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