AT&T TV Launches Nationwide Feb. 2020

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by CraigerM, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. larry55

    larry55 Legend

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    I will not sign up for this service. I stay with satellite service from directv. If I cut the cord I sigh up Hulu or You Tube tv.
     
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  2. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I consider that based on false assumptions. The satellite system is paid for, no additional cost per customer. It costs the same whether there are a million subscribers or 20 million. AT&T's cheapest customers to serve are existing satellite customers. No additional server or bandwidth costs per month per subscriber using the service.

    The difference people usually quote is the installation cost. It is cheaper to ship a box that the customer installs and pays for than to install satellite receiver equipment in a customer's home. But that comparison completely ignores the cost of providing the service for the next two years. Yes, month one is expensive but months two through cancellation don't cost AT&T more than they would already be paying for their other customers.

    The variable that applies to both services is the subscription fees that AT&T passes through to the content providers (channels). The only money AT&T saves with AT&T TV is not paying the providers who do not allow their content to be streamed via AT&T TV. Meanwhile every customer who uses the AT&T streaming service costs AT&T more than if they were not watching content. 10 million streams costs AT&T more than 1 million streams. That per user cost should not be ignored.

    "DIRECTV without the dish." Unfortunately the price will match but the service won't. The user experience will be a good match between AT&T TV and a "traditional MVPD".

    They are targeting people who don't want to piece together multiple services or settle for less than traditional MVPDs offer. A dwindling market as people do become "cord cutters".
     
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  3. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Premium needs to be a statement based on the quality of service, not the cost. Otherwise you're selling "Monster Cable" that perform just as well as Monoprice with the only difference being an extra zero before the decimal point (and customers who convince themselves that the extra zero makes the cable better).

    (And yes, my resume allows me to speak intellegently about marketing topics. But I also have college credit in bowling and golf and do not consider that to make me an expert in those sports.)
     
  4. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    No company advertises a high price as something that makes their product "premium". Yes, of course "premium" is conveyed in terms of the quality of the product. But consumers aren't stupid. They understand that premium products tend to cost more. That's just the way it works. You're not going to buy an Audi for the price of a Kia. You're not going to buy a full-scale "premium" cable TV service like DirecTV, or AT&T TV, with a full set of channels, included hardware, lots of DVR storage, etc., for the price of Sling, which offers none of those things.

    It seemed to me that the poster to whom I was responding thought that contracts, ETFs, high prices, etc. makes a TV service non-premium. But those are all costs associated with the service and have nothing to do with the quality of the service itself.
     
  5. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    In what ways do you predict that AT&T TV's service will be sub-par to DirecTV? (I expect you to list things that may be true of AT&T TV right now, in its pilot iteration, but that probably won't be true long-term.)
     
  6. Steveknj

    Steveknj Icon

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    The problem with Fubo, is while it's great for sports fans, for other stuff, it's terrible. And that's always been my problem with "cord cutting" (which is why I say it doesn't work for me). There's always something somewhere I want to watch that is not on one system or another. So it would mean bringing in 2-3 of these OTT services, along with the other stuff I normally watch. All have some major limitation on their DVRs that makes that not as good. So, when there's an OTT or streaming service that gives me what DirecTV gives me and and costs less, I'm in. AT&T TV seems promising, but again, limitations. No CW in my area is one, but the 3 stream limit is the biggest. That doesn't work in my particular situation. So I've yet to find any compelling reason to switch from what I have now, be it YTTV type OTT, or even this new system.
     
  7. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Nice marketspeak! Do you write that crapola you’re trying to pass off for them?


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  8. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Then you wouldn’t be a candidate for streaming now, and there is nothing wrong with that IMO. It is the old cost vs convenience argument and it is a fair one. How much is the convenience of getting all the content you want in a single solution. There’s a lot to like about a cable/sat box and the grid guide we all grew up with. But only you can decide how much that is worth in actual dollars to you.




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  9. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Fubo is not even great for most sports fans given that it lacks all of the Disney-owned channels. No ESPN, ESPN 2, SEC Network, ACC Network, etc. Also, no ABC either. Nor do they carry all those Sinclair-owned Fox Sports RSNs (although they do have the NBC Sports RSNs and a few others).

    Fubo originally started out, I think, pitching themselves toward soccer fans. So if that's your bag, maybe it's great. But for the vast majority of fans of the NFL, college football, MLB, NBA or NHL, I don't think it would suffice.
     
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  10. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    That's a great point and an excellent rejoinder.
     
  11. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Is that an absolute statement? I have found that most absolute statements are absolutely wrong. "No company." Is it your claim that no company ever has or currently is using their price point to convey their service as premium? Perhaps your professional experience in marketing is lacking. The psychology of marketing is important to consider.

    It is a classic example to take two identical widgets, put one in more expensive looking packaging and set a much higher price for that widget. Use psychology to convince people your $20 widget is better than the $10 widget without telling them that they are out of the same production batch. Then raise the price of the cheaply packaged widget to $15 and convince people they are getting a $20 widget at a bargain price. To be impolite, marketing is a con job - marketers are paid to convince people of a truth that may or may not be true.

    Set a price point of $10 for your widget any you may not get a lot of sales. People WILL look at the price tag and say the product looks cheap. Set a price tag of $20 or $30 and people will take a closer look - and if they say "wow, that is expensive" give them a discount. Buy now and we'll give you two $30 widgets for the price of one! Congratulations marketer, you just sold two $10 widgets for $15 each!

    Are you willing to say that has NEVER happened and no company has ever made their product look like a more premium product by raising the price? (They may not admit that they are using such tricks, but be sure that companies do use higher prices to convince people their product is "premium".)

    Available channels, lack of discounts, lack of simultaneous streams, DVR storage limits. I'm sure you can come up with a list of differences between AT&T TV's current offer and DIRECTV's current offer.

    What sort of magic do you expect to happen when AT&T TV goes nationwide? Will all the channels available in the satellite service Premier be available via AT&T TV streaming? Will DVR service be unlimited (or at least non-expiring with roughly the same hours as a HS17). Will the number of streams be increased to at least the number one can watch via an HS17 (ignoring satellite customers who have many more simultaneous streams by using HR series receivers)? Or will we be seeing a demonstration of cognative dissonance? "Sure there are differences, but those differences don't matter."

    Prediction: AT&T TV will not be a replacement for every satellite customer. It will not be an equal service.
     
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  12. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    I'll give you guys the simplest example ever of a company that does this: Monster Cable. Granted, it probably DOES cost $1000 to build 3 feet of a cross polymorphic, diamond plated, quadruple shielded cable with a poly cross blend carbon fiber jacket made from the silk fibers of a black widow fed with a diet rich in omega 3s.

    My other favorite example, is many years ago (2007ish?) when Lexicon took an Oppo BluRay (or was it a DVD player?) player and put it CHASIS AND ALL inside of a Lexicon chasis and marked it up from like $500 to $2500. I.e. they took an Oppo and just stuck it inside of their chasis, they didn't even bother to remove the boards from the Oppo chasis.
     
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  13. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    From 2010: Blu-ray Maker Re-Boxes $500 Player, Charges $3,500
     
  14. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    I thought I’d key in on this statement since it really is a very important one concerning ATT TV.

    You are absolutely correct in this. ATT doesn’t want people cutting the cord, they want them to switch to their IPTV solution in order to save ATT a bunch of money! Virtually none of that savings will be passed onto the customer. While not every ATT TV customer that is now on their satellite service or cable service would make the switch, they are definitely hoping that a significant majority of them will.

    So they make the switch easier for them. Send them a box to use it, somewhat similar channel selections and so forth. Hoping of course, that the consumer doesn’t notice the contract, activation fee, various other fees and ETF that are part and parcel of this cable/sat service that is almost exactly like the current cable/sat service they have now, just delivered a bit differently. IOW, not really any benefit at all to the consumer, all benefit goes to ATT’s bottom line.

    For those on ATT’s internet service, there might be a good case to be made for changing over. For those that don’t have access to that, I don’t think any case at all can be made. That consumer will might have to change their internet subscription level, either to get more speed or get around data caps.


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  15. CTJon

    CTJon Godfather

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    Remember all there are large parts of the US who don't have high speed internet service and for them Directv is one of the only real solutions. I had UVERSE for a while and I'd get rid of it for anything almost.
     
  16. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    James Long, king of worthless straw-man arguments. Sure, higher prices IMPLY to many consumers that a given product is premium, a conclusion that anyone who read my post in good faith would clearly draw. As I said, consumers understand that you're not going to get an Audi-quality car at Kia-level pricing. But that's not the same thing as a company EXPLICITLY saying "Our product is better only because it carries a higher price tag." No one does that. If there's no actual difference in the QUALITY of the product versus low-priced competitors, then it's not a premium product. It's simply a rip-off. For a product to be perceived as premium in the marketplace, it has to offer greater perceived benefits to potential buyers than do competing lower-priced alternatives. And those benefits will be communicated in the product's advertising.

    Don't know whether or not cloud DVR storage will switch from the current 90-day retention limit or not. I'd hope so but I don't necessarily expect it. But with 500 hours of storage, AT&T TV's cloud DVR can already store more than the 400 hours of HD that the HS17 can. And while the HS17 can record up to 7 programs at once, AT&T TV's cloud DVR can record an unlimited number of programs at the same time. (I'd also point out that lots -- a majority? -- of DirecTV users do not have an HS17 but use Genie models with lower storage amounts and fewer tuners.) So that's sort of a draw.

    As for channels, yes, I expect that all of the national cable channels carried on DirecTV will be on AT&T TV, with the exception of NFL Network. (Actually, they maybe already are.) AT&T TV will still be missing some locals in various markets when it launches nationwide, particularly PBS stations, but they'll continue to fill those holes this year.

    As for simultaneous streams, yes, I expect that the limit for in-home viewing will be raised above three (as is/was the case for both Hulu Live and PS Vue), although that may incur additional fees. I also expect AT&T TV will carry all the same live 4K and 4K HDR sports that DirecTV does. Whether those improvements happen right at the nationwide launch or later this year, there's no point in guessing.

    And then there are features that AT&T TV has that DirecTV never will, such as the ability to access the entire service out of home over any internet connection, the presence of popular streaming apps and Google Assistant on the main TV receiver, and the option of accessing the service on your Apple TV or Fire TV at home. Also, the VOD library and functionality on AT&T TV is far superior to DirecTV.

    I never claimed that AT&T TV would be an *exact* replacement for DirecTV. Or, for that matter, an *exact* replacement for Uverse TV. So if that's what you mean when you say that AT&T TV won't be "equal" to DirecTV, then I agree. What I said is that AT&T TV will be marketed as the company's premium flagship cable TV service, on par with both of those legacy services. (If you've read repeated statements from AT&T leaders on their quarterly earnings call, this isn't even a controversial statement. I'm just repeating what they've said.) It won't be marketed as a compromised, cut-rate service for cord-cutters. That doesn't mean that some DirecTV or Uverse TV customers won't find some aspect of their current service that they prefer over AT&T TV, just as there are DirecTV customers who prefer it over Uverse TV and vice versa. But all three services are full-fledged cable TV services that offer a full range of channels, lots of DVR storage, the ability to always FF through ads in your DVR recordings, and a dedicated box and remote that are custom-designed for use with the service. Relative to offerings like Hulu Live, YouTube TV, AT&T TV Now, and Sling, all three are "premium" TV services (which is why AT&T officially categorizes them as such in their quarterly reports now).

    I would agree that not every DirecTV customer will switch to AT&T TV. (I've never said they would.) Many DTV customers, if/when they become aware of AT&T TV, won't see enough features they specifically care about to bother switching (although some will). Lots of folks stay with their current TV provider out of force of habit and because it's a hassle to switch.

    As for specific benefits that DirecTV has that are in lacking in AT&T TV, though, I expect that will dwindle over time as AT&T TV fills in missing locals, 4K, etc. Biggest longer-term reasons I can see to stick with DTV rather than AT&T TV will be because the former has NFL Network and NFL Sunday Ticket (for one more season anyway) while AT&T TV does not; because using AT&T TV may cause you to exceed your broadband data cap if you have one; and because you can retain recordings indefinitely on a DTV DVR but they expire after a certain amount of time on AT&T TV's cloud DVR.

    It just seems like you refuse to believe that AT&T will do what they've repeatedly said they would, which is make AT&T TV their flagship national cable TV service, replacing DirecTV in that regard. It seems like you want to believe that they will intentionally handicap AT&T TV because you don't like that idea that your beloved DirecTV is getting replaced. But I can't think of any logical reason why that would be true.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  17. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    I don't think IPTV is saving ATT a "bunch of money". In fact, it's well documented that IPTV costs WAY more to deliver then satellite. Satellite is the ideal medium for delivering TV. Remember, it cost DIRECTV only about $600M to launch a satellite that can serve the ENTIRE COUNTRY without a single care in the world regarding load. Compare that with Disney spending over $2B to stand up Disney+. Not sure what their capacity is, but it can't be the whole country for "only" $2B.
    Another comparison, Netflix spent $1.5B on tech in 2018 ALONE. You could launch 2 satellites for that and still have change left over to take the fam out for ice cream like 15 MILLION times.

    Every TV added to cable TV adds load to the infrastructure and costs the cable company. With IPTV its even worse. More bandwidth, lots of expensive servers and electricity and data centers, etc. also puts additional tremendous drain on the cable company for internet and the cable company doesn't get ANYTHING out of it.
     
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  18. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    Plenty of people fall for that all the time. Is an iPhone better then an Android? Well, it used to be... I'd say today Apple has fallen way behind. They charge a premium because its an Apple. Countless other examples of no difference at all between product quality of Brand A vs. Brand B except price. This is a common practice. People think Brand B is the "cheap China knockoff" when in reality, Brand A just took that same exact Brand B product and just slapped their name on it.

    Ok, so AT&T TV is comparable to TVision. Not sure why anybody would go for AT&T in that case. AT&T is about $30 more per month and people generally hate AT&T and love TMobile.

    Any somewhat tech savvy person can just set up a VPN to workaround in home limitations on any service.

    I sure wouldn't. More money, less channels, more hassle, ISP data caps.

    Just cuz AT&T thinks they are going to replace DirecTV, doesn't mean they will actually succeed. So far, all of T's ventures into streaming have been huge flops. If somebody wants as close to traditional as possible, TVision is a better deal. If you are a true cord cutter, you wouldn't use either service, but go with an OTT.

    I fully expect the service to be a flop.
     
  19. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    I’m not sure that it really will save ATT a bunch of money, but I think ATT does.
    And it gets rid of truck rolls completely so you can get marginal ‘support’ from barely trained, barely understandable CSRs.
    The other side of it is how does ATT scale back those channel bundles? One the one hand you can drop say a Viacom bundle but you can’t get a single Viacom channel then.


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  20. b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

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    I've wondered about that. Using me as an example, though I have plans to move from DTV to AT&T TV, my internet service is through Spectrum @ 200/10. Just did an ookla speed test and came up as 228.32/11.35. Plenty of speed for streaming and Spectrum doesn't have data caps. So if I would switch to AT&T TV and after a few months Spectrum can tell my increased usage and where that increased usage is coming from. I wonder if they may throttle or limit my service to AT&T servers. Or institute data caps. I certainly wouldn't be surprised as it was proven in the past some providers used to throttle Netflix users.
     
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