*Official* C71KW AT&T DirecTV NOW Android TV Streaming Box - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 92 Old 12-11-2018, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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*Official* C71KW AT&T DirecTV NOW Android TV Streaming Box

This box was recently released to the public for beta testing.

This site has many pics and links to reviews:
https://sites.google.com/view/droid-...er/att-directv
FAQ: https://www.directvnow.com/streamingdevice_faq
Manual: https://www.directvnow.com/streamingdevice_usermanual
RC81V and RC82V Remote Instructions: https://fccid.io/MG3-R35602/User-Man...al-4107956.pdf

Some of my initial observations:
- No Netflix or Amazon Prime Video apps available yet, but AT&T says they're working on it
- Adds channel numbers to guide and ability to sort alpha or numeric
- Remote has numbers, voice control, bluetooth and power/volume/mute/input controls for connected devices. While it controls the box via bluetooth, the box also responds to regular DirecTV IR codes and works with universal remotes
- My attempts to sideload additional apps have failed
- Remote has a directional pad capable of gestures (disabled by default). I find gestures a little too sensitive for fine control, so I disable them after a few minutes.
- Beta app is snappy but fairly buggy. Response to numeric input is haphazard and inconsistent
- Beta app removes channel changes by right/left arrows

My box is a C71KW-200 made by Samsung. It's about the size of an external DVD drive, has a couple of status lights on the front and HDMI, Ethernet and Optical on the back. Remote is made by UEI. My initial testing indicates that most commands are bluetooth and control of other devices is a mix of IR and possibly HDMI CEC.

Discuss...

Last edited by mdavej; 05-02-2019 at 10:39 AM.
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post #2 of 92 Old 12-11-2018, 05:37 PM
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Interesting to see where this goes for DirecTV.

What voice commands can you use with the remote - for instance can you jump to a channel that way (like say "ESPN" into the remote and it tunes to ESPN)?

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post #3 of 92 Old 12-11-2018, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Apparently you can. I haven't tried it yet myself, but these are some examples listed in the FAQ:
Quote:
Examples:
Switch channel to Audience Network
Open Guide
What's on Now?
What's on CBS?
Open DVR / Open My Recordings
Pause / Play / Resume
Title Search: "Jurassic Park"
Actor Search: "Jeff Goldblum"
Actor + Media Type Search: "Find Jeff Goldblum Movies"
Actor + Media Type + Genre Search: "Find Jeff Goldblum Romance Movies"
EDIT: I tried the above, they all seem to work ok. You have to speak very slowly or it will miss some words and do the wrong thing. App does lock up frequently, and voice commands seem to be very taxing on it.

Last edited by mdavej; 12-12-2018 at 10:50 AM.
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post #4 of 92 Old 12-14-2018, 03:17 PM
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Does it do HDR? Can be tested by trying to play a HDR video in the Youtube app.

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post #5 of 92 Old 12-14-2018, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
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According to the specs, yes. I have no way to test as I have no 4K TV.
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post #6 of 92 Old 12-17-2018, 02:40 PM
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A slightly modified remote went through the FCC today: fccid.io/MG3-R35602
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post #7 of 92 Old 12-17-2018, 11:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zouzzz View Post
A slightly modified remote went through the FCC today: fccid.io/MG3-R35602
Ahh, that one is much, much better. Adds Guide, Record, List, Ch+/- and Previous channel. Gestures pad is gone though. Can't say I'll miss it.
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post #8 of 92 Old 12-18-2018, 02:13 PM
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I'm curious, are you able to get DirecTV's 4k channels with this box or does it currently offer only the same channels as DirecTV Now (no 4k channels)?
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post #9 of 92 Old 12-20-2018, 12:01 PM
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*Official* C71KW AT&T DirecTV NOW Android TV Streaming Box

I received mine this morning.
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post #10 of 92 Old 12-20-2018, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmccall View Post
I'm curious, are you able to get DirecTV's 4k channels with this box or does it currently offer only the same channels as DirecTV Now (no 4k channels)?
Lineup on mine is exactly the same as DirecTV NOW. But I don't have a 4k TV, so I guess it's possible they may not show up in that case. I expect the actual DirecTV streaming to be a totally different app though. From what I've read, such a thing won't launch until late 2019.
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post #11 of 92 Old 12-21-2018, 02:18 PM
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Streaming Box First Impressions

The box was delivered Wednesday and hooked it up right away. Used the included HDMI cable and hooked up ethernet cable. After a few minutes uo and running. The box is connected to a Denon 2300 AVR then to a Lg 55 C7P tv. No video processing at the AVR. After setting up the tv showed the HDR badge on the screen and stated in that mode for every channel I tested. Switched the guide to alphabetical because I have no idea what numbers go to which channel. All the channels looked great and no buffering. I did have an issue with pausing and when tried to replay it would become stuck. Had to back out all the way to the guide and start again, hopefully this will go away.
Now the biggest issue. When I turn the box off, it also turns off the AVR which is unacceptable. I have tried everything I can think of to disable this but can not find a solution. Other than that it works great. If anyone has a fix please let me know. Thanks.

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post #12 of 92 Old 12-21-2018, 02:27 PM
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Have you tried setting the box to do 5.1 naively? I know that you can set the audio to do surround or stereo, but it's not native to the channels.

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post #13 of 92 Old 12-21-2018, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gambler52 View Post
When I turn the box off, it also turns off the AVR which is unacceptable. I have tried everything I can think of to disable this but can not find a solution. Other than that it works great. If anyone has a fix please let me know. Thanks.
The remote controls your TV and AVR via IR, so either just cover the end with your hand or black tape, or pick a different brand of AVR (not your brand) in the initial setup.
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post #14 of 92 Old 12-21-2018, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
The remote controls your TV and AVR via IR, so either just cover the end with your hand or black tape, or pick a different brand of AVR (not your brand) in the initial setup.
Ok I will try that but it only paired with the box I didn't see anything about the AVR or the Tv. Will experiment more tonight.

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post #15 of 92 Old 12-21-2018, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gambler52 View Post
Ok I will try that but it only paired with the box I didn't see anything about the AVR or the Tv. Will experiment more tonight.
When I reviewed the setup steps, I see you're right. It must determine your AVR and TV makes via HDMI CEC then assign the appropriate IR codes automatically. Since this is the case, the only other way to avoid controlling your connected devices would be to set up the C71KW on a different system than you intent to use it on (with different brands of TV and AVR). There is currently no other way for the end user to change the remote programming.

If it were my system, I'd just leave the box on.

If you have a universal remote, you can control the C71KW with standard DirecTV satellite box codes and avoid using the included remote entirely. But you lose the voice control.
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post #16 of 92 Old 12-22-2018, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
When I reviewed the setup steps, I see you're right. It must determine your AVR and TV makes via HDMI CEC then assign the appropriate IR codes automatically. Since this is the case, the only other way to avoid controlling your connected devices would be to set up the C71KW on a different system than you intent to use it on (with different brands of TV and AVR). There is currently no other way for the end user to change the remote programming.

If it were my system, I'd just leave the box on.

If you have a universal remote, you can control the C71KW with standard DirecTV satellite box codes and avoid using the included remote entirely. But you lose the voice control.
Problem solved. Simply pointed the remote away from the box and covered the end with my hand, AVR stayed on and the box shut off. I thought about leaving the box on all the time but I have a data cap with Comcast and from what I can tell it will always be using data while on. Will check further on that.
Thanks for the help.
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post #17 of 92 Old 12-28-2018, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gambler52 View Post
Problem solved. Simply pointed the remote away from the box and covered the end with my hand, AVR stayed on and the box shut off. I thought about leaving the box on all the time but I have a data cap with Comcast and from what I can tell it will always be using data while on. Will check further on that.
Thanks for the help.
I've been testing the beta box for about a week now. Initial setup was fairly easy, although there was a 4 minute span where my tv when completely black while the box rebooted, but it came back fine after that.

First Impressions:
1. The remote is awful, way too much lag time. I used it for awhile but eventually switched to my Harmony 700 and Harmony Hub. This is much better and all buttons are functional now. The bad news is my Harmony remote doesn't have a mic, so I lose that feature but I can live without it.

2. The box seems very stable so far, no rebooting issues as some have complained about. The DTVN app runs very well and I haven't really noticed any issues with it.

3. I was able to download Hulu and a few other apps, still no support for Netflix or Amazon Video. Not sure what this is about, but this will be a deal breaker for me if this isn't fixed soon.

4. I setup the box to a default display of [email protected], so the picture looks very good and crisp. There is nothing in the setup that I could find for HDR, so I'm not sure if that is actually functional yet. I tried testing with YouTube 4kHDR channels and although they all look very good on my display, there was nothing in the display Info that indicates it is actually displaying an HDR10 or Dolby Vision video.

5. I setup the box for the default audio as surround sound. There are some trade-offs in doing this, as you don't really get Dolby Digital 5.1 when available. It's really just sending stereo audio to all channels for now. For audiofiles, this is not really the ideal setup, but at least I get full surround sound with every DTVN channel.

6. I'm not sure what the reasoning is for the box starting up in the DTVN app. I would rather have it default to the apps screen like the Shield does. It may be that [email protected] has embedded the DTVN app into the device to protect the app. Who knows why [email protected] does the things they do?

I'll keep testing and give another update later......

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post #18 of 92 Old 12-28-2018, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by crackthewhip View Post
5. I setup the box for the default audio as surround sound. There are some trade-offs in doing this, as you don't really get Dolby Digital 5.1 when available. It's really just sending stereo audio to all channels for now. For audiofiles, this is not really the ideal setup, but at least I get full surround sound with every DTVN channel.
I notice this also. It is very annoying. When I set the audio on surround sound, I get bad audio out of sync.

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post #19 of 92 Old 12-29-2018, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by cprawks View Post
I notice this also. It is very annoying. When I set the audio on surround sound, I get bad audio out of sync.
I have the same issue about out of sync. May try stereo this weekend to see if that helps, but I do like the surround sound.

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post #20 of 92 Old 01-01-2019, 04:46 PM
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i moved mine to my oppo input so i can remove the always on HDR. looks much better now. i notice they added more resolutions to choose from. they need to really get to work on have an HDR off or HDR auto detect instead of having it always on.
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post #21 of 92 Old 01-01-2019, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
Ahh, that one is much, much better. Adds Guide, Record, List, Ch+/- and Previous channel. Gestures pad is gone though. Can't say I'll miss it.
glad they listened to customer feedback on that one. the D pad on the original is horrible. adding a guide and last channel button is smart. just set mine up with the harmony so i hope these will work.

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post #22 of 92 Old 01-01-2019, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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just set mine up with the harmony so i hope these will work.
Unfortunately they do not.

EDIT: All working now.

Last edited by mdavej; 01-03-2019 at 12:37 PM.
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post #23 of 92 Old 01-03-2019, 07:16 AM
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Unfortunately they do not.
I have full functionality with my Harmony remote, with the exception of voice which it doesn't support. Not sure why you are saying these functions are not supported. Have you checked your button or screen programming for the AT&T device? I had no issues dragging in the commands I wanted for buttons or the screen.

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I did notice some over-saturation in the color spectrum when I fired up the DTVN device this morning. I checked the Info setting on my Vizio display and found that it is recognizing every DTVN channel as HDR10. My display supports HLG, HDR10, and Dolby Vision, and I've been able to detect these different spectrums with my Shield. Not sure why AT&T has decided on this fixed approach for all channels, as I do not see any method in the device settings to change this. Shouldn't there be an HDR setting on the DTVN device to auto-detect an actual HDR signal rather than a always on approach? Most channels are OK but some are just completely over-saturated and unwatchable.

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post #25 of 92 Old 01-03-2019, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I have full functionality with my Harmony remote, with the exception of voice which it doesn't support. Not sure why you are saying these functions are not supported. Have you checked your button or screen programming for the AT&T device? I had no issues dragging in the commands I wanted for buttons or the screen.
You're saying you have Guide, Record, List, Ch+/- and Previous channel that all function with the current app? The only DirecTV commands that work on my universal are the ones that also exist on the included remote. What additional commands are you using on your Harmony that don't exist on the included remote.
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post #26 of 92 Old 01-03-2019, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
You're saying you have Guide, Record, List, Ch+/- and Previous channel that all function with the current app? The only DirecTV commands that work on my universal are the ones that also exist on the included remote. What additional commands are you using on your Harmony that don't exist on the included remote.
Yes, all these buttons work on my Harmony 700. In your My Harmony account, goto the section "Change what a button does" for the AT&T device and confirm that all of your buttons were correctly synced to your remote. You can just drag a highlighted command from the Commands List to a specific button on the remote. The Commands List contains every command available for each specific device. You can also hover over a specific remote button to confirm which device a command is assigned from. I don't recall which command buttons were not assigned to remote buttons during my initial setup, there was just a few that I had to drag from the Commands List. I also didn't need to "fix" any commands, they all worked fine for me.

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post #27 of 92 Old 01-03-2019, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, all these buttons work on my Harmony 700. In your My Harmony account, goto the section "Change what a button does" for the AT&T device and confirm that all of your buttons were correctly synced to your remote. You can just drag a highlighted command from the Commands List to a specific button on the remote. The Commands List contains every command available for each specific device. You can also hover over a specific remote button to confirm which device a command is assigned from. I don't recall which command buttons were not assigned to remote buttons during my initial setup, there was just a few that I had to drag from the Commands List. I also didn't need to "fix" any commands, they all worked fine for me.
So just to clarify, you can perform all of the following functions on Harmony that do not exist on the C71 remote:
- Press "Guide" and the guide appears (if so, then perhaps it's mapped to the up or down arrow)
- Press "Prev Channel" and it changes to the previous channel (this would be a new function)
- Press "Ch+/-" and the channel changes (this functionality was removed in this beta version as far as I can tell)
- Press "List" and your recordings library appears (this would be a new function)

I don't use Harmony remotes, but I've tested all of the above commands, and they C71 does not respond. I'll have to drag out a Harmony an see what it does.
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post #28 of 92 Old 01-03-2019, 10:05 AM
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So just to clarify, you can perform all of the following functions on Harmony that do not exist on the C71 remote:
- Press "Guide" and the guide appears (if so, then perhaps it's mapped to the up or down arrow)
- Press "Prev Channel" and it changes to the previous channel (this would be a new function)
- Press "Ch+/-" and the channel changes (this functionality was removed in this beta version as far as I can tell)
- Press "List" and your recordings library appears (this would be a new function)

I don't use Harmony remotes, but I've tested all of the above commands, and they C71 does not respond. I'll have to drag out a Harmony and see what it does.
Yes, all of these commands are included in the Harmony Commands List for the AT&T streaming device. You just need to assign them to a remote button or to your remote screen, whichever works best for you. Logitech did a nice job of mapping all of these device commands to the list, and most of the buttons were assigned correctly for my initial setup. There is a bit of lag on the List button, but otherwise all of the command buttons work as expected.

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Receiver: Pioneer VSX-530K 4K/HDR Pass-Thru
Media Player: AT&T DirecTV Now Beta Streaming Box
Remote: Logitech Harmony 700 and Harmony Hub
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post #29 of 92 Old 01-03-2019, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by crackthewhip View Post
... all of the command buttons work as expected.
Holy Crap! I just tested them using an old DirecTV satelllite remote and they really work! You are the man! Thanks for the heads up.

I swear I tested ALL of these a couple of weeks ago and they didn't do anything. Now they all work great. They must have updated the app.

We've been waiting for a previous channel function for over 2 years, and now we've finally got it! This is brilliant.

In addition, Record, Menu and Info buttons also work now.

While in the guide, ch+/- doesn't jump a full page. But they at least skip to every other line, speeding up paging through the guide.

Skip fwd/back don't do anything. But right/left arrow will skip fwd and back 30 sec.

Stop and the colored buttons also don't do anything. Pause does play and pause, but Play button does nothing.

But we've got all the remote functionality we need now. It almost works like a real DVR.

I notice the guide font is bigger and bolder in this release. I like what I'm seeing.

Last edited by mdavej; 01-03-2019 at 10:45 AM.
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post #30 of 92 Old 01-03-2019, 11:45 AM
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After 2 years of testing a multitude of 4K devices (Roku Ultra, Shield 2017, AppleTV 4K, Fire TV 4K), this is really the first device that has worked well out of the box with easy setup and few hiccups. It's also very spouse-friendly, which makes my life much easier. My wife has endured all of my device testing and is finally pleased with this new setup. Hopefully AT&T doesn't screw up everything that currently works well and fixes the following:

1. Add Netflix and Amazon Video apps. AT&T should have worked with these app developers prior to the device release.
2. Cleanup the launch screen with a standard Android TV Oreo home screen.
3. Modify audio settings to auto-detect the audio signal and pass it through to the user audio device.
4. Add video settings to auto-detect a video signal with a HDR color spectrum.
5. Add support for Dolby Vision, although this device may not have the horsepower to support it like the Shield does.

If they can get these fixes done in a reasonable amount of time, I will be sold on this device!!
mdavej and taz291819 like this.

Display: Vizio M65-D0 4K/HDR
Receiver: Pioneer VSX-530K 4K/HDR Pass-Thru
Media Player: AT&T DirecTV Now Beta Streaming Box
Remote: Logitech Harmony 700 and Harmony Hub
HDMI Cables: Monoprice Premium Certified 18Gbs
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