On Tuesday, AT&T launched a website for the AT&T TV streaming service. With the site launch, emails from AT&T to customers, press releases, and interviews, we’ve gathered a lot of information about all of AT&T’s streaming services.
These are the key points that we’ll dive into detail about below:
- DIRECTV NOW is rebranding as AT&T TV NOW
- AT&T TV is a new, separate streaming service
- Both will be accessible with an AT&T TV app
- AT&T will be launching a streaming box, powered by Android TV for AT&T TV
Disclaimer: AT&T is still in the process of reorganizing their services, launching new services, and phasing out existing services. The information in this post is accurate to our knowledge, but details could change between the time we publish this post and when these new services go live. We’ll continue sharing new information as we receive it.
What Are AT&T’s 5 TV Services?
- DIRECTV – AT&T’s satellite TV service
- AT&T TV – this will be the streaming version of DIRECTV
- AT&T TV NOW – the rebranded version of DIRECTV NOW
- AT&T Watch TV – a $15/month streaming service with limited channels
- U-Verse TV – AT&T’s legacy service through its old U-Verse internet service
Will AT&T Watch TV Still Be Available?
We don’t know yet. AT&T hasn’t said much about AT&T Watch TV in their last few public announcements and interviews. We’ll give an update as soon as we know more about any changes we might see with AT&T Watch TV.
What’s the Difference Between AT&T TV and AT&T TV NOW?
AT&T TV NOW will be the new version of DIRECTV NOW. If you’re currently subscribed to DIRECTV NOW, your app should automatically update to ATT&T NOW when the new version launches. You’ll get 20 hours of Cloud DVR storage with this service.
AT&T TV is an entirely new streaming service. AT&T TV will offer both live and on-demand content. The streaming service is coming soon to select cities, according to the new website. With AT&T TV, you’ll get 500 hours of Cloud DVR storage.
Both of these two streaming services will be available through the AT&T TV app. The content and features you’ll see will depend on which of the services you’ve subscribed to. (Note: AT&T employees have told Cord Cutters News that AT&T TV will require at least one AT&T TV set-top box.)
Here’s the press announcement about the app.
Our DIRECTV NOW subscribers will simply need to re-accept the terms of service and their streaming will continue as usual without interruption.
Both the AT&T TV and AT&T TV NOW experiences will be accessed through the same AT&T TV app either on mobile or the big screen. Customer login credentials will determine what content appears.
In the coming weeks, the AT&T TV app will be available for download across various app stores, and current DIRECTV NOW customers will see this update automatically on their devices.
We are not yet sure exactly what will be different about these two streaming services, other than the points mentioned above.
What Happened to DIRECTV NOW?
The DIRECTV NOW service is being rebranded as AT&T TV NOW but will otherwise stay the same.
When you visit the DIRECTV NOW website, you’ll now see a banner at the top of the site that says “Say hello to AT&T TV NOW! The DIRECTV NOW you know is getting a new name.” That banner links to this page, where you’ll find a few frequently asked questions about this new version, including this explanation for current subscribers.
You don’t have to do a thing if you already have DIRECTV NOWSM. Your service will continue without a hiccup. Your app should update automatically, and you’ll use the same sign-in info for the AT&T TV app. Don’t have automatic updates? We’ll ask you to download the updated app when you sign in to DIRECTV NOW.
Those who are currently subscribed to DIRECTV NOW will automatically have their app update to AT&T TV NOW. You’ll use the same login information and have the same channel lineup.
Now, let’s switch gears from AT&T TV NOW to AT&T TV.
What is AT&T TV?
AT&T TV is a new live TV streaming service. According to the website, AT&T TV is coming soon to select cities.
Here’s what AT&T says you’ll get.
- Live TV & 55,000 on-demand titles
- 500 hours of Cloud DVR storage
- Access to 5,000+ apps like Netflix & Pandora
- Voice remote with The Google Assistant
Subscribers will be able to watch content on their TV or through the AT&T TV app on your mobile device or tablet. You’ll be able to watch on up to 3 screens simultaneously.
While we don’t yet know how much this new streaming service will cost, AT&T does mention on the website that there will be a bundle offer for AT&T TV and internet. With that bundle, you’ll get:
- Seamless wall-to-wall Wi-Fi® coverage
- Unlimited browsing and streaming
- 99% reliability
The channel lineup, design, and additional features of the streaming service are still unknown.
AT&T’s New Streaming Box
There has been a lot of confusion around AT&T’s new streaming box. This is a device created for AT&T TV. We believe that the streaming box will be required for those who want to watch AT&T TV on their primary TV at home.
The streaming box will be powered by Google’s Android TV. In addition to streaming AT&T TV on the box, you’ll also be able to use it as a smart hub with other internet-controlled devices around your home. The device will be able to be self-installed with easy setup in “just 4 simple steps.”
With the streaming box, you’ll also get a remote with Google Assistant. With the remote, you can use voice commands to find shows, change channels, check the weather, ask Google questions, and more.
Here’s what AT&T’s President of Mobility and Entertainment David Christopher told FierceVideo about the reasoning behind the box.
“Christopher said that AT&T built its new streaming box for the service [the new DIRECTV streaming service] because the company believes it wouldn’t get all the benefits if it had just made the new DirecTV service an application.” FierceVideo went on to say: “Christopher reiterated the benefits that AT&T executives have previously laid out, namely the low-cost piece of hardware that consumers can install, which will help lower the cost of customer acquisition by eliminating the need for truck rolls and installers climbing ladders to put satellite dishes on roofs.”
On the AT&T TV website, a frequently asked question says, “Do I have to use a specific device to watch TV?” Here’s the answer given.
The new AT&T TV experience comes with our next-gen device, so you’re all set to watch on your biggest screen. Always on the go? We have you covered—just download the AT&T TV app to your mobile device or tablet so you can stream anytime, anywhere.
According to the AT&T TV website, you will be able to use other apps on the AT&T box. The device will be 4K enabled to “experience your favorite third-party apps in dazzling 4K for greater depth, increased color saturation, and crisp, clear, contrast.”
Take a look at this post to see our review of the streaming player and the AT&T TV remote.
We don’t yet now the price of the streaming box. In an interview at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Telecom and Media Conference in June, David Christopher said the new service’s ability to be self-installed by consumers could lead to cheaper prices.
We’ll be back with updates about AT&T’s streaming services as we learn more.
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