Over the last year and a half, DirectTV Now has become one of the most popular streaming TV bundles, despite being the only one without a DVR. Now, parent company AT&T is adding cloud DVR as part of a major overhaul for the service. Subscribers can record 20 hours of programming, for up to 30 days, at no cost beyond the $35-per-month base price. A $10 per month upgrade this summer will increase DVR storage to 100 hours for up to 90 days.
Both of those offerings are stingier than other streaming TV bundles. PlayStation Vue, Philo, and YouTube TV have DVR time limits (of 28 days, 30 days, and nine months, respectively) but no limit on recording hours. Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, and FuboTV have storage limits, but save recordings indefinitely.
Still, bare-bones DVR is better than no DVR, and the limitations don’t seem to be hindering DirecTV Now either way. The service, which launched in November 2016, had nearly 1.5 million subscribers in late April, second only to Dish Network’s Sling TV, which crossed the 2.2 million mark in February. DirecTV Now’s broad channel lineup, along with streaming device deals and discounted wireless service bundles, have helped AT&T reel in new subscribers as its satellite TV service tanks.
In addition to the new DVR, DirecTV Now is getting a fresh design, more on-demand video, access to local broadcast channels while traveling, and an option to add a third simultaneous stream for $5 per month.