DirectTV Now Review – What is DIRECTV NOW and How Does it Work

Published on March 8, 2017 by Lauren

I had a lot of you asking for a DirectTV Now Review, so I put this article together to help you navigate this awesome program! Now called AT&T TV Now.

It sure seems like Cable TV is on the run with all of the cheaper and more flexible alternatives to cable there are. Well, one of the newer kids on the block is DIRECTV NOW (Also knows at AT&T TV Now).  The number of DIRECTV NOW channels you can get is pretty impressive. Depending on the size of the package you have, you can have anywhere between 60 and 120+ channels!

It is a little more expensive than SlingTV, but it falls in line with SlingTV‘s pricing structure with what you get. SlingTV offers 40+ Channels for $25/mo as their midline package, and DIRECTV NOW‘s base package is $35/mo for $60+ Channels. So in terms of dollars per channel, they’re about the same in value.

directv now

BUT… if you’re an AT&T Customer already, DIRECTV NOW gives you a very compelling advantage over SlingTV (see below).

Here’s a breakdown of the three main questions people have about DIRECTV NOW:

  1. What is DIRECTV NOW?
  2. How does it work?
  3. What is the DIRECTV NOW Channel list?

DirectTV Now Review:

1. What is DIRECTV NOW?

DIRECTV NOW is an internet streaming service that offers live and On Demand* programming for many of your favorite TV channels… yes, even sports channels. Some of the main features they offer are:

  • A Free 7-day trial – Sign up HERE
  • 4 Pricing packages ranging from $35 for 60+ channels up to $70 for 120+ channels
  • No Credit Check
  • No Contract
  • 2 streaming devices at once

*On Demand Programming means that you can watch pre-recorded shows whenever you want (on demand). Similar to how you watch on Netflix or Hulu.

2. How does it work?

DIRECTV NOW uses many of your internet connected devices to watch shows and movies.

You can use your computer and head over to their website and log into to your account to watch. Or, you can use their app on your:

  • Amazon Fire
  • Android Devices
  • iPhones
  • iPads, and
  • Apple TV (4th Generation)
  • Roko and Roku Sticks
  • Google Chromecast


directv now

Here’s my FAVORITE part of DIRECTV NOW

If you sign up, and you already have AT&T as your phone carrier, streaming in the DIRECTV NOW app doesn’t count against your data! Yup. That’s right. I’m not talking about your wifi streaming, I’m talking about cell data. So, you can stream whatever you want in the app (like on long car trips) and it won’t eat up your precious GB’s or make you go over on your data!

Unlimited streaming with their app… in a world with ever-increasing competition among streaming services, this is a great differentiating feature!

3. What Channels does DIRECTV NOW have?

Knowing the DIRECTV NOW Channel list is going to make or break the decision for most people. What stinks is that they make you sign up for the free 7-day trial before you can really see what channels they offer!

Well, I did the heavy lifting for you.

Here is the full list of DIRECTV NOW Channels for each package. There’s some pretty sweet stuff on there!

The $35 package:

  • A&E (live/on demand)
  • ABC (on demand)
  • AMC (live/on demand)
  • Animal Planet (live)
  • Audience (live/on demand)
  • AXS TV (live/on demand)
  • Baby First (live)
  • BBC America (live/on demand)
  • BET (live/on demand)
  • Bloomberg TV (live)
  • Bravo (live/on demand)
  • C-Span (live)
  • C-Span 2 (live)
  • Cartoon Network (live/on demand)
  • CMT (live/on demand)
  • CNBC (live/on demand)
  • CNN (live/on demand)
  • Comedy Central (live/on demand)
  • Discovery (live/on demand)
  • Disney Channel (live/on demand)
  • Disney Junior (live/on demand)
  • Disney XD (live/on demand)
  • E! (live/on demand)
  • ESPN (live/on demand)
  • ESPN2 (live)
  • Food Network (live/on demand)
  • Fox (on demand)
  • Fox Business (live)
  • Fox News (live)
  • FOX Sports 1 (live/on demand)
  • Freeform (live/on demand)
  • FX (live/on demand)
  • FXX (live/on demand)
  • Galavision (live/on demand)
  • Hallmark Channel (live/on demand)
  • Hallmark Movies & Mysteries (live/on demand)
  • HGTV (live/on demand)
  • History (live/on demand)
  • HLN (live)
  • Investigation Discovery (live/on demand)
  • Lifetime (live/on demand)
  • MSNBC (live/on demand)
  • MTV (live/on demand)
  • MTV2 (live/on demand)
  • National Geographic (live/on demand)
  • NBC (on demand)
  • Nick Jr. (live/on demand)
  • Nickelodeon (live/on demand)
  • RFD-TV (live)
  • Spike (live/on demand)
  • Syfy (live/on demand)
  • TBS (live/on demand)
  • TCM (live/on demand)
  • TeenNick (live/on demand)
  • Telemundo (on demand)
  • TLC (live/on demand)
  • TNT (live/on demand)
  • TruTv (live/on demand)
  • TV Land (live/on demand)
  • Univision (live/on demand)
  • USA Network (live/on demand)
  • Velocity (live)
  • VH1 (live/on demand)
  • Viceland (live/on demand)
  • WE tv (live/on demand)
  • WeatherNation (live)

To check out the full channel list of the other packages, sign up for a free trial HERE.

Now, remember that Enjoying life on a budget is important. It’s my mantra here! So, I definitely wouldn’t recommend using SlingTV or a full cable package in addition to this. If you’re interested, you should probably cancel one of (or all of) your other entertainment services before you sign up for DIRECTV NOW.

Make sure the plan you decide on fits within your budget. If a $70 cable package didn’t fit in your budget before, then a $70 streaming service package won’t either. But, DIRECTV NOW, could cut your bill significantly and give you exactly what you wanted without having to pay for a bunch of extra channels you won’t use.

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  • I did see a lot of channels I enjoy watching on cable, but where is CBS? I didn’t see it, & I watch a lot of shows on that channel 🙁

    • As of right now, they don’t have it 🙁 But it is rumored that they will pick it up soon. Lauren and I are huge Survivor fans (a CBS show), so we may have to stick with SlingTV for now because of that.

      • If the networks have on-demand available, then I imagine you could watch them. But it wouldn’t be a live airing, you would have to wait until the next day.

      • You realize that with a very inexpensive antenna you can pick up free HD channels over the air right?

      • If you do not have an over-the-air antenna, you should get one. Then, you have all the local channels in HD. We picked up an antenna for $50. We mounted it to the highest point of our home ($25 mount which took 10 minutes to install). There is no monthly fee. BTW, in our area (Southern California) CBS has two feeds. There is a primary channel and a channel that shows reruns of previous popular shows.

    • Just wanted to update the part about Roku in this article. I just subscribed today on Roku and it works great. Tried Sling but my Mbps speed was not good enough ( I have 11 Mbps; Hulu needs 15; Sling 25; but Direct TV only needs 7.5 for HD).

      • Deborah, right now you can get a Roku Stick free for signing up. I’ve tried both the Fire & Roku Sticks & find the Roku to be more user friendly.

    • Live shows you get to watch at the time that they air. With on-demand, you still get to watch the same shows, but usually have to wait until the day after they air to be able to access them.

  • DirectvNow, has made significant improvement in their streaming since it launched in late November. I am happy with Go Big plan at $35 and now getting HBO for free for a year. YEA!!!

  • Do you have to sign up for Direxr Tv packages with AT&T to get the streaming option? Or can you just subscribe to the streaming? AT&T now has the unlimited packages with a hotspot, do you know how those work? It thinking I could cut out time warner Internet and use the hotspot if it really works that way.

    • Hi Christy – the way I understand it is that you only get streaming for free over data if you are using the app on your phone or cell-connected tablet. If you are using your phone as a hotspot, that would still count against your data.
      And you would just sign up normally… when you download the app on your phone and sign in, I think it would automatically recognize that you are an AT&T customer.

  • Not to be clueless or anything, what is the difference between live and on demand? We pay a lot for DTV, Netflix and Hulu. The only reason we haven’t cancelled our DTV subscription is that we like a handful of shows on the networks. Not much, but enough to continue paying a lot more money than this program you are talking about.

    • Live shows you get to watch at the time that they air. With on-demand, you still get to watch the same shows, but usually have to wait until the day after they air to be able to access them.

  • Yes, I agree DirectvNow, has made significant improvements and I was surprise to receive an email with the FREE HBO FOR 1 YEAR!! I love my Go Big plan at $35, you just can’t beat this deal!!

  • HI,
    There are so many options out there that I’ve wanted to look into but haven’t had the time. Do you already have an article about all the different options….such as Roku, sling TV etc?

  • Just to clarify, you can only Directv now with an apple tv device correct? So if we have roku the kids could still watch netflixs but can’t watch direct tv unless on phone b/c we have att?

    thanks for the information

    • You can use it with Apple TV, and Amazon’s streaming devices, not a Roku 🙁
      BUT – they have a deal right now where they give you the newest Apple TV for free if you sign up for 3 months. And the cost of the service for 3 months ($105) is LESS than the cost of the Apple TV ($150). I’m actually considering going this route and canceling Sling.

      • It is now available thru Roku. I am excited because I am trying it out to see how it is compared to cable. I have had the Roku for a while but miss watching the news live so I kept my cable. I was a little afraid to make the jump from cable but the time has come .

    • And you can still watch DirecTV on your phone without AT&T. It’s just that with AT&T, you aren’t charged for data if you are outside of wifi. But it will still work just fine on all the carriers.

  • I was wondering can you watch local tv broadcasts on Directv or Apple TV. We live in Lake Tahoe and reception is very limited or not at all. I was told by an AT&T rep that if you go into settings and open up your location app and it will reconize your signal location and allow local television broadcast. Is this true or was She just talking thru her hat?

  • I really like using DirectTVNow except for one thing. The obvious convenience of cable DVR (being able to record anything cable plays and watch when we are ready)…I have tried using PlayOn which allows recording subscriptions to shows on DTVNow, but MANY of the channels like the Food Network, History, Animal Planet…for example, show all their lineup on live stream, but you cannot DVR many of them — they require a “wait” of a day or so, which I do not mind, but many of their live programs are not ever available for DVR. Hope DTVNow does not do that with their upcoming (and now in beta) DVR service!

  • Lauren, we have 4 TVs in our Home. The main tv and outdoor tv are both smart TVs. The one in our bedroom and guest room are not smart TVs. My husband and. I are both middle aged and need user friendly option. We both own iPads and iPhones. We never have more than 2 TVs in use at one time. How does directnow work with smart/non smart tvs. Do we receive a remote? Can we just turn the tv on and direct now open all the channels? Please explain this in terms this “old lady” can understand. Thank you. Right now I am paying over 220 a month for att uverse.

  • Hulu has 3 key advantages… 1.all local networks in many markets. 2. No commercials for many networks. 3. Use of a “cloud” DVR so you can record anything. All for $44 a month. Why would anyone choose Direct?

  • Why doesn’t Direct now have a decent screen guide with channels numbered and an easy way to access them. I have to scroll through 60 channels to find the one I want. The favorites function helps a bit but is still clumsy. And I can’t leave one show for another and then come back to the first show without going through the whole process again. If I’m lucky then I’ll be able to resume first show.

  • Does anyone know if any of the packages have GSN, the game channel? Is the $35.00 package the only one that has all 3 Hallmark channels, Hallmark Regular, Drama & Mystery channels? Do you have to have certain types of tv’s?

  • I signed up for the $70 package. Supposed to get free hbo and premiums for 3 months. Cant watch Game of Thrones without you asking f or more money. Cant watch Chicago Fire, you ask for more money. I already pay to get these channels. What’s up with that? An other lie like Comcast??? I called Direct and now I’m told there is no tech support for direct now? Another lie??? I expect a response within 24 hours or I will pull the plug with you. Too. Not going thru another COMCAST nightmare!

  • How does On Demand work? Can I watch a Fox Business show from yesterday or last week at anytime? How far can I go back to watch a show like I can with my DVR? Is there a DVR so I can record and keep shows?

    • I have a subscription to Directnow. So , why when I try to watch Dr. Pol on demand, a window pops up and read as, I have to have a subscription to Direct Now. I already have a subscription. Or I wouldn’t be able to watch Directnow.

      • The pop up window says You need to subscribe-A DIRECT NOW subscription is required to enjoy this and much more. Check us out. In order for me to watch Dr Pol on demand, I have to subscribe?

  • How so you stream PBS for Roanoke, VA. I live in Danville, VA and watch this channel every day but cannot get it with DirecTV now.

  • if you have a smart tv and you should be able to connect to your smartphone without needing a cable. If you do not have a smart tv but a regular flat screen tv then you will need what they call a “chromecast” that connects to your tv and then you will be able to connect to your smartphone through wifi

  • I am an AT & T customer and already have Directv. How would this benefit me and how much extra would I have to pay a month to use the service on my tablets, laptop and phones?

  • Can I set up Direct tv Now on my flat screen tv (not smart tv)? Does direct tv now have a customer service number to talk with a live person?

  • YOu need to update this article, some of the information here is not correct anymore. YOu can use Roku, and they now have network tv channels, etc.

  • So far I haven’t seen anything about religion/faith Chanels, are there any Christian Chanels like TBN and Daystar on Directv Now?

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