UPDATED: Can You Use the DIRECTV App for Live Streaming if All You Have is an H25?

Well probably, but it’s a little complicated.

Our support techs were recently contacted by someone who wanted to use the DIRECTV App for iPad for streaming to a TV within the house. Sure, we said, that works great. After all you get something like 140 channels of live TV through the app if you’re at home. It’s a great way to bring TV to the patio, especially if your device supports HDMI out through some sort of adapter or beaming technology like Miracast.

And then the customer told us all he had was a single H25 receiver and no other equipment.

History repeating

The funny thing is, we’d had very much the same conversation with someone else back about five years ago. Back then, the answer was a little muddier. Not only did the receiver need to be networked, but the account had to be set up right. Today, things are a little simpler. Just a litte.

Does the receiver need to be internet-connected?

The real answer from AT&T here is a little frustrating. Simply put, they believe that every receiver should be internet-connected all the time. So, they’re going to say “YES,” the receiver should be internet-connected. The truth is a little harder to suss out, but the probable answer is “NO.”

If you want to get internet connected

Getting your receiver internet-connected is easy. If your receiver has an Ethernet port, you can use it. Most newer receivers don’t. If not, you’ll need something like a DECA Broadband. This is a device that connects to your router and also connects to your DIRECTV coaxial cable. You might need a splitter so you have an extra line to do that. If you really need help you might want to consult our guide to coax networking that tells you all about the process.

Installation is easy. Connect the DECA to any open port on the splitter. Connect an Ethernet cable to the other end. It’s really just that simple. Once you’re connected, reboot the receiver and it will detect internet on the line. You’ll get access to interactive features including faster searching, on even the most basic receiver.

Using the DIRECTV app without a connected receiver

Without a connected receiver, you won’t be able to use the remote control features of the app. You also won’t be able to see what’s on a DVR’s playlist. But, you should still be able to live stream as long as you have an active account at either DIRECTV.com or ATT.com. As I said, AT&T’s official answer is going to be different since they believe everyone should be internet-connected no matter what.

Do you need to change your billing?

The answer here is “possibly, but probably not.”

If you have been a DIRECTV customer for more than five years, you still may have an item on your bill that says “Advanced Receiver Services Fee” or something similar. It may also be called a “Whole Home Fee” if you’ve been with DIRECTV even longer and haven’t changed your package.  These fees were rolled into most people’s main bills several years ago, so it’s normal not to see them when you check.

The real answer here is to download the free DIRECTV app from your favorite app store or play store. Sign in with your DIRECTV or AT&T account credentials. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, you have a friend on your side.

In most cases, Signal Connect technicians can solve this kind of problem by making sure your billing is up to date. All you need to do is call us at 866-726-4182 during East Coast business hours, or fill out the form below.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.