AT&T is getting into the Android TV-powered box game as well through DirecTV. The company has reportedly started shipping test units of the DirecTV Android TV box with a reskinned launcher. That’s a major reason why the user interface appears to be quite different than what we’re used to seeing on Android TV boxes.
The DIRECTV Now box runs Android 8.0 Oreo with the operator tier launcher. This allows AT&T to customize the user interface and bring it in line with its branding. Since the box allows users to watch live TV, it always defaults to the live TV interface when switched on.
Guide, Watch now, My Library, and Discover are the four tabs that users see in the main user interface. The Guide is linked to the live TV feed and that you won’t find on other Android TV boxes.
Since it’s an Android TV device, there’s an Apps shortcut on the left which allows users to download streaming apps for use on the box. Netflix isn’t available right now because it’s reportedly in the process of obtaining certification for this firmware and should arrive in a few months.
AT&T is asking testers to continue using the box for about six months. This suggests that the company may be looking to launch it at some point in the spring next year.