Direct TV Now streaming- not bad so far

scajjr2

DTVUSA Member
#1
Have been trying out the new DirectTV Now streaming service this week and though it has a few bugs and faults, overall it's not bad.

A little background- In July my wife had to retire for medical reasons. As she's home all day now, I've been considering getting cable tv back (we have Comcast internet, 200/mbps). They have some "deals" for existing customers but trying to keep the cost around $100-$110/month would mean going to a much slower internet speed. So I had been reading about the DirectTV Now service and when it went live Wed, I signed up and paid for 1 month.

Got the "Go Big" package which is $35/mo for 100 channels. Normally $60/mo, initial subscribers get the $35/mo for as long as you keep a subscription (no contracts, cancel at any time), though they do say that it could go up in the future (what doesn't when it comes to internet/TV). The $35 deal is supposedly for a limited time but they don't give any cut off date. You can run it on 2 devices at the same time (computer, tablet, phone, Windows, iOS & Android). I run it via the recommended Google chrome browser on Windows 10 computers. Cost for internet & DTVnow is about $110 for us.

Web interface is OK, channel selection seems to be only able to be done through the Guide so if you're watching something and want to go watch something else you have to click on Guide, scroll down through the channel list and choose. Web interface comes up with volume auto muted. Decent on-demand list of programs/series.

Streaming so far has been pretty good (used it at home and work which has 100/mbps internet). HD picture quality is great, have only had a few stream pauses myself, wife says the web page crashed once on her.

At the $35 price it's a option for us now (and we still use OTA for live local and network TV), have to see in the future if the price shoots up.

www.directtvnow.com


Sam
 

Jim1348

DTVUSA Member
#2
Direct TV Now streaming- Not Bad So Far

I subscribed yesterday. I also canceled my Sony PlayStation Vue service, but it will run for a couple of weeks yet until the end of the billing period. I agree, so far, so good.
 

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#3
I looked into it but didn't see anything that would make me cancel Sling TV. Sling does have fewer channels (at a lower cost) but Direct TV Now doesn't have the Cincinnati Reds games nor do they have Chiller TV on their "Go Big" tier so no deal here. Sling TV doesn't have Chiller either but it is $10.00 cheaper so I'm sticking with it for now.
 

scajjr2

DTVUSA Member
#4
I got it for the sports it has (mainly Golf network and NHL). I have a MLBTV subscription every year so I watch all the baseball I want with that. I have a VPN so as long as I choose an out-of-US site, I can watch the Red Sox. Wife likes having some of the networks she liked again.

Sam
 

scajjr2

DTVUSA Member
#6
So after having it for a month here's an update.

Overall I'd give the service a C- . During the day streaming is fine but at night over the past month (as more subscribers have been added) there is a lot of pausing, dropping, error messages telling you to reload the browser or app.
Customer service is about non-existant. The "live chat" uses canned responses (cause nobody types 50 words in one second), the user forum it refers you to is for the satellite service, phone support refers you to the previous 2.

It's OK for the $35/mo I'm paying for the 100 channel Go Big bundle but I can't see keeping it if the price goes up and the experience stays the same.

Sam
 
#7
I've been using Sling TV for over a year and I remember early on when they had similar issues to what you describe. The main advantage was (and continues to be) the cost relative to the after-introductory-period cost on a cable bundle.

Given time, DirecTV is likely to improve its service offering overall. However like Tim, I see nothing to make me change from my current service. I get the combined blue/orange package ($40/mo), and during football season I pay $10/mo for the sports package to get more ESPN channels. Which reminds me that college football season is over, so I need to cancel the extra package (there aren't enough Redwings games on to justify the expense for hockey)!
 

scajjr2

DTVUSA Member
#9
Update as of June 2017-

So 6 months in here's my experience with DTVNow streaming. Overall still a C- IMO. Streaming has fewer interrupts at night now which I really believe is a result of subscribers leaving in Feb-Mar. Most of those signed up for 3 months in advance to get a free Apple TV box and I'm pretty sure a lot didn't renew due to streaming issues and the still non existent customer service.

There is DTVNow forum on AT&T/DTV's web site but no one from DTVNow ever responds to the complaints. Lately there are lots of problems getting it load live streams on the Chrome browser. I've run into it on our 2 HTPC computers that I just upgraded the hardware on. It'll work on Internet Explorer 11 though the graphics don't seem as sharp. The odd part is I can run it on Chrome just fine on my gaming PC and my laptop and all the computers are running the latest version of Chrome.

I read recently comments from AT&T's chairman about DTVNow that they believed the streaming problems were because of too many people signing up for the service than they planned on. Just wasn't ready for prime time deployment. AT&T does no marketing for DTVNow currently. Also read they're not really making any money on it cause not many are signing up for the more expensive bundles. We still get the Go Big 100 channel bundle for the $35/mo price. Our local NBC Boston station is now on DTVNow but we get that OTA anyway.

So it's been OK for what we use it for, if it was our primary video source I'd have probably cancelled a few months ago.

Sam

In March they gave us a free year of HBO ( I took that as a "thanks for not cancelling").
 

scajjr2

DTVUSA Member
#10
Sept 2017 update

Overall have to give my grade a bump up to B+ now.

Live streaming has improved greatly. Will occasionally get a couple second pause but 99% of the time it works just fine.

They added our local NBC (CH10 Boston) station back in June, since then they added local ABC (I get 2 channels- Ch5 Boston & CH9 NH) and yesterday we got local CBS (CH4 Boston). Nice to have for backup in case weather affects our OTA reception.

Finally found the solution as to why our living room HTPC would never live stream DTVNow via Chrome browser but did in IE11. Some one found that making sure your computer's time was internet sync'd in Windows (control panel, date& time, internet) fixed the issue. Why it didn't affect IE11 who knows but it works in Chrome now. And DTVNow stopped supporting IE11 last month so just in time.

Android app works fine on our phones & tablets, though we don't use it much. As we have an AT&T cell plan we get free data for streaming.

Customer service/support is still non-existent. The live chat "help" still gives either canned responses or "we're working on that". The DTVNow online forum has no official support from AT&T.

Our price of $35/mo for the Go Big package is still in place.

Sam
 
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