A New Choice for Cord Cutters: DirecTV Now
Cord-cutting is gathering momentum; more and more people of all ages are canceling expensive cable and satellite TV subscriptions, and cobbling together their own mixtures of on-demand and live streaming services delivered over the Internet. Many report saving over $100 per month this way. Will DirecTV Now be part of YOUR money-saving, cord-cutting entertainment solution? Read on...
What is DirecTV Now?
As the cord-cutting audience grows, more content-delivery players are targeting it, creating even more choices for roll-your-own-TV consumers. AT&T, after acquiring DirecTV, the satellite TV provider, took its first stab at the cord-cutter market on November 29, 2016, when "DirecTV Now" debuted. Let’s see what it has to offer.
First, let me clear up a few questions that you're probably wondering about already. DirecTV Now is not a satellite TV service, like the similarly-named DirecTV. DirecTV Now is a streaming TV service, which you access via your existing Internet connection. And you do not have to be an AT&T subscriber to sign up for DirecTV Now.
Next, there’s no contract to sign; you can cancel DirecTV Now at any time. There’s no equipment to rent or lease; in fact, if you pay for the first three months of service up front, DirecTV Now will give you an Apple TV media streamer free of charge! (MSRP starts at 149). Even if you sign up month-to-month, you get a free Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa-powered voice search and remote control.
DirecTV Now is also compatible with Amazon TV, and Google Chromecast on Android devices. There are apps for watching DirecTV Now on iOS and Android phones or tablets. If you like to watch TV on a PC, DirecTV Now’s Web interface works on Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari.
There are four tiers of monthly prices and channel bundles. “Live A Little” gives you more than 60 channels for 35/month. “Just Right” is $50 and includes 80 channels. “Go Big” breaks the 100-channel mark at a cost of $60, but right now you can get it for $35; AT&T won’t say when that promotional price will end. “Gotta Have It” gives you 120 channels for $79. You can add HBO and/or Cinemax to any package for just $5/month. That includes access to the on-demand libraries of either network.
What Channels Are Available?
To see exactly what local network affiliates are available in your area, you’ll need to create a DirecTV Now account. ABC, NBC, The CW, and Fox networks are on board; as of this writing, CBS is still negotiating.
To see what sports channels are available in your area, head on over to this list, and search for your Zip Code or favorite baseball, basketball or hockey team. Coverage is spotty; the state of Colorado is missing, as is the entire NFL.
Currently, DVR features are not available with DirecTV Now, and you cannot pause a live stream more than 5-10 seconds without losing your place. These features are promised “in 2017.”
You might also be wondering "If I watch sports, movies and my favorite shows via DirecTV Now on my mobile device, will it blow through my data cap in 24 hours?" Maybe, but if you use AT&T Wireless, DirecTV Now data does not count against your plan’s data cap. (This “zero-rating” of a wireless provider’s own content is great for its customers, but violates the “Net neutrality” principle by giving one content provider an advantage over others.) The solution for most people is to watch while connected to Wi-Fi, so as not to consume your mobile data.
Overall DirecTV Now seems like a worthy challenger to your cable provider, and other players in the streaming video industry, such as Sling TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue. The absence of DVR compatibility may or may not matter to you. No contract means you have nothing to lose by giving DirecTV Now a try.
Does the entry of DirectTV Now into the streaming television arena influence your decision to dump your cable TV provider? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 13 Dec 2016
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- A New Choice for Cord Cutters: DirecTV Now (Posted: 13 Dec 2016)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved