Questions about the new Apple TV Plus App and Directv

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by GordonGekko, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. GordonGekko

    GordonGekko Active Member

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    Can someone correct the record, if you go the Apple Website, they show Directv Now but not Directv which currently does not offer an app, has that changed? Have you read anything about Directv offering a general app for the new Apple TV Plus App which debuts in May?

    If Directv is still not offering a general app, how does it work if you subscribe to Showtime/HBO through Directv, can you utilize the HBO/Showtime Apps through this new Apple TV app in the same fashion if you paid for the separate HBO app, God I wish somebody would unify all of this garbage.

    I think Apple's announcement was underwhelming but if Directv produced an app, it might be useful to have instant access to each channel's library. To those who watched the keynote, does the Apple TV Plus App do anything unique or are the same options offered on a Firestick or Roku?
     
  2. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Does subscribing to HBO via your cable/satellite provider give you the ability to stream it via anyone's app? If it does, then I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work with the Apple TV app. If you can't say use a Roku's HBO app to stream HBO using your Directv subscription, then I guarantee it won't work with Apple's services.

    If you are wishing "they'd unify all this garbage" you better give up on that. The industry is moving away from unification. People used to whine they didn't want to pay for huge packages of channels. Well now you have (or will pretty soon) smaller packages of just Netflix content, just Disney content, just Apple content and so forth and people are complaining about THAT and want ways where they can get everything without paying cable/satellite prices. Did they really think content owners were going to accept less money for their stuff?
     
  3. GordonGekko

    GordonGekko Active Member

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    I agree with what you are writing but what I am referring to is that when I do pay over $150 per month, I would like for Directv to build out an app that would work on all the major devices. The people here would have to confirm but it seems like the new Apple TV + app will be a better experience than even the current one on an internet connected HR54.

    I have not connected my HR54 to the internet for a number of reasons but one of them is I don't want to download individual library programs and I want the ability to fast forward a channel's archived library. Now I would like to be able to download dvr programs or archived shows onto an external device but it seems Directv's offering in this area is lacking based on what I have read here.

    And here is one more problem, I have a fairly new Macbook Pro, in order to you use the Directv App on their website you have to download a specific app, for some reason any time I tried to use that app, it sent the Macbook's fans into overdrive and the computer was super hot, I deleted the app.

    Anyway I will pay more for the content I want to see and I will pay more to use a DVR and pay even more to use an ad free DVR, I'm still waiting for a company to allow me to pay more for a tv GUI that functions with grace and simplicity.
     
  4. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    I have that already - I have a Tivo Bolt with a cable card. No ads at all in the guide, or screensaver ads like Directv is adding etc. and it IMHO functions with grace and simplicity. YMMV.

    Of course when you want to watching stream stuff off Netflix or Amazon you get dumped into their apps which is jarring and takes out of that graceful world but it is as close as you can get today. Man what I wouldn't give for the ability to have all streaming stuff just downloaded so you can watch them using the Tivo GUI...originally they did that for Netflix but I think Netflix wouldn't let them do that anymore.
     
  5. GordonGekko

    GordonGekko Active Member

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    Believe me, I would rather be with Tivo but switching to cable from Directv is a last resort. And yes what you wrote would be cool in addition to a unified guide for all of your streaming subscriptions but this is what I am asking for:

    1. You subscribe to HBO through Directv Premier, does that give you access to the new HBO channel on the new Apple TV + App?

    2. Separate situation, let's say they don't give you access, you have to pay an additional fee and you pay it, it seems like the Apple TV + app is offering you some different GUI options than the HBO channel on Roku or Amazon Prime, is that true from the people who are on those platforms? For example with the new Apple app, you don't have to wait for the HBO app to load, you just click the show and it begins. Also there is a separate section for "Watching Now" which gives you a list of all the shows you are in the middle of watching across all different channels, I don't think that is how it currently works on a Roku.

    And I know you are unsure of question number 1 but if anybody out here knows the answer, thank you.

    I tried single sign on with Directv on an Apple TV in the past and it did not fully work, many of the channels made you sign in separately, go to the web for special codes, I gave up and put the Apple TV back in the box, so who knows if even their new app will do what they are claiming it will do.
     
  6. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea whether DirecTV is going to roll out a new "DirecTV" app for their satellite customers (as opposed to the existing DirecTV Now app) for Apple TV. (What would such an app do? Offer live streaming channels and cloud DVR, I guess?)

    But what I can tell you is that Apple TV, for quite awhile now, has had a feature called "Single Sign-On" that is supported by certain cable and satellite TV providers. DirecTV (sat) is one of those providers. Click the link above to learn more.

    Bottom line: You enter your DirecTV username and password once in the Apple TV's settings and then every supported app you install and open thereafter, including HBO Go, Showtime Anytime, ESPN, etc., should automatically "just work," assuming that you subscribe to the relevant channel via your DirecTV account.
     
  7. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Nope. If you want to stream HBO, Showtime, Epix, etc. directly from Apple's servers inside of the Apple TV app, then you will need to subscribe to those services inside of the Apple TV app and pay Apple.

    However, if you subscribe to HBO through DirecTV, then you can still use the HBO Go app on an Apple TV box (or a Roku box, etc.). The HBO Go app (like lots of other apps) already have a two-way link with the Apple TV app. So let's say you start watching a series in HBO Go; that series will then show up in your "Up Next" watch list at the top of the Apple TV app. It will show the next available episode in the series, ready for you to click on whenever you want to watch it. And when you click on it, the Apple TV app will launch the HBO Go app and take you directly to that episode, so that you don't have to hunt around for it in the HBO Go app. It's a bit less elegant than subscribing to HBO through Apple and watching that content directly inside the Apple TV app but it still works very nicely. This is how I keep track of and watch all my stuff on my Apple TV 4K box from Hulu, Prime Video, Showtime, HBO, PBS, and iTunes.

    P.S. I know the semantics are confusing but, to be clear, there's an Apple TV box. On that box is the Apple TV app (actually it's currently just labelled as "TV" but I think they're changing the name to "Apple TV"). Later this year, Apple will make the Apple TV app available on other devices too, including Roku, Fire TV and smart TVs. Apple will soon allow you to subscribe to various a la carte subscriptions (including HBO, Showtime, etc.) inside the Apple TV app through a feature marketed as "Apple TV Channels". Lastly, Apple is going to debut their own original subscription video streaming service later this year inside of the Apple TV app, called "Apple TV+". Whew.

    Yes, correct.

    There is an "Up Next" universal watch list at the top of the Apple TV app. But it will support/track/link to content from HBO whether you're subscribing directly within the Apple TV app, or watching through the HBO Now app, or the HBO Go app. "Up Next" supports about every major app except Netflix and YouTube. And you're right, Roku and Fire TV don't really have a feature like this. The Apple TV app and its "Up Next" list are, IMO, killer features of the Apple TV box. I love it and use it every time I turn on my television.

    Hmm, that stinks. I'd give it another try. Apps (as well as the Apple TV's own operating system) get updated all the time. Maybe it works better now.
     
  8. GordonGekko

    GordonGekko Active Member

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    Thanks for responding, disappointing that HBO and the other major channels will not give you that extra functionality if you are subscribed through Premier.

    The other feature I think might be unique to Apple is they claim all channels will allow all programs to be moved to offline access, I don't think Roku/Amazon offer that either.
     
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  9. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    But it's not up to HBO to give you that extra functionality inside the Apple TV app, it's up to Apple. And if you're subscribing through DirecTV rather than Apple, then Apple isn't making any $ off of the subscription. So why would they?

    Think of it this way: you can pay for, and primarily watch HBO inside of a number of different providers' separate platforms. DTV is one. Comcast is another. Dish is another. Amazon Channels is another. Soon Apple TV Channels will be another. In each case, your payment for HBO goes directly to those companies. In each case, you get HBO delivered inside of that company's own box or app (respectively: Genie, X1, Hopper, Prime Video app, Apple TV app). If you pay Comcast to watch HBO on their X1 box, you don't get to ALSO watch it on a Dish Hopper DVR or inside Amazon's Prime Video app. Likewise, if you pay DirecTV to watch HBO on their Genie box, you don't ALSO get to watch it inside the Apple TV app.

    But as a bonus for subscribing to HBO through these distribution partners, HBO typically also gives you on-demand streaming access to their content through their own HBO Go app. The app just requires that you authenticate your username and password associated with your account at the distribution partner through whom you subscribe to HBO. As the "Go" in the name implies, this app was originally intended to let you watch on mobile devices outside the home, while "on the go". But eventually they also brought the app to TV-connected devices like Roku too.

    Now, aside from the "distribution via middle-man" scenario above, you can also subscribe directly through the HBO Now app. (Actually, with HBO Now, billing may be done directly from HBO or through the Apple, Google, Amazon or Roku app stores.) When you subscribe via HBO Now, that is your ONLY portal for watching HBO. You don't also get the HBO Go app (what would be the point, given that they're functionally the same?), and you also don't get access to watch HBO on a Comcast X1 box, or inside the Prime Video app, or anywhere else.
     
  10. GordonGekko

    GordonGekko Active Member

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    Thanks, I did not know that, I thought Directv paid Apple a percentage based on their overall subscribers in general but clearly that would not make financial sense. Since I watch all HBO/Showtime shows on DVR anyway, there might come a time when I would subscribe directly through HBO/Showtime via Apple TV + app instead of Directv, that could be a better viewing GUI.
     
  11. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Until the new Apple service is available, a lot of it will be guesswork. But Apple is trying to coalesce services into their app for people who have cut the cord and are getting overwhelmed by all the different places where stream content lives, not be an add-on convenience for people with cable/satellite subscriptions.
     
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  12. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I definitely prefer the GUI of the Apple TV app to traditional satellite or cable boxes, although you might not. But aside from that, I would definitely bet that the HD video quality of HBO and Showtime content will look better streamed from Apple's servers inside the Apple TV app than if those channels are watched live or recorded on DirecTV satellite. (And, to be clear, I would say that DTV sat has better PQ than other major providers like Comcast, Dish, AT&T Uverse TV, etc.)

    [BTW, did you happen to watch yesterday's Apple Event streamed live on an Apple TV 4K like I did (on a 55" TV)? The info panel said it was only HD but it looked *really* good. Some scenes/shots looked so good, I would've sworn it was 4K.]

    However, one thing we don't know yet is if Apple will provide live streams of the linear channels (e.g. HBO, HBO 2, HBO Family, etc.) inside of the Apple TV app. I didn't see anything in the screenshots of the updated app to indicate that they will but we don't know yet. With their Apple TV Channels initiative, they seem to pretty much be copying what Amazon does with their own Amazon Channels offering, and I do know that if you subscribe to HBO, Showtime or Starz via Amazon Channels, you do get access to live HD streams of all the associated linear channels, but only if you're watching on a Fire TV device or certain web browsers (e.g. not if you're watching in the Prime Video app on Roku, Apple TV, etc.).
     
  13. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    Actually the Apple TV app already unifies stuff pretty well. Search a show with Siri it’ll pop up a screen with the show and the option to watch it on whatever services it’s on and you have installed on your Apple TV.

    The individual apps must be setup to intergrate into the Apple TV app but the major ones are all set today. And have been for a couple years.

    HBO go app works great on Apple TV. Just log in using your DIRECTV credentials and you are set.

    As far as I can see the plus thing is really just all about them selling subscriptions and not really changing how it works. Haven’t watched the presentation yet though.

    It’ll be interesting to see if they offer live streams in general, but there’s actually no reason to offer any HBO or other premium no comercial channels as a love stream if all their content is available on demand like HBOs is.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019

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