Should you get “DIRECTV Now” or stick with satellite service?

It’s coming. We don’t know when, but it’s coming. It’s probably coming soon, in fact. I’m talking about DIRECTV’s streaming-only service, which has been called “DIRECTV Now.” It’s actually one of three streaming services to be offered by DIRECTV. The other two are a mobile-only plan and a free experience.

We don’t know much about DIRECTV now other than what it won’t be… it won’t be a “skinny bundle” like SlingTV or Verizon’s Go90 service. That means it probably will offer many of the same channels you’re seeing now on DIRECTV, and possibly using an app that’s similar or even the same as the current DIRECTV app. We don’t know what it will cost, but again we know it won’t be priced to compete with those lower-end products from other companies.

Everything we hear about DIRECTV Now is that it’s a full-featured product designed for people who either can’t get satellite TV or don’t want to, because they move frequently or consume most of their entertainment on mobile devices or computers. So is it for you?

If you’re a current DIRECTV customer, you’re probably going to want to continue on as a current DIRECTV customer. It’s doubtful you’ll see a lot of savings from DIRECTV Now and even though they’re saying this is a full-featured package, it may not be as full-featured as satellite TV, at least not at first. If you don’t have TV service or you’re considering making a change, I’m guessing it’s going to come down to price vs. features. If you’re willing to sign a 2-year commitment with DIRECTV, you get free equipment, free installation, and you also get a killer mobile experience that includes a ton of on-demand content.

If you’re a tailgater or you want to get TV on a boat, it gets a little more complicated. If you’re thinking about separate DIRECTV service for your RV or vessel, it’s true that there’s a high upfront costs. But once that’s paid, you’re set. If you’re thinking of getting DIRECTV Now for your travel needs, remember that you’ll be paying for every megabit that you use and that can mean you’re paying for a much larger data plan than you have now. AT&T customers with DIRECTV also get unlimited data, but it’s not clear yet if that deal will cross over to DIRECTV Now. So it can become a very costly proposition depending on how you use it.

It won’t be long until we get all our questions answered on DIRECTV Now, but … and I know that it sounds silly, “for now” I would wait and I wouldn’t get “DIRECTV Now.” I’d stick with regular DIRECTV satellite service until everything’s worked out.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.