YouTube and Hulu preparing to launch internet TV service in 2017

Looks like Hulu and YouTube will be entering the Internet TV Race by the end of 2017 (maybe sooner?). Today, Hulu comfirmed it is working on the service, and multiple sources have reported that Google is creating a similar service, codenamed “Unplugged”, as well.

Should be an interesting year for Internet TV! I think these services, as well as PlayStation Vue, actually will become the biggest competitors to Tablo.


YouTube Unplugged:

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Hulu’s projected price for this new service - $40 a month. That’s not even competitive with cable! And it is missing a major network - CBS. This one’s going down the drain quickly. Disney’s not too smart on this one.

I don’t view them as competitors to Tablo… they’re more competitors with Cable and Satellite. If you get all of your local channels via streaming, and you watch a lot of local channels, you’re liable to run afoul of data caps. Also, if you can get OTA channels for free, why pay to stream them. Just my $.02

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That only applies to people who have data caps, and OTA channels aren’t free with Tablo, you have to pay (a lot) for the hardware and a monthly subscription.

Honestly, I don’t get these “live” streaming services. I don’t want live except for sports and live events. I am not in the least interested in a $40 per month live TV service. These services all consist of the exact thing I left cable because of - bundles of a large number of channels, most of which I don’t watch, bundled together with a price tag too high for the specific things I do watch.

I get why the networks are signing on, though. They get the same type of “everyone must pay for me in the bundle” deal that they get with cable - it is the same old same old, just a different medium.

I didn’t cut the cord so I could switch from a cable live TV bundle to streaming live TV bundle. I want the flexibility to pay for just what I plan to watch with no contracts. I want on demand viewing - I pick what I want to watch, when I want to watch it, and the ability to binge watch one show at a time. And Tablo fills in the blanks with all my local networks - no, it is not free, but my hardware has long since paid for itself by now. (That wouldn’t be the case if I were subscribed to some $40 a month live streaming package).

Live streaming of television (with the exception of sports and other live events) is just not taking advantage of the benefits that streaming television has to offer. If you want to offer “live,” do it like HBO and make your programming available to view at the same time as it airs on cable/OTA. I can’t help but think these huge live streaming bundles are a transitional phase. They keep the networks happy because it is just like their cable deals and they attract those who are just starting to cut the cord by offering a familiar experience. But they are just not what I want from a streaming service at all - and today’s kids are likely not going to want that experience as well when they grow up.


Did you forget about RECORDING? That’s the name of the game here. When I had TWC it cost me an additional 35/mo just for the HD record box.

These will come with DVR. Additionally, neither service has a price tag. Hulu said they would be in that range. YouTube might be cheaper. I think it’s a good option for people outside of OTA reception, want 5.1 support, want more HD channels, or don’t want to invest in as much hardware.

“These will come with DVR”. Please explain what I’m missing here.

What do you mean? They will have recording abilities built in. In your previous comment you said that cable companies charge your extra for DVR capabilities.

Although I don’t know for sure, I think the DVR capabilities G is referring to will be cloud based similar to PS Vue. You set your shows and they record them for you to playback/stream when you choose to. You will not have a physical DVR box at your home, but you will have all the DVR perks built-in to the service.

To me, this is just old backward design that mimics the limited cable/OTA behavior in a streaming world instead of taking advantage of streaming in its native form and making all the content available on demand. I don’t want to DVR my streaming content - I just want it to be there when I want to watch it regardless of whether I anticipated its live airing on TV. A quality streaming service should not have to provide a DVR or some sort of simulation of a DVR - it should make the DVR completely unnecessary.

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What’s the difference between watching something on demand and watching a recording on demand? Which method does Hulu currently use? Obviously it’s on demand, but a slick DVR setup would have no difference.

What I am saying is that with a streaming service, I shouldn’t have to check a guide and “set a program to record” in order to watch it on demand. Everything on the streaming service should just be available to watch on demand any time from the moment it airs/is made available. No need to hassle with the old concept of scheduling recordings - that doesn’t bring anything beneficial to the table. Thinking in terms of a “DVR” is just trying to bend the new technology to conform to the ways of the old tech.

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I agree and I think PS Vue is very close to doing it this way. Their current setup is either restrictive or streamlined depending on how you look at it. Streamlined in that you can tell PS Vue the only things you care about and don’t need to navigate through all the noise (other unnecessary shows/sports/movies) to get to the content you want. Restrictive in that if you forgot to mark something for ‘DVR’ you no longer have access to it.

PS Vue is not recording a unique instance of a show on their DVR for me when I set it to record. They are recording and housing EVERYTHING for 28 days and just allowing me access to stream it when I set it to record. They need to rethink their design just a bit, because as you said I want access even when I didn’t anticipate the airing of the show. Its nice for it to be simple until you need it to be advanced…when I miss a show I want it to allow me retroactively ‘DVR’ it still. Because they have it saved on a server somewhere.

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I think you both may be missing the point. Hulu currently allows you to watch ANYTHING retroactively. Of course they are not going to require you to DVR it to watch. I am thinking it will be mostly for live and sporting events to be able to go back and watch if you start watching late. Who knows, it doesn’t come out till next year. I don’t think anyone can write it off completely or commit to buy it until more is revealed.

If the live tv service and the current Hulu service are all one package, then I agree. However, they still have to answer the question of sporting events being available for on demand streaming.

If the live tv package is something that you can purchase as a standalone product then the question about how to access and set ‘DVR’d’ (or ‘favorites’ if you don’t like to think of it as a DVR) programs is back.

The price point and the availability of live (mostly sports) events to be streamed will be important to me when making a decision about the service. I sometimes like to watch a sporting event after it has happened for the convenience of time and skipping commercials.

While all details have not been confirmed, they did confirm that they secured rights to stream a number of different sporting events. It remains to be seen to what extent.

I like your idea of ALL sporting events being retained for on-demand viewing. I’m not aware of any streaming service that has provided that yet.

MLB.TV gives you access to on demand viewing of both live and archived games. You can click on any date in the calendar - even past years - to find all the baseball games televised on that day, then click on the home or away telecast to view. It goes back to 2014 - not sure if they only provide the last 3 years or if 2014 was when they started archiving the games. I am guessing that other leagues such as the NHL that also offer streaming services are the same, but I only follow baseball.

I don’t have a subscription because my team is subject to local blackout rules, but I do subscribe to the GameDay Audio which is similar but only gives me access to the radio broadcasts, which are not subject to blackouts.

I personally think that sports streaming is better served with a service from the league itself rather than with live streaming of the networks that they air on. The Cubs are broadcasted on WGN, Comcast Sports Network, ABC, Fox Sports 1, FOX, WPWR (through WGN), and ESPN. Most of these networks alone are not going to be equipped to handle the special needs of live and archived sports content - but the league can do that. And who wants to manage subscribing to the proper services to try to get all of those channels just for one team’s sports events. But the leagues have to fix the archaic blackout restriction rules (tied to existing contracts with networks) before their service will work for the majority of sports fans.

@Vonda_Z I have the MLB app, and a subscription to the service (I get it free because I’m a T-Mobile customer). Mine goes back to March 2013 for archived games. I have to admit I don’t use it all that much, just once in a while to catch my old home team, the Phillies. It’s a nice model they have for the MLB app, allowing you to watch live games all over the league, as well as dig in to the archives to watch previous games, and I’m hoping that I’ll get the same access to NFL games with the same deal.

I have to agree with you on the blackout restrictions… they seem to make no sense. There are no major league teams where I live, yet, some teams I might like to watch have been blacked out, even when those teams are playing away games on the east coast. I can understand blacking out local markets for home games to encourage ballpark attendance, but what sense does it make to black out games when those teams are playing away games? The league needs to revisit their blackout policies.

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Unlike the NFL which used to blackout games because of attendance, MLB blacks out games to protect their regional cable networks. These cable networks (most of which are Fox sports channels) want exclusive rights to show games in their regions. For instance, I live in Nashville, which does not have a MLB team. But all Reds and Braves games are blacked out on MLB Network and ESPN (unless it is a true national game).

It is a pain, though there is hope now for streamers. SlingTV finally has a version that has those Fox Sports channels for most areas, and Playstation Vue does to (though the Playstation Vue package did not have the one for my area).