DirecTV vastly expanded its live-streaming options for users of its mobile app on Wednesday, also giving access to recorded DVR programming. The satellite provider announced the feature as part of a regular update to its iOS app, the same time as parent company AT&T announced that DirecTV-streamed video no longer counts against a customer’s data allotment.
It appears just about every channel is available to be streamed from tests of the app, including local programming and premium networks like HBO or Showtime, if you’re subscribed to them. There’s some obvious exceptions, such as the company’s music channels, pay-per-view, and channels featuring adult or 4K content. The option is currently not available for Android, as the app on Google Play was most recently updated two weeks ago.
While DVR functionality like pausing live TV doesn’t seem to be available, any prerecorded content on your home DVR is streamable, including an offline-viewing function that allows you to download content to your device.
That offline viewing option is especially welcome, considering the often-touchy relationship content providers have had with other services attempting to do the same thing. Of course, there’s restrictions here: to download, you’ll have to be on the same Wi-Fi network as the DVR, and the service itself requires a Genie HR44+ set-top box to work.
It’s not immediately clear how the new DirecTV streaming options jive with the DirecTV Now service announced by AT&T earlier this year. That service essentially does the same thing as what the improved streaming options do (although without the requirement to subscribe to satellite service).
Whether this is the beginnings of the launch of that service is not known just yet, although AT&T CEO Glenn Lurie may give more details in a presentation at CTIA later Wednesday.