Now?
You can watch AT&T Now on pretty much every streaming device (Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, etc), as well as on tablets/phones and computers.
Bonus – You can watch it anywhere, not just in your house.
Does AT&T Now Have Different Channel Packages?
Yes, and this is the #1 best thing about AT&T Now.
If you want a service that offers the most customization options, AT&T Now and Sling TV are your best choices.
The problem is that in 2019 AT&T made some major changes to the DirecTV Now channel packages when they rebranded the service as AT&T Now. Prior to 2019, DirecTV Now used to have 4 plans to choose from that ranged from $35-70/month. It used to look like this…
Sadly that is not the case any longer.
In 2019 AT&T changed the name and jacked up the prices AND drastically reduced the channels available in the lower priced tiers.
Now there are two options they promote:
By the time you read this article, the prices will probably have been increased again. At the time of this writing, the lowest priced option was $50 and it only included 40 channels – but they give you HBO. Just to be clear, for that same $50 you used to get 80+ channels with DirecTV Now.
As you can see, AT&T Now costs more money for LESS content.
To be fair, there are still other options, if you don’t mind paying more, you can choose from their other options:
See that Choice Plan for $110? That’s the one that most compares to the old “Just Right” Plan that used to be $50. Ouch – talk about price gouging!
Again, AT&T has repeatedly increased the price so what you see on this page is probably already out of date again. To see a full list of all the current channels for each plan and their current prices visit this page.
Fair Balance: if price is not an issue and you want to be able to customize your package, I will say again that AT&T Now is still one of the best options for streaming tv online.
Does AT&T Now Limit the Number of Screens I Can Watch on?
Yes, you can only watch AT&T Now on 2 screens (AKA streams) at the same time.
If you are willing to pay an additional $5/month and then you can watch it on 3.
On the surface this screen limit seems kind of sucky, and it isn’t good compared to other services like YouTube TV or PlayStation Vue, but remember this only applies to your ATT Now viewing so if you have Amazon Prime TV and/or Netflix and/or Amazon Channels and/or you wanna watch YouTube, none of those count as ‘streams’ against your ATT Now screen limit so in reality it may not be that bad unless you have a big family.
Does ATT Now have a DVR?
Finally the answer is YES. It’s been a loooong wait for DirecTV Now to get a DVR but at last they have one and AT&T Now has continued to offer a DVR.
As for the DVR itself, the free version gives you 20 hours of recordings and you can save them for 30 days. You can pay an extra $10/month and get up to 100 hours with 90 days storage.
To be honest with you the ATT Now DVR sucks – compared to other online streaming tv providers the ATT Now DVR is far behind. YouTube TV, Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue all have better DVR options.
I used to be willing to live with the ATT Now DVR but after the price increases, etc I can no longer overlook the fact that it sucks.
DVR Warning – you may or may not be able to skip through commercials – according to the Direct TV Rep I talked to it depends on the network and the show.
Does ATT Now have On-Demand TV Shows and Movies?
Yes, besides their ’72-hour’ rewind feature on most networks, ATT Now’s on-demand service offers mostly tv shows from the current seasons and some movie content.
Warning – depending on the network and show, you may or may not be able to skip through commercials and you may not even be able to rewind or fast-forward. Lest you think this isn’t important see my “important consideration #4” in my “Essential Guide to Cord Cutting” article for my story about watching Anthony Bourdain with no less than 7 required commercial breaks of 7 commercials each!
Does ATT Now offer Local Channels and Regional Sports Networks?
It depends on where you live. In my area they offer a lot and this is another feature in the cap of ATT Now.
One of the main reasons we previously chose ATT Now as our (former) cord cutting streaming provider was because it offered the best selection of local channels and regional sports networks.
Basically we used to be able to get every local channel we want with DirecTV Now, however AT&T Now no longers offers all the locals in my area and there are other better options for us (namely YouTube TV).
To see the local channels available from ATT Now in YOUR area use this link:
Does DirecTV Now offer Premium Channels like HBO and Showtime?
Yes they do – in fact for the 2 mains packages they promote (Plus and Max plans), HBO is included. If you don’t choose the Plus or Max plan, you can add HBO separately and/or you could add another premium network like Showtime, Cinemax, etc.
What Promotions does ATT Now offer to New Subscribers?
There is usually always a promotion offered from ATT Now for new subscribers. Besides a 7-day free trial, ATT Now usually has some pretty sweet promotions, sometimes giving away an Apple TV, Roku devices, etc.
Visit their site to see their current offers or better yet (TIP) use their chat feature and see what kind of deals a ATT Rep will make you. I was offered multiple months at 50% off and additional credits when I spoke with them. Good luck getting thru to the right dept with ATT’s Help Desk though.
What is the ATT Now User Interface (UI) and TV Guide like?
The user interface and channel guides are really important in my opinion and can make or break the experience for people who are switching from cable tv to streaming services. For example, Hulu with Live TV has a great product, but their UI is so bad (they basically don’t even have a channel guide!) that the service doesn’t work for us because we can’t find a way to easily navigate to find out what’s on.
Thankfully ATT Now recently updated their UI and it’s pretty good. Here are some screenshots:
AT&T Now – My Video Review
As I mentioned above, my family used to use DirecTV Now as our streaming tv provider, however we ditched the service in 2019 for the reasons I explain in this vid…
ATT Now vs Other Streaming TV Providers
If you’re looking for a comparison of ATT Now vs Sling TV vs Hulu Plus Live TV vs YouTube TV and other streaming tv providers then you’ll find all that and more on our main page: Best Streaming TV Providers.
We also have in-depth video discussions of all the major online streaming tv providers in our Cord Cutting Playlist on YouTube.
Here is our latest video on this topic:
ATT Now – What’s the Bottom Line?
As I said, I used to recommend AT&T Now as my #1 streaming tv provider and I was a long-time customer HOWEVER AT&T has basically ruined the service – higher prices, less channels for lower-priced tiers, a DVR that sucks compared to other providers, and only 2 streams make ATT Now a poor choice for most people looking to stream tv online AND save money.
That said, if money is not an issue and you want a service that provides the most customization options AND gives you access to most/all local channels then ATT Now may still be a viable option for you.
It’s just a shame that what could have been an awesome service for most Americans to use to get rid of cable tv has basically been turned into an online version of cable – complete with the high prices and poor service.
Which Streaming TV Providers do I recommend now?
If you don’t need local tv (either because you have an HD Antennae or you don’t care about locals), then I recommend SLING TV or Philo TV. And of course Pluto TV is a MUST have because it’s a FREE streaming tv app.
If you DO want local tv (for news, weather, and local sports teams) then I recommend…
4 thoughts on “ATT TV Now Review – a Streaming TV Service MORE expensive than cable?!?”
Your Q&A has really helped me and Yes DirecTV has improved over time and it has now high quality products such as new improved DVR, New HD channels, Low Price Packages, Picture Quality is great. Thanks For All.
Good info, Billy. Thanks for sharing
Good comprehensive product review, thank you. I dumped DirectTV a few years ago after repeated outages every time a storm came up, ever higher costs, lousy service. I switched my TV, phone and Internet to Charter Spectrum. Overall great service, never any problems. biggest difference is in Internet. AT&T promised 6 MB but I never got more than 2 – very slow. Charter is less than half the cost and they promise 60 MB, which we always get. No comparison in my opinion.
Where’s your spreadsheet that you show to compare channels available on various streaming platforms? Thought it was a Google Sheet available somewhere on your page. We have had DTVN since Day One and won’t likely change but I’d like to see if there is a cheaper option. Thanks for all of your hard work!