DISH to make 5000 obsolete for Sat HD ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-12-2001, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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http://www.broadcom.com/cgi-bin/pr/p...pr_id=PR010620

Rather than two HD signals per transponder this new development allows DISH to squeeze three HD signals on the same transponder with no degradation in picture quality or link budget. The only problem is that we will all have to upgrade our 6000's (according to Mark Jackson) and the 5000 's (I think) will be rendered obsolete, unable to receive this new format because the demod cannot be upgraded.

The Broadcom breakthrough centers on using 8psk instead of QPSK modulation and a higher level of error correction (turbo FEC).
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-12-2001, 11:21 AM
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Technology moves on and anything that increases the effective bandwidth is good, right? I'm sure that Dish wouldn't just make the 5000's useless O/N, and I bet they'd wait until their are other recording options available (Dish PVR, etc) to switch over since they are well aware that some folks are recording off the 5000.

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post #3 of 10 Old 08-12-2001, 12:40 PM
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This is interesting news. But a 35% gain in bandwidth isn't terribly compelling, when you consider that they would want to apply the new modulation scheme to all their channels to get the maximum benefit, not just HD. That means 6 million obsolete Echostar boxes.
Dish and DTV will probably continue to push the MPEG encoder technology at the uplink facilities to add the channels people want.

Almost any engineering problem that is re-examined in the light of newer technology and different people can be 'improved' by 15-20%, often more. 'Improvement' could mean power consumption, bandwidth utilization, silicon area, etc. I'm sure DTV and Dish are re-examining MPEG encoders all the time.

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post #4 of 10 Old 08-12-2001, 10:52 PM
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No where does it say it will be used and in what products. They only it is "applicable" to receivers like the 6000.

My translation between the lines:
Broadcom designed a chip. The went to Echostar and said " can you use this". echostar said "sure, give us a few samples to play this". But placing this into a product and revamping the transmission scheme would take a very agressive year most likely two to three.

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post #5 of 10 Old 08-13-2001, 05:40 AM
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Interesting, however if the upgrade requires an upgrade slot, will this be replacing the 8VSB tuner module or the current unused slot destined for DVI or firewire (my assumption)? Probably the latter which would preclude the use of a future proof digital output interface....

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post #6 of 10 Old 08-13-2001, 06:37 AM
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Most likely they'll include this chip with the DVI or 1394 module, killing two upgrades with one addition.

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post #7 of 10 Old 08-13-2001, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Broadcom is the leader in cable modem and settop demod technology. Virtually every manufacture uses their chips.


Here is a likely transistion scenario:

1. The conversion to 8psk should be phased-in in baby steps over a long time frame (maybe 18 months).

2. There should be a long period of simulcasting when both QPSK and 8psk will be available.

3. The upgrade 8psk module for the 6000 should be fairly inexpensive (possibly in the $99 region). The installation will be trivial.

4. Going to this technology will allow DISH to be the undisputed HD leader and offer more HD content than DirecTV. DirecTV cannot easily take advantage of this development because their HD receiver base is not upgradeable.

The satellites that DISH has at 148 and 61.8 cost the same to launch and operate as their full-conus birds. In order for them to get a return on their investment, they must fully utilize all of the bandwidth on these satellites. With the advent of must-carry for local -into -local, DISH will be forced to putting lots of new local content on these satellites. That is why they were launched. HD at the present is not a moneymaker and will not be for sometime to come. Going to 8psk is really good news for us HD folks, because it allows DISH to give us what we want without eating up much more valuable bandwidth.

How, when and if the 5000 is affected by this remains to be seen. However, I don't get the impression that DISH sold many of these and that they are not too concerned with making them continue to work. At some point, if they obsolete the 5000 , they will most likely make 6000's available as a replacement at no or little cost to 5000 owners.


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post #8 of 10 Old 08-14-2001, 06:19 PM
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Would anyone buy a Dish 5000 Modulator for $1000 right now knowing this? This was my biggest fear, that dish would make the modulator unuseable somehow. I have cancelled my search for a modulator.

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post #9 of 10 Old 08-14-2001, 08:14 PM
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There is simply tons of new technology introduced all the time. Along with this comes the doomsday spreaders like in this thread. The reality is as simple as looking at history. Never has a new technology been introduced that replaces the older technology. One important requirement is that the new technology MUST coexist with the old. I prime example is the rotary dial telephone. My 20 year old daughter tells me she has only seen these in the movies and has never actually worked one. Personally, I'm not worried. IF DN did obsolete the HD modulators on the 5000, How difficult would it be to spec and make 3-5000 replacement modulators? that did work? Seems to me this would be the answer. But, like I said, I doubt any of this will happen. Spot beam satellite is going to compete for opening up far more channels for a long time to come. In a few years, the networks may see the light and refrain from exclusive local contracts, opening the door to national feeds and making the LIL concept obsolete. Redundant programming LIL is the biggest waste of bandwidth today and there is an easy technical solution already in the works.

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post #10 of 10 Old 08-14-2001, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TimHuey:
Would anyone buy a Dish 5000 Modulator for $1000 right now knowing this? This was my biggest fear, that dish would make the modulator unusable somehow.
Tim
Knowing this? Knowing what? This is all speculation. Most of us early adopters have been around this circle many times. The bottom line is that we don't know what the future holds, but once you have built up a large enough library of HD films (100? 500? 1000?) it begins to matter less to you if "they" (temporarily) shut off your recording source.

I think more significantly would be to consider whether you have a home theater system in which the difference between HD films and DVDs is significant. I have a Sony 10HT projector, Stewart Grayhawk 8' wide screen, and four Carver Amazing Platinum ribbon-dipole speakers, and in such a system, playing an HD film can be quite spectacular and, to me, worth the expense and trouble. Most guests say the experience is better that a commercial movie theater. I would not feel this way if I were using a rear projector and relatively modest surround speakers.

Dish sold many of the modulators at the list price ($300) so a tripling of price is not that exorbitant, now that the entire system is no longer available in conventional channels. Note that unlike the Dish and Panny units, these cannot be repaired, so their supply will be more limited. Recall that the early adopters took a large chance. I did not know this whole thing would even work when I first put together the system.You may envy those that already have the units, but look at it another way. Many of us have spare modulators and we face the similar, but reverse, question: Should I sell a modulator for $1000. To me the answer is no. I am not in the sales business.I know that some day it will end up in the garbage, but for now, I must have backups for my main hobby, on what may be an irreparable item.
Bottom line: if you have a first rate home theater, and you have the rest of the Dish-Panny combo minus the modulator,
and home theater is your hobby, and most importantly, the SAF is favorable, I would get one. If any of the above were negative, I would pass.
If you do buy one, be very cautious that you don't get taken with a dud.
Hope this help.
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