At&t's future plan for Satellite service? (1 Viewer)

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Juan

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There are a couple threads about that around here somewhere..unfortunately they are dominated by the horse and buggy crowd that's in denial

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AZ.

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Mar 26, 2011
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Still cant see it happening even in that time frame....Big citys very easy.....As soon as you start leaving those trunk lines things slooooow down......
I can see why they would want to, it would cut overhead dramatically!
As our political situation, I dont see our government helping blaze the trail. So is ATT and the other 5 going to spend a trillion dollars to cover this new emerging platform?
 

texasbrit

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there's a big piece of the population that does not get fast enough internet for DirecTV NOW.
 
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SpaethCo

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I just posted this here a couple days ago, so I'll just repost it here.

Even if you start with the assumption that everyone has Internet service capable of sustaining live video streams, that article about converting everything to streaming don't make sense.

20 million US DirecTV subscribers. DirecTV NOW is currently pushing out 8mbps per HD stream. (0.008 gigabit)

20,000,000 subs * 0.008 gigabit = 160,000gigabits/second to deliver 1 feed to every subscriber.

(160,000gbps / 8bits/Byte) * 60sec/min * 60min/hour = 72,000,000 GB per hour. 72 PETABytes/hour.

Let's lay that up against CDN pricing:
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/cdn/
https://aws.amazon.com/cloudfront/pricing/

AWS tops out their published scale at 5PB per month, and we'd be talking about pushing over 14x that per HOUR.

So let's come up with the most favorable possible pricing here:

The average person watches 5 hours of TV per day: http://www.recode.net/2016/6/27/12041028/tv-hours-per-week-nielsen
For this ideal scenario, let's say those 20 million DirecTV subs only represent a single viewer each.
Let's also assume DirecTV finds some way to cut their bandwidth in half, and is able to maintain quality at 4mbps. This takes it from 72PB down to 36PB per hour.

So:
36,000,000 GB/hour for 20mil viewers * 5 hours = 180,000,000GB per 24 hour period
180,000,000GB * 30 days/month = 5,400,000,000GB/month

Let's use AWS Cloudfront pricing of $0.02/GB and assume they're able to get a 50% discount at scale.

5,400,000,000GB * $0.01/GB = $54,000,000/mo in bandwidth distribution costs.

The last standalone DirecTV quarterly financial report was from June 2015, and can be found here: http://quicktake.morningstar.com/stocknet/secdocuments.aspx?symbol=dtv

Broadcast operations expenses for the quarter ending June 30, 2015: $118 million

They define broadcast operating expenses as: "...expenses include broadcast center operating costs, signal transmission expenses (including costs of collecting signals for our local channel offerings), and costs of monitoring, maintaining and insuring our satellites. Also included are engineering expenses associated with deterring theft of our signal."

So if they are able to cut their streaming bandwidth rates down to 4mbps, and every subscriber only steams the daily equivalent of 1 feed at 5 hours or less, and they are able to negotiate CDN pricing for half of the current lowest published rates they still spend at least $44 million more per quarter to do so, and that's only after they shut down their satellite distribution network to bring those costs down to $0. Even still, not all of the old $118 million goes away, because they still need to maintain a network to collect local channels if they want to bundle them into the streaming package.

This topic keeps coming up and my head just spins -- even if the engineering were possible to convert everything to Internet streaming, it's financial suicide.
 

Tylorert

SatelliteGuys Guru
Sep 14, 2016
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I just posted this here a couple days ago, so I'll just repost it here.

Even if you start with the assumption that everyone has Internet service capable of sustaining live video streams, that article about converting everything to streaming don't make sense.

20 million US DirecTV subscribers. DirecTV NOW is currently pushing out 8mbps per HD stream. (0.008 gigabit)

20,000,000 subs * 0.008 gigabit = 160,000gigabits/second to deliver 1 feed to every subscriber.

(160,000gbps / 8bits/Byte) * 60sec/min * 60min/hour = 72,000,000 GB per hour. 72 PETABytes/hour.

Let's lay that up against CDN pricing:
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/cdn/
https://aws.amazon.com/cloudfront/pricing/

AWS tops out their published scale at 5PB per month, and we'd be talking about pushing over 14x that per HOUR.

So let's come up with the most favorable possible pricing here:

The average person watches 5 hours of TV per day: http://www.recode.net/2016/6/27/12041028/tv-hours-per-week-nielsen
For this ideal scenario, let's say those 20 million DirecTV subs only represent a single viewer each.
Let's also assume DirecTV finds some way to cut their bandwidth in half, and is able to maintain quality at 4mbps. This takes it from 72PB down to 36PB per hour.

So:
36,000,000 GB/hour for 20mil viewers * 5 hours = 180,000,000GB per 24 hour period
180,000,000GB * 30 days/month = 5,400,000,000GB/month

Let's use AWS Cloudfront pricing of $0.02/GB and assume they're able to get a 50% discount at scale.

5,400,000,000GB * $0.01/GB = $54,000,000/mo in bandwidth distribution costs.

The last standalone DirecTV quarterly financial report was from June 2015, and can be found here: http://quicktake.morningstar.com/stocknet/secdocuments.aspx?symbol=dtv

Broadcast operations expenses for the quarter ending June 30, 2015: $118 million

They define broadcast operating expenses as: "...expenses include broadcast center operating costs, signal transmission expenses (including costs of collecting signals for our local channel offerings), and costs of monitoring, maintaining and insuring our satellites. Also included are engineering expenses associated with deterring theft of our signal."

So if they are able to cut their streaming bandwidth rates down to 4mbps, and every subscriber only steams the daily equivalent of 1 feed at 5 hours or less, and they are able to negotiate CDN pricing for half of the current lowest published rates they still spend at least $44 million more per quarter to do so, and that's only after they shut down their satellite distribution network to bring those costs down to $0. Even still, not all of the old $118 million goes away, because they still need to maintain a network to collect local channels if they want to bundle them into the streaming package.

This topic keeps coming up and my head just spins -- even if the engineering were possible to convert everything to Internet streaming, it's financial suicide.
As we all know, AT&T baught Time Warner and DIRECTV. So, now they are making money to burn, WITH The addition of U-Verse TV, Internet, Phone, AND Reqular Dial-Up, DSL and Phone, AND Mobile Connections(Cellular). And now they expand to make Directv NOW. How much do they have to burn? They also make crappy hardware (Certan Directv models) Crappy U-Verse and now they are offering TV at a $50? And now they want to get streaming? This is serioulsy stupid. They should have waited to make more money THEN launch Directv NOW! I think they are trying to take good "Branding" down with them. (Directv and Time Warner). I dont think they will be around much longer if you ask me!
 

navychop

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Article was from September 23rd. Beaten to death already. Although I certainly enjoy the cost breakdown.

AT&T knows how to jack up a few "journalists" to get some free publicity. Everybody loves a fantasy.

Lather, rinse, repeat.
 
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Aridon

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There is no way in hell TV will be delivered primarily over IP in 5 years. Directv will still be a huge company with their traditional delivery to most of the same customers they are already serving. Same with Comcast etc..

Growth is going to slow and go negative. Now and other streaming platforms will continue to pick up steam but the bulk of the world isn't ready for them yet. Much like the MVNO movement and cell phones. Post paid hasn't been crippled yet despite companies like total, cricket etc offering prices on the same network that can be significantly cheaper. $20 a line with 2.5 gb on certain cricket on plans. Plenty of higher data options including truly unlimited. Can't beat that yet AT&T still has tons of post paid subs.

The transition is going to be a slow and steady one. Satellite and cable in its current form aren't going anywhere. No doubt though, the tides are changing.
 

ejb1980

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Oct 26, 2010
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There are a couple threads about that around here somewhere..unfortunately they are dominated by the horse and buggy crowd that's in denial

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"Horse and buggy" are you referring to old-fashioned or rural. Because rural is the problem. What don't people in densely populated areas understand about NOT EVERYONE HAS SUFFICIENT INTERNET AND THEREFORE CAN NOT STREAM? I don't want to go all-streaming, and couldn't as only 1 stream works at a time, otherwise it breaks up or both look bad. We're not "in denial" - some of us are not willing to lose a higher quality service (reliable satellite dish, not internet dependent, DVR functions, etc) to have to newest flashiest streaming service when many of us couldn't if we had to.
 

Jimbo

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"Horse and buggy" are you referring to old-fashioned or rural. Because rural is the problem. What don't people in densely populated areas understand about NOT EVERYONE HAS SUFFICIENT INTERNET AND THEREFORE CAN NOT STREAM? I don't want to go all-streaming, and couldn't as only 1 stream works at a time, otherwise it breaks up or both look bad. We're not "in denial" - some of us are not willing to lose a higher quality service (reliable satellite dish, not internet dependent, DVR functions, etc) to have to newest flashiest streaming service when many of us couldn't if we had to.
Don't worry, as I have mentioned previously, the Streaming is an OPTION, the regular version of Sat TV isn't going anywhere any time soon.
 

ejb1980

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Oct 26, 2010
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Don't worry, as I have mentioned previously, the Streaming is an OPTION, the regular version of Sat TV isn't going anywhere any time soon.

I know you have and I know it's not. I just don't like an entire group of people who can't stream to be labeled as "horse and buggy" or are in some way in defiance.
 
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chances14

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Oct 28, 2011
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I know you have and I know it's not. I just don't like an entire group of people who can't stream to be labeled as "horse and buggy" or are in some way in defiance.
don't take it personal. it's just a portion of the city slickers who live in their own little bubble and think every american has access to the same 100mbps connections they have
 

ejb1980

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Oct 26, 2010
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My brother lives in Boston. He has 150 mbps Internet. Every single time he comes to visit, he comments on how slow the Internet is. My parents live nearby and have the same Internet speed and provider that I do, and it's the same there. City folks don't understand that 4G LTE is a luxury that many can't get. I ususally have 2 bars of 3G at my place and you ain't streaming SD on that, let alone 4K. And I know there are vast areas larger than most eastern states in the west/Rockies with zero cell service. Explain to me how those folks are supposed to stream "Without using their data." Ads for streaming services associated with Directv are completely irrelevant. I have Verizon. I can stream on wifi only unless I travel into a larger town. Please, AT&T, keep your free data.

I said it before and will again: People are not living in denial. They are living in the USA in a rural area. Explain to me how not being able to get something because it's not available is horse and buggy. Juan is suddenly quiet....
 

Bruce

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I wrote this before but will do so again-

The majority of the population gets fast enough broadband for their DirecTV Now Service( if they are getting rid of Satellites) and that is what they care about, they are thinking about pulling customers away from other services ( like Comcast for example ) so that would offset any loses in the rural areas and show growth, they are thinking about no more costs involved with building and launching satellites, they are thinking about no more designing and building boxes to save costs, they are thinking about no more installs so no more paying installers, so more cost savings to ATT, that is how a corporation thinks.

If broadband providing corporations cared that much about rural customers they would already have broadband in those areas, but corporations have decided there is too much costs involved in doing so.


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chances14

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Oct 28, 2011
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I wrote this before but will do so again-

The majority of the population gets fast enough broadband for their DirecTV Now Service( if they are getting rid of Satellites) and that is what they care about, they are thinking about pulling customers away from other services ( like Comcast for example ) so that would offset any loses in the rural areas and show growth, they are thinking about no more costs involved with building and launching satellites, they are thinking about no more designing and building boxes to save costs, they are thinking about no more installs so no more paying installers, so more cost savings to ATT, that is how a corporation thinks.

If broadband providing corporations cared that much about rural customers they would already have broadband in those areas, but corporations have decided there is too much costs involved in doing so.


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nobody is denying that the future is heading towards tv over IP. just that it will be a lot longer than 5 years until that happens. There is still a large portion of the population even in suburban areas that do not have fast enough/reliable connections to replace their entire cable/sat system with streaming only.
 

Don in CT

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What this really means is that att will probably stop investing in their satellite infrastructure

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Lets say they do drop the Sat and go direct IP. 20 million people will be crashing the new system until they spend a lot of money to beef it up.
 

texasbrit

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According to the latest broadband report, which defines high speed access as 25/3Mbps, 39% of rural americans do not have access to high speed internet. The true situation is far worse than that, because in many urban areas there is only a single provider offering such speeds. Where I live just north of Dallas, only one provider (Time-Warner cable) offers internet speeds higher than 15Mbps, and even then at a ridiculous price. Even in downtown Dallas, only Time-Warner offers more than 12/1. There isn't much point in using streaming services if you need to spend $80 on internet, even before you pay for streaming. And if everyone was on a streaming service, their usable bandwidth would drop to near zero.
Services like ATTNow can certainly pick off customers in many urban areas (provided they only want a couple of streams - try using ATTNow in a house with six TVs!) Unless there's a revolution in high-speed internet availability, I can't see it replacing satellite for a while.
 
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chances14

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Oct 28, 2011
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25mbps is not going to be enough for the average household to go all streaming and still be able to do other internet activities at the same time without noticing any slowdowns

most households have at least 2 or 3 tv's on most of the time so at 8mbs for hd that's already 24mbps without including any other internet actives you may be doing at the same time
 

msmith198025

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I have to disagree with the last statement. I had 18mbps uverse until a few months ago. Even then, that was adequate for three streams of Vue that rivaled any sat HD stream. Along with everything else we had going.

Granted many don't have even that, but just because it doesn't meet broadband definitions currently does not mean it wont work easily.

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