Skip to Content

AT&T TV NOW (formerly DIRECTV NOW) is a live TV streaming service with 2 plans. The $50/month “PLUS” plan includes HBO, local channels, and 23 of the top 35 cable channels. The $70/month “MAX” plan adds Cinemax, your local RSN, and College Sports Networks like Big Ten Network and SEC Network.

Both plans also include their 20 hours True Cloud DVR and the ability to stream across a wide variety of devices like Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, Web Browsers, iPhone/iPad, Android Phone/Tablet, Samsung Smart TV, and Android TV.

Legacy Plan Information

Previously, the service offered the four most comprehensive plans: “Live a Little” ($50), “Just Right” ($65), “Go Big” ($75), “Gotta Have It” ($85). Those plans all included local channels and 34 of the top 35 cable channels; higher priced plans included your local RSN and additional sports channels.

Those plans have been discontinued but will be offered to existing users with a $10 price hike.


Review

We tested AT&T TV NOW and other live TV streaming services for more than 100 hours. AT&T TV NOW is compatible with Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, Web Browsers, iPhone/iPad, Android Phone/Tablet, Samsung Smart TV, and Android TV.


Features

20 hours Cloud DVR

AT&T TV NOW includes a cloud DVR that can store 20 hours of recording time for 30 days — which is less than most services. You can record individual episodes, all new episodes, or all episodes of a series. The recording starts when you hit record, not when you tuned in.

Unlike some services, you can skip commercials on recorded shows by either fast forwarding or skipping ahead 15 seconds.

You can start watching recorded content while the the show is still recording. There is no way to pad recordings, so make sure you extend your recordings to include the next episode so you don’t miss anything.

You will be able to upgrade to 100 hours of recording time for $10/mo. later this year.

Up to 2 Devices

This service allows for two simultaneous streams (among TV devices, smartphones, tablets, and computers).

For an additional $5 / month, you can increase the maximum simultaneous streams to 3 devices.

On Demand

Almost all of the channels offer on demand content, with just a few exceptions (like Animal Planet) having no VOD content.

You won’t be able to fast-forward through on demand content, but you can continue watching where you left off.

We had lots of playback issues with AT&T TV NOW’s on demand content: videos would often fail to load or freeze during playback. But it seems to have improved a bit with their latest app update.

Parental Controls

AT&T TV NOW has some parental controls to help restrict content.

Hulu Live TV and Sling TV also have parental control features.


72-Hour Rewind Feature

72-Hour Rewind allows you to access shows that aired in the last 72 hours. It is available on over 30 channels (mostly cable networks). However, it has similar restrictions as on demand content (you cannot rewind or fast-forward).

Channel Surfing Feature

Channel Surfing allows you to flip through channels with your remote. AT&T TV NOW is the only streaming service that made it easy to change channels like you are watching traditional cable/satellite TV. It takes about 2.5 seconds to switch channels, which is slightly better than average.

AT&T TV NOW
$50 – $70 atttvnow.com
7-Day Free Trial

Compatible Devices

AT&T TV NOW is compatible with these devices:

AT&T TV NOW is not compatible with PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, VIZIO Smart TV, or LG Smart TV.

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Apple TV
  • Google Chromecast
    2nd Gen+
  • Roku
  • Android TV
  • iPhone/iPad
    iOS 9+
  • Android Phone/Tablet
    4.4+
  • Web Browsers
  • Samsung Smart TV
    2017+ Models

  • PlayStation
  • Xbox
  • Nintendo
  • VIZIO Smart TV
  • LG Smart TV

Phone & Tablet Apps

On phone and tablet devices, the AT&T TV NOW app’s home screen has a live stream of your most recently watched channel, list of popular live shows, list of recently viewed shows, and access to your library of recorded shows.

The app lets surf between channels by just swiping left or right, taking about 2.5 seconds for the next channel to load.

The AT&T TV NOW standard channel guide lists all available channels alphabetically. You can also limit the guide to show only your favorite channels.

TV App

On television devices, the AT&T TV NOW app launches to your most recently watched channel. Similar to the AT&T TV NOW mobile apps, you can access a channel guide, search, and your library of shows recorded to your DVR.

You can also easily flip between channels by swiping left or right—a feature other services don’t have.

Computer

You can watch AT&T TV NOW on Mac or Windows computers, with Chrome or Safari. You can watch live programming in PIP while browsing shows.

AT&T TV NOW
$50 – $70 atttvnow.com
7-Day Free Trial

Screenshots

AT&T TV NOW
$50 – $70 atttvnow.com
7-Day Free Trial

Channels

Local Channels

All AT&T TV NOW (formerly DIRECTV NOW) plans offer the same set of local channels, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Telemundo, and The CW.

Live local channels are available only in certain markets. However, on demand content is available in all areas the following day.

Local Channel Restrictions

You can only access local channels and regional sports networks when you are in your home market. For example, if you live in San Francisco and travel to New York, you will not be able to stream any local channels or RSNs.


Top Cable Channels

AT&T TV NOW (formerly DIRECTV NOW) offers the least comprehensive selection of top cable channels. The “PLUS” plan offers 23 of the top 35 cable channels.

The top 35 cable channels are listed below. For a list of channels in each tier, look at AT&T TV NOW’s full channel lineup.


Sports Channels

National Sports Channels

On the base tier, AT&T TV NOW (formerly DIRECTV NOW) includes national sports channels like ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports 1, NBC Sports Network, TBS, and TNT.

The higher tier adds Fox Sports 2.

Regional Sports Networks (RSNs)

You will need to upgrade the “MAX” ($70) plan to get access to regional sports networks (RSNs), which are generally from Fox and NBC/Comcast.

Besides fuboTV, they are the only other service to offer MSG for New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, and Buffalo Sabres games.

RSNs in Other Markets

You should check the AT&T TV NOW’s RSN lookup tool before subscribing to make sure it has the regional networks you need.

Pro Sports

Unlike DIRECTV’s satellite service, the AT&T TV NOW streaming service does not offer pro sports networks like NFL Sunday Ticket, NFL Network or NFL RedZone.

College Sports

Big Ten Network, ESPNU, and SEC Network are available on the AT&T TV NOW “MAX” ($70) plan. The service does not offer Fox College Sports or Pac-12 Network.

Other Sports Channels

ESPNEWS, Golf Channel, and Olympic Channel are available on the AT&T TV NOW “MAX” ($70) plan.


Premium Channels

While HBO is included in both plans, Cinemax is included in the AT&T TV NOW plan. You can add Showtime ($11) and Starz ($11) to either plan.


Add-Ons

Legacy Subscribers

AT&T TV NOW
$50 – $70 atttvnow.com
7-Day Free Trial

Tech Specs

  • High definition video is similar to other streaming services.
  • Live streaming works fine, but on demand content can have trouble loading.
  • Live content is about 20 seconds behind cable TV, which is faster than half of the other services.
4K
1080p
720p

720p HD
(Up to 1080p HD)

Most video streams are 1080p 60 fps, which is the best to expect with live TV streaming services. Some channels like ESPN stream at 720p due to the max resolution of the source.

When you are streaming on your smartphone or tablet, streams are limited to 480p (standard definition) on cellular and 720p on Wi-Fi. Since the device sizes are relatively small, the stream quality still looks good.

To reduce playback interruptions, AT&T TV NOW will adapt the stream quality to match your network connection.

30 FPS
60 FPS

60 FPS

Most live TV streams are broadcast in 60 fps.

Stereo Sound
Some Surround

Stereo/Surround Sound

Most live, DVR, and on demand content has Dolby Digital 5.1 on Amazon Fire and Apple TV devices. On other devices, most live TV content has standard stereo audio.

Streaming Reliability
3
 
 

On Demand Reliability
2
 
 
 

Reliability

AT&T TV NOW live stream’s stability has improved since their initial launch. While we occasionally had issues starting a stream, once a channel started streaming there was rarely an interruption.

Their on demand content still has playback problems. On demand video would sometimes freeze (with just audio playing) until stopping and re-playing the video.

20 sec
Live Delay

Live Delay

Live content is about 20 seconds behind cable TV, which is faster than half of the other services.

2.5 sec
Channel Switching

Channel Switching

It takes about 2.5 seconds to switch between channels, which is faster than half of the other services.

AT&T TV NOW
$50 – $70 atttvnow.com
7-Day Free Trial

User Experience

  • Channel guide is very familiar to cable and satellite TV services.
  • Recently watched shows and favorites are easily accessible.
  • Search finds content well, but doesn’t highlight live or on demand content very well. Too many future shows (which cannot be viewed, scheduled, or recorded) appear in search results.

Home Screen

On phone and tablet devices, the AT&T TV NOW app’s home screen has a live stream of your most recently watched channel, a list of recently viewed shows, your favorite shows “watchlist”, and other popular live shows.

On television devices, the AT&T TV NOW app launches to your most recently watched channel. A list of popular live shows is accessible by swiping up on your remote.

TV Guide

The AT&T TV NOW standard channel guide lists all available channels alphabetically. You can also limit the guide to show only your favorite channels.

Shows that offer 72-Hour Rewind have an ↩ icon next to the title.

Search

AT&T TV NOW allows you to search by video title or channel name. Search results are separated into “From the Guide,” “On Demand,” and “Channels” sections.

Search results could be improved. Upcoming episodes make up most of the search results, so it’s hard to access shows you can watch right now.

Show Details

The show details page displays a poster image for the current item, as well as other episodes available on demand.

Playback

Although you can briefly pause live TV, you cannot rewind or fast-forward live TV content.

For certain on demand shows, you can skip forward/backwards by 15-second increments or fast-forward to later portions of the show.

AT&T TV NOW
$50 – $70 atttvnow.com
7-Day Free Trial