AT&T TV is different from all the other live TV streaming services around, and that’s for one simple reason. Instead of coming in the form of an app, it comes in an easy to install set-top box and features a two-year contract. Essentially, it’s a small step away from cable, rather than a huge jump. So if you’re comfortable with the way cable works but want to dip a toe into the world of online streaming, AT&T TV is worth a try.
It’s also worth looking into if you want access to thousands of apps and a huge range of channels — including premium networks — for a lower cost. Plus, it’s perfect for people buying their first property who long to introduce a smart home element to their new space. (Powered by Google Assistant, you can control everything with your voice.)
Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of AT&T TV’s prices and packages, here’s an overview of what to expect from this unique streaming service:
|Free trial length||14 days||14 days||14 days||14 days||14 days|
|Number of channels||65+||90+||120+||130+||140+|
|Hours of DVR storage||500||500||500||500||500|
|Number of simultaneous streams||3||3||3||3||3|
|Live sports available?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Premium add-ons available?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
For more information about the overall AT&T TV service, check out our in-depth AT&T TV review.
AT&T TV packages and pricing
You get a choice of five English-language AT&T TV plans. But the pricing you’ll see on the site only relates to the first year of viewing. In the second year, the fee jumps substantially — expect to pay around double what you paid in the first year in some cases. And as you’ll have signed a two-year contract, you’ll have to fork out to leave early. You’ll also have to pay taxes and applicable regional sports fees on top of the normal price.
The Entertainment package is AT&T TV’s cheapest deal. Costing $59.99/mo., it comes with at least 65 channels, including ESPN, Nickelodeon and TNT. Next up is the $64.99/mo. Choice plan. Subscribe to this, and you’ll receive more than 90 channels along with regional sports networks and a year of HBO Max — HBO’s new and improved on-demand streaming service. Mega sports fans will probably head straight for AT&T TV’s Xtra plan. For $74.99/mo., it comes with the same regional sports and HBO Max access. But you’ll get 120+ networks with way more sports and overall entertainment.
For a year of HBO Max and 130+ channels, including NHL Network and Starz Encore, you’ll have to subscribe to the $79.99/mo. Ultimate package. The $129.99/mo. Premier plan, meanwhile, gives a whopping 140+ networks, HBO Max for a year and access to live Cinemax, HBO, Showtime and Starz. Each live TV package also comes with thousands of on-demand titles. The pricier the plan, the more on-demand content you’ll get. For example, the Choice plan has 45,000 titles, while the Premier features 65,000.
AT&T TV also has a Spanish-language package: Optimo Más. Featuring more than 90 channels (including 50+ in Spanish), 25,000 on-demand titles and a year of HBO Max, it costs $64.99/mo. The channel line-up includes Cine Sony, ESPN Deportes, FOX Deportes and Telemundo.
As well as live TV and on-demand shows and movies, the service also gives each subscriber 500 hours of cloud DVR storage. That’s more than enough space to record all your favorite series and must-watch games. Plus, users get a voice-controlled remote that can control the TV and find out information relating to the news, weather and more. Access to more than 5,000 apps like Netflix and Spotify and three simultaneous streams are also in the cards.
Although you’ll have to pay a $19.95 activation fee to get hold of AT&T TV, you can get $10 off each month if you bundle the streaming service with AT&T internet. (The offer only applies to the first year.) And if you sign up for AT&T TV online, you’ll also receive a $200 AT&T Visa Reward Card plus free express delivery.
AT&T TV add-ons
AT&T TV has a decent list of add-ons to choose from. If you want more premium content, there are networks like Cinemax and Showtime. And if you’re a big movie buff, you can pick an add-on entirely dedicated to filmmaking.
Here’s the full list of extra channels and how much they’ll cost you a month:
- Cinemax: $11.99/mo.
- Deportes: $5/mo.
- Epix: $6/mo.
- Español: $15/mo.
- HBO Max: $14.99/mo.
- Movies Extra Pack: $5/mo.
- Showtime: $11/mo.
- Starz: $11/mo.
AT&T TV pricing compared
Compare AT&T TV prices to similar streaming services, and you’ll soon see that the price is higher. Not only do you start with a more expensive monthly fee, but you’re also locked into a two-year contract with a significant price hike in the second year. (Contracts aren’t required for any other streaming platform, meaning you can leave whenever you like.) And although every AT&T TV package has an impressive channel line-up, the service has more financial downsides in the form of activation fees, early termination fees and even extra monthly costs for regional sports networks.
But let’s get into the specifics. Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV are two of the closest competitors to AT&T TV. But both services only come with one package, giving you much less choice. However, the channel list and price rival AT&T TV’s cheapest plan. Hulu Live TV costs $54.99/mo. for access to more than 65 channels, while YouTube TV gives you over 85 networks for $64.99/mo. Plus, YouTube TV offers unlimited DVR storage, something that’s rarely seen in the streaming landscape. Similarly, fuboTV‘s monthly fees start at $59.99/mo. You can watch over 90 channels on this sports-focused network, but you only get 30 hours DVR storage included for free.
There are much cheaper ways to get a cable-like experience, too. Sling TV is one of the most competitively priced live TV platforms. Its starting price is just $30/mo. Of course, this means the channel list is less expansive — only 30+ channels are available on one of the cheaper plans. But, if you know exactly which networks you want, you may not need a line-up that features over 100 names. Sling TV, for example, is great for sports fans as it includes a number of ESPN channels.
Philo is also considered to be one of the cheaper streaming services. It costs just $20/mo. for more than 60 networks, but the list doesn’t feature any sports programming. So if you’re trying to pay off your student loan and have no interest in the likes of baseball and basketball but huge love for reality TV, it’s ideal.
Here’s how AT&T TV measures up to a range of other live TV services:
|AT&T TV||fuboTV||Hulu Live TV||Philo||Sling TV||YouTube TV|
|Starting monthly price||$59.99/mo.||$59.99/mo.||$54.99/mo.||$20/mo.||$30/mo.||$64.99/mo.|
Sign up for an AT&T TV free trial
An AT&T TV trial works a little differently than rival streaming services. The way the service is set up means you have to commit to a lengthy contract and install a set-top box before using it. So it’s surprising to see that AT&T TV does let you try everything out for 14 days. You’ll still have to agree to the contract and additional fees but can get a full refund if you cancel within two weeks of placing your order.
If you cancel within this period, you won’t have to pay an early termination fee, either. However, there’s a catch. A full refund is only available if you cancel and return the set-top box within 14 days. Otherwise, you’ll be responsible for a $120 non-return fee.
Our hot take
An AT&T TV streaming plan comes with plenty of upsides and downsides. Its huge channel list, access to HBO Max and voice-control feature are hard to beat, but the two-year contract, priciness and set-top box may be enough to make some households look elsewhere. Ultimately, the service is ideal for people who want access to the latest technology, but don’t want to lose the feel and features of traditional cable. Whichever AT&T TV streaming plan you pick, know that you’ll have endless amounts of entertainment and hundreds of hours of DVR storage.
And if the steep monthly AT&T TV costs are putting you off, why not consider bundling the service with AT&T internet? For the first year, it’ll cut your monthly fees by $10, meaning you’ll be able to get a top-notch streaming service for less than $50/mo. And remember: you also have 14 days to decide if AT&T TV options are really right for you.