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HD Report | May 29, 2017

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DIRECTV NOW App Slammed By Reviews

  • On January 9, 2017

AT&T/DirecTV launched their internet-based service DIRECTV NOW just over a month ago, offering new customers free trials, an Amazon Fire TV Stick, or 4th-generation Apple TV depending on commitment. The service runs on a dedicated app for a number of streaming devices (or on PC browser), but reviews of the apps across most platforms have been less than complimentary. In fact, the app has been called an “absolute nightmare,” “trash,” and “not even remotely worth it” by product reviewers.

The DIRECTV NOW app looks and works very similar to other streaming video apps including Amazon Video, Hulu, Sling TV, and of course Netflix. Most of these services have borrowed from, or at least been influenced by each other’s interface design and information architecture. You might also include premium channels such as HBO and Showtime in the mix, but while the apps look similar in design they don’t have near the amount of content, channels and categories to contend with.

But the interface design isn’t really the problem here. The problem is with the functionality of the apps. One reviewer called the Android DIRECTV NOW app “DirecTV Beta” which may sum up the abundance of issues customers have expressed grief about.

We read reviews about the Apple iTunes, Google Android, and Amazon app versions of DIRECTV NOW, all of which had more one-star rankings than two, three, four, or five stars. “What an absolute nightmare” an Amazon reviewer wrote in a two-thousand word scrutiny of the app and all its defects.

“Wonderful idea and lineup, [but] executed horribly” wrote another reviewer — this time of the Apple iOS version. “What a shame” a customer said of the version for Android devices.

In our own review of the service we found the DIRECTV NOW apps to drop out, freeze, crash, hard to navigate, and stream in poor quality for long periods of time even with substantial and fast internet service. Yeah, the DIRECTV NOW apps should have been called public betas. No question about it.


All three versions of the DIRECTV NOW app have been updated to fix some of the bugs, but there is still a long way to go. In our experience, we might be looking at more streamlined apps within 6 months, if AT&T puts enough budget towards improvement.

As far as the browser version for PCs, well, changing the channel is about as awkward as it can be. And, finding content within the minimalistic design isn’t as easy as it could be. But considering the cost and amount of channels available (local networks excluded), this service from AT&T has huge potential and will likely persevere as all the wrinkles get ironed out.

Regardless of the app’s downfalls, DirecTV has some great launch deals going on. As we mentioned above new customers can get a free Amazon Fire TV Stick or 4th-generation Apple TV free with a short-term commitment. Just be willing to withstand the imperfections. Read more about the deals here.

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  1. Tom T.


    I signed up for ATT Direct TV Now, got the free Apple TV, etc. About a month ago, I traveled out of my home area to visit family and ATT Direct TV Now failed to work while I was away on my mobile device, but “magically” worked once I got home. About two weeks ago, I traveled for business and the same thing – failed to work when I was away, but worked just fine after I got home. From my conversation with ATT Technical Staff, ATT BLOCKS DIRECT TV NOW ACCESS BASED ON YOUR IP ADDRESS!! Direct TV Now only works from ONE IP address/ONE LOCATION. FRAUDULENT ATT DIRECT TV ADVERTISING, extremely poor service model since it is tied to one physical location!! AVOID…

  2. Dave Larson

    Can’t get any info about Roku support. Getting close to scrapping DirectV now. Why the heck can’t AT&T be forthcoming with information. Seems incompetent and poorly run program.

    • allsmiles277

      Streaming with hdmi cable since Roku not available yet. Getting tired of waiting.

  3. Troy Mann

    Cancelling service. The nerve of the “tech support” reps laughing suggested that at least we could sell our now useless Apple TV box on amazon. Wow, I haven’t witnessed this poor customer service ever. Absolutely no attempts to make this right. Quickly losing faith in ATT&T.

  4. Troy Mann

    Signed up for 3 months with the free Apple TV box. The system is a complete joke. Not only could we not immediately get a viable signal, repeated attempts for help calling ATT&T stores as well as diredtv now “help” lines was met with comments such as “we can’t help you, the platform is too new”. This was enough for us. The one time the set up worked, it drained our data; ironically, this is their selling point. By all means, stay away from this. It’s way to convoluted and you are on your own for tech support. Thus, the system is a joke, just don’t go there.

  5. Rich Wells

    I had high hopes for this service and subscribed over a month ago. At the same time I dropped Sling TV. I’m finding the service to be basically worthless. It constant freezes and this morning it’s not evening working on most channels. I don’t know where the problem lies: AT&T wants to drive $35 per month subscribers away or if it’s a problem with Comcast, my cable provider. There’s no problem receiving Netflix, NASA TV or Amazon so I know it’s not the internet connection. Very frustrating: the same problems continue to preside and seem to be getting worst. I about ready to throw the towel in admit defeat.

  6. Rob hansen

    Dropping this service asap, garbage to put it mildly.

  7. MK

    No local channels in South Florida. No BEIN sports. No access through provider to network’s apps. No reliable signal. And on top of all that, No meaningful customer support. Yet, i am giving them until the end of the month. I hope i dont have to cancel this thing and go back to playstation vue

    • dchdch

      “No reliable signal.”

      Sounds like your commenting on the satellite service and not the streaming service (which is what this article is about…)

  8. GregM

    I really WANTED to like this service but the non-existent technical support and lack of response from AT&T in taking ownership of issues was just too much to take. I got a couple of welcome emails a few days after I signed up but then nothing. If AT&T publicly acknowledged that there were serious unforeseen issues I might have cut them a bit of slack but instead their chief technology officer, Enrique Rodriguez had the nerve to say at CES that “the problems were not as big as I expected”. WOW! Other than a total system melt down, I don’t know how this roll out could have been worse. To top it off, as of today the price for the standard package is doubling. AT&T should be offering refunds and apologies for forcing early adopters to alpha test this horrible product. I will not be renewing services.

  9. DirectTV Now is a hot pile of garbage. Tried to stream the show “Shooter” and it kept streaming “Law and Order SVU.” I constantly have to reset the Chromecast to get it to work. UI is not friendly either. Can’t wait to see what Vidgo looks like. Hopefully the long wait will mean no issues like DirectTV Now.

  10. Ray Dabkowski

    Sports fans in Tampa Bay are not happy either. The Fox Sports Sun channel is carrying out-of-market games (Miami Heat, Orlando Magic) in iieu of Tampa Bay Lightning hockey, which is being carried by competitor Sling TV. Complaints have gone unanswered, and the “chat” icon option has disappeared from the customer support site. Time to cancel and go back to Sling.

  11. bh

    I was succored into Direct TV from U verse. 50 percent of the channels are to sell you something like a new frying pan. The other 30 percent are pay per view. As soon as the contract is up, I will cut the cable and do Netflix and Hulu with an antenna for local stuff. We have all been pushed way too far.

    • Dave

      This isn’t regarding THAT DirecTV. DirecTV Now is a streaming TV service offered in place of your typical DirecTV with satellite dishes.

  12. James J Walsh

    Cancelled this horrible service tonight. Complete failure from AT&T.

  13. Paul S.

    CSN California suscribers in the San Francisco area are routinely blacked out of San Jose Sharks hockey games when theu are played at the same time as an out of market NBA – the Sacramento Kings. Not offering the overflow CSN+ is going to infuriate sports fans, especially in the spring when the Giants and the A’s come online. I can see a scenario when the Giants & the Warriors on CSN Bay Area are playing at the same time and baseball fans are left out in the cold…And A’s fans getting ignored and Directv Now suscribers getting a black screen telling us the out of market NBA KIngs are not available. It is going to be fluster cuck. BTW, Sony Vue is cheaper and they get the CSN+ channels- you know that,right, AT&T?

    Oh, when or when is the Roku app going to be launched???? We have three Roku’s.

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