ATT TV - a little review

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

  1. B. Shoe

    B. Shoe Mentor

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    It is. At least for residential subs, it was always a great bargaining chip five years ago. "Stay with us, we'll toss in Sunday Ticket for free! (Or insert whatever discount you were offered at the time.)" And the company was able to hold onto longer lasting subs. What's $150 in ST discounts between friends, if you can hold onto them for another year for $1,000 in subscriber fees? I'm preaching to the choir, here, but five years ago that plan definitely held suit.

    Fast forward five years later. If subscriber reports of numbers dropping are anywhere near accurate, that plan of giving something away for free/half off doesn't look as enticing. Plus, people are continually finding easy, new ways to get that content, regardless if they are paying for it or not. The mantra of being "exclusive" isn't really a thing now.
     
  2. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure the 20 hours of free cloud DVR that AT&T TV (as well as Comcast) includes in their TV packages is strategic. It's enough for some folks who don't record much (i.e. mainly just want cable for live TV viewing like sports and news), or who just timeshift what they watch by a few hours/days and then immediately delete. But for others, they'll use it and quickly realize how nice it would be to be able to store more stuff for longer, so it works like a free sample that induces them to upgrade to the paid product. If they increased the free amount to 50 hours, then I suspect that significantly fewer folks would pay to upgrade.

    These companies know the ARPU they need to hit for a given package of channels, as well as overall, in order to be sufficiently profitable. Separating out a premium DVR service fee, as AT&T TV and Hulu Live do, rather than making everyone pay for it as YTTV does, makes sense in that customers have the option of avoiding it, plus it lets the operator advertise a lower starting price.

    Of course, the thing is that YTTV is simply under-pricing AT&T TV and Hulu Live, which is why they seem to be the service you see mentioned the most on cord-cutter forums. It's basically like they're giving away unlimited DVR service for free to everyone, which obviously reduces their ARPU and therefore their profit margin. Even after several rounds of price hikes, I wonder just how much money Google is really making on YTTV. I expect another $5-10 price hike in the next 12 months (maybe accompanied by more channel additions). And if that happens, then AT&T TV may not need to lower their prices much, if any. Hulu Live can get away with not being quite as good a deal because they have over 40 million subscribers on their base package, and it's always easier to upsell an existing customer than to land an entirely new one. You can see how Hulu subs would be willing to pay a little more for the convenience of integrating their cable TV service into an app that they were already using for a lot of on-demand content anyhow. Meanwhile, AT&T TV and YTTV don't have that advantage.

    But, as I said before, if AT&T TV cut their package prices by $10/mo, so that Entertainment costs $60 with 20 hrs DVR or $70 with unlimited DVR vs. YTTV at $65, it would be pretty competitive. AT&T TV Entertainment would then probably draw the households who wanted a more well-rounded channel line-up and/or those drawn to the familiarity of the user experience with the optional dedicated box and remote, while YTTV would draw those who wanted a more sports-heavy channel line-up (but who were content to do without their local RSNs, which is a bit of an odd customer profile). For those who wanted RSNs and/or HBO Max, then AT&T TV's Choice package (which offers HBO Max free your first year) would make more sense (again, if its base price was cut by about $10/mo).
     
  3. raott

    raott Hall Of Fame

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    I received a check from AT&T today for a little over $10 that says it is as a results of rebates from "sports networks" to AT&T due to Covid impacts, which they passed on to me.
     
  4. Jun 4, 2021 #1904 of 2465
    lparsons21

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    Well it has been around a month since I cut back quite a bit on streaming things with a goal of doing away with a live streaming service all the way.

    Currently my on demand streaming services are costing me about $35/month with various sales and one-year deals. I’ve got Netflix no 4K, Paramount+, Peacock, Prime, AppleTV+, Hulu basic w/ads and HBO Max. What makes it so possible to use is helped along by the dearth of new, original and interesting program offerings from the cable channels these days. Yeah, lots of rerun stuff, but it is reruns of shows I get to pick and haven’t seen in a very long time. HBO Max is really doing a bang up job of offering such a wide range of shows/movies that the $12.50/month I pay is well worth it.

    I still have Sling Blue with the free 50Gb cloud DVR which I will probably cancel when the last episode of Queen of the South airs next week, that show is literally the only thing I record from a cable channel.

    I will admit it is a bit of a PITA to keep track of which show is where, but not enough of one to make me want to keep and pay for a live streaming service I would seldom use.
     
  5. Jun 4, 2021 #1905 of 2465
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Looks like seasons 1-4 of Queen of the South are already on Netflix. So, as per usual with basic cable series, you can watch them a year behind on one of the major SVODs if you're willing to wait.

    Or, if you want to watch the new season as it airs without a cable package, you can just buy it. Apple, Google and Amazon all sell an HD season pass for season 5 of the show right now for $20 (or $15 for SD). Assuming there's only a handful of basic cable shows that you actively watch each year on cable TV, you can see how it would be much cheaper to just buy the new seasons as they air (and own them, ad free, likely with superior PQ) rather than pay for a cable channel package that ranges from $25/mo on the low end (Philo) to $100/mo+ (traditional cable/satellite).
     
  6. Jun 4, 2021 #1906 of 2465
    lparsons21

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    Yeah, I could have done that and did give it some thought. But instead just kept the Sling Blue for a month longer. Probably because out of habit as much as any other reason.
     
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  7. Jun 6, 2021 #1907 of 2465
    b4pjoe

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    Question about AT&T TV....if you lose home internet can you still schedule recordings with your phone (which still has internet) on a website somewhere like you can with DirecTV? Or even if you are not home to schedule recordings can you go to a website to schedule recordings from another location?
     
  8. Jun 6, 2021 #1908 of 2465
    Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    There is an ATT TV app. You can watch tv or schedule the same as you do on the TV
     
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  9. Jun 6, 2021 #1909 of 2465
    compnurd

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    As Daven pointed out there is a full fledged app and the website where you can watch and do anything
     
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  10. Jun 6, 2021 #1910 of 2465
    mjwagner

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    Have you tried the ReelGood app? It’s what I use to keep track of all the shows we watch and when new episodes air. It integrates with Trakt (which I was already using) and many of the various streaming services. It’s not perfect but they have been steadily making improvements.
     
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  11. Jun 6, 2021 #1911 of 2465
    b4pjoe

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    Thanks to you both. So if my internet service were out I could schedule shows to record that are airing while the internet is down using the app on my phone? Or if I am away from home I could do the same even though my phone would not be using the same LAN as my TV's?
     
  12. Jun 6, 2021 #1912 of 2465
    lparsons21

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    Yeah I’ve used it and after your post I kicked it up again. Very not perfect IMO! On FireTV it doesn’t alway allow playing with an app as it should. HBO Max is really weird. ReelGood claims no device and then also says no app followed by running the app and pulling the show up just fine.

    I quit using it awhile back because I am just disorganized enough to make the effort one in futility
    ! :)
     
  13. Jun 6, 2021 #1913 of 2465
    lparsons21

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    Correct. That is because you aren’t interacting with your home network in those instances, but instead are dealing with HBO Max directly. That pretty much holds true with all the streaming apps.
     
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  14. Jun 6, 2021 #1914 of 2465
    NashGuy

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    Not only can you use the AT&T TV app on your phone (connected to the cellular tower) to set up new DVR recordings, you can use it to access the entire service: watch live TV, watch (or set up or delete) recordings, watch on-demand, change your channel package, etc. You can access the entire service via any internet connection in the country on your phone, tablet or laptop. (I'm pretty sure you can also use a TV-connected streaming device, such as a Roku, to access the service on a wifi network other than your home's wifi network.)

    Because DVR recordings happen in the cloud (on AT&T's servers), you won't miss anything when the internet goes out at your house. Your shows will still record and be available for you later. OTOH, if your satellite signal temporarily goes out due to weather at your house, you'll miss part (or all) of the show in your DVR recording.
     
  15. Jun 6, 2021 #1915 of 2465
    mjwagner

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    Yeah, to be honest I don’t use it to launch apps, I just use it to keep track of when new episodes come on. For that it actually works pretty well. I have it setup so that it sends me emails when new episodes of our shows are available. Thankfully I am overly organized…
     
  16. Jun 7, 2021 #1916 of 2465
    Stevies3

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    Prospective subscriber here. We have 6 TV's, if we purchase 6 boxes how many can watch TV at the same time?
     
  17. Jun 7, 2021 #1917 of 2465
    b4pjoe

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    All 6. Max is 20. They do recommend 8 MBPS internet service for each stream.
     
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  18. Jun 7, 2021 #1918 of 2465
    NashGuy

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    Yes, as b4pjoe said, you can watch on 20 devices simultaneously, as long as all of them are on your designated home network. (Only 3 out of the maximum 20 devices can be away from your home network.)

    Other things to know:
    • You aren't required to use their box to watch the service on a TV, you have the option of using their app (at no additional cost) on your own Roku, Apple TV and/or Fire TV devices.
    • If you buy the AT&T TV boxes new from them, the cost is $120 each, although they will give you the option of spreading out the cost at $5/mo each for 24 months.
    • You can buy those boxes on eBay for less, often around $60-70, just make sure that they come with the current version remote control. (Early on, when they were issuing those boxes to beta testers a couple years ago, they originally came with a different remote that wasn't as good.)
    • Lastly, a 2nd-gen version of the box has passed through for certification from the wifi and Bluetooth industry groups, so we know that it's coming at some point before too long. I've seen specs for it and it has a newer/faster processor and runs a newer version of the Android TV operating system.
     
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  19. Jun 7, 2021 #1919 of 2465
    NashGuy

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    If you just add the series you watch to the Up Next queue in the Apple TV app on your Apple TV 4K, it will let you know as soon as a new episode is available (on just about any app except Netflix). The episode will pop up at the front (left end) of the queue. Then just click there to be taken directly to the video in whichever app it resides in. Why use things like ReelGood and Trakt when their functionality is built into the device's operating system? Is it because you mainly use your other streaming devices instead of the ATV4K?
     
  20. Jun 8, 2021 #1920 of 2465
    mjwagner

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    Correct. At each of my two main viewing locations I have a Nvidia Shield, FireTV Stick 4k, and ATV 4k. The ATV 4K is the least used of the three, for many reasons. Hence ReelGood. And getting an email when a new episode of one of our shows is available is key for us. We literally never have our TVs on unless we are ready to sit down to watch something specific.
     

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