DIRECTV NOW streaming player

Review: AT&T’s New DIRECTV NOW Streaming Player (Powered by Android TV)

This week Cord Cutters News went hands-on with the new AT&T streaming player for DIRECTV NOW.

You can find our full review on YouTube here:

This new device is likely to be used for both DIRECTV NOW and a new DIRECTV streaming version AT&T announced last year. The device is an Android TV-powered streaming player called Osprey. (AT&T will likely change the name before release.) It is likely this will be the set-top box for the reported DIRECTV streaming version. According to reports, AT&T wants to offer a streaming version of DIRECTV that will include the same contracts and channels but without the dish on your house, removing the need to send a tech to your house or pay for an expensive satellite in space. For now, they are likely using DIRECTV NOW to test it and will likely also offer it as an option for DIRECTV NOW customers.

Do You Need a DIRECTV NOW Account?

During our testing, we found the device only seems to work if you have a DIRECTV NOW account. As best we can tell, there is no way to use the device without a DIRECTV NOW account. We tried to get around the DIRECTV NOW account login requirement but could not find a way to do that.

Update: AT&T confirmed to Cord Cutters News that right now you need a DIRECTV NOW account to use the device. They went on to say that does not necessarily mean the devices will need an account once on the market.

App Support

This device also does not support Netflix and Amazon, which means you need a second streaming player if you want to watch something on Netflix or Amazon. Beyond that, the streaming player does have access to the full Google Play store for Android TV.

Update: AT&T confirmed to Cord Cutters News that they are working to get their new devices certified with different 3rd party apps.

Final Thoughts

This is a decent Android TV player, but the lack of Netflix and Amazon really holds it back. The remote is nice, but it feels a bit stiff and delayed at times.

The main selling point for this player is the ability to use the keypad to switch channels. This DIRECTV NOW player has the same channel numbers that you will find with DIRECTV allowing you to switch between channels easily.

This is still a beta device early in its testing. It is not perfect, but it shows promise. Yet if you want this for DIRECTV NOW you may find that beyond the ability to use channel numbers there is not anything here to make you want to replace your Roku or Fire TV.

Do you plan to get the new DIRECTV NOW streaming player? Leave us a comment and let us know what you like about the new streaming player.

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