AT&T: Cloud DVR on DirecTV Now begins in beta this summer


DirecTV Now Cloud DVR: a long-awaited feature for live streaming

AT&T announced that DirecTV Now customers will soon have Cloud DVR followed by 4K HDR video quality in 2018.

The new features are going to be part of a next-generation video platform that will be implemented over the next year, according to a statement by AT&T. This new app will be used whether you’re a DirecTV Now customer or a subscriber to DIRECTV satellite service.

Beta testing for the next-generation video platform and Cloud DVR begins this summer, the company said. AT&T plans to invite DirecTV Now customers to become part of the beta program that will test out the new Cloud DVR service and other new features.

Cloud DVR has been a long awaited feature for DirecTV Now customers. It’s coming at a time when customers are shopping around.

Sony gave an unwelcome surprise to PlayStation Vue customers last week by raising rates $10 in all of its channel bundles. The price change impacted most of Vue’s customers across the U.S. except for a small number of metropolitan cities like Los Angeles and New York, where rates were already higher. Longtime Vue customers won’t face a rate hike until October. By the fall, DirecTV Now plans to roll out Cloud DVR and other new features.

Competitors like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Hulu Live TV and fuboTV already have Cloud DVR capabilities.

But some of those providers like Sling TV charge an extra $5 per month for Cloud DVR. AT&T did not say whether Cloud DVR would cost DirecTV Now customers more to use.

New DirecTV Now features coming in the fall

AT&T this fall will begin rolling out the next-generation platform to customers, starting with DirecTV Now and DIRECTV companion app users.

Additional features, including live TV pausing and parental controls, will become available once the new platform exits beta testing later this year.

AT&T said that 4K HDR will come to DirecTV Now in 2018. If enacted, DirecTV Now would have the highest picture quality among any live TV streaming service.

Competitors like Sling TV, now estimated to have about 2 million subscribers, streams channels over the Internet with 720p picture quality.

User profiles, and a download-and-go option were also mentioned as new features coming to DirecTV Now in 2018.

“We all want easy and quick access to our content, regardless of where, when or on what device we watch it,” David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Entertainment Group said in a statement. “By developing for a single video platform, we’ll deliver new features and platform innovations in a faster, more efficient way. And it will be simple and consistent wherever you watch—TV, phone or tablet.”

DirecTV Now more than doubles live local channels

In June, AT&T announced that DirecTV Now doubled its number of local channels since the service launched in November 2016. The expansion brought live local coverage in almost 70% of U.S. TV households, the company said.

The expansion added:

  • ABC to more than 30 new markets, including Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth and Boston
  • NBC to 4 new markets, including Kansas City, MO., Salt Lake City, Milwaukee and West Palm Beach, Fla.
  • FOX to Juneau, AK

DirecTV Now has been drawing in new subscribers by offering a free 7-day trial. One promotion also gives customers a free Roku Premiere when they prepay for DirecTV Now. Customers aren’t required to keep the service after the two month period.

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