How Does DIRECTV NOW Work?

Here on StreamingObserver, we talk a lot about DIRECTV NOW, one of the leading online streaming services for live TV. As such, as get a good amount of questions asking how does DIRECTV NOW work. Particularly for people who have recently left cable and are new to the world of online streaming, this question is perfectly reasonable, and we’d love to answer it! To address these questions, we’ve put together this detailed guide.


Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Starting with the basics, what is DIRECTV NOW? Simply put, it’s a complete alternative to traditional cable TV subscriptions. It offers subscribers the ability to watch live TV whenever, wherever they want – for a fraction of the price of cable TV or satellite TV. The basic package is $35 per month, and offers over 60 channels to watch live on all your favorite devices. Better yet, no contract is required! You can check out our DIRECTV NOW review for the full details.

How Does DIRECTV NOW Work?

DIRECTV NOW is an online service, which means it works over the internet. Traditional cable subscriptions require a cable box that plugs into the wall and into your TV, while DIRECTV NOW requires a compatible streaming device that plugs into your TV and connects to WiFi. You can also use DIRECTV NOW on many other devices, which we’ll discuss further on.

Basically, you’ll sign up for DIRECTV NOW and then use a compatible device to sign in to your new account. From there, you can browse the selection of channels (see the DIRECTV NOW channel list) to see what’s on, access the on-demand menu, etc. Here is a picture of what the DIRECTV NOW interface might look like:


As you can see, the main interface is a grid-like pattern, which will be familiar for people transitioning over from cable TV. You can also save channels to your favorites list for easier access, search for what you’re looking for, and more. It’s an intuitive menu, and easy to navigate even for beginners.

What Devices Can I Use with DIRECTV NOW?

DIRECTV NOW requires a compatible device, but the good news is that most devices work (including the device you’re using to read this article, most likely!) Some DIRECTV NOW devices include:

  • Streaming players, like Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast
  • Mobile devices, from Android and iOS
  • Web browsers on PC/Mac, including Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari.

DIRECTV NOW is a new service, so the device selection is lacking a few devices, but it will be expanded rapidly. Most of the time, you’ll want to use DIRECTV NOW on your TV, which will require a streaming device like an Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, etc. DIRECTV NOW actually offers some device deals for new customers, so if you’re in need of one, go through the signup process and you’ll be prompted to select a free or discounted device.

How Does DIRECTV NOW Work? Step by Step Guide

To answer the question of how does DIRECTV NOW work as simply as possible, we’ve put together these step-by-step instructions.

  1. Click here to sign up for a free 7-day trial
  2. Choose your package (starts at $35 per month for 60+ channels)
  3. Sign into your DIRECTV NOW account on any compatible device
  4. If you use a streaming device, connect the device to your TV & the internet
  5. Browse through the DIRECTV NOW menu to find something to watch
  6. Kick back, and enjoy the show!
  7. You can also download the app for your other devices, like your smartphone, to use later.

DIRECTV NOW does not require a contract, so no need to commit long-term. The free trial offer actually allows you to explore the service for free, so that’s a great way to start things out.

Austin Meadows