D* Future HD Plans With New Satellites - Page 40 - AVS Forum
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post #1171 of 1196 Old 01-20-2006, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoBuck
The published Ka capabilities of D8 have never mentioned (that I have seen) an ability to provide channel bandwidth.
It would be EXTREMELY unusual for it to not have capabilities in both directions. I still think one of the primary reasons for it to have Ka capability is to preserve their license there. They originally planned for three Spaceways. This is may have been needed to justify keeping Spaceway 3 on the ground.

Quote:
Darin - I have no technical knowledge at all of how LNBs work, what would be needed (if anything) to allow the 101 LNB to receive Ka-band signals. Can you share how you have come to the conclusion that this LNB cannot take in Ka?
I have nothing to offer at this point, it's merely a recollection I have of what I've read.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tibber
I had thought the uplink was not so much to feed data to the spaceways, but rather to send HD locals up to D8 back down to their technical ops centers then back up directly to the spaceways.
That may very well be true. I still don't think it's necessary for them to do that. The Spaceways should be able to take the signals directly from the POPs, without need to send them back down first.

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post #1172 of 1196 Old 01-20-2006, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darin
That may very well be true. I still don't think it's necessary for them to do that. The Spaceways should be able to take the signals directly from the POPs, without need to send them back down first.
You are absolutely right that the Spaceways should be able to take feeds directly from the POPs, but wouldn't D* want to send them to the broadcast centers to get the final mix of HD channels merging and bitrate balancing before going up to the spaceways? Something that they couldn't do at the POPs.

Edit: yeah, I also agree that a key part of this puzzle was to maintain their licenses at 101.

Gets more and more interesting.

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post #1173 of 1196 Old 01-20-2006, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tibber
wouldn't D* want to send them to the broadcast centers to get the final mix of HD channels merging and bitrate balancing before going up to the spaceways?
They wouldn't HAVE to. Since we're talking about spot beams, everything that goes up for a certain area is going to come back down on a spot beam for that area. And that means complete transponders worth of data. There wouldn't be any need for channels from other areas to be included in the mix, since they wouldn't be included in those transponders. As long as they had their encoders at the POPs, they could do all their stutmuxing/encoding locally, and send it directly up.

There very well could be reasons I don't understand for them not doing it that way, but from what I've read of the Spaceways, they SHOULD be able to.

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post #1174 of 1196 Old 01-21-2006, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoBuck
Hey tibber:

I have gone back over my available published data - it never mentions any ability by DIRECTV 8 to transmit Ka band signals. Also does D* have a license to transmit from this location in Ka band(they gotta have that also)?

If it does have that capability (to transmit Ka) I guess it could be a backup - the 101 sat LNBs on the AT9 dish are contained with the 99 and 103 LNBs. Food for thought I guess - anyone know if this is even possible - do the 101 LNBs have the ability to receive Ka?

It does get interesting, doesn't it?

Here's a quote from DailyWireless.com from May 23, 2005:

"Built to operate at least 12 years, DIRECTV 8 features 32 Ku-band transponders to preserve the subscriber services already provided. But the satellite also carries a Ka-band broadband payload designed to link DIRECTV broadcasting facilities, a step in the company's plans to offer local digital and high-definition channels to households across the country starting this fall."

Doesn't mention Ka-band transponders at all - anyone with add'l info?

search some more here. There are multiple sources that say it has KA. The old threads here can aim you to the sources. One I can recall off the top of my head is an SEC filing Directv made when the GM pension plac sold off a big chunk- they listed all their sats and Directv-8 had Ka/Ku National and Spot Beam abilities. THey disnt say if one band was national and the other spot or a little of both or what.

IN a nut shell they needed to put something with Ka at 101 by last June or loose their rights to Ka at that slot so they tossed some amount of Ka on Directv-8 and use it for 'internal' use so they could meet the letter of the law.
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post #1175 of 1196 Old 01-21-2006, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoBuck
tibber - I read the info at all 3 links you provided. There is absolutely no mention of D8 capability to transmit Ka-band channels back to earth, only to use that frequency for uplinks. So, the question I raised, in my mind is not answered. The published Ka capabilities of D8 have never mentioned (that I have seen) an ability to provide channel bandwidth.

Darin - I have no technical knowledge at all of how LNBs work, what would be needed (if anything) to allow the 101 LNB to receive Ka-band signals. Can you share how you have come to the conclusion that this LNB cannot take in Ka?

The strange thing about this conversation now is that tibber might have come on to something. Perhaps, just perhaps D8 can transmit in Ka - and perhaps, just perhaps the 101 LNB on the AT9 can receive Ku/Ka - well that changes things, doesn't it? And if its only for the future, it wouldn't be difficult in the near future to have to remove the 110/119 LNBs from the new dish, and change out the 99/101/103 LNBs to accept Ka/Ku.

Something to think about for sure.

found this- I know there was alot more posted in the forums around the time they got FCC approval to add Ka to D* (originally it was only approved for Ku and some other unnamed device was to provide ka at 101)


Quote:
PALO ALTO, Calif. - February 23, 2005 - Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) announced today that it has successfully completed all assembly, integration and tests of the DIRECTV 8 satellite, more than two months ahead of the contracted schedule. This progress was capped recently by the successful completion of the pre-shipment readiness reviews held in Palo Alto, Calif. The accompanying photo shows the satellite in the SS/L antenna test range.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050223/NYW046)

The DIRECTV 8 satellite, built for The DIRECTV Group, Inc. of El Segundo, Calif., is a high power Ku/Ka-band hybrid satellite. The satellite's primary mission is to maintain high quality, high power DBS service to existing DIRECTV customers. The Ka-band payload will improve DIRECTV's ability to collect and deliver high quality television programming.

....

The Ka-band payload will use the full 1,000 MHz of Ka-band communications bandwidth available to link DIRECTV facilities as part of DIRECTV's dramatic infrastructure development for the upcoming launch of local digital and high definition services in the Ka-band


...

if you dig more you can find links to the FCC's approval to add Ka to D* just a few months before it was complete.
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post #1176 of 1196 Old 01-21-2006, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darin
They wouldn't HAVE to. Since we're talking about spot beams, everything that goes up for a certain area is going to come back down on a spot beam for that area. And that means complete transponders worth of data. There wouldn't be any need for channels from other areas to be included in the mix, since they wouldn't be included in those transponders. As long as they had their encoders at the POPs, they could do all their stutmuxing/encoding locally, and send it directly up.

There very well could be reasons I don't understand for them not doing it that way, but from what I've read of the Spaceways, they SHOULD be able to.

I agree with your theory about using it as a placeholder.
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post #1177 of 1196 Old 01-22-2006, 06:02 AM
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michaelk - I am very aware of the stated uplink Ka capability of D8. However, I would appreciate it if you could steer me to some info that states the bird having transponders capable of sending Ka signals down to customer dishes(they have mentioned Ka to D* facilities certainly). I still have not been able to find it on my own. Thanks.

And, going back to the original questions, they revolve around D8 being used as a back-up for S1. I still don't see how that could be if Darin is correct that the 101 LNBs on the AT9 dish cannot receive Ka. What is your opinion on this?
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post #1178 of 1196 Old 01-22-2006, 06:40 PM
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Before it went up i hoped that D8 would have some ability to do national KA from 101. But it appears that is just not possible.

If I understand correctly it is running 8 ku double powered national transponders. It should have the power to run at least a couple Ka National transponders too which would give them the ability to put up 8-12 national MPEG4 channels which would allow like every national HD channel except for the VOOMs.

But obviously they aren't doing that. Since they say they are using the whole 1000 Mhz of Ka (and likely they need to pretend to at least in order to keep those frequencies assigned to them at 101) - I would *GUESS* that they stuck a tight spot beam on it that can send all 1000Mhz straight at one of their broadcast centers. Using all 1000mhz would use something like 36-45 transponders. I do not believe there is a single bird that can do 8 double powered Ku and anything near 36 national Ka transponders- just too much power (that's why they have like 3 birds concurrently at 101- partially for spot beams but also so they can double power the national ku beams). I'm no rocket scientist but i would guess that they would need much less power to send that much bandwidth through a single tight beam to one of their broadcast centers. So my guess is they realized they needed some kind of place holder for using all the KA frequnecies at 101 and told the satellite maker at the last minute to put some kind of a KA package that can receive an uplink (or maybe several) and just shoot it to LA or Colorado wherever they can say they are using it.

It's just a ploy to keep the FCC off their back so they can have 101 all to them for Ka. If you search some more you'll see they screwed up their licenses at 99 and 103 for KA. IF I REMEMBER THE WHOLE THING CORRECTLY- (like i said search for the old threads for the sources) -Originally the spaceways were supposed to be at 99 and 103 for Internet, they were to have 850 mhz for downlink and 150 mhz for communication between the birds. When they changed them to tv use they informed the fcc that they were going to take the 850 at each spot for tv and said they didnt want to use the 150mhz anymore to talk between them. Then some time later they applied for licenses for D10 and D11 to use the whole 1000mhz. The applications got denied for a couple reasons- one procedural- seems they used the wrong form or something as D10 and 11 will supplement spaceway 1 and 2 but they asked for permission to replace- but the other thing was the FCC told them they no longer had the rights to the 150 mhz they gave up at 99 and 103. Seems they can reapply to get it back and since they would be the first to be able to put birds there to use it, it's pretty much a lock that they will get it back but i'm thinking someones sphincter got a little stressed out and didn't want to give ergen or a peculator even a tiny chance to screw around at 101- so they hatched the BS plan to “use†all 100mhz ka at 101 for 'internal use'.

As Darin points out it's stupid to use D8 for that. Spaceways can take tons of uplink locations- older D* birds could do ONE, then with spot beams they did TWO, now I think D8 and D9 can handle FOUR. So to use D8 for back haul they need to take the signals from the DMAs get them to one of the handful of uplinks that D8 can see (probably by fiber?) then bounce off D8 to the broadcast center, then from their shoot them back up to the spaceways. Why not take the fiber and D8 out of the loop and send them all straight to the spaceways? I'm not even sure there is enough bandwidth to feed the spaceway uplinks all from one location (just like the SD sKu spots need 2 uplinks to keep full), so they might even need to send the signals back out on fiber to a remote uplink so they can reuse some of the frequencies. It just doesn't appear to make sense.

The SEC filing if I recall said D8 has spot beams- it never was supposed to have spotbeams for Ku so gives me more reason to think they have a spotbeams(s) to downlink Ka.

about backups- if I understand correctly it's only recently that they had any kind of significant in orbit redundancy, for all but maybe the past year they have been in a situation where there was always a risk of a significant disruption to Ku if the right(er wrong...) bird failed. Even now without the last spot beam backup in orbit they could get totally screwed if the wrong spot beam bird failed. And that's on their Ku side with 15 million subs. I doubt they feel more need to have Ka redundancy for the less then a million who will have Ka before D10 and 11 can go up. Even then I think they completely have been pacing themselves under the worst case that either spaceway could completely fail. They have been very conservative all along announcing HD LIL markets. They only announced 12 markets to start- if either spaceway got up and could manage like 20% of capacity then they could have pulled that off. Once the first one appeared fine they announced another handful of markets. Even with the 36 or so they announced to date, I think they can pull that off EASILY with only one of the spaceways working. They say they can each handle 250 LIL so that's like 60 markets with this Big 4 nonsense which is all they committed to at this point. Even more since some of those might not even have the all 4 HD. If they somehow decided to go BIG4 + WB +UPN + PBS + RSN in each market that's still likely to fit 36 markets in the 250 channel capacity (again not all markets will have 8 HD channels at this point).

So I just dont see D8 having any signifcat Ka capacity for the end user. If it did, why wouldn't they use it? They likely could skate by with what they had Ku at 101 until D9 gets up so they could wait on D9 and use D8 entirely for Ka. They haven't so it seems it's just not usable that way easily.

I guess once D10 and 11 l have every HD LIL in the land and 150 national HD then maybe they will think about putting a true Ka end user bird there but until that point YEARS from now I guess they just dont plan on needing 101 for Ka home use.
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post #1179 of 1196 Old 01-23-2006, 07:58 AM
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michaelk - thanks for some good info. I'm gonna go back and re-read a lot of the technical stuff I saved about D8.

I am still hoping D* adds at least a couple of the current HD nationals (MHD and TNT for example) to D8 in MPEG2. I'm still of the belief that they are not going to add any MPEG4 (besides the big 4 networks) until they turn off the big 4 east and west coast network MPEG2 HD feeds.

D* has clearly stated that peeps in NY and LA do not have to convert for the near future - once they add even 1 additional piece of HD programming not available for MPEG2 reception all of the phase III HD subs will be hollering for the AT9. They just don't have anywhere near the ability to upgrade so many people in so short a time-frame.
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post #1180 of 1196 Old 01-23-2006, 03:49 PM
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Sco.

Im in LA and was just talking with a CSR. He confirmed that I have no need for an MPEG4 receiver anytime soon, as the only real purpose is to get peeps their locals in HD. I have the HR-250 and already get locals over the sat.

I told him I wouldnt want and MPEG4 anyway unless it had DVR capability, though he said one of those would be coming out soon.
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post #1181 of 1196 Old 01-23-2006, 05:24 PM
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Ka delivery from 101 to end-users (subs) is NOT POSSIBLE with current user hardware.

The AT-9 dish has no LNB for Ka from 101 ( main LNB is 99 Ka, 101 Ku, 103 Ka ONLY!. side car LNBs are 110/119 Ku ONLY!).

The H20/B-band converter ( and presumably eventual HR20-250 ) and the WB68 multiswitch are not designed in a way to stack another group of IF frequencies.
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post #1182 of 1196 Old 01-23-2006, 06:18 PM
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DTC mac,

Here you go fogging this highly speculative discussion with hard facts.

Of course the satellite itself may still be capable, even though everyday user equipment is not.

Dave
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post #1183 of 1196 Old 01-24-2006, 05:00 AM
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OK guys here's a very low-level but practical question. I'm not an expert on satellite technology or implementation. What I'm interested in is what I get when I turn on my TV, and this does seem to fit the topic of this thread, future HD plans with new satellites. Anyway, here goes:

Is there any confirmation, or if not confirmation at least rumors, of whether D* is planning on ending HD-Lite using the enhanced bandwidth of the new satellites to broadcast full resolution, full bandwidth HD? I searched this thread for the answer to this question, and the last relevant post was from October '05 and in that response HDTVFanatic said to "Comparing PQ from different providers thread." Well, I couldn't find anything in that thread either and it's been three months since October, so if anybody has any more insight it would be much appreciated.

Any D* insiders out there who are willing to break the secrecy?
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post #1184 of 1196 Old 01-24-2006, 06:51 AM
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Al ot of people have been asking that, but we haven't gotten a response yet. A lot of people say they wouldn't need to because of all of the bandwidth they will have, but, we don't know for certain.

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post #1185 of 1196 Old 01-24-2006, 06:57 AM
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Sunday Ticket and MPEG4 (H20/AT9) Question.

What are the chances that this year's (2006) NFL Sunday Ticket (Super Fan HD games) package goes to MPEG4?

Do you think D* will use NFLST subs (the HD Super Fan ones) as the test group (outside of those who use the AT9 to get locals) and make these subs upgrade to the H20 and AT9/5LNB?

Personally, I am hoping it stays where it is in MPEG2. While I have the H20, I am happy with my OTA reception and Triple LNB dish, but will change to the AT9 if I have to.

Any rumor to the NFLST in MPEG4 or is it way too early to speculate on that?
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post #1186 of 1196 Old 01-24-2006, 08:21 AM
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Never to early to speculate.....LOL.

I really can't see any way they will limit the availibility to a programming package that they sell for over almost $300 (including the HD games). D* pays a ton of money for the exclusive rights to these games, they cannot just give up such a large part of their base of potential income. More and more folks are getting HD TV's all the time, this is increased revenue potential for them. For fact there are a large number of subs who have chosen D* solely because they offer Sunday Ticket.

They have already told the peeps in LA and NY to sit tight, no need to upgrade for quite a while. DirecTV's own estimate is that only 58% of the local markets will have access to MPEG 4 by the end of the summer - how could they turn OFF the signal to the other 42% of the markets, and the tens of thousands still watching HD that have the Phase III dish?
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post #1187 of 1196 Old 01-24-2006, 08:59 AM
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Considering that they've just flushed the weekend HD-PPV and HD-Porn revenue streams, anything is possible ... ;)
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post #1188 of 1196 Old 01-24-2006, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoBuck
...how could they turn OFF the signal to the other 42% of the markets, and the tens of thousands still watching HD that have the Phase III dish?
Good point. If MPEG4 locals aren't rolled out nationally, how could they force the AT9/5LNB dish on everybody, especially to NFLST Super Fan subs who aren't in an MPEG4 ready area.

I was debating getting the AT9 dish in the spring and pole mounting it, but if there isn't any new national HD programming and/or the NFLST doesn't move to MPEG4, then I will keep my current setup and roll with the H20 connected to the Phase III and my OTA antenna setup.

And I am most definetely one of those customers who has D* only because of my love of football and the NFLST.
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post #1189 of 1196 Old 01-24-2006, 09:40 AM
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Actually, since HD Sunday Ticket subs are a small subset of an already small subset of subscribers, it would make sense to transition them to MPEG4 early in the game. In other words, the number of ST-HD subs in a given area is probably significantly smaller than the number of potential HD-LiL customers. Thus, transitioning ST-HD customers to MPEG4 would be an easier task than fully converting a major market like NY or LA.

OTOH, this is probably a moot point until D10 and D11 are launched ... ;)
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post #1190 of 1196 Old 01-24-2006, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVChallenged
...Thus, transitioning ST-HD customers to MPEG4 would be an easier task than fully converting a major market like NY or LA.

OTOH, this is probably a moot point until D10 and D11 are launched ... ;)
That is why I was speculating that D* might use the NFLST Super Fan (HD) subs as the testers to get them all onto the new MPEG4 system. It can't be that big of a number of subs I wouldn't think.

Personally, as I mentioned, I hope the NFLST HD games stay on MPEG2 for the time being.
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post #1191 of 1196 Old 01-24-2006, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVChallenged
Actually, since HD Sunday Ticket subs are a small subset of an already small subset of subscribers, it would make sense to transition them to MPEG4 early in the game. In other words, the number of ST-HD subs in a given area is probably significantly smaller than the number of potential HD-LiL customers. Thus, transitioning ST-HD customers to MPEG4 would be an easier task than fully converting a major market like NY or LA.

OTOH, this is probably a moot point until D10 and D11 are launched ... ;)

well at least our opinions agree on one thing - its a moot point until D10 and 11 are operational.

I still don't think it makes sense also for this reason - there are only gonna be between 36 and 50 or so MPEG4 markets open by football season - the installers are not even gonna be trained in the other 150 or so markets at that point - how will they ever be able to arrange for AT9 installations in the small markets - do you think they would remove available HD programming from those subs? I for one don't. To me a better guess might be '07 season. If the past is any barometer, this whole roll-out is a good 6+ months behind what D* said it would be even early in '05. They aint gonna rush nothing, there's way too much to lose.

Plus - and think about this angle ----- Las Vegas (#51 DMA)is not on the current list for upgrade. How else can those casinos and sports books get all the NFL games without D*?
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post #1192 of 1196 Old 01-25-2006, 10:02 AM
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Yes it is an "interesting" logistical problem ... :)

As for the training issue ... anybody that can actually read and follow instructions (plus have the required meter) shouldn't have any problem installing the AT9. :D
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post #1193 of 1196 Old 01-25-2006, 01:31 PM
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The overwhelming majority of people do NOT do their own installs - maybe peeps like us will do them, but the general public NADA.

You can see by all the people who ask even the most basic questions regarding HD - people want the technology, however a very large majority have very little clue on the technical side - they rely on the experts.
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post #1194 of 1196 Old 01-26-2006, 05:08 PM
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I had no problem doing my self-install.

Rick

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"I hate words." "Words suck." "If I wanted to read, I'd go to school." Beavis & Butthead
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post #1195 of 1196 Old 01-26-2006, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVChallenged
Yes it is an "interesting" logistical problem ... :)

As for the training issue ... anybody that can actually read and follow instructions (plus have the required meter) shouldn't have any problem installing the AT9. :D
I guess that's why MASTEC has problems with their installs!

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post #1196 of 1196 Old 01-29-2006, 03:21 PM
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Please take all further related hardware discussion here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=501777

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