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What you need to know about DVR on DirecTV Now

It's free, but there's a catch.


John-Michael Bond


Posted on Mar 20, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 4:42 pm CDT

DirecTV Now has undergone significant changes in recent weeks, introducing two new channel packages and raising the cost of its existing offerings. Thankfully, the service will continue to offer free cloud DVR, but the feature still has room to grow.

Here’s everything you need to know about DVR on DirecTV Now: how much it costs, how it works, and where it falls short.

Does DirecTV Now have DVR?

After an extended period with a beta service, DirecTV Now rolled out its True Cloud DVR service in August 2018. The service offers 20 hours of cloud DVR and the option to upgrade for additional space.

DirecTV Now DVR cost

Currently, DirecTV Now’s DVR service is free for all subscribers, giving everyone 20 hours of space. Extra recording space is reportedly going to be available in the future for an additional fee, but details on pricing are pending. Membership to DirecTV Now starts at $40 per month.

You can read a complete rundown of DirecTV Now’s pricing and packages here.


How DirecTV Now DVR features work

DirecTV Now has a cloud DVR that works across all your devices, letting you watch on-the-go or at home with ease. DirecTV Now’s DVR uses the same familiar DVR interface as classic Direct TV and other traditional DVRs. Users select the program they’d like to watch, hit record, and wait until later.  

The 20-hour limit is frustrating, but there’s a way around it to catch your favorite show. For the times you forget to set your DVR, or you’re running out of space, DirecTV Now also has a DVR-like feature called 72-hour Lookback. If you forget to record something, many channels on DirecTV Now support this feature, which lets you watch programs that have aired in the last 72 hours. At press time, only the following DirecTV Now channels support 72-hour Lookback:

  • A&E
  • AUDIENCE Network
  • AXS TV
  • BET
  • BTN
  • Cartoon Network East
  • CMT
  • CNN
  • Comedy Central
  • Cooking Channel
  • DIY
  • Food Network
  • FS1
  • FS2
  • FX
  • FXX
  • FYI
  • GalaVision
  • Hallmark
  • Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
  • HGTV
  • History
  • HLN (Headline News)
  • Lifetime
  • MTV
  • MTV2
  • National Geographic
  • Nat Geo Wild
  • Nickelodeon East
  • Paramount
  • TBS
  • TCM
  • TNT
  • Travel Channel
  • truTV
  • TV Land
  • UniMas
  • Univision East
  • Viceland
  • VH1

DirecTV Now DVR limitations

We’ll repeat this: 20 hours of DVR recording space isn’t enough. Of course, you won’t have a ton of time to fill it, since recordings get deleted after 30 days. When you run out of DVR space, your oldest recordings will be automatically deleted to make room for new shows. If you run out of space and want to protect a favorite show, you can delete old records in the My Library section of your account.

According to DirecTV Now customer support, the company is planning on adding a second tier offering 100 hours of DVR space soon, but no pricing details are currently available.

DirecTV Now DVR local channels

DirecTV Now’s cloud DVR doesn’t face any hard local channels restrictions, but that doesn’t mean you won’t run into blocked shows. Some sporting events are blacked out from local affiliates by the teams. Also, DirecTV Now doesn’t have deals in every market that include DVR for local affiliates, so your local channels may not be able to record. Unfortunately, DirecTV Now doesn’t list which areas are subject to these restrictions. Thankfully, DirecTV Now does offer a free trial subscription, so you have time to see if this is an issue for your family.

New to cord-cutting? Here are our picks for the best movie streaming sites of 2018 and free live TV apps and channels. If you’re looking for a specific channel, here’s how to watch HBO, Showtime, Starz, Sundance TV, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, Willow, AMC, FX, Fox News, Freeform, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, FS1, TBS, TNT, Tennis Channel, Golf Channel, Syfy, HGTV, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Bravo, Lifetime, Discovery, PBS, the CW, BBC, CSPAN, NBA TV, MTV, Comedy Central, Food Network, TLC, HLN, A&E, Animal Planet, National Geographic, the Weather Channel, the History Channel, and NFL RedZone without cable, as well as free movies on YouTube. If you’re on the move, here’s how to watch Fox Sports Go and live stream NBC Sports.

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*First Published: Mar 20, 2019, 5:30 am CDT