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post #1 of 438 Old 06-21-2007, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Cablevision Adds Voom, Eyes 500 HD Channels

Cable Operator Aims at DirecTV with Addition of Voom HD Networks

By Mike Farrell -- Multichannel News, 6/21/2007 11:14:00 AM

Cablevision Systems said Thursday that it reached a deal with its Voom HD Networks unit to provide 15 of its HD channels to Cablevision's iO: Interactive Optimum digital customers June 26, boosting its HD lineup to 40 channels.

The company also said that by the end of the year, Cablevision will have the capacity to carry as many as 500 HD channels over its fiber-optic network -- a clear response to direct-broadcast satellite giant DirecTV's claims that it will soon have 150 HD channels, more than three times the capacity of most cable operators.

In a prepared statement, Cablevision said it reached an agreement with Voom -- part of its Rainbow Media Holdings programming unit -- to carry HD feeds such as HD News, Monsters HD (horror movies), Rush HD (adventure sports), WorldSport HD (live sports coverage from around the world), Family Room HD (family-friendly movies, series and specials), King Fu HD (martial arts) and World Cinema HD (award-winning movies from around the globe.

The Voom package will be part of Cablevision's free HD service. According to the cable operator, it has deployed more than 1 million HD set-top boxes to customers, and it had 734,000 HD customers as of March 31 -- an 85% increase in HD customers over the previous year.

The Voom networks are already available on EchoStar Communications' Dish Network HD offering. While Voom is being offered to other cable operators, as well, Cablevision and EchoStar are its only current customers.

This could change, Rainbow CEO Josh Sapan said in an interview.

I think this [deal] is an indication that Voom is a sensible product for the time, Sapan said.

Voom, the brainchild of Cablevision founder and chairman Charles Dolan, was the source of some friction between Dolan and his son, Cablevision CEO James Dolan, in 2005. After a contentious battle, the Dolans agreed to sell Voom's satellite to EchoStar that year, scrapping its plans to launch its own separate HD satellite service and offer its programming to cable and satellite operators.

http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6454390.html

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post #2 of 438 Old 06-21-2007, 09:16 AM
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Easy way for Comcast and other cablecos to boost their channel totals for HD. Let's hope they bite, if offered.

Having left VOOM (or VOOM leaving me) for Comcast, it'd be nice to have some of that programming back w/o switching to E* (and lose the things I like about Comcast).

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post #3 of 438 Old 06-21-2007, 09:30 AM
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Simple question...how does Cablevision magically have the capacity to offer this many channels???? In certain areas? Everywhere that "Io" HD is already available??
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post #4 of 438 Old 06-21-2007, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perilous View Post

Simple question...how does Cablevision magically have the capacity to offer this many channels???? In certain areas? Everywhere that "Io" HD is already available??

Good question. First, it is easy to claim 500 HD channel capacity when you know that there won't be anywhere close to 500 HD channels available for years. Maybe 50+ national HD channels by the end of the year (depending on how many HD channels HBO, Starz, Showtime, Discovery with all their multiple channels start up his fall). Maybe we should have a pool on who will the first service provider to claim they have the capacity for 1000 HD channels (knowing that it is total BS)? Got to give D* credit, they have really stirred things up on the HD front.

Where does the capacity come from? SDV? Shutting down analog channels? Compressing the heck out of the HD channels? All of the above? How many analog channels does CableVision have in their current line-ups?

So if Cablevision is getting Voom, how about Verizon Fios? They have the capacity, so I hope this motivates them to add the Voom channels, even if it is on a separate tier.
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post #5 of 438 Old 06-21-2007, 10:12 AM
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Great...just more programming (in addition to HDNet movies) that Comcast will not provide. Right now, we don't even have the "No HD content" channels (such as A&E-HD), though I'm sure that's what they'll offer before Comcast subscribers will ever see any of this.)
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post #6 of 438 Old 06-21-2007, 10:18 AM
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This will put FIOS on high alert...it better!
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post #7 of 438 Old 06-21-2007, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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But the cable operator added that it will have the "capacity" to offer up to 500 HD channels by year's end by using a new technology called Switch Digital Video.

The SDV system, which is expected to be deployed by other cable operators later this year, saves system space by only transmitting a channel when a viewer requests it.

http://www.tvpredictions.com/cablevision062107.htm

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post #8 of 438 Old 06-21-2007, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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The press release:

June 21, 2007 11:26 AM Eastern Daylight Time

Rainbow Media's VOOM HD Networks to be Carried on Cablevision

VOOM's 15 High Quality, High Definition Niche Channels Provide an Immediate and Significant Increase in MSO's Consumer HD Offering

JERICHO, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cablevision will now carry Rainbow Media's fifteen channel suite of VOOM HD Networks, it was announced today by Joshua Sapan, Rainbow President and Chief Executive Officer. The VOOM HD Networks will be available to Cablevision subscribers beginning July 1, 2007.

Cablevision's addition of the fifteen VOOM channels to its HD lineup reinforces our long held view that consumer demand for more and better HD programming offers MSOs a compelling business opportunity, said Sapan. Cablevision continues to lead the industry with its vision and its products, and they have recognized that VOOM provides a compelling opportunity to respond to consumer demand with a quality product designed to appeal to a wide breadth of interests.

We believe that consumers with new HDTV sets consistently look for programming of interest in HD before they settle for SD programming. This has far-reaching implications for the television business in general, but it offers the cable industry an incredible and timely opportunity to respond quickly and competitively to the shifts in the marketplace.

Cablevision subscribers will now be able to watch the VOOM HD Networks (www.voom.com), television's largest and most diverse suite of high-definition channels. Fifteen commercial-free, wide-screen channels, all delivered in true 1080i HD and 5.1 Dolby Ditigal surround sound, VOOM offers an extraordinary breadth of movies, sports, fashion, music, travel, lifestyle and adventure programming.

VOOM HD Networks' robust suite of 15 channels provides an HD tier that hits both a multi-cultural audience and a multi-generational household. The programming offers something for everyone in the family crossing a broad spectrum of content. With the expectation of the growing population of HDTV households, VOOM fills a void in the marketplace for the shortage of high-caliber HD programming in the home.

VOOM's original programming has been building an audience and gaining popularity. From the star studded VOOM Robert Wilson Portraits, which attracted some of today's biggest stars, to the current high- definition documentation of an historic Mount Everest expedition, VOOM offers a wide variety of compelling original programming for every interest with stunning, eye-popping HD clarity.

Recent VOOM programming highlights include the VOOM PORTRAITS BY ROBERT WILSON, an artistic venture of over 30 high-definition video portraits, created by the celebrated theater icon and visual artist Robert Wilson. Gallery HD will feature the works as well as a behind the scenes documentary on air in October. The PORTRAITS feature celebrity subjects including Brad Pitt, Winona Ryder, Johnny Depp, Monaco's Princess Caroline of Hanover, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Robin Wright Penn, Juliette Binoche, Isabelle Huppert, Isabella Rossellini, Jeanne Moreau, Steve Buscemi, Alan Cumming and Willem Dafoe.

Coming in 2008, VOOM HD Networks and British production company, Altitude Films will debut The Altitude Everest Expedition 2007, a major multi-platform documentary film that follows a team of the world's leading high altitude climbers as they retrace the last steps of British climbing legend George Mallory on Mount Everest. Globally, VOOM and Altitude launched ueverest.com, an online portal that allows audience is able to follow the progress of the expedition on a fully interactive web portal, to be launched earlier this month

http://home.businesswire.com/portal/...71&newsLang=en

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post #9 of 438 Old 06-21-2007, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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The Magic SDV Number: Cablevision VP of technology Bob Clyne, also speaking on the SDV panel, described how the MSO selected its core group of channels to switch. Cablevision polled usage data from 4,000 set-top boxes for 24 hours per day, for four weeks, to discover which were the least-watched channels.

What Clyne and his team found: Over every 24-hour period, the same 92 channels on the network were viewed by no more than 52 people. If there's a magic number for us, it's 52, he said.

http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6454471.html

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post #10 of 438 Old 06-21-2007, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perilous View Post

Simple question...how does Cablevision magically have the capacity to offer this many channels???? In certain areas? Everywhere that "Io" HD is already available??

They haven't said if VOOM will be SDV or not but earlier announcements said they would be ready to use SDV for HD by then end of this year. Recently they announced that they were moving MLBEI to SDV and are making two analog channels digital only tomorrow. Don't know if that was enough to add these 15 HD channels without SDV. iO is available to all of CV's service area which is only in the New York Metro area. Currently 25% of their 3 million subs have HDTV's and 80% of their subs have upgraded to digital cable.
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post #11 of 438 Old 06-21-2007, 11:40 AM
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Quote:


Quote:
The Magic SDV Number: Cablevision VP of technology Bob Clyne, also speaking on the SDV panel, described how the MSO selected its core group of channels to switch. Cablevision polled usage data from 4,000 set-top boxes for 24 hours per day, for four weeks, to discover which were the least-watched channels.

What Clyne and his team found: Over every 24-hour period, the same 92 channels on the network were viewed by no more than 52 people. If there's a magic number for us, it's 52, he said.

Can someone interpret what he means by the same 92 channels and 52 people? Is he saying that 92 channels out of X? were watched only by 52 out of 4000 STBs over a four week period? If so, I wonder what were the 92 channels?

I can see a new game for high school students or hacker groups within a community to play. Everyone agrees to watch an different assigned channel at the same time on their cable provider. Get 50? people in a community all each watching a different less watched channel on each STB at the same time to see if they can crash the system.
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post #12 of 438 Old 06-21-2007, 01:11 PM
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I assume they set the threshold of 52 people out of 4000 (1.3%) - then monitored which channels never had more than 52 viewers at any time (24/7) for four weeks. 92 channels fell into that category. I'd guess that threshold was actually established after they had the data and saw where the significant dropoff point was.

If Cablevision weren't pro-alacarte, something tells me they wouldn't release that little tidbit.
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post #13 of 438 Old 06-21-2007, 01:53 PM
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It would be nice if FiOS would add these channels, they certainly have the bandwidth. At least we will be getting MOJO soon (yawn).
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post #14 of 438 Old 06-21-2007, 02:29 PM
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Nice, Voom is no longer exclusive to E* anymore. Hopefully, cable systems will pick those up too, it looks the providers are scrambling to match the challenge the D* has put forth. Interesting..............

True HD shouldn't be an option, but a way of life.
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post #15 of 438 Old 06-21-2007, 03:43 PM
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I keep hearing this provider or that provider talk about *hundreds* of HD channels, just around the corner. What are they going to show??? It doesn't seem like there's that much HD content being produced. Also, I constantly hear people complain about HD lite and such, it's sound like many providers are squeezing/multicasting or whatever just to get by with their available bandwidth...so what's about to suddenly happen that's going to give them more multiple times the amount of bandwidth they currently have? None of this adds up. It would make more sense if they said they were going to increase HD content 20% per year,but not hundreds.
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post #16 of 438 Old 06-21-2007, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by cavalierlwt View Post

...Also, I constantly hear people complain about HD lite and such, it's sound like many providers are squeezing/multicasting or whatever just to get by with their available bandwidth...so what's about to suddenly happen that's going to give them more multiple times the amount of bandwidth they currently have? None of this adds up. It would make more sense if they said they were going to increase HD content 20% per year,but not hundreds.

Cablevision hasn't stated whether these 15 Voom channels will use the Switched Digital Video method when they are added to their lineup. If they do use SDV though, it won't affect the picture quality of those channels since its not a compression or multicasting method. It increases capacity on the network by using a more efficient system of streaming channels to the set-top box in the home. The possible downside to this is that certain channels can then only be tuned using a set-top box from the cable company, not by using a CableCard equipped tuner like those in an HDTV or a Tivo S3.

Since Cablevision has been granted a two year delay to the July 1 implementation of CableCard equipped set-top boxes, they probably won't be worried about adding SDV channels to their lineup.
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post #17 of 438 Old 06-21-2007, 06:27 PM
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CV's official release:

CABLEVISION EXTENDS LEADERSHIP POSITION IN DELIVERY OF HIGH-DEFINITION PROGRAMMING WITH ADDITION OF 15 VOOM HD NETWORKS

Significant Expansion To 40 High-Definition Programming Services Make Cablevision's iO® Digital Cable Product The Nation's Leading Source Of HD, Company Announces Capability To Carry More Than 500 HD Channels This Year

Bethpage, NY, June 21, 2007 - Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) today announced that it will add 15 new high-definition channels from VOOM HD Networks, beginning June 26. The additions will bring Cablevision's iO digital cable customers a total of 40 HD programming services - the most HD available anywhere in the nation, from any provider. The company also announced that by the end of this year it will have the capability to carry more than 500 channels of HD programming on its advanced fiber optic network.

In addition to the best HD picture and sound, iO customers receive HD channels without the fees and charges Cablevision's competitors require customers to pay for HD, and without the compression satellite providers use to deliver HD programming. Cablevision was the first provider in the nation to launch HD video on demand, and is still the only source of HD VOD within its service area. VOOM's 15 high-definition channels will become available to iO customers beginning next week and will be fully deployed across the company's entire service area by June 28. The channels will be located with Cablevision's other high-definition programming starting on channel 700.

"Satellite and phone company TV providers continue to talk about their plans for HD, but Cablevision is actually doing something about it, by delivering more high-definition programming to our customers than anyone else, including the most local sports in HD, without the extra fees our competitors charge for HD. In fact, iO is the only choice for New York-area fans who want to see all of the HD games of all nine area professional sports teams," said John Trierweiler, Cablevision's senior vice president of product management.

"The VOOM channels represent the pinnacle of high-definition and we are pleased to extend our leadership position in this important category through the introduction of these exciting services," Trierweiler continued. "While we carry the most HD channels today, by the end of the year Cablevision will have the capacity to launch more than 500 HD channels on its advanced fiber optic network."

VOOM HD Networks (www.voom.com), offer television's largest and most diverse suite of high-definition channels. Fifteen commercial-free, wide-screen channels, all delivered in true 1080i HD and 5.1 Dolby® Digital surround sound, VOOM offers an extraordinary breadth of movies, sports, music and original programming.

The VOOM 15 includes:


HDNews - The only HD source for 24/7 news, sports and weather, HDNews offers news headlines, sports highlights, in-depth features and national weather reports supported by five news bureaus across the nation.

Equator HD - The first high-definition channel dedicated to exploring the world's most intriguing people and amazing places with intelligent programs about global adventure and green living.

Gallery HD - Stunning imagery and stories from the front line of the art world. Gallery HD is the first and only HD channel that defines the most talked-about artists of today and tomorrow.

Rush HD - Life on the edge with adrenaline junkies of adventure sports.

Rave HD - Live music as a whole new experience in crystal clear HD and 5.1 surround sound.

Ultra HD - The hottest fashion, the coolest styles and insight into the 'luxe' life from around the world. Ultra HD delivers coverage of the fashion industry's hottest events, shopping, cuisine and interior design.

Animania HD - Eye-popping HD animation from the groundbreaking to the classic.

Monsters HD - The masters of movie horror in terrifying HD clarity.

Gameplay HD - Enter the virtual worlds of video gaming for the first time in HD.

Treasure HD - A channel dedicated to pursuing stories about people and their passions. Original, innovative, entertaining, it's a high-definition look at what people treasure in life, from antiques to adventures.

Worldsport HD - Live sports coverage from premier arenas around the globe.

Family Room HD - Movies, series and specials suitable for the whole family.

Film Fest HD - A non-stop film festival for movie fans, remastered in HD.

Kung Fu HD - All martial arts action, all the time. From Bruce Lee to Jet Li, all in HD.

World Cinema HD - Award-winning and top-performing movies without borders, featuring award-wining movies and stars from around the globe.

Cablevision customers have demonstrated a growing appetite for the best in HD content. The company has deployed more than 1 million high-definition set-top boxes to customers, and had 734,000 HD customers as of March 31 - an 85 percent increase in HD customers over the previous year. The company's current HD line-up includes a diverse mix of local broadcast stations, premium movie channels, established cable networks and an unbeatable array of sports programming, featuring more local sports in HD than any other provider.

iO customers today enjoy access to the following services in high-definition: CBS HD, NBC HD, FOX HD, ABC HD, My9 HD, CW 11 HD, Thirteen HD (PBS), MSG HD, FSN NY HD, YES HD, SportsNet New York HD, ESPN HD, VERSUS HD, The Golf Channel HD, National Geographic Channel HD, Discovery HD Theatre, TNT HD, Universal HD, MOJO, Starz HD, HBO HD, Showtime HD, Cinemax HD, The Movie Channel HD, and high definition video on demand (VOD).

For iO customers with high-definition television sets, Cablevision offers HD-capable converter boxes at no additional cost over the standard box rental fee, unlike competitors who assess additional equipment and/or service charges in order to see HD programming. In addition, high-definition feeds of premium movie networks are available to all customers who subscribe to the standard-definition version of the networks. High-definition video on demand movie titles are available anytime for $4.95 each, which includes full control over the viewing experience with the ability to pause, fast-forward and rewind.

About Cablevision
Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC) is one of the nation's leading entertainment and telecommunications companies. Its cable television operations serve more than 3 million households in the New York metropolitan area. The company's advanced telecommunications offerings include its iO: Interactive Optimum® digital television, Optimum Online high-speed Internet, Optimum Voice digital voice-over-cable, and its Optimum Lightpath integrated business communications services. Cablevision's Rainbow Media Holdings LLC operates several successful programming businesses, including AMC, IFC, WE tv and other national and regional networks. In addition to its telecommunications and programming businesses, Cablevision owns Madison Square Garden and its sports teams, the New York Knicks, Rangers and Liberty. The company also operates New York's famed Radio City Music Hall, and owns and operates Clearview Cinemas.

http://www.cablevision.com/index.jhtml?id=2007_06_21
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post #18 of 438 Old 06-21-2007, 07:42 PM
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It took them long enough. Although I can't help but wonder what the pq for the other HD channels will be. It seems the bandwith on CV is always on the brink. Still waiting for HDNet and ESPN2 though. These channels weren't a huge priority for me but it's nice to see them add these channels finally. Afterall, they do own and operate them.
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post #19 of 438 Old 06-22-2007, 03:03 AM
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"The VOOM channels represent the pinnacle of high-definition "

forgive me but 1280x1080 is not the de-facto "pinnacle". unless they have plans for 1920x1080 broadcast it's D* on cable.
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post #20 of 438 Old 06-22-2007, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by pjayz View Post

"The VOOM channels represent the pinnacle of high-definition "

forgive me but 1280x1080 is not the de-facto "pinnacle". unless they have plans for 1920x1080 broadcast it's D* on cable.

1280x1080 may be a E*-specific resolution (CV will be VOOM's first cable-company carrier, so we will see). However, the fact that they are specifically stating that they will use SDV to free up spectrum for VOOM (and that VOOM will be part of their existing free-but-tiered HD service) could mean that it will be semi-switched (available, but only to customers with HD STBs or CableCARDs). What is more telling is that it is *Cablevision* that is carrying VOOM, not any other non-satellite carrier (and particularly not VZ FIOS TV, which is in a heated battle for subscribers with, among others, Cablevision). Even more surprising is that CV will *not* be charging subscribers any extra money for VOOM (instead, VOOM's channels are being added to the existing free basic HD tier); why would Rainbow Media Holdings (which sells distribution rights to VOOM) basically cut their own throats with such a low-ball (even if it is region-specific) deal, as opposed to a larger national deal (with VZ, Comcast, or TWC, all of which have expressed interest in carrying VOOM's programming). If I were VZ, I would be screaming "Blue Bloody Murder!" as loudly as I can, and right now, at both the FCC and Congress; this deal smacks of the same sort of tactics that landed Comcast in hot water (with regards to CSN Philadelphia) but on a much larger scale (while CV and RMN are under separate ownership groups, the timing of this deal and its structure indicates otherwise).
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post #21 of 438 Old 06-22-2007, 06:34 AM
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Wow, Charlie will be eating crow if these channels show up full rez (1920x1080) on other providers. From what I recall, when cornered he has always insisted that the V* channels are delivered to E* in HD-Lite.

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post #22 of 438 Old 06-23-2007, 06:27 AM
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This is a nice and all, but WHERE IS MY ESPN2HD?? That is all I really want them to add.

The Mole is here.
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post #23 of 438 Old 06-23-2007, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Slickone View Post

Nice, Voom is no longer exclusive to E* anymore. Hopefully, cable systems will pick those up too, it looks the providers are scrambling to match the challenge the D* has put forth. Interesting..............

Funny how D* issues challenges without the infrastructure in the sky nor one single additional national HD channel nor one single true existing HD channel. Nothing but watered down crap and the least amount of HD channels I can find. All the while proclaiming thier PQ the best and their HD selections more than anyone elses.
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post #24 of 438 Old 06-23-2007, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by BoSoxMole View Post

This is a nice and all, but WHERE IS MY ESPN2HD?? That is all I really want them to add.

15 new HD channels at once is great but ESPN2HD & BBC America included too would be even better....... Wake up CV!!
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post #25 of 438 Old 06-23-2007, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by vurbano View Post

Funny how D* issues challenges without the infrastructure in the sky nor one single additional national HD channel nor one single true existing HD channel. Nothing but watered down crap and the least amount of HD channels I can find. All the while proclaiming thier PQ the best and their HD selections more than anyone elses.

The challenge was for # of HD channels, not for best resolution. if that's the case, D* loses hands down.

True HD shouldn't be an option, but a way of life.
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post #26 of 438 Old 06-23-2007, 01:26 PM
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A Senior CV official on another forum has said that the VOOM channels will not use Switched Video at this time. So I guess they freed up enough space by moving the subscription sports packages to SDV and converting two analog channels to digital only.
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post #27 of 438 Old 06-24-2007, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vurbano View Post

Funny how D* issues challenges without the infrastructure in the sky nor one single additional national HD channel nor one single true existing HD channel. Nothing but watered down crap and the least amount of HD channels I can find. All the while proclaiming thier PQ the best and their HD selections more than anyone elses.

AGREED!! I added CV HD a couple of months ago so I could FINALLY see local sports in HD (Rangers hockey on MSG)-- plus as a bonus I get channels 9, 11 and 13 (PBS) in HD, etc., etc. Plus, I forgot how good Music Choice was!! The picture is better on CV vs. HD-LITE on D*TV too (side by side comparisons on Mits 65' Diamond)!!! I still have D*TV and am still WAITING, WAITING and WAITING for a delivery of over 2 years of "promises".....
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post #28 of 438 Old 06-25-2007, 10:27 AM
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Ok. Here are two things that might explain things, if not, make them more confusing. I work for VOOMHD, have for almost 2 years, in the promotional department as a freelancer and we here at VOOMHD take all technical HD issues very seriously.

1] Everything we do here, I mean everything, ends on Sony HDCAM at 1920x1080. If the material started as HDV, SD or other non (1920x1080) HDCAM 1080i format, then it either gets resized using a Teranex upscaler, or we will use the material in its best resolution and then matte it (i.e., letterbox it on the sides) so that the maximum possible resolution is preserved. The editing and compositing suites all run at 1920x1080 and all pre-built materials are also created at 1920x1080. So if you are getting less than 1920x1080, it is not coming from VOOM that way, it is being manipulated at the satellite end or at another place, but it is not coming out of VOOM's facility at any other resolution than 1920x1080.

2] My understanding about how CV can deliver all the HD channels through existing lines of coax wires when it could not do it before has to do with "node technology". Essentially, nodes are created at key areas of CV distribution, so instead of delivering all of the channels via coaxial cable all of the time to each cable box, your cable box really "calls for" access to whatever channel you want to be tuned to from one of the nodes. You should see no difference in changing channels, but the distribution of the channels to you by CV is very different.

No, I do not work for the Marketing department at VOOM HD, and I am not even subscribed to the service because I could not get Echostar where I live, but now I will by subscribing to CV so I can at least be able to see the work I do at my home.

Hope this helps...

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post #29 of 438 Old 06-25-2007, 01:58 PM
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I noticed in the promo for Monsters HD on their website, as part of a montage, a brief clip of the Creature from the Black Lagoon from the Monster Squad. I certainly hope that's on sometime soon. One of the few things I'd keep on my DVR permanently.
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post #30 of 438 Old 06-25-2007, 02:01 PM
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premierm, do you have any info if Voom will ever show up on D*?
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