"DirecTV Now: $35 a month for 100 live TV channels and a lot of fine print"
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CNET First Look
CNET First Look
DirecTV Now: $35 a month for 100 live TV channels and a lot of fine print
At first glance Direct TV Now seems like the best deal yet for people who want to cut the cable TV cord and stream their live shows over the internet.
The cost is just $35 a month for more than 100 channels of live TV.
That's more channels than competitors like Sling TV and Playstation View for a temptingly low price
If you live in a major city, you can also get live feeds of ABC, Fox, and NBC.
And if you don't, their shows are available on demand.
You also get access to some regional sports.
Like RES network for Yankees and Nets games here in New York.
To use DirecTV Now, you'll need a supported video device.
At launch, it works with Android and Apple phones and tablets.
Computer web browsers.
And TV devices including Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV.
On the Apple TV I tested, it feels a little bit like Netflix to use, but with live TV.
The main home screen lists shows on now.
Lets you continue watching on demand shows you started previously.
And surfaces other categories to browse.
I like its big thumbnail images and its show-centric layout better than a standard grid guide, but if you want, DirecTV now has one of those, too, complete with the ability to add favorite channels.
If you select a show that isn't available now, you'll be taken to the on-demand section.
It was pretty sparse in my initial test, only listing a few episodes of many shows.
But DirecTV says it will add more on-demand shows soon.
Since there's no Cloud DVR, however, you can't accumulate a bunch of shows to watch later on your own time.
The list of channels includes most expect from basic cable service with one big exception, there's no CBS available.
You can add HBO and Cinemax for five bucks a month, but can't add Showtime at all.
And the biggest exception, that $35 price good for a limited time only on the 100 channel package.
Overall, Direct TV Now is easy to use, and satisfying if your main goal is watching live TV.
But it has a lot of strings attached.
That said, many cord cutters will want to at least check out the free seven day trial.
Since there's no contract, you don't have anything to lose.
I'm David Casmeyer for CNet, and that was a quick look at Direct TV Now.
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