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New DVRs or is the road map through DTV Now?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by wco81, May 8, 2018.

  1. May 8, 2018 #1 of 37
    wco81

    wco81 Legend

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    HR54 is several years old?

    Any plans for native 4K HDR support?

    Or their roadmap ultimately to offer 4K HDR through DTV Now streaming and stop developing expensive set top/DVR hardware?
     
  2. May 8, 2018 #2 of 37
    HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

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    There's no evidence of any future DVRs with native 4K local output capability.

    All future designs appear to be based on the Genie 2 "headless" server-client model.

    Sent from my LG-H932 using Tapatalk
     
  3. May 8, 2018 #3 of 37
    wco81

    wco81 Legend

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    I guess more generally, is AT&T interested in continuing to develop hardware?

    I think one of their DT Now commercials feature a girl throwing out a set top and they tout how you don't need any specialized hardware.
     
  4. May 8, 2018 #4 of 37
    P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    check two threads "HS17-100" and how long satellites will lasts
     
  5. May 8, 2018 #5 of 37
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    The Directv name is associated in people's minds with "satellite", so they have to make it clear this is a different type of service. There are a lot more cable TV customers they can poach to switch to Directv Now than Directv's own customers.

    Though it is kind of silly to show people throwing out set tops when you will still need an Apple TV, Roku, etc. unless you have a "smart TV" (which will stop updating firmware and lose Directv Now support long before the TV itself fails, so that's not exactly a long term solution) It is kind of like their "no wires" ads despite the fact that you still have power and HDMI wires...

    The 'Genie 2' line (HS17 and follow ons) looks to be Directv's future direction - which is basically a Genie that can't output video so you have all clients. There won't be an HR64, but there have been mentions in several places about an HS27 and even an HS37 so that's the line that will see future development.

    Of course, there's really very little that can be added to future servers, other than supporting more 4K TVs at once or having a bigger hard drive. Which is kind of the point, so those servers have a nice long life since most won't have a reason to care whether they have an HS17 or HS37 since the clients will be what needs to be updated if 4Kp120 comes along or whatever.
     
  6. May 8, 2018 #6 of 37
    P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    I'm ready to bet, it will not happen in 5 years.
     
  7. May 8, 2018 #7 of 37
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Yup. You hit the nail on the head.

    Rich
     
  8. May 8, 2018 #8 of 37
    JoeTheDragon

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    Will there be an disk-less server?
    Standalone boxes for hotels / bars?
     
  9. May 8, 2018 #9 of 37
    JoeTheDragon

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    Will they give an BAR an uncapped with no slow down cell link at no data cost?
    Fiber line with out the $70-$XXX-$XXXX cost for an DLA line?
     
  10. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    I anticipate they will eventually support HSxx servers in bars, with the DVR functions disabled of course. They already support HR54 + C61K combo for 4K - but you need one such pair for each TV and connection of a second non-4K client apparently isn't supported so it is a real kludge. Can't believe anyone would bother with for a couple game a week, but I guess there must have been some demand or Directv wouldn't have developed the solution. They would use the same server residential customers get, even though you can't record they'd still want to push ads and other stuff that would need hard drive space.

    And yes, expecting bars to stream is not realistic. It would cost me a few hundred per month to have a big enough pipe to stream HD (let alone 4K) to all my TVs - and there is no guarantee that either my ISP, or Directv could supply all those streams continuously without hiccup. Getting 200 Mb service in a business costs a lot more than it does in your home, and still doesn't guarantee uptime or that you will actually get all that bandwidth. You can buy connections that will guarantee uptime and data rate, but then you are talking thousands of dollars a month (and they can only guarantee the bandwidth through their network, from Directv's servers to your ISP's network is still an unknown) At least with rain fade it is easy to tell why it is happening, and know it will quickly resolve itself.

    The fact that streams are usually at least a minute behind live, and often more, would be a real problem as well, since people in the bar are often texting people at the game. It would kind of spoil it if you got a text from a friend "wow awesome pick six to start the game!" while you and everyone else in the bar are watching them line up for the opening kickoff! :confused:
     
  11. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Well, here's what we know: AT&T is definitely planning to incorporate support for 4K HDR later this year in their new cloud-based OTT streaming platform (currently still in beta for DTV Now). We also know that they will roll out, supposedly before the end of this year, a new "home-centric" TV service that uses that same platform that will power DTV Now. This new service will come with thin-client STBs (no hard drives) and remotes from AT&T for use specifically with that service, although these STBs will also allow access to third-party apps (e.g. Netflix, YouTube, etc.).

    The other thing we know is that a STB that totally matches that description was submitted by AT&T to the FCC last fall: the C71. It's actually a line of STBs with different code numbers, e.g. C71KW, C71KW-400, etc., with all those models apparently having essentially the same hardware (but perhaps different pre-loaded software/firmware?). These new STBs run Google's Android TV operating system. They will support 4K (2160p60) and two forms of HDR (HDR10 and HLG) and come with a voice remote that appears to support Google search/Google Assistant. See here:
    DirecTV to Launch Android TV-Based OTT Set-Top Box (EXCLUSIVE)

    Now, for all we know, AT&T has scrapped plans to actually use the C71, although I've seen no indication of that. It's worth noting that the model nomenclature, C71, suggests that it is a successor to the current Genie Mini, model no. C61. The user manual for the C71 also mentions that it may be used in conjunction with "the future HS27," which would appear to be the successor to the current HS17 home server for DTV satellite use.

    So those details would seem to suggest that the C71 is new hardware intended for use with DTV satellite service.

    But given that everything else about the C71 matches up with the AT&T CEO's description of the thin client STB that will be used with the future "home-centric" version of DTV Now (possibly to be branded as "AT&T TV"), it would make a lot of sense if they also used this piece of hardware for that service too. Think about it: they would be cheaper to order from Samsung because of the increased scale and having the same hardware used across both of their top-tier TV services would lower development and support costs. (And if a satellite customer at some point decided to switch over to the newer OTT service, they could probably do it without even turning in the C71 boxes connected to their TVs, they'd just need AT&T to push new firmware onto them.) My guess is that those different code numbers are based on whether the box is pre-loaded with software for use with the HS27 home server for satellite customers or for standalone use for OTT customers.
     
  12. KyL416

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    Especially if you're in a crowded business district where everyone is sharing the same bandwidth on cable. Which is made even worse now that many places offer free wifi that is being consumed by data heavy social media apps where the default settings have them download and sync images and videos from your newsfeed in the background whenever it connects to wifi.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
  13. James Long

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

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    Set tops will continue to be developed. Satellite will continue to be offered. While some people will move over to DTV Now or a competitive streaming platform satellite remains a very efficient way of delivering content to millions of customers simultaneously with no buffering issues or problems with third party delivery (such as local ISPs or even co-owned wireless systems).
     
  14. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    I agree, assuming they introduce a "high end" streaming service that's more like traditional cable/satellite in that they provide boxes and a greater degree of handholding it makes perfect sense that they use the same hardware. (AT&T keeps changing their story about what's coming all the time so I don't think we can be sure what they will introduce until it arrives)

    I would guess it would even run the same software - it might act a bit differently if on a satellite account versus a streaming account, but having a single software stream with a familiar look regardless of platform would make it easier for customers to switch within the Directv/AT&T product family and presumably make it less likely they'd switch to a cable/satellite/streaming competitor.
     
  15. wco81

    wco81 Legend

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    I'd be curious how D* would fit into their strategy if they go in big into home 5G. Which video service would they bundle such service with, a D* package where a dish would have to be installed or just hand the an STB for use with DT Now?
     
  16. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Yeah, awhile back AT&T stated that the new-look UI that will first debut in the upcoming "2.0" version of the DTV Now app (which I'm beta testing and will supposedly roll out to everyone by June 30) will eventually be used across all of their consumer-facing TV services, including satellite STBs, eventually. So that comment is consistent with the idea that the C71 would use basically the same software whether it's configured for use on a standalone basis for OTT or for use with the HS27 satellite home server. (I still doubt that the new revamped UI will ever get backported to current Genie STBs, like the C61 or HR54.)

    Oh, I can answer that question right now based on repeated comments from AT&T's CEO: they'll push hard to package their forthcoming "home-centric" OTT service (which I'm predicting will be named "AT&T TV") with home internet (whether that's fixed 5G, fiber-to-the-home, or fiber-to-the-node DSL). One of the big things AT&T likes about the concept is that equipment costs are low and the service can be easily self-installed by the customer, as it will only require plugging in an HDMI cord, a power cord, and then joining your home wifi (or ethernet) network. Consider how much more it costs AT&T to acquire a new satellite TV subscriber with the cost of the dish, wiring and the installation labor costs. (BTW, I'm reading over on the other DTV satellite forum that former DTV employees are saying that the company is laying off lots of workers in the satellite division and scrapping orders for future satellite launches.)
     
  17. James Long

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

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    Bundling with 5G is only part of the market. Satellite will serve people without 5G. Narrowing AT&T's marketplace to people with 5G would be a mistake. They have more to offer than a streaming service.
     
  18. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Let me fix that for you: Satellite will serve people without internet. AT&T TV and DTV Now will be available to and marketed to folks nationwide who have internet service, especially those with home or mobile internet from AT&T (regardless of whether it's 5G or not). Of course there will be existing DTV satellite subscribers who have home internet yet choose to stick with satellite rather than an OTT service. But they will be fewer and fewer over time.
     
  19. James Long

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

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    No - Satellite will continue to serve people with Internet. Even though satellite will lose subscribers to streaming AT&T will continue to encourage people to give them money for satellite subscriptions. Even if the customer has Internet. New customers, old customers, anyone willing and able to pay for the subscription and have LOS for a dish will be able to get satellite service.

    The subscriber acquisition costs associated with satellite are not insurmountable. DISH and DIRECTV turned a profit for years (and are still profitable) despite subscriber acquisition costs. The satellite fleet costs the same to maintain and feed signals whether there are 20 million subscribers or 2 million. AT&T might as well keep and add as many satellite subscribers as possible.

    Low margin and currently unprofitable streaming services are not keeping AT&T in the subscription television marketplace. Relatively high profit (and profitable) satellite service is paying the bills at AT&T Entertainment.
     
  20. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Careful when you look at what Directv/AT&T have called "customer acquisition costs" that typically run around $800. That is NOT what it costs to install satellite. The cost of satellite installation is probably more like $150-$200 - i.e. whatever it costs to send the installer out and the cost of the dish, wiring, etc. but NOT the receivers (you WAY more than pay for those with the $7/month fee)

    Most of what they term customer acquisition costs are advertising and new customer promotions/discounts. Those costs won't go away with streaming, and in fact could prove to be even higher for streaming since that market may be more competitive than cable/satellite where there are typically only two or three other choices at most. For instance, giving away a free Apple TV for signing up with Directv Now, there's $150 or so and they certainly haven't been shy about advertising the service either...and I suspect the ad budget is about to go a lot higher when the new Directv Now features like cloud DVR move out of beta.
     

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