AT&T TV Goes Live 8/19/2019

Ganthet

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And DVR recordings delete after 90 days. I know where the cost benefits are for AT&T, but from a consumer standpoint and I can't see a compelling reason to choose this over the traditional service.
 

lparsons21

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Two year contract for one box? Each additional box is another $10 a month, and the internet to receive it is not included? And the price starts at $59 a month?

No thanks.
Prices start at $59/month for the first year and then take a very significant bump upwards in the second year. Makes it even less of a ‘deal’!


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slice1900

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Prices start at $59/month for the first year and then take a very significant bump upwards in the second year. Makes it even less of a ‘deal’!

And that's different from regular Directv how, exactly?

While I'm surprised they have such a long lock-in, it is apparent Directv is positioning this as an alternate delivery method for Directv satellite. How many millions of people are there in the US who rent and can't use a dish because of line of sight or nowhere to put it can get Directv? It only looks like a bad deal if you think it is intended to replace Directv's satellite product. It obviously isn't like I predicted and kept telling people for the last few years. It makes perfect sense as a complement, and still comes out a bit cheaper because you don't pay the advanced receiver fee (or the monthly receiver fees, though you have to buy additional clients)

People who are looking for a cheaper alternative to Directv's pricing already had it - Directv Now / AT&T Now. That's their product targeted at people who are considering cutting the cord over Directv's pricing or don't want a long lock in.
 
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Soccernut

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Viewing in 4K req’s 4K TV and separate 3rd-party subscriptions
That seems to suggest that there wont be any 4k service directly from DIRECTV.
 

NashGuy

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And that's different from regular Directv how, exactly?

While I'm surprised they have such a long lock-in, it is apparent Directv is positioning this as an alternate delivery method for Directv satellite. How many millions of people are there in the US who rent and can't use a dish because of line of sight or nowhere to put it can get Directv? It only looks like a bad deal if you think it is intended to replace Directv's satellite product. It obviously isn't like I predicted and kept telling people for the last few years. It makes perfect sense as a complement, and still comes out a bit cheaper because you don't pay the advanced receiver fee (or the monthly receiver fees, though you have to buy additional clients)

People who are looking for a cheaper alternative to Directv's pricing already had it - Directv Now / AT&T Now. That's their product targeted at people who are considering cutting the cord over Directv's pricing or don't want a long lock in.
Well, I admit that AT&T TV -- at least in its initial incarnation in the pilot markets -- does not look like I had predicted. It's essentially just the same channel packages as DirecTV satellite has, with the same 2-year contract and the same first-year promo prices and the same second-year standard prices. Fees around additional TVs and equipment are a little different and there are trade-offs either way you go. As currently offered, AT&T TV isn't a *bad* deal (especially if bundled with AT&T Internet) but it's not a great deal either. Kinda "meh".

Given everything that AT&T's CEO has stated about the service -- about how it will cost less than satellite due to the lower customer acquisition costs, about how AT&T is working to thin out their content costs and drive down the cost curve, etc. -- I'm still skeptical that what we're seeing right now in the pilot markets is what AT&T TV will look like when it goes nationwide (with some major advertising) by the end of this year. I've already read a couple articles that quote AT&T folks saying that they're going to get feedback from consumers in the pilot market and use that to fine-tune the service before it rolls out nationwide.

I still think that the end-goal for AT&T TV is to offer a new package line-up consisting of Select, Plus, and Max, with HBO Max non-optionally included. It just doesn't make any sense that they created those new Plus and Max packages (with HBO non-optionally included) for DirecTV Now this past spring -- and then ALSO started selling them on DirecTV satellite -- unless they have much bigger plans for those packages. My guess is that they just haven't finished negotiating the carriage contracts with some of the network owners (e.g. Discovery, AMC, PBS, etc.) in order to finish building out the new packages and begin selling them across all of their platforms as the standard default line-up.

The biggest surprise to me, honestly, is that AT&T TV is requiring a 2-year up-front contract. No one outside of satellite does that. Uverse TV only had a 1-year contract. Comcast TV never *requires* a contract, although they often offer a discount if you sign either a 1-yr or 2-yr contract. I predicted that AT&T TV probably wouldn't have a contract but if it did would be a max of 1 year. Hard for me to see how they succeed by insisting on a 2-year contract, especially with no major up-front sweeteners like a free Visa gift card or free NFL ST.
 

slice1900

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Well, I admit that AT&T TV -- at least in its initial incarnation in the pilot markets -- does not look like I had predicted. It's essentially just the same channel packages as DirecTV satellite has, with the same 2-year contract and the same first-year promo prices and the same second-year standard prices. Fees around additional TVs and equipment are a little different and there are trade-offs either way you go. As currently offered, AT&T TV isn't a *bad* deal (especially if bundled with AT&T Internet) but it's not a great deal either. Kinda "meh".

Given everything that AT&T's CEO has stated about the service -- about how it will cost less than satellite due to the lower customer acquisition costs, about how AT&T is working to thin out their content costs and drive down the cost curve, etc. -- I'm still skeptical that what we're seeing right now in the pilot markets is what AT&T TV will look like when it goes nationwide (with some major advertising) by the end of this year. I've already read a couple articles that quote AT&T folks saying that they're going to get feedback from consumers in the pilot market and use that to fine-tune the service before it rolls out nationwide.

I still think that the end-goal for AT&T TV is to offer a new package line-up consisting of Select, Plus, and Max, with HBO Max non-optionally included. It just doesn't make any sense that they created those new Plus and Max packages (with HBO non-optionally included) for DirecTV Now this past spring -- and then ALSO started selling them on DirecTV satellite -- unless they have much bigger plans for those packages. My guess is that they just haven't finished negotiating the carriage contracts with some of the network owners (e.g. Discovery, AMC, PBS, etc.) in order to finish building out the new packages and begin selling them across all of their platforms as the standard default line-up.

The biggest surprise to me, honestly, is that AT&T TV is requiring a 2-year up-front contract. No one outside of satellite does that. Uverse TV only had a 1-year contract. Comcast TV never *requires* a contract, although they often offer a discount if you sign either a 1-yr or 2-yr contract. I predicted that AT&T TV probably wouldn't have a contract but if it did would be a max of 1 year. Hard for me to see how they succeed by insisting on a 2-year contract, especially with no major up-front sweeteners like a free Visa gift card or free NFL ST.

Well the CEO said it would cost less to install, but didn't say anything about charging customers less. But look, if you have one TV you are paying $22/month less, and if you have more TVs you have to buy the client but save the $7 fees on those so setting up say five rooms (albeit limited to only watching Directv in three at once, but you could use apps on the other two which is probably realistic for families these days) would cost $50 a month less on AT&T TV versus Directv satellite. That's not an insignificant savings.

The contract length surprises me too, though I wonder if they would waive/reduce the contract if you don't get the lower 12 month intro pricing? But like I said, they are targeting this as an alternative delivery method for the same (or as close as they can come given contracts etc.) Directv as you get via satellite. They save money on install costs, you save money on some fees, but the commitment term seems to be equal between the two. I was expecting 3-6 months, a year at the longest.
 
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lparsons21

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Somewhat correct. :)

With one box you would save $22/month as you note but you get less in channels too, depending on market. And you don’t get NFLST or the $100-$300 gift card either.

If you have 3 boxes you have $20/month fees for the additional 2 boxes vs $36/month you would have with satellite. 5 boxes and you have $40/month fees vice $50/month with satellite. But you can only use 3 of the boxes at any given time.

So yes it does cost something less, but you are also getting something less in return. In my market I would get the $300 gift card which in effect reduces the sat bill by $12.50 over the 2 year commitment. So the savings aren’t as high.

And the streaming service introduces the possibility that your internet service cost might go up because of data overages in those markets where data caps are in place.


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NashGuy

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Well the CEO said it would cost less to install, but didn't say anything about charging customers less.
No, he and others at AT&T have repeatedly talked about passing along some of those savings from lower installation/acquisition costs on to the consumer in the form of lower pricing.

But look, if you have one TV you are paying $22/month less, and if you have more TVs you have to buy the client but save the $7 fees on those so setting up say five rooms (albeit limited to only watching Directv in three at once, but you could use apps on the other two which is probably realistic for families these days) would cost $50 a month less on AT&T TV versus Directv satellite. That's not an insignificant savings.
Not sure where you're getting $22/mo less for folks with a single TV, although you have a point about multi-TV households. But my guess is that the average cable/sat TV subscriber has service to something like 2.5 TVs, though.

Per AT&T's own website, it appears to me that the cost of the Entertainment package as a standalone service via DirecTV vs. AT&T TV, with a 24-month contract on either, costs the following:
  • DirecTV: $65/mo in the first year, $93/mo thereafter, free online activation ($20 fee waived), bonus: $100 Visa gift card for online order (Choice and above packages also get 1 year free NFL Sunday Ticket)
  • AT&T TV: $60/mo in the first year, $93/mo thereafter, $20 activation fee, no bonus (that I can find)
Since the Entertainment package does not include RSNs, there's no additional RSN fee in either case. For the prices stated, DirecTV gives you one Genie HD DVR (~200 hours HD storage, I think) while AT&T TV gives you a cloud DVR with 500 hours storage. As you point out, viewing on additional TVs costs you an extra $7 per TV with DirecTV while AT&T TV allows simultaneous viewing on 2 more additional screens in the base price but if you want the best possible viewing experience with the AT&T TV streaming box, that will set you back an extra $120 (!) per box (which can be spread out over 12 monthly payments of $10).

Should also note that same-name channel packages aren't exactly the same between DirecTV and AT&T TV, since the latter currently lacks all PBS stations and in many markets does not carry the local affiliates for The CW, My Network TV and/or Telemundo. But AT&T has been steadily filling in those local channel gaps on the streaming side and I'm sure will continue to do so in the coming months.

The contract length surprises me too, though I wonder if they would waive/reduce the contract if you don't get the lower 12 month intro pricing? But like I said, they are targeting this as an alternative delivery method for the same (or as close as they can come given contracts etc.) Directv as you get via satellite. They save money on install costs, you save money on some fees, but the commitment term seems to be equal between the two. I was expecting 3-6 months, a year at the longest.
Not sure if AT&T TV would waive the contract in exchange for waiving the first-year discount or not. They might just say to go with AT&T TV Now; it never has a contract and, for now anyway, still offers all the traditional packages such as Entertainment at the regular price from day-1. Of course, AT&T TV Now only has a crappy 20-hour/30-day cloud DVR and no option to get the AT&T TV box.

I still can't believe that this two-track system of channel packages is going to hold long-term. I think that once AT&T has finalized all of the necessary carriage contracts, they'll make Plus and Max, plus some other new options, the mandatory set of choices across all their products.
 

slice1900

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No, he and others at AT&T have repeatedly talked about passing along some of those savings from lower installation/acquisition costs on to the consumer in the form of lower pricing.

Not sure where you're getting $22/mo less for folks with a single TV, although you have a point about multi-TV households. But my guess is that the average cable/sat TV subscriber has service to something like 2.5 TVs, though.

Well they did pass along the savings. There is no $15 advanced receiver fee or $7 per TV fee on AT&T TV, so there's the $22 you are wondering about. You still save money not paying the $7 even if you get additional clients because $7 a month over 24 months is $168 so you save $48 over the term of the commitment and save $7 a month per client thereafter. Plus you own it and can resell it on eBay to other AT&T TV customers after you leave, or (probably) keep using it as a streaming set top.

If you look back to my posts it is pretty much as I have predicted for the past year or two - same package pricing but with no $15 fee and while I wasn't sure about the $7 fee I figured most likely you'd own the clients and they wouldn't charge it. A bit surprised they are charging $120 for the C71 when it couldn't cost half that to make, but it still saves money over satellite so I guess they figured people wouldn't whine too much.
 

NashGuy

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Well they did pass along the savings. There is no $15 advanced receiver fee or $7 per TV fee on AT&T TV, so there's the $22 you are wondering about. You still save money not paying the $7 even if you get additional clients because $7 a month over 24 months is $168 so you save $48 over the term of the commitment and save $7 a month per client thereafter. Plus you own it and can resell it on eBay to other AT&T TV customers after you leave, or (probably) keep using it as a streaming set top.
The advanced receiver fee may apply to your account but that's not how DTV prices things for new subs any more. The prices they now advertise include all the equipment and service costs for the given package with HD DVR service to a single TV. The only extra charge beyond that is the RSN fee, if applicable to your package.

See screenshot below to see how DTV is currently pricing the Entertainment package with HD DVR service to 3 TVs (one served by the Genie HD DVR, included, and two more by wired receivers at $7/mo each). The $65 package price is just for the first year. It goes to the regular $93/mo price in year two.

dtv signup.jpeg



If you want to add wired receivers to additional TVs, it's $7/mo per TV. If you have service to 5 or more TVs, then they charge a one-time up-front fee of $49 per receiver beyond the first 3. If you prefer wireless receivers, I think there's a one-time up-front charge of $99 for the overall account, regardless of how many receivers you get.

I couldn't get the shopping cart to all fit on one screen but for some reason, this time DTV was offering me a $200, rather than $100, Visa gift card at checkout. Maybe because I was ordering service for 3 TVs rather than just 1?

At any rate, if you do the math, it comes out CHEAPER right now to get the Entertainment package as a standalone service via DirecTV satellite than via AT&T TV. While the latter charges $5/mo less in the first year, the former is offering at least a $100 Visa gift card plus waiving the $20 activation fee. So for service to one TV, your net cost in the first year is $60 less on DirecTV than on AT&T TV. Net cost in year two is the same.

If you get service to three TVs (as in the screenshot above), the net cost is $232 less in the first year on DirecTV than on AT&T TV, assuming that you purchase two additional AT&T TV streaming boxes at $120 each. In year two, the net cost is $168 more on DirecTV than on AT&T TV because at that point all your AT&T TV streaming boxes are paid for and the Entertainment package costs the same ($93) on either service, but you're still paying an extra $14/mo on DirecTV for the 2 additional wired receivers. Still though, that makes the overall net 2-year cost of HD DVR service to 3 TVs to be $64 less on DirecTV than on AT&T TV.

Maybe there's something that AT&T's website isn't disclosing on one service or the other but I don't think so. They've always been pretty straightforward about what the pricing will be each month for the full 2-year term.

A bit surprised they are charging $120 for the C71 when it couldn't cost half that to make, but it still saves money over satellite so I guess they figured people wouldn't whine too much.
Even with a one-year contract, AT&T TV ought to be giving away 2 of those boxes to customers. Or maybe offer customers a choice between a $50 Visa gift card and a free second box. With a 2-year contract, it's absolutely ridiculous that they're asking customers to pay $120 for a 2nd box.
 

NashGuy

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They've been saying that HBO Max will formally launch in early 2020 but it may first roll out as a beta (without some features, without Max Originals, etc.) this fall. I wonder if the beta of HBO Max will launch at the same time that AT&T TV rolls out nationwide, with HBO Max being available exclusively at that point to customers who get it packaged in as a part of their AT&T TV service or their AT&T Wireless (postpaid) service. If so, that's probably when AT&T Watch TV would die, as it exists basically to be a free bonus packaged in with AT&T Wireless.

Perhaps from then until HBO Max officially launches a few months later, new customers on AT&T TV and DirecTV would have a choice of whether to sign up for the new packages including HBO Max (Plus, Max, etc.) or the old packages without them (Entertainment, Choice, etc.). And then after HBO Max officially launches around March 2020 -- at which point it's available as a standalone service to anyone -- the old packages are grandfathered and no longer available for new sign-ups.
 

Claude Greiner

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Two year contract for one box? Each additional box is another $10 a month, and the internet to receive it is not included? And the price starts at $59 a month?

No thanks.
They are a bunch of idiots launching a product at that price point with all the other streaming options available.

Never heard of a 2 year agreement for streaming Tv Also
 

Jimbo

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I brought up a few weeks ago that they may have a commitment and I was shot down ...
There it is ...

Do I think its right, No ...
Not with all the other streaming options having No commitment.

Will it last ?
Probably as D* has never dropped it's 2 year commitment after all this time.

It will probably cause people to NOT go thier way in a lot of instances.
 

VictoriaFTA

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Sep 20, 2018
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Why do you have to pay for yet another obnoxious, inferior proprietary box to use this service? This defeats the entire purpose of "streaming"

There is nothing that that crappy AT&T box they're launching for this service can do that my PC can't do 100x better.

No Windows 10 app to access the service means this is a non-starter.
 

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