Good news, DirecTV subscribers: you can now stream television directly to your Android smartphone or tablet! Well, sort of. You can’t stream TV, but you can stream HBO, Cinemax, Starz, Encore, the Audience Network, Sony Movie Channel, and the few shows and movies available on DIRECTV CINEMA. Naturally, you’ll need to subscribe to these channels in order to stream them. You could already stream HBO and Cinemax via their individual apps. You can download it in the Google Play Store now, but you’ll  need a DirecTV account to sign in.

In stark contrast to the Time Warner Cable app, the DirecTV app works with Gingerbread, Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich, and you don’t need to be connected to your home network to begin watching TV (though the app will warn you about data fees). Oh, and it works on rooted phones. DirecTV also knows which way the wind is blowing, because they’ve added this functionality to their Android app first – iOS users will just have to wait.

Unfortunately the app isn’t exactly a blockbuster, and that’s putting it kindly. Connecting takes quite a while even on a 4G connection, video is low-resolution and doesn’t hook into Ice Cream Sandwich’s API’s to remove the navigation bar. Even worse, all videos seem to come with unskippable commercials (which isn’t the case for HBO GO) and tracking appears to be impossible. All in all it’s just a poor experience at the moment – here’s hoping some timely updates can improve the interface and add more channels to boot.

[via Engadget]

  • triboy

    Not sure where you are but app works great. Fast load of app and content. Picture is fine. Galaxy Note

  • TomasHunter

    That is a great update for DirecTV customers, but its not that big of a deal for the rest of us. The app is just glorified video on demand. You can’t call it TV everywhere if you can’t watch actual live TV. I suppose I could be spoiled by my Dish Remote Access app. I like to go down to the park to play chess with one of my Dish coworkers on the weekends. I bring my tablet with me so I can watch the Rockies play while we play chess. I guess I could watch a movie or something if I had DirecTV, but it just wouldn’t be the same as watching the game live.