The Internet and Television Show held in Boston this year had a lot of discussion about “the future of TV”, mainly discussing how cable operators in the country will play in the broad cast market which they used to fully dominate. And this is no more the case with streaming services taking up more subscribers with each passing day.
AT&T seems to have an answer for that. In the fourth quarter of this year, the carrier will be letting out another version of their DirecTV service, which is basically a combo of their old U-Verse service and DirecTV, which they acquired around a year back. Since turning into the largest pay-TV provider in the country, AT&T has been focused on reinventing the U-Verse video service along with DirecTV branding, while meeting the OTT demands of the present day.
What Will The New DirecTV Be Like?
Tony Goncalves, SVP of strategy and business development at AT&T’s Entertainment Group, says it is “just TV.” There has been a massive push to create differentiation at the UI level, he says. “But when you just take a step back, when somebody opens an app to consume video, what’s the first thing they do? They consume video. So getting consumers to their content quickly, effortlessly and seamlessly is the user experience goal.”
It means DirecTV will be redesigning the service to allow sending video over satellites, wired and wireless connections, on any device the consumers chooses to use at the time. The service will also be available on “managed” networks owned by AT&T, as well as those which its rivals operate.
“Historically these video platforms have been built for TV and managed networks first,” he said. “So they’ve been built for set-top boxes and highly managed environments. And mobile came second. Our approach here is that, if you can do unmanaged really well, you should be able to hit it out of the park with managed. If you can do mobile really well, you should be able to hit it out of the park with a big screen and set-top box.”
A lot of the effort will go into ensuring the DirecTV service will work well, without depending on which network connection the user has, and that is a challenging goal in itself considering consumers want instant entertainment these days.