Posted in: AT&T, Video Distribution, Watch TV Online by MeganT on September 23, 2009

attentertainment

AT&T looks to be one of the first American television operators to enter the online distribution race. “AT&T Entertainment,” a streaming TV and movie portal, is live.

The site’s layout resembles Hulu, the online video service that features TV shows, movies and clips from nearly 190 leading content companies. Mashable state the TV portal is more similar to Comcast’s Fancast or AOL’s new SlashControl.

AT&T Entertainment content can be browsed by title, creator, and network/studio.

So far, AT&T doesn’t appear to host any videos on its own, but is instead streaming from Hulu, CBS, MTV, etc. There don’t seem to be any ads beyond the ones included from the content hosts.

From the press release:

“We know our customers want to be able to access their favorite content anytime, anywhere,” said Dan York, executive vice president of content and programming, AT&T.

An FAQ reads:

AT&T Entertainment is an ATT.net property that offers a market-leading content experience featuring full episodes of TV shows, movies, clips, and more for FREE! In addition, AT&T U-verse subscribers can view their U-verse guide and manage their DVR recordings from within the AT&T Entertainment experience.

While you can embed and watch videos without logging in, the site encourages registration to see age-restricted content, create a queue, and share or rate videos.

Currently, only US users can watch videos on the site, due to content agreements. As we’ve mentioned on WebTVWire many times before, territorial restrictions suck and rights holders will eventually have to wake up to the borderless world of TV that is being created by the internet.

Links with Paid TV Service?

Earlier this year, AT&T was reported to be working on an authentication system which would enable subscribers to login online to watch content they pay for on their TVs.

There doesn’t appear to be any integration of this system on AT&T Entertainment, nor any mention of it on the site, which is odd, because that would have prevented AT&T Entertainment from being a Hulu clone.

Maybe this is AT&T’s long term plan.

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