AT&T Exec (and new DirecTV chief) talks branding, rates, integration w/U-Verse

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by JosephB, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. JosephB

    JosephB Icon

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    http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/baig/2015/07/24/att-stankey-talks-directv-deal/30643283/?siteID=je6NUbpObpQ-H9kNor8sLyyZ80UH3GkBGA&AID=10709313&PID=3781821&SID=icjrxwlodb0004mr00dth

    Highlights:

    USA TODAY: Will there be changes in branding?
    Stankey: You'll see us of course start to move to make sure that people know that DirecTV is part of the AT&T family. And you'll see us evolving the branding over time. Our goal is to make sure that customers think about their entertainment with their connectivity.

    USA TODAY? Will U-verse and DirecTV co-exist?
    Stankey: We sold to different customer bases. There's some overlap in the markets but we played to the bundle game with U-verse by consolidating product offerings. DirectTV played to people who wanted to buy standalone video. We now can start to cross market products and services. Over the long haul our goal is offer one video product in the market, (with) one video channel lineup, one set of programming relationships, one video brand.

    To do that, we have to do integration work of the technical platforms. I wouldn't think about it as one going away or the other one going away. It's about how the two of them arrive at a new place that's better. Building that new platform is going to take us 24 to 36 months. Our goal is if you're a consumer of ours today that this transition is done in way that is evolutionary (and) non-invasive. This new platform is very software centric. We'll be able to bring the customer new features and services incrementally.
     
  2. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    It will surely be interesting to see how they go about coalescing the programming, hardware and pricing models. There are currently some significant differences in approach to all of these.

    Uverse appears to be committed to using Ethernet while DIRECTV is even more committed to using DECA.

    Uverse is 100% IPTV while DIRECTV uses the RF model.

    Uverse is arguably more realistic about monthly STB fees commensurate with the "power" of the STB while DIRECTV charges the same for all its TV connections with a relatively high DVR fee. Going forward, I'm betting the DVR fee will have to go away much as the HD fee is being left behind through attrition.

    The "software centric" model doesn't seem like it will bode well for all but the latest generation of STBs that have the resources to run a complex HTML interface. DIRECTV has been very resistant to multiple UIs to date.

    Finally, how will the gubmint rules and policies (especially SV and DNS) that apply to one or the other now apply to the combined entity?
     
  3. studechip

    studechip Godfather

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    Directv has a relatively high dvr fee? Are you on drugs? How can you say that as a Dish customer? And more importantly, as a Dish customer, why do you care?
     
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  4. cypherx

    cypherx Hall Of Fame

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    With the tremendous investment of D14 and D15, plus the global footprint of that (vs uverse only in about 21 states) it's obvious that satellite delivery will end up being the main mechanism for HDTV, now without stream limits (ala uverse TV).

    Cisco and Motorola (now Arris) made a lot of the uverse set tops. Now Cisco sold their STB division to Technicolor, and Arris is acquiring Pace. A lot of consolidation is happening in the industry so it will be interesting to see what new hardware and technologies win out.
     
  5. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    If you read the blurb it sounds to me like they're going to introduce new hardware and software in 24-36 months. Who cares about what the current hardware can do, it won't run this new interface. Maybe the Genies will, they're able to receive IP just fine, and should be powerful enough to run something new unless it is overly fancy eye candy ala Windows 7.

    The difference between IP and DECA is irrelevant, once the MPEG4 and HEVC bitstream gets inside the box, whether it was received by a satellite or via a 30 year old copper wire running down the street won't matter. That's where the convergence counts.
     
  6. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    Uverse will and does use coax. In fact they say they will use whatever you have if it's able to send signals well enough. They don't have one specific tech they use at this time. Of course their techs are trained in twisted pair and coax too Since they do networking.

    DIRECTV seems to use ip for on demand streaming.

    Have you actually looked at uverse fees? They still have Hi Definition fee evidently. And are either the same or more per receiver after the first, and generally have a fee for the modem that's monthly that DirecTV doesn't have either... they come out close to the same although DIRECTV as usual is cheaper the more rooms you run. Please don't try again on that theory.

    The writing is on the wall that the gui is going to change, I for one think one of thee reasons it hasn't yet is because of this merger, they want to do it all at once. I'd bet it comes faster than we expect, at least on the directv side. And I do not see any reason DIRECTV will hesitate in having two somewhat different GUIs with the newest stuff being newer. Sometimes you have to split and genies is where the split will imho..
     
  7. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    Last summer when they installed fiber optics behind my house they came to the door trying to get me to switch to it for internet and TV and phone. It was tempting because it was so much less per month than we pay for those things individually. I had a detailed discussion with the guy about their picture vs DirecTV. He said they did not have SD pictures. They used 720p for all channels. There was a FEE if you also wanted the 1080i programming.
     
  8. CraigerM

    CraigerM Well-Known Member

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    Some UVerseTV customers have their boxes hooked up to coax and those coax connections don't have tuners since they use IPTV. AT&T said they would only offer the DTV equipment to new UVerse TV customers only in their FCC filing. I wonder what would happen to the current UVerseTV customers that have the current UVerseTV boxes and their boxes broke?
     
  9. JosephB

    JosephB Icon

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    U-Verse coax and phone line use inside the house is HPNA, which is a specific type of networking, not ethernet and not MoCA (which DECA is just MoCA using specific frequencies), but it will work with any type of cabling so it doesn't matter anyway.


    In the long run, that type of stuff doesn't matter. Those are implementation details. It's all about getting packets from the outside into the house and to a decoding device. If you have coax running through the house, regardless of how the bitstream gets into the main tuning device (like a Genie) the rest of it is just a setting in a menu.

    U-Verse's entire platform is based on Microsoft's Mediaroom platform, which can use either Cisco or Motorola set tops. The manufacturer of the set top isn't as important as the developer of the software. Microsoft sold Mediaroom to Ericsson, and it's clear that AT&T wants to get out from under that. They've said they will standardize on the "DirecTV platform" which basically means they're taking over development of their STB software and bringing it in house. Good news if you work for the DirecTV development team, since AT&T doesn't have anyone doing that now.

    That doesn't mean that DirecTV receivers and U-Verse receivers in 36 months will look like DirecTV receivers today. They will likely be pretty different. What It does mean is that whatever they look like they'll be the same, regardless of how the video packets make it into your house (IP/VDSL or satellite)
     
  10. Tallgntlmn

    Tallgntlmn Icon

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    Boy I hope not. I can't stand the Uverse interface. I hate the fact that unlike DirecTV, Comcast, TWC, it cannot autotune HD no matter what channel you type in. If you type in 2, you go to SD 2 and not HD 1002. At least DirecTV and the cable companies I mentioned tune automatically to the HD stream if your TV is capable. Add to that, the Uverse picture is awful compared to DirecTV. The compression is beyond ridiculous.
     
  11. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    IIRC, they said they would transition to a new platform that is somewhere in between (perhaps implying "best of breed"). They also suggested that both sides will transition from where they are at to the unified platform in a non-abrupt manner. I think it likely that the new platform won't look much like the current offering of either.
     
  12. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    From what I read this is supposed to happen in about 2 to 3 years.
     
  13. cypherx

    cypherx Hall Of Fame

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    Maybe it would be a good excuse (the merger) to do old equipment swap and get rid of MPEG 2 hardware, so they can fully migrate to MPEG4.
     
  14. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    I have a feeling the new boxes will look a lot like the genies right now. In fact I almost wonder if they couldn't work with uverse right now with some software tweaks...
     
  15. CTJon

    CTJon Godfather

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    I hope they are Genie like - I hated (ok strongly disliked) the UVerse boxes that I used 2 years ago. They were decades behind DirecTV in function etc.
     
  16. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    The economics of such a move won't change because of the merger. If there are still millions of MPEG-2 boxes, no one would spend hundreds of millions to swap them out. :)

    Peace,
    Tom
     
  17. JoeTheDragon

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

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    Well they are slowly getting rid of MPEG-2 locals as well.
     
  18. JosephB

    JosephB Icon

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    True, where they end up will not really look like the current DirecTV platform, but it will be developed by the DirecTV team. DirecTV owns and develops their own software internally. U-Verse buys theirs from Microsoft/Ericsson. The "new" platform will likely use nothing from the old U-Verse product at all, since AT&T doesn't have ownership in the intellectual property.
     
  19. cforrest

    cforrest Icon

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  20. James Long

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

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    Key word: Slowly.
     

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