The writing isn't quite on the wall for traditional cable and satellite television - not so long as companies like Comcast can manipulate the market with artificial monopolies and data caps, anyway - but things are definitely looking up for cord-cutters. The latest fruit of the union between American telecom AT&T and satellite TV giant DirecTV is a series of TV packages that don't require, well, TV packages. These data-only streaming options will become available some time in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to an AT&T press release.
Said packages will come in three flavors. First, DirecTV Now, an all-digital streaming TV service that will offer "much of what is available from DirecTV today," including on-demand programming and premium networks. Read More
Last month AT&T announced plans to raise the price of its grandfathered unlimited data plan by $5. Starting next month, those customers will pay slightly more than what new subscribers fork over for 2GB of data.
If you're feeling left out, AT&T has an announcement that might make you feel better (but probably worse). Read More
Samsung tablets usually get picked up by at least one or two of the big American carriers, and so it goes with the enormous 18.4-inch Galaxy View. Today AT&T announced that it will begin selling an LTE-equipped version of the tablet starting on Friday, November 20th. It will cost you $600 outright, or $30 a month for 20 months on AT&T's installment plan, or $500 if you agree to a two year service contract. (Don't do that.) But wait, there's more: that AT&T-DirecTV acquisition is about to pay some serious dividends for customers of both companies.
If you're an existing AT&T customer but you don't have DirecTV, you can sign up for a new two-year TV service agreement and buy a Galaxy View for just $100. Read More
Most apps for cable and satellite TV providers suck. They tend to completely ignore user interface standards, throw up artificial limitations, and have poor performance. DirecTV's app seems to be an interesting exception - while customers aren't without complaints, the primary Play Store listing gives it a 4.1-star rating. Today it gets a handful of improvements, making the app better in some notable ways. The update is also being applied to the tablet version of the app, which has admittedly poorer ratings.
According to the change log, version 4.2 adds some considerable new functionality to the DIRECTV app home screen, which doubles as a remote control for a connected receiver. Read More
DirecTV's job used to be making sure that when you turn on your TV, there's something there to watch. Then these fancy mobile devices came around, and now the company is tasked with putting shows on those as well. Kids don't stare at big screens anymore, I'm told. Everything looks best crammed somewhere between 4.5 to 10.1 inches.
The latest version of the DirecTV Android apps offer up 15 new HBO and Cinemax channels, which you can stream live to your phone or tablet.
You can apparently even place a shortcut right on your homescreen. That way you don't have to fire up an app and switch through the channel listing. Read More
DIRECTV has added the ability for its customers to stream thirteen additional channels to their Android devices. The Play Store page doesn't contain an extensive list of which ones are new, but it does mention MSNBC, Ovation, QVC, and Showtime Showcase. All of these are available inside the home, with only QVC accessible outside of the home as well.
These additions bring DIRECTV's full list of channels with live streaming support up to 110. Of them, 51 are still streamable once you step out of the house. To see if your favorite channel has made the list, all you need to do is check. Read More
The rumors surfaced last week, and AT&T made it official yesterday evening. The telecom company has agreed to pay nearly $50 billion in cash and stock for satellite TV provider DirecTV. If approved by regulators, the new AT&T would have control of about 26 million TV subscribers.
It seems like a lot of folks can't watch TV without a phone in their hand, which makes the newest update to the DIRECTV app that much more useful. As the changelog points out, remote control functionality has been at the top of everyone's wishlist, and now it's here.
We have a second screen problem. The TV may have the largest display in the house, but it fails to consistently hold our attention even during engaging content, let alone commercial breaks. Cable and satellite companies have tried to respond to this phenomenon by releasing companion apps that place their content on both screens at once. Unfortunately, these apps typically aren't that good. The DIRECTV Android app was completely revamped not too long ago, but already a new update is available that changes things around a bit. Is it more engaging? Is it even an improvement? Judge for yourself.
The new version has a more stylized menu button that provides quicker access to live TV streaming. Read More
If your cable or satellite provider has an app, odds are it's pretty terrible. I mean, have you seen the Comcast app? The DIRECTV app used to fall into the same category, but no more. The 3.0 update is a complete redesign.