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AT&T combines streaming services AT&T TV and TV Now. Here’s what it means


AT&T TV is now completely at the center of AT&T’s current television world.

Sarah Tu / CNET

AT&T TV now, the streaming service of the telecommunications and media giant is leaving. On Tuesday, AT&T announced it would “merge” TV Now with AT&T TV, its cable and satellite alternative, which also broadcasts live TV over the Internet, but previously required at least one of AT&T’s special streaming boxes.

As part of the merger, AT&T also removes the requirement for AT&T TV customers to use at least one of its streaming boxes, called AT&T TV Stream, and also gets rid of the mandatory AT&T TV contract.

From now on, AT&T TV will be month after month, just like AT&T TV Now. AT&T says the current contracts will remain in effect, but once they expire, customers can switch to a monthly payment option. If you are on AT&T TV trial, you can switch to a non-contractual plan without paying an early termination fee.

AT&T TV’s non-contractual packages start at $ 70 per month for a basic entertainment package that includes ESPN, CNN and FX, as well as local broadcast channels and a 20-hour cloud DVR. The additional $ 10 per month increases DVR storage to 500 hours per month. Regional sports are included, starting with the Choice package, which runs $ 85 a month without a contract and includes year-round HBO Max and NBA League Pass Premium.

Those who aren’t afraid of a commitment can still sign up for a two-year contract that reduces the price for the first year of the Entertainment package to $ 60 a month for the first year before jumping to $ 93 a month in the second. Choice users will see a drop in price from $ 85 per month to $ 65 per month for the first year of the two-year contract, but in the second year the price will be back to $ 110 per month. Those with a two-year contract option would also be willing to pay an additional $ 8.49 per month “regional sports fee” for two years.

However, both packages include a 500-hour DVR as part of the two-year commitment.

As for devices, if you don’t want to use the Android-powered box (specifically called the AT&T TV Device), you can stream AT&T TV to multiple devices. This includes iOS and Android phones and tablets, as well as TV streamers such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Google Chromecast and Samsung Smart TV (2017 or later).

“We bring more value and simplicity by combining these two streaming services into one AT&T television experience,” Vince Torres, AT&T’s senior vice president of marketing, said in a statement.

First presented in November 2016 as DirecTV Now, AT&T TV Now was the operator’s first streaming TV service. The company expanded to offer a several different streaming options over the years, including the cheaper (now discontinued) AT&T Watch TV, which largely consisted of its Turner and AT&T TV channels, the current cable and satellite replacement. He also introduced HBO Max, its competitor to Netflix and Disney Plus, last year.

Although the company is no longer adding new subscribers to AT&T TV Now, a company spokesman says existing users will still be able to use the service and “will not experience interruptions as part of this change,” adding that pricing “is not changing. at this time. ”

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