To say that developments in the streaming landscape during 2020 and 2021 are causing confusion, and stretching wallets for TV viewers is an understatement. It would appear that we can add AT&T TV to that growing list.
CBS All Access has become Paramount+, NBC Universal introduced Peacock, Sony has purchased Crunchyroll, and also signed licensing agreements with both Netflix and Amazon Prime to show Sony-produced movies and shows.
Let’s not also forget that although Netflix is still on top, Disney+ has made some impressive growth in both content offerings and the number of subscribers reaching over 100 million since its debut in late 2019.
However, in what may be the biggest streaming shake-up yet, telecommunications giant AT&T is in the process of getting approval to spin-off off Warner Media (Warner Bros/HBO Max) to Discovery Networks (to be renamed Warner Bros/Discovery), and DirecTV is reverting back to being its own company.
- For those that get DirecTV via satellite, that name will remain the same.
- For those that receive DirecTV via streaming in the past via AT&T Now, AT&T Watch, DirecTV Now, or currently through AT&T TV, those brand names, and services will be consolidated and changed to DirecTV Stream on Thursday, August 26th, 2021.
In the short term, billing, pricing, and content offerings are expected to remain the same, with the exception of HBO Max which will not be included with DirecTV Stream (it may be a possible addon with other services, such as Showtime, Starz, Cinemax, etc…)
What is interesting in AT&T’s press release regarding this change in the same paragraph stating that HBO MAX isn’t included, in another part says it is included. However, it appears that HBO Max may be available as an extra charge add-on as indicated previously in this article.
In the long run, as DirecTV management takes total control of both service and content; there will undoubtedly be some changes that could take place both to the benefit and detriment of current subscribers.
The devices that can currently be used access to the AT&T TV app, should remain accessible to the DirecTV stream app.
These devices include Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TV, iOS, iPad (11+ or higher), Android 5.0 and higher, Chrome 58+ and higher, Safari 10+ or higher. Dig deeper into device compatibility specifics.
Current, suggested internet speeds for smooth streaming are 2.5 To 7.5 Mbps (HD), 12 Mbps, or higher (when multiple devices are being used on the same network).
Whether the Cloud DVR that is currently included with AT&T TV, which allows up to 500 hours of recording (deleted after 90 days), will continue has not been mentioned.
If it turns out that you end up not being satisfied with the AT&T TV/DirecTV Stream change which offers DirecTV satellite channels via the internet, similar services that offer satellite/cable type channels via streaming like YouTube TV, FuboTV, Hulu+ Live TV, and Sling TV are available alternatives.
Changing a name or logo is easy – keeping current subscribers and adding new ones in the increasingly competitive streaming landscape is going to be the hard part for DirecTV.