DTV Now Beta Hardware Tests

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by jborchel, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. Feb 15, 2019 #41 of 131
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    That review is using the Directv Now service. That's a separate service from the 'Directv via IP' service that is coming later this year.
     
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  2. Feb 15, 2019 #42 of 131
    SledgeHammer

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    There is an obvious difference which I mentioned earlier. A sat stream can't be RR'ed or FF'ed outside of its current buffer while a ip stream can go anywhere in the file (assuming they program that support). The problem comes when a sat stream doesn't care how many listeners it has while an ip stream does. If they intend to support "real time" / "traditional" functionality, they'll need, as they said in Jaws, a much bigger boat, possibly to the point of there being no ROI on it. My guess is that while I prefer traditional functionality, most people don't care and only care about cost, so they'll put up with reduced functionality.
     
  3. Feb 15, 2019 #43 of 131
    CraigerM

    CraigerM Well-Known Member

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    Some like that reviewer are thinking that is the box and the DTV Now App it is using is for DTV over IP. You could change the name on the DTV Now App on that box to DirecTV. Then have the DTV channel packages with that box. However, it still wouldn't be DTV over IP if they launch it without all the full DTV features.
     
  4. Feb 15, 2019 #44 of 131
    SledgeHammer

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    Doesn't it cost more to set up a streaming service capable of handling millions of viewers then just launch a satellite? The whole DirecTV sat fleet is only worth $2B lol. They'll spend more then that on bandwidth and servers.
     
  5. Feb 15, 2019 #45 of 131
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Yes ... some people are prone to fantasy. Others are prone to repeating other's fantasies.

    AT&T|DIRECTV is testing the hardware using DIRECTV NOW software. There is no claim by DIRECTV or proof that the same client software will be used when AT&T|DIRECTV releases the proposed "DIRECTV over IP" product.
     
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  6. Feb 16, 2019 #46 of 131
    P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    This is C71KW-200 !!!
     
  7. Feb 16, 2019 #47 of 131
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    The price of bandwidth and servers goes down over time as technology improves. While the cost of building and launching satellites also goes down, it goes down much more slowly.
     
  8. Feb 16, 2019 #48 of 131
    SledgeHammer

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    It really doesn't. One of your frequent complaints ;) is that Netflix is overvalued because they spend $8B a year. Ok, well, Disney is now standing up Disney+. They indicated they will spend more then that standing up the service (when they own the darn content!). If I were an investor, I wouldn't worry about it for Netflix because they have the eyeballs to support it. At this point, Disney+ has 0 eyeballs.

    I remember reading when WWE launched their service, the "break-even" (at that time) was a little over a million paying subs. They announced plans in 2011 and didn't launch until 2014 and now 5 yrs later they only have 1.6M paying subs or so. Barely profitable. Assuming 1M is still the breakeven. So you can see it takes a long time to build up a subscriber base. Even for a niche fan boy type service.

    DirecTV Now is hemorrhaging cash right now.

    Point is, streaming services are huge money losers unless you've got the eyeballs and most of them don't.

    I work in IT and servers don't really get cheaper over time. We used to have 2008 servers and have been upgrading them to 2012R2 or 2016 servers. The new servers are more expensive as they are spec'ed up. More RAM, faster drives, new CPUs, etc.

    Launching and maintaining a single Sat over say 10 yrs that can serve everybody in the US vs building and maintaining a streaming service that can do that is a money losing proposition. The sat is peanuts compared to the streaming.

    Companies are only doing streaming now because they think they'll be the next Netflix and that its cheaper then traditional cable / sat. It's cheaper NOW because they have to build up the subscriber base. Doesn't DirecTV Now pretty much need to double the price before they break even? If they did that overnight, they're out of business.
     
  9. Feb 16, 2019 #49 of 131
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    I'm an IT architecture consultant, so I'm quite familiar with the pricing and capabilities of servers over time. On a "per server" basis they might cost the same or more today, but they can handle far more work. In 2008 the CPUs had two cores with quad core just coming out, now they have over two dozen cores. They can support 10x as much RAM, you have SSDs instead of hard drives, which is probably the biggest performance improvement of all. Even if a single rack full of dual socket servers costs 2x as much (due to Intel charging more for a 28 core CPU than they did for a dual core CPU, and SSDs costing more than hard drives) you don't care because it can easily handle 10x the workload versus a decade ago.
     
  10. Feb 16, 2019 #50 of 131
    SledgeHammer

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    Except they're being upgraded 1 for 1 when the 2008 servers handled the load just fine. They're being upgraded because according to the geniuses in Corp compliance, they're too old and insecure (of course ignoring the fact that everybody RDPs into production servers and SQL boxes and connection strings are all unencrypted, etc). Also, while we've been upgrading all our 2008 servers to 2016 over the past year to meet corporate compliance, we're going to be changing all the servers out AGAIN over the next year or two since we're moving to Azure. Yup, we're THAT company lol.

    Meanwhile, that Sat DirecTV launched a decade ago is just hanging around gathering space dust and merrily doing its job faithfully serving all 20M customers 24x7 rain or shine. Err... ok, well, maybe not rain hahah....
     
  11. Feb 16, 2019 #51 of 131
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Well just because your company has the wrong people doing capacity planning doesn't mean everyone does so. Certainly not companies like Netflix or Disney handling (or soon handling in Disney's case) millions of streams.
     
  12. Feb 16, 2019 #52 of 131
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Per stream served or per byte served I'll accept your premise that new servers are better than old. But the need for the additional capacity provided increases as the number of active subscribers increases. Assuming a new rack of servers can serve ten times the number of simultaneous users what happens when the service grows to twenty times the number of simultaneous users? With streaming one would need to buy another rack of servers or reduce the quality of service. The same applies to the pipeline away from the servers. Need 1MB per subscriber for a decent connection? Have a 10GB connection to the network? Great if you're serving roughly 10,000 customers or less. Otherwise plan to pay more for connectivity as the operation scales up. One might get a better "price per bit" when buying a 10GB connection. But one also pays more for a guaranteed connection ... one that serves 10GB at near 100% reliability and availability and one that is actually useable at peak speed for extended periods of time.

    Satellites are needed less often. Companies buy satellites with a 15 year lifespan knowing that they can get a few years more out of them before they are absolutely dead. Where can I buy a rack of servers that will last 15 years with no on site maintenance? And don't worry about needing another satellite if the number of subscribers increases. Infinite subscribers per satellite. That is the benefit of "broadcast" (one to many) technology.

    The multiplier for streaming is the number of simultaneous streams. 1.5 million subscribers with access to 2 or three streams each works because the peak usage is not everybody using all of their streams at the same moment. Infinite subscribers means multiplying costs. The multiplier for satellite is the number of simultaneous channels. There are not an infinite number of channels to carry.
     
  13. Feb 16, 2019 #53 of 131
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Spending $8B isn't bad ... but adding $3-4 billion to your debt and calling that a good year is a problem.
     
  14. Feb 16, 2019 #54 of 131
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Thanx for the link. Rather impressive way to make your point. Wish the guy would have gone into how the remote works. I'm thinking the pad in the middle would provide Skips back and forth. That's interesting.

    Rich
     
  15. Feb 16, 2019 #55 of 131
    inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    What hardware are you using now to stream DIRECTV now? Have you tried an Apple TV? Not sure how much smoother a streaming box anyone could make.
     
  16. Feb 16, 2019 #56 of 131
    inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    What is it you can’t do trick play wise? Apple TV has more trickplay capability than DIRECTV does....
     
  17. Feb 16, 2019 #57 of 131
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    We are going to disagree on this point. I don't see more functionality using the ATV remote. I'm only talking about watching sports and I used boxing for the first trial. That was annoying and I don't see how I could use the ATV remote the way I use the D* remote to watch baseball and football. I'd much rather use an ATV remote for watching series or movies but for sports? Having a hard time seeing that. But I haven't done it and I do intend to try several cable replacement services as soon as the MLB season begins. Might change my mind.

    Rich
     
  18. Feb 16, 2019 #58 of 131
    inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    Again, what feature is it missing? It’s got ffwd, rewd, skip forward, skip backward, and scrub forward and scrub backward. It has more capabilities... and skip is 10 seconds instead of 30 so it’s better for football when teams play faster..

    But again, you haven’t explained why it’s not as good to you, that’s what I want to hear, why you don’t like it as much.
     
  19. Feb 16, 2019 #59 of 131
    SledgeHammer

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    Not when you have 140M subs and a $2/mo hike = $3.36B/yr. Also, consider the cost of Netflix is now $16/mo for all you can eat. Do you really think that's a fair value? HBO charges that much and has much less content. So it's a no brainer Netflix will hit 200M subs within a year or so. At 200M subs, another $2/mo hike = 4.8B/yr. Could you imagine if they did a one time DirecTV sized price hike of $7? Why that would be $16.8B in additional revenue!!

    They don't because they see the cable / sat churn from hikes that big while +$2 every other year doesn't really turn people off.

    Besides, the $8B they are spending is on their own content which they own. Forever. For free.
     
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  20. Feb 16, 2019 #60 of 131
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yep, my thoughts exactly.

    As for the responsiveness, that shouldn't be a problem. Apps on the Apple TV 4K typically seem to cache only the last 30 seconds of video. (Why not more, I don't know.) I can left-click the trackpad on the remote to skip back 10 seconds and the video stream in Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, etc. resumes playing immediately. Even faster, I think, than doing the same feature with a DVR recording on a TiVo. I can triple-click and the ATV4K skips back 30 seconds and resumes playing immediately. But if I go back any further than 30 seconds, the stream always buffers for a second or two while it resyncs with the streaming service, apparently fetching a new unicast stream.

    AT&T hopefully is customizing their software on the C71 Android TV box currently in beta so that it caches as many minutes as possible of a DTV live stream given the amount of RAM and/or flash memory the box has. While third party apps like Netflix might have restrictions around how much of an elapsed stream may be locally cached, AT&T obviously has the right to cache as much as they want with their own channels.

    All that said, I don't see why trick play should be a problem with the forthcoming service that's being optimized for delivery to this device.
     

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