DirecTV Now (AT&T’s OTT service) has confirmed reports that the service will be ditching support for Safari and Internet Explorer in favor of exclusively relying on Google’s Chrome browser. This is a stark change from DirecTV Now’s previous stance which supported Safari and Internet Explorer since its launch.
The news was first reported by AppleInsider, and was revealed to customers via an in-app notification when they tried to log into the OTT service. The notification reads:
“For our best streaming experience, DIRECTV NOW will live exclusively on Google Chrome when accessed via your computer. We will no longer be supporting Safari or Internet Explorer browsers after June. And of Course the DIRECTV NOW App will still be your go-to when streaming on your mobile devices.”
The notification outlines the timing of the change, making it clear that both Internet Explorer and Safari will no longer be supported as of June 2017. However, the notice does not give any insight into why the change is taking place. After all, the support was already there! Why take it away? Well, there could be a few reasons for this change.
The first, and most obvious, possibility is that DirecTV Now is planning to a website overhaul and may have encountered compatibility issues with these other browsers. Historically, Google Chrome is incredibly compatible with basically any website. On the other hand, Internet Explorer has always had the opposite reputation.
Another possibility that has been making its way through the rumor mill is that this browser exclusion is a direct response to the Playon issues that have been plaguing DirecTV Now. Playon uses Internet Explorer to record DirecTV Now content to watch at a later time–a clear violation of DirecTV Now’s terms and conditions. The service does not work on Chrome, which would be a clear incentive for AT&T to make this switch.
Whatever the reason, the change is in effect which means if you plan on watching DirecTV Now on a computer, it’s time to embrace Google Chrome. AT&T has not made any comments other than the original notification about their reasons behind the change.