AT&T to offer streaming version of DirecTV

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

  1. Jul 6, 2019 #421 of 545
    MrWindows

    MrWindows New Member

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    You also have to take into account the companies reselling UVerse as their own product, like CenturyLink with Prism.
     
  2. Jul 6, 2019 #422 of 545
    mjwagner

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    Yeah, nobody who is used to using an Nvidia Shield or an ATV 4k will want this box...but that is clearly not the target audience for this thing either. The target audience is existing sat/cable customers who are looking to maintain the experience they are used to. Unfortunately for AT&T that audience is shrinking, and fairly rapidly. It is still a pretty big population but they need to move quickly.
     
  3. Jul 7, 2019 #423 of 545
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    There's no reason for it to be slow, it has much better hardware than any of Directv's current clients. If it is slow it is because its software sucks.
     
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  4. Jul 7, 2019 #424 of 545
    CraigerM

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    Yeh, that’s one thing I didn’t get why it would be slow with the specs it has?
     
  5. Jul 7, 2019 #425 of 545
    compnurd

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    Software is bloated and poorly written probably
     
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  6. Jul 7, 2019 #426 of 545
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    CenturyLink no longer sells their Prism IPTV service (which runs on the same software/hardware platform as Uverse TV -- Ericsson MediaRoom backend, STBs/DVRs, etc.). They still operate Prism TV for existing customers but they stopped actively selling (or maybe even doing any new installations at all, not sure) a good while ago.

    What does CenturyLink instead sell via their website (and I would guess other sales channels) for their broadband customers who want to bundle pay TV too? They sell DTV satellite. Which is kinda weird, but whatever.

    Once AT&T TV launches, do you think that CenturyLink (whose telco/DSL/fiber footprint does not overlap with AT&T's) might begin selling AT&T TV in with CenturyLink broadband service and stop selling DTV satellite? I do. Why sell TV that requires an expensive installation of an old-fashioned rooftop dish when they could instead sell a next-gen TV service that streams over their own broadband lines? You *know* that's what AT&T will want them to do, although it's possible that CenturyLink could decide to resell another IP-based service (e.g. YouTube TV, as Verizon does) rather than AT&T TV. But whatever they do, I don't expect to see CenturyLink still selling DTV satellite this time next year, except maybe to customers on their slowest connections (e.g. DSL 1.0) who aren't really able to reliably stream HD video at all.

    What about Frontier, who used to also sell and operate Uverse TV in some areas as "Frontier Uverse TV"? Back in 2016, they introduced a new brand, Frontier Vantage TV, that replaced Frontier Uverse TV. I would imagine it runs on a completely new STB in those few areas where Frontier has installed FTTH but in all those FTTN areas formerly on Uverse TV, I think they simply rolled out a firmware update to existing STBs, giving it an updated UI plus a Netflix app. No idea whether or not the backend still runs on the original Ericsson Mediaroom platform. Other parts of the Frontier footprint, which they acquired from Verizon, run Frontier FiOS TV, using the same platform as Verizon FiOS TV.

    Generally speaking, Frontier as a company is kind of a mess and, more specifically, their TV offerings are also a mess. Whether or not they might decide to get out of the business of selling their two in-house TV brands and everything that entails and move to just reselling AT&T TV, who knows.
     
  7. Jul 7, 2019 #427 of 545
    NashGuy

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    For the "post-cable" population who has moved on to streaming and thinks of devices like Apple TV 4K, Nvidia Shield TV, Roku and Fire TV (or, for those under a certain age, their smartphone) as their main TV consumption device, AT&T isn't particularly worried about trying to sell any cable TV bundle, regardless of the brand: AT&T TV or DirecTV or Uverse TV or DirecTV Now. No, to that growing group of consumers, AT&T wants to sell their own forthcoming direct-to-consumer service, HBO Max. Just as HBO and Cinemax already do, it will continue to offer recent theatrical films licensed from 20th Century Fox and Universal (at least until those deals expire in 2022 or 2023). And this new service will also license a bit of outside TV content to shore up WarnerMedia's weaknesses in certain areas. BUT the vast majority of content carried on HBO Max, in terms of both TV and movies, will be stuff that WarnerMedia actually owns and offers through its various sub-brands: HBO, Cinemax, TBS, TNT, CNN, TruTV, DC Universe, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera, Warner Bros. Movies, Warner Bros. Television, etc.

    So who is AT&T TV for? It's for that substantial part of the population who has NOT yet moved on from cable TV. Most of these folks do complement traditional cable TV with on-demand streaming (e.g. Netflix, YouTube, etc.) but they mostly watch channel-based TV. That's their "home base" when they turn on the TV. They LIKE having a grid-based channel guide and being able to channel surf up and down. They LIKE having a DVR. They LIKE turning on the TV and seeing a live linear channel immediately start playing. And they LIKE having a full-featured remote control that's well-suited to all those tasks. If a box that can do all that can ALSO throw in convenient access to Netflix and the other few streaming apps they might use (YouTube, Prime Video and Hulu), then great, that gives it a real competitive advantage over other cable TV services/boxes.
     
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  8. Jul 7, 2019 #428 of 545
    mjwagner

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    Yeah, that is the target audience I was trying to describe. Even though it’s shrinking it’s still a very large population. Inertia is a powerful force that keeps lots of folks from switching to something new and different from what they are used to. I’m guessing they will loose some percentage just for the fact that when the inertia is broken because “they have to change something” even if it is just switching boxes, it will get some of them to look at alternatives. I have helped lots of family, friends, and acquaintances move from traditional sat/cable service to streaming over the last several years. I can’t tell you the number of folks who, somewhere during the transition, have looked at me and said...wow, I didn’t know any of this was even possible...and then a few weeks or a month later I get the call when the light bulb finally goes off ...”now I finally understand what this whole streaming thing is all about”. I haven’t had any go back yet...
     
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  9. Jul 7, 2019 #429 of 545
    NashGuy

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    Yep.

    Again, here's AT&T's marketing decision tree when it comes to selling video entertainment services.

    Do you watch TV like it's 2015 or 2025?

    2025 ------------------> HBO Max

    2015 -------------------> Do you have broadband? ----------------> If yes, then AT&T TV*. If no, then DirecTV satellite*.


    *All channel packages include HBO Max at no additional cost.
     
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  10. Jul 7, 2019 #430 of 545
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Well Android TV is undoubtedly a lot more heavyweight than Directv's current client software. Maybe even though the C71 is more powerful it isn't powerful enough to properly handle the bloat of Android TV which does a lot more than Directv's client software but would also need a lot more resources.
     
  11. Jul 7, 2019 #431 of 545
    Athlon646464

    Athlon646464 Gold Members DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Just a little more work and it will be fine...

    [​IMG]

    :eek:
     
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  12. Jul 7, 2019 #432 of 545
    compnurd

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    I doubt it. I mean Sony TV’s run Android TV also
     
  13. Jul 7, 2019 #433 of 545
    NashGuy

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    They run it but they don't run it well, at least not most Sony TVs over the past few years. That seems to be the consensus opinion among Android TV users, anyway.

    A better comparison of the AT&T TV C71 is probably Xiaomi's Mi Box S streamer, which also does 4K HDR. It's not quite as powerful as the C71. Reviews say that it works pretty well, although can be a bit sluggish sometimes, especially when rendering 4K.

    Here are the Geekbench benchmark results for them.
    Samsung C71KW-200: single-core score 693, multi-core score 1882
    Mi Box S: single-core score 649, multi-core score 1818

    Here's a pro review of the Mi Box S after 3 months use. Upshot: does a fine job for 1080p, struggles with 4K HDR because its specs just aren't beefy enough.

    Xiaomi Mi Box S review, 3 months later: Still not good enough
     
  14. Jul 7, 2019 #434 of 545
    mjwagner

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    Both the Nvidia Shield and the FireTV Stick 4k (actually all the FireTV devices) run Android TV or some variant of Android TV. They both perform very well and do an excellent job with 4k content.
     
  15. Jul 7, 2019 #435 of 545
    mjwagner

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    The FireTV Stick 4k goes on sale on Amazon regularly for $40. At that price point it is the best current bang for the buck in streaming devices and supports pretty much all of the latest standards.
     
  16. Jul 7, 2019 #436 of 545
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Yup, it's a great piece of hardware at only $40. But then I suspect at that price, Amazon is selling it below cost and subsidizing it in order to gain market share for their platform. Gotta dominate the world, dontcha know.

    I could easily see AT&T selling the C71 at an effective price of $30 for those who subscribe to AT&T TV. Maybe has a sticker price of $60 but it comes with a promo code in the box for $30 off your bill, kinda like DISH/Sling TV sells their own custom Android TV box, the AirTV Player, at $90 but with a $50 credit toward Sling TV.

    I think there's a few things that AT&T has learned by watching their rival DISH's Sling TV the past couple years. Not only will AT&T TV make use of a customized Android TV box but I predict we'll see AT&T TV also embrace a certain amount of flexibility in their channel packaging system via add-on Extra packs, as Sling TV does. And I think we'll also see AT&T TV offer their own network-connected OTA tuner device for streaming free local channels from your antenna into the AT&T TV UI on their own boxes and apps throughout the home, just as Sling TV does with their AirTV black box (priced at $80 with a $25 credit toward Sling TV service).
     
  17. Jul 7, 2019 #437 of 545
    NashGuy

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    Just as a comparison, here's how the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K compares on Geekbench:

    Fire TV Stick 4K: single-core score 709, multi-core score 2134
    Samsung C71KW-200: single-core score 693, multi-core score 1882
    Mi Box S: single-core score 649, multi-core score 1818

    Based on my understanding, these scores tell us less about a device's ability to smoothly play back a video stream than they do about the ability to smoothly navigate through the UI, juggle between multiple open apps, complete multiple tasks at once, etc.
     
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  18. Jul 8, 2019 #438 of 545
    JoeTheDragon

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    the Ethernet Adapter is an $15 add on.
     
  19. Jul 8, 2019 #439 of 545
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    It isn't just CPU speed, the amount of RAM may have a larger bearing on how it performs given that Android is hardly resource efficient when it comes to RAM usage.
     
  20. Jul 8, 2019 #440 of 545
    mjwagner

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    Only needed if you have really poor wifi. At my two main viewing locations I have both a FireTV Stick 4k ( wifi connected uising 2.4ghz) and an Nvidia Shield (Ethernet connected) and I have never experienced any difference in performance either streaming or with content coming from my NAS all the way to 4k w ATMOS files. I have Ethernet capability at both locations and their is simply no need for the stick. The wifi subsystem was one of the things Amazon specifically improved in the FireTV Stick 4k. The previous version of the stick did have poor wifi performance (I still have one in one of our spare bedrooms).
     

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