DirecTV Now launches on Fire TV to take on Sling TV and Playstation Vue

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AT&T has officially released DirecTV Now, their new internet TV streaming service to rival Sling TV and Playstation Vue. The service is available on all Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models, as well as Apple TV, Chromecast, Android, and iOS devices. Roku compatibility is said to arrive some time next year. If you prepay for just 1 month of service, you can get a free Fire TV Stick, or a free Apple TV for 3 months of service. Read on for an overview of what the service offers.

Service

DirecTV Now offers a 7-day free trial. Channel packages range from $35 a month to $70 a month. The mid-tier $60 a month package is currently discounted to $35 a month, but DirecTV Now has not said when the promotional price will expire. Anyone who signs up for the discounted plan will continue paying $35/month for the life of their service, even after it returns to $60/month. If you cancel your service or change to a different package, you will lose the $35/month promotional price.

Subscribers can stream on 2 devices simultaneously. Quality is “up to 1080p” and “up to 60 fps,” but it varies by channel and programming. 5.1 surround sound is supported on both the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, but again, it’s probably on a show-by-show basis. AT&T mobile subscribers can stream DirecTV Now without using their data.

Channel Packages

“Live A Little” – 60+ channels – $35/month
A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, AUDIENCE, AXS TV, Baby First, BBC America, BET, Bloomberg, Bravo, C-SPAN, C-Span2, Cartoon Network, CMT, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, Discovery, Disney, Disney Jr, Disney XD, E!, ESPN, ESPN2, Food Network, Fox Business, Fox News, FOX Sports, Freeform, FX, Galavision, Hallmark, Hallmark Movies, HGTV, History, HLN, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, MSNBC, MTV, MTV2, National Geographic, Nick Jr, Nickelodeon, RFD-TV, Spike, Syfy, TBS, TCM, TeenNick, TLC, TNT, TruTV, TV Land, Univision, USA Network, Velocity, VH1, Viceland, WE tv, Weather Nation

“Just Right” – 80+ channels – $50/month
All channels above plus:
Comedy TV, Cooking Channel, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, Fuse, Fusion, GSN, IFC, Justice Channel, LMN, Longhorn Network, MLB Network, NBC Sports, Nicktoons, Own, Science, SEC Network, Travel Channel, Weather Cannel, UniMas

“Go Big” – 100+ channels – $60/month – Introductory price of $35/month
All channels above plus:
American Heroes, BBC World News, Centric, Destination America, Discovery Family, Discovery Live, DIY Network, FM, FOX Sports 2, FX Movie Channel, FXX, Fyi, Golf Channel, Logo, MTV Classic, Nat Geo Wild, NBA TV, NBC Universo, NHL Network, Oxygen, Revolt, Sprout, Sundance TV, Tennis Channel, TVG

“Gotta Have It” – 120+ channels – $70/month
All channels above plus:
Boomerang, Chiller, Cloo, El Rey, STARZ Action, STARZ Black, STARZ Classic, STARZ East, STARZ Family, STARZ Suspense, STARZ West, STARZ Westerns, Univision Deportes

Premium
HBO and Cinemax can be added to any package for an extra $5/month. It is likely this is an introductory promotional price that will go up in the future.

Local Channels

Select regions will have access to some local channels, including ABC, NBC, FOX, and Telemundo. Notably missing is CBS. The regions and channels with local access are:

Atlanta, GA: FOX (WAGA)
Austin, TX: FOX (KTBC)
Boston, MA: Telemundo East
Charlotte, NC: FOX (WJZY)
Chicago, IL: ABC (WLS), NBC (WMAQ), FOX (WFLD), Telemundo East
Dallas, TX: NBC (KXAS), FOX (KDFW), Telemundo East
Daytona, FL: FOX (WOFL)
Denver, CO: Telemundo East
Detroit, MI: FOX (WJBK)
Durham, NC: ABC (WTVD)
Fresno – Visalia, CA: ABC (KFSN), Telemundo East
Ft. Lauderdale, FL: NBC (WTVJ), Telemundo East
Ft. Worth, TX: NBC (KXAS), FOX (KDFW), Telemundo East
Gainesville, FL: FOX (WOGX)
Hartford, CT: NBC (WVIT)
Houston, TX: ABC (KTRK), Telemundo East
Las Vegas, NV: Telemundo East
Los Angeles, CA: ABC (KABC), NBC (KNBC), FOX (KTTV), Telemundo East
Miami, FL: NBC (WTVJ), Telemundo East
Minneapolis, MN: FOX (KMSP)
New Haven, CT: NBC (WVIT)
New York, NY: ABC (WABC), NBC (WNBC), FOX (WNYW), Telemundo East
Oakland, CA: ABC (KGO), NBC (KNTV), FOX (KTVU)
Orlando, FL: FOX (WOFL)
Philadelphia, PA: ABC (WPVI), NBC (WCAU), FOX (WTXF), Telemundo East
Phoenix, AZ: FOX (KSAZ), Telemundo East
Raleigh, NC: ABC (WTVD)
San Diego, CA: NBC (KNSD)
San Francisco, CA: ABC (KGO), NBC (KNTV), FOX (KTVU)
San Jose, CA: ABC (KGO), NBC (KNTV), FOX (KTVU)
St. Petersburg, FL: FOX (WTVT)
Tampa, FL: FOX (WTVT)
Washington, D.C.: NBC (WRC), FOX (WTTG)

There are also regional sports networks in some areas.

Network App Activation

Subscribers of DirecTV Now will be able to use their login credentials to activate a small selection of network apps, assuming they’re subscribed to a plan that includes that network. More apps will be added in the future, but the initial apps are:
ABC, Disney, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN (WatchESPN), Freeform (not available on Fire TV), HBO GO, MAX GO (not available on Fire TV)

DVR & On-Demand Content

DirecTV Now does not have a cloud DVR function to save programming, like you find with Playstation Vue and soon with Sling TV. AT&T has said they will be adding DVR function “in 2017.” Some channels do allow pausing live TV. DirecTV Now does have a lot of on-demand content, but it is very sporadic and inconsistent when it comes to what shows and episodes are available.

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65 comments
  1. bill says:

    just signed up and got the free apple tv. i’ll probably just ebay it and get 3 months free basically. this actually looks promising although im a cable cutter and have most apps i need and kodi to clean up.

    • bill says:

      anyone having problems with the fire tv app? I’m rooted gen2 – was asked and granted SU access and i just get Error 40. it loads the channel for just a second then goes to error screen

      • jkchr1s says:

        Same thing here. I tried granting su access and still got error 40. Looks like they are detecting root and bailing on the video feed.

        • bill says:

          bogus. ill have to dig for a work around i guess. or maybe just keep the apple tv i guess

          • jkchr1s says:

            This showed up in logcat:

            I/drm_oal ( 4862): IsDeviceRooted: 0x0000000000000002

            Then I got the error 40 again.

            So I’m going to play with bypassing this…

          • jkchr1s says:

            Also this:

            D/NewRelicGateway(14071): ERROR event was recorded. Error description = Failed preparing the player because device security check failed due to: (FileSystem)(com.quickplay.vstb.core:1005)

      • spotmark says:

        After I installed Hide My Root all is well.

  2. BYF says:

    Does anyone know how many fire tv’s you can use at the same time? PlayStation Vue allows 5 to stream at the same time.

  3. Darth Jerm says:

    2 streams at a time.

    • Galen Luth says:

      Thanks, sorry I did not see it in the info that was posted. not sure how i missed it bu I was reading it fast. Not gonna work since I have 5 devices and Directtv Now only allows 2 streaming at once.

  4. Rob P says:

    Too bad xfinity/Comcast is restricting my area to 1tb a month without incurring extra charges. I’m haVing a hard time staying under 1tb With Kodi NetflIx and trying out new 4k Roku tv.

    I Don’t get the trend of increased streaming and cloud services while ISP continue to put caps on data.

  5. Dave69 says:

    100 channels for $35 a month (you need to prepay 3 months) + free apple tv. Says limited time offer on the price so hopefully it’s permanent for early adopters. 7 day free trial added to end of your 3 months.

    I did sign up and just quickly glancing it will be a playstation vue killer, especially if this price holds.

    Like the previous poster I will ebay or craigslist the apple tv to offset costs.

    Thanks for the heads up.

    • Reg says:

      If it stays at that price yeah. Although I would miss NBC and FOX and still no mention of DVR.

    • AFTVnews says:

      The wording of the promotion terms seems to indicate that when the promo ends, those who signed up during the promo will keep paying the $35 price. However, I highly doubt it will stay $35 forever. A year at $35/month would be as good as I’d expect.

      CORRECTION: I’ve learned that the $35/month promotional price is forever as long as you don’t cancel service or change plans.

    • Scott Lewis says:

      For me, it’s very much not a Vue killer. Works well, and decent interface, but…

      1) No deal with CBS at all, so no live CBS, no on demand.
      2) Local channel coverage inferior. For example, in Miami, NBC but only on phones. Vue offers Fox, NBC and CBS.
      3) No DVR
      4) What makes #3 worse… horrible on Demand. For example, I sampled five random Fox and ABC shows. Nothing newer than episodes that were 4 weeks old or so.
      5) I’m a bit put off by the 100 channels for $35/month we’ve been hearing for week after week after week. Now we see it’s a temporary pricing promotion, and the real cost is more like double that.
      6) Two streams instead of five.

      Some pros… slick interface, streaming starts fast, excellent device and browser coverage from day one. And Viacom channels are included, although Viacom seems to have disputes eventually with everybody, so I’m not holding my breath on them being there next year.

      Looking forward to Hulu’s offering, holding out for an Apple offering. Personally I find Vue to be #1, Sling #2, and this service #3. But the more competition, the better. It will hold cord cutting prices down, and continued cable subscription downturns will only help with company’s negotiating power moving forward. Lack of a monopoly in the space + traditional subs going down will only help keep those carriage fees in check a bit.

      • AFTVnews says:

        I just got clarification that the $35/month promo price is forever if you sign up during the promotional period.

      • Don says:

        Scott, the $35 price is the current promo of the $60/100 channel package. According to the website, this price is good forever, as long as you are a subscriber or change programming package.

        I just signed up for this package for $40 plus tax (paid in advance) I received 7 days free service, 120+ channels plus HBO and a free Amazon Fire TV Stick. (I don’t know if its a first or second generation with Alexa-we’ll see when it arrives) Apparently this is a limited time offer, but it’s good as of 2 December.

        We’ll see how it goes but reviews look good! If it socks, at least I’ll have a free streaming stick

  6. Bert says:

    Does it have a Dvr? I’m using the Vue but I don’t like the fact you are forced to watch commercials through some shows.

    • AFTVnews says:

      No, there is no cloud DVR like on Playstation Vue. AT&T says they’ll be adding it in 2017. There is on-demand content, but I don’t know if there are commercials or if you can skip them.

  7. Dave Brasewicz says:

    What quality is the stream?
    1080P / 720?

  8. Sal says:

    Where is the fire stick app. Don’t see it anywhere on the fire stick?

  9. Sal says:

    Some extract the apk and upload it please.

  10. kywildcat says:

    so confirmed, directvnow doesn’t work on rooted fire tvs?

  11. ART says:

    Love TV NOW for $35 for 100 channels and cloud dvr coming in 2017. I’m disconnecting Vue.

  12. Dave69 says:

    Don’t know if its been mentioned but you can pause live tv.

  13. Dblaze says:

    I only want 4 channels NBC sports, Fox sports 1, ESPN, ESPN 2. For that it would cost me $50. F- that!!!

    That’s $2 more than my old cable bill was. No point.

  14. Joe says:

    Sling (DishNetwork), Vue & DTVNow needed to come up with this price point (Under $40) about 5 to 8 years ago

  15. freaksloan says:

    I have used Playstation Vue and Sling and today I signed up for DirectTV Now and I can already say it blows Vue and Sling out of the water.

    100 Channels for $35 and it covers all the channels I want, Sling and Vue doesn’t even come close.

    I do not care about local channels, I have a OTA Antenna so I get ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS and CW.

    I do not care about DVR. I got a free 4th Gen Apple TV. I get both Fox Sports Detroit and Fox Sports Ohio. Vue and Sling only gave me Fox Sports Ohio and I want FSD, I am a Tigers and Red Wings Fan.

    So in my opinion, DirectTV Now is the WINNER hands Down.

  16. Nick says:

    How long is the “promotional period”?

    • AFTVnews says:

      DirecTV Now hasn’t said. But if you sign up during the promotional period, you keep the promo price until you decide to cancel service or change your plan.

  17. Alex says:

    Just tried it today on Amazon Fire TV. The interface is pathetic: confusing and illogical (pressing back arrow sometimes get you back to video, and sometimes – back to the previous channel), no settings can be changed except for the ability to start next episode right away (even Close Caption font size/color/background cannot be adjusted – BTW, it is possible in Windows version).

    Although the guide is generally better than in Vue (font and channel icons are way larger and brighter – hence, easy readable from a distance), the Favorites seem not working well, and the focus does not stay on the same channel if you leave the guide and then come back. Not a big deal but annoying.

    All in all, it looks like AT&T took the app version for some other device, quickly patched it to be barely compatible with the Fire TV, and threw it to the Amazon Store. It’s a shame really because the video quality is really good, and the service is pretty fast.

  18. Shelley Hempel says:

    Are the programs current or are they years old and limited like sling tv?

  19. Bernie says:

    No android TV deal buster for me will stick with vue

  20. spotmark says:

    I wanted to make a standalone post since I’ve seen more posts about rooted devices after I replied to someone above. I have a rooted Fire TV2 running on 5.0.5, and Hide My Root worked for me. Streamed for a couple hours last night, and tried it again this morning. Everything is a go.

  21. Lajamoto says:

    Frustrating… And reminds me why I became a cord cutter. Dirty has no customer service. If you call for help they require you pay a fee to talk to someone that might not even be able to help you. I started the registration for DirecTV Now and got an error on registration. Somehow I got a registration email. I go to login and I get error message. Try again later or contact customer support. Their chat is even too busy to reach out to anyone and it seems their FAQ don’t even acknowledge DirecTV Now. Back to Kodi!

    • Lajamoto says:

      Update *** It seems either their servers were down or overloaded. I was finally able to complete the registration. I did have to clear cache for the app and restart it. I am now able to stream through the app. I took the Apple TV offer considering I will probably turn around and resell it. It is streaming fine on my FireTV.

  22. paul s. says:

    ok everyone calm down. directv now just launched 24hrs ago! while ive had a few issues with it on firetv. like the most current episodes not in the vod library. the remote not quite working right on the live channel guide( like not having a ‘last channel’ button option). and not having this 72hr channel playback ive been hearing about, like ps vue has. and no cloud dvr yet. but give it at least a cpl months. im sure most of these issues will be sorted out.

    ive been using ps vue for a while now. paying 55$ a month and compared to dtv now the channel lineup sucks. the final straw for me w/ vue was loosing all viacom channels. comedy central, spike, all the mtvs, vh1. and they never even had a&e, history, viceland etc. the only channel i wish directv now had that vue has is the nfl network. but the nfl network is really only worth watching sept. thru jan. but dtv now has mlb network & nhl network which vue doesnt. and 5$ for hbo is a great deal. its 15$ everywhere else.

    overall for the cheaper price and for the better selection of channels. and thank god for a normal channel guide, instead of the upside down tiny print guide of psvue. im happy to switch.

    and for people freaking out about their local channels. just go buy a 10-20$ digital antenna. and you’ll have all your local channels in live hd. thats what ive been doing. i just switch my tv input when i want to watch cbs,nbc,abc,wgn,pbs,fox etc..

  23. DruTheFu says:

    I have 2 AFTV Gen 1 boxes, and a new Gen 2 AFTV Stick. My problem is that I can only ‘push’ the DTV Now app to my newer stick, with Amazon’s site telling me that my Gen 1 boxes are not compatible.

    Is anyone else experiencing this, not having compatible AFTV Gen 1 devices? Is it a software version update scenario for me?

  24. Raymond says:

    I don’t know why there are so many problems. Mine has worked flawless so far. I mean it could end up messing up. But Vue always buffered on me.

  25. No more cable says:

    Do u have to have a Directv customer to get it? I want to cancel my satellite!

  26. Damien says:

    Im not rooted and still error 40

  27. gameaddict4life says:

    Does anybody know if DirecTV Now will be a provider for the Fox Sports Go app? On Vue we get Fox Sports Wisconsin through the Go app but DirecTV Now doesn’t seem to be a provider yet. This could be a deal breaker come baseball season but otherwise this new service is a better deal than Vue with the promotional price lock.

  28. Dave says:

    Has anyone actually gotten 5.1 audio using the Fire TV? Directv states that it supports 5.1 on the Fire TV but I’ve yet to find a single channel with 5.1 audio. Stereo only.

  29. Tony Ramirez says:

    Service is bad.

    Buffers all the time in the evening. If I see that stupid blue animated box I am going to stab it with a knife and break my TV screen and don’t forge the Error 40’s and I am not rooted.

    On the 4th Gen Apple TV is it better just some small pauses when it is not giving you Error 60.

    4K forget about it. Not all channels are even in HD. TeenNick, Nicktoons, CSPAN 1&2 and Telemundo so far browsing is only inh 480i and I got DirecTV now mainly for Nicktoons after Vue dropped them. Sling carries Nicktoons and TeenNick in HD.

  30. Al says:

    I signed up in NY and no NBC channel, there’s NBC sports and NBC Universo… What gives?

    • Don says:

      Let’s see…NBC is Comcast/Xfinity…maybe they’re pissed about additional competition. Just a guess, but probably closer to the truth than not.

      The website says if the NBC Station is an affiliate, it’s not carried, only NBC Corporate stations.

  31. Don says:

    Just caught Sling’s latest Ad on the NBC Network. They’re offering a free Roku Stick with a new subscription. They’ll have to do better than that, especially on their channel lineup. Pretty lame.

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