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

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.



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7 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.
Rating: 7 Votes
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7 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.
Rating: 4 Votes
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7 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.
Rating: 3 Votes
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7 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.
Rating: 3 Votes
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7 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...
Rating: 3 Votes
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7 months ago
I have the grandfathered $60 plan for $35. I also have a TabloTV that I was using in the beginning to get my local channels. Now my local channels are on DirecTV NOW, but the Tablo gives me DVR for local TV channels that I can fast forward without restriction, etc. I also use the ability to log into individual channel apps to view everything else I would use a DVR for. Those come with commercials, but usually shorter breaks than when originally broadcast. For me, I don't really care if they ever implement DVR service. If they charge extra for it, I won't subscribe. What I'm doing now works fine. Using the Tablo and apps also let's me use more than 2 TV's at once because it's rare I actually need to stream 2 DTVNOW shows at once.
Rating: 2 Votes
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7 months ago
same. its buggy as hell and the controls suck. and "major revamp" is pretty inaccurate. its doesn't look that different at all.
Rating: 2 Votes
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7 months ago
DirecTV Now got (rightfully) slammed on social media for the persistent issues it had at launch. I subscribed for about six months shortly after it launched and I finally got tired of the constant buffering and crappy on-demand features. Also I couldn't use my DTV Now account to authenticate TV apps like WatchESPN or Disney Now (for the kids, of course).

Around the holidays they offered me a one month free trial so I took it, and it's a lot better now. I haven't had any issues with buffering and I am able to authenticate on most of the TV apps now. They are still doing the free 4K Apple TV if you sign up for a new account and pre-pay four months, so I just did that under a different e-mail. Glad to hear more improvements are coming.
Rating: 2 Votes
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7 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.
Rating: 2 Votes
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7 months ago

I am on the same plan ("GoBig") which I got when I signed up when DirecTV NOW launched and also got the free Apple TV, which I gave to my mother because I already had Apple TV 4th Gens for my two TV's.

I never heard anything about them charging extra for the DVR and doubt they will, however, it would not effect us because we are locked into that price.

Do you get any local channels on DirecTV NOW, or are you in my situation where you get zero local channels?

:apple:


I get all of my local channels now except PBS, but didn't get any in the beginning.

Glad to hear that they haven't said anything about charging for DVR service, but I wouldn't take it for granted that we are locked into getting it for free. We may be locked into the price for our programming package, but if they offered the DVR service as an add-on, we'd have to add it on at whatever price they charge. If they make it part of the package, then we'd get it included. My guess is that they'll give everyone a small number of hours of space for free but then charge if you want more.
Rating: 1 Votes
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