Finally, after months of rumors and speculation about a groundbreaking cable killer, AT&T's highly anticipated streaming TV service, DirecTV Now, will debut on Wednesday with more than 120 available channels. With packages starting at $35 month, it's a significant new alternative to relying on a patchwork of streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu to avoid cable.
At a presentation in NYC on Monday, AT&T said the new streaming service will include access to premium TV channels, popular shows, movies, live sports, and on-demand content via various devices like your iPhone or Android smartphone, computer, and set-top streaming devices. Specifically, DirecTV Now service comes in four different packages, ranging from $35/month for 60-plus channels to $70/month for 120-plus channels. Here's the full breakdown, per a press release:
- Live a Little – $35/month (60-plus channels)
- Just Right – $50/month (80-plus channels)
- Go Big – $60/month (100-plus channels)
- Gotta Have It – $70/month (120-plus channels)
For another five bucks each, you can also add HBO and Cinemax to any of the packages. Oh, and yes, "Gotta Have It" is also what Cold Stone Creamery calls its largest ice cream size.
As of Tuesday morning, DirecTV Now's official website only offered a signup for email alerts on further details about the service, AT&T's Monday announcement revealed its lineup will include several big channels like ABC, AMC, A&E, CNN, Fox News, Fuse, TNT, and many others. Thankfully, what appears to be a promotional brochure lists the channel lineups for each of the DirecTV Now plans:
AT&T said it plans to offer a free seven-day trial of any of the DirecTV Now packages to new customers, and said it'll even throw in a free Apple TV if you sign up for the service and prepay the first three months. On top of that, the company will offer the "Go Big" bundle with 100-plus channels for $35 (normally $60) for a limited time, however, it's somewhat unclear how you'll be able to keep that promotional price.
"Customers who sign up for this offer will continue to enjoy this special price for as long as you keep the package, subject only to future reasonable programming price increases applicable to all packages," AT&T stated in a press release.
Unfortunately, it looks like DirecTV comes with a few drawbacks, too -- at least for now. As explained in a report by The Verge, the service will lack features offered by competitors like Playstation Vue, such as cloud DVR functionality or even the ability to pause the live content you're currently watching. Watching major network TV channels like ABC, NBC, and FOX live will also have some limitations, although executives said additional features will be added in the future, according to the report. It's also worth noting that AT&T wireless will get to stream DirecTV Now via the company's network without it counting towards their data plans, a move that has raised big net neutrality concerns.
At this point, it's probably safe to expect more details about the streaming service to shake out over the next few days. But all said, if you're sick and tired of logging into HBO Go, CNN, FX, and other TV apps with your parents' subscription, it could be another way to cut that cord, too.
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