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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-800x285.jpg

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.

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

Lefty21

macrumors regular
Aug 6, 2012
107
7
Lexington, KY
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.
 
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shareef777

Suspended
Jul 26, 2005
2,445
3,273
Chicago, IL
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.

Same, stayed with them for almost a year with the constant “we’re getting better” promises. Gave up and ditched them a couple months back. Lost the gobig $35 promo so I won’t be going back unless they let me back in on that plan (which will likely never happen).
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,364
15,437
Central U.S.
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.
 
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Wide opeN

macrumors 68000
Aug 27, 2010
1,761
1,034
Georgia
I'm actually one of the beta testers for this.

It's got some work to do before it gets released to the masses. However, it's much more polished and OF COURSE cloud DVR is highly anticipated!!!
 
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kuwxman

macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2009
651
477
Olathe, KS
We've been DIRECTV NOW users since the start. Love the service. Currently beta testing the new interface. I like it for the most part (Yay! Can finally see who is playing in a basketball/football/hockey/etc game w/o opening the channel). It does have its issues every once in awhile, but hey, its a beta. The one thing I do NOT like are that they changed how you access the guide. IMO, it needs to go back to the current non-beta layout.
 
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redneckitengineer

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2017
420
937
I’ve been with DTVNow since it’s first day. I’m also a beta tester since round 1. The beta is a mess, and the DVR has restrictions from content providers. I’m looking at you Fox... I can’t record Simspsons, Bobs Burgers, Family Guy new episodes on sunday night. It’ll record old ones, but not new ones. Probably in a bid to keep people on Hulu for it. It’s also pretty buggy, crashes a lot. Taking the beta out of the question, it’s been by far my absolute favorite streaming system. I’ve got the whole shebang for $35/m grandfathered in. I can watch tv anywhere, on any device.
 
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centauratlas

macrumors 65816
Jan 29, 2003
1,375
2,272
Florida
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.

Agreed. They need to just look at a TiVo or any cable box and add things like a season pass to record a show with selections of new only, or all. Or just one episode. All channels or specific ones. Keep X number of episodes. And increase the number of shows allowed to be recorded. Nothing that is rocket science.

Right now, it isn’t ready for prime time, but hopefully if we all keep pointing out the issues, they’ll get their act together prior to release.
 
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anticipate

macrumors 6502a
Dec 22, 2013
619
375
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.

Yep. But it shows promise. It will certainly need a couple more months in the oven...
 
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Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
23,460
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In the middle of several books.
I have 1GB fiber internet with ATT&T, and still have some buffering / freeze at times. It happens on my Verizon phone as well, but not as often. I am on the “live a little” plan for $35. Hoping Directv runs a special to promote the new features. If they don’t, I may not keep it.
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,364
15,437
Central U.S.
Yep. But it shows promise. It will certainly need a couple more months in the oven...
Part of the reason I cut the cord was to get away from awful interfaces like this. Just imagine if it was instead an API you subscribe to and developers could write their own interfaces to run it, like Tweetbot with Twitter. That would be amazing. I would totally drop $100 on an app that provides a beautiful and intuitive front end for their TV content.
 
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avanpelt

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2010
2,940
3,842
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.
 
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mikekow80

macrumors newbie
Jun 7, 2011
6
3
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.
 
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apple_iBoy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2003
710
458
Philadelphia, PA
I’m actually pretty happy with directv. We had basic FiOS tv service for years and literally couldn’t remember the last time we turned it on (we had to hunt for the remote when we wanted to watch some election stuff). I was so pissed paying for that power guzzling FiOS box. We do most of our media consumption with Netflix, HBO, and our own Plex library.

When I finally ditched my original iPhone “unlimited plan,” I ended up getting the newer AT&T unlimited plan that has the $25 monthly directv credit (plus hbo, plus tethering, plus Canada roaming). I think I pay about $5 extra a month for the phone plan, and $10 more to get the basic directv package. And I have to say, they’ve nailed it. It’s perfect for our household, and I find the directv service has been reliable (the only annoying thing was that I was being logged out of the iOS app for quite awhile). DVR will be nice when it gets here, but we generally get our fix watching missed episodes in the various network apps themselves. The only thing I would really really like to see is a unified login across all the Apple TV apps.
 
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subjonas

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2014
3,183
3,009
The updates will be welcome. But my biggest frustration with DirecTV Now is still not being able to use the credentials to sign into many on-demand apps, like CNN. Single sign-on would be nice, too.
 
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rezwits

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2007
689
348
Las Vegas
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...
 
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Mtmspa

Suspended
May 13, 2013
1,006
782
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...

Same here. DTVN and Apple TV. Works great for me.
 
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Kaibelf

Suspended
Apr 29, 2009
2,445
7,441
Silicon Valley, CA
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.
 
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DMinTX

macrumors regular
Sep 13, 2012
136
66
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.
In the article, it says they are adding an additional stream, so it will be three.
 
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csurfr

macrumors 68020
Dec 7, 2016
2,310
1,748
Seattle, WA
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.

I’m in the beta as well. Today I received a bunch of pop ups on the Apple TV saying “oops something went wrong, try again later” but the app continued to work as advertised. Also, once in a while my screen will go black, but the audio continues.

Have you experienced any of that?

Also, it seems that the feature to “start from the beginning” isn’t in the current version. I really like that feature in the shipping version.
[doublepost=1517459509][/doublepost]
In the article, it says they are adding an additional stream, so it will be three.

I haven’t tried this in the beta yet. I’ll take a look and see if it’s implemented.
 
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Steve686

macrumors 68040
Nov 13, 2007
3,556
1,511
US>FL>Miami/Dade>Sunny Isles Beach>Condo
I’ve had the next to best package of DTN for about a year now.

Things I love:

1. I pay $35/month versus $60 since I am an ATT unlimited family plan member.

2. Whatever I watch on my cellular devices through DTN doesn’t count against my data getting closer to that perennial “22gb” line.(I’ve used 35gb/month with no throttling after I went through 22-an agent online actually told me they wouldn’t even bother throttling anyone after 22gb anyways.....)

3. I am not locale limited and can use my DTN package anywhere I travel, minus local channels and local sports, of course. This lets me give my credentials to my sister in Ohio so she can watch some channels she doesn’t have on her sling account.

4. I get free HBO. FREE.

5. DTN is building a bigger lineup as they go.

Things I don’t like:

1. Yes , there are some channels that buffer and pixelate really badly for me. I’ve noticed BIG10 network and TNT are the most consistently lagging channels.

2. 2 streams isn’t great. Good thing 3 streams is a thing in spring.

3. The interface is very clunky, even when viewing on my Apple TV. When I scroll down fast with the ATV remote, I always lose the “cursor” and have to stop and relocate it. I wish there were a more fluent way to browse what you are interested in watching. There needs to be a way to change from alphabetical scrolling to a more associative construct. Like all news channels could be located together, sports channels, and so on...like a typical cable provider does.

4. Actually, those are the only things I can truly say I don’t like.
 
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