Sick of paying an enormous bill each month for cable? The average cost of a cable bill has surpassed $100/month – so it’s no surprise that people all across America are ditching cable in record numbers.
But what are your options for watching your favorite shows, sporting events, and news channels without cable? It can be confusing to navigate the world of “cable replacer” internet TV services, such as YouTube TV and AT&T TV Now.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the basics of two of the most popular cable alternatives – YouTube TV and AT&T TV Now – and help you figure out which one is a better choice for your particular needs.
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An Overview Of YouTube TV & AT&T TV Now
Neither of these services requires a cable box or any kind of installation. TV is delivered directly over the internet. In addition, they are much cheaper than traditional cable packages, and do not have any long-term contracts. You pay month-to-month, and can cancel at any time.
Now, let’s dive into the specifics of each of these streaming services.
AT&T TV Now is the new name for DirecTV Now. It’s one of the oldest internet TV services out there. But, since it started in 2015, it’s become extremely expensive.
7-day free trial
2 simultaneous streams
20 hours of DVR space
7-day free trial
2 simultaneous streams
20 hours of DVR space
HBO + Cinemax
Though it has plenty of channels and decent features, AT&T TV Now falls very short when it comes to value for your money. It offers a few different subscription tiers, as you can see above. Let’s dive into more details now.
AT&T TV Now has a lot of channels, as long as you have the budget to pay for them. The cheapest package costs $65/month, and gives you only 45+ channels. However, if you can afford to pay $135/month, you can get the “Ultimate” package with more than 124 channels.
The service also offers a lot of “TV Everywhere” logins. You can use your AT&T TV Now membership to log into the apps and websites of dozens of different cable networks. Learn more here.
In addition, AT&T TV Now also supports just about every major streaming device with slick, streamlined apps. You can stream on iOS, Android, web browsers, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast.
The biggest downside to AT&T TV Now is its cost. It’s simply the most expensive internet TV service out there. No other service, including YouTube TV and other competitors like fuboTV, Sling TV, or Hulu With Live TV come close to the same cost-per-channel at AT&T TV Now.
In fact, some AT&T TV Now packages cost almost as much as (if not more than) a traditional cable subscription. That sort of defeats the purpose of the service entirely, in our eyes.
Free 7-day TrialSubscribe Now
YouTube TV is the latest entry into the world of internet-based cable alternatives, built by Google. It’s designed to offer a good package of channels and great features at a reasonable price of $49.99/month.
YouTube TV offers only one package of channels, but has fairly comprehensive coverage. You can get sports coverage from channels like ESPN and Fox Sports, entertainment channels like FX and AMC, and cable news coverage from CNBC, Fox News, Newsy, and more.
Beyond a solid channel lineup, YouTube TV has a few other features that make it great for cord-cutters – particularly those who plan on sharing their accounts with friends or family.
First, you can watch YouTube TV on 3 devices at once, which is better than the 3-device restriction of AT&T TV Now.
You also get a much better DVR, and can create up to 6 different user accounts with YouTube TV.
YouTube TV has jumped in price quite a few times. It launched in 2017 for $35/month, and has surged in price to $49.99/month as of publication time. This price hike is worth noting, but isn’t too bad compared to AT&T TV Now.
In addition, you can’t currently get HBO on YouTube TV, while you get it for free with AT&T TV Now. This will change in Spring of 2020, however, thanks to a new agreement between WarnerMedia and YouTube TV.
Fact 1: You Can Get More Channels With AT&T TV Now
YouTube TV only offers one package of channels, with about 70 channels available. (This number may vary based on your location).
In contrast, AT&T TV Now offers seven different packages. The cheapest $65/month package from AT&T TV Now has about 45 channels, but the most expensive plan has more than 124 channels.
If you’re not too worried about the high cost of these upper-tier AT&T TV Now channels, you’ll be able to get many more channels for your money. However, it’s worth noting that the cost-per-channel is still higher with AT&T TV Now than it is with YouTube TV.
Fact 2: AT&T TV Now Has A Good DVR (But YouTube TV’s Is Better)
AT&T TV Now had a pretty bad DVR until late 2019. You were only able to record 20 hours of shows, which would be deleted automatically after 30 days. Now, however, you can record up to 500 hours of content, and your oldest recordings won’t be deleted until they’re 90 days old.
However, YouTube TV still has a better DVR. You can record unlimited content for up to 9 months, after which your oldest recordings will expire and be deleted. You can also create up to 6 individual user accounts, and each one gets its own DVR.
Fact 3: YouTube TV & AT&T TV Now Tie In Simultaneous Streams
In 2019, AT&T TV Now upgraded its number of free simultaneous streams, and it’s now tied with YouTube TV. Previously, you had to pay $5/month extra to upgrade from 2 streams to 3, but now you can get 3 streams as part of every AT&T TV Now package.
This means that AT&T TV Now is now tied with YouTube TV for simultaneous streams. Both services allow you to watch on up to 3 devices simultaneously, and neither one allows you to upgrade to add any more additional simultaneous streams.
Fact 4: AT&T TV Now Offers HBO For Free – And YouTube TV Doesn’t Have HBO At All
If you’re interested in adding premium channels like HBO and Cinemax to your subscription, AT&T TV Now is your best bet. In fact, the Plus package includes HBO for free, while the Max package gives you both HBO and Cinemax for free, with the ability to add more premium networks like Starz, Showtime, Epix and more for additional fees.
YouTube TV has stepped up its game and offers most of the same premium channels. However, it’s still not offering HBO and Cinemax. This will change later in 2020, but for now, you can’t get HBO as part of your YouTube TV subscription.
Fact 5: AT&T TV Now Gives You More Cable Logins For Major Networks
Given AT&T’s connections with the world of pay TV, it may come as no surprise that you can use “TV Everywhere” to log into the websites of more than 100 different subscription networks with AT&T TV Now. Learn more here.
Fact 6: AT&T TV Now Has More On-Demand Content
For all of its benefits, YouTube TV is a bit lacking when it comes to on-demand content. Unless you record a show with your DVR, you won’t be able to access that much on-demand content.
However, with AT&T TV Now, you get access to 10,000+ streaming titles, and over 25,000 hours of on-demand content. New episodes of shows are usually available within a day or two of their initial airdate.
Fact 7: Both YouTube TV And AT&T TV Now Are Offering Free Trial Subscriptions
If you’re still not sure whether you want to try YouTube TV or AT&T TV Now, there’s good news. You don’t have to choose!
Just remember that if you sign up, you must cancel your subscription before your 7 days are up. Otherwise, your card on file will be charged for a full month of subscription service. Try both services, and see which one you prefer.
YouTube TV Vs. AT&T TV Now: Which is Better?
So, here’s the big question. Which internet TV streaming service is better? Depending on your needs, either YouTube TV or AT&T TV Now could be the right choice for you. Here are some questions to ask yourself, which can help you make the right decision.
Do you want HBO and premium networks?
If you want HBO and other premium networks like Cinemax, YouTube TV is likely not an ideal choice for you. You can get a much better deal on quite a few premium networks by subscribing to AT&T TV Now.
How many channels do you need?
But if you need more choices, and channel packages that offer up to 120+ channels, AT&T TV Now is likely the right internet TV streaming service for you.
Will you be sharing your account with anyone else?
In general, you’re going to have an easier time sharing a YouTube TV account than you will if you want to share a AT&T TV Now account. This is because YouTube TV allows you to create up to 6 different users, each of which gets their own DVR and recommendations.
In addition, you can watch YouTube TV on up to 3 devices at once. This means you’re less likely to be blocked from watching your favorite show due to too many users streaming at once.
AT&T TV Now is still easy to use if you are sharing it with multiple users, but it doesn’t quite have the same streamlined user interface and features that YouTube TV offers. For those interested in sharing a subscription, YouTube TV is the top choice.