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DIRECTV Now: Subscribers Are Still Complaining

DIRECTV Now, which debuted to critical scorn last November 30 due to widespread technical difficulties, is still causing a large number of subscribers to complain about sub-par performance.

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As of 1 p.m. ET today, the Apple iTunes store had 1,974 reviews posted since the live streaming service’s first day. The average rating of all 1,974 reviews was just two stars out of a possible five.

Since DIRECTV Now’s last app update on April 29, the average rating is slightly better — 2.5 stars — based on 64 reviews. But that’s still a disappointing result considering that AT&T has suggested the live streaming service will one day be its primary TV offering. (DIRECTV Now offers a variety of channel packages starting at $35 a month.)

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And it probably doesn’t make AT&T executives feel any better that rival streaming services, such as Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, are also generating sub-par reviews. AT&T boldly said prior to the November 30 debut that DIRECTV Now would do better than other live streaming services because the company had more experience with new technologies.

But you wouldn’t think that based on the comments filed at the iTunes store. Subscribers say DIRECTV Now continues to be haunted by technical quirks such as picture freezing, login problems, and other inconveniences.

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“I love the idea of DirectTv Now… I’d gladly pay $35/month for the channels advertised if the service actually worked and let me watch shows for more than 2 minutes before the audio becomes out of sync, and I have to drag the timeline bar back a couple of seconds, forcing me to rewatch the same couple of minutes over and over until I finally realize this service is broken…Please fix your app!! Actually I change my original statement, I’d gladly pay $80/month for this service IF IT ACTUALLY WORKED,” writes Rob328e36.

“The iPhone app works pretty well except one major issue, once the app is closed it automatically logs you out. I hope this is a bug and not a feature,” says AreuSleepy, who gives the service just one star.

“Satisfied with the channel lineup,” says SidneyRoy, who gives DIRECTV Now a two-star rating. “That’s the only reason I’m staying since the buffering and on demand stinks. Shows delayed a week past airfare…. or never shows up. If hitting replay it stops after 3-5 min with audio only. Cannot use login for the standalone network apps. No Roku app since on Appletv the controls are so jumpy. Favorited channels keep deleting between Appletv app and iPad/iPhone. If Sling TV packages had Tennis Channel I’d be back there in a second. Used Sling TV for a year across all platforms and it worked so much better.”

DIRECTV Now has updated its app several times since its debut, but the service’s performance doesn’t seem to be getting much better, according to the users posting comments.

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— Phillip Swann

About TV Answer Man (706 Articles)
The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than two decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television.

23 Comments on DIRECTV Now: Subscribers Are Still Complaining

  1. I feel if DirecTV now finally comes out with a Rokua app the complaints will stop. I have lots of issues with my Apple TV using Plex and other apps so I feel a lot has to do with the device you are streaming on. My Roku normally works flawless, definitely recommend Roku over Apple TV. Just my two cents.

  2. I have subscribed to Directv since day 1. I mean I stayed up until late and kept refreshing the page until I could sign up. I prepaid for a month of service and about a week later I had my free Firestick.

    I have never had an out of the ordinary problem with the service. I watch live TV atvany given time during the day. Live sports, TV Shows, Movies everything that I have tried to watch has worked with out issue.

    I genuinely do not understand the problems people are having.

    Buffering: All online video buffers every now and again. I am connected to AT&t Fiber (1Gbps) and Youtube, HBO Go, Watch ESPN, etc.. all have their hiccups. It’s not a big deal and just something younger uses to when watching digital videos. I have never had a buffering problem so bad though, that the video I was watching/service I was using was unusable.

    The on-demand: Directv Now is a Live TV service and should be used as such. If you are that in to watching on-demand content. Consider a Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime account. Complaining about Directv Now having a bad on demand section is stupid. (Look at any cable company’s on demand offerings)

    Directv Now doesn’t authenticate on stand alone apps: I am able to use HBO Go, Watch ESPN, Disney Apps and more authentication coming later on.

    People that are having problems. I would check your internet speed and the device you’re trying to use.

    • The biggest problem with DirecTV NOW, is lack of video on demand. VUE offers it, and DirecTV NOW does not. It’s a simple as that. If DirecTV now wants to be competitive, then they need to look at what their competitors are doing. That’s a dealbreaker for me and a lot of other people.

  3. I agree with Jarrett I have fast internet and I don’t have any problems I use Apple TV for my stream only complaint I have is I wish they would add 3 streams at a time as opposed to 2. There are typically more then 2 people in a household.

  4. richardfootitt // May 10, 2017 at 4:39 pm // Reply

    When I first started using DirecTV Now (the day it came on line) I saw a lot of problems, but recently it’s been working flawlessly. I don’t use apple so I have no input on that. I watch mostly on the Chrome browser, a little on the fire stick and only seldom on my Android phone.

    My thought on this is that many people have come directly from watching cable and then compare what they get online without taking into consideration that most everything that is streamed will will have an occasional glitch. When our internet runs at ten times the current speed in a few years, you’ll see a big difference.

  5. I’ve had DirecTV now for a little over a month and had glitches when I first started but it seems to be much better now I would give it four out of five stars. The only real issue I have is resetting the router or the AppleTV on occasion and that always takes care of the problem but I don’t have to do that very often I don’t really have superfast Internet only 6mbs download speed but for 35 bucks a month I am happy

  6. I have had nothing but trouble with DIRECTV NOW.

    I am using an Apple TV supplied by them. Audio is all over the place, buffering issues etc.

    I have worked with their tech support a few times and the last time the guy said hmm maybe the service just isn’t for you.

    I have 150mbps internet…which DIRECTV tried to first blame. The. It was my hdmi cord. Now it could be my tv’s audio feature. Note…it’s never their problem.

  7. If you read the comments section it’s because the app won’t sync with Chromecast… I am using my original Gen Chromecast and it will Not work. Getting a fire stick from them but they really need to address the casting issue. My work around has been using the channel’s app and casting from there. AT&T has a really poorly written app and not sure if they have the ability or skill to fix it…this is the reason for all the bad reviews.

  8. I do not have a complaint one, except that it is not available on ROKU. I use it on Apple TV4 all my apple devices and my PC. I believe most people that complain will complain about anything. You have to be a little technical to use streaming services. Not a lot of people I know are. I am 72 years old retired from IBM and have been streaming for 13 years. I help people who have issues. It is most of the time the person not the service that has a problem. DIRECTV NOW has by far and away the best channel lineup. I can stream it my house and my daughters house. Saves her the $100 plus she was giving to a nameless cable service that was horrible as most of them are. And, I can authenticate the Grandkids devices with TV anywhere for their use. It is a WINNING service in my opinion. I have tried them all except YouTube a waste there.

  9. I have not used it for a while waiting for Roku app. I bought it on the morning of the launch and signed up for the Apple TV promo but I gave it to my daughter cause I am Android only.It has gotten a little better they just had a Android update to May 10.

    • I use the amazon fire stick. I am getting tired of the buffering and the logging out automatically. I upgraded my internet and still having issues. I am thinking of leaving DirectvNow. Ifthey can’t get their crap together by now, they won’t. Of course the more people that leave the better it will get. Then they don’t have to worry about pushing out better signals and this is why some people are not having as many issues anymore.

  10. Anonymous33 // May 10, 2017 at 9:35 pm // Reply

    The coverage on this site in particular has kept me from trying out the DirecTV NOW service. Had SlingTV, no complaints. Just switched to the Hulu Live TV (beta) and so far I am satisfied. I do miss traditional DVR capabilities but it’s something I can learn to adapt to. I agree there was occasional technical hiccups but nothing to the point of calling it “unwatchable” and having to go to technical support. I have a 60 Mbps download connection and a hard line Ethernet into the XBOX One for the Hulu Live TV and their iPhone app over WIFI isn’t bad. Getting used to the vastly different user interfaces (UI) between products vs. traditional pay-television services is the biggest challenge in my opinion.

  11. leeintheburbs // May 10, 2017 at 11:32 pm // Reply

    Directv Now has been performing very well for over a month. I’ve been watching the Stanley Cup and buffering problems are rare. The picture provided is a decent 1280 x 720p at 60 fps which works well even for hockey. I view on a 50 inch screen. My only criticism……the 1080 at 30 fps for NBC is NOT suitable for sports.

  12. Still no local channels for me in the lineup last time I checked. If I want local channels I’ll have to go back to a satellite subscription. I signed up for DirecTV now because I thought it would be the same as the satellite service. Nope.

  13. I got it the first week and I’m fine with a hundred channels for $35 a month but I still only watch about a dozen channels. I would love to buy something that has no sports channels no foreign language channels and at a better price. I miss my CBS had I missed the local channels from LA but it’s far better than paying the scumbag cable TV company anything even though I still do after buy bandwidth at their overpriced charges. 5G will come out the satellites will come out and cable companies will just go the way of the devil.

  14. I’ve had Directv Now since the beginning. They gave me the go big package for 35 a month and a free Apple TV for paying 3mos in advance. It was glitchy at first but it has been working pretty good lately. They also threw in free HBO for a year with hbo go access. The iPhone app is great too. I’m totally getting my money’s worth.

  15. I love my Directv Now and I’ve had it since the beginning. Yes, there were a few glitches back then, but not now. But of course, I attribute this to watching mainly on cellular iPad. I think the problems people are having is wifi, not Directv Now.

  16. Kurt Cross // May 12, 2017 at 6:59 pm // Reply

    No the problem is not wifi….it’s the fire stick and DTVN…..brother

  17. hey dishnetwork needs to add outermax hd they let them block it out…..thats wrong and we pay for it and its not even there….

  18. BRENDA TRENT // June 14, 2017 at 5:10 am // Reply

    not very satisfied at all have a refund that i have chattedl about 3times and still have not received yet that was may 29/17. chated. will not ed again today and they have not issued it yet. what apiece of crap.cant call them, they cant call us and there is no phone to call them will not continue my service with them after this month.i’m going with SLING TV. at lease they have a human to tall to.THANK YOU AND GOOD BYE AFTER THIS MONTH

    • Totally Agree Brenda! Directv Now’s non technical issue…is their CUSTOMER SERVICE. No number to call and speak with an actual person. Either Tweets or a AI Chat window…Awful!

  19. So, I have Sling TV, and it had the same problems when it launched – buffering, sudden reboots, etc. but has improved over the year since having it installed. The main difference I can see between them is that DTVNow is a more near-time experience; the delay is less than a minute from live TV, whereas Sling is a couple hours behind. So if you’re wanting to watch a big event live, sometimes they carry those (e.g. the presidential debates) but not as a rule in general. If you like to binge watch, Roku is a great option, easy to watch entire seasons of Bravo shows or whatever. I love the Amazon Firestick – I’ll never pay $155/mo++ for cable again!

  20. I have two ROKU players and a Firestick, and the app will send me to FREEVIEW (basically showing me previews of shows, movies or networks) or just quit and uninstall itself. I’ve been chatting with DirecTV NOW for the last three days and they keep telling me that technicians are working on it, but won’t refund me the rest of the month (we’re only 3 days in) because it’s not their policy. I’d just stay away.

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