If you’re interested in AT&T’s free HBO deal, but don’t want to pay for DirecTV Now, it is possible. And Thaddeus Hunt does a great job of running through the steps necessary to make it happen. From his piece on the subject:
There was still the elephant in the room though – how do you get a login account for a video service without paying for another subscription?
The good news is that you can, but it sure as hell isn’t obvious.
I’ve been on AT&T’s true unlimited data plan since the iPhone launched in 2007. That is, until just a few days ago when my wife and I switched to this new Unlimited Plus plan. It was mostly financially motivated — over the past year or two the old unlimited plans went from $30 a month to $40. All told, moving to this new plan should save us about $25 on our cellular bill.
Having the Unlimited Plus plan also means that we can finally use tethering on our iPhones — a feature that has been around for years, but AT&T never enabled it for unlimited data customers. On trips with questionable Wi-Fi access, I’ll now be able to share my iPhone’s data connection with my iPad, which reduces the likelihood of me ever owning an iPad with cellular connectivity to nearly zero.
Before signing up for the new plan I made a list of a small handful of question and called AT&T for some clarification. The biggest question I had was about the free HBO that they had been advertising — will I have to subscribe to DirecTV Now in order to receive it?
I had the same experience as Thaddeus — the representative lied, telling me that I had to subscribe to one of AT&T’s video services in order to receive the free HBO deal. Disappointed, I ended up switching my plan anyway — I really wanted access to tethering and the cost savings was just too high to ignore.
After mentioning the decision on Twitter, my buddy Matthew Lanier walked me through the process of signing up for DirecTV Now without having to pay for a subscription. I still can’t believe how terrible AT&T’s messaging has been about this deal, but I’m glad to have some new features tied to my cellular service and save some money along the way.