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 … Read more

DirecTV Unveils Video Streaming Android Box

An industry peer passed along a fascinating invite soliciting existing DirecTV Now customers to test a new AT&T Android streaming set-top first uncovered by Variety. As to why this box needs to exist, I can’t quite say… given the great options AT&T and DirecTV already leverage, like the similarly Android-powered Amazon Fire TV. But AT&T/DirecTV … Read more

New TiVo Experience Hits Mobile Apps

TiVo is out with a massive refresh of its Android and Apple iOS apps this week. Most notable is the extension of the TiVo Experience 4 (aka Hydra and Mira) to mobile. And. I gotta say, I actually prefer Hydra here (vs TV lean back) – it provides a snappy and sleek modern look that works well in this content. TiVo also indicates we should expect a variety of streaming performance improvements with more granular config options. Bonus: iPhone X support.

However, as with all initial TiVo releases, to get the software out the door in a timely fashion (one presumes), a number of features have been excised: Downloaded shows are no longer grouped within folders (see bottom left pic) and you can no longer swipe to delete. Also possibly in the negative column, remote control visuals have been updated… dropping the iconic peanut presentation, with mixed results. Still no iPhone cellular streaming, although I’m told it’s on the roadmap.

Read moreNew TiVo Experience Hits Mobile Apps

AirTV To Repurpose Legacy Slingbox Hardware

By way of AFTVNews, we learn that DISH went back to the well.

AirTV was originally conceptualized as a network tuner designed to stream local OTA into SlingTV apps, on various platforms, alongside the premium content. However, what they ended up launching was a Playskool-looking Android TV box, with optional tuner, for local antenna TV playback only. But, for 2018, it looks like DISH’s AirTV LLC subsidiary has two new boxes on the docket.

Read moreAirTV To Repurpose Legacy Slingbox Hardware

Channel Master Preps OTA Android TV Streamer

By way of Twitter, we gather Channel Master has licensed the Technicolor Skipper and is poised to introduce it as the Stream+ at CES in January. The Skipper is a 4K Android TV set-top box, with voice control remote, and over-the-air capabilities… which will hopefully see greater uptake as the Stream+ versus the competing and largely forgotten DISH AirTV, also produced by Technicolor. Stream+ joins CM’s OTA DVR+ in their post-antenna lineup. And given that DVR button on the Stream+ remote, perhaps we’ll be fortunate enough to see some interplay between the devices or even local recording capabilities via USB drive – in addition to requisite cord cutting streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu. Stay tuned!

Skipper details:

  • Out of the box industrial design
  • Android TV certified
  • OTT and Live TV services with optional Broadcast TV services
  • 4K Ultra HD: HEVC/VP9 Ultra HD 2160p/60 video
  • Wireless Connectivity: Dual band IEEE 802.11n 2.4 GHz (2×2) and IEEE 802.11ac 5 GHz (2×2) interfaces
  • Media sharing functions using a USB 3.0 port for plugging of HDD
  • Enhanced user experience with 3D graphics
  • Future-proof quad core CPU ready for gaming services
  • Bluetooth Low Energy remote with voice control

Read moreChannel Master Preps OTA Android TV Streamer

Digital Media Bytes

A periodic roundup of relevant news… Comcast Appears to Soft Launch First 4K DVR Dish Network is quietly putting Android TV in hotel rooms DISH Hopper integrates with Amazon Alexa for hands-free TV Amazon Video can now stream in 4K on Xbox One S Android TV to gain new home launcher and Google Assistant with … Read more

TiVo Mavrik is an OTA Cloud DVR!

Along with the TiVo Mavrik leaks comes word that a new Android app is also en route… and, with it, the refreshed interface and confirmation of cloud storage for your local antenna television recordings! From the Amazon app description: This is a TiVo App that works as user interface for OTA Streaming, Diskless Cloud DVR TiVo Device … Read more

Android TV is Fantastic. Well Mostly

Fellow tech enthusiast and DC neighbor Joel Ward jumps back into his role as a Features contributor here at Zatz Not Funny. Beyond ZNF, Joel can be found at Joelsef Explains It All and @joelsef on Twitter.

I recently picked up a new Sony TV with Android TV for our living room. This television replaced a Sony LCD HDTV from the late 2000s. That set hails from an era when the majority of TVs were dumb — no built-in apps that today’s smart TVs feature. But I increased its intelligence by first adding a Windows Media Center PC back in 2009, then experimenting with Google TV, Boxee, Chromecast, and ultimately settling on Roku 3 as our over-the-top streamer.

androidtvhome

We arrive in 2016 and it’s nearly impossible to find a decent television over 30″ without some sort of “smart” designation and apps aplenty. That’s why I decided to go with a Sony this time around. The last time we refreshed a TV (for a different room, back in 2013) we went with a Samsung and its Samsung Smart Hub. In the three years we’ve had that TV, Samsung has pared down the 2013 TV’s UI to the very basics and removed many of the original features. It still has apps, including Netflix and HBO, but it’s nothing like what Roku offers.

Our new Sony X800D series runs Android TV and Sony has Android TV across most of its television line now. Besides the Nvidia Shield and now defunct Google Nexus Player, Sony is the biggest player in Android TV at the moment, although Sharp and Philips have options as well.

androidtvhome5

Read moreAndroid TV is Fantastic. Well Mostly