Operating System

AT&T Joins the Online Video Streaming Game

With the increasing popularity of online video streaming and the vast decline of tradition TV packages, it’s no wonder why AT&T wants to get in on that market share. Like most companies trying to break into a new market, AT&T is starting with very low prices. If you sign up now or shortly after the service starts, you’ll be getting 100 channels for $35 a month. Any time after that, and $35 a month will only grant you access to 60 channels in total. At 5x the monthly cost of Netflix, you’d hope to be getting some more value out of this new service, and from the channel lineup it looks like you do. Signing up for 3 months of service at the start will get you a free Apple TV and Siri remote, while signing up for one month will instead get you a free Amazon Fire Stick. Premium channels like MTV, Oxygen, NHL Network, FXM, GOLF, and NBA TV are all included in the 100 channel package. If you want to keep up on Game of Thrones on HBO, you can do that too, but you’ll be adding an extra $5 to your monthly cost. One of the big draws to this service is that they offer “100-plus premium channels … [not] the junk that nobody wants” says AT&T director Randall Stephenson. This claim is bolstered by the addition of more channels provided with their recent acquisition of another major cable company, Time Warner. While this all seems well and good, there are a few downsides to AT&T’s new service. Like any streaming service, there is a limit to the amount of people who can watch, and the limit here is pitifully low at only two concurrent users. This would prove difficult for a four person family if each member wanted to watch their own shows. There are also some vague issues with availability for local channels and regional live sports channels. No set top box is needed for the connection, and all you need is a broadband internet connection to get started, so this is an attractive offering for college students.