If the reports about AT&T’s plans for a DirecTV based Android TV box sound familiar, it means you are paying attention. While the media company recently announced it could also allow people to reach the service via apps for other devices the company is looking to follow a blueprint laid out by TV distribution rival, Dish Network.
Dish Network, which launched Sling TV, the first skinny bundle service, followed in up two years later with the launch of the Air TV Player, which integrated Sling TV and an Antenna into an Android TV box that was built to launch into Sling TV and get people to sign up for the service. The box also allows users to access the entire Google Play TV app store meaning users can access Netflix and other top streaming services.
When the AT&T branded box hits the market alongside of a DirecTV streaming-only option we would expect it to work very much the same. Users would start in the DirecTV interface and have the option to access the rest of the apps via the push of a button.
The advantage of having a branded box, of course, is that the likelihood that people with the box then invest in other streaming services is much smaller. On the other hand, a Roku user could become frustrated or be enticed by on-screen advertising for another service and give it a shot. Android also supports app that could easily allow techs on the AT&T side to help users reconfigure the boxes if there is a problem with a simple digital handshake. From a customer support aspect, this could be very nice for people who are more intimidated by technology.
Take a look at the Air TV Box here.