AT&T to offer streaming version of DirecTV

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Athlon646464, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. espaeth

    espaeth AllStar

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    The dedicated client box is an immediate non-starter for me. After seeing all of the benefits of a capable universal platform like the AppleTV, going back to a solution that requires input switching and another remote seems draconian.

    With all HDMI-CEC capable hardware, the single AppleTV remote does everything. One button and it powers on my receiver, my TV, and adjust the inputs so that everything is appropriately chained. From a single interface I can immediately launch into iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, Starz, or HBO for "catalog" movies and shows. For live TV I can launch into YoutubeTV, Philo, or the Channels app to stream OTA off a HDHomeRun. Across all of those apps the same remote is used, and search/text input can be done either through voice dictation on the Siri remote, or via an iPhone/iPad attached to the same network as the AppleTV.

    DIRECTV adding number buttons to an Android TV box remote so you can directly tune channels feels like they're trying to solve a UI problem that other players like YoutubeTV have solved more elegantly. These days I'm watching the NHL Stanley cup playoffs, so when I launch Youtube TV at night the first options on my home screen are links to the live games. I don't have to care if the game is on NBCSN, NBC, USA, or CNBC -- I just click on the thing that YoutubeTV has already learned that I want to watch and it takes me to that feed.

    The other area where YoutubeTV is leading is incorporating game stats into game coverage for most of the major sports leagues. Not only can I use the mobile app to see a list of key plays (hits, goals, shots) and click to be taken to those moments in the DVR recording, but they also use that live stats data to automatically adjust the recording duration for games that run long. Hockey game goes into double OT? YoutubeTV automatically extends the recording so you won't miss anything. Same thing with MLB games that go into extra innings.

    Unless I'm missing something, the only benefit to the new solution that ATT is rolling out is that it won't have up-front costs for the satellite install truck roll, and that's mostly a benefit for ATT. I'm not seeing where this service is going to meaningfully benefit subscribers. It's certainly not going to save the paying customer any money (especially if they have to pay fees like Xfinity's $50/mo upcharge for unlimited), and with the direction they're going with this box it's looking like it's not going to meaningfully improve the experience either.
     
  2. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Hmm. Well, I know that they filed amended/updated versions of some of the required documents in the past and there hadn't even been any hardware changes.

    At any rate, if they have in fact revised some of the specs (perhaps to make it run faster/smoother), then I would expect that those details will at some point wind up here:
    Android TV Guide - AT&T - DIRECTV
     
  3. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    I agree and CCN and really wish people would stop using there articles the Website is mostly click-bait.. I agree on the remote portion. I dont believe they changed the box at all.. but want additional testers..
     
  4. tkrandall

    tkrandall Hall Of Fame

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    I live in a metro Atlanta county with 750k population. Typical suburban neighborhoods area on the affluent side of things.

    Best AT&T can offer me is aDSL at 10-12 mbps about 1.5 miles from the VRAD (or whatever it is called). But it is not rock solid stable on speed. No clue or sign as to when or if fiber will ever arrive.

    Concerning the touted 5G future, all cellular providers in my local ~1 mile diameter cellular-weak-signal-hole are marginal or no coverage indoors with low band spectrum. Middle section of the county - not some corner in the sticks. All the cell towers are over a mile away, some 3, with terrain and trees and the carriers are oversubscribed in many cases anyway.

    I see no real investment signs by cable, cell, or wireline broadband providers to actually provide the infrastructure/signal strength needed to deliver the bandwidth necessary to make all of this OTT paradigm possible or as a suitable replacement for DBS. Can I stream Netflix or other service well enough? Yes, but I would not want to try 2 streams at once, like watch a ballgame while someone else is watching a movie.

    Maybe true bandwidth it is coming to my neck of the woods - but I have yet to see any real signs of it.

    Which leads me to wonder, if an area like mine cannot get the real bandwidth necessary to make OTT a suitable delivery mechanism for multiple stream live TV, how in the world is it going to work for flyover country?

    I need to see a lot more real progress on high bandwidth broadband availability across the countryside before I would get warm about the demise of familiar Dish and DirecTV DBS paradigms.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
  5. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    More big losses for DTV announced today. AT&T announced that DTV satellite and Uverse TV combined had a net loss of 544,000 subscribers in Q1 2019. In the past, numbers were broken out separately for satellite vs. Uverse TV and in the previous 2 or 3 quarters we saw big losses in the former but small gains by the latter.

    Perhaps Uverse TV actually continued its gains in Q1, meaning that satellite lost even more than 544k subs, but AT&T combined the two this time to hide just how bad the satellite number is. I think Uverse TV has bucked the trend of MVPD subscriber losses in recent quarters because of the growth of AT&T Fiber, with many of those new broadband subs taking Uverse IPTV rather than satellite in their bundle. This is despite the fact that AT&T has not actively advertised Uverse TV outside of their own website for a long time now.

    I still predict that Uverse TV will cease to be offered to new subs within the next year, after the new streaming DTV service using the C71 box launches. I have yet to read the full transcript of today's earnings call but I did read the following over at Fierce Video:

    Stephenson said that the upcoming launch of a “thin client,” which he described as “our satellite replacement product,” should help moderate those losses particularly heading into 2020.

    “We think this product is going to have a really good appeal for people down-market in terms of their expectations on video pricing,” Stephenson said. He added that DirecTV churn is disproportionately at the low end, and that a thin client helps DirecTV meet that lower end at a price point.
    Hopefully the full transcript provides an updated timeframe on when this new "satellite replacement product" will launch. We know AT&T just launched another round of beta testing on the C71 thin-client box, so I'm not expecting to see a commercial roll-out until at least early July but, who knows, it could be this fall, especially with that "heading into 2020" remark.
     
  6. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    If "Directv churn is disproportionately at the low end" they may not care too much about losing them. The high end customers are the ones they want, that's where the money is. Low profit customers are a drag on margins, and when execs are compensated on meeting margin goals they'll manage for margins by dropping lower profit customers. If they were compensated based on avoiding subscriber losses, they'd manage on that (by offering everyone who tries to leave a sweet deal, even the low end customers)
     
  7. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Perhaps, although what would be the rationale of introducing a new delivery platform if it was only to hold onto low-margin customers that they really don't care about? I think the bigger reason for this upcoming service is evident in how Stephenson referred to it: a "satellite replacement product".
     
  8. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    DirecTV and now ATT are still talking the we want higher end subscribers, but yet aren’t doing diddly to make themselves a premium product in any meaningful way.
    Just look at the new sign up deals. Heavily discounted first year and a $300 debit card would seem to be targeting the values customer.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
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  9. CraigerM

    CraigerM Well-Known Member

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    I found this link not sure how reliable it is but a person claims the new box will be called the Genie Extreme. The poster also says to look up Airties 7430. The Airties 7430 will have AT&T's WIFI Mesh Extender built in and the software will work with AT&T Gateway's. Also no more leasing to the customer you will be able to buy the box.

    In other posts in the thread claim you wont be able to sign up to UVerseTV during Q3 of this year and it sounds to me like the new DTV over IP might be called AT&T TV replacing UVerseTV. I base that off of one post that claims the DTV and UVerseTV names will be phased out. Current UVerseTV customers will be able to keep UVerseTV but if they leave and want to come back they wont be able to.

    Uverse turn down in 3Q - post regarding AT&T layoffs

    https://www.airties.com/product-7430.html
     
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  10. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Dunno about "Genie Extreme" I guess I could see that, but no way they use that 7430. It doesn't even have a coax port you can use in the US, that is a Euro style coax connector.

    Not to mention that they aren't going to have a coax port on their 'Directv via IP' product. I could see them maybe wanting to make a provision for people to use OTA, but they'd use something that attaches via USB like the LCC for that. Adding ATSC to a box adds cost (including some patent licenses) for something most people won't use. Same reason they quit building it into the satellite boxes. Plus you wouldn't want to build ATSC into boxes when ATSC 3.0 is coming out soon.
     
  11. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    So if there's no need for a coax port on the thin-client STB, why does it matter if the coax port on the AirTies 7430 is Euro-style? It wouldn't be used, regardless. I can't imagine that the inclusion of that port influences the build cost of the box much.

    Look, it's absolutely possible that the (apparent AT&T employee?) guy who posted the link to that box on TheLayoff.com doesn't know what he's talking about. But given that AT&T Fiber/Internet has for some time now been offering AirTies brand mesh wifi extenders to their customers lends a certain amount of plausibility to the idea that they would want to use an Android TV STB with built-in AirTies mesh wifi capabilities.

    If you get broadband service from AT&T and also sign up for the forthcoming streaming service ("DirecTV"? "AT&T TV"?), I could see them giving you the 7430 box. It would probably have a better connection with the broadband gateway for TV service while simultaneously improving general wifi coverage and performance in your home.

    For their TV customers who "bring their own broadband" from another provider, then they'd just ship them the cheaper C71 box. The UI, software and remote controls for both boxes would be the same.

    It all seems very plausible to me. The main thing that makes me skeptical, though, is that this is the only reference I've seen anywhere that AT&T plans to use the AirTies 7430. Not aware of any beta testing, FCC submissions, etc.

    Edit: Another possibility is that AT&T orders a bunch of those 7430 boxes from AirTies but in a slightly customized outer case that features the AT&T logo (rather than the AirTies logo) and closes off the coax port in back.
     
  12. CraigerM

    CraigerM Well-Known Member

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    With the 7430 you wouldn't need the LCC and just hook the antenna right to the RF port. They could just use the LCC for the SatelliteTV boxes. What if the cloud DVR would also work with the antenna?
     
  13. James Long

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

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    I'd expect anything AT&T provides to be custom built for AT&T - not some product with a connector that would never be used.
    There are several other "red flags" in the claims ... fortunately October is not that far away - so the rest of the "third quarter" predictions will either be right or wrong bin a few months.
     
  14. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    I tend to think (as I put in my edit) that AT&T's TV STBs would have the AT&T logo on them. As for removing a useless coax connector, probably -- but whether or not they do could just come down to cost and time-to-market considerations. All that said, AT&T already uses those AirTies extenders as-is, with the AirTies (not AT&T) branding on them. Click my link above to see. So maybe they'd use an off-the-shelf AirTies STB, as long as it has AT&T's customized Android TV on it, which should be no problem.

    A 3Q19 rollout of this streaming thin-client TV service is what I've been expecting lately. I had been anticipating 2Q until another round of beta testing for the C71, this time with an updated remote control, was recently announced. So I figure a July launch is now the earliest we might expect. Stephenson recently talked about having this service in place "heading into 2020," and the talk last year targeted a 2019 launch, so I still expect it will happen this summer or fall.
     
  15. CraigerM

    CraigerM Well-Known Member

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    After reading NashGuy's post I agree with him that maybe they could do the 7430 with the RF port being optional. Under the 7430's interface's section it also says BLE interface optional not sure if that has anything to do with the RF port. However they could use the RF port for when AT&T has channel disputes.
     
  16. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    If you connected an OTA antenna to the RF (coaxial) port, I don't think it would do anything because it doesn't look like the 7430 box has an OTA (ATSC 1.0 or 3.0) tuner inside of it. Android TV does have system-level support for OTA TV but the box would need a tuner. Simplest solution would be an external tuner built into a USB stick that plugs into the USB port on the back of the 7430. I think Android TV has built-in driver support for this one from Hauppauge as I've read you can plug it into the Nvidia Shield Android TV box and it "just works" with Google's native Live Channels app.
     
  17. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    Is that what we have come to? Finding random crap people have spewed on a forum and taking it as this is the direction things are going
     
  18. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Says the guy posting on another forum filled with, what some would call, "random crap".
     
  19. CraigerM

    CraigerM Well-Known Member

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    I did say at the beginning of my post I wasn't sure if this was true.
     
  20. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    I mean then why even say it.... I get speculation sometimes but this doesnt even fit this thread or anything related.
     

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