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AT&T TV is live, but what is it? Here's what we know now

AT&T's latest streaming service has started rolling out. Here is what we know about it right now.

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AT&T has another new streaming service coming. Here is what we know about it. 

Angela Lang/CNET

AT&T has begun the launch of yet another new streaming service called AT&T TV in 10 cities across the country. Not to be confused with AT&T TV Now, which was formerly called DirecTV Now, the new offering allows users to stream content to the AT&T TV app on mobile devices and through a box on TVs

While it was previously coy on details, with the initial rollout now underway we're finally starting to learn more about just what AT&T is planning. Here is everything we know about the new service. 

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What is it? Is this the new DirecTV Now? 

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AT&T is rebranding DirecTV Now as AT&T TV Now. 

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AT&T TV is a streaming service from, well, AT&T. It will offer live TV and "55,000 on-demand titles" plus the ability to record "500 hours" on a "cloud" DVR, though the recordings will be deleted after 90 days. 

As with traditional TV, users will be able to subscribe to premium channels including HBO, Showtime and Cinemax. 

DirecTV Now, however, will continue to exist, but it is being rebranded as... AT&T TV Now

So is it an app or a streaming box? 

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AT&T's new AT&T TV service will stream to a box for TVs. 

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AT&T TV will be able to work with both an app and a dedicated streaming box. The app will be the same AT&T TV app that AT&T TV Now users will use and allow for streaming on phonestablets, smart TVs and TV platforms.

But there also will be a streaming box, which is expected to be powered by Google's Android TV.  

The box will be able to function as a smart hub for controlling internet-connected devices like lightbulbs or thermostats, be self-installable in "just four simple steps" without needing someone to come and set it up for you, and be capable of supporting 4K output assuming you have the proper TV and a strong enough internet connection. 

AT&T touts having the Google Assistant built into the remote on its website, as well as the ability for the box to be able to download over 5,000 apps including Netflix and Pandora. 

How many people can watch at once? 

AT&T says up to three different devices at a time can stream from one account. 

Do I need a certain internet speed? 

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Google Assistant on AT&T TV. 

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AT&T recommends a "minimum of 8Mbps per stream for optimal viewing" with 25Mbps internet or more if streaming to three devices in the same home. It does not specify a 4K minimum speed, but says that "higher speeds are recommended."

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Where is it available? 

AT&T has begun offering the service in 10 markets: Orange and Riverside, California; West Palm Beach, Florida; Topeka and Wichita, Kansas; St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri as well as in Corpus Christi, El Paso and Odessa, Texas. 

How much will it cost? 

First spotted by Cord Cutters News, AT&T TV's website lists a variety of packages with the base "Entertainment" offering running $60 per month for 12 months on a 24-month contract. After the first year, the monthly price will rise to $93, not including taxes or fees. 

Three higher-end packages were also listed, with first-year rates ranging from $65 to $80 per month (with prices rising to as high as $135 per month after the first 12 months). 

ESPN, NBCSN and Fox Sports 1 are included in all packages, but those looking for regional sports networks will need one of the three higher tiers, which also carry a regional sports fee. 

One AT&T device will come for free with the service, but additional boxes will run $10 per month or "$120 for life." As mentioned above, you can also stream AT&T through its app on compatible devices. 

For reference, AT&T currently starts DirecTV Now -- which already doesn't need a satellite installation or special equipment beyond an app -- at $50 per month for 45 channels including broadcast channels and cable stations such as ESPN, USA and FX. 

AT&T Watch TV -- which doesn't include broadcast channels or any channels owned by Disney, Comcast, and Fox -- is $15 per month. 

Are local channels and sports included? 

Some local networks and regional sports channels are available, though exactly what is available in your area will vary. You can check your zip code on AT&T's website to see what is offered.   

Is this HBO Max? 

No, HBO Max is a different streaming service that AT&T will offer next spring. It will be more of a Netflix rival and the home for its WarnerMedia content, including HBO shows such as Game of Thrones and Sesame Street, Warner Bros. films and TV shows including Crazy Rich Asians and Friends, and DC Entertainment films and TV shows like Shazam and the upcoming Batwoman. 

HBO Max will also offer live sports and news of some kind. 

So, it's AT&T Watch TV? 

No, that is yet another streaming service from AT&T that offers over 35 live channels -- centered around Turner stations it owns like CNN, TBS and TNT -- for $15 per month. AT&T also bundles Watch TV with some of its unlimited wireless plans. 

AT&T TV is something else.

Wait, so what are the differences between these four services? 

We don't yet know. In a statement, an AT&T spokesperson says that AT&T TV Now and AT&T TV will be "different experiences" but did not provide additional details. 

With all the many unknowns, it is also still unclear what exactly the differences will be between the "televisionary" AT&T TV compared to Watch TV and HBO Max. 

Originally published July 30. This story will be updated as new information becomes available. 

Updated Aug. 19 with pricing information and additional details.