The app appears to have gone live on the Google Play Store on July 9 and seems to work with most, if not all, Android TV devices – including both set-top boxes and TV sets with Android TV built-in.
Unlike some of the network apps that have previously become available, this one is not simply the result of device support expansion but is a completely separate app to the Android mobile version. As a result, those attempting to download to Android TV devices via the original USA Network Play Store app listing will still be greeted with an ‘incompatible device’ message.
The Android TV app itself is free to download although as to be expected with an app like this, there’s not much use in downloading the app if you don’t already have access to the USA channel in general. The app does require you to confirm the subscription via your TV login credentials, although it does seem to have wide support for TV subscriptions beyond traditional cable and satellite services.
In other words, if you have access to the USA through the likes of DIRECTV NOW, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, or YouTube TV then you shouldn’t have any issues signing in.
Once a TV provider is connected the app seems like a robust option for content. As well as access to live TV channels, there’s also a good selection of TV shows and movies to choose from.
On the on-demand front, this app is not just resigned to US-only content as it does make available on-demand content from other NBCUniversal entities. For example, there’s content pulled from NBC, SYFY, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, MSNBC, CNBC, Universal Kids, Telemundo, and Universo.
As a taste of what is currently available to watch right now, you could tune in to the latest episode of “WWE SmackDown,” watch “Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron” or any of the Harry Potter movies, as well as choose from the selection of USA Originals, such as “Queen of the South,” “Suits,” “The Sinner,” and more.
Regardless of whether you tune in to live TV or access on-demand content through the app, it should be pointed out that ads are in effect. There’s not much the user can do about this as the ad-supported model is common to all TV channel and network specific apps, just like it would be if you were tuning into the channel via traditional TV.
For those who don’t have an eligible TV package, most NBCU apps do offer what is similar to a free trial as by creating a NBCU profile you do gain access to three credits which can be redeemed to watch three episodes.
On first impressions, the app’s interface works well enough and although it feels a little slow in terms of response time, this is only a marginal criticism as once a show or movie loads it seems to play without any noticeable interruptions.
For those interested in giving the new app a try on an Android TV device, it can be downloaded and sent to a compatible device through the web version of the Google Play Store, or by searching directly through the Android TV’s version of the Play Store.USA Network Download (Google Play)