ATT TV - a little review

Discussion in 'Internet Streaming Services' started by lparsons21, Apr 27, 2020.

  1. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I wonder what the hold-up is on those? I can see the Prime app being delayed because of the larger dispute between AT&T and Amazon over HBO Max distribution. As for Hulu, perhaps AT&T is asking for an Android TV version of the app that doesn't support Hulu's live TV and premium add-ons. Hulu did make a version like that for Comcast/Cox X1.

    Are you able to find and install the Peacock app for Android TV on the AT&T TV box?

    I'm finding increasingly little reason to bother with my OTA DVR these days, especially after picking a Hulu subscription back up. I was mainly just using the DVR to record the evening newscasts from NBC and CBS, as well as a couple of Sunday morning news talk shows. But I see that Peacock streams NBC Nightly News every day, and Sunday's Meet the Press (although I don't know how long in either case you have to wait for the new episode to appear on Peacock). I can watch This Week on Hulu. There's one PBS show I began recording recently because it's not in the PBS app: Escape to the Chateau. But I was happily surprised to find that the entire series is available in Peacock.

    So I guess I have an OTA DVR for those occasions when I want to watch 60 Minutes or CBS Evening News. (Both shows are available chopped up into out-of-order clips in the CBS News app but that's not how I prefer to watch them.)

    I've never subbed to CBSAA or SundanceNow. I did the one-week free trial of Disney+ back around Christmas just to check it out and watch a movie with the family. As I don't have children and I'm not really into comics or Star Wars, there's just not much reason for me to keep it.

    I do find Hulu to have a ton of content though and now that it's the streaming arm of FX, it also has a lot of quality stuff. Recently watched Devs and now watching Mrs. America.
     
  2. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    The Peacock is available for the ATT box though it didn’t show up until a bit later in the day because of some Google glitch in their store from some posts I’ve seen.

    For me Hulu was the way to get next day broadcast and a few others. As well as the, for me, rare original that was of interest. Now I’m pretty much caught up and have recently switched to with ads since I don’t watch there much. And yeah, it is nice that FX is there, but as with pretty much everything these days, no new shows or episodes.

    Assuming no major changes in how things jell going forward, when my AT&T sub hits the anniversary I’ll probably do some shuffling and cancel AT&T unless they offer some discounted 2nd year price. Overall I like the service and the little box, just not a $93/month like though.
     
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  3. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Looks like ATT finally fixed the missing DD5.1 audio on their little box. Working today even though there isn’t any indication of an update.
     
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  4. swyman18

    swyman18 Legend

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    Yeah, just noticed that as well. Guess the issue was not specifically from an update, but rather something on their end or with the stream it connects to.
     
  5. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    A few people have indicated they had to pull the power from the ATT box and wait about 20 seconds and then plug it back in to get the DD5.1 to work.

    In my case just a restart activated it.
     
  6. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    I was thinking about this over the weekend. ATT TV’s little box is just so nice to use with its service and with streaming in general. It would be even nicer if all these streaming services would play nicer!

    ATT doesn’t allow Amazon Prime or Hulu on their box and there doesn’t seem to be any simple way to sideload them. And some postings indicate that even if you do the performance or usability of the apps is a bit hinky.

    ATT’s community experts claim it is because they compete with ATT, but that’s also true of YTTV and Sling, both of which are available for the ATT box.

    And then ATT, Amazon and Roku seem to want to battle about HBO Max and Peacock though in the case of ATT, the Peacock app is available.

    Apple seems to be the most welcoming to the streamers on their AppleTV but doesn’t provide an AppleTV+ app for Android.

    Yeah, I know I can use Chromecast with the ATT box, and it does it very well, but I just don’t like it because the playback controls are on the phone/tablet instead of on the remote for the device.
     
  7. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, all these business conflicts between the various media/tech giants can cause headaches for us consumers.

    As for Hulu, I don't know why they're not on the AT&T TV box. First off, if anyone is using that box, it's because they have AT&T TV service, so I don't really see how Hulu with Live TV is competition. But even then, there's no reason why Hulu can't make an Android TV version of their app that only supports the core service, not any of their add-ons. That's what they've done for the Comcast/Cox X1 platform. And given that a growing number of US MVPDs are using Android TV on their STBs (either on their own or in conjunction with TiVo), it seems like it would be in Hulu's interest to create a similar "core" version of their app for distribution direct to those boxes.

    As for Prime Video, they're on a number of different Android TV devices and MVPD boxes. Only reason I can think why they're not on the AT&T TV box yet is because of the larger standoff over HBO Max distribution by Amazon. Which is a shame.
     
  8. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Well today was sideload day!! :)

    Sideloaded both Amazon Prime and Hulu onto the ATT Osprey box. Prime works great! Hulu, no audio at all. Tried restarting the box, re-installing the app and so forth and still no audio except once during an ad, never in an actual show.
     
  9. techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

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    I think I mentioned this before. There is nothing wrong with the Prime app on Android TV devices Amazon forces new Android TV device operators to negotiate with them on carriage of the Prime Video app. AT&T can't block any app for any reason but Amazon can as the app developer. One reason Amazon is pissed at WarnerMedia is where WM updated the HBO Now Android TV app into HBO Max it prevents Amazon from using a standalone HBO app as a workaound for their HBO-Prime Video subscribers on impacted devices.

    Disney only blocks their apps from specific Android TV devices when an issue arrises. Eventually (once Disney manages to get around to it) they will fix the audio issue with Hulu on an impacted device and re-add it back. If you are going to sideload a version of Hulu onto Osprey you will need v2.1.3 (last version of "Hulu Classic".) The beta Osprey box I got off of eBay had this version and is how I was able to watch Hulu on Osprey.

    Casting for both Prime Video and Hulu works perfectly.
     
  10. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Thanks. Got v2.1.3 and installed and working just fine. That is one ugly UI!! But it works.

    Yes, I know casting works but I’ve never liked casting because it just means another box in the way since you have to control from the phone/tablet.
     
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  11. Aug 1, 2020 #271 of 284
    lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Pretty much using just the AT&T box since I’ve got Amazon Prime and Hulu installed along with a few other apps. Even though Hulu is an old version it still give DD5.1 on some shows which it doesn’t do on the AppleTV.

    Most of the time things are fine but now and then the AT&T box just gets very slow in operation for no apparent reason. A bit irritating.

    Would use the FireTV Cube (2nd gen) if it did thumbnails with FF/REW, as it is much quicker in switching apps. And since most of the time, I’m not actually watching AT&T service since live TV is such a dud these days, that is a bit important.

    On the AppleTV4K I’ve set the trackpad to ‘slow’ response since that works better for me. Still don’t like the remote though.
     
  12. Aug 1, 2020 #272 of 284
    compnurd

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    I think it needs to cache more data in memory
     
  13. Aug 1, 2020 #273 of 284
    swyman18

    swyman18 Legend

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    A bit off topic, but it’s kind of irritating at the lack of consistency of DD5.1 audio on Hulu across the various devices. Pretty much everything is DD5.1 on the Hulu app on my FireTV and Shield, but on the AppleTV even some of the newer shows don’t have it. Very strange.
     
  14. Aug 1, 2020 #274 of 284
    espaeth

    espaeth AllStar

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    One big positive for ATT / ATT TV Now: clean de-interlacing of 1080i native channels.

    With the return of sports I took a fresh look at YoutubeTV, FuboTV, Hulu Live, Sling, and ATT TV Now. Sling is somehow still de-interlacing most 1080i channels into 30fps feeds, meanwhile everyone else is doing adaptive de-interlacing to keep a 60fps feed for major news and sports channels. Hulu does 60fps across the board and does pretty well to preserve sharpness, but introduces combing artifacts when de-interlacing fast motion. Fubo is a mix of 1080i into 60fps (most sports channels) or 30fps (most general channels like Discovery, A&E, etc), but suffers the same interlacing artifacts as Hulu. YoutubeTV is also 60fps for all channels and does better with artifacts, but the result is a rather soft picture using their current algorithm. Almost all of the services pick up occasional stutter - particularly in arenas that have radio-controlled strobes for still photography; the sudden flash throws most of the algorithms into skipping frames. The only service that didn't have that happen was ATT.

    Now that pricing has re-adjusted across the board, the ATT TV Now packages don't seem entirely terrible. They have pretty wide gaps in Plus and Max missing major groups like Discovery/Scripps and A&E Networks, but they seem to have most of the channels with live events.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020 at 12:22 AM
  15. Aug 1, 2020 #275 of 284
    lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    It needs more RAM and more storage IMO. Sometimes you have to clear out the cache to even install an app. And it is a PITA to do as there is no ‘clear all cache’ selection at all, you have to go to settings and each app to clear it.

    FireTV does it better by far. If the FireTV version of the app used thumbnails I would be using it.
     
  16. Aug 1, 2020 #276 of 284
    lparsons21

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    Hulu says they don’t do DD5.1 on AppleTV at all and I’ve not run across any show yet on it that does.
     
  17. Aug 1, 2020 #277 of 284
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    No doubt that would help. Although I don't read complaints at all about the snappiness of newer Android TV streamers like the TiVo Stream 4K, the AirTV Mini, or the Verizon Stream TV. They all have only 2 GB of RAM too, same as the AT&T TV box (and only 8 GB of storage, half as much as AT&T TV). Although they're all running on a newer chipset (the Amlogic S905X2 or -Y2) with Android TV 9. (The upcoming device for TVision, as well as Google's own forthcoming Android TV dongle, will also use that same proven design.)

    The AT&T TV box is on Android TV 8. That thing was designed like three years ago and then AT&T took forever to get AT&T TV launched. So the hardware and software were both a bit dated by this year.
     
  18. Aug 1, 2020 #278 of 284
    lparsons21

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    I’ve seen both the Tivo Stream 4K and the AirTV Mini and while they are quicker than the AT&T device it isn’t nearly as much a difference as between any of those compared to current FireTV products or even the current Roku Ultra.

    Doesn’t help that AT&T hasn’t really done anything with their box but a few bug fixes and a new remote since its release about 3 years ago. Reminds me of DirecTV’s sloppy programming and updates that made things slower over time.
     
  19. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    I think the ram is ok. I get the storage for people who load on apps. Me I have 3 apps installed. Maybe 4. Hopefully at some point we see Android 9 or 10 come to it
     
  20. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Ram is skimpy and Android works better with more ram. Or at least that is the case with other Android devices. As to storage, well yeah, if you don’t need/want many apps then it isn’t an issue. But for those of us that are working on having the “one box” you need those apps.

    Since I’ve got Prime and Hulu sideloaded I often find myself using the AT&T box, not because it is the best performer of the bunch of devices I have, but because of the great remote for it, and performance is usually OK but can get real sluggish at times.
     

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