DirecTV Stream: How to Use the Live Streaming Service

This channel-rich TV streaming service used to be called AT&T TV Now

What to Know

  • To sign up: Go to DirectTV Stream and choose a package and add-ons, create an account, then check out and pay.
  • Watch live TV: Turn on DirecTV Stream and press Guide. To record, find a show and select Record Series > All Episodes or New Episodes.
  • For on-demand content: Select the Discover tab. Browse and select a show, then press Play to watch now or Bookmark to watch later.

This article explains how to get started using the DirecTV Stream (formerly AT&T TV Now) streaming service, which is a way for cord-cutters to watch TV, sports, and movies with an internet connection instead of a cable subscription.

How to Sign up for DirecTV Stream

Signing up for DirecTV Stream is fast and easy. Here's how the signup process works:

  1. Navigate to the DirecTV Stream website and browse the available packages.

  2. When you find the package you want, select Choose this package.

    If you are an AT&T or AT&T Unlimited customer, check for special pricing and deals.

    The DirecTV Stream website with 'Choose a package' highlighted
  3. Select any add-ons you want, like cloud DVR or premium channels, then select Secure Checkout.

    A DirecTV Stream customer buys a package
  4. You're prompted to create an account. Enter your information, accept the terms of service, and then select Continue to payment.

    The DirecTV Stream account setup page with 'Continue to payment' highlighted
  5. Enter your payment details.

  6. Select Start watching to get started.

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

Watching Live Television on DirecTV Stream

When you turn on DirecTV Stream, it automatically starts playing a live channel. To see your current viewing options:

  1. Select Guide from your home screen.

  2. Browse available programs and select the one you want to watch.

  3. Your show plays automatically.

Be sure to download the DirecTV Stream app to your iOS or Android device to watch your content. Note that the app is for both the AT&T TV and DirecTV Stream services.

Record and Watch Your Favorite Shows

Record any shows you're interested in, and then watch them at your convenience. Here's how to record a show:

  1. From your home screen, select Watch Now, Discover, or Guide.

  2. Locate a show or movie you want to watch, and select it.

  3. Select the Record Series button on the episode or movie you want to record.​

  4. Select All Episodes or New Episodes, and then select Record This Series.

  5. DirecTV Stream records your show when it airs, and you can access it via My Library at your convenience.

Access DirecTV Stream's On-Demand Content

DirecTV Stream has a growing library of on-demand content. Often, new episodes of network programming are added as soon as 24 hours after they air. Here's how to access and watch on-demand content:

If you're looking for something in particular, use the search bar to find shows, movies, or networks.

  1. From the home screen, select the Discover tab.

  2. Browse through the available programs, movies, and shows.

  3. Select a show to find out more about it. Select Play to watch immediately, or select Bookmark to come back to it later.

    It's possible to pause, rewind, and fast-forward on-demand content, but many on-demand shows have ads that you can't skip.

What Is DirecTV Stream?

Similar to YouTube TV, Hulu+ Live TV, and Sling TV, DirecTV Stream is an app-based streaming service that doesn't require a set-top box or a satellite or cable subscription.

With DirecTV Stream, you can watch movies and shows on your television with the help of a Roku, Chromecast, or Amazon Fire TV device, or use it with a fourth-generation Apple TV or a Samsung Smart TV. With the DirecTV Stream app, it's even possible to cast content, including photos and videos, from your phone to your TV.

Take your DirecTV Stream entertainment on the go by streaming directly to your iOS or Android mobile device, or stream to your computer in the Chrome or Safari browser.

AT&T recommends an internet connection of at least 8 Mbps for smooth streaming and to minimize buffering.

DirecTV Stream is a completely separate service from AT&T TV. AT&T TV requires a contract and an Android set-top box for streaming. DirecTV Stream has no contract and is compatible with major streaming devices such as Roku and Fire TV.

What Do You Get and How Much Is It?

DirecTV Stream is known for its wide variety of channel options, but what you get depends on what package you buy. There are no contracts, subscriptions, or fees, aside from your monthly package price.

The Entertainment package costs $69.99/month and comes with more than 65 channels, including AMC, Comedy Central, BET, FX, and more. The Choice package has over 90 channels and costs $84.99/month. It also includes some regional sports networks, so it's a good choice for fans looking to watch their favorite teams. The Ultimate package has over 130 channels plus regional sports networks and costs $94.99/month.

While DirecTV Stream's prices are higher than similar services, such as YouTube TV, the available channels are impressive, and you get access to all the premium channels, including HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Starz, and Epix, although you may have to pay extra for those channels depending on your base package.

There are also extras and add-on packages for movie buffs, sports fans, Spanish-speaking sports fans, those who want international TV, and more.

Local Channels on DirecTV Stream

While the major networks are included with each package, the availability of local network shows and regional sports programming depends on your location.

DirecTV Stream has a handy local channel listing tool where you can make sure of what's available in your location for each package tier. If a channel isn't available where you live, you still may be able to access on-demand content from that channel.

DVR, Cloud Storage, and Device Number Limitations

With some DirecTV Stream packages, you can watch streaming content on up to three devices at once. Other packages are limited to two simultaneous devices.

Most of the offered packages allow for 500 hours of cloud DVR storage; the service saves your recording for 90 days.

Visit DirecTV Stream for full details on packages, channels, add-ons, and pricing.

Was this page helpful?