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Customers of AT&T’s DirecTV NOW streaming service are set to be the first this autumn to experience a new platform that will eventually support AT&T consumer video services. Beta testing of the new platform, including a cloud DVR feature, will be available for invited DirecTV NOW customers beginning this summer.
In heralding the new platform, AT&T promises “A DVR in the cloud to record your shows, accessible anywhere, anytime. A broad selection of live channels. 4K and HD quality video. Up to 30,000 titles on demand at your fingertips.1 Access throughout the United States, whether it’s via satellite, mobile or your own wired Internet connection,” suggesting that consumers will be able to access “Your content on your terms”. “We know it’s what you want and that’s why we’re evolving to our next-generation video platform over the next year that will include a brand-new user-friendly interface,” it advises.
“We all want easy and quick access to our content, regardless of where, when or on what device we watch it,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Entertainment Group. “By developing for a single video platform, we’ll deliver new features and platform innovations in a faster, more efficient way. And it will be simple and consistent wherever you watch—TV, phone or tablet.”
AT&T says it has been transforming over the last several years into a software-led company in how it designs and manages its network. “We’re bringing that same approach to video and entertainment by incorporating principles of agile development, open systems, collaboration with developers and public beta programs to more quickly bring new and enhanced experience to customers. Our next-generation video platform is a key component of this ongoing transformation,” it explains.
AT&T this autumn will begin rolling out the next-generation platform to customers, starting with DirecTV NOW and DirecTV companion app users. The platform will eventually provide a consistent look and feel across AT&T consumer video services throughout the US.
Beta testing for the next-generation video platform begins this summer. Invited DirecTV NOW customers will be part of the beta program and among the first to experience cloud DVR and many of AT&T’s other new features. They’ll also be among the first to have the opportunity to tell the operator what they think about the new interface and even provide a few suggestions along the way. Additional features, including live TV pausing and parental controls, are slated for availability once the new platform exits beta testing later in 2017. Other features, such as user profiles, download and go, and 4K HDR are planned for 2018.
Customers of other AT&T video services will have the opportunity to start using the new platform in the coming years.