Directv Now raising prices again

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by slice1900, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    I doubt I even get 20 "legit" emails per day at work. By legit, I mean, actually directed towards me where I need to do something or answer a question. The majority of the emails are server alerts (which I don't care about since its not my job to fix servers), various company emails that I scan & delete and various emails where people add me for no apperent reason.

    I keep my inbox like I keep my playlist... mostly empty with just stuff I need to work on :D.
     
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  2. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    Yeah, I get it. It's like watching That 70s Show on AP or Netflix or wherever it was.

    I think you're missing the use case though. Using 2.5 Men as an example, it's shown 1000 times a day. No, I don't want to watch every episode. Today I scour the guide and decide I want to watch S3E15, S2E9, S11E3 and S5E7. I don't want to have to write the S/E #'s down, I don't want to have to memorize them, I don't want to have to look through 12 seasons / 200+ episodes. I just want a list of the 4 episodes and I want that list to go away as I watch them. Much like my inbox analogy.

    The YouTube approach is more like "Hey, I'm bored and want to watch 2.5 Men, let's scour the 200+ episodes by season until I find one I want to watch." That's not a very useful approach for being bored. I can skim over the guide for 3 - 4 hours or even double that in a few minutes or less because I just go 2 - 20 and 220 - 320 (DirecTV channels) and use the PG DOWN so it goes very fast. Scouring by season takes much longer.

    Now, I'll grant you, my approach only lets me watch the episodes that are airing today, but that's the idea, but it also takes me from searching through 200+ episodes down to about 10 or less.

    Now, occasionally, yes, there isn't a cool episode airing today and I'm still bored, so I might actually scour the episode guide on Wikipedia to find an episode, but that's pretty rare... the use case above is far more common for me.
     
  3. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    I only watch older shows when I'm bored. Generally I watch first run stuff. I'll give you another use case where the Youtube approach isn't useful. I watch Gold Rush. I'm sure as hell never going to re-watch an episode of that. It's not a re-watchable show. I only care about the new episode and don't want to see it again after I watch it.

    Yeah, for $85, I don't get what they are doing with that either. For $85, I can just get the OG DirecTV service.
     
  4. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Because there is a lot of confusion (even among the tech press) about what "cord cutting" really is. If someone considers it cord cutting to drop their cable/satellite subscription, but wants to see stuff on ESPN, they have no choice but not get a 'cable replacement service'. You can't watch ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU via streaming any other way.

    Cord cutting is not something most sports fans can consider today, because most of it is not available via streaming. If someone doesn't care about sports, and don't care about "live TV" like local news then they can do as you suggest.
     
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  5. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    We're talking about OTT streaming - using your already existing internet connection. IPTVSomeone already ran the cable/fiber for that, no one has to pay to run any additional cabling because you subscribed to Directv Now or Sling. They just need bunch of servers, CDN agreements and that sort of thing, they don't have to run any cabling to your house.

    It isn't clear whether delivery that way costs more than satellite delivery. I suspect it does, though not forever as technology continues to drive those prices down. But both are lost in the noise compared to your overall cable/satellite bill - just a few percent of it at the most. Even if delivery was absolutely free it wouldn't lead to much reduction in overall cost to cable/satellite companies - if their costs went down by 2% the best you'd see would be possibly a slightly smaller price increase next year...
     
  6. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    I wasn't referring to cabling, but simply delivery costs and server costs, etc. My company has a legit on prem data center that they always say is rated one level below the max only because it's in a flight path. They intended to move to Azure to cut costs. So far it hasn't worked out that way at all. In fact, they're now paying 2x - 3x what it cost to run in the data center where they were also paying for electricity. And that's with a steep corp discount Microsoft gives us. Any streaming provider has to have a massive cloud presence in addition to paying for streaming rights, etc. They're going to pass all that on to the customers with these 30% hikes.
     
  7. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Well, I'm basing it more on comments I've seen of industry analysts who are pretty familiar with carriage costs. There did seem to be a consensus that YTTV was probably losing money at its original $40 price but after raising it to $50, I'm not sure if that's still the case. It wouldn't surprise me if Google is still losing a little per sub but I don't think it's much now.

    As for individual channel pricing, it falls WAY off after the big broadcast nets and ESPN. Here's a nice chart showing the prices per sub as of 2017, including which channels were (at that time) in each of the streaming cable TV services.

    I really do think the future of linear cable channel TV service (such as it is) belongs to AT&T TV/HBO Max, Comcast/Peacock, Hulu, and YouTube TV. If Amazon wants to get in that game, they can instantly become a player too. (Same is true of Apple, although I don't see them at this point in being interested in anything so passé as cable TV.)
     
  8. espaeth

    espaeth AllStar

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    This is pretty much the place that ATT is in with their streaming service, they’re contracting out CDN operations to Akamai, and they’re running all of the control servers out of Azure.

    Using a cloud service for the control infrastructure isn’t terrible — Netflix still makes heavy use of AWS for running all of the web / app interface components. They do run their own distribution compute though, and it’s surprisingly compact to build a pretty high-end distribution platform. This is from one of the conferences they presented at a few years back:

    The infrastructure costs are very different for a company like Google who already has the data center scale and distribution infrastructure in place to run regular Youtube. Adding a streaming TV service on top of that is barely a rounding error on compute and bandwidth costs.
     
  9. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Yes. Well, the "premium" version of their streaming cable TV service, AT&T TV, comes with 500 hours of cloud DVR storage, a lot more than the 20 hours that AT&T TV Now (formerly DirecTV Now) offers. They run on the same underlying technology platform and, yes, despite being in public beta testing for a ridiculously long time (nearly 2 years now, I think), the cloud DVR has been buggy and unstable. It's gotten better, from what I read, but that's not saying much. And while it does allow you to pause live TV, you can only keep it paused for a short while, and you can't even rewind or FF live TV either. So, yuck.

    Now, all that said, AT&T TV Now has notified customers that they will be switching to a new cloud DVR tech platform starting Nov. 1. You just have to believe that this has to do with the pending nationwide rollout for the flagship AT&T TV service, which, as I say, uses the all the same technological underpinnings as AT&T TV Now.

    If I had to guess, I'd say that their entire streaming tech platform, including the cloud DVR, was based on what AT&T got when they acquired Quickplay back in 2016. And, for whatever reason, they just couldn't make Quickplay's cloud DVR system work. (Maybe this has to do with AT&T's desire to insert targeted ads in the recordings in place of the original broadcast ads?) So at some point, AT&T either decided to just license/buy some other outside cloud DVR platform to replace it, or instead, they developed their own new cloud DVR platform in-house. Either way, they must have been testing it within the overall AT&T TV system in a closed beta for awhile now given that it's going to roll out to the public on Nov. 1.
     
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  10. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    OK, but you realize that Game of Thrones was on HBO, right? And HBO can be had in the form of a standalone SVOD, HBO Now (probably to be replaced by HBO Max in 2020). Same is true of the other premium cable channels: Showtime, Starz, Epix. You don't need a live cable channel package for any of them in order to watch their new content as soon as it premiers.

    As for reality/competition and live sports, sure, that stuff is mainly accessed via linear channels. But most of the reality/competition shows are on the broadcast nets, which many of us can get via OTA antenna. And if you don't mind waiting until the next day (or just past midnight), you can stream them on the Hulu and CBS All Access SVODs. A decent amount of sports (most notably local NFL games) are on OTA channels too.

    When people really understand what is available where, and for how much, I think there are two major factors keeping folks on traditional linear channel cable TV: sports and habit/familiarity.
     
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  11. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    AT&T understands where this is all heading, which is why they're WAY more excited about their own direct-to-consumer (i.e. TV 3.0) service HBO Max than they are about AT&T TV, which is really just a streaming version of linear channel cable TV (i.e. TV 2.0). As I've said for a long time now, we'll see them include HBO Max in all of the AT&T TV channel packages because HBO Max is the thing they want you to stick with for the long haul. Because that's the content that they actually own. All those linear channels that they don't own -- ESPN, USA, CBS, etc. -- they don't really care whether you keep watching that stuff in the long run. But they know that, for now, lots of folks still want those channels, especially sports fans, because they're the only way to access certain content.

    You should think of AT&T TV as really just an optional extension of HBO Max. As the linear channel cable TV system dies in the mid-to-late 2020s, so will AT&T TV. All that will be left among AT&T's video options is HBO Max.
     
  12. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Yes. I am also aware that Game of Thrones was released ONE EPISODE AT A TIME on their "Live TV" channels. HBO created a weekly event that drew viewers to their channel(s). A perfect example of people wanting "Live TV" so they can watch something NOW instead of later. HBO leveraged "Live TV" to extend interest in the program (and continued subscription to their channels) over several months instead of doing a quick dump of a complete season on streaming.

    As explained before, people could wait a few months and binge watch the program - paying HBO for one month of programming. But HBO banked on viewers who wanted to know the story as it was released. They relied on the "Live TV" method of distribution. (And yes, it is Live TV whether people were watching live on cable, satellite or HBO NOW.)
     
  13. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I've done it to some extent. I rarely watch anything live anymore. I do watch CNN when something interesting happens but I can get that feed online. But no matter what I do I can't get away from how good sports are on D*. I do understand the confusion. I was confused at first too.

    Rich
     
  14. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Apple never seems to do anything that could be called anachronistic. I don't see them coming up in the cable replacement sweepstakes either.

    Rich
     
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  15. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    OK, but releasing episodes one at a time isn't the same thing as "live TV". Disney+ and Apple+ will both release new episodes of their original series one per week, even though those series won't reside on any linear channel. Hulu Originals usually come out that way too. Don't confuse the way Netflix does things with all SVODs.
     
  16. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    HBO is (at its core) a package of linear channels. Offering replays via streaming does not negate the fact that their content is released on a linear (Live TV) channels and the "Live TV" type of schedule.
     
  17. JoeTheDragon

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

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    won't reside on any linear channel?? I think there may still be an use at east in some form for people will poor internet may with push VOD or download VOD.
     
  18. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    You keep telling us this, but you are yet to provide any evidence to back it up beyond a few vocal people on the forums and some made up theories. Yeah, DirecTV is going to be out of business in 5 yrs? Riiiight… :rolleyes:

    Both Netflix and Roku stocks have plummeted recently. Do you know something everybody else doesn't? Everybody seems to think growth has leveled off in the US. AT&T just jacked up the price by 30%. The artificially low teaser prices will be gone faster then you can toggle between the 2 - 3 streaming providers (if not more) you need to fill all the gaps.

    Now, while Netflix isn't OTT, do you follow the market? They just issued YET ANOTHER $2 BILLION (that's billion with a big fat capital B) of JUNK BONDS today. If Netflix with its first mover advantage, brand name advantage and 150M subs doesn't have enough money to operate, how do you expect some chinsey outfit like Philio who doesn't even have 1M subs to survive?

    Now don't get me wrong, there is something to the tech... the implementation isn't there yet. If you want a more realistic prediction for the future:

    * More and more content owners break off into standalone services to the point where you need 10+ providers to get a decent channel set
    * Streaming prices skyrocket to cover the massive overhead of servers and bandwidth
    * Price gaps between traditional rapidly closes
    * Smaller providers start to collapse
    * Consolidation occurs
    * As prices normalize with traditional, people start to not see the point of moving

    The only thing that's going to happen in 5 yrs is that your OTT services will be the same or more then traditional. Somebody on here, I forget who, claimed that prices would be much lower for like the next 20+ yrs. Not when we're seeing exponential price curves on streaming lol...

    Btw, after today Netflix has about 15B in debt. Yup... that sounds sustainable.
     
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  19. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    I don’t know which way will end up winning, but ATTs moves don’t seem to be a path to success. So will ATT and Dish end up being a single company for satellite delivery? Odds are good the answer is yes at some point in time.

    And as long as people want their local channels, the OTT services will survive though probably fewer in number and at somewhat higher prices.

    But from my month long streaming experiment I’ve changed some things. Right now I have fewer scheduled recordings on broadcast channels that ever before during their season. Just fewer shows that catch my interest. And even the cable channels scheduling is down as there is so little of real interest. I’m watching more via streaming than on cable these days.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
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  20. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    I agree that AT&T's approach to streaming is not what streamers want, but in the long run, I'm betting that's what we'll end up as all these mom&pop streamers die a quick death under the pile of debt they amass. That we'll just get traditional over IP.
     

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