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AT&T Agrees to Purchase DirecTV (Was: ATT looking to buy Direct TV)


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#601 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 06:35 PM

Well Uverse and DTV software running the boxes are different, so unless they decide to get rid of the DTV boxes, those people are safe. Now a few years in the future if they make a change, say year 3 after the close, then those people would be out. They could try to port one of them to the other, but I don't see why because in 3 years they will need to have new boxes out.

 

If/when the merger goes through, I think it would make sense to get the top Directv and Uverse engineers together to design a new box, using a software tuner. Digitally sample from 54 MHz to 2150 MHz to cover both cable and satellite ranges, including DECA for Directv and MoCA for Uverse, and demodulate in software. It could then tune Uverse QAM channels or Directv DVB-S2 SWM channels. Even ATSC, if they decided to add an OTA port and a couple mixers to shift the frequencies around a bit so everything fits.

 

The number of channels it could tune at once is basically limited only by computational power. The technology to do this exists in chips on the market now (google "full band capture" for Broadcom's and "full spectrum capture" for Maxlinear's) I think one of them has a chip that can tune 24 channels at once, though the computation required for a 6 MHz QAM256 channel is less than that for a 36 MHz wide DVB-S2 transponder but if it can't do all 9 SWM channels at once the next version would.

 

That's your "home server", everything else is a client. Maybe using RVU, maybe using something new. If they could get together with Comcast on some standard you'd probably see all new TVs supporting it instead just a fraction like with RVU since between them they'd have over half the TV subscribers in the US. The other cable companies and Dish would probably follow.


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#602 OFFLINE   JoeTheDragon

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 07:50 PM

Uverse Does not use QAM.

 

also fiber to the node areas have low HD streams 4 HD Streams is hard to get.


I want CLTV / CLTV HD on direct tv.

#603 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 09:34 PM

Uverse Does not use QAM.

 

also fiber to the node areas have low HD streams 4 HD Streams is hard to get.

 

Yeah brain fart on my part, I had "cable" on the brain and was thinking about QAM instead of IPTV. Since Uverse doesn't need a tuner or necessarily to store programs in the home, there's not much incentive to merge the hardware, but a lot of the software/UI dealing with scheduling recordings, managing playlists, sharing video around the house is the same whether it is satellite, cable or IPTV.


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#604 OFFLINE   Athlon646464

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 06:11 AM

DirecTV Investor Sues to Block AT&T $48 Billion Takeover
 
“Given the fact that the company was poised for significant future growth and success, the value of DTV stock is being significantly undervalued in the proposed acquisition,” investor David Rivera said in a complaint filed today in Delaware Chancery Court.
 
In his complaint, he claims that DirecTV directors improperly agreed to an onerous breakup fee of $1.45 billion in order to block other potential suitors from making a higher bid....
 
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#605 ONLINE   harsh

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 09:30 AM

“Given the fact that the company was poised for significant future growth and success, the value of DTV stock is being significantly undervalued in the proposed acquisition,” investor David Rivera said in a complaint filed today in Delaware Chancery Court.

While this claim may be true of DIRECTV as a whole, I'm not convinced that DIRECTV US is in line for "significant future growth" in the US market. The net adds haven't been all that outstanding relative to the competition and DIRECTV's pricing isn't particularly cutthroat in a market that is becoming comfortable with services that DIRECTV can't reasonably offer. The dawdling of their negotiators on the sports nets and channel additions is probably taking its toll as well.

I think DIRECTV needs a partner of some sort to fill in the missing pieces and without such a partner, the future isn't a whole lot brighter than today.

As for AT&T being that partner, that's a whole other issue.

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#606 OFFLINE   Athlon646464

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 10:23 AM

Partner?   :contract:


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#607 OFFLINE   prushing

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 12:06 PM

Who else is going to buy them? Its not like this was a 1 day deal. It was in the news for weeks and if another company wanted to buy DTV, their CEO could have easily picked up a phone. Like harsh said, DTV isn't positioned to grow unless people just hate Comcast or they get a broadband offering. Price is too high for people that have bundles, I know people who have left DTV for Uverse for that very reason. They do recognize they are losing PQ, hardware capabilities, and dealing with At&t, but the price comparison saves them $100s a year.



#608 OFFLINE   nmetro

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 12:13 PM

Ah, the battle of the oligarchs. Greedy people fighting other greedy people; with the consumer caught in the middle.

 

Push the price up, which means, that the merged AT&T and DirecTV will have to push up prices to compensate for the "greed factor".

 

Only in America.


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#609 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 01:53 PM

While this claim may be true of DIRECTV as a whole, I'm not convinced that DIRECTV US is in line for "significant future growth" in the US market. The net adds haven't been all that outstanding relative to the competition and DIRECTV's pricing isn't particularly cutthroat in a market that is becoming comfortable with services that DIRECTV can't reasonably offer. The dawdling of their negotiators on the sports nets and channel additions is probably taking its toll as well.

I think DIRECTV needs a partner of some sort to fill in the missing pieces and without such a partner, the future isn't a whole lot brighter than today.

As for AT&T being that partner, that's a whole other issue.

 

On the one hand you criticize them for pricing that's not being particularly cutthroat, and on the other for not immediately adding all channels/sports networks. Can't have it both ways, if a provider is aggressive in adding everything, customers are going to have to pay more. If a provider determines that they're nearing the limit of what customers will pay, they have to bargain harder and be willing to say no. No one has everything, and what Directv is missing is pretty minor (assuming the ESPN deal gets done and they get SEC Network, which I believe will happen)

 

I'll bet a lot more of those leaving Directv are doing it for a better deal rather than missing channels, and a lot of those adding Directv are doing it for the same reason - the "switchers" who sign up with someone new every couple years since it is cheaper than being loyal to any one provider. That's endemic to the TV industry in the US, and not a problem specific to Directv.

 

What "missing pieces" are you referring to? Being able to do true bundling deals (as opposed to the joke they have with say Centurylink for $5 off for buying both) is important, but even with AT&T they're only getting that for wireless phone, along with internet in only part of the country. They can't offer as much as cable providers that can do true double (or triple in the case of Uverse/FIOS) play deals, but are no worse off than Dish who holds a bunch of spectrum that is useless as long as they remain a standalone company.


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#610 OFFLINE   SteveHas

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 01:55 PM

gotta wonder if this "merger" will ultimately be the become of a very, very long end for both companies



#611 ONLINE   harsh

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 03:34 PM

On the one hand you criticize them for pricing that's not being particularly cutthroat, and on the other for not immediately adding all channels/sports networks. Can't have it both ways, if a provider is aggressive in adding everything, customers are going to have to pay more. If a provider determines that they're nearing the limit of what customers will pay, they have to bargain harder and be willing to say no.

Much has been echoed by apologists about how the college networks are just too expensive yet many of DIRECTV's competitors that don't boldly claim to be "the undisputed leader in sports"* seem to have reached deals. Are you suggesting that the sports nets are gouging DIRECTV and not TWC, DISH or Comcast?

What "missing pieces" are you referring to?

I'm referring to many of the same missing pieces that you're referring to. The difference comes when you talk about what kind of service you can get through these bundles now. DSL is not good enough. Land lines aren't what most are using for their personal phone conversations. Satellite broadband is, well, satellite broadband. DIRECTV needs to be able to offer services that are competitive with its chief competitors and at the same time, they have to do it in a form that people want to use (whether it is the best or not). VOD is the future and as it is, DIRECTV is one of the least prepared to deliver it across their customer base.

* in my area, Comcast, Charter and DISH all run radio ads questioning DIRECTV's resolve to be the sports leader (actually, Comcast claims supremacy) and it seems to be sinking in.

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#612 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 04:17 PM

Much has been echoed by apologists about how the college networks are just too expensive yet many of DIRECTV's competitors that don't boldly claim to be "the undisputed leader in sports"* seem to have reached deals. Are you suggesting that the sports nets are gouging DIRECTV and not TWC, DISH or Comcast?
I'm referring to many of the same missing pieces that you're referring to. The difference comes when you talk about what kind of service you can get through these bundles now. DSL is not good enough. Land lines aren't what most are using for their personal phone conversations. Satellite broadband is, well, satellite broadband. DIRECTV needs to be able to offer services that are competitive with its chief competitors and at the same time, they have to do it in a form that people want to use (whether it is the best or not). VOD is the future and as it is, DIRECTV is one of the least prepared to deliver it across their customer base.

* in my area, Comcast, Charter and DISH all run radio ads questioning DIRECTV's resolve to be the sports leader (actually, Comcast claims supremacy) and it seems to be sinking in.

 

If one of the arguments for Comcast/TWC and AT&T/Directv to merge is that they can negotiate better deals from content providers, maybe Directv thinks they can/should get better deals than TWC, Comcast and Dish get, or better terms, or something since they have more subscribers (at least until Comcast and TWC officially merge)

 

"DSL is not good enough". I get 20M/5M DSL, which works for me, and I could get up to 40M/20M where I live and higher speeds are available elsewhere in CenturyLink country. The local cable company offers 105Mb, but I know someone who has it and never gets that speed during peak times. I get my rated speed (actually faster, closer to 25Mb) from my DSL any time I measure it.

 

True that DSL is slower in some areas, but in some areas cable internet sucks. It just depends on how recently the infrastructure in one's area was upgraded, as outdated infrastructure leads to poor performance on either.


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#613 OFFLINE   Tom Servo

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 05:51 PM

(assuming the ESPN deal gets done and they get SEC Network, which I believe will happen)

 

The people at DISH seem to be gambling on DirecTV not getting SEC Network for a while.  I've been inundated lately with DISH commercials touting that they are the only satellite provider with SEC Network.  As rabid for sports as we southerners are, though, I can't imagine anyone switching to get ahold of a network that has yet to prove itself.  Double so when SEC Network football games are carried on dozens of local TV stations, including the independent station in my particular market.  I don't feel like I'm missing anything.

 


"DSL is not good enough". I get 20M/5M DSL, which works for me, and I could get up to 40M/20M where I live and higher speeds are available elsewhere in CenturyLink country. The local cable company offers 105Mb, but I know someone who has it and never gets that speed during peak times. I get my rated speed (actually faster, closer to 25Mb) from my DSL any time I measure it.

 

True that DSL is slower in some areas, but in some areas cable internet sucks. It just depends on how recently the infrastructure in one's area was upgraded, as outdated infrastructure leads to poor performance on either.

 

As a whole, across the nation, DSL is completely inadequate for our growing data needs.  The pockets that get >10 Mbps are very much a minority of the entirety of the system, regardless of which copper provider's name is on the bill.  I would submit that the ONLY reason you happen to have 40 Mbps DSL available from CenturyLink is because cable there has the potential to be so much faster.  Where I live, there's a good 10-15,000 people in this city whose sole wired internet provider is CenturyLink and it tops out at 10 Mbps.  The utility cableco does not offer internet and of course satellite and LTE are non-starters for 99.9% of households.

 

I've been going back and forth with CenturyLink's customer advocacy people trying to find out if this area is in line for any kind of upgrades, but I'm not holding my breath.  They are — here, at least — a true blue monopoly on wired broadband so there's zero incentive to improve.

 

I fear that this acquisition will cause AT&TV to stagnate growth on the satellite end and probably on the internet end as well.  One they're on equal footing with the cablecos (in select markets) there will be no incentive to be better in some way.  Just to be equal.  And that's not good for consumers.



#614 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 08:56 PM

The people at DISH seem to be gambling on DirecTV not getting SEC Network for a while.  I've been inundated lately with DISH commercials touting that they are the only satellite provider with SEC Network.  As rabid for sports as we southerners are, though, I can't imagine anyone switching to get ahold of a network that has yet to prove itself.  Double so when SEC Network football games are carried on dozens of local TV stations, including the independent station in my particular market.  I don't feel like I'm missing anything.

 

Where do you get the idea that SEC Network football games will be carried on local stations? That kind of destroys the value of a provider picking it up, if their subscribers can watch it via their locals. BTN and Pac 12 don't operate that way, and I highly doubt SEC Network will. You will have to have a cable/satellite provider to watch it, unless they offer some streaming-only subscriptions. You will not be able to pick up the games with an antenna.

 

One can hardly blame Dish for taking a few months of uncertainty for Directv customers and playing it for all its worth, I'm sure if the situation was reversed Directv would do the same to Dish. However, if I was Directv, I'd be kinda pissed off at Disney/ESPN for the way they conduct their negotiations. Reportedly providers have to take turns negotiating in the order in which their contracts come due, so since Dish's contract was up first they got to negotiate first, and therefore get a few months of being able to claim that they have SEC Network and Directv doesn't.


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#615 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 10:48 PM

Channels can be added at any time. DirecTV does not have to wait for the big ABC/ESPN mass renewal to pick up a new ABC/ESPN channel. The big ABC/ESPN renewal just brings the issue to the forefront and introduces the leverage of "the renewal discussion may go better if the new channels are added".

(Adding channels before the big renewal date with any channel provider may require early renegotiation of their full carriage contract. Depending on how sweet the old deal is DirecTV may be better off waiting for the next big renewal date instead of losing a good deal. Such is the business of pay TV. But there is nothing stopping DirecTV from adding SEC in August except the agreement of willing parties.)
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#616 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 04:58 AM

That's true, but since Directv's Disney/ESPN deal expires at the end of September, there's not much point in negotiating separately for SEC Network except to prevent Dish and others from advertising against them and trying to worry Directv customers that they won't carry it. It doesn't even launch until mid-August, so all anyone can do now is advertise it is coming.


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#617 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 05:27 AM

If the deal is not in question then a forward looking statement could be made before the actual deal was signed. There were public assurances ahead of the actual signing of DISH's deal with ABC/ESPN (which was signed after the old deal expired). It is fairly obvious that the companies will be working together for the foreseeable future. Agreeing to a "carry at launch" deal and working out the details later is not impossible.

Unless DirecTV doesn't want to make the commitment ... then they are only hurting themselves as ESPN, AT&T, DISH and Google have free reign to advertise against them.
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#618 OFFLINE   cypherx

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 05:31 AM

Well U-Verse has quite a few HD's DirecTV doesn't.  If this AT&T merger is approved by regulators maybe we will see some of these U-Verse channels on DirecTV in due time..

 

 
American Heroes Channel HD
AWE HD
HSN HD
Justice Central HD
BBC World News HD
fuse HD
Music Choice Play HD
NHK World TV HD
One America News HD
Ovation HD
Pivot HD
ReelzChannel HD
Sundance TV HD
TV One HD
Esquire Network HD
Fusion HD
Nicktoons HD
Outdoor Channel HD
WE HD
 
These are listed under their Premium Add-on Channels
FUNimation Channel HD
Havoc TV HD
Playboy TV HD
TV Japan HD
World Fishing Network HD
 
There are also a lot of sports in HD on U-Verse like Pac-12 and other things, but I really don't know what DirecTV carries in sports because I don't subscribe or care about that.
 
I went to U-Verse site and put in an Austin, TX zip code 78610 (That is one of the markets they want to deploy 1gbps to, so I figured it would be the best market to look at)
 
Now the one thing about U-Verse lineup is its like cable with separate HD channel numbers.  Though its simple (add 1000 to the channel number), I've never seen these schemes work.  There have been a lot of HD set top boxes installed with component or HDMI cables at public places like doctors offices, eye care centers, restaurants, etc... and for the most part people put the lower channel number on.  So with the separate numbering scheme most people never even watch HD because they type in the single or double digit number.  I hope AT&T never takes DirecTV's simple HD channel numbering away from us... or it will be a constant battle with the wife "fixing" the correct channel like it was when we had Comcast.
 

- > Link to my setup thread< -

My  DirecTV HD WISHLIST:  NickJR, Nicktoons, Revolt.TV, FXM, We, Oxygen, The Hub, Fuse, GSN, Sprout, GAC, Esquire, MTV2, BBC World News, Ovation, Reelz , Sundance, Up, Music Choice Play HD (formerly SWRV), Al Jazeera America, Military Channel, NASA

My DirecTV SD WISHLIST: MTV Hits, MTV Jams, Music Choice, Youtoo TV

 

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#619 OFFLINE   Athlon646464

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 06:20 AM

Meet DirecTV’s New Boss: AT&T Chief Randall Stephenson
 
The architect of AT&T’s takeover of DirecTV is an Oklahoma native who first joined Ma Bell two years before the federal government broke up the telephone giant’s monopoly in 1984.
 
AT&T chairman-CEO Randall Stephenson is routinely described in press profiles as “easy-going” and low-key. His Sooner State lilt gives him a folksy accent compared to media execs rooted on the coasts. But Stephenson made it clear in a conference call with investors Monday to sell the $67 billion DirecTV takeover that he is no rube when it comes to evaluating the future of a fast-changing media landscape....
 
 
115741601.jpg
Variety

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#620 ONLINE   harsh

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 08:25 AM

The people at DISH seem to be gambling on DirecTV not getting SEC Network for a while.  I've been inundated lately with DISH commercials touting that they are the only satellite provider with SEC Network.  As rabid for sports as we southerners are, though, I can't imagine anyone switching to get ahold of a network that has yet to prove itself.  Double so when SEC Network football games are carried on dozens of local TV stations, including the independent station in my particular market.  I don't feel like I'm missing anything.

I have an alternate look: I have a sneaking suspicion that SEC is a bundle item with the ESPN channels.

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