AT&T TV has a cloud DVR. What’s that?

AT&T TV is the latest evolution of pay TV. It takes the things people like about traditional pay TV, like a real guide, channel numbers, and a DVR, and it adds the ability to connect to streaming services. The product is completely internet-based, meaning no time-consuming installation. It’s not the only streaming pay-TV product, that’s true. It’s an evolutionary mix of DIRECTV Satellite and the streaming-only DIRECTV NOW product. Unlike DIRECTV NOW (later renamed AT&T TV NOW), AT&T TV relies on a high-powered streaming box to give you all the features you need. It also lets you use your own streaming box, phone or tablet to watch programs, but it’s a slightly different experience.

But let’s talk about that “Cloud DVR.”

AT&T TV devices don’t have hard drives built into them like traditional DVRs. Instead, their content all comes from the internet. It’s not a new idea. It’s been around for roughly 15 years in one form or another. But it’s really come into its own the last few years because people finally have internet that’s fast enough to handle it.

A cloud DVR is really a very large group of servers that record literally everything that everyone wants. Every program from every local and national channel that’s been requested. It’s all stored somewhere in a massive data center.

When you tell your AT&T TV box to record something, it doesn’t make a special recording for you, not unless you’re literally the only person in the country who’s recording that thing. Instead it just gives you access to the recording that’s already been made.

There’s a lot of benefit to this approach. It’s actually less expensive than putting millions of DVRs out in the world. You can watch your recordings from anywhere, and if your current box breaks, you don’t lose your recordings.

There’s more, too. There’s no limit to the number of things you can record at once. AT&T allocates you 500 hours of storage, which is more than enough for most people, especially since many shows are also available on demand. It’s a lot more elegant than the traditional DVR model.

Pausing and rewinding live TV

The AT&T TV box does support pausing and rewinding live TV, just like a traditional DVR. This is done through a mix of wizardry. The box itself has enough memory to buffer a little of what you’re watching, and of course the server on the other end can switch over to recorded TV anytime you need it. Unlike a traditional DVR, though, pressing the record button doesn’t store a recording on your device. It’s all done over the internet, somewhere else.

Are you ready to make the jump to AT&T TV?

AT&T TV can be self-installed and it doesn’t require any holes in the walls. When you get the device, you connect it to your TV, plug it into the wall outlet, and the system walks you through everything else. There’s no install window, no worrying about damage to an apartment, and no problem if you just want to pick it up and take it to another location. It’s that easy.

When you’re ready to make the jump, call Signal Connect at 866-726-4182. We’re AT&T dealers and can get you all set up. AT&T TV is the future of live TV, and when you’re ready for it, we’re ready for you.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.