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AT&T talks merger with DirecTV

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Johncv, May 1, 2014.

  1. May 1, 2014 #1 of 214
    Johncv

    Johncv Active Member

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  2. May 1, 2014 #2 of 214
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Don't think it will really effect TiVo. The DirecTiVo is way out of date compared to the Premier/Roamio units and AT&T U-verse is exempt from CableCARD rules so they aren't compatible with TiVo anyway.
     
  3. May 1, 2014 #3 of 214
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    I have a friend at work that switched from DirecTV to U-Verse just recently. Apparently U-Verse is a lot better than last time I checked on it since he said he didn't notice much of any picture quality degradation and he claims to have run a test where he was recording 4 HD channels at once and streaming an HD Netflix title all at the same time, which I told him I didn't think was possible given bandwidth limitations. My brief research seems to show that the top AT&T broadband tier over copper is 32 Mbps downstream (5 Mbps up) to share between Internet & TV.

    So I think U-Verse may be a viable competitor now and there's no technical reason why TiVo could not strike a deal with them. I think the AT&T model of video over IP is going to eventually take over the video over QAM model, especially since the cable providers are the largest broadband providers.
     
  4. May 1, 2014 #4 of 214
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Yeah they're not using regular DSL in U-verse areas. They're using VDSL, which is fiber to the pole and then copper to the house. As long as the copper run is less then 1000' they can get very high data rates. (I think it's like 60Mbps) Since they are using H.264 an HD station should only require 8-10Mbps, which means there is easily enough bandwidth for your friend's test.
     
  5. May 1, 2014 #5 of 214
    tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Active Member

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    I think ATT compresses it down to 5-6Mbps, which is why their HD quality is pretty much the absolute worst. They just don't have enough bandwidth to do decent internet and HDTV video streams at the same time.
     
  6. May 1, 2014 #6 of 214
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Maybe that's why they want DirecTV. If they can shift the TV over to DSS and then use the VDSL for internet and VOD it would make them more competitive with the cable companies.
     
  7. May 1, 2014 #7 of 214
    tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Active Member

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    Probably, but it should never be allowed to happen by the regulators. If AT&T wants to compete, buying DirecTV for $40 billion is NOT the answer. Just think of how much FTTH they could deploy for $40 billion. The problem is that AT&T isn't interested in competing. It just wants to take the easy way out and reduce competition at the same time so it can jack up prices and screw over consumers to max out its profits.
     
  8. May 1, 2014 #8 of 214
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    That was my thinking as well, but remember it is H.264 and Netflix Super HD streams max out around 6 Mbps and look remarkably good (better than many "HD" mpeg2 channels in my cable lineup).
     
  9. May 1, 2014 #9 of 214
    buscuitboy

    buscuitboy New Member

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    I'm still on the fence about this merger, but I think this might be good in some ways. Mainly because it could then possibly allow "bundle" deals that could compete better with cable companies. I am with Comcast and currently have a "double play" package (internet and TV for $99). This allows for a big discount over trying to go with DirectTV and Uverse internet independently.

    I have looked into switching over to DirecTV, but if I did, internet only with Comcast would increase too much to basically void any savings. And going with Uverse internet along with DirecTV would be more expensive as well. It never made any sense for my needs. Having DirecTV and AT&T officially merged could hopefully bring some better prices & competition.

    Of course, from my understanding, ANY DSL still can't compete with cable internet either. Uverse in my area caps out at 18Mbs. Comcast just upgraded my internet for free to 105Mbs so it could still be a challenge if they merge. Although, I recently did read an article how AT&T is moving forward with their "gigapower" technology so maybe its possible, but would still be a game of catch up.
     
  10. May 1, 2014 #10 of 214
    tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Active Member

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    No, no, and just no. AT&T should be deploying FTTH, not reducing competition by buying up a major competitor in the paid TV market.
     
  11. May 1, 2014 #11 of 214
    JosephB

    JosephB Member

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    AT&T will never do fiber to the home. They have some token deployments that they've talked about but if they have more than 100,000 subscribers on Gigapower in 5 years, I'll eat my hat.

    AT&T's end goal is to move everyone over to LTE, except where they've already spent money on U-Verse. They've stopped additional deployments with no sign of starting again.

    Over time DirecTV would morph into just another pipe for AT&T to deliver bits to you. It's an infinitely more efficient way to broadcast data, particularly video. They could put an LTE modem in every set top box so that they all have two way capability.

    Whether they buy DirecTV or not, you can forget about deploying FTTH.
     
  12. May 1, 2014 #12 of 214
    tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Active Member

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    If that is their final decision, then fine. If they won't do it, eventually someone else will and all of AT&T's wirelines can just wither away and die a slow death. But we certainly can't reward their poor decision not to deploy FTTH by allowing them to buy up DirecTV. That would just be idiotic.
     
  13. May 1, 2014 #13 of 214
    JosephB

    JosephB Member

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    Uh, they *are* a private company, they can kind of do what they want with their money if it won't result in a monopoly (which this wouldn't). Saying they have to build out FTTH in order to be allowed to buy DirecTV makes no sense.
     
  14. May 1, 2014 #14 of 214
    tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Active Member

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    Great, well while our incompetent/corrupt regulators over at the FCC are letting Comcast/NBC Universal buy Time Warner Cable, letting AT&T buy DirecTV, and letting Sprint buy T-Mobile and Dish Network, maybe they can get Disney/ABC/ESPN to buy Verizon too. With net neutrality relegated to the dustbin of history, all those mergers will certainly be great for corporate executives and shareholders, not to mention the future private sector job prospects for FCC employees. If I didn't know any better, I would swear that we must have a Republican in the White House. God bless the United Corporations of Amerika.
     
  15. May 2, 2014 #15 of 214
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I don't think it's that bad of an idea. U-Verse isn't really in that many markets, and building it out to support the same number of subscribers as DirecTV would cost significantly more then $40B. FTTH is a good idea, but it's really, really, expensive. With DirecTV in the fold it allows AT&T to be completely wireless. They can use DSS for TV, LTE for internet and cellular for phone. And in areas that support it they could roll in U-Verse for internet (less latency and higher speeds) and POTS for phone.

    It actually makes quite a bit of sense and if anything will put more pressure on cable companies to lower prices. As it is now the only way to get all the services cable offers is by paying at least 2 different companies. Having a direct competitor that offers all the same services could only be a good thing.
     
  16. May 2, 2014 #16 of 214
    tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Active Member

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    U-verse currently has about 11 million subscribers, which is more than FIOS has and about the same number as Time Warner Cable, the second largest cable company in the country.


    So let's see here. It would cost AT&T approximately $1,000/home to build out FTTH, so $40 billion could get them 40 million customers. DirecTV has about 20 million subscribers, so if AT&T buys DirecTV for $40 billion, then they would pay about $2,000/subscriber.
     
  17. May 2, 2014 #17 of 214
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I meant potential subscribers. See it costs AT&T $1,000 per home to do FTTH, but with DSS the costs are virtually $0. There are some equipment and installation costs, but those are typically recouped up front or via a monthly fee.

    AT&T is a huge corporation. Their one and only goal is money. They would not even consider this if FTTH was cheaper.
     
  18. May 2, 2014 #18 of 214
    tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Active Member

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    Cheaper is not always better, especially in the long run. The main problem here is short-term thinking. Wall street bankers have made corporate executives become obsessed with the profits of the next quarter rather than the profits for the next 50 years. We need corporate profits to be based on sound, long-term investments in this country's future, rather than corporations seeing how much they can screw over their customers to make a quick buck for the next quarterly statement.

    The government should absolutely not allow AT&T to buy DirecTV, as it would reduce competition and be detrimental to consumers in the long term. And if AT&T won't invest in a FTTH network for the 21st century, then federal, state, and local governments should be investing to build out their own FTTH networks to compete directly with U-verse and run them into the ground. We have let large corporations get away with murder in this country for decades, and it's time to put a stop to it.
     
  19. May 2, 2014 #19 of 214
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I don't think the government has a standing for blocking this merger. They're two completely separate companies with very little overlap, so they wont be creating a monopoly. This is much, much, less of a threat then Comcast buying TWC, and that looks like it's going to clear.

    Although I agree that local governments should be investing in FTTH. A few towns/cities have done it and then leased the rights to use the fiber to service providers. But because the fiber is owned by the public the prices are much lower. That's something I'd like to see my town do.
     
  20. May 2, 2014 #20 of 214
    tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Active Member

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    Yes, I would like to see that too. I just hope you don't live in one of the 20-something states where Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable have managed to bribe state legislators into passing laws making it illegal for municipalities to build out their own fiber networks. Sadly, my state is one of them.

    In related news, all four of the Republicans running in the primary for the U.S. Senate seat in my state all said this week in a debate that they oppose net neutrality and would not allow the federal government to intervene in the business interests of cable and phone companies. But I'm sure that the campaign donations from AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon had nothing to do with their stance on the issue. You gotta love Republicans.

    http://stopthecap.com/2014/05/01/no...all-over-themselves-attacking-net-neutrality/
     

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