AT&T’s new streaming television service looks like a cord-cutter’s dream come true.
For as little as $35 a month, DirecTV Now will stream live television from networks you typically find on cable and satellite over the internet to your smartphone, tablet, computer, or set-top box like an Apple TV.
There’s a lot to like about DirecTV Now, from its low price to its hassle-free sign-up. (For a quick overview of the product, go here).
But as we found out at the launch event in New York on Monday, DirectTV Now has a lot of caveats.
The first is that although you can sign up for DirecTV Now’s 100+ channel package for $35 dollars at launch, and get it at that price in perpetuity, that’s not the price that the service will settle at. That 100+ channel package will normally cost $60 per month, and that’s the price people will pay if they sign up after the initial promotion.
There will still be a $35 plan after the launch promotion, but that will only include 60 channels (prices will scale up to $70 a month for 120 channels).
And there are a few other things you won’t get with DirecTV Now.
Here is a quick rundown:
- CBS and Showtime are not currently part of the service. AT&T says it is working actively to get them on the platform.
- Cloud DVR isn’t available yet, meaning you can’t pause live TV. AT&T says cloud DVR will come in the next iteration of the product. Right now, however, DirecTV Now does have a big on-demand library, especially for current-season shows. A feature called “72-hour look-back” is also available on a lot of shows, which lets you watch them on-demand for that period.
- Depending on your market, certain local affiliate broadcast stations might not be on board yet, though AT&T says it is working to get them all eventually.
- Roku isn’t supported yet, though AT&T says it will be in two to four weeks.
- There is no 4K support.
- You can’t have more than two streams going at once. While AT&T says it will look at premium packages for more than that down the line, for now, it will shut off at two.
- There is Spanish-language content from providers like Univision, but there are no packages specifically focused on non-English speakers.
- NFL Sunday Ticket is not currently available.
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