|✔ Includes HBO in every plan ✔ Has every local channel ✔ 500 hours of DVR storage ✔ Three simultaneous streams||✘Expensive ✘ One of the worst channel lineups ✘ Poor choice for sports fans ✘ Doesn’t work with Roku||AT&T TV NOW really only has one thing going for it: HBO. If that channel’s not a must-have for you, every other live streaming service offers better value.|
AT&T TV NOW review summary:
- Formerly DIRECTV NOW
- Seven packages ranging from $65-$135/mo.
- Not compatible with any gaming consoles
AT&T TV NOW plan options
You can choose from seven different AT&T TV NOW plans, although the Plus and Max packages are featured most prominently. Here’s how they compare:
|Plan||Monthly price||Number of channels|
Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. As of 11/21/19.
- Plus ($65/mo.): ABC, BET, Boomerang, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CBS, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, The CW, Disney Channel, Disney Jr., ESPN, FOX, FOX Business, FOX News, FS1, Freeform, FX, FXX, Hallmark Channel, HLN, MSNBC, MTV, National Geographic, NBC, NBC Sports, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Ovation, Oxygen, Syfy, TBS, TCM, Telemundo, TNT, TruTV, Universal Kids, USA, VH1
- Max ($80/mo.): Everything in Plus, Big Ten Network, Cinemax, CMT, Golf Channel, Paramount Network, Regional Sports Networks, TV Land
For a complete listing of channels in your area, enter your ZIP code on AT&T TV NOW’s website.
What channels is AT&T TV NOW missing?
AT&T TV NOW has a fairly low channel count compared to other live TV streaming services. And while it’s not as padded with filler as some, it’s also missing some big names. Here are some of the popular channels that aren’t available in the $65/mo. Plus plan:
- Animal Planet
- BBC America
- Cooking Channel
- Discovery Channel
- Disney Jr.
- Food Network
- Investigation Discovery
- MLB Network
- Music Choice
- NBA TV
- NFL Network
- NHL Network
- Paramount Network (formerly Spike)
- Sundance TV
- The Weather Channel
- Travel Channel
- TV Land
AT&T TV NOW vs. other live TV streaming services
There’s no way around it: AT&T TV NOW has the worst channel selection of any live TV streaming service. And at $65/mo. for its cheapest package, it’s also the most expensive.
To gauge how AT&T TV NOW compared to the competition, we used a recent survey from TiVo that asked over 3,300 respondents, “Which channels would you be interested in including in your TV package?” The more people included a channel, the higher it ranked.
Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. As of 01/07/20.
AT&T TV NOW has the lowest number of channels in the top 25 and top 50, and only one more in the top 100 than the $45/mo. Sling Orange + Blue. Any way you look at it, it’s one of the worst.
That said, it does boast one trump card: HBO is included in all of its plans. The premium network costs $15/mo. to add on to any other streaming service or to purchase independently through HBO Now. Taking that added value into account, AT&T TV NOW’s channel lineup starts to look a lot stronger.
If HBO is a must-have for you, it might be worth subscribing to AT&T TV NOW for that reason alone. You’ll probably have to make other concessions — see the long list of missing channels above — but HBO might be worth price of admission alone.
Still, most people will be better off subscribing to YouTube TV and purchasing HBO separately. It would still be the same price as AT&T TV NOW, and you’ll get a much stronger channel lineup and user experience.
|AT&T TV NOW||Hulu + Live TV||fuboTV||YouTube TV||Sling Orange + Blue|
|Fox NBC FX TNT TBS USA SyFy Cartoon Network CNN Nat Geo||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Discovery Food Network TLC HGTV||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|A&E History Lifetime||✔||✔||✔|
|ESPN Disney Channel Freeform||✔||✔||✔||✔|
Like most live TV streaming services, AT&T TV NOW has a number of premium networks you can add to your package for an extra fee, but none of them offer a discounted rate.
- Cinemax ($11/mo.)
- Showtime ($11/mo.)
- Starz ($11/mo.)
- EPIX ($6/mo.)
Where you might find some value is with AT&T TV NOW’s Spanish language add-ons. For an extra $5/mo., you can add on five core channels like ESPN, Fox and History in Spanish. For $15/mo. extra, you can add on 59 Spanish channels, essentially recreating AT&T TV NOW’s Plus package. It’s the best Spanish language channel lineup of any live streaming service.
In addition to its Spanish options, AT&T TV NOW also offers three international packages that can be added to any of its plans. Here are the options:
- Vietnamese ($20/mo.) – Nine channels
- Brazilian ($30/mo.) – Two channels
- Korean ($30/mo.) – 12 channels
Is AT&T TV NOW good for sports?
AT&T TV NOW is one of the worst options for most sports fans. It is missing several key channels that air nationally televised games, and it forces you to upgrade to its $80/mo. Max plan to watch your local teams.
In both its $65 and $80/mo. packages, AT&T TV NOW is missing at least one channel that airs games from each major American sport. The $65/mo. Plus plan is an especially terrible option for college sports, as it’s missing every conference network.
|League||What it has||What it’s missing|
|NFL||ESPN, Fox, NBC, CBS||NFL Network|
|MLB||ESPN, ESPN2, Fox, FS1, TBS,||MLB Network|
|NBA||ABC, ESPN, TNT||NBA TV|
|NHL||NBC, NBC Sports, USA, CNBC||NHL Network|
|NCAA Football||ESPN, ESPN2, Fox, ABC, CBS||ESPNU, ACC Network, Big Ten Network, Pac-12 Network, SEC Network|
If you upgrade to the $80/mo. Max plan, you get the Big Ten Network, CBS Sports, ESPNU, NBC Sports and the SEC Network, but Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV all include these channels at a much lower price.
Regional sports networks
Where AT&T TV NOW will probably lose most sports fans is its coverage of their local team’s games. MLB, NBA and NHL teams all play on your market’s regional sports network (RSN), and AT&T TV NOW only offers these in their $80/mo. and above plans.
If you care about sports, these are probably essential channels for you, and they can be had for much cheaper through other streaming services. Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV and YouTube TV carry almost every RSN for $55/mo. or less.
What’s more, AT&T TV NOW doesn’t include NBC Sports RSNs in any of its plans. These channels cover 19 MLB, NBA and NHL teams in nine different markets.
The one fanbase for whom AT&T TV NOW might appeal? New Yorkers. AT&T TV NOW and fuboTV are the only streaming services that carry MSG Network, the exclusive broadcaster of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils in market.
Will AT&T TV NOW actually save you money?
Probably not. With its cheapest packages starting at $65/mo., AT&T TV NOW probably won’t shave off much from your TV bill. When internet costs are taken into account, it’s more expensive than the most popular bundles from satellite and cable providers.
|AT&T TV NOW||Sling Orange||XFINITY (Starter Pro Double Play)||Spectrum (TV Select + Internet)||AT&T Internet + DIRECTV|
|Monthly TV + internet cost||$65 (TV) + $60* (internet)||$30 (TV) + $60* (internet)||$90||$90||$75 year one, $121 year two|
|Installation fee||None||None||Up to $60||Up to $200||Up to $99|
|Equipment rental fee||None||None||$13/mo.||$5/mo.||None|
|Contract length||One month||One month||One year||One year||Two years|
|Estimated year one costs||$1,500||$1,080||$1,296||$1,340||$999 ($1,452 year two)|
|Number of channels||69||33||140+||125+||155+|
Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. As of 01/02/20.
*Average price of broadband internet in U.S.
That said, AT&T TV NOW offers a number of perks that you won’t get through traditional cable and satellite TV plans. You can stream on two devices at once and every plan comes with HBO — an extra $15/mo. to add to Spectrum and XFINITY.
Most importantly, you can cancel AT&T TV NOW at any time, where traditional TV providers typically lock you into year-long contracts.
Poor user experience
To test out AT&T TV NOW’s user experience, we used it on three devices throughout the week: an Amazon Fire TV Stick, an Apple TV and a MacBook Pro. Overall, it wasn’t much of a departure from most live streaming services we’ve tested — or cable TV guides we’ve used. We liked it better than Hulu + Live TV’s, but it didn’t wow us like YouTube TV.
AT&T TV NOW uses a guide you’re probably already familiar with. We liked how you can see as many as six channels at once when using a browser and four on streaming devices. The service keeps the channel you’re currently playing on in the background as you browse.
After a while, though, we found ourselves hardly ever using the guide. AT&T TV NOW saves your most watched channels on the home screen, so we usually found what we were looking for within a couple clicks.
Unfortunately, AT&T TV NOW did glitch out more than other services we tested. Occasionally when we opened the app on a streaming device, channels would fail to load. Usually restarting the app or device would do the trick, but if you want to catch a game or show on time, we could see how this could easily turn into a major frustration.
AT&TV NOW’s mobile app shared a lot of the problems we had testing it on our TV. The app would occasionally require a restart to work, or it would just close out unexpectedly. This experience was echoed in user reviews as well: It received 3.0 stars on Google Play and 4.6 on the App Store, with many reviews complaining about the difficulty of recording shows to the DVR, which has officially been “in beta” for over a year.
If you’re not planning on using AT&T TV NOW away from your home, this probably isn’t a dealbreaker. But anyone who expects to use it regularly on commutes or trips — particularly Android users — might want to go with a different service.
Generous extra perks
After YouTube TV, AT&T TV NOW provides the best extra perks of any live TV streaming service. You’ll get 500 hours of cloud DVR storage with every plan, and it doesn’t expire for a full 90 days. Its three simultaneous streams are also some of the more generous around.
|AT&T TV NOW||Hulu + Live TV||fuboTV||YouTube TV||Sling Orange + Blue|
|DVR storage||500 hours (stores for 90 days)||50 hours||30 hours||Unlimited (stores for nine months)||10 hours (stores indefinitely)|
AT&T TV NOW FAQs
Which streaming devices work with AT&T TV NOW?
AT&T TV NOW has some of the worst device compatibility of any live TV streaming service. You can only stream on three of the major streaming devices, and there are few gaming consoles and smart TVs it works with. Here’s the complete list of devices that work with AT&T TV NOW:
- Apple TV
- Amazon Fire TV
- Google Chromecast
- Samsung Smart TVs (2017 and newer)
You can’t stream AT&T TV NOW on Roku, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, or LG and Sony smart TVs. If you go with AT&T TV NOW, you might need to purchase a new streaming device.
What internet speed do I need for AT&T TV NOW?
AT&T TV NOW recommends at least 8 Mbps for each device that’s streaming. So if two people are watching separate TVs in the same house at once, you’ll need at least 16 Mbps.
Not sure what kinds of speeds you’re currently getting? Use our speedtest below to find out.
Can you fast forward through commercials on AT&T TV NOW?
Unfortunately, you’re not able to fast forward through commercials on AT&T TV NOW — or any live TV streaming service. They work the same way as live TV through cable or satellite; commercials are part of the deal. That said, you are able to skip ahead on programs in your DVR. If you pause a show, you can also fast forward to catch up.
Does AT&T TV NOW stream in 4K?
AT&T TV NOW does not currently support 4K streaming on any of its channels, but there is a workaround. Select games on Fox, FS1 and Big Ten Network stream in 4K on the Fox Sports app. The app is available on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Xbox and Android TVs. Keep in mind, you will have to subscribe to an AT&T TV NOW plan that includes these channels.
Our other live TV streaming service reviews
We’ve written extensively about every live TV streaming service around. For more detailed information, you can check out our full reviews below:
- AT&T Watch TV ($15/mo.)
- Philo TV ($20/mo.)
- Sling TV ($30/mo.)
- YouTube TV ($50/mo.)
- fuboTV ($55/mo.)
- Hulu + Live TV ($55/mo.)
- Best live TV streaming services
The bottom line
Our AT&T TV NOW review finds it’s only worth it if HBO is a must-have channel for you. Aside from that, it has the worst channel lineup of any live TV streaming service and the user experience is mediocre at best. It’s a particularly bad option for sports fans: You’ll only be able to catch your local MLB, NBA and NHL team’s games if you upgrade to the $80/mo. Max plan.