DirecTV Now Rebranded as ‘AT&T TV Now’

AT&T today announced that it is rebranding DirecTV Now, its live TV streaming service, as "AT&T TV Now." The company said that existing customers will need to re-accept terms of service following the rebranding, and then their streaming plans will continue as usual.


Other than the name change, AT&T hasn't announced any other overhauls to its live TV platform, so users can expect the same prices and channel availability as before. The company said that current DirecTV Now users will see the update automatically across devices.

Secondly, AT&T announced yet another new streaming platform, called AT&T TV, which will be piloted in select markets this summer. The company described this as a "connected TV experience with no satellite needed," which sounds essentially like another live TV streaming service, but gave no details about how it would be different from AT&T TV Now.

Both AT&T TV and AT&T TV Now will be accessed through the same AT&T TV app on mobile devices and on TV apps. AT&T said that customers can expect more details about AT&T TV as the rollout begins later this summer.


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DirecTV Now Revives Apple TV Deal: Prepay for Four Months ($200) and Get a 32GB Apple TV 4K at No Cost

It's been ten months since DirecTV Now ended its last Apple TV offer, and today the company has debuted a new version of the deal to coincide with its recently-launched subscription bundles. This time around, if new subscribers prepay for four months of DirecTV Now's cheapest subscription tier (now $50/month, due to price hikes), they'll get a 32GB Apple TV 4K at no extra cost.


In the end, you'll be paying around $200 for four months of DirecTV Now and a brand new Apple TV 4K, which would traditionally total to $380. As with the previous deals, you can cancel your DirecTV Now subscription after you receive the Apple TV 4K, and still gain access to the service for the remainder of the first four months.

AT&T's resurfaced deal isn't as good as its previous incarnation, which required users to prepay for 3 months of DirecTV Now (previously priced at $35/month at its cheapest) to receive the 32GB Apple TV 4K at no cost, with the total price reaching $105. This meant you were getting the $179 Apple TV 4K discounted in addition to a few months of DirecTV Now.

The new $200 deal is more expensive than the $179 MSRP of a 32GB Apple TV 4K, so you'll need to be interested in DirecTV Now to get the most out of the offer. During its fourth quarter earnings report for 2018, DirecTV Now reported that it lost 267,000 subscribers. This was attributed to the closure of discount bundles like the original Apple TV 4K offer, so it appears the company is trying out a new version to entice new subscribers into signing up.

Those interested can head to DirecTV Now's website to find more information and place their order before the sale expires on April 30, 2019.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

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DirecTV Now Confirms $10/Month Price Hike for Existing Users, Raises HBO From $5 to $15/Month for New Add-Ons

In the wake of reports that claimed DirecTV Now was planning to raise prices for its customers again, the streaming service today posted a new FAQ page confirming that all existing customers will see a $10/month price hike effective April 12, 2019 (via Variety). This means that if you are currently subscribed to DirecTV Now's Live a Little, Just Right, Go Big, Gotta Have It, or Todo y Más packages, you will pay $10/month more than you are now.


At the same time, DirecTV Now has confirmed that it is raising the price of its premium channel add-ons, but only for legacy subscribers who are now adding these channels onto their plans. This means that HBO is increasing from a $5/month add-on to $15/month, Cinemax is increasing from $5/month to $11/month, and Starz is increasing from $8/month to $11/month. This change takes effect today, March 13.

If you subscribe to Live a Little, Just Right, Go Big, Gotta Have It, or Todo y Más packages and had a premium channel add-on prior to these changes, you will keep your current lower price as long as the premium remains added on your account. So, these new premium channel prices are aimed at legacy DirecTV Now customers who subscribe to one of the five original packages, and decide to add HBO, Cinemax, or Starz onto their account as of today.

Cheap premium channel add-ons have been a major selling point for DirecTV Now, but now that the subscription tier line-up will be slimmed down and HBO will be added directly into the new DirecTV Now Plus and DirecTV Now Max plans, it appears that the company has decided to do away with this selling point. This is likely due to the new assets that AT&T gained from the Time Warner acquisition, including the HBO family of channels.

We broke down all of these changes below:

DirecTV Now Price Hike

(Affects all existing customers from April 12, 2019)
  • Live a Little: from $40/month to $50/month

  • Just Right: from $55/month to $65/month

  • Go Big: from $65/month to $75/month

  • Gotta Have It: from $75/month to $85/month

  • Todo y Más: from $45/month to $55/month

DirecTV Now Premium Channel Price Hike

(Affects existing customers who add a premium channel from March 13, 2019)
  • HBO add-on: from $5/month to $15/month

  • Cinemax add-on: from $5/month to $11/month

  • Starz add-on: from $8/month to $11/month
Customers who keep paying for the service on one of these packages will not see any changes to their channel lineups. For new customers, DirecTV Now will have two new plans: DirecTV Now Plus ($50/month, 40+ channels) and DirecTV Now Max ($70/month, 50+ channels). Both of these plans include HBO, as well as cable channels from WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal, Disney and Fox, but they exclude channels from A+E Networks, AMC Networks, Discovery, and Viacom.

As these new packages launch, new customers will no longer be able to sign up for Live a Little, Just Right, Go Big, Gotta Have It, or Todo y Más packages, and will only see Plus and Max as options on DirecTV Now's sign up page. The company is already promoting Plus and Max on its website, and giving one month for free to new customers signing up with the promo code MARCH2019.

As a point of comparison, DirecTV Now's cheapest plans ($50/month for both Live a Little and Plus) do not compare very favorably to rival services. PlayStation Vue starts at $44.99/month, YouTube TV starts at $40/month, FuboTV starts at $39.99/month, Hulu With Live TV costs $44.99/month, and SlingTV's Orange & Blue plan is priced at $40/month (just $25/month right now). That's not to mention services which have launched to offer ultra-stripped down packages, like Philo's no-sports service that starts at $16/month.

Last summer's DirecTV Now price hike from $35/month to $40/month was in an effort to align the service with the rest of the market and "compare favorably with our competitors," according to the company. Now, DirecTV Now will have the most expensive entry-level price on the market among the main streaming TV services.


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DirecTV Now Raising Prices for All Plans by $10/Month Starting in April

Eight months after DirecTV Now raised the prices of all streaming plans by $5/month to stay in line with the market, the company is this week warning customers that it's increasing the prices again, this time by $10/month across the board. The company will reportedly begin implementing this price hike in the next billing cycle for customers, starting in April (via Cord Cutters News).


This means that DirecTV Now's basic "Live a Little" tier will rise from $40/month to $50, "Just Right" will increase from $55/month to $65, "Go Big" will increase from $65/month to $75, and "Gotta Have It" will increase from $75/month to $85. The Spanish language Todo y Más package will also increase from $45/month to $55. There will be no changes to channel availability in these plans.

In addition to all of this, DirecTV Now is introducing two new plans that will be available to new customers signing up for the service, instead of the five previously mentioned plans. These new plans are "DirecTV Now Plus" ($50/month for 40+ channels) and "DirecTV Now Max" ($70/month for 50+ channels). While the new plans include HBO at no additional charge, they are missing a number of channels from the previous plans including ones from Viacom, Discovery, A&E, and AMC.

New customers will only see these two new plans, but it appears that anyone signed up for DirecTV Now on one of the five original plans will be able to keep their subscriptions intact, albeit at a $10 higher monthly price tag.

Image via Reddit user plgdg

As a point of comparison, the new DirecTV Now Plus plan priced at $50/month compares directly to the Live a Little plan at its new $50/month cost, but the number of channels available is different. New customers signing up for DirecTV Now Plus will get 40+ channels, while existing customers get 65+ channels for the same $50/month price. This information can be seen on a screenshot of DirecTV Now's price comparison charts (via Reddit).

It was reported in January that DirecTV Now lost as many as 267,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2018, attributed to the closure of several discount bundles that were heavily featured on the service's website, including the popular Apple TV bundle. This month, DirecTV Now gained support for Apple's TV app, allowing users to sync their TV shows watched in DirecTV Now with the Up Next list in the TV app.


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DirecTV Now Gains Apple TV App Integration

AT&T today announced that its DirecTV Now service has been updated with support for Apple's TV app.

With TV app integration, DirecTV Now users can take advantage of cross-device episode and movie tracking with the Up Next feature along with tailored content recommendations available on the DirecTV Now service using the Watch Now feature on the Apple TV.

There's so much on-demand content and live sports channels included with your DIRECTV NOW subscription, so the Apple TV app is a great place to help you find something new or jump back into your favorite on-demand show as new episodes arrive or quickly tune to a national sports broadcast.
The integration also means that Siri voice searches can be used to find TV shows and movies on DirecTV Now, which is useful for finding specific content. Siri searches work with the entire DirecTV on-demand library.


Siri also supports live tune-in with DirecTV Now so you can access specific live channels with a command like "Siri, tune in to [your favorite channel]" to open up the DirecTV Now app and turn on the channel.


The final feature included in the integration is single sign-on, which allows DirecTV customers to sign in once with their username and login to access available content across any supported third-party app.

Apple TV users with a DirecTV Now subscription will see a prompt to integrate their data with the TV app after playing a DVR show for the first time. AT&T says that the updates enabling TV app support will be pushed out to DirecTV customers automatically.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

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DirecTV Now Lost 267K Subscribers Last Quarter, Partly Due to End of Apple TV Offer

DirecTV Now today reported that it lost 267,000 subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2018, causing the service to dip from 1.8 million subscribers in Q1 2018 to 1.6 million in Q4 (via TechCrunch). Despite the decline, DirecTV Now is still at the forefront of the streaming TV market, second to SlingTV as of last fall.


In AT&T's fourth quarter earnings report, the company attributed this loss to the closure of several discount bundles that were heavily featured on the service's website, and shared online. This includes the popular Apple TV bundle (which expired in June 2018) and a few Roku deals.
The company attributed the decline to the end of promotional package pricing, which sometimes saw the service priced as low as $10 per month for an introductory period. It had also offered device giveaways – like Roku streaming sticks or Apple TV boxes – to encourage sign-ups.

AT&T says its “discounted introductory offers ended,” which resulted in the dramatic loss.
At its peak, the DirecTV Now deal for Apple TV required you to prepay for three months of the streaming TV service for about $105. Once you did this, AT&T would send you a 32GB Apple TV 4K at no cost. In essence, customers were paying $105 for a 32GB Apple TV 4K, down from around $170, and getting three months to try out DirecTV Now as a bonus.

Of course, you could still cancel DirecTV Now before those three months ended and not pay to continue using the service, and it appears that's what many people did last year. Although DirecTV Now has a large channel lineup, it also has numerous problems with its service, which also likely led to subscriber churn noted in this week's earnings report. This includes a barebones cloud DVR with low storage and unreliable recordings, various performance issues, outages, and more.

AT&T also raised the price of DirecTV Now last summer, increasing every tier by $5/month to stay "in line with the market." This increased DirecTV Now's "Live a Little" plan from $35/month to $40/month, matching rival services like Hulu with Live TV, which starts at $40/month, and YouTube TV, which also raised to $40/month to compete with Hulu.

Although many were hoping that the Apple TV offer would return in the fall of 2018 as it did years prior, AT&T never resurfaced the deal.


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FuboTV vs. DirecTV Now: Solid Streaming TV Services With Some Drawbacks

Over the past few years, the number of streaming TV services has grown exponentially, to the point where it can get overwhelming to figure out which platform is the best for you. Major offerings include DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, Hulu With Live TV, and FuboTV.

Starting out with a focus on soccer and streams from other live sports channels, FuboTV has since grown into a full-featured over the top streaming service with support for many major channels, a cloud DVR, family sharing, and more, starting at a competitive price of $39.99 per month (for the first month, $44.99/month afterwards).

FuboTV (left) and DirecTV Now (right) on Apple TV 4K

In order to compare some of these services, in this article we've looked at FuboTV and DirecTV Now specifically. Like most streaming TV services, FuboTV and DirecTV Now have many similarities, but a few key differences that could lead you to choosing one over the other. As a note, we're focusing mainly on the Apple TV app for each service, unless otherwise mentioned.

User Interface


FuboTV

When the FuboTV Apple TV app is first opened, a menu screen with a horizontal list of live tv channels is displayed (seen below). The selected channel starts automatically playing at launch, but the UI hovers over the playing video (akin to Netflix's autoplay videos), and to go full screen you have to tap once on the channel.


In terms of user interface as a whole, FuboTV excels with a clear and easy-to-grasp menu system, although tab organization is questionable and the app can feel bloated due to the amount of real estate dedicated to specific movies, TV shows, and sports.

On the bottom of the Home tab in the Apple TV app, FuboTV has a list of numerous TV shows and films for you to check out. There's featured content that'll be airing soon or is live now, live news, popular shows and movies, and categories like "best shows of the 90s" and "best shows of 2018."


Each show's page has a list of episodes and seasons (if previous seasons are available on FuboTV, which is a bit of a mixed bag in my experience), and if an episode is marked as “Upcoming,” you can record it.

After Home, there are tabs for Sports, Shows, and Movies before you get to FuboTV's live Guide tab. These three tabs show live events happening now, and ones you can watch on demand. I found this to be one of the more cumbersome aspects of the app's design, because I typically just wanted to jump directly into a live TV guide to check out what was playing now, and not have to navigate three separate tabs to get an idea of what to watch.


This navigation frustration is compounded due to FuboTV's lack of a slide-to-select menu bar; each time you want to go to a new tab you have to move to it and then click in on the Siri Remote. While not a deal breaker, because the app forces you to navigate tabs so often, it does become a bit of an annoyance over time.

In the guide, FuboTV retains the horizontal UI with a list of channels that scroll from right to left, while time stamps are listed vertically. You can jump to a different day within the next four days, browse your favorite channels, and check a list of the networks you're subscribed to. When watching a live channel, you can swipe up to see a list of what else is on, and in one of my favorite UI navigation options for FuboTV, you can tap and hold on the Siri Remote to jump back to the previous channel.


Due to the Siri Remote's limited buttons, many OTT services have a tough time implementing basic features, like a recall button, so FuboTV's execution is neat and very welcome. FuboTV has a handful of useful shortcuts like this, like tapping and holding to record a show, and overall it feels like the app's developers were more aware of the platform they were building for in comparison to DirecTV Now.

DirecTV Now

For DirecTV Now, the UI as a whole is much simpler than FuboTV. DirecTV Now loads right into a channel (typically the last one you were watching), and you press the Menu button on the Siri Remote to bring up the app's UI. This quick loading into a live feed (when it works) is a great way to easily get background noise going in your home, without having to fuss through additional menus. The experience is something taken from traditional cable boxes, and one part of DirecTV Now I've always liked.

In the menu, the central tab is Watch Now, which is a recommended list of your most and recently watched channels that are easy to jump into. This area has trending and best-of show lists, similar to FuboTV.


Left of Watch Now is the guide, which is opposite of FuboTV with a vertical list of channels and horizontal list for timestamps (just like a traditional cable guide). Although I used to rely entirely on DirecTV Now's guide when navigating the app, when Watch Now was added I found that the app remembered the channels I liked to watch pretty well and was always able to quickly jump into my top 5-6 favorite channels without ever going to the guide.

In this regard, I prefer DirecTV Now's interface over FuboTV, since it more quickly and easily put me into a show without needing to click around a menu too much. At the same time, DirecTV Now's Apple TV app is overly reliant on the Siri Remote's Menu button, and even a few years into using the service, I'm still sometimes unclear on how many times I need to hit it to go back to a live video feed, and more often than not end up on the Apple TV home screen.


Cloud DVR


FuboTV

FuboTV offers 30 hours of free cloud DVR storage in every basic package, or you can pay an extra $9.99/month for 500 hours of storage. These recordings are stored indefinitely, or until you delete them.


Although FuboTV's cloud DVR beats DirecTV Now's in a few key areas, FuboTV lacks a huge feature that made it difficult for me to rely solely on the service: it doesn't have a series recording option in the DVR. Although you can find a specific show and select an upcoming episode to record, FuboTV at this time does not allow you to record every new episode (or old episodes) of a show, but the company informed me that this feature will be added soon.

Given that one of the most enticing aspects of a DVR is the set-it-and-forget-it feature of season passes, this is a huge oversight for the app. In the weeks I used FuboTV exclusively, I used Apple's Reminders app to give me a heads up about recording the latest episode of a show I was watching. Even Apple's own TV app — which pulls in new episodes automatically from third-party apps — makes this process painless.

DirecTV Now

DirecTV Now offers all subscribers 20 hours of free storage on its "true cloud DVR", which is still marked as in beta at the time of writing. At this point, there is no option to expand this storage, and after 30 days DirecTV Now deletes your recordings. You can still opt to watch them on demand, but if the show isn't available on demand then you will be left unable to watch a show you previously recorded.


Although DirecTV Now's true cloud DVR has its share of problems, including consistent audio glitches in recordings and an inelegant fast forward option, it does have a series recording option and the interface feels largely similar to a traditional cable box. Given DirecTV Now's overall performance issues, however, I still have never felt entirely confident in relying solely on the app as my only DVR.

Performance


FuboTV

Since you're relying on an internet connection to watch these services, stream quality and performance is something that varies person to person, but overall I've had far fewer issues with FuboTV in this regard. Streams rarely went dark, audio remained consistently in sync, and the service didn't go down. There are a handful of odd glitches, however, like one that caused my stream to pause every time I left the app and re-opened it on a live stream. To get the video to play, I had to leave the channel and return to it.


Each app suffers from some occasional stream stuttering where quality lowers for a few seconds before it picks back up again. FuboTV also has 4K playback on select channels (not available to record, however), while DirecTV Now doesn't support 4K at this time.

DirecTV Now

This is one of DirecTV Now's big weak points. Most days when I turn on the app and leave it to go cook or clean, I'll come back to my living room to a black screen a few minutes later. After I press the Menu button, select a different channel (or just re-select the same channel), the app refreshes and the stream comes back on. This is most frustrating when I'm actually watching something and the app goes dark.


That's not to mention other consistent issues like the guide not loading properly, weird playback bugs in the DVR, audio glitches, and complete service outages. My Apple TV has no issues streaming in other apps and my internet connection to it has always been solid, and given that many users report similar streaming frustrations and downtimes with DirecTV Now regularly in the service's subreddit, I'm inclined to believe that this is simply a downside of the service's performance and not something I could fix with a router reset (which I've tried).

What makes DirecTV Now most perplexing is that sometimes, in my experience, these glitches and bugs simply disappear for a few days at a time, and I get to see a hint at what the best version of the service can be: videos load in a snap, blackouts never happen, and the true cloud DVR never stutters during playback. The crux of DirecTV Now, at this point in time, is that it's inconsistent; you never know exactly what quality of service you'll get on any particular day, and for a platform built entirely around leisure and entertainment, that can get pretty frustrating.

Channels



Channel availability — particularly for local channels — is one aspect of any streaming TV service that greatly varies by region. For me, in southern Louisiana, DirecTV Now offered my local FOX affiliate only, while FuboTV had local FOX and CBS channels. Unless you're in a big city with more affiliate coverage, local channels typically aren't a selling point for these streaming services.


Otherwise, FuboTV's basic package offers just over 75 channels at $39.99 per month for your first month, but the price increases to $44.99/month afterwards. DirecTV Now's Live a Little $40/month package offers just over 65 channels. These two packages lined up pretty much exactly, offering most of the same channels and covering many of the big offerings like FX, AMC, HGTV, Syfy, and USA. One big channel missing from FuboTV is Freeform.

FuboTV also caters to Latin American and Portuguese audiences with Fubo Latino ($17.99/month) and Fubo Português ($19.99/month) channel bundles. The basic bundles also come with a collection of sports packages like Sports Plus (22 channels for additional $8.99/month), International Sports Plus (4 channels for $5.99/month), Fubo Cycling (5 channels for $11.99/month), and more. Despite this bevy of sports-focused offerings, FuboTV has one major weak spot: it doesn't include any ESPN channels in any plan.

DirecTV Now's offerings are a more straightforward tiered system, including ESPN from the base plan onwards. Following Live a Little, there's "Just Right" at $55/month for 85+ channels, "Go Big" for $65/month for 105+ channels, "Gotta Have It" for $75/month for 125+ channels, and a Spanish language "Todo y Más" bundle at $45/month for 90+ channels. With these tiers, DirecTV Now can easily cost as much as a normal cable bill, especially if you add more premium channels.

For premiums, FuboTV only has Showtime at $10.99/month added on, while DirecTV Now has all the big premium channels, and at a much lower cost. HBO is $5/month added on, Showtime is $8/month, Starz is $8/month, and Cinemax is $5/month.

Miscellaneous


  • Episode pages - On pages for upcoming episodes, FuboTV has a helpful option to jump directly into the current live stream of that channel, while DirecTV Now simply lets you record the episode.

  • Stream count - FuboTV offers two concurrent streams on the same account, and you'll have to pay $5.99/month to add a third stream. DirecTV Now offers three concurrent streams for no extra charge.

  • Background stream - FuboTV cuts off sound of the live stream when you navigate its menus, while DirecTV Now keeps noise from the live channel running as you browse. I found FuboTV's method a bit jarring, but this is another feature that will depend on personal preference.

  • Favorites - FuboTV automatically pulls your favorites up to the top of the guide, while DirecTV Now offers a filter to show all channels or just your favorites.

  • DVR controls - FuboTV's fast forward options in the DVR were far more snappy and reliable in my testing compared to DirecTV Now, which always requires me to hit play/pause a few times once I jump to section of video I want to be in. Both apps still offer less-than-stellar fast forward options in comparison to traditional cable boxes.

  • Background app refresh - FuboTV tends to load back into the Home menu if you leave the app for longer than 30 seconds, while DirecTV Now will pick up the live video or recording you were watching even if you left the app minutes prior.

Recap


DirecTV Now continues to be riddled with bugginess, playback issues, and other problems, but AT&T's streaming TV service offers a ton of channels at a decent price, and the days that it works well truly rekindle a cable set-top box feeling. If the company expands its true cloud DVR with more storage at a reasonable price, finally makes the platform more stable, and offers some UI tweaks for slicker playback controls, DirecTV Now will have a bright future.

On the other hand, FuboTV already has a more stable streaming service and a bevy of channels (although major options are missing) at a mostly competitive price tag. The Apple TV app's UI can be cumbersome when you just want to jump into a show quickly, but the menus you navigate through are nice to look at and the app overall feels more responsive than DirecTV Now on an Apple TV 4K. FuboTV's most glaring error is the lack of series pass recordings in the cloud DVR, making it hard to recommend to hardcore TV watchers who are looking to cut the cord, but still keep track of their favorite shows.

In the end, each service has a large list of pros and cons, and the option you decide on will offer a largely competent replacement to traditional cable TV, with a few caveats. The perfect over-the-top streaming TV service doesn't exist, yet, so finding the right one that fits your viewing habits can be a trial and error process. Luckily, both FuboTV and DirecTV Now offer free trials that last one week, which is plenty of time to test out all of the major features of each service before you begin paying for one.


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DirecTV Now iOS App Update Adds 2018 iPad Pro Support, Cloud DVR for HBO and Cinemax, and More

AT&T's live TV streaming service DirecTV Now officially supports Apple's latest iPad Pro models, thanks to an update to the iOS app that was pushed out on Thursday.


After installing the update, owners of this year's 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models will be able to watch shows on the service in fullscreen mode minus any letterboxing, which blighted previous versions of the DirecTV Now app.

In addition to support for the new iPad Pro displays, the update introduces Cloud DVR support for HBO and Cinemax programming, albeit in a beta form.

Apart from performance improvements and bug fixes, the DirecTV Now app also makes Cheddar programming available as part of the Just Right plus channel lineup.

DirecTV Now is available on the App Store as a free download. [Direct Link] The service offers streaming packages starting at $40 per month, including a 7-day free trial.


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DirecTV Now Ending Public Beta for True Cloud DVR, Will Launch Paid Higher Storage Tiers Soon

DirecTV is warning customers that its True Cloud DVR service will officially come out of beta next week, and any customers who were receiving 100 hours of recording space during the public beta will now be reset to the base 20 hours offered as a free add-on to DirecTV Now packages (via Cord Cutters News and Multichannel News). The end of the beta is said to happen on August 29, and anyone who already has 20 hours shouldn't see much of a change in their DirecTV Now app, besides the removal of any beta-related terminology.

For customers with 100 hours of beta storage, AT&T says it will erase any content more than 30 days old and will keep up to 20 hours of the most recently recorded videos. So, anyone with 100 hours on the DirecTV Now True Cloud DVR should make sure they're caught up with all of their shows and movies this weekend ahead of the end of the beta next week.


DirecTV Now began warning these customers via email earlier in the week:
We couldn’t have done it without you.

Thanks to your help with our beta testing program, DIRECTV NOW is better than ever, with great new features like True Cloud DVR beta*, locals on the go**, and an upgraded interface.

As part of the beta testing program, you had access to 100 hours of DVR storage. Since the program has ended, on August 29th your storage will transition to 20 free hours of True Cloud DVR beta, which is included with your service. So make sure to stream all the good stuff you love now. And don’t worry – the most recent 20 hours of content will remain on your DVR, as long as it is less than 30 days old.

Keep on streaming and enjoying all of your favorite content, with access to third-party apps, and 40,000+ titles** on Video On Demand.
As the beta ends, AT&T is rumored to be gearing up "several tiers" of True Cloud DVR service that customers can purchase as an add-on to their base plans. Tiers are said to range from 50 hours to 120 hours, but prices haven't been disclosed. DirecTV Now did mention in May that one such tier would be 100 hours of recordings (saved for up to 90 days) for an extra $10 per month, so the cost of additional tiers can be extrapolated from that price point.

The True Cloud DVR has been in public beta since May 2018, and offered most users 20 hours of recording space while a select group of users got 100 hours of space. At the time of that launch, the company stated that "more capacity options" would be coming later in the summer, so it appears that these options will be launching imminently.

If you don't want to add anything else onto your monthly DirecTV Now bill (which recently went up by $5/month), all users will get 20 hours of DVR storage at no additional cost. DirecTV Now is available as an app on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, and DVR recordings are synced between all platforms that you're signed into.


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DirecTV Now Rolling Out Support for Many Local ABC, NBC, and CBS Stations Owned by Nexstar

Live TV streaming service DirecTV Now this week began expanding support for local stations on its platform, with numerous posts on r/DirecTVNow reporting that local network affiliates for ABC, NBC, and CBS have appeared in cities across the United States.

As pointed out by CordCuttersNews, these affiliates are owned and operated by Nexstar Media Group, a television broadcasting company that owns or operates around 170 TV stations across the country. In November 2017, Nexstar announced that it had reached "mutually satisfactory agreements" with three of the big four networks for participation in live TV streaming services like DirecTV Now and PS Vue, and then throughout 2018 a few local affiliates began trickling out for select cities.


This week, however, it appears like a wide rollout of local affiliates has begun on DirecTV Now. Over the past 24 hours on Reddit, users have mentioned seeing the following local stations:

CBS
  • WIAT in Birmingham, Alabama

  • WIVB in Buffalo, New York

  • KOIN in Portland, Oregon

  • WNCN in Raleigh, North Carolina

  • WROC in Rochester, New York

NBC
  • WCMH in Columbus, Ohio

  • KXAN in Austin, Texas

  • WOOD in Grand Rapids, Michigan

ABC
  • WKRN in Nashville, Tennessee

  • WRIC in Richmond, Virginia

  • WTNH in New Haven and Hartford, Connecticut
This is far from every local affiliate owned by Nexstar, and there are likely more that have appeared on DirecTV Now and other over-the-top streaming platforms in recent days. The full list of stations owned and operated by Nexstar can be found on the company's Wikipedia page.

The addition of local stations greatly adds to the convenience and value of OTT services, given that without these stations cord cutters don't have the chance to get local news or watch TV shows on one the big four networks (ABC, FOX, NBC, and CBS). While services like Hulu and CBS All Access supplement missed shows on many of these networks, they require additional monthly fees to be added on top of the cost of DirecTV Now or PS Vue.

As some Redditors are sharing, the expanded rollout means that many DirecTV Now subscribers in cities like Buffalo and Austin now have access to all of their local channels. CordCuttersNews reports that those Nexstar stations not yet added could still be coming down the line, since some -- including a "handful of NBC affiliates" -- have deals that are not set to be renewed until later in 2018, at which time the OTT-related agreements are expected to be added to contracts with these stations.

DirecTV Now's last big update came in May with the launch of its "True Cloud DVR" in a wide beta. The feature lets subscribers record 20 hours of shows and movies on DirecTV Now, and sync their recordings across devices like the Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. The same update also brought a few UI changes that renamed "Watchlist" to "Bookmarks," and aimed to make search more "customizable" so that users spend more time watching shows and less time navigating menus.


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