AT&T TV Launches Nationwide Feb. 2020

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

  1. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    1,123
    239
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    I don't know if this has been definitively answered by anyone yet. We know that, as currently structured in the pilot markets, AT&T TV requires a contract and automatically comes with 1 "free" box, which runs AT&T's customized version of Google's Android TV. Based on the marketing materials I've seen so far, it looks like this box will be an important differentiator for AT&T TV and something that they plan to really tout, with its voice remote, built-in Google Assistant, and easy access to lots of apps (all features that DTV and some cable TV DVRs do not have).

    We also know that the service allows 3 simultaneous streams, either in or out of home. The AT&T TV website mentions that you can use the AT&T TV app on your mobile devices for out-of-home viewing but they don't mention anything one way or another about accessing the service on your own TV-connected streaming devices like Apple TV, Roku and Fire TV, even though the AT&T TV app definitely does exist for all those devices (because it's the same app that the AT&T TV Now service uses). They'll sell you additional boxes for $120 each but you're not required to have them in order to access your 2nd and 3rd streams. I did see a quote from an AT&T bigwig several months ago in reference to AT&T TV saying that they were open to the option of customers using their own streaming devices on secondary TVs in the home. That said, I haven't seen any official confirmation since the pilot launch that you can do so. But if you can't, can you imagine how the customer support calls will go when AT&T TV customers call up asking why they can download the AT&T TV app to their own Apple TV but then the app won't work when they try to log in? "Oh, sorry, that app's only for AT&T TV Now customers, not AT&T TV customers." "OK, then why is the app specifically named AT&T TV and not AT&T TV Now?!" That just doesn't seem likely to me. It would be a great way to piss off the customers of their new flagship cable TV service.

    My *guess* is that you aren't required to actively use the Android TV box from AT&T at all in order to use AT&T TV. But perhaps the service might require initial activation via the box. It's also possible that the box needs to remain connected to your home network (wifi/ethernet) so that AT&T TV can track where you're using the service. None of these streaming cable TV services want you sharing your account with other households. And even though AT&T TV comes with 3 streams that can be accessed anywhere, they may require that use of their app for Apple TV/Roku/Fire TV take place on the same home network to which their box is connected. So if you plan to share your AT&T TV service with your 27 year-old kid in another city, he'll have to watch on his phone, not on his Roku. (And even then, they may require that his phone connect to your home's wifi network every so often. YouTube TV does something like this.)
     
  2. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

    10,912
    1,609
    Feb 14, 2013
    Iowa
    This is my biggest frustration with streaming stuff, I have become so used to seeing a full screen display when FF'ing, and instantly going 30 seconds ahead when I hit the 30 second skip (which is often done from 4 to 12 times in rapid succession when it is something where I know what length of commercial break to expect) That just doesn't work with streaming, making it a vastly inferior experience.

    Sure it is fine when you are watching content that is commercial free because you probably have no reason to hit FF let alone a 30 second skip, but if you want to watch any sort of sports it is most definitely not commercial free and the experience of EVERY streaming provider absolutely sucks balls for commercial skipping.
     
    Steveknj and SledgeHammer like this.
  3. GordonGekko

    GordonGekko Active Member

    634
    50
    Dec 5, 2015
    Agree with everything, I can't leave the DVR system until these things get worked out, I'll add that I rarely find shows that are so pitch perfect that I must watch every scene, I know this is supposed to be the golden age of television, but even the so called great shows feel the need to have ten character arcs in a given season, sorry, back to the topic, it is as if the programmers have never actually used a DVR.
     
  4. mjwagner

    mjwagner Icon

    1,455
    398
    Oct 8, 2005
    PSVue, on the platforms I use worked exactly that way. Full screen view of whatever you were FF/REW thru and 30 sec skip every time you pushed the "right" direction key on the d-pad. I am now transitioning to YTTV and it uses the small box instead of full screen. I thought I wouldn't like it but it turns out they are using a pretty large box so you can actually see what you are FF/REW thru and by holding down the "right" direction key you can quickly and smoothly "scrub" thru the content and it is very accurate so it is very easy to zip thru the commercial breaks. So far I like it better but it is very much personal preference so YMMV.
     
    grover517 likes this.
  5. crkeehn

    crkeehn Godfather

    460
    30
    Apr 22, 2002
    The larger frame is a recent improvement. Philo has used a larger box which made it easy to fast forward and reach the end of the commercials. When I first got YTTV, the box was much smaller and it was difficult, though not impossible to determine where you were. The larger box makes fast forwarding much easier and like mjwagner, I like it.
     
    mjwagner likes this.
  6. Steveknj

    Steveknj Icon

    1,455
    138
    Nov 14, 2006
    There is a lot about these streaming services that just feel like "TV Lite" to me. The experience is mostly C level. But the cost savings at least now outweigh that for some. You get what you pay for I suppose.
     
  7. jal

    jal Icon

    797
    20
    Mar 3, 2005
    And you don't get what you pay for as well. I've seriously been considering getting rid of Directv. Too many fees like "advanced receiver fee," "State tax recovery fee," and now they charge $7 for the first box, when the first box formerly didn't have a monthly charge associated with it. It seems like the folks at AT&T just think of more bogus charges to pad the actual cost of the service.
     
    242424 and I WANT MORE like this.
  8. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

    3,659
    625
    Apr 23, 2007
    Evans City PA
    Peace out ✌
     
    SledgeHammer likes this.
  9. Steveknj

    Steveknj Icon

    1,455
    138
    Nov 14, 2006
    But there are probably "fees" that you would have to pay with streaming that would give you the equivalent of what DirecTV might give you. Want more than 3 streams? There's a fee for that (and probably in some cases, you'd have to have an additional account (so essentially another $50 fee). Want those additional channels you can't get on your streaming service of choice? That's another "fee" in that you have to pay for an additional service. I'd venture to say that a lot of the "fees" are built into the price. I really think cable and sat are stupid in that that they should bake those fees into to price. Think of it as the same thing T-Moble has done. If nothing else, it would promote more good will. Especially if there's no way to avoid those fees.

    Plus, as has been mentioned here and elsewhere, you get an inferior DVR experience. In quite a few of these services there's no advanced sound quality (i.e. Dolby Digital). So in order to get EVERYTHING that D offers, you'd have to have multiple streaming services, and perhaps get the TiVo infrastructure in order to get the TiVo experience.

    And yes, I get that for many of you, this is stuff you can live without, or just manage to deal with, because the price makes it so. Kudos to you. Once I can find ONE service that gives me everything I want in one place, i'll consider it. The closest I've found is T-Mobile's offering, but it's missing ONE channel that's a must, MSG Networks.
     
  10. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    1,123
    239
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Yeah, as others have noted, I'm pretty sure you can easily do 30 second skip forwards in cloud DVR recordings from some of these services. And I have zero problems doing that with on-demand content in Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, etc. on my Apple TV 4K.

    The UX across streaming services in general has gotten better and better over the past few years, and that's especially true if you're using a recent model, capable streaming device. But the situation does vary between apps and devices, so YMMV.

    At any rate, I do think that AT&T TV will have to offer a UX and feature set that the average consumer* perceives as being as good or better than Uverse TV, DirecTV satellite, and major cable providers (Comcast, Charter) if it's really going to succeed long-term. We'll see if they can do that. (*Keep in mind that lots of folks aren't nearly as picky about these kinds of things as those of us on this forum.)
     
  11. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

    10,912
    1,609
    Feb 14, 2013
    Iowa
    I'm not talking about on demand, I'm talking about cloud DVR recordings. I've never had one myself but I know a couple people who have them or have tried them and the experience sucks. Now obviously there is some latency involved where the recording is in the "cloud" but there is a lot more latency than that. It is nothing like doing a 30 second skip on a Tivo.

    The FF was bad too though it sounds like YTTV at least has a full screen preview as you scrub though I haven't seen it I'm just going on what others here are saying.

    Unless/until I could get a comparable experience to watching several live games at once using trick play features with instantaneous response and switching between multiple games that are paused when I go to another, none of these services can hope to replace my cable/Tivo combo. I have no love for my cable company, but the vMVPD offerings I've seen are a joke by comparison.
     
  12. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

    3,365
    518
    Dec 28, 2007
    Yup. I'm hoping TMobile is closer to traditional if it comes to that. Seems like they are traditional over IP vs. a streaming service, so hopefully it has closer to traditional functionality. I'll have to look around and see if any t-mobile stores have a demo.
     
  13. eletric chicken

    eletric chicken Member

    117
    9
    Dec 28, 2019
    i would hope it would be chat only with the wonderful customer service options we have now. i often ask myself why is it when i press 1 i still can't understand you:D. even worse they can't understand meo_O
     
  14. eletric chicken

    eletric chicken Member

    117
    9
    Dec 28, 2019
    Really i am only being charged for my 2 mini's and they told me the DVR service was free to???
     
  15. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    1,123
    239
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    There's no real technological difference, at least if we're talking about completed cloud DVR recordings. They're simply video files stored on servers that are streamed on-demand.

    Generally speaking, I'd say that cloud DVR performance isn't on the same level as local DVR but I don't think cloud DVR is as bad as you think it is. And, as major cable TV systems like Comcast increasingly shift to cloud DVR, it should only improve.

    I'm a little doubtful that that level of trick play across multiple tuners/live channels will show up among vMVPDs. (Heck, I don't know if it's even do-able on local DVRs apart from TiVo.) Although I seem to recall reading that you can switch between live recordings that you've set up in advance on YouTube TV and when you switch from one to another, it pauses playback of the recording at the point you switch away.
     
  16. Jan 5, 2020 #136 of 781
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    1,123
    239
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Looks like I was right about this. I was just poking around on a new page on AT&T's website about AT&T TV and came across this Q&A:

    Is there an AT&T TV app for phones and tablets?

    Yes! You can stream your favorite content anytime, anywhere with the AT&T TV app, which is available for Apple iOS and Android-powered phones and tablets. Streaming is also available on compatible Apple TV and Amazon Fire devices. Access to the AT&T TV app on these streaming devices is limited to home Wi-Fi® network.
    So if you want to watch AT&T TV via your own TV-connected streaming device (e.g. Apple TV), as opposed to the AT&T TV Android TV box they provide, that device will need to be connected to your home wi-fi network (not your friend's or family member's wi-fi). And presumably, they'll know what your home wi-fi network is because it's what the AT&T TV box will be connected to (or because you'll be an AT&T Fiber/Internet customer using their provided gateway).

    BTW, they mentioned Apple TV and Fire TV, but not Roku, presumably because AT&T and Roku are currently renegotiating their agreement for distribution of the AT&T TV app in the Roku app store. (In the meantime, any Roku that already has the app installed can continue to operate it but no new installations of the app are possible.)
     
  17. Jan 5, 2020 #137 of 781
    b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

    1,503
    410
    Nov 19, 2010
    Why just wifi? Does that mean the AT&T TV box doesn't have an ethernet port? Because that would suck.
     
  18. Jan 5, 2020 #138 of 781
    techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

    1,163
    559
    Mar 19, 2015
    The AT&T TV device itself has an Ethernet port. Quoting from the FAQ under "What makes the AT&T TV device so amazing?" :rolleyes:

    The Wi-Fi only bit is most likely referring to non AT&T TV based devices like Apple TV, etc to prevent password sharing. So in a typical home 1 TV will need the AT&T TV box (Ethernet or Wi-Fi) while the Apple TV and/or Fire devices need to be connected via Wi-Fi to recognize the AT&T TV box thus allow more than 1 home based streaming device. That's my understanding of it anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020
    b4pjoe likes this.
  19. Jan 6, 2020 #139 of 781
    techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

    1,163
    559
    Mar 19, 2015
    I would just like to point out in all fairness if your paying $7 for the first receiver then your ARS is $15/mo which equals out to $22/mo for the main DVR. Those who get the first receiver at no additional cost have pay $23 - $25 in ARS if they want a whole home DVR like Genie (depending on activation date). Also those paying $7 for the first receiver with no DVR are not charged ARS-HD. Those who do get the first receiver for free pays $10/mo for ARS-HD. Also to be fair "Advance Receiver Service" was all DirecTV's doing way before AT&T got involved.
     
  20. Jan 6, 2020 #140 of 781
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    1,123
    239
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    My guess is that they're simply using the term "home wi-fi network" as shorthand for "your home's local area network consisting of ethernet-connected and wi-fi connected devices". As already noted, the AT&T TV Android TV device does have an ethernet port, and so does the Apple TV and certain models of the Fire TV and Roku.

    The AT&T TV app and their own Android TV device probably use some protocol like Bonjour/Zeroconf to automatically find and recognize each other when they're connected to the same LAN. If their app on a device like an Apple TV doesn't see their Android TV box (with a valid account) connected to that same LAN, then presumably the app on the Apple TV won't launch.

    The upshot is that once you initially set-up the AT&T TV Android TV box, you may be able to disconnect it from your TV's HDMI port and not even use it, so long as you keep the box connected to power and to your home network via wi-fi or ethernet. I suppose that AT&T could, if they really wanted to, keep their app for retail devices from launching unless it detected that their own box was not only connected to the same LAN but also actively streaming something right then from the AT&T TV service. But honestly, why would they do that? It would create a situation where, for instance, you couldn't use the app on your Apple TV in the bedroom unless the AT&T TV box on the living room TV was also being used right at that moment, which would be crazy and a guaranteed way to piss off customers.
     
    b4pjoe likes this.

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements