Streaming TV services are particularly hot now, with services like Vue, Sling TV, and others struggling to add as many channels as they can for those who want to cut their ties to cable completely. Now we have confirmed word that AT&T and its DirecTV division will be creating a streaming service of their own.
This isn’t exactly a surprise: After all, top DirecTV competitor Dish Network is behind Sling TV, a service that continues to take off as people drop their satellite and cable subscriptions. AT&T no doubt wants some of that pie and prefers to keep DirecTV profitable as long as possible…which brings us to the company’s newest streaming TV packages.
Currently AT&T is calling the three tiers of streaming service DirecTV Now, Mobile and Preview. It’s too late to change those names, which is a pity – Now is already the name of a streaming service, while Mobile or Preview could mean almost anything to confused consumers. What we is know for sure is that:
- Now will offer the most DirecTV content for the highest prices, and will allow consumers to access content via any kind of Internet connection or connected device. You don’t need to be a DirecTV customer to access any of this content, and no extra device or hub is necessary – you can just sign up right from the Internet, much like Sling TV.
- Mobile is a less expensive option that will only work on smartphones (apparently not tablets), but you need to be an AT&T customer for this to work. Obviously, this is aimed at out-of-house viewing and long commutes.
- Preview is an interesting little service that allows you to watch just a little bit of the available content with commercials, but it doesn’t cost you anything – essentially, a hook to get customers interested in the other services.
This tiered system is classic AT&T, and is probably a smart move, since most customers are already used to choose cable and satellite tiers in their normal services. Of course, there’s a whole lot we don’t know right now, including what the pricing will be and what networks AT&T will be offering – you know, the big questions. You can expect the cost to be very close if now identical to the general Sling TV offerings, which are $15 to $20 per month.
AT&T has promised to release more details later in the year when it starts offering this streaming TV service. For now, cable cutters should stay aware of the plans and hope for more sports streaming options, which is one area that live streaming has been severely lacking it lately.