AT&T is revamping its video services and DIRECTV NOW is the first to feature these upgrades.
According to a recent Engadget article by Richard Lawler, AT&T plans to achieve a single, unified look and operations for all its video services. The communications corporation has chosen its DIRECTV NOW satellite streaming service as the first recipient of this much-anticipated upgrade. AT&T scheduled beta tests of these upgrades with select DIRECTV NOW customers for some time later this year. Eventually, AT&T plans to implement the improvements across the spectrum of AT&T’s many video services.
Enrique Rodriguez, AT&T executive VP & CTO, told Engadget that the work the company has already done on DIRECTV NOW has been successful on Apple TV, and future updates will be a continuation of that. Eventually, the updates to DIRECTV NOW will be mirrored on DIRECTV, NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX, and the rest of AT&T’s video services. The beta already features a cloud DVR and other new features. Updates scheduled for later this year include the ability to pause live TV and parental controls. AT&T told Engadget that other features set to launch sometime in 2018 include:
- 4K Ultra HD with HDR
Some satellite TV and tech pundits might have concerns about AT&T’s ongoing evolution. Earlier this year, the DIRECTV NOW platform struggled with streaming issues, service interruptions, and a glitch that made its program guide inaccessible. At the time, Tony Goncalves, AT&T’s VIP of strategy and business development, blamed the issues on rapid customer growth. He said that DIRECTV NOW’s user demand was beyond the scale of what the service was able to provide at the time. He added that AT&T resolved those issues.
Given past issues with DIRECTV NOW, one can only wonder if AT&T will encounter similar problems during or after the beta. If so, will these concerns be overshadowed by everyone’s excitement over having updates at all? (Most pundits agree that upgrades in the world of digital TV, DVR, streaming, etc. can take a long time to become available.) Reports have stated that AT&T’s goal is to specialize in offering streaming video services across its many platforms. This puts some pressure on the communications giant to maintain an exceedingly strong tech game.