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Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by SomeRandomIdiot, Apr 11, 2016.
There are probably plenty of places where unreliable service is a problem, but not around here. Here the problem is cost and they are not doing anything about that.
Yeah, it seems Layer3/Umio is more about providing a top-notch service/experience rather than competing on cost. But I could see them luring away some of the cable TiVo enthusiasts on this forum. Think about it: you get a powerful box with a slick UI that intelligently integrates your live cable channels, your DVR capabilities, plus all your streaming content. Assuming that they can do all of that well, they would appear poised to beat TiVo at their own game. Throw in superior HD picture quality (thanks to HEVC) and reliability (thanks to their private fiber backbone), and this service would seem like the best way for video enthusiasts to enjoy TV.
The question then, of course, is how much is that superior experience worth? Who knows, maybe they'll end up offering one or two skinny programming bundles at a lower cost. But if they stick with that $80 to $150 price range, it will be a niche product.
One thing to add about price: that $80 to $150 range quoted in the Wired article didn't mention anything about including internet service. The article made it sound as if Umio was simply a TV provider. But their website mentions "Less Equipment: Umio does it all in one powerful package: Live TV + Internet + WiFi".
If $80 buys you reasonably fast broadband internet plus a modest cable TV bundle plus DVR service (record 7 shows while watching another), along with all the other benefits touted in the article, then that's not a bad deal. So maybe these guys will be competing on both quality and price. For full-service TV + internet households, Umio could be very compelling.
Ok so someone wants to provide a cable service via IP using h.265 to reduce bandwidth requirements. They also want to provide a STB the combines linear channels & streaming services with a universal search feature and also provides recommendations. And what does that sound like?
The article it self is somewhat misleading, lets take this paragraph:
Netflix depends on Internet service providers like TimeWarner and Comcast to transmit its content over the public Internet; however, Layer3 manages its own IP network. It has leased its own 12,000-mile fiber backbone, which takes it into the communities the company serves. To get their signal directly into homesanalysts call this the last milethe Layer3 team has struck deals with large infrastructure companies to carry Internet protocol over their networks. This, according to Binder, is a standard business practice in the industry. Most big cable companies provide their own services, including pay TV services, but they also rent the use of their pipes to other providers.
So funny, Netflix depends on TimeWarner & Comcast, which is a problem somehow, but this new service is going to rely on "large infrastructure companies" for last mile access to homes. And who are these "large infrastructure" companies - you guessed it the TimeWarner & Comcasts of the world . Which means they plan on using the exact same physical lines that Netflix etc. already use.
I am surprised they have found any cable or telco companies willing to rent them guaranteed last mile bandwidth, didn't think they had that much unused last mile bandwidth available.
As soon as more devices (phones, tablets, streaming devices) get built to support h.265 all the streaming services will start using it to reduce band width requirements. And my guess is as cable moves to IP delivery they will also.
What counts is still last mile bandwidth availability. People who live where there is lots of it (multiple fiber providers) are golden, those who live where there is more limited bandwidth will not see much change, and those of us who live where bandwidth is extremely limited will still be sh** out of luck.
Cable is just now starting to transition to H.264, I don't think they'll make a widespread transition to H.265 for decade or more.
I have come to think of a decade as not much time. If cable is going to provide any UHD content it will have to have hardware that supports h.265, throughout their system, once that happens I would expect the movement of channels exclusive to higher packages containing the UHD content to move fairly quickly to h.265, but again, a decade for all of this to happen isn't out of line.
I would expect the Streaming services to move faster as more devices get out there that support h.265. I would love it if Amazon streamed 1080p that way, I might actually have enough bandwidth to get it.
I'm betting Netflix, Amazon and Hulu start transitioning to H.265 in the next year or two. The decoding chips will start to become standard in streaming devices and it will help them retain customers that might be facing bandwidth caps and other such issues.
And they admit their goal is a modest of somewhere near more or less a million (same as TiVo?), subscribers, not the several tens of millions of the big MVPD's
Layer 3 is doing exactly what the TWCs and Comcasts have always wanted all the other services to do: to PAY for guaranteed last mile access and quality. Layer3 is really an anti-net-neutrality business, but that is what the ISPs prefer. I believe Netflix did pay the ISP's last year, but I'm not sure about Amazon. The ISP's know competition is out there, but TWCs and Comcasts are happy to take the competition's money if their future is to be just ISP companies with a shrinking TV business. TWC, et al. have plans for that day, too.
U-verse by any other name. It's ATT that's going to be these guys worst nightmare.
Let me know when ATT starts making house calls in Bimmers or showing up at an exact time.
Impossible to turn around decades of images in a timely manner.
Sounds like Cisco tech to me right down to the wireless boxes. Price will sink layer 3, what's the biggest complaint you hear about price. Dollars speak louder than words.
If I am going to get f'cked by a MVPD, I'd rather have it done by one that treats me like a human.
There is an element you have missed (besides the 9th planet was demoted).
ACA reports smaller Cable Companies are seriously considering dropping the TV side of cable due to the constant blackouts and declining profits from that side.
Layer 3 could work deals to take over those subs and alleviate much of the backlash if those Companies dropped TV Service in serviced areas.
There is one thing Layer 3 and everyone else seems to have missed: If they want a glitzy interface that provides access to *all* media, then it should be absolutely trivial to get all your local personal media into the system as well. Complicated server programs that are difficult to configure and need funky special app interfaces are not a good solution for this .
So if I am to believe all this cable company CEOs are having a conversation that goes like this with their boards.
Hay guys you know I am really too stupid to make money is the Pay TV business, but there are these really smart guys that have figured it all out, all we have to do is lease our infrastructure to them at wholesale and get out of the retail Pay TV business - how about a big raise?
The only way any of this makes sense is if in the end the consumer ends up paying allot more money for their combined Pay TV & ISP costs. Given that they are only looking at million customers sure sounds like they are setting up a premium Pay TV company and looking for those who are willing to pay for it. The simple reality is any cable company could have done very close to the same thing anytime over the past few years by using TiVo hardware and providing better service. Delivery via IP instead of QAM isn't some magic bullet and any cable company can convert to a more efficient video format anytime they are willing to upgrade equipment.
As I have nothing against premium services/products, I wish them well. Perhaps the pubic will surprise everyone and we will find out that the market for a premium pay TV service that provides great service and a superior experience is more than a small niche.
No they could not have done the same with TiVo Hardware.
You are also missing the key point Dan made. Cable is just beginning a .h264 rollout in Hardware. Incredibly high CapEx cost to totally revamp everything to .h265 hardware that does not exist to them anyway.
Layer3 is starting from scratch with its own .h265 based equipment so only needs to purchase CapEx devices for the end consumer as needed. Though it does not say it, it sounds as if the DVR is cloud based. So a very inexpensive "dumb" box with very low CapEx cost compared to the in home DVRs of today.
The latest Amazon Fire TV can decode and playback h.265 (HEVC) encoded material. All of Amazon's UHD content is encoded that way and I believe they have also encoded at least some of their 1080p content that way for sending to boxes that support it, such as Fire TV.