After initially testing the service in 13 markets, AT&T launched its live pay TV internet-based AT&T TV service nationwide. This is an internet delivered, linear TV network, with over 55,000 video-on demand titles and access to over 5,000 apps. However, if you are considering AT&T TV, there are 3 very important things you need to know before you decide to purchase.
Lets go over them now before we cover other aspects of the streaming service.
1) AT&T TV Requires a 2 Year Commitment
AT&T TV will be contract based and requires a 2-year agreement. If you cancel early, there is a $15/month early termination fee, for each month remaining on the agreement. This could be a difficult sell for people tired of restrictive contracts.
Other month-to-month streaming services competitors such as YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV don’t have contracts. They allow you to subscribe and cancel as often as you like. For instance, you could sign up to YouTube TV for college football and the NFL and then cancel after the football season ends every year with no penalties.
2) To Get The Best Deal, Bundle AT&T Internet
The service works on any high-speed internet connection, but if you want to get the best deal, you have to bundle it with AT&T’s 1-gigabit Internet plan.
AT&T TV Pricing Plans
Other streaming providers like YouTube TV allow you to keep your internet and supported device. AT&T wants you to bundle their internet service with your selected TV package.
The prices don’t include the activation fee and taxes. These prices are only good for the first year.
TV Plan Prices when you bundle AT&T Internet
AT&T TV offers 4 TV and 1 Spanish TV plan
- Entertainment ($49.99/month consisting of about 65+ live channels including ESPN, AMC, HGTV, FX, USA and others.)
- Choice ($54.99/month adds regional sports networks and others such as the YES network)
- Xtra ($64.99/month)
- Ultimate ($69.99/month and more than 170 channels)
Regional sports networks have a fee of $8.50 per month. HBO is free for the first three months, after which, you pay to keep it. You can find all available channels here.
TV Plan Prices without AT&T Internet
AT&T TV without AT&T’s internet service is $10 more per month on any of the plans. For example, the Entertainment plan would go from $49.99 to $59.99 a month. See below.
- Entertainment ($59.99/month)
- Choice ($64.99/month)
- Xtra ($74.99/month)
- Ultimate ($79.99/month)
- Optimo Mas ($64.99/month)
Regular TV Price
The promotional rates above are good for one year with a two-year contract. After 12 months, AT&T TV rates go up. See below.
- Entertainment $93/month;
- Choice $110/month;
- Xtra $124/month;
- Ultimate $135/month
- Optimo $86/month.
3) AT&T TV Requires a Set Top Box
The AT&T TV service is based on Android TV so an Android TV set-top box and remote control with a Google Assistant button will be part of the package. The Android-powered box is included but if you want additional boxes, it’s $120 per box.
Like Roku or Apple TV, it will offer live TV, DVR storage and on demand titles. Alongside live TV, you can install apps like Netflix, Disney +, and YouTube from the Google Play Store integration from over 5,000 additional apps.
Now that we got those 3 very important details about AT&T TV out of the way, lets consider other key points.
AT&T TV Provides a Familiar Cable Interface
For those who have had satellite/cable TV, the interface will look familiar. The AT&TV interface and menu is simple to navigate with the familiar channel grid and number buttons on the remote control. You can pause and rewind live TV and sports.
AT&T TV has Google Assistant
Google Assistant allow you to control volume, channels, playback and smart home devices. Searching for movies and TV will yield results showing options for streaming, rental or purchasing on Google Play Movies & TV. You can search across live TV, on-demand content, and streaming apps from a central place without switching HDMI ports or using multiple remote controls. AT&T TV says you can “easily switch between a live basketball game, Netflix, YouTube, or listen to music on Pandora or Spotify.” You can tell Google Assistant to “find action movies” or “is it going to rain today?” Chromecast is also supported.
AT&T Cloud DVR
The service will offer a cloud DVR with 500 hours of storage for shows and movies. You can record as many shows as you like at the same time, after which, the content is deleted after 90 days. With up to 3 streaming devices, you can have two people streaming live TV outside the home, while someone is watching TV at home.
AT&T TV shouldn’t be confused with AT&T TV Now (formerly DirecTV Now), which AT&T acquired in 2015 for $48.5 billion. We evaluated AT&T TV Now in a previous article you can read here. If you’re a DirecTV Now customer you see the AT&T TV Now logo.
AT&T TV Setup
Setting up AT&T TV is simple
- Plug the included Android box into your TV’s HDMI port.
- Connect the AT&T TV device to a power outlet
- Turn on your TV and follow the on-screen prompts.
- Start watching
You can either watch directly in front of your TV with the box or you can watch on the app. The app is compatible with IOS or Android.
Live TV is always the “home screen” for the Android based AT&T TV experience, picking up the last played channel when turned on.
Things haven’t gone well for AT&T as they lost 1.16 million subscribers from DirecTV and its other TV services in the final three months of 2019. In 2016, they had over 25 million satellite and linear TV subscribers. However, by the end of 2019, the number has gone down to 20 million.
The service is aimed at the growing streaming market with competitors like Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV. The other streaming TV competitors with less restrictions are priced around $60/month.
Price conscious cord cutters may find AT&T TV package pricing too steep after the introductory promotions. However, within the crowded field of streaming services, AT&T TV is not trying to be the cheapest.
Instead, they are hoping to attract people who no longer want a large dish attached to their roof or endless cable running through their home. Rather, it’s positioning itself as a premium, simple, streaming TV experience for people looking for an alternative.
Do you have AT&T TV? Are you happy with it and would you recommend it?
Read our previous blog post “How to watch TV without Cable or Satellite”
Or our other post 4 Things Cable Companies Don’t Want You To Know About TV Antennas