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AT&T TV NOW Review 2020: Plans, Prices, and More

AT&T TV NOW (formerly DIRECTV NOW) includes free HBO Max with one of its cheaper packages—but it’s still basically cable TV.

HBO Max included

Price: $65–$135/mo.

Channels: 45–125+

Editorial star rating: 3.52/5.00

What is AT&T TV NOW?

In 2019, AT&T rebranded its DIRECTV NOW livestreaming service as AT&T TV NOW. This is not to be confused with AT&T TV, a separate service. Buckle up while we break down AT&T’s latest streaming service.

  • AT&T TV NOW replaces AT&T’s main livestreaming service, DIRECTV NOW.
  • AT&T owns the satellite TV service, DIRECTV, which still exists.
  • AT&T TV is the livestreaming service that replaced U-verse TV, but it’s available only to customers with AT&T Internet in areas with fiber optic service.
  • AT&T Watch TV, the provider’s extra-affordable skinny-bundle streaming service, is no longer available to new customers.

Now that that’s out of the way, read on to find out if AT&T TV NOW is right for you.

Is AT&T TV NOW good?

AT&T TV NOW (formerly known as DIRECTV NOW) is a livestreaming service with 125+ channels distributed among seven rather pricey packages.

Our opinion as cord-cutters is that AT&T TV NOW is cable dressed in streaming clothes—but at least it doesn’t have contracts. But in our 2020 streaming TV customer satisfaction survey—the first to include AT&T TV NOW—it scored 4.08 out of 5.00 (2nd place).

AT&T TV NOW free trials and deals

You can take AT&T TV NOW for a spin with a free seven-day trial. It’s available for both the PLUS and MAX plans, as well as the international packages (Vietnamese, Brazilian, and Korean).

While HBO Max and CINEMAX come free with the MAX plan, new AT&T TV NOW customers get a free year of HBO Max with any package.

And for a limited time, new customers get a free month of SHOWTIME® with the code SHOW1MO.

AT&T TV NOW vs. other streaming services

Swipe Left to See All →
AT&T TV NOWBest overall
YouTube TV
Best value
Hulu + Live TV
Best for kids
Sling TV
Price$65–
$135/mo.
$49.99/mo.$44.99–
$50.99/mo.
$30.00–
$45.00/mo.
Star rating3.52 / 5.004.50 / 5.004.22 / 5.003.89 / 5.00
Free trial7 days7 days7 days3 days
Live channels*45–125+85+60+30–50+
Streams3321–4
Cloud DVR500 hrs. Unlimited50 hrs.10 hrs.
Supported devices**12162015
View plans View plans View plans View plans

*Advertised channel counts. These may vary.
**Based on count conducted by CableTV.com on 07/27/20.

Again, AT&T TV NOW is the most expensive livestreaming service. But if you really wanna go with AT&T TV NOW, we recommend MAX for its sports channels and free HBO Max.

As for other features, AT&T TV NOW has the same one-week trial as most of its rivals (PlayStation Vue’s trial is five days), the minimum acceptable amount of multiple streams (two, plus another for $5 a month), and supports fewer devices than other comparable streaming services.

AT&T TV NOW plans and pricing

How much TV do you want? How badly do you want it?

Swipe Left to See All →
PriceLive channelsCost per channel*Cloud DVRStreams
PLUS
View plan
$55/mo.45+$1.22500 hrs.3
Our pick
MAX
View plan
$80/mo.60+$1.33500 hrs.3
ENTERTAINMENT
View plan
$93/mo.65+$1.43500 hrs.3
CHOICETM
View plan
$110/mo.85+$1.29500 hrs.3
XTRA
View plan
$124/mo.105+$1.18500 hrs.3
ULTIMATE
View plan
$135/mo.125+$1.08500 hrs.3
OPTIMO MÁS
View plan
$86/mo.90+$0.95500 hrs.3
International packages
Vietnamese
View plan
$20/mo.9$2.2220 hrs.2
Brazilian
View plan
$30/mo.2$15.0020 hrs.2
Korean
View plan
$30/mo.12+$2.5020 hrs.2

International packages

Swipe Left to See All →

Package
PriceLive channelsCost per channel*Cloud DVRStreams
Vietnamese
View plan
$20/mo.9$2.2220 hrs.2–3
Brazilian
View plan
$30/mo.2$15.0020 hrs.2–3
Korean
View plan
$30/mo.12+$2.5020 hrs.2–3

*Based on advertised channel count.
Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Five of AT&TV TV NOW’s seven plans are the same as AT&T TV packages—but AT&T TV NOW’s versions are 41% more expensive. So many packages and such high prices remind us of cable plans. Like, exactly. Minus the contracts.

Cord-cutters seek a simpler, more independent experience. AT&T TV NOW has too many packages and high prices. Give us one to three reasonably priced plans with à la carte options, and we’ll be happy.

The two best packages, the ones most comparable to those of other streaming services, are PLUS ($55 a month) and MAX ($80 a month). MAX is a pretty good deal for 60+ channels plus free CINEMAX® and HBO® Max.

That said, YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV aren’t out of competition yet. We’ll explain soon.

AT&T TV NOW live channels

Let’s see how AT&T TV NOW’s live channel lineup stacks up against those of Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.

AT&T TV NOW channel lineup vs. the competition

Swipe Left to See All →
AT&T TV NOWBest overall
YouTube TV
Best value
Hulu + Live TV
Best for kids
Sling TV

A
A&E

AWE

ABC

ABC News Live

ACC Network Extra

ACORN TV

Accuweather

Adult Swim

AMC

American Heroes

Animal Planet

Antena 3

Aspire

Atres Series

AXS TV

Azteca


B
Baby First

Baby TV

Bandamax

BBC America

BBC World News

BET

BET Her

Big Ten Network (BTN)

Bloomberg TV

Boomerang

Bravo


C
C-SPAN

C-SPAN 2

Canal 22 Internactional

CANAL ONCE

Caracol TV

Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network East

CBS

CBSN

CBS Sports Network

Centroamérica TV

Cheddar

Cheddar Business

Cheddar News

Cine Estelar

Cine Mexicano

Cine Nostalgia

Cine Sony

Cinelatino

CINEMAX®

Cinémoi

CMT

CNBC

CNBC World

CNN

CNNe

CNN en Español

CNN International

Comedy Central

Comedy TV

COMET

Cooking Channel

The Cowboy Channel

COZI TV

CW

✓*


D
De Película

De Película Clásico

Decades

Destination America

Discovery Channel

Discovery en Español

Discovery Familia

Discovery Family

Discovery Life

Disney Channel

Disney Junior

Disney XD

DIY Network


E
E!

Ecuador TV

Ecuavisa Internacional

Enlace

ESPN

ESPN2

ESPNEWS

ESPNU

ESPN Bases Loaded

ESPN College Extra

ESPN Deportes

ESPN Goal Line

Estrella TV


F
FM

Food Network

FOROtv

FOX

FOX Business Network

FOX Deportes

FOX News Channel

FOX Sports 1

FOX Sports 2

FOXlife

Freeform

Fuse

Fusion

FX

FXM

FXX

fyi


G
Galavision

Game Show Network (GSN)

Golf Channel

GolTV

Great American Country (GAC)


H
Hallmark Channel

Hallmark Drama

Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

HBO

HGTV

HISTORY

HISTORY en Español

HITN TV

HLN

Hola TV


I
IFC

Investigation Discovery


J
Justice Central


L
LAFC

Law & Crime

Lifetime

Lifetime Movie Network

Local Now

Logo


M
MegaTV

MLB Game of the Week

MLB Network

Motor Trend

MSNBC

MTV

MTV Classic

MTV2

Multimedios


N
NASA

National Geo Channel

Nat Geo Mundo

Nat Geo WILD

NBA TV

NBC

✓**

NBCSN

✓**

NBC Sports

✓**

NBC Universo

✓**

NESN

New England Cable News

Newsy

NFL Network

NHL Network

Nick Jr.

Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite

Nicktoons

NTN24

Nuestra Tele


O
Olympic Channel

One American News

Orlando City

Outdoor Channel

Outside TV

Ovation

OWN

Oxygen


P
Pac-12

Paramount Network

Pasiones

PBS

Perú Mágico

PixL

Pop


Q
QVC

QVC2


R
REELZ

Revolt

RFD-TV


S
Science

SEC Network

Shudder

Smithsonian Channel

SNY

Sounders FC

Sportsman Channel

STARZ ENCORE Action

STARZ ENCORE Black

STARZ ENCORE Classic

STARZ ENCORE East

STARZ ENCORE Family

STARZ ENCORE Suspense

STARZ ENCORE West

STARZ ENCORE Westerns

Sundance Now

Sundance TV

SUR Perú

Syfy


T
TBS

TCM

Tastemade

Taylor Swift Now

TeenNick

Telecentro

Telefe

Telemundo

Tennis Channel

TLC

TNT

Tr3s

Travel Channel

truTV

TV Chile

TV Land

TV One

TVE

TVG

TVV

TyC Sports

TYT


U
Unimás

Universal Kids

Univision

Univision Deportes Network

Univision tlnovelas

Up TV

USA Network


V
VePlus

VH1

VICE

VideoRola

ViendoMovies

Vme


W
WAPA América

WE tv

The Weather Channel

World Fishing Network


Y
YES

YouTube Originals


Z
ZooMoo

Based on research conducted by CableTV.com on 07/27/20.
* Antenna required
** Select markets only (otherwise, antenna required)

So what channels does AT&T TV NOW have that its livestreaming competitors lack? Mainly Spanish-language channels, regional sports networks, and premium channels—not just HBO, but also the STARZ ENCORE channels in ULTIMATE ($135.00 a month, 125+ channels).

But again, you can find most of what you need with MAX ($80, 60+ channels, more sports, free CINEMAX and HBO Max). Most of AT&T TV NOW’s other packages are just too expensive.

Live sports

What sports channels does AT&T TV NOW have?

Swipe Left to See All →
AT&T TV NOWBest overall
YouTube TV
Best value
Hulu + Live TV
Best for kids
Sling TV
ACC Network

ABC

✓*

beIN Sports

Big Ten Network

CBS

✓*

CBS Sports Network

ESPN

ESPN2

ESPNEWS

ESPNU

ESPN Bases Loaded

ESPN College Extra

ESPN Deportes

ESPN Goal Line

FOX

✓*

FOX Deportes

FOX Sports 1

FOX Sports 2

Golf Channel

LAFC

Longhorn Network

MLB Game of the Week

MLB Network

NBA TV

NBC

✓**

NBCSN

✓**

NBC Sports

✓**

NESN

NFL Network

NFL RedZone

NHL Network

Orlando City

Olympic Channel

Outdoor Channel

Outside TV

Pac 12 Network

SEC Network

SNY

Sounders FC

Sportsman Channel

Stadium

Telemundo

✓*

Tennis Channel

TyC Sports

Univision Deportes Network

Based on research conducted by CableTV.com on 12/26/19.

AT&T TV NOW has lots of sports channels, including mucho sportsball-en-Español content— most of which is in its OPTIMO MÁS package and isn’t offered by a competitor.

AT&T NOW does, however, carry some sports networks that its rivals don’t, like the NHL Network and Sportsman Channel.

The service is also one of only two services from our research where you can find the MLB Network, NBA TV, and the Tennis Channel in packages instead of as add-ons.

Local channels

What local channels does AT&T TV NOW have?

Swipe Left to See All →
AT&T TV NOWBest overall
YouTube TV
Best value
Hulu + Live TV
Best for kids
Sling TV
ABC

✓*

CBS

✓*

CW

✓*

FOX

NBC

✓**

PBS

Telemundo

✓*

Based on research conducted by CableTV.com on 07/27/20.
* Antenna required.
** Select markets only (otherwise, antenna required)

AT&T, for the most part, carries local network affiliates. Enter your zip code on AT&T TV NOW’s site to see if the service is available in your area and which local channels and regional sports networks you can expect to be able to stream.

Pro tip: Don’t see the local stations you want (PBS isn’t available on any live TV streaming service)? Try picking up an indoor over-the-air TV antenna. As you’ll learn in our best antennas guide, they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to use. We recommend the Mohu Releaf, which is available on Amazon.com.

Premium channels

What premium channels does AT&T TV NOW have?

Swipe Left to See All →
AT&T TV NOWBest overall
YouTube TV
Best value
Hulu + Live TV
Best for kids
Sling TV
CINEMAX®

EPIX®

HBO

SHOWTIME®

STARZ®

STARZ® ENCORE

Based on research conducted by CableTV.com on 07/27/20.

AT&T TV NOW is the only streaming service to offer all of the big-name premium channels. It’s also the only one to offer free HBO in any of its plans (MAX, in case it slipped your mind)—no other streaming service does that.

But while AT&T is smart to leverage its assets, MAX is $80 a month for 60+ channels and free HBO Max (regularly $14.99 a month).

By contrast, YouTube TV is $64.99 a month and has 25 more channels than MAX. You can add HBO for an additional $14.99 for a total monthly payment of $79.98.

Also, Hulu + Live TV ($54.99 per month, 65+ channels) with its HBO add-on (also $14.99) and pay only $69.98 a month. That’s five more channels than MAX for $10.00 less monthly.

But there’s one big difference: HBO Max has way more content than a simple HBO add-on—for the same price. Advantage: AT&T TV NOW.

As for the other premium channel add-ons, AT&T TV NOW has them all. Here’s a price list:

  • CINEMAX: free w/ MAX, $11.00/mo. w/ all other plans
  • EPIX: $6.00/mo.
  • HBO Max: free w/ MAX, $14.99/mo. w/ all other plans
  • NBA League Pass: $40.00/mo.
  • SHOWTIME: $11/mo.
  • STARZ: $11/mo.
  • Movies Extra Pack: $5.00/mo.

Again, all of the above premium channels have free 7-day trials for new orders.

On-demand shows and movies

AT&T TV NOW on-demand shows and movies

  • Alternatino
  • American Horror Story: 1984
  • Barry
  • Bobcat Goldthwait’s Misfits & Monsters
  • The Righteous Gemstones
  • Stumptown
  • Tarantula

Free HBO Max means you’ll have a great on-demand experience, with its wealth of top-shelf movies and shows. That also goes for the other networks’ on-demand content, with one difference: some give you all seasons; some give you only the current one—or even just the last five episodes.

Combine AT&T TV NOW with another streaming service

One of the best parts of cord-cutting is customizing your TV lineup. You can start with a primary service like AT&T TV NOW, then pick up other streaming services or premium add-ons. We think these pair nicely with AT&T TV NOW, without much overlapping content.

Netflix
$8.99–$15.99/mo.

The original streaming service is still a good deal, no matter which plan you choose. And with its focus on original shows and movies, you won’t encounter much overlap with AT&T TV NOW.

Pluto
Free w/ ads

You can’t lose with this service. It serves up 100+ custom channels designed exclusively for Pluto. You’re going to have to watch commercials, but you’ll find a lot of content that’s not included with AT&T TV NOW.

Prime Video
$5.99–$12.99/mo. or $59–$119/yr.

This is another affordable streaming service with tons of films and high-quality original programming. It’s a nice addition to AT&T TV NOW’s content, with minimal overlap.

AT&T TV NOW specs and features

AT&T TV NOW offers the features that cord-cutters seek. It’s just not as generous as other live TV streaming services when it comes to cloud DVR and multiple streams. And while the list of supported devices is decent, it’s limited compared to its competitors’.

Cloud DVR

Does AT&T TV NOW have a cloud DVR?

Swipe Left to See All →
AT&T TV NOWBest overall
YouTube TV
Best value
Hulu + Live TV
Best for kids
Sling TV
PriceIncludedIncludedIncludedIncluded
Storage500 hrs.Unlimited50 hrs.10 hrs.
UpgradesN/AN/A200 hrs. ($9.99/mo.)50 hrs. ($5.00/mo.)

Based on research conducted by CableTV.com on 07/27/20.

AT&T TV NOW’s cloud DVR includes 500 hrs. of storage space, but you’ll have only 30 days to watch your stuff before it self-destructs.

YouTube TV’s DVR is much better, with unlimited storage that never gets deleted. Does that sound better than more sports channels and free HBO Max and CINEMAX? If so, YouTube TV with a separate subscription to HBO Max costs the same as MAX ($80 a month).

Multiple streams

How many simultaneous streams does AT&T TV NOW have?

Swipe Left to See All →
AT&T TV NOWBest overall
YouTube TV
Best value
Hulu + Live TV
Best for kids
Sling TV
Price IncludedIncludedIncludedIncluded
Streams3321–4
UpgradesN/AN/AUnlimited screens for $9.99/mo.N/A

Based on research conducted by CableTV.com on 07/30/20.

AT&T TV NOW gives you three concurrent streams, which is about as good as you’ll get from other livestreaming providers).

Compatible streaming devices

Is your device compatible with AT&T TV NOW?

Swipe Left to See All →
AT&T TV NOWBest overall
YouTube TV
Best value
Hulu + Live TV
Best for kids
Sling TV
AirTV Mini

AirTV Player

Amazon Echo Show

Amazon Fire Cube, Stick, and TV

Amazon Fire tablets

Android phones and tablets

Android TV

Apple TV

Apple TV 4K

Chromebook*

Chromecast

Chromecast Built-in TV

Hisense TVs

iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

LG TVs

Nintendo Switch

NVIDIA Shield

Oculus Rift

Mac and PC Web browsers

PlayStation 3**

PlayStation 4**

Portal from Facebook

Roku devices

Samsung Smart TVs

TiVo Stream 4K

VIZIO TVs

Wii

Windows 10

Xbox 360

Xbox One

Xfinity Flex

Xfinity X1

Based on research conducted by CableTV.com on 07/30/20.
*Requires Chrome browser.
**Supports Hulu app and some add-ons, but not livestreaming.

Although AT&T TV NOW supports most major streaming devices, it’s still outdone by Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, and Sling TV. But you’ll have an easy enough time finding a way to enjoy the service.

We tested AT&T TV NOW on a laptop running Windows 10, a Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone, and with the Amazon Fire Stick on a 55-inch LG Smart TV.

While the app performed fine on all of them, we like the Fire Stick best. Its simple controls pair well with the AT&T TV NOW app, making navigation a breeze.

But we do have one complaint. It takes three to five seconds for the app to realize you’ve just pressed pause. It’s comically frustrating until you adjust.

Best streaming devices

While we recommend the Amazon Fire TV Stick, we want you to choose a device that suits your needs. To that end, we’ve compiled a handy guide to streaming devices. Go forth and stream!

Video and audio quality

Speaking of adjustments, on all of the devices we tested, the picture started fuzzy—enough to make us worry. But within 10 seconds, the AT&T TV NOW app detected our connection speed and the image snapped into focus somewhere between 720p and 1080p (depending on the program).

Barry screenshot (AT&T TV NOW update 0720)

Anthony Carrigan as Noho Hank in HBO’s Barry. Viewed on a laptop running Windows 10.

In our tests, we found that the AT&T TV NOW app interface isn’t much different from other streaming services’. It’s just the basics: program info, a status bar, and navigation buttons pop up when the mouse moves over the screen.

As for the guide, it’s intuitive and easy to use—for the most part.

It displays every title from every network that AT&T TV NOW offers, whether or not the channel is in your plan. You won’t know that you can’t watch something until you click, which makes browsing content frustrating.

Another complaint: Let’s say two people use the same account to watch the same series. “Hamish” just started the first season of Mr. Mercedes. “Nigel” is deep into the second.

Each time Jack finishes an episode, AT&T TV NOW auto-plays the episode where Nigel left off. That means spoilers. Spoilers mean rage. You wouldn’t like Hamish when he’s angry.

A ‘restart episode’ button seems like a good idea. Until that comes, here’s a workaround:

  1. Click on your desired episode.
  2. Before the app shoots you into the future, hit ‘rewind.’
  3. When you reach the beginning of the episode, hit ‘play.’
ATT TV NOW homepage

AT&T TV NOW homepage viewed on a laptop running Windows 10.

With the Fire Stick/LG TV test, the audio was clear through only the TV speakers but also quiet. We had to set the TV volume to 70 when it’s usually fine at 40–50 for other apps and devices.

On a laptop and smartphone, we listened through device speakers, Skullcandy Hesh 2 headphones, and through the stock car-stereo system using Bluetooth.

We didn’t expect the device speakers to sound awesome, but they’re good enough in a pinch. The car stereo sounded excellent, like a mini-theater—but our data plan won’t support many car binges.

Naturally, the headphones sounded richer and more detailed. They really brought out the sound mix on Mr. Mercedes, which made watching the show extra hair-raising.

So, while we’re not crazy about the stock speakers sound with the TV, laptop, and phone, we love the headphones and Bluetooth car audio experience.

Final take: Is AT&T TV NOW worth it?

As cord-cutters, we feel strongly that shopping for a streaming service should be simple. AT&T TV NOW offers too many packages, most of which are overly fluffy and expensive. Just like cable plans.

AT&T TV NOW’s MAX package is its best deal, chiefly because it includes CINEMAX and HBO Max. But it’s not the best deal out there—you might want more channels instead of the free premiums. If so, YouTube TV with a separate subscription to HBO Max gives you the best of both worlds for the same price.

Pros

  • No contract
  • 45–125+ channels
  • 500 hrs. of DVR storage
  • Free CINEMAX and HBO Max in MAX package

Cons

  • Too many packages
  • Expensive packages
  • DVR recordings expire after 30 days

AT&T TV NOW FAQ

What is AT&T TV NOW?

AT&T TV NOW, formerly known as DIRECTV NOW, is a livestreaming and on-demand TV service. The plans are the same—it’s just a new app, and a new look,with plans similar to DIRECTV NOW packages.

Be careful not to confuse AT&T TV NOW with other AT&T TV brands, which includes another streaming service (AT&T TV) and its satellite cable service, DIRECTV.

What is AT&T TV DIRECTV NOW?

Actually, it’s just AT&T TV NOW, formerly known as DIRECTV NOW. It’s the same service, under a new name.

How does AT&T TV NOW work?

As a livestreaming service, AT&T TV NOW is a no-contract, no-cable box, cancel-anytime deal—perfect for anyone looking to ditch cable.

You access the service through an app on one of several supported devices, including personal computers, set-top boxes, streaming sticks, smart TVs, smartphones, and tablets.

How many devices can I simultaneously use with AT&T TV NOW?

AT&T TV NOW—formerly known as DIRECTV NOW—supports several devices, but you may use only two at a time unless you spring for a third stream, which will cost you $5 a month.

What is the future of AT&T TV NOW with DIRECTV?

DIRECTV is AT&T’s satellite TV service. AT&T TV NOW is the new name for DIRECTV’s streaming sister service, DIRECTV NOW.

AT&T also owns two more streaming services: AT&T TV (formerly U-verse TV) and AT&T WatchTV.

Is HBO GO free with AT&T TV NOW?

HBO GO no longer exists because of HBO Max, an even better service. It’s included with AT&T TV NOW’s MAX plan ($80 a month, 60+ channels). With any other AT&T TV NOW package, HBO Max is $14.99 a month.

How do I access AT&T TV NOW on my TV?

If your TV is one of AT&T TV NOW’s supported devices, download the app, sign in, and go. If your TV isn’t listed, you will need to use one of the other supported streaming devices, which include personal computers, set-top boxes, streaming sticks, smartphones, and tablets.

Which is best, AT&T TV NOW or DIRECTV NOW?

AT&T TV NOW is DIRECTV NOW rebranded. So they’re the same service.

What channels do you get with AT&T TV NOW?

The list of channels available through AT&T TV NOW is far too long to reprint here. But it’s in the article above, so you can click here to see a table of AT&T TV NOW’s available channels.

How do I get AT&T TV NOW as an app on my TV?

You’ll need a smart TV that supports the AT&T TV NOW app. Currently, these include Apple TV, Apple TV 4K, and select models of Samsung smart TVs.

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