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AT&T CFO says new DirecTV service will be self-installed box instead of truck roll

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by VARTV, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. Dec 5, 2018 #121 of 172
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Airbus mentioned the contract a couple years ago, which is how we knew about it long before there was an FCC filing, but there was never an official press release about it. Because it isn't Airbus that makes those press releases, it is Directv. They used to make them because they had something to brag about - it would bring locals to more markets, or more HD channels, or capability for 4K in the future. T16 just replaces existing capacity, it doesn't add anything new. So not really worthy of a press release.

    There was a filing for permission to launch and begin operations, which they said they'd be ready for in Q1 next year (being ready to launch and having someone with space on a rocket big enough for one of Directv's heavy satellites isn't the same thing, so it may not launch until later next year)

    Oh, and those 15 year mission lifetimes are ALWAYS exceeded, sometimes by a lot. The T8 satellite was launched in 2005, and Directv estimates it will have sufficient fuel to last it until 2034! Most of them don't last that long (it was launched differently than most which saved fuel used for boosting into orbit) but they almost always last over 20 years these days.​
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  2. Dec 5, 2018 #122 of 172
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Here's a perfect example (underlining mine) of why people who read statements like "AT&T has launched its last satellite" and believe that the CEO knows what the hell he's talking about when it comes to technical stuff and should be taken as gospel are foolish.​
     
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  3. Dec 5, 2018 #123 of 172
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    There's zero reason for AT&T to offer incentives to switch, it doesn't save them any money! The install is where the cost difference is, not in the delivery. It isn't like it saves money having the satellite deliver to fewer customers. It only saves them money when they get to zero.​
     
  4. Dec 5, 2018 #124 of 172
    dreadlk

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  5. Dec 5, 2018 #125 of 172
    KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

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    Plus as we saw in the actual demo video, it's not even being powered by the USB port.

    Not really, most of those "tsunamis" of articles all trace back to the same quote, while the "scraps" of news are from things more credible like FCC filings, the makers of the satellites, and a clarifying statement after the initial wave of "AT&T moving to streaming only" articles came out a month ago, all of which have mostly been ignored by the people who wrote the recent set of articles.

    Like one of the better articles mentioned, the current fleet has at least a decade before they get near end of life. Who knows what management team will be in place by then, or if further loosening of ownership rules results in some merger/takeover higher up in the chain and DirecTV has another owner or is spunoff into its own company yet again. Plus at some point in the future, Charlie Ergen won't be the sole majority stakeholder of Dish anymore, which could change things drastically in the satellite industry if Dish gets new ownership or even merges if a future policy change allows it.

    Also, no one knows how bad or how good the internet situation will be by then, especially with so many variables up in the air that change every few years like net neutrality policies, which could cripple the 3rd party OTT delivery of content, or an OTT bubble burst from everyone and their mother pulling their studio libraries from the bigger players like Netflix and attempting to launch dedicated streaming services, jacking up prices for limited content from multiple services and people stick to satellite and cable for the all you can eat buffet of varied content without worrying about the availability of unlimited broadband internet locally. AT&T also only has a 20 state footprint, so what AT&T plans to do with their fiber rollout is meaningless to the other 30 states and DC served by Verizon, Frontier, CenturyLink, Consolidated and others, and their fixed mobile broadband rollout has exceptions which would prevent universal coverage. (i.e. communities switching to underground utilities putting a wrench into plans to deploy 5G microcells on utility poles for fixed mobile broadband)
     
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  6. Dec 5, 2018 #126 of 172
    dreadlk

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    Ok since I do a lot of RF work for a living please explain what bands they are going to be using?
    They will of course use certain frequency ranges for Phone and other parts of the nearby frequency range for data and DirecTV. The fact is that phones have been able to lock onto a multitude of bands for years now. AT&T will use the same towers and the same fiber-optic feed lines for all the services. Your phone will easily be able to tap into the Directv signal.
     
  7. Dec 5, 2018 #127 of 172
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Selective reading helps.

    If your read the more detailed report on the future of streaming you will see that the new "satellite replacement service" that has been hyped since it was mentioned is going to be "skinny" ... skinnier than DIRECTV NOW. Certainly not the same service people receive via satellite moved over to streaming. Which explains why it will be so much cheaper ... it will have much less content.
     
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  8. Dec 5, 2018 #128 of 172
    NashGuy

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    Eh, I agree that he's often a bit fuzzy in the language he uses. Although saying "USB" when you mean "HDMI" isn't quite the same thing as not knowing about future satellite plans. My guess on that is that he was thinking of T-16 as a done deal since it's so far along and really meant no further launches after it. At any rate, yes, you do have to do a bit of reading between the lines at times to figure out what he means.

    As for the Cord Cutters News article linked above, I think the author misinterpreted Stephenson's comments, which I quoted extensively above. Stephenson was saying that the forthcoming thin-client streaming service will be skinnier and lower cost than DTV satellite (not DTV Now). I don't think he gave us any indication as to where it will rank in terms of content and pricing relative to DTV Now. But if I had to guess, I'd say the average monthly price for the upcoming service will either be a bit higher than for DTV Now, or possibly the same (as they may end up offering the exact same channel packages).

    I don't think having the thin-client service offer somewhat skinnier and cheaper packages would keep it from attracting a substantial portion of folks who might otherwise choose DTV satellite -- or from causing a lot of current DTV satellite customers from switching over to it. Everyone likes saving money and the trend in consumer tastes is away from bloated channel packages (although folks who still want every channel, including Sunday Ticket, would still choose DTV satellite). But if it really is to cater to a lot of the same traditional cable/satellite TV customer base, then it will need to offer a more generous cloud DVR than DTV Now has. And, of course, it's going to need to be more reliable than DTV Now has been so far too -- that may be its true achilles heel.
     
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  9. Dec 5, 2018 #129 of 172
    inkahauts

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    They both need a broadcast center. But satellite only needs one. Streaming requires a lot of servers and massive infrastructure all over the company to support it at scale. It has a lot more redundancy of equipment because of how it has to relay around the entire country. Same issue cable companies have. Satellite is by far the most efficient at that. And someone once did the math and it cost less than a dollar a month to build the satelites. You think it costs that for all the server farm buildings? On a per person basis? I don’t think so, especially not without having major scale.

    The parallel being drawn with vcrs vs DVRs doesn’t work here. You can get the same result with either sat or streaming for the majority of people. It’s about access and cost. In fact I believe you’ll have less versatility with streaming forever, as is the case today. Many will choose it today because it seems to cost less today. Let’s see what happened when it costs just as much and it’s so fragmented it’s aggravating to find what you want. DIRECTV ip will be about the same price, and I suspect in time they will have it and satellite have the same price if and programming packages.
     
  10. Dec 5, 2018 #130 of 172
    dreadlk

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    I agree with most of what you have said but from a business stand point regardless of what we might wish to be true there is a whole bunch of grey area as to what ATT really plans on doing. My business sense says to me that they will follow the market trend, which is streaming and try to convert over as many customers as they can to the new streaming service coming out in 2019. I am not sure where this Skinny channel lineup came from? Everything I have read and seen on YouTube channels indicate that they plan on duplicating the complete satellite package via streaming. This makes sense as you don't want to be haggling with customers that you are trying to convert over to streaming about lost channels. You just want to offer a different delivery system that feels seamless.

    As for everything else you said I agree. I think even AT&T has no clue as to what exactly they want to do. They are probably thinking it's best to keep one foot in each market and see what happens in the future. Things like Net neutrality and possible other legal challenges plus people who decide they want or need satellite delivery and flip over to Dish will all be a numbers game that will probably decide what AT&T does.

    We also have the "Musk" factor at work. If Space-X keeps on driving down the costs to deliver satellites it might make satellite Bandwidth so cheap that AT&T has no option but to stay with satellite.

    I really really hope that the DTV satellite delivery system is not killed off in 5-10 years, I hope it expands and gets even more content and better equipment. I love my DTV system and I have already played around with streaming long enough to know that it is just not for me.
     
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  11. Dec 5, 2018 #131 of 172
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    They will follow the money. The money is in the satellite service, especially the commercial side. When you find a commercial streaming solution to replace multiple tuner satellite setups for the "every game is on" type sports bar or a hospitality system where a hotel or hospital has to source dozens of different content streams to deliver to various rooms we can talk about satellite being replaced. Until then, the commercial market will keep the uplinks hot and residential customers will continue to be able to get full service subscriptions without the limitations of the Internet.

    Fun fact: DISH offers an in house IPTV solution that delivers IPTV to end users in MDU/hospitality setups. The source of the signals is their satellite system with signals received at the site via satellite then delivered via IPTV. Think of it as a Genie/Client situation on steroids.
     
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  12. Dec 6, 2018 #132 of 172
    JoeTheDragon

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    DIRECTV COM3000 can do iptv as well.
     
  13. Dec 6, 2018 #133 of 172
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    If you do RF work you know that modern phones already have a TON of components to let them handle all the bands - and many lower/mid range phones only support bands in the country they are sold to minimize those components. And this is across a pretty narrow range of hundreds of MHz.

    5G will be using multiple GHz of bands ranging from use of existing cellular frequencies in the 2600 MHz and under range, plus C band frequencies in the 4 GHz and 6 GHz range, Ka band in the 24 and 28 GHz (currently being auctioned by the FCC) and eventually even 60 to 70 GHz. There's no way phones are going to handle all those ranges.

    Anyway I didn't say the phones "couldn't tap into the Directv signal", just that if you have fixed wireless 5G at home it will be using different frequencies than your cell phone will.
     
  14. Dec 6, 2018 #134 of 172
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    He has been pretty clear in multiple previous statements that the new IP service will basically be "Directv over IP". So it is far more likely it will offer the exact same packages as satellite does, and have nothing to do with Directv Now other than the fact that both use the internet.

    As for pricing, who knows where it will fall, but assuming those previous statements are correct and it has the same packages as satellite, I'd expect the pricing to be closer to satellite than to Directv Now. They've said before they are LOSING MONEY on Directv Now, so doubling down on Directv Now like pricing for the product that is going to replace their very profitable satellite product would not be a very good business decision.

    The people who think Directv is going to try to entice or force existing satellite customers to IP totally miss out on this price differential. Even if they want to claim that somehow it is cheaper to have streaming customers than satellite customers because of the "what if they have to send an installer every 3-4 years when the LNB goes bad" factor are ignoring that they will be charging less money when they have the SAME programming cost. Heck, if they just had the same pricing for everything except dropping the $15 "advanced receiver fee" since you won't get a Genie with the IP product they will make less money. That $15 adds up to $360 over two years, which more than covers the cost of a brand new Genie (probably $150 or so) and the install.
     
  15. Dec 6, 2018 #135 of 172
    NashGuy

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    There were one or two statements earlier this year that seemed to indicate that the forthcoming service would essentially be "full DirecTV" OTT and then that line of thinking got picked up and repeated by various online reports. I don't think he ever specifically said it would offer the same channel packages as satellite, although there was a lot of speculation online, including by me, that that may be the case.

    But then his latest remarks, on the call earlier this week, definitely contradicted that idea. With regard to the forthcoming service, he said, "It is a DIRECTV offering with a thinner package of content at a lower price point." That was in contrast to the description he had just laid out of the flagship satellite service, describing it basically as content-rich, feature-rich, and expensive.

    We'll have to wait and see. AT&T's whole video strategy increasingly looks like a convoluted mess.
     
  16. Dec 6, 2018 #136 of 172
    CraigerM

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    Could it be that the thinner content for DTV over IP wont have any of the shopping and infomercial channels except they would still have QVC and HSN. Plus they wont allow for networks that have trouble getting on cable and satelliteTV to pay to be on it? Also what if a way to look at DTV Now vs DTV over IP is DTV Now would be a contract free TV service but with limited channels. DTV over IP would be contract TV service.
     
  17. Dec 6, 2018 #137 of 172
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    That is definitely a true statement!
     
  18. Dec 6, 2018 #138 of 172
  19. Dec 6, 2018 #139 of 172
  20. Dec 6, 2018 #140 of 172
    Steveknj

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    No, not right off it doesn't, but, having them switch means, they don't have to EVER offer them upgrades for older equipment, or make a home visit, either when new SAT tech comes along, or for dish repairs and so forth. I've been with DirecTV for probably around 15 years and I'd say I've had at least 7-8 house visits, either for repair or new equipment, That costs them money. By switching users to the new tech, where they own their equipment and do not have to make a house visit, that saves them money in the long run. Lets say they break even on every user that switches. But they might save $500 per user by not having to do any of the above. That's significant when you are talking about millions of subscribers. And if their ultimate goal is to sunset or at least limit the number of users on SAT, then the sooner they move people the better.

    Obviously NOBODY knows the future. I'm basing what I believe on:

    1) The landscape out there
    2) That new Tech often replaces old mature tech over time
    3) That they are bleeding customers
    4) The TV model is changing....cord cutting is popular, but it's also possible to keep the traditional infrastructure AND cut the cord. That's what they are hoping for, as the popularity of LIVE streaming increases.
    5) it's also possible that by coming out with a new service they can restructure a lot of things that they don't like about the current model (rights fees, a new system of tiers etc)

    There's just a lot of good reasons for them to go in this direction, from both a user and cost standpoint. I just think a lot of us on here don't want anything to change or are very skeptical of what this might do to their beloved SAT setup. Always remember what AT&T is, first and foremost a wireless company. They aren't stupid, they understand what is happening.
     

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