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When AT&T bought DirecTV a few months ago, it promised big changes in the way DirecTV programming is packaged and marketed. Early in March, the telecom giant revealed important details.

In the fourth quarter of this year, AT&T will launch three internet video streaming services under the DirecTV brand. All are geared for the growing market of people uninterested in conventional subscription TV.

The new streaming services will not require contracts, long term commitments, nor installation of specialized equipment. Two will be offered for monthly fees. One will be ad-supported, and free to the viewer. All three can be streamed through any network the customer chooses, wired or wireless, as long as it carries enough bandwidth to support video. The new streaming services will be DirecTV Now, DirecTV Mobile, and DirecTV preview.

DirecTV Now will carry what AT&T calls “a range of content packages, including much of what is available on DirecTV today: on-demand and live programming from many networks, plus premium add-on options”. AT&T has not listed the channels the new platform will carry, but said it will offer local stations in most markets by 2017. We have early reports that DirecTV Now will be available on a wide variety of web-connected devices. They are likely to include Mac and PC computers, Android and iOS tablets and phones, several gaming consoles, and most dedicated streaming devices. To use DirecTV Now, the viewer needs only to sign in and download the app.

DirecTV Mobile, as its name implies, was designed for use on mobile devices. It will carry “made for digital” content and premium video.

Several of AT&T’s senior executives have said they want to offer a sponsored streaming video product that would exempt some mobile traffic from ISP data caps. It could be similar to Verizon FreeBee, though AT&T hasn’t publicized any details.

DirecTV Preview will be a free, ad-supported platform. It will carry “some of the quality programming available on DirecTV today”, plus Otter Media and AT&T’s ad-free AUDIENCE Network. The latter features the telecom’s own original series and featured films, plus acquired content.

AT&T plans to market its DirecTV video streaming services aggressively to twenty million U.S. homes unreached by conventional subscription TV.

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