AT&T TV Live Streaming Service Launches Nationwide With Set-Top Box and Two-Year Contract

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AT&T today announced the nationwide launch of AT&T TV, which is a live TV streaming service that is available through a set-top box powered by Android TV (via Variety). This isn't the same thing as AT&T TV Now, the company's app-based live TV streaming service available on Apple TV and other devices.


After testing AT&T TV in 13 markets, the company is moving AT&T TV to the forefront of its TV business with the launch of the service this week across the United States. Simultaneously, DirecTV plans will no longer be actively marketed as AT&T plans to deemphasize the DirecTV branding moving forward. However, DirecTV plans will still be available to purchase.

The new service offers hundreds of live TV channels, 500 hours of cloud DVR storage, and 40,000 on-demand titles. With the box, you'll be able to watch Netflix, Disney Plus, YouTube, and HBO Max as well. The Google Play store will be supported, allowing you to further expand its usage with more than 5,000 apps.


Similar to Apple TV, the AT&T TV voice-enabled remote comes integrated with Google Assistant for controlling channels, volume, playback, smart home devices, and more. If you search for movies and TV, results will show options for both streaming content, as well as those available for rental and purchasing on Google Play Movies & TV.

AT&T TV works on any high-speed internet connection, and it can also be bundled with AT&T's 1-gigabit Internet plan. AT&T TV packages start at $49.99 per month for 12 months with a 24 month agreement when you buy the service standalone. According to the fine print on AT&T's website, the prices will be higher in the second year.

Specifically, this means that prices nearly double after the first 12 months with the service. The entry-level Entertainment plan has about 70 cable channels at $49.99/month for the first year, and from the 13th month onward it will run you $93/month. The Ultimate tier has more than 170 channels at $69.99/month for the first year, and then from the 13th month you'll pay $135/month.
"Our customers told us what they want from their TV service and we built AT&T TV around that," said Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO of AT&T Consumer. "AT&T TV is live TV made easy and when you add AT&T TV to our amazing 1 gigabit AT&T Internet you can't go wrong."
There is also a $19.95 activation fee and prorated early-termination fees if you cancel before your two year contract is up. You do get the Android-powered box for free, but if you want to add more into your home you'll have to pay $120 per box.

Over-the-top streaming TV services have been facing numerous issues lately. AT&T rebranded DirecTV Now to AT&T TV Now in 2019, and has been facing ongoing subscriber loss amid increased prices and poor service reliability. Meanwhile, Sony bowed out of the game for good and shut down PlayStation Vue in January.

Variety asked AT&T's executive VP of broadband and video, Rasesh Patel, if the company is worried about customers' reactions to the high cost of AT&T TV once prices go up. According to Patel, the company feels confident about AT&T TV because of the "product experience" with the set-top box, which is "very unique."

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Article Link: AT&T TV Live Streaming Service Launches Nationwide With Set-Top Box and Two-Year Contract
 
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cocky jeremy

macrumors 601
Jul 12, 2008
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Columbus, OH
I hate AT&T but their Gigapower internet has been insanely good for me. I pay for 1 Gbps up/down and typically pull about 940/930. If their tv was anywhere near as reliable, I'd give it a shot. I had the old DirectTV Now (or whatever it was called) and it buffered all the time, even on my gigabit internet. Doubt I'd give them another try at this point.
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
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Specifically, this means that prices nearly double after the first 12 months with the service. The entry-level Entertainment plan has about 70 cable channels at $49.99/month for the first year, and from the 13th month onward it will run you $93/month. The Ultimate tier has more than 170 channels at $69.99/month for the first year, and then from the 13th month you'll pay $135/month.
There is also a $19.95 activation fee and prorated early-termination fees if you cancel before your two year contract is up. You do get the Android-powered box for free, but if you want to add more into your home you'll have to pay $120 per box.
Yikes! Even if AT&T offers Apple TV 4K instead of ugly Android set top box, and the price stays at $49.99/month, I am on the fence.
 

brofkand

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2006
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As far as I can tell it includes no local channels and the second year price increase is significant. I am a happy U-verse customer, and there's no equivalent for my channel bundle since my U300 package includes several premium channels. They're piecemeal with AT&T TV.

If/when AT&T tweaks pricing, channel bundles, and especially the second year price increases I'll consider it. Until, I'll keep U-verse as long as it meets my needs.
 
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Microdot

macrumors newbie
Apr 21, 2005
13
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at $49/mo... its a tough sell. but factor in the increase after the 12th month... this is insanely idiotic. i have no idea who in the world they are marketing this to, but it certainly isnt cord cutters... which begs the question: WHO exactly is this aimed at? it will be too complicated and confusing for old mr and mrs jones who dont even know what cord cutting is.... its massively overpriced for cord cutters... aimed at the technically savvy with too much money to burn?
 

topmounter

macrumors 68020
Jun 18, 2009
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Is it time to retire the phrase "set-top box"? How long will it be before we see the first class-action lawsuits from people injured trying to balance their Scientific Atlanta cable box on top of their 65" flatscreen?
Based on the available information, I'm pretty sure this service is targeting people still using CRT televisions.
 

machpost

macrumors 6502
Jan 28, 2010
337
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Washington, DC
As far as I can tell it includes no local channels and the second year price increase is significant. I am a happy U-verse customer, and there's no equivalent for my channel bundle since my U300 package includes several premium channels. They're piecemeal with AT&T TV.
Maybe it depends on which market you're in, but I put in my zip code and all my locals are available, though only one of the two RSNs in the DC area is available. So that's a hard pass for me—it's the only reason I still have cable.
 
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RONS67

macrumors newbie
Aug 15, 2016
21
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That's what you get when you ask ignorant customers what they want. I doubt anybody asked for that pricing model, though. When has anyone ever said AT&T is innovative?
 

kuwxman

macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2009
588
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Olathe, KS
At least the remote looks ergonomic and functional, which can't be said for my slippery, easily-misplaced, accidental-click Apple TV 4K remote.
The remote is OK. We've been beta testing the box off and on over the last year. They sent out this new refreshed remote a couple of months ago. The original had the same shape, but the button layout was horrible.

As far as the service goes, it is the exact same experience as one would get using the app on their AppleTV. Guide is the same. Library feature is the same. Only difference is you do get access to the Play Store so apps like YouTube Kids and such can be downloaded.
 
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