ATT TV - a little review

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

  1. Apr 28, 2020 #21 of 2457
    lparsons21

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    On the ATV4K the app attempts to keep full screen video that skips ahead but it doesn’t do a good job of it.

    5.1 audio, well further reading from some old posts here and there indicate that there are a very few channels with 5.1 on the ATV. Unfortunately no one says which ones and I don’t fell like checking every channel.
     
  2. Apr 28, 2020 #22 of 2457
    lparsons21

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    Well this little trial run isn’t going as well as I had hoped for. There is only one way to describe the performance of the ATT TV app on the FireTV is ‘total crap’!

    Frequent crashes, slow to do anything at all, the only plus is it has 5.1 audio. Frankly that little ATT box they have sent me better really wow me or it is back to YTTV.

    ATT really needs to get off the dime and fix this app.

    Oh and they might want to look and see why, when I try to watch Hobbs & it comes up and says I don’t sub to HBO, but when I picked John Wick 3 on HBO it works fine.
     
  3. Apr 29, 2020 #23 of 2457
    techguy88

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    Just curious because I never tried the Fire TV Cube does it do that with the other apps? I know the Fire TV Stick is just awful in general when it comes to performance to the point I put it in my junk drawer and replaced it with a Google Chromecast on the bedroom TV. All the apps crashed frequently just like the AT&T TV app so I just thought it was the Fire TV Stick. The bad experience I had with the Fire TV Stick is one reason I decided to pick up an Nvidia Shield TV over a Fire TV Cube for the living room TV.
     
  4. Apr 29, 2020 #24 of 2457
    goldwing

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    I have never been able to get 5.1 audio using any of the fire tv h/w no matter what app i tried. From ATT Now, Sling TV, ESPN or even PBS apps. Tried with the 1st and 2nd gen sticks, the Fire TV and even the 4K stick. The ONLY exception was when i got a free 7 day trial of Amazon Prime and binged-watched Longmire series. For me audio quality is more important then video quality. I spent most of the Super Bowl using the ESPN app trying to get more then 2 channel audio to no avail. The 4k stream worked fine but what's the point if you can get good audio so ended up watching the second half using OTA. Pro Logic 2 just don't cut it for me lol. The next day i bought the Nvidia Shield and now i get all audio formats including all the HD uncompressed formats and never looked back. Maybe Amazon uses some type of proprietary audio stream????
     
  5. Apr 29, 2020 #25 of 2457
    lparsons21

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    Overall the FireTV is slower, not horribly slow, but slower. And some apps are real slugs on it, but not all. As to audio, I have a Samsung HW-K950 Atmos soundbar and if I set the audio output to Dolby Digital only I get 5.1 audio from apps that provide it. If I set it to Best Available, which is usually DD+ the soundbar doesn’t care for it and I only get front channels, this is something that changed a bit back but don’t remember when.

    The ATT box comes today so hopefully it will be OK. But if I had my druthers I’d rather have 5.1 audio on my AppleTV.
     
  6. Apr 29, 2020 #26 of 2457
    lparsons21

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    You know it is really irritating in the streaming world that the content providers don’t provide apps for all the major platforms. It is nice that seemingly all of them are available on the AppleTV and Roku boxes though there are some differences in how the apps work between them.

    ATT chose not to have their app available on Roku though it was there in the past. They also chose not to be on Android TVs though their own box is AndroidTV. And they chose to not have Hulu & Amazon Prime on their box. And they chose not to provide an app for Xbox One or PS3/4 even though those two are probably better hardware for these apps.

    Apple is good about being well supported by all the content providers but not so good about providing support for other platforms. Apple’s TV+ app is available on ATV, Roku and FireTV but not available on Xbox One and PS3/4.

    You would think that content providers would want their service available on as wide a range of hardware as possible. I could simplify my media setup quite a bit if it was so. Right now, theoretically the AppleTV should be that ‘one box’, but for those of us that want audio to be as good as the video, it isn’t. Hulu & ATT don’t provide 5.1 audio on ATV though they do on other platforms. There simply is no excuse for that.
     
  7. Apr 29, 2020 #27 of 2457
    lparsons21

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    I think I’ve figured out why the ATT app on the FireTV is such a slug. It seems that the app isn’t caching anything, instead downloading the info each time you change the screen.

    And that brings back the less than fond memories of the crappy software D* was nearly famous for! Did they ever fix Channels I Get?
     
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  8. Apr 29, 2020 #28 of 2457
    Rich

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    I have a Cube on every 4K TV set in the house. I just got through using them for a month or so. In the Amazon environment viewing Amazon content, they are not bad. But when you begin using other apps problems pop up frequently. I began streaming about the time Netflix came on the scene in 2007. At that time I was using NF for DVD rentals and just stumbled into the streaming thing. I think Apple designed the ATVs with NF in mind. The ATVs work very well with the NF app. Unfortunately, most apps (if not all apps) don't work nearly as well. Don't know who gets the blame for this, surely not NF or Apple.

    I can give you an example: I just ended an epic binge, watched the complete series of Cheers, and used the CBSAA app and Cubes and finally switched to ATVs. I watched 273 of the 275 episodes and that app made it difficult every day in a lot of ways on both platforms. I switch from TV set to TV set during the course of a day and I rarely got to the proper place when jumping from one set to another. Rarely happens when using NF but it was constant on CBSAA. Using a Cube and using trickplay caused all kinds of problems. It's obvious that the Cube isn't in the same ballpark as an ATV. When compared to a Fire Stick the Cube is obviously better. When compared to an ATV, the Cube...sucks. And at the "normal" price buying the Cube makes little sense. $119 for the Cube and $179 for the ATV. Yeah, $60 difference. I'd rather spend more on a streaming box and get the performance of an ATV. The Cubes are the best HDMI switches I've ever used and that's why I have one on each 4K set.

    I had an Nvidia Shield briefly a couple of years ago. Fastest box I've ever used. I like the ATVs better.

    Rich
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2020
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  9. Apr 29, 2020 #29 of 2457
    mjwagner

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    Interesting. That hasn’t been my experience with the FireTV Stick 4k. I have 3 of them and have found the performance to be excellent. At my two main viewing areas (HT and family room) I have a FireTV Stick 4k, Nvidia Shield, and ATV. 4k. The FireTV Stick 4ks work very well with very good performance.
     
  10. Apr 29, 2020 #30 of 2457
    Rich

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    I bought a few 4K Sticks when they came out. This is another YMMV moment. I gave up on them and I'm not sure where they are.

    Rich
     
  11. Apr 29, 2020 #31 of 2457
    b4pjoe

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    Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't you say previously that while watching Cheers you were using 2 accounts? I think you said yours and your son's account. If you go from one TV and one account and then go to another TV with a different account it is not going to go back to the same place you were at on the other account. (Disregard if I'm thinking of someone else saying that. :D )

    Also I have the Cube and haven't seen any issues really but I usually use the ATV because I like the interface better. As far as HDMI switching I just use the remote to switch HDMI. Press the menu button on the ATV and it takes me to the HDMI port that the ATV is on. Press the Select button on the D* remote and it switches me to the HDMI port that D* uses. Click the Home button on the Cube remote and takes me to the Cube HDMI port. Just one click to get to any box. Might just be my Cube box but Alexa seems to be deaf and I have to repeat commands too often for it to be usable.
     
  12. Apr 29, 2020 #32 of 2457
    lparsons21

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    I’ve got a couple of the older sticks, couldn’t tell you where they are either.
     
  13. Apr 29, 2020 #33 of 2457
    B. Shoe

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    This is off topic, but we need to go back to this. The entire series of Cheers? That is impressive, sir. How long did it take you to finish the series?
     
  14. Apr 29, 2020 #34 of 2457
    raott

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    What's interesting to me is that some had speculated the box would be required to prevent account stacking (ie to make sure the TVs using just the app would have the same IP as the main box). I wonder what prevents a customer using this at multiple residences. Is it against the terms of service for me to go to another house and load up the app?

    After previously crapping on this, I'm now somewhat interested, given lparson's earlier math about the cancellation fee vs the price increase. I recently moved into an apartment temporarily and have to use spectrum, which I'm having a very difficult time getting used to.
     
  15. Apr 29, 2020 #35 of 2457
    mjwagner

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    Not to stray to far ot here but yeah, the previous versions of the sticks were definitely under powered.
     
  16. Apr 29, 2020 #36 of 2457
    lparsons21

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    Technically speaking using any of the streaming services outside of the billing address on other than mobile devices is not supposed to done. That said, most of the services aren’t really doing anything about that now.

    But you only get one box for free but you have 3 concurrent streams allowed so even in the house most wouldn’t buy more boxes as they are a bit overpriced.

    The quickest way to do the math is take the promo price, add $15 to it for the ETF, subtract whatever rebate is offered and divide by 12 to come up with true cost. Think about this, Entertainment $49.99 for year one, $93 for year two, roughly $43/month more in 2nd year, $15 beats that by a lot!

    The same math works at the broader subscription levels too. And regardless of the bitching I’ve done, for those that just have to have every channel or even just all the sports, ATT has it and no one else does.

    I’m kind of expecting that over the next year ATT will pull their collective heads out of their butts and make some significant changes. If they don’t I’m happy, if they do I’d be happier!
     
  17. Apr 29, 2020 #37 of 2457
    Rich

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    What I was doing was watching Cheers on a Cube using my Amazon account. I did not use the ATV for that. My son and I have separate accounts, he has the iTunes account and we both have access to it. He doesn't use a Cube, just uses the AP app on the ATVs. So, no. I wasn't watching Cheers on two accounts.

    I did have a chance to compare the Cube and the ATVs on the same content once I finished Cheers. I really enjoyed binging on Cheers and thought I'd try either Seinfeld or Frasier next. I knew Seinfeld was on Hulu and I knew Frasier was on CBSAA. The thought of watching Frasier on CBSAA bothered me, another show with well over a hundred episodes. Then, I found Frasier on Hulu. Ah, I could use ATVs for both the shows. I did give Frasier a brief trial on the CBS app using a Cube, it did the same thing and I switched to Hulu and an ATV.

    So, now I'm watching both series and using an ATV. Had the same problems with Frasier, it would not lead me back to the proper episode. But it was a helluva lot better than using a Cube. Trick play was fine on the ATVs, never had a problem.

    Yes, I know how to change HDMI inputs using ATVs and the TV set's remote. I find it easier to say, "switch to HDMI one" than to search for a remote. This is another YMMV moment. To give you an idea of how easy that is I had to show my wife how to switch inputs a couple of years ago, using both the ATV and the TV remote. Then I taught her how to use the voice commands and she always uses that method. She took the path of least resistance, just because it's so much simpler. Again, YMMV.

    Rich
     
  18. Apr 29, 2020 #38 of 2457
    Rich

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    I dumped mine after I saw how much better a Cube is. And we both know how much better the ATVs are. The Cubes seem underpowered when compared to an ATV. Kinda like comparing one of the Amazon tablets to an iPad...underpowered. We've been told an ATV is an iPad without a screen, I believe that.

    Rich
     
  19. Apr 29, 2020 #39 of 2457
    Rich

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    I have no idea how long it took, I should have taken notes. I didn't get bored, I didn't watch anything else during that binge except The Tiger King on NF. I had to watch that.

    Watching Cheers in 4:3 was a revelation. I'm a widescreen snob, I haven't considered watching anything in 4:3 in years. Now I'm watching Frasier in that aspect and I'm not stopping. When I get thru with Frasier and Seinfeld (which is in widescreen), I'm gonna watch Wings and then Friends. After that, I'm going to a 4:3 prison...the magnificent Oz. Been far too long since I watched that.

    Rich
     
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  20. Apr 29, 2020 #40 of 2457
    lparsons21

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    Got the ATT box and finished setup.

    I’m connecting into the Xbox One to my Atmos soundbar, that way I get faked Atmos from 5.1 audio. I’ll only use the ATT box for watching ATT. That’s because ATT made the conscious choice to no have Hulu and Netflix on it. And the box doesn’t support Atmos anyway. Since ATT’s streaming service is at 720p it isn’t a big deal.

    The box is smoother in operation though it is a bit slower than the AppleTV. 5.1 Audio is there as well as a thumbnail while skipping so you can manage that better. Setup is simple and doesn’t take too long. Lip sync issues haven’t showed up. HD PQ is fine though not quite as good as the app on ATV or FireTV. That could possibly be because I’m connected via the Xbox One. But it is more than good enough.

    The remote is very nice though it could use backlighting. It uses RF to control the ATT box and IR to control other device like TV and/or soundbar/AVR. I killed of HDMI-CEC because it just causes issues when using the Harmony remote to switch devices and power up/down the system.

    If anything changes from what I’ve said here after only using the box for a little bit, I’ll post again.
     
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