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Directv Now
Old 12-27-2016, 08:03 AM   #1
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Directv Now

I don't think this new offering has been discussed yet. If it has -my apologies.

So during lunch with my friend last week, he happened to mention that he had just become a "cord cutter", by signing up for "Direct Now" at his local AT&T wireless store. AT&T rolled out this product apparently at the end of November. The deal is 100+ channels for $35/mo. (The list includes the channels we watch). The system is an app over the Internet, so no dish is required. For a limited time one can get the first three tiers of programming for $35, rather than the $60 that it will eventually cost. AT&T promises in their promotional adds and at the store, that the price will never change(including the promotional $35 rate) as long as one keeps their subscription. HBO and Cinemax are available as an add on for an additional $5 each, also guaranteed not to increase. Additionally, if one pays 3 months in advance, you receive the Apple TV box free and don't have to return it even if you cancel after 3 months. The app is also available on Chromecast and Amazon Firestick.

Now the downside: the network channels ABC and NBC are not included in all markets(one can find out if one's market is included at your local ATT store). Also CBS is not included at this point. The word is, they are still working on it contractually. A workaround on that issue would be to purchase CBS Go as a separate app. Also PBS is not included. That is an important stumbling block for us, but the rep told us we should be able to pick that station up with an antenna(the in house type). Showtime is also not available, but we access Showtime now on our Amazon Prime account for an add on cost, so that we can view that channel anywhere. Also to date the DVR feature is not available, but is "planned for 2017". There is plenty of On Demand programming however. Another fact that might be a downside with the app is you can only view programming on two devices simultaneously-not a problem for us but perhaps for some. Those devices however do include iPads/tablets, cell phones, laptops or PC's in addition to TV's. Also the app will be available on Roku sticks sometime in 2017. One last issue is you do need the fastest internet connection for the app to work properly, so if you don't have Extreme, or the equivalent you must upgrade.

I have some skepticism about the plan, but based on my DM's experience visiting her friendly Time Warner store last week, where the agent (in a maniacal rant) informed her (she's a 92 year old widow living on a fixed income) that there were no longer any "promotions" available and that her bill will be increasing rapidly until she is paying full boat for her triple play, I am expecting our own bill to increase next month when our numerous promotions expire. I have heard anecdotally, that since Charter purchased TW last year that there is a new sheriff in town and that the annual game we have played for years of trekking to the store to get TW to lower the bill is now history.

If anyone has signed up, I'm interested in your experience.


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Old 12-27-2016, 08:17 AM   #2
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Will have to keep an eye on it but we're fairly happy with Dish. No OTA here so we get our local main stations (CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and PBS) plus a bunch of others (including HGTV, TBS) on 4 tvs with a centralized DVR for $60/month ($20 for programming and $40 for equipment).

The Direct Now offering probably includes some stations that I miss like ESPN, TNT, USA, etc. that are no included in our cheapo programming and that I'm not willing to pay $20/month extra for.
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Old 12-27-2016, 08:34 AM   #3
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PB; if you are interested, I think AT&T's Direct dish program is the same cost with more bells and whistles. I'd be willing to bet that you could increase your channel line up, and/or decrease your equipment cost with no additional monthly fee if you visited AT&T before the end of the year. The AT&T agent gave us the "Direct dish on the roof" particulars as well which we are also considering. That deal includes whole house DVR for four TV's at $60/pm, with over 200 channels or $70, including HBO, Showtime and Cinemax with that price guaranteed for 2years. Oh and the premium channels are free for the first 90 days. AT&T is aggressively selling both products at this point and she intimated that if I had signed up that day, she had the flexibility to sweeten the pot even further. I don't know what that meant as I wasn't quite ready to sign on the dotted line.

Tell me-do you get PBS and do you have any signal problems on reception in general compared to cable?
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:08 AM   #4
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I have seen a lot of complaints on a cord cutter group I belong to with respect to buffering and freezing on NOW. I'm guessing that will be worked out over the next few weeks. Anything new usually have bugs. I have not used the service myself. I am a subscriber to Playstation Vue and it has been very reliable during the 6 months or so that I have used it. Plus it has DVR which NOW does not have at the moment. Vue has on-demand and pause features that work well. But again, I'm sure most of these services will have similar features and will run well in time. BTW, I pay $35 for Vue but only receive 65-70 channels. But it does have all the ESPN channels,Fox, Sec NW, Big 10, Golf Channel, NFL and NBA NW. Those are important to me.
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:20 AM   #5
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I started a 7 day free trial on Christmas Eve and was looking forward to watching football. As you stated, you need EXTREME speed internet. Al other apps work fine with my current 25Gbit speed internet but the Direct TV Now did not work at all.

If you have the proper speed now DirecTV is offering a 1-Month DirecTV Now Trial for Free with promo code INTC1MONTH (Beats my 7 day that I got the day before this offer came out :-(
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:27 AM   #6
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DirecTV Now was mentioned in the recent Sling TV thread, so you can read more there.

We're fortunate that we'd have NBC and ABC locally. We can also stream most of the CBS programming using the free app, or pay $6-7/month for even more thru the app. We can also stream almost any PBS program thru their app. Fox is also a question in some markets, you might want to check where you are.

The only reasons we haven't signed up for the trial already is:
1) There have been some buffering issues reported. However, the subscribers internet bandwidth may explain those issues in most cases. We only have 12mbps service and we stream other sources every day without issue - but that may not be a reliable benchmark.
2) Though not having a DVR seemed an issue, they offer VOD on most channels - I posted the complete list of channels including Live and VOD status in the other thread. We really don't need a DVR if VOD is available. However, subscribers have reported the VOD libraries are not quite complete, some episodes are just missing. I can live with that, DW isn't as agreeable.

So we're watching how DirecTV Now develops, hoping to switch soon...
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:32 AM   #7
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Dish is selling $39 for modules of like channels--locked in for 2 years. For example, a module is a group of kids channels. Depending on your desires in channels, it appears to be a good deal.
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Golden sunsets View Post
PB; if you are interested, I think AT&T's Direct dish program is the same cost with more bells and whistles. I'd be willing to bet that you could increase your channel line up, and/or decrease your equipment cost with no additional monthly fee if you visited AT&T before the end of the year. The AT&T agent gave us the "Direct dish on the roof" particulars as well which we are also considering. That deal includes whole house DVR for four TV's at $60/pm, with over 200 channels or $70, including HBO, Showtime and Cinemax with that price guaranteed for 2years. Oh and the premium channels are free for the first 90 days. AT&T is aggressively selling both products at this point and she intimated that if I had signed up that day, she had the flexibility to sweeten the pot even further. I don't know what that meant as I wasn't quite ready to sign on the dotted line.

Tell me-do you get PBS and do you have any signal problems on reception in general compared to cable?
Our contract is over later this year so I'll have to check that out... I did check Direct TV a couple years ago and it was going to be more expensive then Dish but that was before AT&T purchased them and is sounds like they have become more aggressive pricewise.

Yes, we get PBS. In fact, two different PBS channels.

I would say our signal issues are somewhat less frequent than cable (we have had both over the years). If it rains really hard then we lose signal... but typically only for a couple minutes and only for certain channels (like locals). Also, if we get a wet and heavy snow then sometimes the dish gets clogged and we will lose signal but I just go out and sweep off the dish. I learned early on to keep it low enough that I can reach up and clear it with a push broom. I dunno what those poor folk who put the dish way up at the peak of the gable end of their house do..... probably use a snow rake or just wait for it to melt.
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:41 AM   #9
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....We really don't need a DVR if VOD is available. .
I'm not so sure about that... with DVR I can skip commercials but with VOD I have to suffer through them.
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:43 AM   #10
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Where are you getting your internet? Our internet is bundled with TV and telephone. My spouse swears that dumping the TV portion wouldn't result in much saving.
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:51 AM   #11
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We've never had internet, phone and tv bundled. We did have internet and phone bundled and when we dropped the phone it reduced our bill bu about $20/month... from $70 to $50 so a pretty good savings. The phone was $30 but internet only was $10 more if it was not bundled with phone.
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:52 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
Dish is selling $39 for modules of like channels--locked in for 2 years. For example, a module is a group of kids channels. Depending on your desires in channels, it appears to be a good deal.
Actually it is $39 for a basic group of 50+ channels plus one additional "Flex Pack" of channels at no additional charge. Additional Packs (Locals, Kids, News, National Sports, Regional Sports, etc.) are available for $10 each.

Packs can be added or dropped at any time - no contract. For someone like me who is a big football fan but doesn't have much interest in other sports, the ability to add the Regional and National Sports packages in September then drop them in January is a real plus.
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Old 12-27-2016, 10:41 AM   #13
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AT&T promises in their promotional
adds and at the store, that the price will never change(including the
promotional $35 rate) as long as one keeps their subscription.
I'm guessing they do not guarantee the channel selection will remain constant for that price, that they won't drop, say, ESPN or (fill in the name of your favorite) or a dozen others.
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Old 12-27-2016, 11:14 AM   #14
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PBS has an app via Apple's App Store for the Apple TV.
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Old 12-27-2016, 11:17 AM   #15
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I'm not so sure about that... with DVR I can skip commercials but with VOD I have to suffer through them.
Agreed, but for a savings of over 50%, I can stomach some ads. Now I just have to convince DW, that'll be the hard part...
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:16 PM   #16
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Our contract is over later this year so I'll have to check that out... I did check Direct TV a couple years ago and it was going to be more expensive then Dish but that was before AT&T purchased them and is sounds like they have become more aggressive pricewise.

Yes, we get PBS. In fact, two different PBS channels.

I would say our signal issues are somewhat less frequent than cable (we have had both over the years). If it rains really hard then we lose signal... but typically only for a couple minutes and only for certain channels (like locals). Also, if we get a wet and heavy snow then sometimes the dish gets clogged and we will lose signal but I just go out and sweep off the dish. I learned early on to keep it low enough that I can reach up and clear it with a push broom. I dunno what those poor folk who put the dish way up at the peak of the gable end of their house do..... probably use a snow rake or just wait for it to melt.
That bit about placement is interesting. Thanks for the tip. The rep was tentatively modeling where to place the dish on google maps and was recommending a location due to nearby tree cover, that would not be reachable, so that would be another potential concern. Ahhhhh. The decisions we have to make.

And then of course we'd likely have to ditch the TWC phone as they will want an arm and a leg for the phone. I've been researching Vonage, Ooma and Magic Jack to see which might work best while being the least expensive. AT&T also offers internet phone for $20/mo.
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:20 PM   #17
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We have had Ooma for a number years and are quite pleased with it. However we recently increased our cell phone plans with unlimited voice so over time Ooma may become redundant.
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:38 PM   #18
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I'm still waiting for these issues to resolve one way or another.

Buffering, Bugs Mar DirecTV Now Performance Weeks After Launch | Motherboard
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Old 12-27-2016, 01:11 PM   #19
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Playstation Vue is a better product (in my opinion) at this point with built in DVR and having been out for ~9 months to work out the bugs. I will keep watching DirecTV Now to see how the features and costs come out.
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Old 12-27-2016, 01:11 PM   #20
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Current Directv subscriber. As someone who spent 35 years in the TV/Cable business I would recommend waiting a while as new technologies like this have significant technical "bugs" that will need to be worked through.

Also, for those so called "cord cutters" if you are paying $35 for this service, $50-$60 for unbundled internet with a speed fast enough to actually use Directv Now and then have to tack on an additional $5 to watch CBS have you really lowered your total bill compared to what you used to pay

And by the way....you still have a cord!!! It just goes to the back of your computer instead of the back of your TV.
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