Apple TV 4K

Here we go again. DirecTV Now — which has been hemorrhaging customers for the past few months — has renewed a promotion that helped jump-start it in the first place. If you're a new customer and prepare for four months of service in advance, you'll get a free 32-gigabyte Apple TV 4K.

That's not an awful deal, but it's also maybe not quite as good as it sounds.

First, the hardware. Apple TV 4K is still the best all-around streaming box you can buy. Period. That hasn't changed for us in a long while. Though we do recommend buying the 64-gigabyte model of Apple TV 4K — and therein lies our first dilemma. You can buy the 32GB Apple TV 4K from Amazon for $179. Or get twice as much storage for just $20 more. And more storage is always a good thing. DirecTV Now's deal requires you do prepay $200 worth of service for the lesser Apple TV 4K.

That's Problem No. 1.

The other issues is that DirecTV Now's new $50 package — they call it their "Plus" plan — only has 40-some-odd channels. It does include HBO, though, which is something — especially as Game of Thrones comes back this month — but, still. There are more robust options available.

So that's Problem No. 2.

There's also a third problem here, which very much is inside baseball and its AT&T's alone to bear: We just closed out the first quarter of 2019. So when AT&T releases its earnings report later this month, any subscriptions gained from this new promotion won't be reflected, and the headlines aren't likely to be good in that regard.

But, anyway. If you want a relatively "free" Apple TV 4K, go for it. This deal is better than nothing.

And here's the fine print, for those who are concerned with such things:

4K Apple TV (32 GB): Ends 4/30/2019. New sub's only. Must prepay first four months of service at full price. Requires minimum $50/mo. subscription before taxes. Device and prepayment are nonrefundable. New subscribers only. Online orders will be shipped via FedEx ground to address provided. Allow 1-2 weeks for delivery. Offer limited to 1 per DIRECTV NOW account; 2 per shipping address. Not combinable with select offers. 4k HD not avail. w/DIRECTV NOW.

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Apple TV 4K

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