What is AT&T TV? Here's what you need to know about the bundled streaming service

What is AT&T TV? Here's what you need to know about the bundled streaming service
AT&T TV is a streaming service that combines aspects of cable with app-based streaming.iStock / Getty Images Plus
  • AT&T TV is a bundled streaming service that includes live TV, on-demand video, and cloud DVR recording.
  • The service comes with a set-top box and remote control, but you can also use the mobile app.
  • Here's everything you need to know about AT&T TV, its pricing, availability, and offerings.

AT&T has a video streaming service simply called AT&T TV. A sort of hybrid service, it mimics traditional cable TV by working with a set-top box and remote control provided by AT&T, but it also streams from a mobile app.

What is AT&T TV?

AT&T TV is a streaming service that offers live TV and on-demand titles via a set-top box, but it streams through the internet more like YouTube TV or Hulu Plus Live TV, rather than through the "cords" of traditional cable. Subscribers get a traditional cable-like experience, complete with local channels, sports, news, and on-demand movies. It also comes with a cloud-based DVR for recording shows. You can add premium channels as well.

The AT&T TV set-top box is powered by Google's Android TV operating system. That means you can use it as an entertainment hub for your television to run any of the usual Android streaming video apps (like Disney Plus, HBO Max, Apple TV, and more). The remote control includes Google Assistant, so you can search using your voice.
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You're not limited to using the set-top box, though; AT&T also works through the existing AT&T Now app, so you can stream content from AT&T TV on mobile devices and streaming media devices like Roku. Up to three devices can stream AT&T TV at once.

Ideal internet speeds for AT&T TV

AT&T TV requires high-speed internet, and the faster the better. AT&T recommends no less than 8 Mbps to stream the service, and because it supports up to three devices at once, suggests having at least 24 Mbps for optimal viewing.

Most popular cable internet service plans should meet your needs, but there's a good chance that DSL will not - you can check your current internet speed easily using online tests.
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AT&T TV plans and cost

Like traditional cable TV, AT&T TV comes in a variety of packages. You can choose to pay monthly like a streaming service or lock in a plan with a two-year contract, more like traditional cable.

Be aware that there's a significant "balloon" built into the payment plan for the two-year contract: The first year is cheaper than the month-to-month alternative, but the monthly fee goes up substantially at the one-year anniversary - see below for a full explanation. Aside from the subscription fee, there are other differences as well. The month-to-month no-contract version of AT&T TV includes 20 hours of Cloud DVR recording, for example, with the option to increase to 500 hours for $10 per month. The two-year contract includes 500 hours.
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Strangely, though, the no-contract version includes regional sports at no additional cost; the two-year contract adds $8.49 per month for regional sports.

AT&T TV subscription plans

  • Entertainment: The base package contains 65 channels with 40,000 on-demand shows to choose from and costs $69.99 per month. If you choose the two-year contract, it's $59.99 per month for one year and then the price jumps to $93 per month for the second year.
  • Choice: This package has 90 channels, 45,000 on-demand programs and includes a year of HBO Max. It's $84.99 per month. If you opt for the two-year contract, the price is $66.79 for the first year and $111.80 per month afterward.
  • Óptimo Más: This package includes 50 Spanish-language channels and 40 English channels, along with a year of HBO Max and 25,000 on-demand titles. The tier is only available with a two-year contract priced at $64.99 for the first year and $86 per month in the second year.
  • Xtra: The Xtra tier offers 120 channels, 50,000 on-demand titles, and a year of HBO Max. It includes more regional sports networks than the tiers below it and is only available on a two-year contract for $76.79 per month for 12 months, followed by $125.80 per month in the second year.
  • Ultimate: The Ultimate tier has 130 channels, 55,000 on-demand shows and a year of HBO Max for $94.99 per month. The two-year plan is $81.79 per month for the first year and $136.80 per month for the second year.
  • Premier: Finally, the Premier package has 140 channels, 65,000 on-demand shows and a year of HBO Max. It costs $139.99 per month. The two-year plan is $131.79 per month for the first year and $184.80 per month in the second year.

AT&T TV is different from AT&T TV Now

You'd be forgiven for confusing AT&T TV with AT&T's other branded services. AT&T TV is separate and distinct from AT&T TV Now, which is a rebranded DirecTV Now. AT&T owns the satellite TV service DirecTV, and AT&T TV Now is a livestream TV service with approximately 125 channels (the DirecTV lineup).

AT&T TV is available nationwide from att.com/buy/bundles.
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