DirecTV has refreshed its set-top hardware with a new Android TV box called Gemini, a device that allows customers to seamlessly move between the company’s traditional satellite television service and its newer-generation streaming product.
The Gemini box is an updated version of the set-top box DirecTV has offered to DirecTV Stream customers for the past few years, though the most-recent iteration of the box also works with DirecTV satellite service.
The box runs a variant of Google’s Android TV, which gives customers access to hundreds of streaming video and audio apps found in the Google Play Store. Supported apps include Netflix, Amazon’s Prime Video, YouTube, HBO Max, Hulu, Disney Plus, Paramount Plus, Comcast’s Peacock, Starz and others.
The prior Android TV box offered by DirecTV came with a price tag of $120, though some DirecTV Stream customers were able to get one box for free with a multi-year commitment. This time around, DirecTV isn’t charging customers a one-time fee for the Gemini box, but some packages do include a $15-per-month lease fee (DirecTV calls this an “Advanced Receiver Service” charge).
This month, DirecTV streamlined its two pay television offerings by uniting it under the simple DirecTV brand, a move that saw the streaming version drop the word “Stream” from its name. Going forward, new customers will be asked to choose between DirecTV via Satellite and DirecTV via Internet, but both services will effectively be marketed as “DirecTV.”
DirecTV for Internet was launched in early 2020 as AT&T TV and was marketed toward customers who wanted a cable-like experience delivered over the Internet. In August 2021, the service relaunched under the DirecTV Stream brand name, which it maintained until this month.
In addition to the new Gemini set-top box, DirecTV is also offering some customers the opportunity to test drive a new streaming dongle, The Desk reported earlier this month. That device, called Gemini Air, is also powered by Android TV and enables access to third-party streaming apps, but is limited to the streaming version of DirecTV.