DIRECTV Now, the live streaming service owned by AT&T, today added both a third stream, and a DVR feature.
But it will cost you.
Click to see today’s best-selling TV at Amazon.com!
Until now, DIRECTV Now subscribers could only watch programming on two devices at the same time. However, AT&T announced today that DTV Now customers can now watch on a third device, or third stream, for an additional $5 a month.
Plus, the live streaming service this summer will offer 100 hours of DVR recording on the ‘cloud’ for an additional $10 a month. The programs can be viewed for up to 30 days after the initial recording.
If you don’t want to pay for DVR service, DIRECTV Now is now offering 20 hours of DVR recordings for free.
It should be no surprise that AT&T is charging for the additional stream, and the expanded DVR capability. Company executives have said they hope to make DIRECTV Now profitable in part by offering add-on features for fees in addition to the programming packages.
DIRECTV Now’s base programming package now costs just $35 a month, which most analysts believe is too little to generate a profit by itself. (Making matters worse, DIRECTV Now has been running a special $10 a month promotion for the first three months of the $35 plan.)
But it remains to be seen if cord-cutters will go along with AT&T’s strategy. By comparison, PlayStation Vue, the live streamer owned by Sony, offers five simultaneous streams while Hulu has six. Sling TV, another live streamer, offers from one to three, depending upon your plan.
The three rivals to DIRECTV Now do not charge extra for the additional streams.
AT&T today said the new features have been added to iOS (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV) devices as well as tvOS systems. The company said it will add them to Android, Roku, and Fire TV devices “in the coming weeks.”
Other new features unveiled today by DIRECTV Now include:
Local Channels on the Road.
DIRECTV Now subscribers previously could only watch local channels while at home. However, they can now watch local channels on the road, if a network affiliate is available in that area. For example, a Los Angeles resident who subscribes to DIRECTV Now can watch KNBC, the NBC affiliate in LA, while at home. If he travels to New York, he could watch the NBC affiliate in NY.
AT&T says the DIRECTV Now app will now have a new look and feel.
“We changed up the look and feel of the app, putting your most-watched channels and favorite programs front and center,” the company said in a press release. “You can even view your current stream while browsing for something that you might want to watch next.”
— Phillip Swann