AT&T unveiled its new online video streaming service DirecTV Now, which it hopes will appeal to millions of TV watchers who want to stream their favorite shows on-demand, on their tablets and smartphones – and without a cable bill. The company first announced the subscription video service back in March, and promising ‘on-demand and live programming from many networks, plus premium add-on opt’ over the Internet similar to Sling TV and PlayStation Vue. The streaming service will be available starting Today. It will offer four different packages that range in price from $35 a month for 60 channels to $70 a month for 100-plus channels.
DirecTV Now will have apps on Android and iOS (phone and tablet), Amazon Fire TV and TV Stick, and Chromecast (with Android app only), Google Cast-enabled LeEco ecotvs, Vizio SmartCast Displays, and three web browsers: Internet Explorer (presumably Edge as well, though AT&T didn’t mention it), Safari, and Chrome. Chromecast support for the Roku app as well as a iOS app are expected in “early 2017.”
Currently, T-Mobile has been offering data-free use of music and video services for years, and Verizon has just made its Go90 service free of the data charges for all of its subscribers. The difference with the AT&T is companies have to pay to be included in its data free program, but DirecTV is owned by AT&T, that means the companies are essentially just moving money around.
To access DirecTV Now, you will need to use your home broadband or mobile wireless service. Those who use AT&T Wireless won’t have video use count against their data limits.
The DIRECTV Now service is targeted at the more than 20 million US households that don’t have cable or satellite TV. It introduces four package opts:
|Live A Little||$35 a month for 60+ channels|
|Just Right||$50 a month for 80+ channels|
|Go Big||$60 a months for 100+ channels|
|Gotta Have It||$70 a months for 120+ channels.|
Complete details of the channels available with each package have yet to be announced, but AT&T does state that they’ve been ‘seeded’ from the DIRECTV satellite services.