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DirecTV Now to Launch DVR Beta Test As First Stage of AT&T’s Unified Video Interface Push

DirecTV Now users are about to get the DVR feature they’ve been waiting for — although they may not be able to get it until later this year.

This summer, AT&T will launch a test of a new video platform, starting with DirecTV Now, that will include a network-based DVR feature. The telco said it will invite only select DirecTV Now customers to participate in the beta test, before launching it more broadly.

AT&T is touting the test as prelude to a bigger deployment of the next-generation video platform that will unify the user interface across all platforms. The telco says it eventually will provide a “consistent look and feel across AT&T consumer video services” throughout the U.S., across satellite, mobile and wired internet connections.

But it may be several years before the interface lands on DirecTV set-tops. According to the telco, the new video platform will be coming to DirecTV’s satellite service on TV and other AT&T video services “in the coming years.”

This fall, the company plans to begin rolling out the next-gen platform “more widely” to DirecTV Now customers and users of the companion app for the DirecTV’s core satellite service.

AT&T said additional features of the platform, including live TV pausing and parental controls, will be available once it exits beta testing later this year. It promises to add other features — including multiple user profiles, video downloads for offline viewing, Ultra HD 4K, and HDR — in 2018.

“By developing for a single video platform, we’ll deliver new features and platform innovations in a faster, more efficient way,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Entertainment Group. “And it will be simple and consistent wherever you watch — TV, phone or tablet.”


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