We Can Turn a Watch and 3 Phones into TV Remotes

Mobility /

Let Us Help You Rule TV Night

We know that smartwatches and smartphones can do a lot these days.

So why not make them even smarter – and make them TV remotes?

We've just released free apps that let you use your Samsung Gear watch, Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ or LG G6 phones as remote controls for DIRECTV. These apps were a great collaboration between the DIRECTV and wireless device teams. And they're great examples of how we're constantly pushing for integrated solutions.

These apps could be just right for techno lovers who want to stay ahead of the curve.

To start, both apps let you:

  • Play, pause, rewind, fast forward and change channels.
  • Select, navigate menus.

On the Gear1, you can speak the name of a show and the top 20 listings for the season will pop up. So if you're at the gas station with an internet connection and remember a great show you want to watch, no problem. Just press a button and record many of your choices on your DVR.

"That's pretty cool," said John Ngo, who works on the Device Integration Product Extension group. "We're offering the convenience of always having the remote with you."

John also points out another advantage. When someone's wearing the watch, you probably won't fight over it or lose it in the sofa cushions.

Meanwhile, the Android app lets you make some slick moves too.2

You can get to the app quickly by swiping down the notification tray on the phone's home screen. An interactive guide lets you preview programming on your phone without interrupting what's playing on TV.

Plus, you can pause a show to take an incoming call. That feature scored well in user testing.

"We're only getting started with these apps," said John Teel, who works on the device team. "We're working on bringing more integrated device opportunities for more engaging entertainment experiences. We want to work across all our platforms to meet customers on their terms."

Both employees say that we'll see the apps on other Android phones soon. And more and more apps like these will be preloaded onto our devices. One thing's for sure in the tech world: What was once hardware will now become software. And our integrated solutions will lead the way.

"We're always thinking about how to extend the online experience from DIRECTV to other devices," John Ngo said. "We want to create as many opportunities as we can for customers to have a great integrated entertainment experience. Stay tuned."

Download the Samsung Gear watch app from the Galaxy App Store's Gear section. You'll need a DIRECTV receiver and the Samsung Gear S2 or S3 smartwatch.

Get the app for the Galaxy S8/S8+ and the LG G6 at the Google Play Store. Remember – you need to be a DIRECTV customer.

Below, see the app in action on the Samsung Gear.

1DIRECTV receiver and Samsung Gear S2 or S3 smartwatch required.
2Both apps require a Wi-Fi connection to your home network and a DIRECTV Plus HD DVR (models R22, Genie, HR20 or higher) connected to the same network. The app is also compatible with HD receivers (models C31 and higher).

Double click to select the video

Double click to select the video

Double click to select the video