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DIRECTV Plans Online Services


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#21 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 11:41 AM

I think Google and Roku are heading in the right direction with small devices that plug into the TV. The problem with "smart" TVs is that the lifespan of a TV is too long. There is no way that 2013 TV will be feature competitive with a 2023 TV, no matter how many software updates the manufacturer puts out. Having streaming and other functions on a "stick" that plugs into the TV makes more sense...it can be upgraded and replaced at far lower cost.
 

 

I'd rather have a TV that doesn't have tuners, speakers, anything but a screen and a bunch of inputs. Pure monitor, like they used to be years ago.  My Sammy BD players supply all the things a smart TV does.  My smart TV is never used as a smart TV.  The Sammy BD players are cheap to upgrade every couple years.  

 

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#22 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 02:40 PM

If somebody manages to offer access to all the major broadcast and cable networks' libraries (and these libraries are truly robust) for something like $50/month, with no traditional cable or satellite subscriptions required, they will clean up. Without the need to build a distribution network (since it will be delivered over the internet), it should be possible to make a profit at around that price point. The content could even be tiered, with recent movies and premium content in a higher tier, or on a PPV basis. But effectively, you'll have eliminated the need for cable or satellite, and DVRs, with a service that delivers whatever you want, where and when you want it, on almost any viewing device with an internet connection.

 

Why would content providers be willing to do that, when today everyone is paying $100 for the same content? Cutting out the middle man is one thing, but distributing content over the internet is far from free. If viewers saved 50%, the content providers would take a hit, and that's not going to happen. More likely, since they're essentially negotiating directly with end users, they'll see it as an opportunity to raise prices. If they said "ESPN is $25/month" they'd have fewer subscribers, but maybe make more money because sports fans will whine and complain, but many would pay it.

 

The big problem with online distribution on a wide scale is that the internet can't handle that much traffic. Not the backbone, nor at the edges where the customers are. These days Netflix is about 1/3 of backbone traffic and that's only a few million streams at peak. Replacing current content distribution would ramp that up by 20x or more! I think you see the problem. Even then, Netflix isn't live content, so it can stream faster than you watch, and buffer any disruptions. Doing live events like sports can't allow for much of a buffer, so disruptions will be more of a problem - as well as less acceptable to viewers.

 

We'll be there one day, but it is years from being practical.


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#23 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 08:32 AM

Why would content providers be willing to do that, 

The same was thought when Steve Jobs brought the idea to sell a song for $.099 cents instead of buying the entire album for >$14.99.  and look where we are now!


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#24 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 08:34 AM


If somebody manages to offer access to all the major broadcast and cable networks' libraries (and these libraries are truly robust) for something like $50/month, with no traditional cable or satellite subscriptions required, they will clean up. Without the need to build a distribution network (since it will be delivered over the internet), it should be possible to make a profit at around that price point. The content could even be tiered, with recent movies and premium content in a higher tier, or on a PPV basis. But effectively, you'll have eliminated the need for cable or satellite, and DVRs, with a service that delivers whatever you want, where and when you want it, on almost any viewing device with an internet connection.

If someone is going to do it is Apple....


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#25 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 02:10 PM

The same was thought when Steve Jobs brought the idea to sell a song for $.099 cents instead of buying the entire album for >$14.99.  and look where we are now!

 

 

Jobs was only able to talk them into that because it was on the heels of Napster, and once it was shut down people began using other P2P software to download music for free. The album model was already destroyed, and labels had already seen big sales drops. If they had held firm to only selling CDs, or insisted on some crazy per download pricing like $5/song like how they sold singles, they'd be much worse shape today. TV isn't in that predicament. Despite all the talk about cord cutting, the networks have more revenue than ever coming in, and are still able to win a lot of battles with providers to get them to pay even more (Pac 12 on Directv and various missing locals on Dish being the canary in the coal mine that this won't continue forever)

 

The illegal download problem for TV shows, and especially live TV is much smaller. The only trouble on the horizon that might signal changes is cord cutting, the problem is that cord cutters today are mostly people who aren't really engaged with TV. Offering a different way to access it won't entice them to start paying again. They might pay for a few individual shows, but they won't subscribe to networks, and certainly not packages, just because they're offered over the internet.

 

They didn't cut the cord because they don't like having a coax come into their house, they cut it because they didn't see the value of paying a lot of money when there are only a few programs they watch. If you look at the shows you watch each week without fail, and can count them on one hand, and don't watch on any sports, you're stupid if you don't cut the cord, and no offer for getting networks or packages of networks over the internet will ever entice you back.


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#26 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 08:08 AM

While the networks and content providers are making lots of money with the current model, the cost to the consumer is reaching a point where the current model will soon be unsustainable. The reason so many young people are choosing to live without a multi-channel service is that it is too expensive for the amount of use they get from it. With options like Hulu, Netflix and, increasingly, video games, young people are getting their entertainment elsewhere.

With a gradually shrinking pool of cable and satellite subscribers the content providers are going to find it increasingly difficult to preserve their current revenue stream, never mind growing it. I picked $50 per month as the sweet spot for monthly cost. Less than that, and the offering will be fractured and incomplete, like the services offered today. More than that, and you are back in the situation of pricing yourself out of the market.

The lack of bandwidth is a spurious problem. As internet demand has grown, the capacity as grown with it. If a streaming service starts to overload the internet, the capacity will be increased. It has happened constantly ever since the internet got started over 20 years ago with dial up and SLIP connections. Sure, it will be a while before sufficient bandwidth is available in rural areas, but it will happen...and probably a lot sooner than anyone thinks. A streaming service can do quite well even if their market is restricted to users with 5 megabit download speeds or more.

I used to be on the other side of this debate, but I have become convinced that sooner or later somebody will put together a service that really makes cord cutting viable. It is inevitable. Just as a musician or an author can reach the public directly via on-line publication, eventually video producers will realize that they can make as much money, and have greater control, by taking their productions directly to the public. It is already happening on a very small scale. It won't happen tomorrow, but in the long run the system we know today, with multi-channel service operators controlling distribution, and broadcast channels controlling what gets produced and offered, will collapse - just like the big record company model and the big publishing house model have collapsed before it.

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#27 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 03:21 PM

I'm not saying it will never happen, just that it isn't practical now. Maybe in five years it will begin to be possible. I believe before that, it'll be done by big ISPs that don't have their own TV offerings, like Centurylink. The ISP can receive content via satellite like cable companies do, and distributed to customers via their internal network where they can manage bandwidth. Potentially they could provide a much wider array of channels in higher quality than any other provider.

 

I have Centurylink, and if they offered TV service in this manner I'd give it a try for a month (while keeping my cable) and consider switching if I could get live sports without any problems and save money. It isn't clear that this solution could or should cost any less than cable or satellite, however. It would give Centurylink a competitive TV/internet package that they currently lack, so it would be good for them. They have a deal to resell Directv right now, but having a partner limits their ability to offer the deals they could if they provided TV themselves.


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