What Is DirecTV Now, and Can It Replace Your Cable Subscription?

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Streaming tv is getting extra and extra well-liked, permitting customers to get away from normal cable packages and into one thing that matches their life-style. DirecTV is among the first conventional “cable” corporations to get in on the motion with DirecTV Now.

What Is DirecTV Now?

Mainly, that is DirecTV’s all-in guess on dwell streaming tv. It’s type of like their extra conventional satellite tv for pc service, however geared for the streaming market (assume Sling TV, however from DirecTV as a substitute). You don’t want a DirecTV satellite tv for pc subscription both; this can be a product anybody can use to stream their favourite exhibits and channels.

It doesn’t embrace the sheer crap-ton of channels that you just’ll get with their conventional plans, however I really feel like this can be a good instance of high quality over amount—a lot of the large names are right here, so you need to get all the pieces you really need to watch, relying in your plan.

Talking of, DirecTV Now provides 4 packages:

  • Dwell a Little ($35/mo): 60+ channels
  • Simply Proper ($50/mo): 80+ channels
  • Go Huge ($60/mo): 100+ channels
  • Gotta Have It ($70/mo): 120+ channels

All the packages assist native channels, although availability is region-specific and one thing you’ll must look into earlier than you enroll. I gained’t go into element about each single channel provided with each single package deal, however I can level you in direction of this web page, which provides an ideal breakdown of what you get with every.

Be aware: For our testing, we had the Go Huge package deal and used an Amazon Fireplace TV for streaming.

The draw back right here is that you just get what you get. Every package deal has a selected set of channels, and you may’t combine and match—this isn’t a real à la carte setup like one would hope, however no companies are. In order for you one thing with extra combine and match choices, you may at all times go along with Sling—it isn’t true à la carte both, however you’ve gotten many extra packages to combine and match with.

That mentioned, you can add premium channels to your service, like:

  • HBO ($5/mo): Provides HBO Go, East, Household Simple, Latino, and entry to HBO’s on-demand library.
  • Cinemax ($5/mo): Provides Max Go, Cinemax East, and entry to Cinemax’s on-demand library.
  • Showtime ($eight/mo): Provides Showtime East and Showtime On Demand.
  • Starz ($eight/mo): Provides Starz East, Children & Household, Encore East, and Starz On Demand.

HBO actually appears like the very best deal there, however that’s completely your name. Not less than the choices are there, proper?

DirecTV Now additionally provides a piece of on-demand entry to motion pictures and exhibits, so if there’s nothing on TV, you may not less than discover one thing else to look at. (Hopefully.)

When it comes to machine assist, DirecTV Now could be obtainable on:

  • Amazon Fireplace TV
  • Amazon Fireplace TV Stick
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • Roku
  • Android (four.four and above)
  • iPhone/iPad (iOS 9 and above)
  • Chrome 50+
  • Safari eight+

And that’s it. It’s possible you’ll discover a number of gadgets lacking right here: Xbox assist is within the works, however there’s no work on PlayStation four or Android TV choice. That’s an enormous bummer, however in case you just like the service, you will get Fireplace TV Stick or Roku Categorical for fairly low-cost.

How DirecTV Now Works

Since DirecTV has a little bit of expertise in terms of constructing an interface for cable, DirecTV Now could be fairly easy. It additionally options extra streaming-centric options as effectively, making this among the best interfaces I’ve personally used from a streaming service.

The principle interface will be damaged down into six foremost components:

  • Dwelling: That is the primary display screen, which exhibits what’s presently enjoying your watchlist, and advised content material.
  • Reveals: Trending and on-demand exhibits.
  • Films: Trending and on-demand motion pictures.
  • Networks: See what’s on by channel.
  • Information: A extra conventional grid-style information.
  • Search: Seek for exhibits, motion pictures, channels, and the like.

For the reason that majority of these are fairly easy, I need to spend a little bit of time specializing in the Information itself, as a result of that’s essentially the most highly effective a part of the DirecTV Now interface.

Mainly, this seems to be just like the type of information you’re used to seeing, as a result of…effectively, it’s. You possibly can browse by occasions and channels, after all, however you can even “favourite” channels utilizing the little coronary heart.

When you’ve taken the time to pick your favourite channels, you may entry simply these channels in a separate a part of the information, so you will get a fast glimpse of the stuff that issues most to you earlier than having to type by way of all of the junk you don’t care about.

Whereas watching dwell TV, you can even press “up” on the distant (we examined on Fireplace TV) to deliver up a type of fast menu with choices for Search, Information, Watchlist, and Settings. Urgent down on the distant brings up the complete menu.

General the structure makes loads of sense and is essentially the most intuitive streaming service I’ve examined to this point. I actually prefer it.

The place DirecTV Now Fall Quick

Whereas I believe DirecTV Now could be essentially the most intuitive dwell TV streaming system I’ve used, there’s one large shortcoming: no DVR. Now, I do know they’re testing a DVR service, however on the time of writing it’s not obtainable, and that’s a enormous bummer.

At this level, it’s arduous to suggest a streaming service that doesn’t embrace DVR options, as a result of most individuals depend on this when their content material comes from dwell TV—I do know I actually do, as a result of who desires to look at commercials? Not this man.

In any other case, I discover that the plan pricing is a bit steep in comparison with a few of the others, even when solely barely. That’s not an enormous shocker to me contemplating DirecTV Now comes from an organization with a really lengthy historical past in cable tv.

Additionally, DirecTV limits simultaneous streams to 2, and that’s that—you may’t add further streams. The corporate really has the audacity to counsel subscribing to further DirecTV Now accounts if greater than two individuals in your loved ones are watching totally different exhibits at a time. Proper, like anybody desires to pay double the worth as a result of they want three streams as a substitute of two. Get out.

Whereas a lot of the large names in streaming containers are supported, I’d be remiss to not point out the dearth of Android TV, PlayStation four, and Xbox assist. That would instantly make DirecTV Now a deal breaker for anybody who depends on these methods for his or her streaming wants.

So, Can DirecTV Now Replace Your Cable Subscription?

As with most different streaming companies: perhaps. It actually depends upon how and once you watch TV—what channels you need to have and all that. Additionally, the dearth of DVR might be (and ought to be) a deal breaker for many.

That mentioned, DirecTV Now is among the higher streaming companies on the market, no query about it. Whereas the pricing is a bit steeper than I’d wish to see for the channels provided, it’s been very dependable for me and I like the interface.

Right here’s my suggestion: wait till they launch the DVR companies, which is rumored for early 2018. Assuming they don’t cost further for it (and they shouldn’t), this may solely add worth to the service, making the pricing a bit of simpler to swallow. At that time, I really feel like this could be the most suitable choice for anybody who desires to make a fast and simple change to a streaming service with out having to study a brand new system or take care of making a bunch of selections. In different phrases, it’s nice for older generations who’re simply in-touch sufficient to make the change to streaming, however perhaps desire to maintain extra of a standard cable really feel.

General, DirecTV Now has been extra spectacular than I anticipated, particularly coming from a satellite tv for pc firm that’s been within the enterprise for a very long time. The streaming high quality is superb and structure could be very intuitive and simple to make use of. I want to see a bit extra aggressive pricing, however truthfully I can’t say that it’s sufficient to be a deal breaker. If it has the channels you need at a value you’re okay with, I believe it’s arduous not to contemplate DirecTV Now as one of many higher streaming choices on the market.

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