The future of TV is streamed….
As I’ve always said would happen there is a transition going on as we slowly migrate away from Sattelite, Cable and Over the Air supplied TV to one where the service is supplied from the Internet.
ATT-DirecTV are planning to give a push into their Streamed TV service by giving a free Apple TV if you agree to a minimum of 3 months service and an Amazon Fire Stick for a guaranteed one month of service with them, according the a report by “The Verge”.
Over two years ago I said that this would happen and was poo-poo’d by some for suggesting it.
Even for Cable TV providers it is in their interest to provide TV service through streamed data provision rather than the current method of multiplexing the data streams over the cable wire. It would allow for more bandwidth and even with the cheapest of TV plans it would be more effective for them to do this rather than have all the extra equipment just so that a person can plug coax straight into their TV. Sure this is still a long way off and is due primarily to retired who have not replaced their TV’s in the last umpteen years and don’t have HDMI and would have trouble adapting but it is a future possibility.
Similarly, one of the biggest costs for TV service providers is the maintaining and provision of TV and that bandwidth is a valuable commodity that could be better used for provisioning data service. Let’s face it, many of us struggle to get over the air TV service. I spent a fortune trying to get just the four or five main channels and ended up lucky to get one of them where I am located and I quickly gave up, I think I still have the antenna in the garage just because it cost me more than I really should have spent (I must have been insane at the time) and can’t bring myself to dismantle it and put the recyclable parts in the recycling bin.
While Sattelite TV providers are in a position where it would allow them to compete against cable companies without the outlay of hardware.
ATT-DirecTV is smart, they know that the only way to easily expand their territory and customer base by offering a streaming subscription service that anyone can use and smart to offer availability through Apple TV via an App and through Amazon hardware, I presume it’s also going to be available for Android streaming boxes and not just the Amazon variant of Android too.
AT&T have had a reputation of having bandwidth limitations in much of their network, not having the extensive Fiber network (and Verizon are busy trying to offload much of their Fiber and copper networks and TV services) and many have complained of shitty data services, though I can only use complaints of their users as opposed to personal experience to make that judgement but and this is a big BUT and something I said two or more years ago was…
If they treat the internet use like a utility and offer a streaming TV subscription using the internet of cable companies and internet service providers rather than provisioning their own service they extend their footprint AND can do so without investing in anything more than servers and software and at the start the option of sweeteners like free streaming media boxes or dongles.
In fact they can offer all the same functionality of most of the advanced DVR set top boxes through software and using cloud based DVR etc at a fraction of the cost.
The streaming TV field is something to watch closely over the next few years as competition heats up, Sony have their offering, DirecTV has theirs and Time Warner & Dish has their offerings dependent on having services with them that meet the requirements but expect them to open this up to online subscriptions to everyone.
This is a service that is no longer going to be a novelty service it is quickly going to become the mainstream method of supplying TV shows.