Our AT&T TV review for 2021: Is it worth it?

Joe Supan

May 4, 2021 — 8 min read

AT&T TV logo on black background

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AT&T TV review summary:

  • No contract required
  • Plans start at $69.99/mo.
  • Can bundle with AT&T internet service in some markets 
AT&T TV logo

Starting price: $69.99/mo.

  • Best channel lineup of any streaming service


AT&T TV has gotten rid of its contract requirements, which makes it a much more desirable option. Another benefit of AT&T TV is you’ll get the best all-around channel lineup in streaming, plus 20 hours of free DVR storage (or option to upgrade to unlimited DVR storage for $10/mo.).

If you’re looking to switch because you want more channels, AT&T TV is a great choice. But if you’re trying to cut down your monthly TV bill, there are cheaper cable alternatives available that come close to matching AT&T TV’s channel lineup. 

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What is AT&T TV?

AT&T TV is the latest live TV streaming service from the telecom giant. AT&T TV offers a 4K streaming device for $5/mo. for 24 months or $120 upfront. This gives your TV access to nearly every streaming app around, but in our experience, it didn’t work as well as more popular streaming devices like Roku or Amazon’s Fire TV Stick.

Photograph of the AT&T TV remote and streaming box

AT&T TV’s streaming device plugs into your TV’s HDMI port.

You can also save money by bundling with AT&T’s internet service, but AT&T TV is available on its own — you’d just have to purchase internet through a separate provider.

AT&T TV vs. DIRECTV

Although AT&T’s starting price is slightly higher than DIRECTV and DIRECTV offers more channels in its packages, this is slightly misleading. For one, DIRECTV’s cost will increase in the second year and AT&T’s will not. Secondly, around half of DIRECTV’s channels are glorified radio stations like “Stingray Jazz Masters.”

AT&T TV has the best overall channel lineup of any live TV streaming service. Plus, you don’t have to commit to any long-term contract. The only downside, therefore, is the cost.

AT&T TV channel selection

AT&T TV’s channel lineup is outstanding. While it has a few significant gaps — regional sports networks (RSNs) are only available on CHOICE plan and up, for example — most people will be more than satisfied with its selection. Here’s how it breaks down: 

ENTERTAINMENT: A&E, AccuWeather, AMC, Animal Planet, Audience, AXS TV, BabyFirst, BBC America, BET, Bloomberg, Boomerang, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CMT, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, C-SPAN, C-SPAN 2, Discovery, Disney, Disney Junior, Disney XD, E!, ESPN, ESPN2, Food Network, FOX Business, FOX News, FOX Sports 1, Freeform, FX, FXX, Galavision, GEM Shopping Network, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, HGTV, History, HLN, HSN, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, MotorTrend, MSNBC, MTV, MTV2, National Geographic, NBC Sports, Nickelodeon, One America News Network, Ovation, Paramount Network, QVC, QVC2, Reelz, Revolt, RFD-TV, Syfy, TBS, TCM, TeenNick, TLC, TNT, truTV, TV Land, Univision, USA, VH1, Vice, WE tv

CHOICE: Everything in ENTERTAINMENT plus A Wealth of Entertainment, ACC Network, Big Ten Network, Cheddar Business, CNBC World, Comedy TV, Cooking Channel, ESPNews, ESPNU, FOX Sports RSNs, Fuse, Game Show Network, IFC, Justice Central, Longhorn Network, MSG, MSG+, MLB Network, NBC Sports RSNs, Nick Jr., Nicktoons, OWN, POP, Science, SEC Network, Spectrum SportsNet SportsNet New York, SundanceTV, Tennis Channel, Travel Channel, TV One, UniMás, UP, Weather Channel, WGN, YES. Minus Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Ovation, Revolt

ULTIMATE: Everything in CHOICE plus MSNBC, STARZ Encore, STARZ Encore Action, STARZ Encore Black, STARZ Encore Classic, STARZ Encore Family, STARZ Encore Suspense, STARZ Encore West, STARZ Encore Westerns, TUDN

PREMIER: Everything in Ultimate plus Cinemax East, ActionMAX, Showtime East, Showtime 2 East, Showtime Extreme, HBO East, HBO 2 East, HBO Family East and HBO Latino

What channels is AT&T TV missing?

AT&T TV has one of the most complete channel lineups in streaming, but it is missing a handful of big names. Excluding premium channels, which can be added on separately, here are some of its biggest gaps:

  • PBS (only available on YouTube TV)
  • NFL Network
  • ION
  • Music Choice

It’s an extremely short list. No matter what you want to watch, it will probably be available in one of AT&T TV’s packages. You’ll just have to pay a premium for it. 

Premium networks

AT&T TV lets you add-on your favorite premium networks, such as HBO Max, SHOWTIME, STARZ and EPIX for $54/mo. If you select Choice+, you will receive HBO Max for free for 12 months.

Fees

AT&T TV’s DVR is included with any plan but you will only receive 20 hours of DVR. To upgrade to unlimited hours of DVR, you will be charged an additional $10/mo. AT&T also offers a 4K streaming device for $5/mo. for 24 months (qualified customers only) or $120 upfront. This device is not required.

How does AT&T TV compare to other live TV streaming services?

In a recent Consumer Reports survey, 62% of cord cutters cited price as a reason they dropped their traditional pay-TV service. Switching to AT&T TV won’t slim down your TV bill, but it will get you almost every channel you’ve ever heard of. 

AT&T TV beats the competition at every level. It has more of the top-end channels and more of the niche ones. While certain channels might be deal breakers for you, AT&T TV provides the best selection on the whole. 

For a more in-depth explanation of how we evaluated streaming services, you can find our full methodology here.

Is AT&T TV good for sports?

While AT&T TV’s selection overall is impressive, many sports fans might find it lacking. For one, regional sports networks (RSNs) — the channels that play your local MLB and NHL team’s games — are only available on the CHOICE plan ($82.50/mo. average) and up. For comparison, YouTube TV has a similar selection of RSNs at just $50/mo.

AT&T TV is also missing a couple of channels that air national games from the major American sports leagues. The most glaring is the NFL Network. Without it, you’d have missed out on five Thursday Night Football games in 2019. Overall, though, AT&T TV has one of the best all-around lineups for sports fans.

Decent user experience

In our testing, we found AT&T TV’s streaming device to work pretty well on the whole. The interface is helpfully split between live channels, on-demand content from those channels and separate streaming apps like Netflix. (Keep in mind, subscriptions to those apps are not included with AT&T TV.) It was altogether simple to navigate and intuitive. 

We appreciated how the remote has a voice search button that utilizes Google Assistant — saving you from typing out long movie titles — but results weren’t as relevant as we would have liked. When we spoke “The Avengers” into the remote, for example, AT&T TV brought up Marvel’s Avengers: Black Panther’s Quest, an animated series. When we tried the same thing on Apple TV and Fire TV, those devices had no trouble bringing up the 2012 movie we were seeking. 

Overall, AT&T TV’s user experience would rank in the middle of the pack as both a streaming device and a streaming service.

Outstanding DVR storage and simultaneous streams

Along with YouTube TV, AT&T TV offers some of the most generous extra perks in streaming. You’ll get 20 hours of DVR storage for free or unlimited hours of DVR storage for $10/mo. AT&T TV also allows you to stream on three devices at once out of home and 20 device in home. AT&T’s 4K streaming device also can be purchased for $5/mo. for 24 months or $120 upfront.

AT&T TV FAQs

What internet speed do I need to stream AT&T TV?

AT&T TV recommends at least 8 Mbps of download speeds for uninterrupted streaming. But if you plan on watching 4K content on your AT&T TV streaming device, that number will need to increase significantly. Netflix recommends around 25 Mbps for 4K Ultra HD streaming. Not sure if you currently meet these recommendations? Use our speed test below to measure your current connection. 

Your speed test results:

Download Speeds

888 Mbps

Upload Speeds

88 Mbps


Need more for the price?

Try these helpful hacks to improve your internet speed. Or if you just want more bang for your buck, check out providers near you with more speed for the price. Either way, we’ll help you find what you need.

View providers near me Rather chat? Give us a call: (844) 451-2720
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Pro Tip: For best results, use an Ethernet cord to connect your router or modem directly to your device before you run the test.

Is AT&T TV cheaper than cable or satellite?

As the most expensive live TV streaming service on the market, you probably won’t save much money by switching to AT&T TV. For one, most providers offer significant discounts when you bundle TV and internet service.

Here’s how AT&T TV compares to some common streaming, cable and satellite TV combinations:

Over the course of two years, you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars more than you would with the average cable package, and nearly $1,000 more than with some “skinny bundle” streaming plans. Keep in mind, though, bundling with AT&T internet service would likely result in a much lower monthly price. 

Can you use AT&T TV on another streaming device?

Yes. You can download the AT&T TV app on most phones, tablets, streaming devices and smart TVs. The experience is a little smoother when you use the streaming device that AT&T TV offers for $5/mo. for 24 months or $120 upfront, but you don’t have to pay for it if you’re happy with your current setup. 

The bottom line

With AT&T TV, you’ll get a collection of channels that is inarguably better than any other live TV streaming service. Although AT&T TV is costly, if you want the best live streaming option, this is the service for you.

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Joe Supan

Written by:

Joe Supan

Senior Writer, Wireless & Streaming Content

Joe oversees all things wireless and streaming for Allconnect. His work has been referenced by McAfee, Fox network and more. He has utilized thousands of data points to build a library of metrics to help users n… Read more

Trey Paul

Edited by:

Trey Paul

Editor, Head of Content

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