AT&T has begun rolling out its previously promised app update for DirecTV Now internet-TV streaming service — which among other features will soon give all subscribers access to a DVR with up to 20 hours of storage for no extra cost.
The revised DirecTV Now app, with a new look-and-feel, is rolling out starting Tuesday on recent-generation Apple iOS/tvOS devices and supported web browsers, according to AT&T. The new version of the DirecTV Now app will be available for Android, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku devices in the next few weeks.
AT&T is moving aggressively to promote DirecTV Now, as cord-cutting continues to hurt its traditional pay-TV businesses. In the first three months of 2018, AT&T added 312,000 DirecTV Now net new customers to reach 1.46 million subscribers. That offset losses for DirecTV’s U.S. satellite service — however, the shift to cheaper, internet-delivered TV has cut into AT&T Entertainment Group’s revenue and profitability.
The new DirecTV Now interface puts users’ most-watched channels and favorite programs at the center of the app, whereas those were accessible through separate menus. In addition, you can view a live stream while browsing the program guide.
AT&T also is offering access for up to three simultaneous streams per account, up from two available in the initial version. However, it will cost extra: a third stream will be an additional $5 per month on top of the price of a customer’s DirecTV Now package.
DirecTV Now’s True Cloud DVR, which had been available in a limited beta trial, is now available to all subscribers and includes 20 hours of free recording available for up to 30 days. Later this summer, AT&T plans to add the option for DirecTV Now customers to record up to 100 hours, with programs stored for up to 90 days, for an additional $10 per month.
Also, DirecTV Now users will be able to access local TV channels in other cities when they’re outside their home market, according to AT&T. For example, subscribers who live in L.A. can now watch the local TV stations in New York or other areas if they’re traveling (depending on availability of local channels on DirecTV Now).
AT&T also has expanded the video-on-demand lineup on DirecTV Now, providing access to more than 25,000 titles depending on subscription package.
The service, first launched in December 2016, joins a competitive field of other over-the-top, “skinny bundle” pay-TV packages — and the enhancements promise to give DirecTV Now more firepower in vying with rivals. Competitors include YouTube TV, Hulu With Live TV, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue and FuboTV.