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IPTV Provider Akimbo Joins with AT&T 51

crashFaster writes to tell us TechWeb is reporting that in a recent deal AT&T has teamed up with Akimbo Systems to bring internet-based video-on-demand services to customers as early as this summer. From the article: "The AT&T Homezone service, being trialed within several states, integrates AT&T Yahoo! high-speed Internet and AT&T DISH Network programming. The service provides video on demand, digital video, and Internet content, such as photos and music through a set-top box." AT&T and Akimbo have also both issued press releases with a few more specifics.
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IPTV Provider Akimbo Joins with AT&T

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  • This could be cool (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @01:37AM (#15155092)
    This is really one of those ideas that was batted about some 10 years ago when people were just starting to get internet to their homes. Until fairly recently, the bandwidth simply wasn't there to stream such media to internet users, but with the further penetration of broadband service and the ramp up of transfer speeds for users, the service is finally going to be available.

    A similar type of service has been available on some airline flights for a while. Instead of being fed the movies in the order decided by the flight crew, the movies can be individually selected and played by passengers at their whim. Not having flown in anything but economy class for a few years now, I wouldn't know the specifics of how that works...
    • by mdfst13 ( 664665 )
      "the bandwidth simply wasn't there to stream such media to internet users"

      I still think that streaming is the wrong solution here. I'd much rather they send stuff to my DVR in off peak times and I'll play it when I want.
      • "I still think that streaming is the wrong solution here. I'd much rather they send stuff to my DVR in off peak times and I'll play it when I want."

        Can't say I 100% agree with that. The big difference with streaming is that you can start watching right away. Now you're talking about waiting until off-peek hours to finally get your show to watch. In some cases, that would be absolutely fine, in others well that's a bit of a wait.

        Honestly, I would like a solution that implemented both.
        • Also one of the things is that it requires media center, which IMHO i should not have to have mediacenter to watch tv. If i am going to pay for a service i should be able to log in from my laptop(XP-Pro) or any computer. They do look like they offer a ton of programs but i still did not see any live shows.If anyone is interested the website is http://www.akimbo.com/ [akimbo.com]
          • I have the Akimbo service. They offer a slim standalone box (I got mine for $70), so you don't need a Media Center PC. It's a great service for someone like me, who works late and only has time to watch only a few hours of TV in between taking care of my pets, working, working out and gaming. The entire Adult Swim on-demand lineup is there, which was a major selling point for me.

            It doesn't stream the video and for good reason...the download times can be lengthy. However, if you're at work, all you do is
    • by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @02:11AM (#15155170) Homepage

      This is really one of those ideas that was batted about some 10 years ago when people were just starting to get internet to their homes. Until fairly recently, the bandwidth simply wasn't there to stream such media to internet users, but with the further penetration of broadband service and the ramp up of transfer speeds for users, the service is finally going to be available.

      I was already getting video-on-demand with BitTorrent three years ago. And now with sites like The Pirate Bay, all the movies or television I want are right there for the choosing, even obscure foreign films.

      In the city in Romania where I spend about half of the year, the local ISP offers a city-wide DC++ network where one can download whole movies from one's fellow citizens for free in a matter of minutes. The world outside the U.S. is little-by-little realizing that media should be free, it's risible that in the U.S. you have companies like this that can launch a video-on-demand service knowing that people are actually going to pay for stuff.

      • There are people on Slashdot who would say media shoudn't be free. People who don't use adblockers or avoid using adblockers to the point of only blocking absolutely annoying ads. The fact of the matter really is that it would be great if media was free, but unfortunately for you, when kids are growing up here and thinking that they want to be actors like they see on TV, they want to be paid, and with lots of money of course (because it's Hollywood). It's amazing too, because Hollywood has been quite possib
        • Commercials are like Spam mail they send them out to a large number of people in hopes that a few will respond. The question is how to get those who are interested in your product to view the commercial. I once was watching a cartoon program and the commercial was for an $40,000 automobile. Now how many people who could afford such an automobile would be watching a children's cartoon. I could watch the commercial 1000 times and it still would not make me want to purchase the automobile. I think the an
      • realizing that media should be free, it's risible that in the U.S. you have companies like this that can launch a video-on-demand service knowing that people are actually going to pay for stuff.

        It will be interesting to see how long the "sock the Americans, they're all rich" business plan will hold up. It should be clear from what the waters of Katrina scared up that universal American richness is very, very relative.

        My wife is importing European nicotine patches from New Zealand via an internet pharmacy.
      • This is a very important point and a huge reason why we'll see regulations brought up against Internet broadcasting (via BitTorrent).

        I'm working on producing two "TV" shows that will be distributed 100% as a torrent. We have a decent budget, great equipment, a studio space, and the right people for the camera. Our topics aren't mainstream, but there are hundreds of thousands of interested viewers worldwide.

        Why would I bother with old technology? The Torrent protocol is perfect for what I want to do -- if
      • As far as I know that is not video on demand, that is downloading and watching the video.
  • 2 + 2 = 4 (Score:1, Offtopic)

    Oh, now I see what's going on...

    1. Broadband access fees http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=30959 [theinquirer.net]
    2. ???^H^H^H Provide in-house video-on-demand service
    3. Profit
  • Sky's Version, (Score:2, Informative)

    by imdx80 ( 842737 )
    Tried to join the UK's version Sky by Broadband, films + sport on demand. After about 2 hours fiddling and upgrading drm components for windows media player it worked for about five minutes then crashed never to start again. Spent another three hours just trying to get any video to play because of the drm being screwed. So a good service ruined because of drm.
  • by ozzee ( 612196 ) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @01:43AM (#15155107)
    The number of failed attempts at IPTV projects boggles my mind.

    Movilink (Sony+other studios) - couldn't be given away.

    Starz/Real partnership - dead.

    Kontiki/AOL - Kontiki dead.

    Netmovies - (napster + others) dead.

    Tivo + Netflix - dead dead dead

    + many many more

    What makes this so special ?

    • Set top boxes + real cable provider
    • [QUOTE]Movilink (Sony+other studios) - couldn't be given away.[/QUOTE]

      Well I personally love it, but admittedly am only using it because it is being given away on General Mills cereal boxes :)

      It is fast, works great, superb customer support (only tried via chat, but response was quick and resolution satisfactory). I just wish they had more movies at the reasonable price (.99 or 2.00 for specials) instead of trying to get 5.99 for everything. Also it would be cool if they had an all you can watch model lik
    • Hrm - just my personal opinion here, but I've looked over the architecture. Very heavily multicast based. Which isn't bad - but in the end you get a cable box on your ip network that sucks bandwidth and gives you about the same features as your regular job cable company.

      Too bad, IMHO
    • Well, mainly the fact that Akimbo was a decent service before now. It's not just PPV, there's plenty of decent "free" content as well.

      Not NEARLY enough, IMHO, but the partnership with AT&T could be a very, very good thing for Akimbo.

      I certainly like the idea of an alternative to getting a thousand crappy channels on Cable/Sat for $50/month. Now that they have the backing of a big company like AT&T, maybe that will happen, and it won't be all 99% odd niche stuff.
    • Anyone had any luck with WinampTV lately? I remember when it first hit the scene a couple years ago it was great, after a few minutes in queue I was watching a constant, albeit mediocre res., stream of Invader Zim or Futurama. After a month or so it got so crowded the only channels readily available were pr0n, but i came damn close to subscribing to the $5/month fee for priority access. Instead I decided to just slowly invest in the boxsets of my favorite shows.
  • by b0r1s ( 170449 ) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @01:47AM (#15155122) Homepage
    ... because the programming will still suck.

    Until the viewers are put in charge of their own destiny, the number of watchable shows is going to stay < 10 hours per month.

    Wait for a video blogging/podcasting service (maybe something like youtube [youtube.com], or more traditional like maniatv [maniatv.com], or more bloggy like vobbo [vobbo.com]) to push IPTV in a truly addicting format.

    On-demand and interesting content - you need both to replace the current setup.
  • Here I am in Canada's capital close to down town and I can't even get 3Mb dsl. Best deal I can get on cable internet @ 3Mb is ~60 bucks with a 60 gig limit and traffic shaped to oblivion. I used up that 60gigs in 2 weeks just playing the radio... IPTV is all about consuming the bandwidth so that the home user can't contribute to culture. God knows they don't plan on lighting up sufficient dark fibre to let everybody play. If I was in the States I'd apply to use eminent domain to grab me some of that dark f
    • You used up 60GB by streaming radio? Bullshit. If you were streaming at 192kbps (most stuff is streamed out lower than this) 24 hours a day you would get 30.34 days out of 60gigs. Why the hell would you need it streaming literally 24 hours a day?
      • while it is true I exagerrated somewhat and I was doing some other stuff as well, the topic is video not audio. Consumer quality video streams are considerably larger that audio streams. A quick look at video torrent site is indicative. Videos range from about 700 megs to over 1 gig. Let us say that a 90 minute movie is on the low side at 700 megs. Let us further suppose that I want to watch a lot of tv ( after all I post on slashdot so clearly I have no life ;> .) We'll say that is from 6 to midnight.
    • Rogers, the only ISP I know in Ottawa that caps at 60 GB, also has a higher tier with a 100 GB cap. If streaming online radio while you sleep is so important to you, why don't you upgrade? It costs less than $60 which you claim to be paying for your current plan.
      • from the rogers web-site: $43.95 Monthly Service Fee ... plus $3.00/mth modem rental
        so that is 46.95 plus pst + gst (15%) =53.99 is not too far off from 60 and last I checked a tilde applied to an amount means approximate value not exact amount. Oh my, I was off by 10% Whoop-ti-dooo
        • I am sure your parents subscribe to a "bundle" package, meaning they have Rogers cable TV or cell phone service. For example, my Rogers high speed extreme internet is $42/month but my cable TV is over $100. In the end, they are thieves, plain and simple.
  • As soon as I saw 'Akimbo' I thought of 'Jimbo Jones' the bully from The Simpsons, an awkward insecure obstacle. Only afterwards did I realise how pointless a venture this is for a business that doesn't have a stake in the attached advertising.

    Look, if you're doling up something that people are interested in, you either have to be pivotal to the content (or you'll be seen as a leech), be paid for delivering the content (or you'll be seen as a leech), or included in the content itself (wherein you run the

  • I'm really skeptical about this. Like others have said, anything IPTV is probably doomed. I do see a small market for IPTV--how could Akimbo even be big enough to be noticed by AT&T? However, I don't see AT&T bringing any more thunder to it. This might kill it.
  • From the episode where Elaine "dances", this scene is after the fact... % A meeting at Elaine's office Worker: I pressed through the rushes and there, the native dancers whirled before me: limbs flailing, arms akimbo, feet kicking up dust... (All workers laugh) Elaine: What?
  • Quit feeding the beast!

    Here's someone who could use your money in a better way:
    http://www.eff.org/legal/cases/att/faq.php [eff.org]

  • Future Slashdot headline: Burst.com Sues AT&T Over Patent Infringement
  • TV over IP is cute and all, seeing as I've been doing the Bittorrent + media center thing for a few years already. The question I always end up asking, being the antisocial rebellious bastard that I am, is how much TV do we really need ?

    I don't watch much, because about 98% of the content on cable inspires me to become independently wealthy just so I can travel the world and strangle all the reality-show attention whores in a vain attempt to cleanse the airwaves once again.

    My partner and I are moving in to
    • I don't watch much, because about 98% of the content on cable inspires me to become independently wealthy just so I can travel the world and strangle all the reality-show attention whores in a vain attempt to cleanse the airwaves once again.

      That would be a great show! Be sure to film it all, I'm sure I'm not the only one who would like to watch that!

      Maybe you don't need to become wealthy first... just sell that idea to some reality TV show producer...

  • Anytime something new comes along, the first attempts will almost always be hampered by flaws. I have to chuckle at how impatient and intolerant people around here can be, considering such "fits and starts" are completely normal.

    The whole IPTV/VOD/ETC situation is complicated for a variety of reasons, not least of which being that it carries both technical challenges and unanswered business questions. Give 'em a chance to figure some of this stuff out!

    Sure, the landscape is littered with failed attempts ...
  • This is a bad idea. A really bad idea. IPTV on a network that can't handle WoW.... This is a really bad idea.

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