Are you considering to switch to DirecTV Now? This ultimate DirecTV Now review is everything, you need for making the right decision.
DirecTV Now: Is It Good? Or Bad?
For some, it is one of the best live streaming services. Whereas for some others, well, they are just left scratching their heads. The reason behind this? Well, this is the reason we are here with this article. You can read on to know this.
If you are new to this term, here is an overview of what it is. A kind of subscription service, this platform lets you stream online. Here you can enjoy live TV channels. The main benefit of this is that you get to enjoy a lot of channels.
How Does It All Work?
Here is how it goes. As this is an internet streaming service it is more like Netflix where you are only going to need the internet. You don’t have to go through the hassle of installation and things like a cable box. So, once you are done with reading this article and you are convinced about it, DirecTV Now is going to be at your fingertips.
The sad part is that unlike Netflix, you don’t get to enjoy a bunch of shows and movies that you randomly choose.
Directv Now Review
What Makes it Different from DirecTV?
So, if you have been using DirecTV and are wondering why you should go for this one, here are a few differences that you can read about.
This one is more affordable. However, it provides only what is essential. It is a great choice for those who like watching television but maybe not too much. This one too has been owned by AT&T.
And DirecTV Now is not a satellite cable service. This is a separate service that is streamed from an internet server. In this way, you can access it even from your mobile device. You can even access it from your laptop, desktop computer, TV or even media streamer.
Switching to DirecTV Now
So, if at all you had a DirecTV cable package and are looking to switch to this newer version, this could be a good thing for you. You can now enjoy some of the top channels of other TV services.
This is included in the basic package itself. Apart from this, you also get to enjoy certain premium channels. And the good news here is that these channels are much better priced than the same found in other streaming services.
The Change in Package
However, one thing that you have to note here is that there recently had been a change in package in DirecTV Now. The package was recently changed from four to six offerings.
And these are all very closely aligned with the package names that are found in DirecTV. Along with this are also certain other changes. You will also notice some changes in the pricing lineup and the channels.
Choosing the Plan for You
Choosing the plan for you can be tricky. The best plan for you mainly depends on what you are expecting out of it. So, are you a casual user, or someone who watches the news or a lot of sports channels?
These are the things that you need to keep in mind when you are choosing the kind of package for you with DirecTV Now. The package that you select will determine the kind of channels that you get. However, you won’t really be disappointed.
For instance, even if you were to choose the Live a Little package, you can easily enjoy an access to more than 60 networks.
And this can include channels like sports, entertainment and even a few local channels that you can enjoy. This is in fact even better than the highest plan of Sling TV, isn’t it?
That being said, let us now have a look at the packages that DirecTV Now has to offer you:
PLUS: You want to go with PLUS? Then, let’s see what you can get here. Here you get to enjoy the best value for the price. This is mainly because it is the package that is priced the lowest. You also get to enjoy a lot of popular channels, like HBO.
However, the downside is that you miss a lot of important channels like AMC, Discovery and Food Network. So, if these are in your list of favourites, then you may want to refrain from buying this package.
MAX: Your next option is MAX. So, what do you get with this package? This is mainly the package for the sports lover. Why? For obvious reasons. It includes more sports networks. And it still includes channels like HBO, so once in a while when you want to watch a movie, you are not at a loss.
ENTERTAINMENT: Now. finally, let’s look at ENTERTAINMENT. Why this one? This one, as the name suggests, is for those who want to enjoy having all the popular channels.
However, the downside here is that for the price, it may not give you what you would otherwise get with a lot of other streaming providers.
And apart from this, you also have a lot of other higher tier plans but that is only if you are the kind that doesn’t really care about the price. So, do you belong to this category? Then, you can surely go for one of these. This way, you can have it all.
There is also an ULTIMATE package here. This package comes with a high price and mainly stands out. The reason behind this is the STARZ ENCORE channel.
If You Are a Sports Fan
Are you a sports fan? The kind that can spends hours lazing on your couch watching a game of football or other such ball game? Then again, you won’t be disappointed.
Because when it comes to streaming services, we can safely say that DirecTV deserves a medal. Yes, that’s right. You can enjoy all the most popular sports channels like ESPN, the Big Ten Network and so much more. There are also some regional sports network if you do enjoy them.
For the Movie Junkie
For the movie junkie too, there are a lot of options for you. You have a good access to a wide range of movie channels that you are sure to love. There is the famous HBO, the Hallmark movies the FX Movie Channels and so much more, you name it.
You also have channels that come at some of the lowest prices. So, this way, you get to make a solid deal.
For the Local Channel Lover
While some love sports and some others love watching movies, there are the rest who are just happy to watch a programme on a local channel. If you are one of them, there is a range of options for you too.
Most other streaming services tend to cut down on local channels in order to keep the costs down. But we are not one of them. So, if you like watching local channels once in a way, and you choose us, then you won’t be disappointed.
It Costs More Than Sling TV
Now, this is one thing that you may want to keep in mind when you are choosing DirecTV Now. Yes, it costs more than Sling TV.
However, the good part is that it has one of the most affordable plans, which you read about in the point made above.
Consider an Indoor HDTV Antenna
And here’s why. The number of local channels that you are going to get is going to vary. So, if you are worried about having to watch these local channels, one of the best options for you would be to have an antenna. You can get yourself a cheap antenna for this.
It doesn’t matter what kind of TV service you have. You may have a cable TV, satellite TV or streaming TV. It would just be a good idea to have a backup option. An antenna would give you that.
In this way, you can have free HD channels waiting on deck. So, in case your internet starts running slow, you are not going to have anything to worry about.
One antenna that we would suggest would be the ClearStream Eclipse Antenna. This one is very easy to install too. It has a clean design and is also easy to grip. And you can put it anywhere in the house. The way this antenna is designed makes it very easy to blend with all the decor in your house.
However, on the other hand, if you live in a rural area, this antenna may not be a good choice for you. In such a case, we suggest that you go for the ClearStream 2v antenna. This one comes with a 60 mile radius.
The Device Compatibility, Equipment and Features
All this being said, let’s now look at the device compatibility, equipment and features of DirecTV Now. There are a lot of extras and features that you get to enjoy here. For one, they offer much cheaper prices, which is something that you are sure to love. This gives it an upper hand over a lot of its other competitors out there.
And then you have a wide variety of devices. You can easily watch whatever you want on your computer. This you can do with the help of browsers like Google Chrome or Safari. You can also watch what you want on TV. This you can do by using Amazon Fire TV, Roku TV, or even some of the company’s media streamers.
One disadvantage is that 4K support of DirecTV Now is lacking. So, it won’t currently be able to support 4K. Also there is no XBox One support or even a PS4 support for that matter. The PS4 on the other hand, seems to be a hopeless cause. However, the good news is that there is a whisper about a DirecTV Now app which is soon going to be legitimate for XBox users.
The Free Cloud Storage
Another good news is that you also get a free DVR with a DirecTV Now. This is regardless of what your plan is and you won’t have any additional cost too. Isn’t this nice? And this is not all. This service is free with every plan.
But the downside of this is that not all on-demand content can be recorded and saved for later. And these on demand videos have to be watched before they get pulled out of the library.
The User Experience
All this being said, let us now have a look at the kind of user experience that you will get to enjoy. The user interface of DirecTV Now is an okay one. However, it may not be the best.
Just as in DirecTV, there are channel based guides here. This is available in a grid based format. As it is in alphabetical order, it is also very easy to navigate.
So, in this way, you can see the programming that is for the next two hours without having to scroll down. You can also highlight a program with the use of a thumbnail. Here, you can also get a brief description of an episode. You can even get this guide filtered according to what your favorite genre is. Or you can jump to a specific day.
The grid formatted guides is in fact very helpful. This is one of the best among guides found in almost all streaming services.
The DVR menu too is a good one. You have a list of recorded shows that you get to see. You can even quickly delete individual episodes as well as whole series. You can even view your scheduled recordings in chronological order.
However, after this, the experience starts to fall. All you have to do is scroll through the different categories that are available. You can enjoy a good personalization in this way.
There is also a section called “continue watching”. This can be found on the home screen. Here you can see individual episodes as well as movies that you are partially through.
Navigating the interface is not so bad. If you want to do this while watching a video, the audio will continue to play in the background. However, the sad part is that you don’t have this mini screen that should have ideally been available as it would have been very helpful. The interface is going to cover the video that you are watching completely.
The Navigation Tabs
All this being said, let’s now have a look at the navigation tabs that you have available.
Watch Now: This is one of the navigation tabs. Here, you get to enjoy a theater view of what you are watching. There is a splash page below too. This has over four options in a row. The options are available in different categories like “What’s On Now” and “Top Free Movies”.
My Library: Then you have the My Library option. This is the section where you find all your bookmarks and other DVR recordings. These include the kind of shows that you want to watch but haven’t saved.
Here, you also have an option called Discover. This lets you browse according to different shows, movies and networks. You also get to enjoy featured content that is grouped by genres.
Guide: Finally, you have the Guide. Here, you can channel surf just the way that you would on a traditional TV. There is also a timeline guide that is found here. This includes shows with their names, episode numbers and even titles.
Finally, you can also get to enjoy a search function.
The Importance of Keeping the Stream Clear
There is one thing that you have to be very particular about with DirecTV Now and that is keeping the stream clear. Otherwise it is going to be running into problems and making things a lot more inconvenient for you.
In this way, you need to ensure that you do not have a lot going on with your watching device. So, if you are watching a video game on your laptop, and you are also trying to edit pictures and you are trying to read some news articles, there is more likely a chance of you facing a problem and then getting frustrated.
You may get a glitched out video. Or you may have an error screen that is showing you that you need to slow down.
A Work in Progress
The on demand programs of DirecTV are scattershot. While the content is offered to you, it is not very well handled. There are some channels that offer it, while on the other hand, there are a few others that do not. Also, the ones that do offer them are just a few and scattered too.
The movies are available in a few dozens and all at once. Also, there is no clear logic behind the selection. And you don’t get to know for how long they are going to be around. And none of these can be DVRd. In this way, you can’t nab a few movies that you would want to watch for later. This is not a practical option here.
This way, the on demand content that is available here is not a great selling point.
The Customer Service
DirecTV Now offers you a solid customer service that you won’t fail to love. There are representatives who can share a lot of their knowledge with you. Also, the response time is really fast so there is no chance of your patience being tested. You also have quick on-site visits.
And suppose your representative cannot fix your problem over the phone or through the web chat support, they will always send someone to take care of you in person.
The Final Verdict
So, all this being said, let us end by taking a final verdict of DirecTV Now. Let’s start by having a look at what’s good about it.
The good part of DirecTV Now is that it is more affordable that DirecTV. Now., isn’t that nice? The network quality is the same as that of DirecTV. And the best part is there are great shows, there is a variety of sports channels for you to enjoy and you also have a lot of excellent movie channels.
The premium add ons that you have here are also the cheapest in the industry. Apart from this, you also get to enjoy a lot of local channels. And here you don’t have to go through any contracts or hidden fees. And finally, you get to enjoy an excellent customer service.
What’s Not So Good
Now, let’s see what’s not so good here. The sad part is that apart from the channels that you get to enjoy in the package, there is nothing much that you can enjoy.
The DVR provides you with 20 hours of storage but this can be kept for just a span of 30 days. And also, this can at times get buggy.
Then you have the interface. This can feel a bit clumsy at times. This is especially true when you are watching a video. And then there is the fact that you won’t be having a local affiliate in your area. As a result of this, you have to get an antenna.
Final Thoughts on DirecTV Now Review
Now, this may not be the perfect platform. But nothing can be really perfect, can it? Everything has its flaws and its advantages. Here you can enjoy many channels and at a great price. Apart from this, you can also get a lot of shows that are on demand or recorded.
The interface can be a problem by being clunky. However, it does the job well when it matters most. So, if you want a service that is cheap or if you want a lot of local channels, this is one of the best options for you.
On the other hand, if you are looking for something that comes with a lot of extra perks, then this may not be the correct option for you to go for.