There are many, many things to dislike about traditional cable, but one of the most outdated is probably the DVR technology. At a time when all your smartphone pictures are seamlessly synced across devices, anything you record from TV lingers in a hard drive, only accessible by sitting in front of your TV and pushing buttons on a remote.
There is, of course, a better way: Cloud DVR, which records programs on a server somewhere and makes them accessible on any device. DirecTV Now, AT&T’s streaming TV service, has just added cloud DVR to all its streaming plans for free. Although it’s not the first company to add cloud DVR, most other plans charge extra for the service, while AT&T is giving it to its subscribers for free.
The free plan lets users record up to 20 hours of video for a maximum of 30 days, while an extra $10 per month gets you 100 hours of recording for 90 days. To access the feature, you’ll need to be using the latest version of the DirecTV Now app on iOS, Apple TV, or the web browser. Support for other platforms, including Android, Roku, and Chromecast, is set to come in the next few weeks. The revamped app also changes up the layout and search functions to make them a little more friendly.
In addition to the cloud DVR functions, DirecTV Now has also changed a few smaller features. You can now watch your local channels more easily when you’re away from home, which is helpful for anyone who uses the service while travelling and wants to watch local news or sports. An extra $5 per month option also lets you add a third concurrent stream, which is good if you’ve got a big family or friends who like leeching off your service.