ATT TV - a little review

Discussion in 'Internet Streaming Services' started by lparsons21, Apr 27, 2020.

  1. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    It almost seems likely that the delivery of the second generation platform has been delayed by the chip shortages. I'd guess that they thought they would have them in hand by now.
     
  2. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Ah, good point, hadn't thought of that. No idea whether they've already had a bunch of those boxes manufactured and sitting in a warehouse in Asia or not. If not, then the chip shortage might well delay the rollout. When Humax announced the debut of their H7 platform at the end of last July, they mentioned that they had a deal in place to "develop a next-generation solution for a major telecommunications operator in North America," which, of course, is AT&T. And we know that the next-gen AT&T TV box, based on the H7 platform, recently passed through the WiFi Alliance for certification. So perhaps a substantial number have already been manufactured and stockpiled. Although maybe not either.
     
  3. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Of course the box also must go through the process with the FCC but they could using sampling quantities of the scarce components for that.
     
  4. mjwagner

    mjwagner Icon

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    Or maybe they will just finally give up on a provider specific box and save the cost and hassle of having to develop, manufacturer, deliver, and support a piece of hardware (and yes even if much of that is just contracted out). Focus on delivering a great app on all the major platforms. Sure folks that just insist on wanting channel numbers will moan and complain. Channel numbers have been disappearing as a paradigm for years, we can argue whether that is good or bad but it is what it is. Create a customizable guide so you can move your most used channels to the top and much (of course not all) of the issue disappears (YTTV already has this). Will they loose some possible subscribers because of no channel numbers, sure. Will they gain some subscribers who currently would not even consider their service when they have the best user experience with all capabilities without the need for a provider specific box, IMO yes.
     
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  5. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Apple built their eco-system on not having to suffer third party anything. I'm not on board with your argument.

    If they can't deliver a "great app" on their static hardware platform, what makes you think it will be any easier on anyone else's moving target platform?
     
  6. mjwagner

    mjwagner Icon

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    APPLETV+ has the same UX on the major streaming devices. And yes, I’m not convinced that AT&T and/or the new owners/partners will be any more successful creating a great app on other platforms either. The real question, IMO, is whether having a provider specific platform, and having the best UX only on that platform, is a strategic benefit or liability. And if you believe it is a strategic benefit does that benefit outweigh the baggage that comes along with having your own HW platform. Clearly the “geniuses” at AT&T that made that decision think it does. I’m not convinced, but that’s JMHO.
     
  7. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    You think like a cord-cutter who has intentionally left traditional cable TV for an vMVPD, i.e. streaming cable TV service like YTTV. But those folks aren't the target market for AT&T TV. There are WAY more US households (tens of millions) who use a traditional cable/satellite/managed IPTV service that comes with its own dedicated box and custom remote than there are households that subscribe to a vMVPD (a few million, many of which come and go throughout the year).

    The intention for AT&T TV has always been that it serve as the next-gen replacement for DirecTV and Uverse TV as a full-fledged cable TV service that happens to use any internet connection as its delivery mechanism. (Using OTT internet delivery is the only way to give AT&T TV a national footprint like DirecTV has.) It's fine for AT&T TV to allow cord-cutter types who insist on using their own hardware the freedom to do so but IMO they would very much be hurting themselves by not offering the service through their own box with a remote control specifically designed for their service (which can also accommodate popular third-party apps). You're never going to see Comcast give up on their X1 platform. They understand that it's a huge part of what draws and keeps folks on their cable TV service. AT&T is following the same playbook. They simply need a better box (more powerful hardware) and some tweaks to their software/UI/feature set.
     
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  8. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    That's true. Although my understanding is that FCC submission often does not happen for retail devices until shortly before the device hits the market. So at least sometimes, I do think that a substantial number of units of a new product have already been manufactured by the time it goes to the FCC.
     
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  9. mjwagner

    mjwagner Icon

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    In some ways I do agree. And I have said many times that the AT&T TV service has to be viewed in the context of the target audience. That said, traditional cable/sat has been bleeding subscribers for years so I’m not sure just reproducing the existing cable/sat experience is where the future lies. One step I think they do need to take though if they really want to be competitive going forward is to make the UX on the non-dedicated platforms better than it is now, apart from the channel number issue obviously. There are simply way too ,any folks who simply won’t give AT&T TV a second look as long as you need a provider specific box to get the best UX...and that is the population that is growing while the other population is shrinking.
     
  10. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Well, I would agree that AT&T TV should try to serve both types of consumers, the "traditionals" who want to use a dedicated box and remote, as well as the "cord-cutters" who shun cable boxes and contracts. And I think that's always been the plan. But they certainly shouldn't cater exclusively to the smaller cord-cutter group, even if it is growing. They do seem to be shifting more towards the preferences of the cord-cutter group now that they exclusively offer no-contract everyday pricing on the service. (For traditional types who like to pick a full-featured service and stick with it a long while, they'll now pay more over their first two years under the no-contract system than they would have under the old contract system.)

    It would be great if they could make the AT&T TV app work just as well on every streaming device as it does on their own box. Obviously, that would be the ideal situation for consumers. But I don't know if that's realistic. I agree that they definitely shouldn't try to handicap their app, to intentionally make it inferior to their own box, although I don't know that that's what they're dong. It may just be that they don't have sufficient developer resources available to ensure that all the apps all work as well as they could. Frankly, it's a LOT to keep up with, considering all of the different models and OS versions within the Roku, Fire TV and Apple TV platforms, not to mention iOS and Android mobile as well. But if little Fubo TV can figure out a way to let users on all that platforms pause and trick play live TV, you'd think AT&T TV could too. But then you'd also think AT&T TV would have the bugs squashed with their cloud DVR by now too. I don't know what the internal issues are at AT&T TV that have made it take SO long to develop and gradually improve the service. Perhaps the situation will improve with more focused management under New DirecTV.

    I'll say this, AT&T TV seems to be much more cord-cutter-friendly than Comcast Xfinity TV, whose Stream app is significantly inferior to their X1 boxes. And their app still isn't available for Apple TV or Android TV yet.
     
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  11. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Apple is pretty hard-nosed about their uniformity and that's why I used them as an example. AT&T should have taken more cues from Apple and the other players.
    I'm fairly well convinced that having an efficient, appealing and uniform UX design is fundamental to a good user happiness. That it must be able to translate to other hardware platforms without too much fuss is an imperative given the variety of platforms out there.

    I'm just glad that DIRECTV didn't choose RVU for their streaming platform.
     
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  12. raott

    raott Hall Of Fame

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    For anyone else having a similar issue, I solved mine. The TV somehow got set to "eco" mode rather than "quick start". May have happened during an update, or I may have turned it to eco by accident, but after switching it back to "quick start", the AT&T remote is now acting as normal and turning on the TV.
     
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  13. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    While I wouldn’t call YouTubeTV’s app ‘great’ or even very good, it is very consistent across platforms, so making a one size fits all app isn’t completely out of the question.
     
  14. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Yea, their method of FF is so 1980's. I much preferred ATT TV's method (and the resolution of the preview window).
     
  15. raott

    raott Hall Of Fame

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    This may be old news, but I noticed last week that I'm starting to get a few local ads during commercial breaks rather than national only. They are few and far between but I don't recall seeing that previously.
     
  16. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    DIRECTV started inserting local ads on select national channels almost ten years ago.

    Directv can insert local commercials into national channels

    As I recall, this was part of a joint campaign with DISH to attract local advertisers.
     
  17. raott

    raott Hall Of Fame

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    I know Directv has done it forever, this was on the AT&T TV platform. I've not seen it before last week.
     
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  18. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    Yeh he has no clue.... We are in a ATT TV Thread and he is bringing up Directv

    I noticed it a few weeks ago also on some channels
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
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  19. Steveknj

    Steveknj Icon

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    I get the feeling that with the "new" management/ownership, they are in the process of revamping everything (AGAIN!). Maybe align AT&T TV and DirecTV more closely (both in packages and content). I also wonder if they are planning to come up with a box that can do streaming AND DirecTV. I just get the feeling (due to lack of any real advertising of either service) that something is amiss. I bet something big happens before the NFL season starts.
     
  20. Steveknj

    Steveknj Icon

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    Admittedly, I'm old school, having grown up during the era when there were just a handful of OTA channels, but the advantage of channel numbers, with a remote that has a num-pad is direct tuning. If I want to go to MSG Network, I type in 634 rather than pull up a guide and scroll until I get the the "M" channels. If I want to go from there to TBS, simple, type in 247.

    I'm sure I could get used to no channel numbers, but I much prefer them simply for this reason. And I HATE using voice commands for this type of thing, which is always hit or miss. Channel numbers are the simplest solution.

    And with all of this said, remotes are getting simpler, with less buttons, so there's little room for "smart" buttons which I can set up for common channels I want to use, or, are device specific and will not work within an app. For example, Roku has those few smart buttons for Netflix, Hulu, etc. but those buttons are useless within any of those apps. Smart Remotes like the soon to be defunct Harmonys, can do some of that, but not consistently enough for my liking.

    I think a good, well performing hardware box works about as well as possible. But at $120 is just too expensive.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021

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