VOOM Opening Day - Press Release, Press Conference Link, Sears, etc. - AVS Forum
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Old 10-14-2003, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
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CABLEVISION'S RAINBOW DBS INTRODUCES "VOOM" -
NATION'S FIRST TELEVISION SERVICE DESIGNED TO MEET DEMAND OF GROWING, UNDERSERVED HDTV MARKET

VOOM to Offer 39 HD Channels;
Far More Than Any Other Satellite or Cable Provider

Exclusive VOOM Package of 21 HD Channels From Rainbow Media
Breaks New Ground With High-Definition Movies, Music, Sports,
News, Fashion, Arts, Lifestyles, Animation and More

VOOM to be Available at More Than 1,600 Sears Stores Nationwide; Charter
Members to Pay No Monthly Programming Fees During Initial Preview Period

JERICHO, N.Y., October 15, 2003 - Rainbow DBS, Cablevision Systems
Corporation's satellite division, today introduced VOOM, the first
television service to offer a comprehensive array of high-definition (HD)
programming to customers throughout the continental United States. During
an initial preview period, as the number of available channels continues to
expand, charter members will pay no monthly programming fees through January
2004.

VOOM will offer consumers far more HD programming than any other satellite
or cable service. Beginning now, VOOM will feature an exclusive VOOM
package of 21 commercial-free, 1080i channels created expressly to meet the
demand of today's rapidly growing but underserved HDTV audience. Customers
of VOOM will also receive several cable favorites such as the Disney
Channel, A&E, FX, AMC and more, as well as over-the-air digital local
broadcast channels delivered in standard definition (SD) and in HD where
available. By February 2004, with the addition of new channels, customers
will receive 39 HD channels and 88 standard-definition channels, including
more than 40 cable favorites.

In addition, Rainbow DBS has teamed with leading programming partners like
the NFL Network, Playboy, Discovery HD Theater and Starz! to offer consumers
premium movies, sports and entertainment channels in VOOM's exciting
high-definition environment.

Sears, one of the nation's leading retailers of HDTV sets, will make VOOM
available through 851 Sears full-line stores and 772 Sears dealers stores
across the country. Consumers can also order VOOM by calling 1-800-GET-VOOM
or visiting www.voom.com. Beginning February 2004, VOOM will be offered for
$39.90 a month.


VOOM Meets the Demands of an Exploding HDTV Market

Charles Dolan, Cablevision chairman, said: "VOOM will jumpstart the era of
HDTV. Beginning today, we are delivering far and away the widest selection
of high-definition programming available anywhere to meet the demands of a
growing but underserved HDTV market. Cablevision has always been first and
foremost a content company, with a strong history of program innovation -
and now with VOOM, we will expand content delivery to customers across the
country. Millions of consumers have already made substantial investments in
high-definition home entertainment centers, but this wonderful technology
has unfortunately been marginalized by a dearth of available programming.
We will fill that void by originating and aggregating more HD content than
any other satellite or cable service."

Mickey Alpert, Chief Operating Officer of Rainbow DBS, stated: "We designed
VOOM expressly for the more than 40 million consumers who are expected to
own HDTV sets within the next few years. We are staking claim in a new
market as the first company to provide an HD-centric programming service
that offers the greatest number of HD channels, along with an attractive
group of cable favorites and premium services in standard definition. We
have taken advantage of technology improvements in space by utilizing
Rainbow 1, one of the world's most advanced DBS satellites; and on the
ground, by providing Motorola MPEG-4 compatible receivers. Together, this
technology will allow us to deliver more HDTV channels at a lower cost than
any other service. In addition, we are joining forces with Sears, a
national retail leader in HDTV sales, to provide nationwide retail access to
our service. By combining great programs, technology and strategic partners,
VOOM will offer compelling value for HDTV owners."


More HD Channels Than Any Other Service

After the initial preview period, VOOM customers will receive 39 channels of
HD programming. The centerpiece of this compelling offering is an
integrated suite of 21 exclusive VOOM HD channels created by Rainbow Media
Holdings LLC. Rainbow Media is the Cablevision programming subsidiary that
launched such successful cable channels as AMC, IFC (The Independent Film
Channel), WE: Women's Entertainment, Fuse, News 12 and Bravo, which was
later sold to NBC.

Joshua Sapan, President & Chief Executive Officer, Rainbow Media Holdings
LLC, stated: "HDTV is poised to revolutionize the television viewing
experience for consumers, offering spectacular images, powerful sound
quality and the sense of immediacy not experienced on conventional
television. A fundamental ingredient of Rainbow DBS's high-definition
offerings will be our 21 VOOM HD exclusives - commercial-free channels that
deliver a wide range of programming content not found anywhere else. This
content builds on Rainbow Media's history of programming innovation,
industry leadership and proven success. The VOOM exclusives are an exciting
opportunity for us to provide compelling programming and to build a new
collection of channels specifically designed for this new television
platform and service."

The exclusive VOOM HD channels from Rainbow Media are:

* HD Cinema 10* - Ten different film channels that offer the largest
selection of HD movies available anywhere.
* Monsters - Scary movies taken to the next level by the power of
HDTV.
* Epics - A cinematic celebration of the silver screen with
magnificent stories and music, all about heroes, noble journeys and the
triumphant human spirit.
* World Sport - Close-up sports action from every corner of the globe,
including top world soccer leagues, pro-sailing and college football.
* Rush HD - Heart-pounding, in-your-face, extreme sports like
skydiving, snowboarding, surfing and skateboarding.
* Rave HD - All-music, all-the-time; plus concert performances by top
artists with incomparable resolution and audio clarity.
* Ultra HD - Direct from the fashion and food capitals of the world,
enjoy the hottest trends in what to wear, where to go and how to find the
best dining on the planet.
* Treasure HD - Capturing the amazing world of collectibles and
collectors, meet these eclectic personalities from the most knowledgeable to
the merely curious.
* Gallery HD - Exploring the world's greatest museums, art galleries
and architecture, with HD detail and clarity unseen anywhere else on
television.
* Animania - Big, bold fun for everyone in the family, featuring long
and short-form animation from award-winning festivals to popular cartoon
classics.
* News Bytes HD - Current news headlines, weather and sports, all in
HD, plus compelling feature stories and video essays.
* MOOV - Stunning motion-video with a continuous flow of unusual
images set to music, creating a new artistic medium uniquely suited for HD.


Partnerships With Leading Television Programmers

Rainbow DBS has formed partnerships with many of television's most popular
programmers. Part of that programming will be packaged as "PlusPacks",
which will roll out over the next few months and include premium services in
both HD and SD. VOOM customers will also receive more than 40 of their
favorite cable channels in standard definition. The lineup today includes
28 channels, and others are expected to be added in the next few months.


The SD channels available today are:

* ABC Family * A&E * AMC * Animal Planet * Biography * Court TV * CSPAN *
CSPAN 2 * Discovery Channel * Discovery Health * Disney Channel * E! * Fuse
* FX * The Game Show Network * Hallmark Channel * The History Channel *
IFC (The Independent Film Channel) * The Learning Channel * NFL Network *
Outdoor Life Network * Oxygen * Soapnet * Speed * Style * Travel Channel *
Toon Disney * WE: Women's Entertainment

In addition, with the included off-air antenna, VOOM customers will receive
over-the-air digital local broadcast channels in standard definition and in
HD where available.

Customers also have access to Pay-Per-View programming in HD, including
exclusive content from Playboy TV beginning in January.

To provide customers an even richer choice of entertainment, VOOM features
18 commercial-free, digital music channels from Music Choice - 24 hours of
every day. Consumers can choose from a broad selection of music genres,
including country, rock, classical, golden oldies and the latest hits, all
with dynamic digital sound.


VOOM Delivers a Compelling Value Proposition

VOOM's state-of-the-art technology and dynamic programming give customers
everything they need to enjoy the world of HDTV at an unmatched value,
without requiring a long-term commitment. After the initial preview period
through January for charter members, customers will pay $39.90 a month to
enjoy:

* 21 VOOM HD exclusives
* One HD PlusPack
* More than 40 cable favorites
* 18 digital music channels from Music Choice
* With the included off-air antenna, over-the-air digital local
broadcast channels in standard definition and in HD where available

Additional HD PlusPacks can be purchased for $14.90 per month each.
Customers also have access to Pay-Per-View programming in HD and Inside
VOOM, a customer information channel.

VOOM involves an initial one-time cost of $749.99, for which customers
receive a satellite dish, remote control, digital off-air antenna, and
next-generation set-top receiver that seamlessly integrates local signals
into one user-friendly program guide, specifically designed for the HD
format. In addition, customers will receive a full professional
installation and a two-year complete in-home service plan.

VOOM is Available at Sears Stores Nationwide

Beginning today, consumers across the continental United States can sign up
for Rainbow DBS at more than 1,600 Sears stores. The first national
retailer to display HD programming on its sales floor, Sears has doubled the
number of plasma and liquid crystal display (LCD) TV models it offers in
2003, and now carries 21 models from nine manufacturers.

Consumers can also sign up by calling 1-800-GET-VOOM or visiting
www.voom.com <http://www.voomhdtv.com>. During an initial preview period,
as new channels continue to be added to the service, charter members who
sign up between now and December 31, 2003 will pay no monthly programming
fees through January 31, 2004.


Leading-Edge Technology to Serve a Large and Growing Audience

Rainbow DBS's robust technology provides an unparalleled HDTV experience in
Dolby 5.1 sound, using the most advanced technology to provide and deliver
sharper images more efficiently than ever before. Its user-friendly,
on-screen program guide, specifically designed for the HD format, allows
customers to search easily and rapidly for the programming they want by
genre. Customers can also personalize the guide to display only the
channels they want to watch.

VOOM will also be the first service to take full advantage of the coming
MPEG-4 compression technology, which will double the available satellite
capacity. Because of the state-of-the-art Rainbow 1 satellite and
MPEG-4-capable set-top receivers developed with Motorola, Rainbow DBS will
be able to leverage the power of MPEG-4 without the legacy issues that will
face other providers who will have to upgrade or switch out current
equipment. MPEG-4 will be phased in over the next two years.

In addition to the partnership with Motorola, Rainbow DBS has teamed with
other technology partners to provide and maintain the systems and hardware
that make the VOOM experience possible. These include Lockheed Martin, NDS,
Open TV and Universal Remote.

Rainbow DBS has also partnered with a number of companies that share its
commitment to excellence including: for customer service and fulfillment,
Convergys, INSTALLS Inc. and Ozburn Hessey; and, for branding and virtual
marketing, IPG.


Rapid Growth Forecasted for Underserved HDTV Market

According to Forrester Research, as many as six million households will have
HDTV-compatible televisions by the end of 2003 - double the number of the
previous year. That figure is expected to double again by 2005 and,
according to analysts, by 2007, more than 40 million consumers will own HDTV
sets.

According to a recent study by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA):

* Consumers are overwhelmingly unaware of existing HDTV content - 71
percent of those surveyed said they were not very familiar or not at all
familiar with HDTV programming.
* Among potential HDTV purchasers, almost 30 percent of those surveyed
cited lack of HDTV content as an inhibitor to purchasing an HDTV set.
* An even larger percentage of consumers surveyed lack basic
information about how to receive the full benefits of HD programming:
o 74 percent of consumers were unaware that they need
a set-top box to view HD programming; and
o 54 percent weren't aware that owning HDTV hardware
would enable them to view programs in HD only if the programs were broadcast
in HD.


About VOOM and Rainbow DBS
VOOM is the first and most complete service of high-definition programming
for the rapidly expanding home entertainment market. By February 2004, VOOM
will offer 39 premium high-definition channels to consumers across the
continental United States, including an exclusive VOOM package of 21
brand-new, commercial-free channels such as WorldSport, Epics and Animania.
VOOM is provided by Rainbow DBS, the satellite services division of
Cablevision Systems Corporation. Consumers may purchase the VOOM equipment
and sign up for the service through local Sears retailers, by calling
1-800-GETVOOM, or by visiting www.voom.com.
This press release contains statements that constitute forward-looking
statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform
Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking
statements are not guarantees of future performance or results and involve
risks and uncertainties, and that actual results or developments may differ
materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of
various factors, including financial community and rating agency perceptions
of the company and its business, operations, financial condition and the
industry in which it operates and the factors described in the company's
filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the sections
entitled "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of
Financial Condition and Results of Operations" contained therein. The
company disclaims any obligation to update the forward-looking statements
contained herein.

# # #


Audio Replay of VOOM 10/15/03 Press Conference Thanks to AVS member higgins for the link.

VOOM Viewers Guide Thanks to AVS member Robert Packman for the link.
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Old 10-15-2003, 01:32 AM
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How do you know this pjwinstalls? My local Sears - San Bernardino California - says they don't evben have the equipment yet. This is as of Tuesday night. They did however have the brochures and cardboard display.

"Don't forget that a significant contribution made by the use of high-end cabling is emotional. Knowing that you have the best available causes the listening and viewing to be that much more enjoyable. Observable improvements make it even better."

-From a post on the audio video improvements forum
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Old 10-15-2003, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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In reply to questions about the receivers:

cablevision did not want them working until yesterday. They were still uploading new software to the bird
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Old 10-15-2003, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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I am a Voom Installer. Cablevision had workorders sent to all installers to have every sears in the country activated yesterday.
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Old 10-15-2003, 09:00 AM
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My local Sears stated that they would be showing a DVD which "featured" all the channels and programming available. Of course, until one sees an actual signal, impossible to evaluate pq.
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Old 10-15-2003, 09:12 AM
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In 30 minutes, i will go down to Sears and check it out...... See whats up with VOOM....... i will be back with the findings.....

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Old 10-15-2003, 09:52 AM
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Those of us who see Voom at their local Sears store, please post your impressions of Voom, please take pictures, too.
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Old 10-15-2003, 09:54 AM
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I went to my local Sears on Sunday afternoon and they has the display and the VOOM box. The picture on that set along with all the other HDTV's was the ESPN-HD feed which as we all know is stretched, there was no HD programming at that time. No wonder people aren't impressed with HDTV.

Rick
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Old 10-15-2003, 09:59 AM
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I just called my local Sears. They confirmed that it is up and running. I'll be heading there over my lunch hour to check it out.
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:08 AM
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Just spoke with a Voom rep, I have been told that, as of this morning, they had 24 DTV channels and 21 HDTV ones signed including HD Discovery. They do not seem to be well organized and as one could have expected, they are currently working to finalize some aggrements including ESPN HD and HBO HD.
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:12 AM
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I just don't understand this. In the brochure I got at Sears it said INHD. You mean to tell me they don't have that channel, either.

Scott
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:12 AM
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Well, most people here won't have VOOM until the 22nd, as those are the earliest install dates I have heard anybody getting. Perhaps they will have them by then.
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:28 AM
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Scott,
When I asked the rep for the different non prop HD channels, she only mentioned HD Discovery.

Wait and see (as usual)
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:31 AM
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I went to the Sears in Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg Maryland.

VoOm had a set up on a TV. It was all cardboard marketing material, but no VoOm hardware. The TV itself (encircled with VoOm cardboards stuff) was showing the Dish Network HDTV channel.

I was able to obtain a few brochures.

Going to sign up for Dish Network? PM me for a ClubDish referral number that will give you a $50 credit on your first bill.
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:34 AM
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Any pictures, I'll take anything....
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:35 AM
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Well, it is their first day. I would give them at least a week before I start burning crosses in their yard demanding more HDTV content.
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:37 AM
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Yes, but it takes awhile to start a fire............
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:40 AM
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I went to my local Sears store at the Oakland Mall in Michigan today at lunch. They had Voom working!

My initial impression is it is OK, but I am not ready to make the switch from DirecTV just yet. Most of the channels had a guy talking about VOOM, and this was obviously pre-recorded. The picture quality of this was pretty good. I couldn't really complain. They had a few other HD channels working, and on the live channels (and even some demo material) it was very obvious to me that the signal was heavily compressed. You could see the little squares for the MPEG-2 encoding and fine details were mostly lost or smeared.

Regarding the 40+ "cable" channels, they did not include my favorites: USA, TBS, SciFi, TNT, Disney, Nickelodeon, TVland (as far as I remember none of those were there). None of the 40+ channels were working yet, but I could see them in the guide. EDIT: My brochure says they have TNT and Disney. EDIT2: According to other info they do not have TNT or Disney.

If I was to hop on the VOOM bandwagon, I would have to also have cable or keep DirecTV for the regular channels.

Mike
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:48 AM
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Neat. Great post timing. Thanks.

I just signed on to ask in the other Voom threads if most of the Sears stores were up and running with the demos because I was going to drive up to the Oakland Mall and get one of those poisonous Cinnebuns and look for a Sears Voom demo.

Guess I'll go look. I use WOW for my broadband Internet service and they add extended basic analog service for a song anyway. So I don't care about the non-HDTV channels much. Otherwise a lack of SciFi would probably kill the deal for me.

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Old 10-15-2003, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by trbarry
I use WOW for my broadband Internet service and they add extended basic analog service for a song anyway. . . . a lack of SciFi would probably kill the deal for me.
Same here! That is why I considered cable even though it stinks compared to DirecTV. They definitely did not have SciFi because I specifically looked for it.
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Old 10-15-2003, 11:02 AM
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I am headed to the local sears too. I called, I asked if it was a demo DVD and they said its running the demo from the sat. I will post when I return.

Quick Reference of Forum Rules
1) Do Not post pricing you found on-line or at a local dealer UNLESS IN A DEALS THREAD.
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Old 10-15-2003, 11:09 AM
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Update from Jersey City,NJ:

Nothing... the guy said maybe next month they will show something. They are completely clueless.

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Old 10-15-2003, 11:17 AM
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VOOM website is updated with channels and packages.

Greg
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Old 10-15-2003, 11:22 AM
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It looks like a lot of false hype - no mention of HBO, cinemax, Starz etc. Half of the stuff in the brochure isn't even listed on the site. I bet VOOM people who spent 800 bucks are already calling do cancel. I guess this is how cablevision does business.
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Old 10-15-2003, 11:23 AM
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Repost....

According to the web site (under See It -> Programming -> Cable Favorites):
Quote:
18 Cable Favorites available 10/15/03 with more to come.

A&E
Hallmark
Animal Planet
AMC
Biography Channel
Discovery Health
CSPAN-2
Discovery
IFC
The History Channel
Court TV
TLC
E
Travel Channel
Fuse
WE
Style
Under See It -> Packages -> VOOM HDTV exclusives, they indicate 40 cable favorites will be up by 2/01/04.

Examples of the films showing on their exclusive movie channels (evidently, looped over and over):

Clockwork Orange
The Bounty
Hair
High Society
Long Goodbye
Rocky 5
Russia House
The Song Remains the Same
State of Grace
Usual Suspects
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Old 10-15-2003, 11:32 AM
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I stopped at Sears over lunch. It was pretty much what I expected. Quality was ok, not great not terrible. It was hard to get a good impression. They had a Dish Network feed of Discovery HD right next to the TV where Voom was. Sometimes Dish was better, sometimes Voom was better. (I couldn't get Discovery HD on Voom, so I was looking at different stations.) Bad news was that the receiver locked up twice on me, and we had to turn it off. They also still didn't have all the channels working. A lot of them were showing the same thing (Voom overview). I also only had about 15 minutes to play around, and the TV with Voom on it had some nasty reflections. I'll have to see how it looks on my FP setup at home next week.

Not what I was hoping for, but still not enough to make me want to cancel my installation next week.

PS: as expected the Sears employee new very little.
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Old 10-15-2003, 11:33 AM
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I stopped at Sears over lunch. It was pretty much what I expected. Quality was ok, not great not terrible. It was hard to get a good impression. They had a Dish Network feed of Discovery HD right next to the TV where Voom was. Sometimes Dish was better, sometimes Voom was better. (I couldn't get Discovery HD on Voom, so I was looking at different stations.) Bad news was that the receiver locked up twice on me, and we had to turn it off. They also still didn't have all the channels working. A lot of them were showing the same thing (Voom overview). I also only had about 15 minutes to play around, and the TV with Voom on it had some nasty reflections. I'll have to see how it looks on my FP setup at home next week.

Not what I was hoping for, but still not enough to make me want to cancel my installation next week.

PS: as expected the Sears employee new very little.
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Old 10-15-2003, 11:41 AM
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Hey Innova does your name have anything to do with disc golf? Sorry if you have been asked that 300 times?
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Old 10-15-2003, 11:43 AM
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I've been asked it about 10 times :)

Nope, nothing to do with it.
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Old 10-15-2003, 11:57 AM
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They better have The Food network or i'm cancelling!!!!!!!!!
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