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There are many questions out there on the Directv forums if you will have the free data streaming if would use your At&t phone as a hotspot to stream the Directvnow app on another device.
In short: Yes, but there are few requirements.

Getting the Directvnow app and subscription in combination with your At&t phone is a game changer. Directvnow won’t count towards your data allowance if you use the app on your At&t connected phone or tablet. However many of us just have a connected phone and we use these phones as hotspots to access data on our tablets and computers. Watching TV on a small phone screen might be OK but not really ideal. Watching it on a Tablet is definitely better. And watching DirectTVnow on the Apple TV is of course amazing.

The big question in all the Directv forums has been as follows. Would it be free data if I use the app on a different device while connected to an At&t Hotspot or Home Internet Service?

I was thinking in adding the home service to my remote cabin since I have great connection there. And with the $35 Directvnow I could have phone, Internet and Directvnow for just $55/month if I added it as an extra to my existing Mobile share plan. But my question still remained.

So I went on a Chat today with the Directvnow people to see what the answer is. Below follows the transcript of my chat which I have an image of on the bottom of this article.

AT&T: Welcome to DIRECTV NOW. May we have your name while we pull together resources and links to help get us started?
You: Johan van Mierlo
Sarah T: Hello and thank you for your patience. How can I assist you today?
You: Would I use free data If I use my directtvnow app on my ipad connected to the hotspot of my AT&T phone?
Sarah T: Let me check on that for you. One moment.
Sarah T: Great news! It looks like it would be part of the data free TV if you used the hotspot of your phone to connect to the ipad!
You: Hmmm it is very conflicting since there are no clear answers on the forums:
https://forums.att.com/t5/Streaming-to-Devices/Hotspot-from-iPhone-to-iPad-still-free-AT-amp-T-DirecTV-data/m-p/4988780/highlight/true#M77
Sarah T: Here is the information we have provided to us.

This comes directly from the information we have available to employees, so there isn’t a link, but here is the information copied: Requirements

Content must be streamed through the qualifying mobile app on a smartphone or tablet.
Eligible wireless: Requires active AT&T postpaid data service on eligible device. AT&T wireless usage subject to wireless service terms including those related to data speed.
Streaming may not work at reduced speed.
Postpaid Devices Supported:
Tablets
Smartphones
Mobile Hotspots
Mi-Fi devices
Smartphones or tablets with enabled hotspot 
Postpaid Wireless Home Phone Internet (WHPI)
WHPI is supported for streaming through the DIRECTV or U-verse App only.
WHPI is not supported for streaming content from the DIRECTV DVR.
Mobile device OS versions must be iOS 9.0 or higher or Android OS 4.0 or higher.

Sarah T: Does that help answer your question?
You: Yes it does, so this is great news. I guess the app on the Apple TV connected to a Hotspot wouldn’t qualify?
Sarah T: Correct. It only applies to streaming on Tablets or Phones.
You: So I can use my iPad directTVnow app connected to an Hotspot on my AT&T phone to stream free data TV!
Sarah T: Yes!
You: Awesome!
Sarah T: It is a great feature…I take advantage of it a lot myself. Was there anything else I could help you with today?
You: Thank you!
Sarah T: Thank you for being a DIRECTV NOW customer . To exit this chat, please click the X button on the top right hand corner of this chat box.
 

Conclusion

As you can see I have highlighted in Red what is really important.

  1. It only counts if you use the Directvnow app on a tablet or smartphone (iOS 9.0+ and Android OS 4.0+).
  2. Directly from your post paid (NOT PRE-PAID) At&t tablet or smartphone or other post paid devices like:
    – Mobile Hotspots
    – Mi-Fi devices
    – Smartphones or tablets with enabled hotspot 
    – Postpaid Wireless Home Phone Internet (WHPI)

If you use your Apple TV connected to any of these streaming devices you won’t have free data since the app is not being used on a Tablet or Smartphone.

This chat with this information was said to be only internally and there is no link for it. But you can use this article and this chat to make your case if you losing data on your end which you shouldn’t.

Happy streaming with Directvnow! I know I will stream the ball drop on New Years eve.

Click image for larger version.

 
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