AT&T TV Now: How to Watch The Live Streaming Service

This TV streaming service was formerly known as DirecTV Now

AT&T TV Now is a live television streaming service from AT&T that was originally launched as DirecTV Now. This service is designed to let cord cutters watch TV shows, sports, and movies with an internet connection instead of a cable subscription. It's completely separate from AT&T's DirecTV satellite service, so you don't need to subscribe to satellite television to get AT&T TV Now. It's also a completely different service from the similarly-named AT&T Watch TV.

In order to watch AT&T TV Now, you need both a high-speed internet connection and a compatible device. That means you can use this service to watch live television on your computer, smartphone, or tablet, or on your television with devices like Apple TV and Roku. You can also cast live television to your TV using the AT&T TV Now app.

The main difference between AT&T TV Now and competitors like cable and satellite is that you can use live television streaming services like AT&T TV to watch TV both at home and on the go. For example, you could catch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade from your hideout in the backyard, away from the family. 

Another difference is that while cable and satellite television services include local channels like ABC, NBC and Fox nationwide, the availability of these channels from live streaming services is limited to certain markets. Outside those markets, you're limited to on-demand content, which is often available the day after broadcast.

In addition to competing with cable and satellite, AT&T TV Now also has a number of competitors that also provide live streaming television over the internet. Sling TV and YouTube TV offer similar services.

One unique thing about AT&T TV Now is that it includes content from CBS, which many of its competitors lack. Subscribers to other services can still get CBS through the standalone CBS All Access service. Other streaming services, like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video, don't have live television at all.

How to Sign up for AT&T TV Now

Signing up for AT&T TV Now is fast and easy, and it includes a free trial period. Even if you choose one of the more expensive plans, and add premium channels, you still won't be charged anything during the trial. However, if you fail to cancel before the trial ends, they'll charge you for whatever options you chose when you signed up.

It's important to note that while AT&T TV Now was launched as DirecTV now, it's a completely separate service from DirecTV. However, if you are an AT&T customer, you may be eligible for certain bonuses. Keep an eye out for these offers during the sign up process.

To sign up for AT&T TV Now:

  1. Navigate to, and click on start streaming.

    A screenshot of AT&T Watch TV.
  2. Locate the package you want, and click Add. Then click Continue on the same screen.

    A screenshot of AT&T Watch TV packages.
  3. Select any add-ons you want, and click Checkout.

    A screenshot of AT&T Watch TV add-ons.
  4. Click Continue to payment.

    A screenshot of the AT&T Watch TV checkout.
  5. Enter your information, agree to the privacy policy, and click Submit order.

    A screenshot of the AT&T TV Now signup process.
  6. Click Start watching to get started

    A screenshot of the AT&T TV Now signup process.

You can add additional channels or change your package at any time.

Choosing the Right AT&T TV Now Package

AT&T TV Now Packages

AT&T TV Now offers six general packages in addition to a Spanish language package. Each of these options includes ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and CW where available, along with a selection of the most popular cable channels, but the more expensive options include a whole lot more.

The AT&T TV Now subscription plans are:

  1. Plus: includes 45+ live channels and on-demand content, including ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and CW. Basic cable channels include Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Nickelodeon, USA, Syfy, and more. This plan also includes three HBO channels.
  2. Max: includes 60+ channels, adding regional sports networks, additional sports channels like MLB Network, IFC, Cinemax, and more.
  3. Entertainment: includes 65+ channels, adding more entertainment-focused channels. 
  4. Choice: includes 85+ channels, adding channels like Sci, Travel Channel, Game Show Network, and more.
  5. Xtra: Includes 105+ channels, including FS2, Golf Channel, Oxygen, Sundance TV, and others.
  6. Ultimate: 125+ channels, including several Starz channels, Univision Deportes, and others.
  7. Optimo Mas: 90+ channels, including a massive lineup of Spanish language channels like ESPN Deportes, Univision, Fox Deportes, and others.

Local Channels on AT&T TV Now

While the major networks are included with each package, the availability of live streaming television from ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and CW is limited based on where you live.

The availability of the major networks is based on your billing ZIP code, and whether or not you can actually stream them is based on your physical location when you try to stream.

So if you live in an area where local channels are available for live streaming, but you travel to a different ZIP code, streaming may be unavailable from channels like ABC and NBC until you return home.

To find out more about the availability of live streaming local channels from AT&T TV Now, check out their ZIP code lookup tool. You can use the same tool to check if regional sports are available where you live.

If the tool says that local channels aren't available where you live, you'll be limited to on-demand content from the major networks. Live television will still be available from other channels as long as you're in the United States.

Streams on AT&T Watch TV Now

When you watch a live or on-demand show on a streaming service like AT&T TV Now, it's referred to as a stream. Rather than limiting the number of shows you can watch at once, AT&T TV Now limits the number of simultaneous streams, which basically just means the number of shows you can watch on different devices at the same time.

Regardless of the subscription plan you choose, you're limited to two simultaneous streams on AT&T TV Now. That means you can use your phone to cast a show from your phone to your TV, and someone else can watch a totally different show on a computer or their own phone.

If three or more people want to watch different shows on AT&T TV Now at the same time, the third person will receive error message 60 and a warning about too many streams.

This error message can also show up sometimes when only one or two streams are being watched, in which case the best solution is usually to delete and reinstall the AT&T TV Now app.

If you want to stream more than two shows on more than two devices at once, you can pay for a monthly add-on to watch up to three streams at a time. Other services like Sling TV and Youtube TV also allow more than two streams at once.

How Fast Does Your Internet Need to Be to Watch AT&T TV Now

AT&T TV Now requires a high-speed internet connection to work at all, and the speed of your connection affects the quality of the video.

To stream content from AT&T TV Now, they recommend:

  • 150 Kbps - 2.5 Mbps as the slowest possible connection speed for watching on mobile devices.
  • 2.5 - 7.5 Mbps to watch high definition video.
  • 12 Mbps+ to watch multiple streams on a home internet connection.

AT&T TV Now Ala Carte and Optional Features

AT&T TV Now Ala Carte

In addition to the main subscription packages, AT&T TV Now also allows you to add additional channels on an ala carte basis. These optional channels include HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, and Starz.

When you add one of these options, you gain access to both live television and on-demand content.

Watching Live Television on AT&T TV Now

Watching live television on your phone, computer, or other compatible device is the whole point of AT&T TV Now, and it really is the focal point of the service. In fact, when you navigate to the AT&T TV Now site, it automatically starts playing a live channel.

If that happens to be what you wanted to watch, then that's great. If it isn't, then watching live television on AT&T TV Now is still pretty easy:

  1. Navigate to, and click on guide.

    A screenshot of AT&T Watch TV.
  2. Scroll through the guide to find a program that you want to watch, and click on it.

    A screenshot of the AT&T Watch TV Guide.
  3. Your show will play automatically.

    A screenshot of live TV on AT&T Watch TV.

While you can pause live television on AT&T TV Now, there is no fast forward feature or option to skip commercials.

Does AT&T TV Now Have a DVR or On Demand Content?

AT&T TV Now includes a lot of on-demand content, and new episodes are often added within 24 hours after they first air.

If you want to watch an on-demand TV show or movie on AT&T TV now, the process is pretty easy:

  1. Navigate to

  2. Click on Watch Now, Discover, or Guide.

  3. Locate a show or movie you want to watch, and click it.

    A screenshot of the AT&T TV Now site.
  4. Click the record series button on the episode or movie you want to watch.​

    A screenshot of a show on AT&T Watch TV.
  5. Select All Episodes or New Episodes, and click Record This Series.

    A screenshot of the AT&T TV Now DVR feature.
  6. AT&T Watch TV will record your show when it airs, and you will be able to access it via My Library at your convenience.

    A screenshot of the AT&T Watch TV DVR feature.

You can pause on-demand content, and you can effectively rewind and fast forward by clicking on the video timeline. However, on-demand videos do include commercials, and you'll be forced to watch a commercial if you attempt to fast forward past it.

Can You Rent Movies on AT&T TV Now?

AT&T TV Now Movies

There is no option to rent movies on AT&T TV Now in the same way that you can if you have a cable or satellite television subscription. Some live television streaming services do include this option, but AT&T TV Now doesn't.

If you're a DirecTV satellite television subscriber, you can rent movies through their website.

However, it isn't possible to sign up for the necessary account if you don't have AT&T or DirecTV satellite service. Your AT&T TV Now login information will not work on the DirecTV movie rental site.

AT&T TV Now does include a large selection of free movies that you can watch on demand, and you also have access to movies on a number of live television channels. If you add a premium channel like HBO or Showtime, the selection of free movies is even larger.

If you are a AT&T TV Now subscriber, and you want to rent a new release that isn't available through the service, you'll have better luck renting from another service like Amazon or Vudu.