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AT&T Communications Television The Internet United States

Despite Glitches, AT&T's DirecTV Now Hits 200,000 Subscribers in Its First Month (techcrunch.com) 25

AT&T's new live TV streaming service DirecTV Now has been off to a shaky start in terms of performance, but that hasn't stemmed the flow of sign-ups, AT&T reports. The company said the service added more than 200,000 subscribers in its first month of operations. From a report on TechCrunch: These details were included in an SEC filing for the quarter ending on December 31, 2016. DirecTV Now launched on November 30, 2016. The filing also notes the additions only include paying customers. To be clear, there's no free tier for DirecTV Now, but the company has been offering free trials so customers can kick the tires before committing to a subscription plan. Of course, it's not entirely surprising that DirecTV Now was able to gain so many customers in such a short period of time. On paper, at least, the service sounds compelling.
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Despite Glitches, AT&T's DirecTV Now Hits 200,000 Subscribers in Its First Month

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  • I was planning on getting an gen 4 Apple TV anyhow.
    With the promo they were running, I was able to get one cheaper than I would have anyhow, and then get 3 months of shitty TV with unskipable ads included.
    Since I was already paying for Sling, I switched to this.
    Honestly, I think I may switch back to Dish or DirecTV after my 3 months are up in March. I'll pay a premium to be able to record my shows again and skip commercials.

    • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Friday January 20, 2017 @05:12PM (#53706925) Homepage Journal
      I currently have FireTV's on all my tvs....and currently do Playstation VUE for $35/mo for the 70+ channels.

      I tried the DIRECTV NOW for the free 7 day trial.

      I wouldn't switch to DirectvNOW due to:

      1. No built in DVR capability (helps skip commercials).

      2. On some days,it would periodically keep asking me to input my password, like it lost it somehow.

      The interface was pretty slick, and the deal they had was pretty good, I got to see AXS and Velocity channels I lost when I cut the cord to ATT Uverse.

      But it just isn't ready for primetime to me...glitchy and no DVR yet.

      I may look again when they add DVR to the service, but who knows when that will be.

  • We all just signed up for the reduced price hardware. $100 for an ATV4 is a great price. Getting an extra outlet to stream ESPN for 3 months was just a bonus.

    • Probably, and that's why you should expect significant barriers during the cancellation process. It might not be impossible, but painful enough to keep enough people onboard.
      • That's why my payment method was a gift card with just enough on it to get the first three months. They can charge that card number all they want, but they're not getting another dime out of it. Nearly-used-up gift cards are great for Netflix and Hulu trials, too.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        and that is where the ancient art of letter writing comes in. If they make canceling significantly more difficult than entering the agreement, you write a certified letter addressed to the CEO of the company in which you state that you are canceling. Just for fun you could play dumb and mention that you tried other venues for canceling but that those 'just did not work' for reasons unclear to you, hence this letter. don't forget to add a friendly advice to improve the customer experience in this area.

        Now th

        • Seems feasible, but how many people will go to such extents? This kind of business model works because enough people are too lazy to cancel, and instead opt to pay the bill.
      • Exactly why I used Paypal to pay for it. I just pull the billing authorization and I'm done.

    • That's why they're making it hard to cancel and impossible to get your money back [slashdot.org].

  • by Arkham ( 10779 ) on Friday January 20, 2017 @04:50PM (#53706735)

    I got it for the discounted AppleTV. $105 including 3 months of service for a $149 unit was a no brainer.

    The service itself though hasn't been very good. Lots of streaming errors. No single-sign-on. Most of the apps that channels use for on-demand streaming don't have DirecT Now listed as a provider, so you can't use them. The only one that I've found that works is ESPN.

    I really just wanted NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX streaming, but it only has one of those (ABC) that both works and supports on-demand. It's pretty damn disappointing. At the end of the 3 months if it's still the same I am cancelling.

  • DirecTV NOW is finally starting to become stable and watchable.

    • As someone who has used the streaming version of sunday ticket, the problems with under provisioning network and server capacity are always an issue.

      Directv says the problem is on my end. With my 240Mb/s internet connection and AC5300 router. I can stream multiple 4k netflix streams while my kid games online without a hiccup. Yup, must be on my end.

      Of course, you can't cancel sunday ticket and canceling directv often carries an early termination fee. This will be pretty different for directv from a cust

  • We canceled our cable subscription about a year ago, and while I was OK with it my wife hated not having certain live TV channels. We'd tried Sling, but it was hit-and-miss on the stuff we wanted. Some channels, like BTN, aren't available at all on Sling. DirecTV is only a little more and actually covers the live programming we want.

    Make no mistake, the launch was rough. I don't think they allocated enough hardware or bandwidth to handle their initial demand, so streaming cut out constantly. It's finally getting to be pretty solid, though, and I'd much rather pay Sling a few bucks than have anything to do with Comcast.

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Saturday January 21, 2017 @02:02AM (#53709589)
    Signed up for it at the end of their promo a week and half back (100+ channels, gen 4 Apple TV and 3 months service for $105, I added on HBO at $5/mo).

    The browser version is unusable. Crashes, glitches (shows freeze or stop playing), gets stuck in low res mode, often can't connect to the stream or gets 5 seconds and stops. I wasn't really planning to use it with the computer so not that big a deal for me. The main drawback is I have no way to stream it to my projector since they haven't added Roku support yet.

    The Android version mostly works. I've been using my tablet as a mini portable TV when I'm doing stuff around the house, which was really the point of getting the service. I still have an unlimited phone data plan, and am able to use it + hotspot to use the service on my tablet when I'm traveling. Transition from hotspot to regular WiFi is seamless. A few annoyances I've found.
    • Occasionally logs you out. This was happening every 30-60 minutes when I first started the service, but it's only happened once in the last few days so they seem to be getting it under control.
    • Yes they have ABC, NBC, and Fox (CBS wants you to pay for their channel to get OTA shows). But only in certain metro areas. And if you move outside of that metro area, the channels stop working. The Android app needs location permission or it refuses to run. I haven't yet traveled to another supported metro area, so dunno if this is just checks for supported locations, or if it's tied to your home address metro area.
    • Limited to 2 streams. Not an issue for me, but this will be a deal-breaker for some.
    • Most streaming channels don't list DirecTV Now as a service. So even though I can watch the Discovery Channel with DirecTV Now, I can't watch their Roku channel since there's no way for me to activate it. Hopefully this is just due to the services being slow to add DirecTV Now as an enabling subscription service. It does work for HBO, and someone else has said it works for ESPN.
    • Swiping up/down on the guide often advances the show listings forward an hour.
    • The favorites selection is right next to the channel names. It's easy to accidentally favorite/unfavorite a channel while scrolling through the list, or when selecting a channel to watch.
    • Favorites list is slow to sync between devices.
    • Only has a single favorites list. I was expecting multiple favorites like with their satellite tuners.
    • Guide defaults to all channels every time you open it.
    • Starts muted when you first start the Android app. This threw me off for a bit as I tried to troubleshoot it. IMHO it should remember the audio state the last time the app was run. (Just checked and looks like the update they released today adds an option to let you set it to on/off on launch.)
    • Easy to change from partial screen (with a list of recent channels you've watched underneath) to full screen. But impossible to switch from full screen to partial screen.
    • No configuration options for closed captioning. Text is probably the right size for a phone, but too small for my tablet (2560x1600 screen).
    • After living with the Roku for a year, it's really horrifying how much of the show times are taken up by commercials.

    I'm gonna keep it for now. HBO alone is normally $15/mo, so it's like I'm getting the other 100+ channels for $25/mo. (The 100 channel promo ended Jan 10. It's now priced at $65/mo. $35/mo now gets you just 60 channels.) Yeah they're having a lot of problems, but it seems to me to be teething problems. And my cable company's basic TV plan was nearly double the price for far fewer channels. Here are comparison of DirecTV vs Sling vs Vue channel lineups [cnet.com] and features [digitaltrends.com]

  • by TheRealHocusLocus ( 2319802 ) on Saturday January 21, 2017 @08:17AM (#53710225)

    Hello. My name is [myname], and I am an AT&T Internet only customer. No TV. No phone.

    Every day I have to wipe the brown stains off my postal mailbox and email Inbox as AT&T and Suddenlink vie for domination in my town. The postal mailbox is stuffed full of "occupant" flyers showing happy families made whole again by Television, their faces angelically illuminated by TV screens. It's gone from "A special offer for you, [myname]" all the way to "What the HELL is wrong with you, [myname]? We're beginning to worry about you, [yourname]. Unless you order TV you should get your head examined, [yourname]".

    And I know that my own AT&T Internet performance in my area is going to start dropping soon as more people start streaming to their HD televisions as they fall asleep with their eyes open and slack mouths drooling. Even though it's not their fault, I cannot help but hate those people, I'd like to yank their plugs.

    But I'll give AT&T credit though, when Suddenlink first arrived they did let me lock in a lower Internet rate for awhile "as a valued customer", of course that was to inoculate me against becoming infected with Suddenlink. But the joke's on them. I stick with AT&T/DSL in the 21st century because coaxial distribution is grid-down crap, with busy-boxes on utility poles each with a 6-hour UPS (that fails within 4) between your house and the nearest diesel generator. AT&T may be a sad remnant of the POTS glory that it once was, but their headworks still tend to have generator backup.

    I watch Youtube videos at 144p unless someone is writing on a blackboard. To AT&T I must seem like a monster, some neckbeard modem-hugger teletype-head. Baudot on the brain. Because Shannon's Law Matters. I refuse to CONSUME unless I am HUNGRY.

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.

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