Three happy young men watching football game and keeping arms raised while sitting on sofa

DIRECTV NOW Upgrades Its Stream Quality

Three happy young men watching football game and keeping arms raised while sitting on sofaIt looks like DIRECTV NOW has started to roll out an upgrade to its live TV streaming service.

Since DIRECTV NOW launched, it had been streaming at mostly 720p with 30 fps. After launch it started rolling out 720p with 60 fps and even a few channels at 1080p with 30 fps. The new Olympic Channel on DIRECTV NOW seems to be the first with both 1080p and 60 fps.

Why is this important? The significant improvement here is the 60 fps on 1080p streams. This will allow for a smoother look for fast moving sports or action on the TV, giving the viewer a much better experience with sports across the board.

Other streaming services such as Sling TV already stream sports channels at 60 fps and non-sports channels at 30 fps. This helps save bandwidth and lowers data usage while still giving the highest level of image needed for the channel.

DIRECTV NOW recently announced that it doesn’t plan to stop with a 1080p and 60 fps. AT&T has announced plans to roll out 4K support on DIRECTV NOW. No date or channel lineup has been given for the 4K support roll out.

This is all a part of a big upgrade to DIRECTV NOW with its recent announcements of a DVR, new app, and 4K support. Beta testing is reported to start this summer with a public roll out this fall, but the 4K is reported to be coming later after the new app and the DVR is added.

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28 Responses to DIRECTV NOW Upgrades Its Stream Quality

  1. HeyRadar July 23, 2017 at 7:25 am #

    Luke, don’t suppose you could do a comparison between the different services and show how much bandwidth each uses?

    Maybe do both some live stream channels and on demand/DVR.

    There are many starting that DTVN is a data hog. Would be interesting to truly know.

    • Nathan John Ganiere July 23, 2017 at 9:02 am #

      I use roughly 43 GB a day streaming DTVN on one device, and it’s by far the most of any service, Sling I was using about 25 GB a day for about same period of time, and it’s basically streaming as long as I’m up for the most part, on average 15 to 18 hours a day, with maybe an occasional break…….I know when I used PS VUE it fell in between, think it was roughly 31 GB a day…..

      • Robert Anthony Hartzell July 23, 2017 at 12:28 pm #

        I can believe it. Directv Now has a very crisp picture. Out of the 3 you’ve listed, and I’ve used personally, I’ve seen less artifacts with Directv Now than the others. It has to come at a cost.

        • HiroRoshi July 23, 2017 at 2:55 pm #

          It does seem to fit with my personal experience… DTV highest quality, then PS Vue, then Sling. Hulu seemed to be as low as Sling too.

    • Mike Thaler July 24, 2017 at 12:55 pm #

      The only service we’ve tried so far is Google/YT. Vue will be next for us to try. The YT pic seems Excellent (better than Comcast was on some channels). We have a 60″ 1080p plasma. I don’t know how to display/retrieve fps numbers.
      Is there something I can plug in to the ethernet line feeding the stream to TV or the HDMI input line that would tell me how much data is being used? We are fortunate and have unlimited fast data (100Mbps up/down).

  2. Fg July 23, 2017 at 8:12 am #

    How does one tell the streaming resolution and fps?

    • Sam July 23, 2017 at 9:37 am #

      I can tell fps by how I see motion on my screen. At 30fps, a moving image sort of flickers across the screen whereas at 60fps, the motion is smooth with no flickering. What do I mean by “flickering”? LED Christmas lights come to mind.

    • Kevin Bishop July 24, 2017 at 12:03 pm #

      Developer menu for the fire TV and x code for the Apple TV.

  3. Robert Anthony Hartzell July 23, 2017 at 12:24 pm #

    Hopefully with the new UI they allow you to choose your resolution. Thankfully I don’t have a data cap, but I know some do. I do however have a family of 4, and our youngest is getting to the age that she likes to watch TV too. Our problem is we only have 20 Mbps available. 50+ Mbps is supposedly coming next year. Live TV streaming services should really start considering the limitations customers may have with their internet. Out of the 3 I’ve used (Sling, Vue, DTVN), only Sling has offered this.

    • icwhatudidthere July 23, 2017 at 11:19 pm #

      Some routers can control bandwidth to specific devices. Look for Quality of Service settings.

  4. Wayne Perry July 23, 2017 at 12:47 pm #

    If somebody tells you that 30FPS looks vastly different than 60FPS on the screen you can call BS on them. Watch this video and you decide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-ldv6I0X3s

    • Kevin Sartori July 23, 2017 at 12:59 pm #

      It’s not BS. If you watch sports programming at 60fps, it’s pretty obvious.

  5. mnsportsgeek July 23, 2017 at 1:02 pm #

    I’m very interested in how they are doing this. The Cable and Satellite broadcast is not 1080p. They must be getting a special feed. I hope AT&T is able to get more networks to do this.

    • Kevin Bishop July 24, 2017 at 12:02 pm #

      My understanding is that everyone does get the raw feed but cable and satellite degrade the quality to make it work for their systems. Direct TV now doesn’t have the bandwidth constraints that cable and satellite does as dtvn relies on your bandwidth.

  6. Surfer July 23, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

    I’ve have had DTVN since it first came out. I have a Fire TV 2 Box and with developer mode turned on, the resolution has always been 720P @ 60fps. I just tuned to the Olympic channel and it too is at 720p @ 60fps. I am in NYC so perhaps my market is different than other markets.

    • mnsportsgeek July 23, 2017 at 1:56 pm #

      It’s 1080p on Apple TV

      • Surfer July 23, 2017 at 3:04 pm #

        May I ask what state you live in? It may be that a different market may be the reason why?

        • mnsportsgeek July 23, 2017 at 3:21 pm #

          I’m in MN. Could be location based.

          • Surfer July 23, 2017 at 4:06 pm #

            Yeah I think so. I did notice that WNBC is the only channel so far that is 1080p @ 30fps in NY.

        • Kevin Bishop July 24, 2017 at 11:59 am #

          1080p 60fps is only working in the Apple TV at the moment. Expect a roll out to other devices soon I would guess.

  7. Jason Williamson July 23, 2017 at 3:53 pm #

    It would be nice if they could get the stable signal to broadcast at the lower resolution, before they try a higher one. Stability is Job 1. I have slingtv and there are no issues compared to DTV. But…sling doesn’t have MLB, otherwise I’d make the jump.

  8. harrington July 24, 2017 at 9:39 am #

    Live TV hasn’t worked on my LeEco TV in the DirecTV Now app for a few weeks now. VOD works but no Live TV or Guide data. Anyone know of a fix? It works on my tablet and phone

  9. Carl Maynor July 24, 2017 at 9:53 am #

    Looking for information regarding Directv NOW. I’m trialing it and I know that there is a 2 stream limit. However having to physically log out of a device to log in on a different device is cumbersome. Especially with having an older person living in the house. If I power the Roku through the tv, will shutting the tv off end the Directv NOW stream?

    • Kravimir July 24, 2017 at 9:38 pm #

      You shouldn’t have to log out or turn off power to stop the stream. Simply press the home button on your Roku remote to return to the Roku home screen. To directly answer your question, turning off power to your Roku should stop the stream.

      • Carl Maynor July 25, 2017 at 7:22 am #

        Thanks for the information! Now if there was some way to store the login information so you don’t have to input it each time you login to a new device would be helpful. I can do it easily. My father in law who is 78 cannot accomplish that.

  10. waleed ahmad July 24, 2017 at 10:41 am #

    I have been with DTVN since the beginning and I’m watching FS1 Undisputed at 1080p. I’m living in the Southeastern Wisconsin area. I just replaced a Spectrum modem with a the Motorola MG7550 and enjoying great streaming quality with the free Fire Stick given to me by DTVN when I purchased their Go Big package for $35 a month. I’m a very happy DTVN customer who loves sports and can’t wait for them to improve their services.

  11. seaside12000 October 22, 2017 at 9:31 pm #

    It’s ridiculous. I watched 4 hours of DirectTv last night and used 23GB.
    There’s no way to turn down video quality. It streams at the highest quality depending on your internet speed. I have 50MB download…….but i have a 150GB data cap.

  12. MH27610 December 13, 2017 at 7:05 pm #

    Why the hell doe the picture quality keep going in and out? When I first got DTN last month it was awesome. Now the picture is so unstable