AT&T has for a year now been beta testing a new Android TV powered set-top box that current runs DIRECTV NOW and will reportedly be the set-top box for the new AT&T TV service. Since the beta test started with DIRECTV NOW Netflix was one of the few apps not supported on the new AT&T set-top box. Now AT&T and Netflix have announced a partnership to bring Netflix to AT&T’s new Android TV powered streaming player.
Since the beta test started many said they felt like beta testers for the new DIRECTV service. Now AT&T’s President of Mobility and Entertainment David Christopher confirmed that this is the case today in an interview with FierceVideo.
Here is what David Christopher told FierceVideo: “Christopher said that AT&T built its new streaming box for the service [the new DIRECTV streaming service] because the company believes it wouldn’t get all the benefits if it had just made the new DirecTV service an application.” FierceVideo went on to say: “Christopher reiterated the benefits that AT&T executives have previously laid out, namely the low-cost piece of hardware that consumers can install, which will help lower the cost of customer acquisition by eliminating the need for truck rolls and installers climbing ladders to put satellite dishes on roofs.”
This new AT&T TV service would be separate from DIRECTV NOW and was being built to replace DIRECTV. AT&T reportedly wants to try to move over DIRECTV customers to a cheaper streaming version to help save AT&T money. With a streaming version, AT&T could save money by not having to send a truck to your house and will no longer need to pay for satellites in space. Now it seems the set-top box AT&T plans to use for this new service will include apps like Netflix, Hulu, and soon Amazon Prime Video.
It has been reported that AT&T will start to sell this new set-top box in a handful of markets as soon as August 2019. AT&T reportedly plans to start selling their new box and AT&T TV nationwide in the 4th quarter of 2019.
Source: Light Reading
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