AT&T is rebranding DIRECTV NOW as AT&T TV Now this summer after only about a year-and-a-half of life for the streaming service. The rebrand, or what you might call ditching of the product, comes as no surprise as DIRECTV NOW was replete multiple issues over its lifespan.
Customers complained about dropped service, missing channels, account problems, and more, especially during its earlier stages which seemed more like a beta period than an actual product launch.
“Our DIRECTV NOW subscribers will simply need to re-accept the terms of service and their streaming will continue as usual without interruption.”
But the transition to AT&T TV Now shouldn’t be as complicated, or at least you would hope so. AT&T said in a press release customers would be able to continue the renamed DIRECTV NOW service without a hitch by just accepting the new terms (probably via email and/or app). But is this just putting a new paint job on a lemon of a car? It could be, if AT&T can’t fix existing problems and streamline the service.
As well as losing U-verse TV and DirecTV subscribers over the past year, AT&T’s DIRECTV NOW subscriber base went from 1.8 million to 1.3 million.
“In the coming weeks, the AT&T TV app will be available for download across various app stores, and current DIRECTV NOW customers will see this update automatically on their devices.”
In addition to rebranding DIRECTV NOW, AT&T is launching a new streaming service for its AT&T customers. Called AT&T TV, the service will offer live TV, 55,000 on-demand titles, 500 hours of Cloud DVR storage, access to over 5,000 apps like Netflix & Pandora, and voice remote with The Google Assistant.
For AT&T TV, the company recommends a minimum Internet 25 plan (min. 8Mbps per stream for optimal viewing) but hasn’t said yet how much it will cost. The service will also be 4K enabled, which will likely require at least 15Mbps per stream for Ultra HD content.
Why AT&T doesn’t just focus on combining both services into one is anyone’s guess. There will certainly be some mix-ups with regard to the brand name which is only differentiated by the word “Now.” Perhaps AT&T will drop one or the other after several months of live testing.