ATT TV - a little review

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

  1. May 6, 2020 #101 of 2457
    lparsons21

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    goldwing,

    I can’t see what is going to my AV system as it is a soundbar system, and even though it is a high end one, it doesn’t have the bells and whistles an AVR might have. All my testing is with my ears.

    On the FireTV in order to get 5.1 you have to set audio to Dolby Digital only, Best Available seems to always be DD+. DD+ would be fine if all the source material is at least 5.1, but much of it from live streaming isn’t.

    So far it seems to me the only live channel streaming service that has anything but stereo is ATT TV and Now, and that only on some channels. Notably the premium movie channels. I do remember that AMC is also in 5.1.

    I don’t use the FireTV much at all because the AppleTV I have is just so much better. But if I have time today, I’ll fiddle with it and report back.
     
  2. May 6, 2020 #102 of 2457
    lparsons21

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    OK, did some testing with the FireTV and the ATT box all centered around the audio.

    First a general comment. Both FireTV and the ATT box default to DD+ vice DD5.1. The one thing I noticed on both boxes is that with DD+ on 5.1 source material, the rear speakers are much more subtle than with DD5.1. Not sure if that is because of the way my soundbar works with it or if it just something inherent in DD+.

    The FireTV at least will allow you to force DD5.1 in their audio settings. The ATT box only allows for Surround or Stereo. Surround on the ATT box is DD+. The advantage with my system with the FireTV is that if I select DD5.1 audio then on stereo streams it kicks in Dolby ProLogic which basically tries to fake DD5.1. If the input to the soundbar is DD+ that doesn’t happen, which is a limit of the soundbar most likely.

    I would love to change out my audio system to a discrete AVR/speaker setup, but my home is an open design and getting wires to the back speakers would require crawling the attic and fishing the walls, neither of those are something I can do any more. I could bump up the soundbar to a Nakamich Soundwafe 9.2.4 system that might possibly allow for finer controls and better soundstage, but at $1400 that’s not likely to happen. My current soundbar is a Samsung HW-K950 Atmos 7.1.4 system.
     
  3. May 6, 2020 #103 of 2457
    lparsons21

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    Playing with audio some more.

    This time on the AppleTV4K. Using the ATT app on the ATV4K is a little odd because of the remote. Not particularly difficult, just a bit limited compared to using the ATT box.

    While the audio from ATT TV is good, it is a bit on the boomy side and is loaded to the front channels a bit heavily. This makes the overall experience very rich, but the difference between 5.1 channels and the stereo channels is very noticeable.

    On the ATV4K the sound is much more balanced IMO. Bass is not boomy at all. And there are some 5.1 channels with ATT TV on the ATV4K though their effect is a little muted. IOW, you can hear the directionality but it isn’t as pronounced as you might expect. I tested with a movie on Epix within the ATT TV app and with the Epix app itself. Both had good 5.1 effects but the Epix was much, much better IMO. I think that is because the Epix app is using DD5.1 and the ATT TV app is using DD+ which seemingly is handled differently by the ATV4K.
     
  4. May 6, 2020 #104 of 2457
    Rich

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    I've never archived anything. The expiration dates wouldn't bother me. I record games, watch them ASAP and delete them when I'm done. I'd be much more worried about the trick play, how it compares to what I can do with a real live DVR. None of the cable replacement services that I've tried come close to D* and real DVRs when it comes to sports.

    Rich
     
  5. May 6, 2020 #105 of 2457
    lparsons21

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    Yeah trick play on the streamers is a bit twitchy compared to a local dvr.
     
  6. May 6, 2020 #106 of 2457
    Rich

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    This is what burns me up. All I want from any sat/cable/cable replacement service is YES. I have absolutely no interest in any programming other than sports from any of those services. $80 a month for the new ATT service would be a lot better than the $160 I'm paying now. But, what does that $80 figure look like in the second year?

    If it's not a whole lot better than what I'm paying now and with a problematic DVR function (if it's not as good as D*'s real DVRs it's gonna be problematic to me), well, I don't think I'd bother with it. Or any other service.

    Rich
     
  7. May 6, 2020 #107 of 2457
    Rich

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    There you go. That would really bother me. I use trickplay a lot during games.

    Rich
     
  8. May 6, 2020 #108 of 2457
    lparsons21

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    ATT TV Now is not marketed the same as ATT TV. That $80/month wouldn’t go up except as a general increase. It is cancellable at any time, no contract or ETF involved.
     
  9. May 6, 2020 #109 of 2457
    goldwing

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    Thanks for testing for me. I tried all the audio settings including Dolby Digital only but never once got true 5.1 output. It was always either DD+ or 2 channel which my Denon converted to PL2. Tried with 4 different Fire TV sticks/boxes plus both my Denons (4308 and 3500) Soon as I swapped out the the Fire TV with the Nvidea Shield I got 5.1. (not all channels but the ones that have 5.1) I also wanted to note that I have all my Fire TV h/w plugged directly into my Denon's not the tv's.

    I am not really worried about it anymore since I now use the Shield full time but it sure drove me NUTTS SB Sunday when I could use my 4K stick to get the game in 4k using the ESPN app but only PL2 audio or watch in 720p and 5.1 using OTA. I wanted 4k pic with 5.1 audio LOL
     
  10. May 6, 2020 #110 of 2457
    lparsons21

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    Yeah, to say audio is a hot mess with the live streamers wouldn’t be an understatement!
     
  11. May 6, 2020 #111 of 2457
    Rich

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    Isn't that gonna go away soon? Why would they keep that active?

    Rich
     
  12. May 6, 2020 #112 of 2457
    lparsons21

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    It’s ATT, who the hell knows what they are going to do? I don’t think even they know.
     
  13. May 6, 2020 #113 of 2457
    Rich

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    They do seem to thrive on chaos.

    Rich
     
  14. May 6, 2020 #114 of 2457
    techguy88

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    The only video service they have sunset is U-Verse TV. Existing U-Verse TV customers can keep the U-Verse TV service except if they are moving to a new area (even if that area has U-Verse TV.) If an existing U-Verse TV customer moves to another market where U-Verse TV was previously available they have to get either AT&T TV or DirecTV.

    From what I've heard from people who work at AT&T, the company hasn't indicated getting rid of AT&T TV Now or AT&T Watch TV (like they did with U-Verse TV.) AT&T TV and AT&T TV Now share a lot of the same infrastructure and technology sets. The only difference is how they are ordered and support available. As long as the service returns some sort of profit I don't think they will get rid of it anytime soon. If it becomes unprofitable then at that point I can see them getting rid of AT&T TV Now.
     
  15. May 7, 2020 #115 of 2457
    Rich

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    Does the "Now" version carry YES?

    Rich
     
  16. May 7, 2020 #116 of 2457
    lparsons21

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    In the Max level it does.
     
  17. May 7, 2020 #117 of 2457
    lparsons21

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    One thing I don’t think I’ve talked about much is the UI of both the ATT box and app. IMO, it is probably the best I’ve seen of all the streamers!

    The grid guide is concise and well laid out. It includes a thumbnail and short description of the show you’ve highlighted in the guide. And if you move the highlight to the channel instead of the show and select it, it shows the schedule of shows on that channel for a period of time.

    The main menu has 4 selections on the app and 5 on the box. Guide, Watch Now, My Library, and Discover, as well as App on the box, Search and Settings.

    Overall it is very well laid out and presented. User interaction is good depending on whether you are on the ATT box (best), AppleTV (very good), FireTV (laggy).

    The ATT box is great for interacting with the ATT TV service but not so well with apps. Switching too often can and does cause crashes and app lockups are not unheard of.

    The AppleTV is next up. It actually works the ATT TV app quicker than it does on the ATT Box, but because of the simplicity of the ATV remote you have to fiddle around to figure out what does which and that sometimes depends on where you’re at. It isn’t daunting, just takes a little fiddling. The advantage of using the AppleTV is app switching, fast and with few issues, and in general the other apps work quite well.
     
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  18. May 7, 2020 #118 of 2457
    espaeth

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    FYI on the AppleTV 4K - the 13.4.5 Developer Beta of TVOS fixes the audio sync issues with 4K / SDR. I suspect this is because that beta also enables playback of the DD+ 5.1 audio tracks for most channels.

    Download Beta Profiles has a simple process for installing the beta software deployment profile on your AppleTV so that it will download the beta release.

    Usual disclaimers: developer betas have more recent fixes, but also a bunch of new bugs.
     
  19. May 7, 2020 #119 of 2457
    lparsons21

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    Thanks. I don’t do the developer betas but instead just get the public betas. Usually less bugs! Getting the 13.4.5 public beta now.
     
  20. May 7, 2020 #120 of 2457
    lparsons21

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    OK, on the AppleTV4K with the 13.4.5 public beta lip sync is not an issue anymore. 5.1 audio is there for the channels that have it, unfortunately that isn’t all of them.

    Another difference with sound is that the audio on non-5.1 channels is now being massaged with Dolby ProLogic which is a plus.

    This is just good enough that I may just have to use the AppleTV instead of the ATT Box.
     

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