DirecTV Now is the streaming offering of the American satellite provider, DirecTV. It provides the user the ability to watch many different channels without the need for a multichannel operator. In other words, it provides a replacement for cable and satellite service. Users pay only a fraction of the cost they would pay for the traditional services because it is viewed over the internet and doesn’t include less popular channels. In this review of DirecTV Now, we’ll go into specifics to give you a view of the service. That should help you decide if it is right for you.
In this case, DirecTV Now acts as a virtual multichannel video programming distributor. That means that users are not limited to the markets they are in. Portability is one big advantage to cord cutting. With the increased internet speeds available now, it is not hard to see why over the top (OTT) services like DirecTV Now have become popular. If you want to get started, you can get a 7-day free trial now.
As one of the newer services to market, DirecTV Now was launched on November 30th, 2016. The streaming service is owned by AT&T and the DirecTV satellite service. You can bet that those connections helped them negotiate their contracts. That gives them the power to offer one of the highest channel counts in the streaming community.
Like other services, DirecTV Now users pay a monthly subscription fee. The amount you pay is based on the package and premium channels. HBO, Cinemax, and Starz may be added to any package for a fee. At the time of our review, Sling TV was offering a free year of HBO with the top package. DirecTV Now is only available in the United States. If you plan to travel outside the US, you will need a VPN to access the service.
DirecTV Now Packages and Channel List
Prices for DirecTV Now start at $35 a month for their “Live a Little” package. For that amount, you get streaming access to more than 60 channels. As with competing services, you get a large number of channels for a fraction of the cost of cable or satellite. There are 4 packages available plus the add-on channels we mentioned earlier. You can sign up for a 7-day free trial now to test the service.
Here are the DirecTV Now channel packages:
- Live a Little ($35) – As you might think, this is the basic package. This one gives you a mix of different things to watch. Please note that this is the only package that includes Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. The channel lineup includes A&E, ABC, AMC, Animal Planet, Audience, AXS TV, Baby First, BBC America, BET, Bloomberg TV, Bravo, C-SPAN, C-SPAN2, Cartoon Network, CMT, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, Discovery, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, E!, ESPN, ESPN2, Food Network, Fox, Fox Business Network, Fox News Channel, Fox Sports 1, Freeform, FX, FXX, Galavision, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, HGTV, History, HLN, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, MSNBC, MTV, MTV2, National Geographic, NBC, NBCSN, Nick Jr, Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite, One American News, RFD-TV, Spike, SyFy, TBS, TCM, TeenNick, Telemundo, TLC, TNT, TruTV, TV Land, Univision, USA Network, Velocity, VH1, Viceland, WE tv, and WeatherNation.
- Just Right ($50) – This package adds more channels to the list. With it, you get a total of more than 80 channels. The Just Right package includes the first option (minus Hallmark Movies & Mysteries), and includes the additional channel line up of A Wealth of Entertainment, BTN, CNBC World, Comedy TV, Cooking Channel, ESPNEWS, ESPN U, Fuse, Fusion, GSN, IFC, Justice Central, MLB Network, Nicktoons, OWN, Science, SEC Network, SundanceTV, Tennis Channel, Travel Channel, TV One, UniMás, and the Weather Channel.
- Go Big ($60) – The Go Big package includes more than 100 channels. It combines the first two packages plus American Heroes, BBC World News, Centric, Destination America, Discovery Family Channel, Discovery Life, DIY Network, FM, Fox Sports 2, FX Movie Channel, FYI, Golf Channel, LMN, Logo, MTV Classic, Nat Geo Wild, NBA TV, NHL Network, Oxygen, Revolt, Sprout, TVG, and Universo.
- Gotta Have It ($70) – The Gotta Have It package provides you with the most channels in the community, at over 120 channels. Those include the first 3 packages plus Boomerang, Chiller, El Rey, STARZ ENCORE Action, STARZ ENCORE Black, STARZ ENCORE East, STARZ ENCORE Family, STARZ ENCORE Classic, STARZ ENCORE Suspense, STARZ ENCORE West, STARZ ENCORE Westerns, and Univision Deportes Network.
In addition to these packages, you can also add premium channels. Those include STARZ/STARZ ENCORE ($8), HBO ($5) this option allows you to watch HBO Go as well, and Cinemax ($5). You can see that DirecTV Now has good prices for their premium channels.
DirecTV Now Features
DVR – DirecTV Now has officially announced that this service is coming soon. At this time, it is not known when this will happen or what the restrictions will be. As we learn more about this feature for the service, we will update this post. That said, they do have a rewind feature that lets you view the last 72 viewing hours.
On Demand – Many of the DirecTV Now channels offer content that you can watch on demand. That is great if you have missed a show or movie. You can also use this tool to review previous seasons of a show before the new season airs.
TV Guide – If you have ever watched cable, you have likely seen the TV Guide. This one works the same way and shows you what is coming on when. That can be really helpful if you are looking for a specific show or movie, or just browsing. It is not hard to see the benefits to this feature.
Devices Supported by DirecTV Now
Compared to other streaming services we’ve reviewed, the list of devices that support DirecTV Now is large but not as big as some. Those include Chromecast, Android, iOS, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV edition Smart TV. Amazon Fire TV media player, If you are planning on streaming from your PC or Mac, you will need to use Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Safari. They do not support the Firefox browser. If you are not able to find your favorite device in our list, be sure to check their website. You may stream on up to 2 devices at a time, which is less than that offered by PS Vue.
To conclude our review of DirecTV Now, we are left with mixed feelings about the service. Pros include a reasonable price and more channels available than anyone else. That makes it one of the better offerings available in the community. As for things they could improve, we would like to see a few changes. The first one is the number of devices available for simultaneous streaming. With only 2 allowed, bigger families would not be able to use the service well if everyone wants to watch something different. Another item we would like to see improved is their list of supported devices. We feel they should add support for popular game consoles and Firefox web browser. Of course, there are other features they could add, but those are the biggest ones. If you have a smaller family, don’t mind sharing devices, or want more channels than other services, we suggest you give DirecTV Now a chance.