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Article on Mike White, CEO of DIRECTV...authentication, 3D, TV Everywhere


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#26 OFFLINE   Doug Brott

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 08:27 AM

Whole heartedly agree! I was out shopping over the weekend. There’s still “old school” 3D blu-ray movies for sale. By old school I mean the red and blue glasses style 3D. This has got to be so confusing for the average consumer.


I can see it now ..

Government Warning: This is "old school" 3D. It will not work the way you expect on new digital 3DTVs.
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#27 OFFLINE   ATARI

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 08:27 AM

"but we want to ensure that we don’t undermine the business model that creates the economics for us to create great content and, frankly, for us to be able to distribute it"

We don't want to piss-off our content providers, so we will be limiting where and how you can watch what you have already paid for by implementing more layers of DRM.

#28 OFFLINE   ATARI

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 08:28 AM

I agree. I tend to think 3D it is just a fad. On the other hand, the industry is pushing it so hard as the Next Big Thing that it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.


I will be purchasing a new TV next month -- 3D will not be a selling point for me -- in fact, it will be a moot point.

#29 OFFLINE   Doug Brott

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 08:32 AM

"but we want to ensure that we don’t undermine the business model that creates the economics for us to create great content and, frankly, for us to be able to distribute it"

We don't want to piss-off our content providers, so we will be limiting where and how you can watch what you have already paid for by implementing more layers of DRM.


Is it really more layers or just a different methodology .. heck, they may even be using the Apple model with the HR2x as the "iTunes" device. The good news is that this seems to be a crack in the "on the go" conservatism that DIRECTV has shown in the past. It's the implementation part that's not so clear at the moment.

although I suspect we'll hear about it @ DBSTalk first :grin:
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#30 OFFLINE   daisydog6

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 08:39 AM

I'd really like to see some true cost-saving bundles from DirecTV. Mr. White mentions their telco partners. Maybe they should move on to someone new like LightSquared, who is building a nationwide 4G wireless broadband network and will wholesale their service.

#31 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 08:40 AM

There are already some bundles in parts of the country, and I wouldn't be surprised to see more.
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#32 OFFLINE   john18

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:16 AM

I tend to think 3-D seems to have all the earmarks of a fad. Even as a nominal early adopter, I plan on steering clear of that. I'm still smarting over my loss in the HD-DVD v. Blu-Ray war!!

Since Earl is sniffing around this thread let me pose a question. Revenue streams are important, but I suspect that long term viability also includes making certain that the customer receives superior value for their $$$. Rates are trending up and (with the economy the way it is) income for many is either flat or declining. D* has a huge investment in infrastructure so it seems to me they need to find, and walk, a fine line that rewards their investment without losing customers who simply decide that they can't afford as much entertainment expenses, especially with web-based alternatives.

#33 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:22 AM

My only point of disagreement is with his stance that there's a lot more growth to be had with 3D. Maybe the technology will rapidly mature but otherwise I see 3D as a dead end.


My take on that comment was different than yours Stuart. I think he was being a bit less optimistic than he made it sound. For instance, immediately after that he said "That’s not to say I think it’s the same as HD — I don’t believe it is — but I certainly think that’s an opportunity."

This (to me) translates to: "3D is big, but it ain't that big."

Certainly everyone can draw their own conclusion, though.


I have the same take as Doug...

"3D will be big, but not as big as HD" was what I got out of it...

~Alan

#34 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:25 AM

There would seem to be no reason to "make room" for LILs was all Spaceway 1 ever had (or could have, in terms of full-time programming) on it. I suspect that S1 represents one of DIRECTV's least economical assets and that's why it is idle.


I should have worded it better.

I'm sure there was a reason why SW1 was emptied... however, they have already transitioned some markets to SW1, so it's no longer empty. That last part was what I was trying to get across...

~Alan

#35 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:25 AM

Well, maybe, but I personally think 3D will have about the same effect on the TV market as minidiscs had on the audio market.
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#36 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:33 AM

As for my take on the article?! Well, I wasn't really impressed.

It seemed to imply (to me) that one of the reasons channel negotiations are taking so long is that DirecTV wants permission to allow their subscribers to watch programming on the web.

As someone who has spent a considerable amount of money (for me anyway) on HDTVs, audio equipment, and lease/mirroring fees, the prospect of watching TV on a computer/iPad, etc. REALLY doesn't interest me in the least.

If however this will lead to DirecTV officially supporting eSATA and allowing one to transfer programming from one DVR to another on the same account, I will call it a good thing.

~Alan

#37 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:35 AM

Well, maybe, but I personally think 3D will have about the same effect on the TV market as minidiscs had on the audio market.


You may be right...

I still think it will become a feature... much like 1080p or 120hz/240hz.

~Alan

#38 ONLINE   RAD

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:38 AM

Well, maybe, but I personally think 3D will have about the same effect on the TV market as minidiscs had on the audio market.


Maybe, but that was bacially just a different method of distributing content, it wasn't new content. IMHO 3D on the other hand is new content, yes the same movie can be seen in 2D but if you look at what it's done for the movies there must be some demand out there for it. And if the CE folks keep the pricing for 3D hardware reasonable I think it will roll out a lot quicker then HD did. Looking at ad's in past Sundays paper I could get a 46" Samsung 1080p 240hz 3D set, a 3D bluray player and two glasses for $2100, four years ago I paid $3,200 for a 46" Samsung 1080p 60Hz set.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#39 OFFLINE   MikeW

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:41 AM

I'd really like to see some movement on the portability of content. I recently purchaed a van with an entertainment system. DVDs are OK, but there needs to be more than just movies. It came with FLO TV, but that the signal is very limited in my area and there are only a few channels.

#40 OFFLINE   keith_benedict

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:47 AM

"Historically, we had a very limited offering in terms of the number of pay-per-view movies that we could offer our customers. We’re about to explode the variety that we can offer our customers later on this summer by a factor of 10 or more. We’re going to go from less than 20 [movies] to 400-plus. As we evolve towards connecting the box to the Internet, it enables us to go to thousands and thousands. "

I sure hope they add the missing HD channels (BBCA, etc) before doing this. I've never watched a single PPV movie. The video quality doesn't compare to Blu-ray and the audio quality doesn't even compare to DVD. Until they can give me the same (or at least similar) experience, I'll stick to Netflix (even with the 30 day wait).

Give us more non-PPV HD channels.

#41 OFFLINE   Doug Brott

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 10:01 AM

For the gazillionth time .. this will NOT be 400 HD PPV channels. The content will be delivered differently. There may be some additional PPV channels, but it will be small. There is plenty of capacity for missing HD channels (both present and future).
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#42 OFFLINE   Satelliteracer

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 10:20 AM

As for my take on the article?! Well, I wasn't really impressed.

It seemed to imply (to me) that one of the reasons channel negotiations are taking so long is that DirecTV wants permission to allow their subscribers to watch programming on the web.

As someone who has spent a considerable amount of money (for me anyway) on HDTVs, audio equipment, and lease/mirroring fees, the prospect of watching TV on a computer/iPad, etc. REALLY doesn't interest me in the least.

If however this will lead to DirecTV officially supporting eSATA and allowing one to transfer programming from one DVR to another on the same account, I will call it a good thing.

~Alan



I understand that position, fair point. I would only say that Authentication goes beyond just "the web" and it's very much a big deal in where the viewing experience is going in society in the next 5, 10 , 20 years.

There's no doubt, in my mind anyway, that authentication is part of the new frontier and as a result, everything gets a touch more complicated with agreements and such.

This is why when people say "Company X has a deal with channel Y", well it's not apples to apples anymore on so many levels. I would also argue that no longer is it just about dollars and cents anymore either. A common theme I read is "Company Y isn't willing to pay channel A's demands". Of course money is always an important part, but there are many other attributes involved as well. In essence, often times the financial parts can get worked out in a deal but it's the other stuff that delays things.
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#43 OFFLINE   Satelliteracer

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 10:20 AM

For the gazillionth time .. this will NOT be 400 HD PPV channels. The content will be delivered differently. There may be some additional PPV channels, but it will be small. There is plenty of capacity for missing HD channels (both present and future).


+1

Doug is absolutely correct.
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#44 OFFLINE   digitalfreak

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 10:58 AM

Well, maybe, but I personally think 3D will have about the same effect on the TV market as minidiscs had on the audio market.


Agreed. I've seen quite a few of the "new" 3D movies and have not been impressed. With very few exceptions, it seems to be a gimmick more than anything.

#45 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 11:08 AM

I understand that position, fair point. I would only say that Authentication goes beyond just "the web" and it's very much a big deal in where the viewing experience is going in society in the next 5, 10 , 20 years.


I'm very glad to hear it goes beyond "just the web".

I'm happy with DirecTV, and while I don't mind DirecTV dabbling in technologies like "TV Everywhere" (or whatever name you want to give it), TVApps, DirecTV2PC, etc., what I REALLY want to see them do is continue to focus on their TV service.... whether it's remaining competitive with their channel lineup, new services that enhance their TV service (Whole Home DVR), or enhancing their current TV services (some DVR features I can think of, as well as more customization for WHDS).

~Alan

#46 OFFLINE   georule

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 11:25 AM

I would agree with White that the 2009 new adds numbers were a blip due to temporary circumstances that are rapidly disappearing. I am one of those adds, and I know what drove me to it --a local cableco that I had finally reached the end of my rope on waiting for them to provide more HD. But that local cableco, a year later, is about to add enough HD channels in my neighborhood to at least be competitive. If they had done that 14 months ago, I might not be here writing about this (tho I've been very happy with my choice to move).

I'm not saying DirecTV doesn't still have advantages to offer (you don't really emotionally understand the difference it will make for you between a 160GB Comcast DVR and a 500GB DirecTV DVR until you've had one; tho Comcast is now up to 250GB, it still isn't enough). But that early 2009 degree of separation for people like me who really care about HD is closing to something more like the long-term difference it will maintain going forward rather than the gaping maw it was for awhile there.

#47 OFFLINE   mreposter

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 11:40 AM

Fascinating. Posted Image

Obviously a very competent guy, but I can help but feel he's still learning. When asked about new opportunities, he talks about expanding VOD offerings dramatically, which will be huge, and the ability to insert local ads, which may be big for them but means diddly-squat to the viewer.


Multichannel News is an industry-targeted news service, not really consumer-oriented. He addressed many of the hot topics in the industry now - 3D, authentication (web accessible content), the relationship between Directv and Liberty, etc.

For a guy who has only been with Directv for six months and used to work for Pepsi, he seems to have a fairly good grasp of what's going on. I don't think he said anything surprising, it was all pretty much in line with what Directv has been saying for the last year or so, but that's to be expected.
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#48 OFFLINE   wilbur_the_goose

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 11:45 AM

Doug,
You should be proud of me - I learned the PPV lesson ;)

Question though - could somebody explain "authentication"?

#49 OFFLINE   ffemtreed

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 11:54 AM

+1

Doug is absolutely correct.


Can you give any insight on how the channels will be delivered.

#50 OFFLINE   BudShark

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 12:13 PM

Doug,
You should be proud of me - I learned the PPV lesson ;)

Question though - could somebody explain "authentication"?


If you want to allow someone to watch/record something on DirecTV hardware, like an HR24 - and then open that up to allow them to watch the programming the distributor makes available (online HBO for example) or make it so they can watch the programming on their HR24 from another location (like an iPhone) - you need an agreed upon method for authentication.

Basically - its the mechanism to allow DirecTV to be more versatile with its subscribers regarding when, where, what, and how you watch your programming. They want to be your content provider - NOT just your DVR and satellite TV provider.




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