AT&T is pushing hard to get you streaming DirecTV on your smartphone. An update to the DirecTV iOS and Android apps mean you can now stream many more of the TV channels you can get at home. In The Verge‘s testing, the only big exceptions were most local channels and a handful of sports channels like the NFL Network. Oh, and you now have an easy way to watch recorded shows — you can either download them to watch offline or stream them directly from your DVR.
The move isn’t completely surprising. DirecTV is gearing up to launch dedicated streaming services that won’t require a satellite subscription, and a large chunk of the provider’s existing selection will be available on mobile. It only makes sense to offer a similar mix to customers who do subscribe to satellite TV.
The update doesn’t come without some concerns. AT&T is also promising that DirecTV mobile streaming won’t count toward your data cap if you’re one of its wireless subscribers. While that’s good news if you like catching up on TV during your commute it’s also bound to raise eyebrows among net neutrality advocates. They’re concerned that exemptions like this may violate net neutrality by effectively punishing customers who prefer competing services.
AT&T tells us that it’s “not treating our services differently” than other data and is merely “saying thanks to customers” who use both services (you can read its full statement below). Other companies can do the same through the Sponsored Data program, the carrier says. However, there’s no denying it — this still means that you’ll have to limit your viewing for the majority of services that don’t participate in the program, like Hulu or Netflix, and won’t face that restriction with DirecTV.
“We are not treating our services differently from any other data. This feature is simply our way of saying thanks to customers that purchase both video and mobility services from AT&T. Other content providers can do the same thing through our sponsored data program.”