In this day and age, TV viewers have a wide range of options when it comes to watching TV. It used to be that cable TV was the only game in town – thankfully, that’s no longer the case. Even when it comes to LIVE television, there are now many options. One great choice is DIRECTV NOW, the popular online streaming service for cord-cutters.
But what is DIRECTV NOW, and how does it differ from cable or satellite? Find out in our full DIRECTV NOW review!
What is DIRECTV NOW?
DIRECTV NOW is an online streaming service. It works over the internet, and does not require a cable or satellite TV subscription. All you need is a DIRECTV NOW subscription (as low as $40/mo), a compatible device and an internet connection. Here’s the DIRECTV NOW review at a glance:
- $40/mo for the base package
- No contract or commitment
- Get 65-125+ channels to watch live
- Enjoy watching LIVE TV on all your devices
- Works on computers, smartphones, streaming players like Roku, and more
- Enjoy channels like FOX News, CNN, AMC, TNT, ESPN, FS1 and many more
- You get a cloud DVR to record shows for later viewing
Basically, this service aims to be a complete alternative to cable TV. In many ways, it offers much of the same features. You’ll get a package of 60+ channels to watch live, and if you spring for a larger package you could get up to 125+ networks! All of these channels can be watched live as they air, with select content also available on-demand.
If it’s so similar to cable, why bother making the switch? Two words: price and flexibility.
On price, DIRECTV NOW starts at roughly 40% of the cost of the average cable TV package. The average cable bill now runs $107 a month, while DIRECTV NOW costs $40 a month. That’s a potential savings of over 60%!
On flexibility, DIRECTV NOW also shines. While cable providers lock you into 12-month contracts, DIRECTV NOW is contract-free. You can cancel the service at any time, without penalty.
It’s also the second most-popular live streaming service, with almost 2 million subscribers. It’s second only to Sling TV, a similar service that’s currently the #1 most popular option.
In a single sentence, what is DIRECTV NOW? It’s a contract-free, flexible and affordable cable TV alternative that gives you up to 125+ channels to watch live over the internet!
How does DIRECTV NOW work, though? Keep reading for more…
How DIRECTV NOW Works
DIRECTV NOW is an online service. This means it works over the internet, so you will definitely need a high-speed internet connection in order to use it. Experts recommend that you have at least 5-8mbps internet speeds in order to stream in HD. Beyond that, all you need is a device to use. Here are the basics of how DIRECTV NOW works:
- Sign up here for DIRECTV NOW new users get a free week-long trial)
- Choose a channel package (ranges from 65-125+ channels)
- Choose any premium channels or add-ons that you want
- Sign into your DIRECTV NOW account
- Start watching live TV and on-demand shows on your computer!
- Sign into your DIRECTV NOW account on your other devices (mobile, streaming players, etc.)
- Enjoy watching live TV on all your favorite devices!
- Pay month-to-month, with the freedom to cancel any time (no-contract)
Those are the basics of how DIRECTV NOW works! Once you’re signed up and set up on your devices, the service functions similarly to cable. You can browse channels in a grid pattern (similar to cable), you can save favorite channels, and you can cruise through an on-demand selection. There’s also a DVR feature built-in to record TV (you don’t need a physical DVR).
So, we’ve covered the basics – what is DIRECTV NOW offering in terms of the nitty-gritty technical features?
DIRECTV NOW Technical Features
What is DIRECTV NOW bringing to the table when it comes to technical features?
Streaming quality – full HD (1080p). No 4K content currently, but there are plans to add in the future.
Frames per second – most channels are available at 60 frames per second. However, some devices may stream at 30FPS.
Device compatibility – Most devices. DIRECTV NOW devices include Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TVs, iOS devices, Android devices, and web browsers (Chrome and Safari).
DVR recording – cloud DVR is included at no cost. Record, fast forward and rewind your shows. Comes with 20 hours of storage, but recordings expire after 30 days.
Simultaneous streaming – you can watch 2 different channels on 2 separate devices at the same time. Add a third stream for $5/mo extra.
DIRECTV NOW Channel Lineup
The DIRECTV NOW channel list is quite impressive, to say the least. With up to 125+ networks to enjoy, there is plenty to watch! The smallest base package offers 65+ channels, which is significantly more than most other streaming services. Find details on DIRECTV NOW channels in each package right here:
“Live a Little” base package – $40 per month – 65+ channels. For this package, the DIRECTV NOW channel list includes:
A&E, ABC (only in select areas), AccuWeather, AMC, Animal Planet, Audience, AXS TV, Baby First, BBC America, BET, Bloomberg TV, Bravo, C-SPAN, C-SPAN 2, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, CBS (only in select areas) CMT, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, The CW (in select areas), Discovery Channel, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, E!, ESPN, ESPN2, Food Network, Fox (select areas), Fox Business, Fox News, FS1, Freeform, FX, FXX, Galavision, Hallmark, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, HGTV, History, HLN, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, MSNBC, MTV, MTV2, National Geographic, NBC (select areas), NBCSN, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, OAN, Ovation, Paramount, Reelz Channel, RFD TV, Syfy, TBS, TCM, Teen Nick, Telemundo (select areas), TLC, TNT, truTV, TV Land, Univision, USA Network, Velocity HD, VH1, Viceland, WE tv
“Just Right” package – $55 per month – 85+ channels. For this package, the DIRECTV NOW channel lineup includes:
All channels in the previous package (except Ovation and Hallmark Movies), plus regional sports networks in some areas, AWE, BTN, CNBC World, Comedy TV, Cooking Channel, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, Fuse, Fusion, GSN, IFC, JusticeCentral, MLB Network, NFL Network, Nicktoons, OWN, Science, SEC Network, Sundance TV, Tennis Channel, Travel Channel, TV ONE, UniMas, UP and The Weather Channel.
“Go Big” package – $65 per month – 105+ channels. In the Go Big package, the channel lineup offers the following:
ALL channels from the previous two packages (except Hallmark Movies & Mysteries), plus American Heroes, Aspire, BBC World News, BET HER, CBS Sports Network, Destination America, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, DIY, FM, Fox Sports 2, FXM, FYI, Golf Channel, Lifetime Movie Network, LOGO, MTV Classic, Nat Geo Wild, NBA TV, NHL Network, Olympic Channel, Oxygen, Revolt, Sportsman Channel, TVG, Universal Kids, and NBC Universo.
“Gotta Have It” largest package – $75 per month – 125+ channels. This package includes the following channels:
ALL channels from the three other packages (except Hallmark Movies & Mysteries), plus Boomerang, El Rey, Starz Encore (8 different Starz channels), and Univision Deportes.
“Todo Y Mas” Spanish language package – $45 per month – 90+ channels. This package is meant for Spanish speakers, and includes Spanish-language networks like GolTV, ESPN Deportes, FOX Deportes, Cine Estalar and more.
You can also add premium channels, including HBO, Starz, Showtime and Cinemax, for an extra fee ($5-$8 per month.
As you can see, the DIRECTV NOW channel list really depends on which package you choose – and how much you’re willing to pay. Overall, though, the service has one of the more impressive lineups in the industry.
DIRECTV NOW Cost
DIRECTV NOW costs between $40 and $75 per month, depending on the package you choose. Here’s the scoop on DIRECTV NOW prices (more details in the section above):
“Live a Little” (base package) – $40/mo for 65+ channels
“Just Right” – $55/mo for 85+ channels
“Go Big” – $65/mo for 105+ channels
“Gotta Have It” – $75/mo for 125+ channels
“Todo Y Mas” (includes Spanish channels) – $45/mo for 90+ channels
There are also select international packages, starting from $20/mo.
In addition to these base packages, there are premium channels available for an additional fee. These can be added to any package:
HBO for $5/mo
Cinemax for $5/mo
Showtime for $8/mo
Starz for $8/mo
So, to sum up – DIRECTV NOW can cost as little as $40 a month for a basic package. If you choose a larger package and get add-ons, you can easily get close to $100 per month. So, the DIRECTV NOW price really depends on your preferences and budget!
DIRECTV NOW Pros & Cons
Is DIRECTV NOW worth it? What do DIRECTV NOW reviews from other customers say? Here’s a quick pros-and-cons breakdown:
- Excellent selection of channels
- Watch sports without cable (NFL – including the NFL playoffs streaming, NBA, MLB, etc)., news, TV shows and more
- Good coverage of local channels (NBC, FOX, CBS, etc.)
- Good coverage of local sports teams
- Works with most devices
- More affordable than most cable packages
- Easy to use
- It can quickly get expensive for the larger packages
- A few channels are included in the base package but not in the larger packs – confusing
- It can lag/glitch out, at times
DIRECTV NOW reviews from other experts and customers are overall positive. Some older reviews of DIRECTV NOW mention significant glitches/errors, but most of these appear to have been resolved. Do keep in mind that since these services evolve so quickly, it’s important to find up-to-date reviews and information.
Is DIRECTV NOW Worth It?
What’s the bottom line? Is DIRECTV NOW worth trying? What is DIRECTV NOW offering to make it worthwhile?
Overall, this is a great service. It’s got one of the largest channel selections available without cable (if you’re willing to pay for it). The base package may be sufficient for many people, and is priced very fairly at $40/mo. The service also has good coverage of local channels and local sports. And it works on most devices!
There aren’t any huge downsides to be aware of – although we have noticed error messages/glitches on some devices from time to time.
Ultimately, this service is absolutely worth trying out. Whether it’s worth keeping long-term depends on how you like it, and if it serves the channels you crave!
The good news is that DIRECTV NOW offers a free trial for new members. You can test it out for free for 7 days to see if it’s for you. If not, cancel with no penalty! And even if you decide to keep it, you’ll always pay month-to-month, so you don’t have to commit to a long-term contract.
Thanks for reading our DIRECTV NOW review – let us know if you have any questions or comments!