DirecTV Now's Revamped Interface and Cloud DVR Features to Debut This Spring

by

During its fourth quarter earnings report this afternoon, AT&T shared release details (via Engadget) for its next-generation DirecTV Now video streaming platform, which will be a major revamp of the existing service.

When the update rolls out this spring, DirecTV Now subscribers will gain access to a new cloud DVR feature, allowing them to record and access their shows from anywhere.

directv now apple tv 4k offer
DirecTV Now will also be gaining an entirely new interface to provide a "consistent look and feel" across all of the company's consumer video services, and subscribers will be able to stream to one additional device concurrently.

DirecTV Now subscribers have had access to the cloud DVR features in a beta capacity since late 2017, but it will be launching officially in the spring.

AT&T said in December that additional features are planned for DirecTV Now, including support for 4K video, individual profiles, and more on-demand titles.

According to AT&T, DirecTV Now has a total of 1.2 million subscribers, with the company gaining 368,000 new subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2017.

Top Rated Comments

macduke Avatar
39 months ago
I’ve been beta testing the app and trust me, you guys don’t want it any earlier. It’s still a buggy mess and I have to switch to the regular app all the time. The interface is clunky and confusing. It suffers from lots of audio de-sync issues too. Been filling out surveys about it. If I had to guess when, at this rate I’d say later in the spring is more likely than earlier.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
avanpelt Avatar
39 months ago
I signed up for DIRECTV Now on day one in 2016. I stuck with them through the incredibly lousy launch and am also currently testing the beta.

Watching live TV on the Apple TV showcases what a piss poor user experience the Apple TV remote really is. Things we’ve all gotten used to doing with remotes over the last few decades can’t be done with the Apple TV remote. Want to quickly switch to the last channel you were watching? Can’t be done. Want to mute the sound quickly? Too bad. That remote is totally form over function.

Swiping between channels can be maddening. I change channels by accident more than I ever did with a conventional remote; and if I want to “channel surf” it takes forever to swipe from channel to channel. If you want to browse what’s on, you’re basically forced to go to the guide, which, at least in the beta right now, is clunky as hell to navigate because there seems to be no consistency with the scrolling speed in the guide. I can do the exact same swipe on the same place on the touchpad at the same speed and the guide will scroll down one channel the first time and three channels the next time. I know, I know...it’s a beta. It has a ways to go before it’s ready for mass consumption, for sure.

I’ve thought about getting a Harmony remote just because the Apple TV remote is so terrible for live TV. Unfortunately, based on what I’ve read, though, even the latest Harmony remotes aren’t really embracing services like DIRECTV Now yet. You’re still limited to using a directional pad, but at least it’s clicks and not swipes.

When I can add shortcuts to my favorite TV channels to a Harmony touch screen that, when tapped, tune directly to that channel in the DIRECTV Now app, I will be buying two Harmony remotes and gladly tossing the Apple TV remotes in a drawer.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rezwits Avatar
39 months ago
DirecTV Now ALL DAY. You get to use it with like 30+ AppleTV "Channel Apps" with Single Sign on Now, which is finally working (for the most part). But no need for a Cable Provider or other such non-sense. The DVR is Beta for now, but for $35 a month? I am much happier, and I get to use my AppleTV for the "Channel Apps," NOW. The DVR will be great for watching that night or next day, and then we'll hopefully get to use Voice to FF and REW...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
39 months ago
Just to temper expectations regarding DTVN DVR (speaking as as a beta user as well), and clarify why you all want to wait, here's what it's like right now:

* When you record a show, trying to fast forward is often restricted based on the channel. That means no skipping ads on a lot of the recordings. This is pretty clearly a play to force you to watch ads, and likely will follow the Hulu model where you can "upgrade" to a "premium" DVR with the ability to fast forward your own recordings.
* If you can fast forward and try, but there's a buffer issue (very common) then it skips back to the beginning of the recording.
* There's no elegant way to scrub forward to a part of the show you want to see. You literally have to jump in 15 second intervals (assuming you are on one of those recordings that allow you to fast forward). Lost your place due to a skip/reset to the beginning of your recording? Too bad. You may have to sit through it all again.
* You can't set things to start/end before or after the scheduled time, yet 100% of my recordings have cut off the beginning or end of a show by a couple of minutes. The channel guide is accurate, but the recording it compleely out of sync.

* Example: Tried a sample recording of one of those fixer-upper shows. The recording started with the last 15-20 seconds of the prior show, but then cut off the entire final 6-7 minutes of the targeted recording.

* Assuming you have a recording and you're watching it, there are occasional (yet common) lurches forward. Someone can be talking, and suddenly it's a minute later and you missed a part of the show. The recording didn't skip. It's actually missing. This seems particularly common when returning from a commercial break.

* This is terrible because if you are going TO commercial, usually it's because they want you to "stay tuned" to see what happens. When you come back, you see things starts to pick up and them BOOM, it's suddenly after later and you missed the point.

* You have no option currently to only record new episodes of something. You can set it to record a series, and it seems to only record the season in question, which is better than nothing, I suppose.
* You also can't choose which channel in case something is aired on multiple networks. Therefore, if you set a series recording, be prepared to monitor your locker because it will likely fill up with junk very quickly!

tl;dr - if you're expecting a Tivo/cable DVR experience/replacement, it's not looking very promising in the short term and even when this goes live, it will likely be very rough.

Community question: Does anyone use the Hulu live TV/DVR combo? If so, does it have these issues as well?
[doublepost=1517457647][/doublepost]

Also beta sucker. It's not the worst, but like everyone else, it drives me crazy. I don't think there are really any improvements. Sure you can record but it will record everything with that name and fill up your capacity, then not let you delete them.

I get 100% more use and enjoyment out of Plex with an antenna.

I've found that in order to easily delete things, log into the beta on your mobile and it actually deletes correctly there, and it's a matter of swiping like cleaning out an inbox. The ATV interface to navigate the library is atrocious by comparison.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GOAT4521 Avatar
39 months ago
Only being able to stream on two devices is the only reason I haven’t cut the cord. Sounds like this update is what I’ve been waiting for.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mikekow80 Avatar
39 months ago
Also beta sucker. It's not the worst, but like everyone else, it drives me crazy. I don't think there are really any improvements. Sure you can record but it will record everything with that name and fill up your capacity, then not let you delete them.

I get 100% more use and enjoyment out of Plex with an antenna.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iP12 charge airpods feature 2

Hidden iPhone 12 Hardware Feature Could Still be Unlocked

Thursday January 14, 2021 2:51 am PST by
All iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models purportedly have a hidden reverse wireless charging feature, according to an FCC filing. The feature has not yet been activated, but could yet be unlocked for an upcoming Apple accessory. The FCC filing suggests that iPhone 12 models contain the hardware for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) to accessories: In addition to being able to be charged by a...
Top Stories 43 Feature

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and iPhone Rumors, Best of CES 2021

Saturday January 16, 2021 6:00 am PST by
This week was sure a busy one in the Apple world, with a flurry of announcements out of CES early in the week followed by a rash of Mac- and iPhone-related rumors later in the week. The new rumors this week included details on updated MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models, as well as a few other tidbits, so make sure to read on below to get caught up! Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to...
foldable iPhone concept feature

Apple Testing In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for iPhone 13, Foldable iPhone Also in the Works

Friday January 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
Apple has started "early work" on an iPhone that has a foldable display, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Though testing of a foldable iPhone has begun, Apple has not committed to releasing a device that has a foldable display. Development has not yet expanded beyond a display and Apple does not have full foldable iPhone prototypes in its labs. Like foldable...
16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
macbook pro flexgate

Apple Extends 13-Inch MacBook Pro Backlight Repair Program

Sunday January 17, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Apple this week extended its worldwide 13-inch MacBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program, authorizing coverage for eligible notebooks for up to five years after the original purchase date or up to three years after the start date of the program, whichever is longer. The previous cutoff was four years after the original purchase date. Apple launched the program on May 21, 2019 after...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
Apple TV Ray Light 2 Triad

Apple Extends Free Apple TV+ Trials Until July

Friday January 15, 2021 10:50 am PST by
Apple is once again planning to extend its free Apple TV+ trial subscriptions, this time until July. When Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, Apple offered free Apple TV+ subscriptions to those who purchased a new Apple device in or after September 2019. Those free subscriptions were set to expire in November 2020, but in October 2020, Apple announced that it was extending free trials...
mac pro mini feature

Apple Working on Two New Mac Pro Desktops, One of Which Will Be Reminiscent of Power Mac G4 Cube

Friday January 15, 2021 10:23 am PST by
Apple is developing two versions of the Mac Pro to succeed the Mac Pro that was first released in December 2019, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The first updated Mac Pro is a direct successor to the current Mac Pro and it will use the same design. It may also be equipped with Intel processors rather than Apple silicon chips, and it could be one of the sole machines in the Mac...
macbook pro magsafe

MagSafe is Coming Back to the Mac: A Look Back at Apple's Original Magnetic Charging Technology

Friday January 15, 2021 12:16 pm PST by
Surprise late night rumors last night provided us with our first in-depth look at what we can expect from the new MacBook Pro models that are coming in 2021, and there are some significant changes in the works. Along with additional ports, a new flat-edged design, and the removal of the Touch Bar, Apple's updated MacBook Pro machines will readopt MagSafe. MagSafe in the 2021 MacBook Pro...