AT&T’s DIRECTV Now streaming service is officially live. You can save some good money and even net yourself a free Amazon Fire TV Stick or Apple TV if you sign up now.
For a limited time, AT&T is offering its “Go Big” plan, with access to more than 100 channels, for just $35 a month. The plan will increase in price to $60 per month in the future, though you can lock in the lower rate by subscribing before it does. Customers can opt to add HBO or Showtime for an additional $5 per month each, which is a really good deal considering that HBO Now costs $15 a month on its own.
If you’re willing to pay for a month up front, regardless of the free 7-day trial, AT&T will send you an Amazon Fire TV stick for free. If you prepay for 3 months, AT&T will toss in a free Apple TV.
I signed up for the latter deal, figuring that 3 months at $40 a pop with HBO is a pretty good savings over my PS Vue plan and standard HBO Now subscription. That’s $120 and a free Apple TV coming my way. Look out for my post on how well this works as far as mobile and with Apple TV later in the week. I'm possibly going to be running an article later today that compares the major streaming TV services in depth, including Sling TV, PS Vue and DIRECTV Now, but I’ll fill you in real quick on what you’re missing with DIRECTV Now.
Some quick pros and cons to DIRECTV Now
DIRECTV Now doesn’t offer CBS, which is a bummer for folks who want to watch Sunday football. It also doesn’t let you stream football games to mobile devices at all. Also you won't be able to do NBC, ABC, or FOX live stream unless you live with a broadcasting area with local affilliate stations. There’s no DVR function, a feature that Sling TV recently introduced and which PS Vue also offers. There also isn’t a Roku app, though AT&T says that both are coming later in early 2017.
The pricing is the real attraction with AT&T’s new service. A similar option from PS Vue costs at least $54.99 a month without HBO and with fewer channels. Considering that AT&T offers more than 100 channels and HBO Go for $40 a month, in addition to on demand content such as movies, I’m willing to let some of the other features slide for now. Just remember that to get the 100+ channels for the base price of $35, you have to sign up during the introductory offer. Wait to long and will only have the standard pricing.