AT&T to offer streaming version of DirecTV

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

  1. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

    811
    167
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Not my intention at all. Your statement here is, IMO, a weird interpretation/reaction to what I wrote which says more about you than it does about me.

    Go check out what DISH is offering new subscribers who sign up via their website. No discounts, not even $10-20 off, on the regular monthly price. Only thing you get is a price lock for the duration of your 2-year contract, plus three months of free premiums (not including HBO or Cinemax, which isn't available at all) and a free Google Home Mini.

    You're citing a small pool of anecdotal evidence from a website biased in favor of pro-DTV opinion. Maybe take a look at the actual subscriber numbers that AT&T has been reporting for DTV over the past few years. Pretty dismal.
     
  2. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

    49,727
    1,848
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    $59.99 for AT120, $69.99 for AT120+, $79.99 for AT200, $89.99 for AT250 when I pull up dish.com. Which is $20 off AT120 and $15 off the remaining packages (with the discount lasting the full two year commitment). "No Discount?"
    I believe you're having trouble reading those numbers too. But "dismal" is an opinion and if you feel that DIRECTV's retention rates are "dismal" you can have that opinion. It certainly isn't at the level where people with options are not staying with DIRECTV.
     
  3. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

    811
    167
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    If the numbers you're stating are right, then I stand corrected. Nothing on the homepage or the sign-up process at Dish.com indicated to me that the stated package prices were discounted. Only that the stated prices are for the full 24-month contract term and locked against any regular annual price increases.

    So what you're saying is that, unlike DTV, who heavily discounts packages for the first 12 months before going to the regular price the following 12 months, DISH somewhat discounts packages for the full 24 months of the contract, and then as soon as the customer becomes a free agent, they hit them with a $15-20 price increase (plus however much more that the regular prices had gone up over those 24 months). Seems like an odd strategy to go to full pricing right at the same time that the customer can choose to leave. You mention that customers at that point can "recommit and get a price lock". How does that work? How long is the commitment and what price is being locked in? I would guess it's the then-current regular price, yes?
     
  4. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

    49,727
    1,848
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    Renewal offers depend on the customer. What DISH has done with their two year price lock is end the practice of giving a discount for only half of the commitment. Take no action after two years and the customer ends up with the then current pricing (which would be a $25 jump at the end of two years for most customers - end the $15 discount and add two annual $5 price increases the customer delayed).

    Whether customers prefer $30 off for a year then no discount or $15 off for two years is a good question. For some, the $30 jump after one year is enough for them to start asking "how much is my ETF"? Others may prefer a deeper discount the first year (with the hope that they can negotiate a good price for the second year later).
     
  5. Jul 1, 2019 #385 of 545
    TDK1044

    TDK1044 Godfather

    771
    80
    Apr 8, 2010
    So, will this new streaming box allow the viewer to step outside D* world and access things like Netflix and Amazon?
     
  6. Jul 1, 2019 #386 of 545
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

    811
    167
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Yes. Just go to the "Apps" menu on AT&T's home screen (same place you go to access the grid guide, your DVR recordings, etc.). Current beta testers of the box report that it comes with the Netflix app pre-installed (along with various Google and AT&T-owned apps like YouTube and Boomerang). To get apps like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, CBS All Access, ESPN and lots of others for Android TV, you'll have to go into the Google Play Store (also pre-installed on the box) and download them and install them yourself. The box supports 4K HDR and users report that feature works in the Netflix app. Amazon hasn't quite yet released their app for Android TV in the Google Play Store but they recently promised that it's coming soon and it will also support 4K HDR. Hulu for Android TV is already in the Google Play Store but it only supports regular on-demand Hulu (either with or without ads); it doesn't support the Live TV add-on, although Google says they're trying to get Hulu to support that.

    If you subscribe to premium channels like HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Starz or Epix through AT&T, those libraries will show up in the VOD section of AT&T's own user interface, so you won't have to use the separate Android TV app (e.g. HBO Go) unless you just want to.
     
    TDK1044 likes this.
  7. Jul 1, 2019 #387 of 545
    TDK1044

    TDK1044 Godfather

    771
    80
    Apr 8, 2010
    Great. Thanks for the response.
     
    NashGuy likes this.
  8. Jul 5, 2019 #388 of 545
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

    811
    167
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    In case you didn't see the news yesterday, internal screenshots have leaked out from inside AT&T confirming that their new premium, thin-client streaming cable TV service will be called AT&T TV, just as I figured. It'll soft launch in 9 markets in August with a nationwide launch in 4Q. Looks like at least some customers on AT&T Fiber or AT&T Internet home broadband service MAY be served some or all of their linear channels via multicast IPTV (same streams used for Uverse TV?), with everything else (cloud DVR, VOD) being unicast OTT streams. And of course anyone not on AT&T broadband will be served 100% by unicast OTT, just as has always been the cast with DTV Now.

    Per the info in the leaked screenshots, when AT&T TV launches in a given area, new sales and installations of Uverse TV will immediately cease there (also as I had predicted).

    Here's a link to the story at Cord Cutter News. (I gave him the tip-off for the story yesterday and he quickly got it up.) EDIT: I should note that user CraigerM tipped me off on the leaked screenshots, I didn't find them myself. He's more on top of some of this stuff than I am!

    AT&T's New DIRECTV Streaming Service Will Reportedly Be Called AT&T TV & Will Soft Launch in August 2019 - Cord Cutters News

    What the channel packages, feature set and pricing for AT&T TV will look like are still open questions. I've made my predictions, of course, but we'll have to wait until next month to see what the reality is.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
    BigRedFan and b4pjoe like this.
  9. Jul 5, 2019 #389 of 545
    b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

    833
    217
    Nov 19, 2010
    Quote from that article:

    So as predicted, cheaper for AT&T to help them save money...not necessarily cheaper for the customer.

    So what is the difference between multicast IPTV and unicast OTT because AT&T internet is not available at all where I am at?
     
  10. Jul 5, 2019 #390 of 545
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

    49,727
    1,848
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    ALWAYS look for sources! "reportedly" isn't a source.

    At best the "evidence" presented supports moving UVERSE customers to the new service (turning off sales, not discontinuing providing UVERSE service).
    Otherwise, the scenarios presented show what happens if a customer CHOOSES to buy AT&T TV. No forced migration of current customers.
     
    compnurd likes this.
  11. Jul 5, 2019 #391 of 545
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

    811
    167
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Well, multiple comments from the AT&T CEO and other top brass over the past year have indicated that they plan to price this AT&T TV service cheaper overall than they do DirecTV satellite. In fact, I expect that both services will offer the same set of newly revamped channel packages (taking advantage of AT&T's latest round of renegotiated contracts) but that the pricing will be $20-30 per month higher for satellite than on AT&T TV for the same set of channels. (But satellite will offer a better DVR and upgrading the cloud DVR on AT&T TV will cost a little extra each month.)

    I've posted *very* detailed predictions of where this is all going on this and other sites. I could be completely off base, we'll see. It's all just a fun internet parlor game pass-time for me.

    OK, you know how when you stream anything on Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, or any other popular app or website? That's all unicast over-the-top streams. "Unicast" means that the stream you're accessing is being sent JUST to you. It's one-to-one, hence the "uni-" prefix. No one else is getting that stream, even if they happen to be watching the same thing at the same time. "Over-the-top" means that the stream travels out over the open internet rather than staying only on one company's own internal network, where they can give the stream special treatment.

    "Multicast" means that the stream is one-to-many, hence the "multi-" prefix. Obviously, multicast streams only make sense for stuff that lots of people would happen to be watching all at the very same time, such as live linear channels, like your local NBC station, or ESPN, or CNN. Why use multicast? Well, imagine if you and a million of your closest friends in your area were all watching the same football game on ESPN. What would happen if you all were watching that live event with each of you getting your very own separate unicast stream? That would require a TON of bandwidth on the local broadband providers' networks. And it would be QUITE taxing on ESPN's servers. But a multicast stream can be simultaneously viewed by up to a million different viewers on the same broadband network. A single multicast stream does take up more bandwidth/network resources than a single unicast stream but not one thousand, much less one million, times as much. And multicast streams tend to be more reliable, with faster acquisition and less buffering, than unicast streams.

    The problem with multicast streaming, though, is that it can't be done "over-the-top". It must be done on each individual broadband operator's own network. They have to choose to implement it. And besides that, either the viewing device (TV set-top box, mobile app, etc.) OR the in-home modem/router gateway MUST understand how to access that operator's implementation of multicast. It's not really an industry-wide standard the way unicast streams are. The ability to implement multicast streams is one of the biggest differentiators of IPTV (internet protocol television, like Uverse TV) versus OTT TV (like DirecTV Now).
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
  12. Jul 5, 2019 #392 of 545
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

    811
    167
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Not sure where you got "forced migration" of Uverse TV customers. Certainly not from me. No, Uverse TV will continue to operate for a good while for EXISTING customers. But once AT&T TV launches, no NEW customers will be allowed to sign up.

    Heck, my AT&T broadband installer told me that in March 2018 when he was at my house. I casually asked what was happening with Uverse TV (which I didn't sign up for). "Oh," he said, "we're gonna stop doing new installs of that later this year." Of course, at that point in time, AT&T's CEO was saying that AT&T TV was going to launch in fall 2018. So my installer's understanding was correct based on AT&T's planned timeline then. The AT&T TV launch has gotten pushed back almost a year later than originally planned. But it's almost here now.
     
  13. Jul 5, 2019 #393 of 545
    b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

    833
    217
    Nov 19, 2010
    I don't think there will be forced migrations but I can see them trying to get you to switch if you have issues with any of your satellite equipment. And I think they would also try to get new subscribers to do the streaming option instead of satellite.
     
  14. Jul 5, 2019 #394 of 545
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

    49,727
    1,848
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    Streaming will need to be profitable before they push people away from satellite. :)
     
  15. Jul 6, 2019 #395 of 545
    BigRedFan

    BigRedFan Legend

    571
    236
    Mar 28, 2010
    South Florida
    Do we know yet whether the new streaming box will support DirecTV's 4K channels 104-108 ? Or will satellite continue to be the only place to see the 4K channels ?
     
  16. Jul 6, 2019 #396 of 545
    compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

    3,114
    399
    Apr 23, 2007
    Evans City PA
    Better phrase would be will the new service offer it
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
  17. Jul 6, 2019 #397 of 545
    compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

    3,114
    399
    Apr 23, 2007
    Evans City PA
    Anything on that site I take with a grain of salt. It is a complete Click Bait site and has been at the forefront of rumors with this new service and been wrong almost 100% of the time
     
  18. Jul 6, 2019 #398 of 545
    dtv757

    dtv757 Icon

    2,010
    310
    Jun 3, 2006
    757
    One would think 4k would be offered with new service . I would assume 4k is easier to deliver via internet . It would just depend on customers broadband connection

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
     
    BigRedFan likes this.
  19. Jul 6, 2019 #399 of 545
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

    811
    167
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    You don't even need to read the article, per se. Just read the info in the screenshots that were posted by an AT&T employee over at TheLayoff.com. Those screenshots (which Cord Cutter News reposted in their write-up) are the basis for the story, along with the fact that the info in the screenshots largely confirm/comport with everything that we've been hearing publicly from AT&T leaders for months and months now.
     
  20. Jul 6, 2019 #400 of 545
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

    811
    167
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    The AT&T TV box (the C71) definitely does support 4K. And it supports two HDR formats: HDR10 and HLG. (It does NOT support Dolby Vision.) Folks beta testing this box report that they're already able to watch Netflix content in 4K HDR on it.

    I think AT&T's CEO may have made one stray remark a year or so ago about how he envisioned their future streaming service ultimately offering 4K content, as well as pretty much everything else offered by DTV satellite (including all the channels, pay-per-view, NFL Sunday Ticket, etc.). But beyond that, I'm not aware of any indication that AT&T TV will definitely offer the same 4K content that is offered on DTV satellite. My *guess* is that it absolutely will. Why wouldn't it, if the box supports it and AT&T TV will be positioned as their new premium flagship TV service?

    One bad thing about this box with regard to HDR, though: it seems to auto-sense if the connected TV supports HDR and, if it does, it forces everything it outputs to be HDR, whether or not that's the native format of the content. Of course, the vast majority of content on cable channels is regular SDR, not HDR, and many viewers don't like the look of SDR that has been forced into "fake HDR". The Apple TV 4K box also worked like this when it first came out but then Apple implemented a setting where users could turn on "Dynamic Range Matching," allowing SDR stuff to display as SDR and HDR stuff to display as HDR. Such an option doesn't exist yet on AT&T's box and it could be because it's a system-level issue controlled by Google's Android TV operating system, which the box runs on. If that's the case, fixing this issue may be out of AT&T's hands.
     
    BigRedFan and dtv757 like this.

Share This Page

spam firewall