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Comments on news posted 2017-11-06 10:00:03: AT&T is promising its users a notably-revamped version of its DirecTV Now streaming video platform sometime in the early part of next year. ..

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srtdodge05
Premium Member
join:2011-10-16
Ypsilanti, MI

srtdodge05

Premium Member

Keep talking

Hopefully it'll include more streams and 150+ hrs of cloud dvr
elefante72
join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
·Verizon FiOS

elefante72

Member

Except for Grandpa

Except for the people who came in at $35 for all the channels the new packages today already cost more than my cable bundle. The DVR is still beta but they apparently have upped VoD.

At the end of the day they are going to have to make it like Netflix (everything on demand) and just get rid of the DVR (like Youtube TV) which they "call" a DVR but really isn't. And give content people want at a good price (that means excise sports into their own tier, REALLY).

That and their packages are really no different than cable packages, so not breaking any ground there.

So who is their real competitor? the same ol same ol. And of course giveaways for bundling w/ cell and the like and maybe sprinkle in some HBO. Knowing how AT&T operates you can't help but imagine they are going to simply outprice themselves or make it ultra complicated like Hulu, or both.
Tchaika
join:2017-03-20
New Orleans, LA
57.4 12.4

Tchaika

Member

Re: Except for Grandpa

said by elefante72:

At the end of the day they are going to have to make it like Netflix (everything on demand) and just get rid of the DVR (like Youtube TV) which they "call" a DVR but really isn't. And give content people want at a good price (that means excise sports into their own tier, REALLY).

What makes you think their licenses/agreements with the content owners allow that?

I have "on-demand" services through my uVerse IPTV that allow me to stream just about anything I can record with the DVR. So why do I need the DVR? Well, the streaming usually comes with restrictions, like no fast-forwarding through commercials.

A few weeks ago I had to take advantage of this streaming, to catch the last episode of The Orville, because a live sports event ran late and recorded over it (side note: TiVo was usually smart enough to adjust recording hours, oh what I wouldn't give for a DVR half as awesome as TiVo.....) and it annoyed the fuck out of me because Fox compels you to watch their stupid commercials just the same through uVerse streaming as they would if I had watched on their website. The uVerse option got it on my big TV, through my existing STB, so it was still better than going to the Fox website, but damn those ads are annoying.....

DVRs, whether local or cloud based get around these restrictions. I'm sure AT&T would LOVE to offer you a Netflix style catalog of all the content you're currently recording, without having to maintain a cloud DVR infrastructure.

Anoncdca4
@sbcglobal.net

Anoncdca4 to elefante72

Anon

to elefante72
I have YTV and DirectvNow. Its depressing actually that the DVR isnt coming sooner. As for Youtube TV's DVR it certainly is a true dvr in the sense that, when you put something on record, it records whatever is literally on in that time slot just like DTV whole home system would do. Youtube TV's DVR just plain works.
Craiger
join:2012-07-05
Chesterfield, MO

Craiger

Member

Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

What if their really isn't two OTT services that AT&T is doing but they were really talking about DTV Now 2.0? What if instead of merging DTV and UVerseTV and having that service over SatelliteTV and Managed IPTV, AT&T decided to do DTV Now over unmanaged IPTV as the UVerse TV replacement?
BiggA
Premium Member
join:2005-11-23
EARTH

BiggA

Premium Member

Re: Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

All three operate under different contractual and regulatory structures. Having all three helps with negotiations with content providers, however.
Craiger
join:2012-07-05
Chesterfield, MO

Craiger

Member

Re: Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

So if they kept SatelliteTV, Managed and Unmanaged IPTV and those three systems havw the same look and feel that could make IPTV cheaper to operate? Would they be able to make an all new interface work across all three systems base it on the DTV channel lineup and not merge the DTV and UVerseTV channel lineups? Would that new interface even be able to work on the older DTV and UVerseTV boxes?
austinjf
join:2017-04-20
united state
9.3 6.3

austinjf

Member

Re: Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

ATT is pushing out a new direct tv UI that looks, roughly the same as u-verse. I could see this being the new Now UI too. U-verse could probably squeeze another UI update out but since they don't make boxes anymore it wouldn't be worth it. Here's a album I found over on reddit »imgur.com/a/jkkts
BiggA
Premium Member
join:2005-11-23
EARTH

BiggA

Premium Member

Re: Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

Yeah, they are unlikely to make new U-Verse hardware anytime soon, as between migrations to DTV and cord cutting, they have a decade supply of equipment in a warehouse somewhere even when you account for boxes dying and people breaking/losing them and natural disasters.
BiggA

BiggA to Craiger

Premium Member

to Craiger
They can use the same interface, having more subscribers in aggregate drives programming costs down, and they could merge channel lineups into a master lineup, but each service would still have different channels available depending on regulations, technical limitations of satellite capacity, and contracts, so each would have some of the "master" lineup missing for a given area.

I would say that DTV NOW would not have been possible without the combined leverage of DTV and U-Verse in terms of the scale of programming aquisition. Other OTT providers haven't been able to match the lineup and price points that DTV NOW has.
betam4x
join:2002-10-12
Nashville, TN
943.3 42.8

betam4x to Craiger

Member

to Craiger
said by Craiger:

What if their really isn't two OTT services that AT&T is doing but they were really talking about DTV Now 2.0? What if instead of merging DTV and UVerseTV and having that service over SatelliteTV and Managed IPTV, AT&T decided to do DTV Now over unmanaged IPTV as the UVerse TV replacement?

AT&T does not have streaming rights to all the channels that they do for traditional U-Verse TV and DirecTV satellite. Some of these networks are outright refusing to make any more licensing deals, instead choosing to push their own streaming service (CBS, *ahem*).
BiggA
Premium Member
join:2005-11-23
EARTH

BiggA

Premium Member

Re: Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

Also, the way local and PEG channels are carried on IPTV (cable from a regulatory perspective) and satellite are somewhat different, and some regionalization/carriage of RSNs and sports channels like ESPN that have multiple feeds may vary somewhat between the two.

andrewc2
join:2011-06-05
Matamoras, PA

andrewc2 to betam4x

Member

to betam4x
CBS is on DirecTV Now already. They came to an agreement a few months ago.

Anoneeb47
@cox.net

Anoneeb47 to betam4x

Anon

to betam4x
said by betam4x:

AT&T does not have streaming rights to all the channels that they do for traditional U-Verse TV and DirecTV satellite. Some of these networks are outright refusing to make any more licensing deals, instead choosing to push their own streaming service (CBS, *ahem*).

Could still offer IPTV for Uverse customers through the same box as a bonus.

"Do you have ATT Uverse for internet? Get DirecTV 2.0 + locals + more for $X/month more!"

I think the goal is to have one box power all platforms or at least minimum unite Uverse and DTVNow.
NashGuy
join:2015-12-21
USA

NashGuy to Craiger

Member

to Craiger
said by Craiger:

What if their really isn't two OTT services that AT&T is doing but they were really talking about DTV Now 2.0? What if instead of merging DTV and UVerseTV and having that service over SatelliteTV and Managed IPTV, AT&T decided to do DTV Now over unmanaged IPTV as the UVerse TV replacement?

I tend to think you're right. Sort of. They're going to take the new cloud-based underpinnings for DTV Now 2.0 and use it for the next-gen replacement for both DTV and Uverse. It will just be called "DirecTV" and it will come with a new Android TV-powered STB with a customized UI and remote. The UI will be a lot the same as in the new DTV Now 2.0 app, but that app will be for no-contract users who want to use their own Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, etc. When new users sign up for "DirecTV," they'll be offered the choice of "dishless" self-installation (i.e. streaming) or rooftop dish installation. AT&T will push the former, of course.
Craiger
join:2012-07-05
Chesterfield, MO

1 edit

Craiger

Member

Re: Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

said by NashGuy:

said by Craiger:

What if their really isn't two OTT services that AT&T is doing but they were really talking about DTV Now 2.0? What if instead of merging DTV and UVerseTV and having that service over SatelliteTV and Managed IPTV, AT&T decided to do DTV Now over unmanaged IPTV as the UVerse TV replacement?

I tend to think you're right. Sort of. They're going to take the new cloud-based underpinnings for DTV Now 2.0 and use it for the next-gen replacement for both DTV and Uverse. It will just be called "DirecTV" and it will come with a new Android TV-powered STB with a customized UI and remote. The UI will be a lot the same as in the new DTV Now 2.0 app, but that app will be for no-contract users who want to use their own Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, etc. When new users sign up for "DirecTV," they'll be offered the choice of "dishless" self-installation (i.e. streaming) or rooftop dish installation. AT&T will push the former, of course.

I think that way would be cool. The full DTV experience delivered over SatelliteTV and unmanaged IPTV. I wonder if they would have the same DTV channel packages like over both systems and the same PQ? Then get rid of UVerseTV when all that is ready.
NashGuy
join:2015-12-21
USA

NashGuy

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Re: Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

said by Craiger:

I think that way would be cool. The full DTV experience delivered over SatelliteTV and unmanaged IPTV. I wonder if they would have the same DTV channel packages like over both systems and the same PQ? Then get rid of UVerseTV when all that is ready.

If what I predict above (based on various articles I've read) happens, I would tend to think that, yes, they would offer the same channel packages, including add-ons like Sunday Ticket, to all new DirecTV subs, whether they use internet or satellite as their pipe. As far having the same PQ, who knows? I'd send all the internet-streaming stuff in the more efficient HEVC h.265 codec if it were me, although they may only do that for 4K. Meanwhile, their satellite channels will have to stay in AVC h.264 since that's what all the existing Genie STBs deployed can handle.

I even think all new subs may get the same new Android TV-based STB, model C71KW-400, detailed here: »variety.com/2017/digital ··· 2597926/. Note that the article says it may work with a future piece of hardware called HS27. I would guess that HS27 will be the next-gen DirecTV satellite home server, a successor to the current-gen HS17. Here's how the HS17 works: a line runs from the rooftop dish to the HS17, which has both the tuners needed to decode the channels as well as the hard drive(s) for DVR recording content. Various Genie STBs around the home fetch live and recorded TV wirelessly from the HS17.

My guess is that the new C71KW-400 STB, upon setup, can be configured to work with either their next-gen internet streaming TV service, fetching live and recorded TV from AT&T's cloud via your home wifi, or with satellite TV service, fetching live and recorded TV from the local HS27 server via wifi.
Craiger
join:2012-07-05
Chesterfield, MO

Craiger

Member

Re: Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

So what you are saying is the HS-27 will be a home cloud server running Android TV that will work with a new DTV app that would replace the RVU app and that you would have on that Android TV box or on a TV with Android TV built in and that would stream wirelessly or wired? Then this new app will work with both DTV on SatelliteTV and unmanaged IPTV?

Also once AT&T does this new DTV system that is when they will they will get rid of Managed IPTV want all UVerseTV on the new DTV platform?
NashGuy
join:2015-12-21
USA

NashGuy

Member

Re: Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

said by Craiger:

So what you are saying is the HS-27 will be a home cloud server running Android TV that will work with a new DTV app that would replace the RVU app and that you would have on that Android TV box or on a TV with Android TV built in and that would stream wirelessly or wired? Then this new app will work with both DTV on SatelliteTV and unmanaged IPTV?

Also once AT&T does this new DTV system that is when they will they will get rid of Managed IPTV want all UVerseTV on the new DTV platform?

The HS27 will probably work a lot like the current HS17, which you can read about here: »blog.solidsignal.com/con ··· s-Server. I don't expect that the HS27 itself would run Android TV, which is an OS for STBs that connect directly to TVs. The HS27 is a home server that will probably work with the next-gen DirecTV STB (the successor to their current Genie Mini C61K). The STB will run Android TV. My speculation is that this STB will be designed so that it can work either with the HS27 (for those folks with a rooftop dish) -- connecting to it wirelessly -- or with the next-gen streaming platform that AT&T is developing as the foundation for all of their online video.

I haven't read anything about the future of DirecTV's RVU app, which comes built into certain TVs from LG, Samsung, etc. My guess is that they will update it with their new UI and make it so that it's compatible with both the streaming platform and the HS27 too.

Once this new streaming version of DirecTV becomes available (rumored to happen early next year), I expect that AT&T will cease to offer Uverse TV to new subscribers. Instead, they'll only offer their internet customers (whether fiber, DSL or 5G fixed wireless) DirecTV. But I imagine they'll let existing Uverse TV customers keep the service for a long while and try to get them to voluntarily move over to the new streaming DirecTV before, at some point in the future, they completely pull the plug on Uverse TV.
BiggA
Premium Member
join:2005-11-23
EARTH

BiggA

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Re: Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

I don't foresee them pulling the plug on U-Verse TV. They might not invest much in it, but they have a lot of people in MDUs, with large trees in their yard, or who have irrational dish phobia syndrome, and they don't want to miss out on those subscribers.
DavidB1
join:2015-09-19
Miami, FL

DavidB1

Member

Re: Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

I thought the same as you, until I heard this interview (transcripts here: »seekingalpha.com/article ··· t?page=7) of Randall Stephenson saying they intend to stream all their channels via OTT, including their premium subscriptions like Sunday Ticket. So what would be the point of Uverse TV IPTV be then? As NashGuy mentioned, people who don't want dish would be given the option of DirecTV OTT with all channel bundle capabilities. I would never consider DirecTV Now as currently constituted because of its limited channels. But once they offer all channels they currently offer on satellite, then I would certainly consider it, as long as OTT channel picture quality is on par or better than their satellite or Uverse managed IPTV.
BiggA
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join:2005-11-23
EARTH

BiggA

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Re: Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

It's going to be quite a while before everything is available OTT, and they have equivalent DVR and STB functionality available for that service. The reliability is also not the same for OTT versus managed. That being said, the services may end up converging at some point if the OTT streams are given higher QoS priority on the U-Verse network, and can provide all the same channels and functionality through some sort of box. We're a ways off from that, however. I would think it would make more sense to make a new gateway box for U-Verse that works with DirecTV STBs, so that there is one set of client equipment and one interface across both services.
NashGuy
join:2015-12-21
USA

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to BiggA
said by BiggA:

I don't foresee them pulling the plug on U-Verse TV. They might not invest much in it, but they have a lot of people in MDUs, with large trees in their yard, or who have irrational dish phobia syndrome, and they don't want to miss out on those subscribers.

Once AT&T launches a streaming version of DirecTV (not to be confused with the skinnier bring-your-own-box DirecTV Now, which is marketed differently, to a different demographic), that is absolutely what AT&T will push to their home internet subscribers. I foresee them offering that exclusively to new subs (i.e. no new Uverse TV subs), while giving existing Uverse TV subs a transition period to move over. (If they were able to copy over DVR recordings from Uverse TV to the upcoming DirecTV cloud DVR, that would help ease the transition.) Whether they'd give Uverse TV subs a few months or a few years to shift over, I don't know, but at some point it wouldn't make business sense for AT&T to keep running Uverse TV. AT&T has clearly stated that they want to unify their video subs on the same virtualized cloud-based IP platform capable of deploying targeted ads. Uverse TV is not part of that future.
BiggA
Premium Member
join:2005-11-23
EARTH

BiggA

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Re: Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

They could easily make a new box that works either OTT or on the managed U-Verse IPTV system. I don't foresee the whole channel lineup that's available on U-Verse IPTV being available to any sort of OTT system in the next 3-5 years. 10 years down the road, who knows, as the whole pay TV landscape may look very different.
NashGuy
join:2015-12-21
USA

NashGuy

Member

Re: Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

Here's AT&T's new Android TV-powered OTT box, the C71: »variety.com/2017/digital ··· 2597926/

Here are the FCC exhibits for it, including the user manual:
»fccid.io/NKR-ATTC71KW

When this box was first rumored, it was assumed that this would be a box AT&T might sell at retail for use with DirecTV Now, the way that Sling TV has their own customized Android TV retail box ("AirTV") for use with their OTT service.

But if you look at the language AT&T submitted to the FCC (manual, labels, etc.), they make no mention of "DirecTV Now," only "AT&T" and "DirecTV". Meanwhile, it uses model names and numbering conventions that are consistent with existing DirecTV satellite hardware. For instance, this box is the "C71," which appears to be the next-gen update to the current "C61" Genie Mini. And the manual states that this box "cannot be used with the existing Genie servers" such as the current HS17, but notes that the C71's voice remote can be used with the future HS27, which I would bet is a home server successor to the HS17. (DirecTV tends to add 10 to model numbers for successive generations.)

So all of this clearly indicates, to me, that this OTT box is not to be sold at retail for use with DirecTV Now but that it is to be given/rented to DirecTV customers who will access video through the internet rather than satellite.

As for "the whole channel lineup" not being available OTT -- um, it already is. Right now, if you're a DirecTV subscriber, you can stream your live, on demand, and DVR recorded TV via OTT to the DirecTV mobile app or website on a computer with your log-in credentials.
»att.com/esupport/art ··· M1001560

If network providers are letting AT&T distribute their content now OTT to those devices, why would there be any business issue in AT&T distributing the same content to the same customers OTT to their TVs? Remember, we're talking about full-blown DirecTV here, with (more or less) the same packages and prices as their satellite customers currently have. We're not talking about DirecTV Now, which is a different set of contracts/packages/pricing.

A new online platform (currently in beta, to be finished late '17/early '18) will soon power online streaming for DirecTV satellite subs as well as the apps for DirecTV Now. That same platform will also stream the full DirecTV service to the new C71 STB above WITH NO SATELLITE DISH necessary. That will allow AT&T to more aggressively expand DirecTV. Lots of folks don't want or can't mount a rooftop dish.
BiggA
Premium Member
join:2005-11-23
EARTH

BiggA

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Re: Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

I would agree with the analysis until you get to the part about DirecTV over the internet. They can't offer the same DirecTV service over the internet, as their agreements and regulatory frameworks are very specifically for DBS. Internet is DirecTV NOW. My bet is that this is a new architecture with client boxes that can work with the HS27, which will have SWiM DBS tuners, but could also work with a different gateway (or maybe even the same one) for U-Verse IPTV, and possibly even on it's own with DirecTV NOW.

Since the C61k is a managed IPTV streaming box that's just streaming off of a local server with DBS tuners vice remote servers, I don't see any reason why one box couldn't handle two or three different services depending on the situation.

That's not a valid comparison, as that online access is supplemental to what is already offered via DBS, just like many cable/fiber/IPTV MSOs. I don't think that they are going to have TWO OTT internet streaming services, as that makes no sense. Either they will fold DirecTV NOW under the DirecTV brand, or they will keep DirecTV as purely DBS, and all IP-based OTT services will fall under the DirecTV NOW brand.
NashGuy
join:2015-12-21
USA

NashGuy

Member

Re: Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

said by BiggA:

I would agree with the analysis until you get to the part about DirecTV over the internet. They can't offer the same DirecTV service over the internet, as their agreements and regulatory frameworks are very specifically for DBS.

Internet is DirecTV NOW. My bet is that this is a new architecture with client boxes that can work with the HS27, which will have SWiM DBS tuners, but could also work with a different gateway (or maybe even the same one) for U-Verse IPTV, and possibly even on it's own with DirecTV NOW.

Since the C61k is a managed IPTV streaming box that's just streaming off of a local server with DBS tuners vice remote servers, I don't see any reason why one box couldn't handle two or three different services depending on the situation.

That's not a valid comparison, as that online access is supplemental to what is already offered via DBS, just like many cable/fiber/IPTV MSOs. I don't think that they are going to have TWO OTT internet streaming services, as that makes no sense. Either they will fold DirecTV NOW under the DirecTV brand, or they will keep DirecTV as purely DBS, and all IP-based OTT services will fall under the DirecTV NOW brand.

Unless you work at AT&T, I'd say you have no idea what kind of agreements they have already negotiated with network providers for future DirecTV deployments. Their CEO stated that one of the first things they did after acquiring DirecTV was to negotiate contracts in order to allow them to stream the content OTT to mobile apps, etc. There's nothing standing in the way of amending the contracts to also allow such streaming to the primary STB. (Perhaps that was written into the contracts at the same time.) You're getting very hung up on the technological method for delivering the signal (DBS vs. OTT), but networks don't care as long as they're getting paid.

As for your bet that the new Android TV box, the C71, is for use only with the HS27 as a home server DBS gateway, well, that seems unlikely based on the wording in the user manual submitted to the FCC for the C71. Read it:
»fccid.io/NKR-ATTC71KW/Us ··· -3607482

Here's a key line:
"The C71KW is the new AT&T/DIRECTV Wireless 4K OTT Client."

And they helpfully define "OTT" for us on the preceding page:
"Over-the-Top, the delivery of video via the internet directly into user connected devices, allowing access to services anywhere, anytime, and on any device."

Now, as I speculated above, and as you suggest, it's possible that this client could be used by satellite subscribers in conjunction with the coming HS27, which would be a home server DBS gateway. But nothing in the manual suggests that such a home server is a requirement. And it seems strange to me that AT&T would define the box as "OTT" if it *primarily* relied on DBS and the only way it was actually OTT was in its use of optional supplemental apps such as Netflix from the Google Play store. I believe it's meant to receive DirecTV service OTT. It's possible, though, that it could be used either with OTT service OR with satellite service (in conjunction with the HS27). That would make a lot of sense: have one STB client for all future DirecTV installations, regardless of whether they're served via OTT or DBS.

As for the branding strategy, yes, it's a bit confusing, but this is AT&T. Their branding is always in flux. (For instance, home internet service used to be branded as AT&T Uverse for faster FTTN connections and AT&T DSL for others. Now there's AT&T Fiber for FTTH and everything else is under the brand AT&T Internet. Uverse is a zombie brand that lives on only for Uverse TV, which they don't really market any more.)

Here are some more links talking about AT&T's plans for a unified video platform and their desire to move the majority of their video customers from satellite to streaming by 2020:

»lightreading.com/vid ··· d/734573

»engadget.com/2016/09 ··· by-2020/

Here's a key quote from the AT&T CEO recently:
"We will be ambivalent as to whose broadband, the television service ?traverses?, and so, a software-based platform, we are delivering that will not require a satellite dish on the roof, and a very thin client in the home, rather than a big set-top-box, a big ?? of set-top-box, a very thin client, and all the DVR and all the replay capabilities will be largely cloud-based. And so, we are developing this very, very quickly, taking DIRECTV Now and leveraging it into a scalable platform that goes into the home as the primary service. We are launching a beta of this in the fourth quarter of this year."
BiggA
Premium Member
join:2005-11-23
EARTH

BiggA

Premium Member

Re: Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

Over time, the contracts will converge, but the regulatory framework is still different for cable/IPTV, and DBS. That's just a fact. Could they make a DirecTV branded offering over the internet? Sure. Is it going to be the exact same as DBS-based DirecTV? Absolutely not. Until Congress changes the law to make cable and satellite the same, the services will not be the same, and will not have the exactly same content, particularly in regards to local channels, markets, SV locals, must-carry, etc.

I don't doubt that it could work with DirecTV NOW, as they try to push that out to more people. I think over time DirecTV NOW and DirecTV's offerings will start to converge more (today they are very, very different). Maybe they will eventually just brand everything as "DirecTV". I wouldn't be shocked if AT&T had two different OTT IPTV services, even though it would make no logical sense whatsoever, as it is AT&T, but I think the odds are against that. My sense is that this is DirecTV DBS hardware that can also work OTT or with U-Verse. You do make a good point about AT&T's messy branding on U-Verse DSL and VDSL products, so maybe they will make a confusing hodge-podge of multiple levels of OTT IPTV service that are basically the same but called something different.
NashGuy
join:2015-12-21
USA

NashGuy

Member

Re: Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

said by BiggA:

Over time, the contracts will converge, but the regulatory framework is still different for cable/IPTV, and DBS. That's just a fact. Could they make a DirecTV branded offering over the internet? Sure. Is it going to be the exact same as DBS-based DirecTV? Absolutely not. Until Congress changes the law to make cable and satellite the same, the services will not be the same, and will not have the exactly same content, particularly in regards to local channels, markets, SV locals, must-carry, etc.

As far as regulations go, you're comparing the wrong things. When talking about the two main video transmission systems that AT&T will pursue for pay TV service, it's not cable vs. DBS or even managed IPTV vs. DBS, it's OTT vs. DBS. Do must-carry rules apply to either DBS or OTT?

And even today, if I compare the total stations that are carried on my local Comcast system vs. on DirecTV satellite for my zip code, there's not much difference. There are a few SD OTA diginets, e.g. Me-TV on OTA 2.2, that are carried on Comcast but not on DirecTV. But there's very little difference between the entire group of channels both offer, despite the regulatory differences between cable and DBS.

Regulatory issues are not, IMO, any kind of stumbling block for AT&T to offer an OTT version of their existing DirecTV product. Getting all the contracts nailed down with networks (especially the patchwork of local affiliates) may be. I don't see any reason why AT&T can't get regional sports nets on board. Some of those are already available on some OTT services. The question is how far along they already are on these contractual moves.

Keep in mind that it may be possible (probable?) that AT&T will change their DirecTV channel bundles for all new subs, both DBS and OTT, going forward as part of those new network contracts. AT&T's CEO has admitted that bundles will have to shrink. The bundles as they now exist for current DBS subs could be grandfathered.

At any rate, AT&T has clearly stated that they want to aggressively move away from satellite distribution of TV toward the new software/cloud-based OTT platform that they're developing for DirecTV Now, with plans to have OTT mostly supplant DBS by 2020:
»engadget.com/2016/09 ··· by-2020/

It looks like there's going to be *something* new that AT&T pushes in 2018 to further accelerate the move to OTT, beyond just the new platform for DirecTV Now and the DirecTV mobile app, which will offer cloud DVR, UHD HDR, and a new UI. »telecompetitor.com/a ··· t-video/

Here's the start of that story:

AT&T plans to launch a cable TV-like service for delivery over-the-top over its own or a competitor’s broadband network in 2018, said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson at an investor conference today. The AT&T OTT video offering will be in beta trials before year-end and is laying the groundwork for ‘software-based’ TV delivery that will ultimately replace satellite delivery of video directly to the home, Stephenson said.

Stephenson did not provide details about the content that would be offered but he likened the offering to the company’s current mobile-centric DirecTV NOW offering, which offers more than 100 channels and is largely competitive with traditional pay-TV in terms of content.

“We’re taking DirecTV Now and leveraging it into a scaleable platform that goes into the home as a primary service,” said Stephenson.


Combine those remarks with the quote above (taken from the CEO's same set of remarks in Sept. 2017) about how the service would use a thin client in the home and require no satellite dish.

How this new OTT service will be branded and how it will be different from DirecTV Now, I'm not sure, other than I believe it will have an AT&T-provided dedicated STB and remote. Whether or not that STB is the C71 "OTT" box, I don't know, but the pieces sure seem to fit.

BiggA
Premium Member
join:2005-11-23
EARTH

BiggA

Premium Member

Re: Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

I guess looking at the U-Verse mess if AT&T ends up marketing two redundant IPTV offerings under different brands, worth one sharing the DirecTV brand with the DBS service, but that doesn't mean it will actually be the same as the DBS service. It won't, and it will be it's own distinct product. Cable and DBS vary significantly in terms of how local channel carriage is handled. The RSNs could be overcome via contract changes, which will likely happen eventually, but there is no sign that they are happening now. Without RSNs, any new service or extension of DirecTV Now is DOA.

What could be an interesting play is if AT&T makes a play like Level3 has to make an OTT cable service distinct from their DBS service that some small cable companies maybe adopt as their pay TV platform in order to avoid the now laregly unprofitable TV business, although at that point, were looking at something much closed to U-Verse than even DirecTV Now or certainly DirecTV. DBS isn't going anywhere in the next 10-20 years as a DBS platform but I think AT&T is preparing for a future DirecTV with 5M subs not 20M.
NashGuy
join:2015-12-21
USA

NashGuy

Member

Re: Is This UVerseTV's Replacement?

said by BiggA:

What could be an interesting play is if AT&T makes a play like Level3 has to make an OTT cable service distinct from their DBS service that some small cable companies maybe adopt as their pay TV platform in order to avoid the now laregly unprofitable TV business, although at that point, were looking at something much closed to U-Verse than even DirecTV Now or certainly DirecTV. DBS isn't going anywhere in the next 10-20 years as a DBS platform but I think AT&T is preparing for a future DirecTV with 5M subs not 20M.

I don't really see much difference in AT&T's coming OTT platform vs. Layer3, assuming that AT&T marries that platform with an advanced STB and remote, strong channel packages, and the type of customer service you get with DTV. (In other words, make it a premium service as opposed to the cheaper millennial-focused DTV Now.) The only real difference is that Layer3's STB contains its own cable modem (why?) while I'm sure AT&T's forthcoming OTT STBs will just connect to your home network via wifi and ethernet.
BiggA
Premium Member
join:2005-11-23
EARTH

BiggA to NashGuy

Premium Member

to NashGuy
DirecTV NOW is missing most of our RSNs here in Connecticut, so they have a long way to go to match what DirecTV has in terms of content. They also aren't all the way there on local channels nationwide like DirecTV is.
BiggA

BiggA to NashGuy

Premium Member

to NashGuy
Based on what I've seen, I'm skeptical that we'll see the content availability on OTT IPTV that we see on DBS and cable. Both local and national channels seem to be getting greedier and greedier, and I don't know if even AT&T's scale and power can tame some of them. It all remains to be seen, but without RSNs, OTT IPTV is a niche market, since sports is the only thing left that's holding up the pay TV ecosystem. Without sports it would completely collapse in on itself quite rapidly. Even with sports, I think in the next 5-10 years, what we think of as pay TV will change very significantly, and we probably won't have 50-75% of the cable channels that we have today.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
NashGuy
join:2015-12-21
USA

NashGuy to Craiger

Member

to Craiger
Not totally relevant, but thought I'd share: I just walked to the curb in front of my house here in Nashville to get the trash can. There are two AT&T techs in my front yard looking at the utility pole. I asked if they were going to be doing some rewiring soon and was told that they were running fiber through my block by the end of the year, with service turned on next year. Happy on one hand to see fiber coming through, although I'm afraid this may mean that Google Fiber takes a pass on my neighborhood since AT&T Fiber beat them to it...
joebear29
totesmcgoats
join:2003-07-20
Alabaster, AL

joebear29

Member

launching without DVR was ridiculous

Signed up for the trial and immediately canceled when I realized no DVR at all - made it completely worthless. A service like this with no DVR is third rate in 2017 and something AT&T should have been embarrassed to put their name on.

•••••••••••••••••••••
kherr
Premium Member
join:2000-09-04
Collinsville, IL
·AT&T FTTP

kherr

Premium Member

Have access to Sunday Ticket ??? ....

.... then I'll consider it, for football season anyway ....... I haven't checked for a while if my Bravia has has an app for it....... need that too

..... Nope .... still not available .....

telcodad
MVM
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ

telcodad

MVM

DirecTV Now's $25 anniversary discount

BTW - DirecTV Now is offering a special $25 discount (with promotional code "BDAY2017") to new customers this month to celebrate its first anniversary:

DIRECTV Now Offers $25 Off 1st Month
By Phillip Swann, TV Answer Man - November 5, 2017
»tvanswerman.com/2017/11/ ··· t-month/
Lets Go
join:2005-03-05
Homer, NY

Lets Go

Member

$35 Promo

I am one of the ones that signed up to get the "grandfathered" $35 per month go big promo. I have been hanging onto it with the promise of a DVR at some point in the future. A year later I am still waiting and I guess I will have to wait longer. If they try and charge more for the DVR I will cancel. But then the joke would be on me as they got my $$ for the past year.

•••

wizkid6
join:2002-03-31
Opelika, AL

wizkid6

Member

Local channels

Wake me up when they strike deals with Raycom Media and Nexstar Media Group...

tigerpaw509
join:2011-01-19
89.7 12.0

tigerpaw509

Member

Always late to the Party

History repeating itself yet again.They had to have Uverse and now they only want that for internet.So they buy Dtv and dont want the satellites to save money and make you stream it.Sorta like the farmer buying a Dairy farm then to save money sells off the cows
rbeyer229
join:2016-07-07
Prairie Du Chien, WI

rbeyer229

Member

Re: Always late to the Party

or a "phone" company buying network assets and trashing all the copper?
blacksurfer
join:2002-07-14
Sherman Oaks, CA

blacksurfer

Member

New interface and DVR beta testing looking good

People will be pleasantly surprised at the new interface and the DVR functionality on the new DTV 2.0. I'm not sure if it will be the exact layout, but I don't see why not.
The only question is whether or not they will raise the price for those of us grandfathered in at $35. The original ad promised that the price was for life with normal increase that applies to all packages. We shall see.

ham3843
join:2015-01-15
USA

ham3843

Member

Yet.....

AT&T has tons of customers that can't stream much or HD because they
only have access to 6/1 Mbps DSL. Not to mention that just as many can't get
satellite DTV because of LoS issues..which brings me to the most important
fact....AT&T forgot to invest in the pipeline they need to offer such content, a pipeline which can handle
HD for now and 4K for the near future...Fiber To The Home!

AT&T.....as always putting the cart before the horse.

DocDrew
aka DrDrew
Premium Member
join:2009-01-28
SoCal
ARRIS SB6183
ARRIS TG1672
Linksys EA6900

DocDrew

Premium Member

Re: Yet.....

ATT has more customers they can stream to since buying DTV then they would ever have if they just built out fiber. Fiber only gets them part of the US in a decade or more, not the worldwide market they serve now on just about any providers' network.

Plus, now building out fiber in the US is a much smaller percentage of their total revenue then it was before they bought DTV, it'd be much easier to convince the BoD to spend the money to do it.
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