Unboxing DirecTV Now Android TV Streamer

Beta testers, such as a well-connected associate, have begun receiving AT&T’s DirecTV Now Android TV streaming box.

Both the packaging and startup sequence prominently display that “beta” designation – and with good reason. While DirecTV Now fires up fast, a subset of cloud DVR programming is conspicuously unavailable. As full-on Android TV, the Google Assistant is present, you can link up your personal YouTube account, and additional apps are available for installation, like an Apple TV or Roku. However, my pal is somewhat disappointed that there’s no Roku- or TiVo-esque universal search capabilities (yet?) to tie it all together in a sensible manner.

Interestingly, the company bundled what looks to be a legit DirecTV power supply… adding to the mystery surrounding the hardware, as some have speculated this set-top and service will ultimately replace AT&T U-verse. Not to mention that Bluetooth remote has a large, vacant area that seems destined to display some sort of branding. So we’ll continue to speculate on the future of this slim and sprightly solution. 

16 thoughts on “Unboxing DirecTV Now Android TV Streamer”

  1. Can it tune in the other top OTT services?

    Amazon Prime
    HBO Now
    CBS All Access
    Sling TV

  2. Yes. If it’s available on Android TV, it’s available here. The interface photo I included shows some of that. Unfortunately, I don’t have the box in my possession, so I can’t take a video or do a deeper dive.

  3. fast forward and rewind don’t work most the time on Apple TV’s direct tv now app. Do they work well with this devuce?

  4. I’m wondering what the situation will be if I want to download and use YouTube TV (or Sling TV, or PS Vue, etc.) instead of using DirecTV Now. That’s what makes me think there will be a rental fee for the box.

  5. Timing seems strange. I was just reading that the Satellite DTV service is what this box is going to be for.

  6. Common, the company may not know yet and/or it could all be in flux – they have so many streaming and non-streaming services.

    Jay, if they want the app store I’m pretty sure it’s all or nothing.

    Mohannad, I assume so but will have to confirm.

  7. I’ll be honest l don’t see it replacing my Apple TV 4K but l do like the usb port that could possibly be for an external HD?

  8. I am a current user of Directv satellite with a DVR. I have found that since AT&T took thimgs over it has just turned into a mess with them. I will be cancelling my service with them in the next month or 2 since they not care what there customers want and ask for. I have been with them for around 15 years if that matters.

  9. DirecTV Now works perfect on Roku. Hulu live TV works even better. Since Hulu carries all my locals plus they finally added Discovery’s bundle, that’s where I’m staying.

    I also have too many TV boxes laying around everywhere, from trying different setups.

  10. Does this box handle UHD and HDR?
    How is DirecTV Now with recordings?
    I’m trying out YouTube TV right now and have been mostly pleased with it.

    I’ve recently gotten sick of the poor quality from FiOS and from OTA stations in the DC area. It’s so bad now that I’m considering dumping FiOS TV, OTA, and my TiVos in favor of a streaming service.

    But I need to go through all the streaming services again with their trials. To see how they stack up. They have come a long ways since I tried them out earlier last year. They seem to be very close to being a replacement I can use daily. At least YouTube TV seems that way right now.

  11. On paper, I like YouTube TV best. However, I now require both Nick Jr and Disney Jr – which means it’s Sling TV or DirecTV Now for me (although I currently get FiOS TV through HOA and don’t have to make a decision).

    Can’t imagine these services would meet your demanding pq requirements.

  12. When it boots, is the DirecTV app the root APP? Or does it boot to native Android and you have to launch the DirecTV app?

  13. I signed up to be a beta tester and was selected. It worked fine for about a month until I tried to program the remove via pairing. I followed the onscreen instructions (I believe it was push and hold mute and volume buttons for 3 secs) and it began flashing two blue lights constantly and will do nothing else. I cannot get it out of this mode. And the picture and sound now only display about 3 secs before going black. I reset the device–I changed batteries in the remote. Nothing works. The unit is basically dead. I contacted them and they said “they’d be in touch via email”. Yea, right.

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