at&t logoAT&T hopes to eliminate truck rolls on new Directv video installations by using a box dubbed “Osprey” in place of a satellite dish, said John Stephens, AT&T senior executive vice president and chief financial officer at an investor conference today.

“The only truck roll is a UPS truck,” Stephens said.

End-users will “hook the box into a broadband line” from AT&T or another service provider in lieu of having a satellite dish installed by AT&T technicians, Stephens said – a comment that implies the offering will work with a new streaming version of Directv service that AT&T first began talking about in late 2017.

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Not to be confused with DIRECTV NOW, a separate “skinnier” OTT streaming service, this next iteration of Directv aims to eventually replace DBS delivered video content, according to past statements from AT&T executives.

AT&T Osprey Box
The Osprey box is currently being tested by AT&T employees, Stephens said. Some employees previously leaked information about the Osprey box via Reddit, and the Cord Cutters News website ran what the author said was a photo of the box, but until now AT&T has made few, if any, official statements about the box.

john stephens at&t
John Stephens

Stephens did not say when the box would be released publicly but he did say it would be “the next step” in taking cost out of the company’s video offerings.

That could be quite soon, as AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson previously said the company would have a thin set-top box client to support the streaming version of Directv this quarter.

The streaming version of AT&T’s Directv linear TV offering is just one of at least six different video offerings the company offers or plans to offer, including several planned subscription video on demand (SVOD) offerings that would compete with SVOD services from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and others.

At the investor event today, Stephens offered a few more details about the SVOD offerings, which he referred to as “direct to consumer” services and which he said are planned for availability in the fourth quarter. He noted that HBO is likely to be an important piece of multiple offerings, perhaps including one offering emphasizing Warner Brothers content and another emphasizing live TV.

Several times in his talk at the conference, Stephens spoke of AT&T’s plan to use advertising to enable the company to offer video services at prices customers are willing to pay and that also provide AT&T and content providers with the margins that they expect.

Stephens made his comments at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference, which was also webcast.

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4 thoughts on “AT&T: Phase Out of Legacy Directv to Begin with AT&T Osprey STB

  1. So, if I am reading this right, instead of delivery of programming via satellite, which AT&T now deems as too expensive, they want to use my broadband connection as the delivery method? Therefore, will the cost of my DirecTV service delivered by this new method go down any at all? If the answer to this question is no, then I will be dropping my DirecTV service the instant they require me to make this change. I am already very close to dropping DirecTV service in the first place.

    With 50+ shopping channels, nothing but screaming reality shows, and channels no longer carrying any programming related to their name, i.e. no actual history programming on History Channel, no food prep programming on Food Network, only competition shows and endless DDD episodes, and on & on, the utility of DirecTV has really gone down in the past couple years.

    All this, not to mention the people who benefit the most from DirecTV service, rural residents do not have access to the level of data service necessary to enable providing multiple streams to multiple TV's in a home to begin with, and this will be a total disaster for AT&T, leading to the going-away of DirecTV. Maybe that's for the best. Maybe if AT&T would build out 5G to their entire footprint, providing those rural customers true gigabit data service that way, they could enable this streaming DirecTV service and make it usable, but based on AT&T's past track record on cellular upgrades, this is a pipe dream.

  2. What Glenn said, plus this may lead to Dish Network being the only player left in the small dish space which may be a good thing for both companies.
    I don't care, rarely watch TV and don't have any paid TV services, just an antenna. Fortunately, my wife is happy with what we get OTA for free.

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