Do you need a Google Account to use AT&T TV?

By now you’ve heard of AT&T TV. It’s the live TV streaming service that gives you the most cable-TV-like experience. It also gives you easy access to streaming apps and a voice remote. I’m sure you’ve seen the national commercial:

You’re probably reading this article because you want to know more. So, let’s dive in.

The AT&T TV box is really an Android TV box

Android TV is a streaming platform used by several different companies. Its purpose is to give access to major streaming apps, while the manufacturer can customize it for their needs as well. Hackers love Android TV because the basic box can be changed to suit their needs. Gamers like boxes like the NVidia Shield, and DISH uses the platform for its AirTV.

AT&T chose the Android TV platform for the same reason. They created an experience that people who love cable TV will find familiar. Using a customized remote, the box powers on and gives you live TV without you having to launch an app. It has a conventional guide and DVR list, too.

But, because it uses Android TV, it also has apps.

One box to rule them all

You’ll find your favorites on AT&T TV: Netflix, HBO, Starz, MLB… there are over 5,000 available apps. That many apps need a app store. It didn’t make sense for AT&T to build one of its own, so they turned to one of the largest companies on earth: Google.

The AT&T TV box uses the same Google Play store that Android phones use. And, in order to access it, you just need a Google account. If you have an Android phone or a Gmail address (or both) you already have everything you need.

But do you REALLY NEED a Google account?

When you get to this screen in the setup process, you can skip signing in. You’ll still get a very small selection of apps, but you won’t be able to download anything else until you sign in with a Google account.

So, having a Google account is optional, but the options are pretty one-sided. You can avoid using a Google account but you miss out on a lot. You can always sign up for an account that you don’t use for anything else and set the privacy settings so nothing is tracked. That’s a much better option than just avoiding Google altogether.

When you’re ready to subscribe to AT&T TV, call Signal Connect at 866-726-4182 and get the best possible setup experience!

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 5,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.