AT&T WatchTV arrives on Fire TV devices with 37 channels for $15 a month

AT&T WatchTV is the newest TV streaming service to arrive in the Fire TV appstore to compete with Sling TV, Hulu Live TV, PlayStation Vue, and AT&T’s other subscription service, DirecTV NOW. At just $15 per month for 37 channels, it beats out its current competition on price, but Philo TV will give AT&T WatchTV a run for its money when it debuts later this summer at $16 a month for 40 channels and more features.

AT&T WatchTV is a fairly bare-bones service, but it’s how they’re able to off the service at such a low price. One of the keys to that strategy is not offering local or sports channels, which usually come at a premium. It also has no DVR service, but does offer “over 15,000 TV shows and movies on demand.”

Even though Philo TV is not yet available on Fire TV devices, it’s still worth comparing it to AT&T WatchTV, as they’re both trying to be the low-cost leaders of the streaming TV market. Philo TV is currently conducting private alpha testing of their Fire TV app and is expected to be available to everyone before the end of the summer.

Philo TV will cost $1 more a month than AT&T WatchTV and will offer 3 more channels. The two services offer 25 fo the same channels in their lineups. With AT&T WatchTV, you get the channels Audience, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, Hallmark, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, HLN, Nicktoons, TBS, TCM, and truTV that you won’t get with Philo TV. On the other hand, with Philo TV you get the channels AXS TV, Cheddar, Cheddar Big News, CMT, DIY, GSN, MTV, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, PeopleTV, Science, Tastemade, Travel Channel, and TV Land that you won’t get with AT&T WatchTV.

With AT&T WatchTV, you’re only allowed to watch a single stream at a time, while Philo TV allows for 3 simultaneous streams. Most of AT&T WatchTV’s programing is only available in 720p, not 1080p. Philo also offers an unlimited DVR that will make any show or movie you select available for 30-days, while AT&T WatchTV has no way to record or save content for later.

AT&T WatchTV, like its sister service DirecTV NOW, is not available on 1st-gen Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks. It’s available on all other Fire TV, Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Edition television models. While most of you might not consider that as a negative because you’re using one of the supported newer devices, it’s important to acknowledge that AT&T is the only major streaming service to drop support for older Fire TV devices. They did so without warning to the surprise of many customers who abruptly found themselves with no way to watch the TV service they were paying for.

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18 comments
  1. Eric says:

    I have every fire tv product and continue to use my AFTVg1 with my optical input soundbar.

    The DTVN app has never pass DD thru optical to my soundbar, it indicates when it receives and DD signal. But with either the new preroot rom and/or the latest downloaded DTVN app, it now does indicate on the sound bar it is getting DD on certain channels. Btw, I always had DD with Prime Videos.
    But the interesting thing is that the channels with blocky unwatchable video issues on DTVN are the ones that are passing the DD now. The nonDD channels play perfect on the AFTVg1, smooth and clear.
    Their “streaming protocol” for the DD channels may have been the reason they pulled ATVg1 and g1 stick support. I remember seeing a post on AFTVnews that someone comment mentioned on the g1 support dropping article you wrote.

    • Richard says:

      I don’t think any of the streaming services offer DD if you mean 5.1 surround sound by the term. They broadcast in 2-channel stereo. I think I may have read some channels may be in 5.1 and only on Xbox and PlayStation.

      That’s why I am sticking with DirecTV Sat as it’s 5.1 if the provider has it.

      • Eric says:

        Richard, when the Dual side by side whiteLEDs on the vizio sound bar are on, it is receiving a DD or DTS signal, per the manual.
        I got many of my Sling channels to show up DD on the sound bar when I first had that service, and all the prime movies.
        I am getting DD signal on various DTVN channels. That’s a fact.
        My post on more about the loss of DTVN support for AFTVg1. I downloaded latest and have had some channel be very buggy, and some perfect. I just recently saw that the DD ones are the very ones which are video buggy on the AFTVg1.
        Btw, the audio on those buggy video channels is perfect, the video is just not working right.
        Someone posted that DTVN my have changed their streaming protocol, I am just offering some addition data to maybe support that.

      • Fred says:

        Half of all Directions tv now/Att Watch are DD 5.1

  2. Richard says:

    Here:

    Does DIRECTV NOW offer HD video and Dolby sound?
    Yes, most DIRECTV NOW programming streams in HD. If your Internet connection or bandwidth can’t support HD, the video quality will automatically downgrade to ensure the best viewing experience.

    Mobile streams on a smartphone or tablet may be limited to 480p standard definition when viewing on a mobile network. Wi-Fi connected devices can play in 720p. For more information, see Recommended Broadband Speeds.

    DIRECTV NOW streams On Demand content in Dolby Digital 5.1 on Apple TV devices.

  3. OG Charlie says:

    Only being able to watch on one device at a time means this service is dead in the water. That’s way too strict of a limitation.

    • ChuckY says:

      Agree. I have DTVN and during the day I will oftentimes have CNBC running in my office, while the wife has a TV going in hers. One stream will appeal to (maybe) a single person household, but that’s about it.

  4. Dennis Rodzik says:

    $15 a month for some of the lowest rated channels in viewership. What a deal, NOT!

  5. Angela says:

    Philo tv has almost the same channels for a $1 more and you can watch on 3 devices at once.. However right now Philo tv can only be watched on Roku which I’m a bigger fan of..

  6. Dan Dutra says:

    Yeah this service is pretty lacking. Of all the services right now, sling o+b is the one that comes closest to all the channels I want. I can get closer with DirecTV now, but only on the 70 dollar plan.

  7. Matt says:

    Viceland and Cartoon Network for $15 a month, count me in!

  8. Lenin D says:

    How many devices can watch at one time for 15? sling tv works perfectly but need a $25 a month subscription

  9. Keith says:

    I installed it because last week I upgraded to ‘unlimited’.
    As a free extra it’s pretty good, but this is a pitiful subscription service.
    Itd be OK if it had a built in DVR service but even then I couldn’t see anyone paying $15 per month.

  10. Dave says:

    Let me pick the channels I want and we’ll talk

  11. John Nabors says:

    I have a brand new 3rd generation fire tv and the AT&T Watchtv app is not on there.I am supposed to be able to get it for free since I have AT&T wireless unlimited plus video.

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