DirecTV Stream currently doesn’t support Android TV (Google TV) devices, but there is a workaround that can help to stream live TV channels and on-demand content to an Android TV-powered streaming player or smart TV. While it currently remains to be seen whether DirecTV Stream will add Android TV support in the future, it is possible.
Any live TV streaming service is only worth signing up to if the individual or household has access to a compatible device. In general, DirecTV Stream’s supported device list does include a wide variety of devices, including smart TVs, streaming players and mobile devices. However, it is still missing support in some key areas and Android TV is one of them.
For reference, this is not a new problem. DirecTV Stream previously operated under different names and Android TV support was never really an option. Once the service was rebranded as DirecTV Stream, there was no change in Android TV support. As a result, it remains unclear as to whether support for steaming players and smart TVs powered by Android TV will ever get access to a dedicated DirecTV Stream app.
Use casting as a workaround
Although DirecTV Stream doesn’t come with support for any Android TV devices, it does come with Cast support. This allows subscribers to cast a streaming app from their smartphone directly to their Android TV device. Once set up and connected, cast support not only makes it simple to click on any of the on-demand videos and cast them to the big screen, but also live TV channels as well.
To make use of casting, the subscriber will need to have the DirecTV Stream app downloaded on their smartphone. Providing it is an Android phone, the DirecTV Stream app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Here’s the link. Alternatively, the DirecTV Stream website, when accessed via the Chrome browser, can also be used to cast to an Android TV device. Regardless of whether using a phone or a computer, the subscriber will need to log in to their DirecTV Stream account with their username and password. The phone will also need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the Android TV device.
Providing all of the above is in order, the subscriber can simply click on the cast button in the top right corner – located between the search bar and the settings icon.
Once tapped, the user will see a list of nearby compatible devices that are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Select the right Android TV device and the app will then connect to the streaming player or smart TV.
At this point the user can navigate to the on-demand video or the live TV channel they want to watch and tap on it.
Here are those instructions again:
- Download the DirecTV Stream app
- Sign in with DirecTV Stream username and password
- Tap on the Cast button
- Choose the Android TV device
- Tap on a video or channel
Subscribers can also simply find and start playing any of the on-demand videos, start watching any of the live channels, or begin playback on any of their DVR recordings, tap on the screen while the content is playing and then on the cast button that’s shown on the screen. Once again, they’ll need to select the right Android TV device. Regardless of which way the casting connection is established, the subscriber can still use their phone and other apps while content is being streamed to the Android TV device. The phone can also be used to adjust the volume, change videos or channels, play, pause and skip forward while connected. In most cases, the subscriber should also be able to use their Android TV device’s remote to control playback.
While this is a useful workaround, it is not perfect and other problems can arise. For example, while DirecTV Stream does allow users to watch on multiple devices at the same time, a smartphone can only be used to cast to one device at a time. Therefore, in homes where there is more than one Android TV device, household members will need to connect to each device from a different smartphone.
DirecTV Stream Android TV workaround summary
DirecTV Stream currently doesn’t support Android TV devices and it remains to be seen if that’s going to change anytime soon. One workaround for the problem is casting. Providing the user has an Android phone or tablet, and/or access to a Chrome browser, they can log in to DirecTV Stream and cast live TV channels, on-demand videos and recordings directly to their Android TV-powered streaming player or smart TV. Once connected, additional controls on the phone or computer can be used to change between channels or videos and control playback.
Although this is not the ideal situation, it is better than having no option to watch DirecTV Stream on an Android TV device. The only other real option is to download the DirecTV Stream app on a different compatible device and watch that way. For homes that primarily only have access to Android TV devices, casting or switching to a different live TV service are the best options.