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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Excerpted from Multichannel News, by Ted Hearn


In an FCC filing, DirecTV Inc. is promising to carry every local TV station in the country no later than 2008, funded by a $1 billion investment in new satellites designed to deny cable bragging rights anywhere as the lone pay TV provider of local broadcasters. This assumes the planned merger with News Corp is approved by the FCC and is completed.


The expanded local TV promise would likely appease the National Association of Broadcasters, although the trade group has demanded service to all 210 markets by Jan. 1, 2006.

DirecTV said that if the merger closed by the end of this year, it might be able to add about 30 more HDTV channels in 2004 with both local and national content. But the addition of HDTV channels might force the company to slow its local-TV-market expansion, DirecTV added.
 

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Great news on the HD front. I think they really need to make this happen as it seems Comcast is really on a roll adding new HD channels it seems almost weekly.
 

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DirecTV has little choice other than doing exactly this. If cable, Dish Network and the nacent Rainbow offer 30 more HD channels then DirecTV must do so as well to remain competitive in grabbing high income households equipped with HDTVs.


Sad about the situation regarding the difficulty in passing 1500 locals, many of which would be HD services. I wonder whether spotbeam satellites coupled with super-efficient coding (requiring new receivers) would be enough to overcome this hurdle, or would they have to continue suggesting DTT as the means of customers receiving HD locals? It's too bad DirecTV and Echostar couldn't be allowed to share transponders/slots for LIL HD.
 

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Quote:
It's too bad DirecTV and Echostar couldn't be allowed to share transponders/slots for LIL HD.
Is that comming from a technology standpoint, or a "exclusivity" standpoint.


I thought I read (back during the possibility of the E* buyout that they were technically able to brodcast the same signal to both types of receivers, but to do so now would probably require sending the locals somewhat in the clear, or unencrypted. (Once locals are available to all DMA's, then there is no need for selling a package san's locals, anyhow)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by brenden
Is that comming from a technology standpoint, or a "exclusivity" standpoint.

From an FTC/Justice Department standpoint.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ken H
Excerpted from Multichannel News, by Ted Hearn

The expanded local TV promise would likely appease the National Association of Broadcasters, although the trade group has demanded service to all 210 markets by Jan. 1, 2006..[/i]
Huh? ... What possible motive could NAB and the NRTC for that matter have in trying to force DBS to carry all locals? This is just plain nuts! It sounds like somebody trying really hard to handcuff the DBS companies.

Bah! ... something smells and it ain't the litter box.


HDC
 

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Considering that Dish has been saying "Up to 50 HDTV channels with SuperDish" and Voom with "Launching with 30 HDTV" channels. D* would have to at least get this out there otherwise people would not know if they had additional capacity to expand in the future.
 

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If you only get about 30 HD chanels, why waste them on local service? Give us national feeds and an over ride requiring the purchase of locals to get them East, Pacific, Central and Mountain (ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, FOX, and WB) - 5x4 = 20+1 PBS National = 21 and then you add Starz!, MAX, TMC = 25 with 5 spares. Run PPV movies and use them to feed sports, or dedicate 10 to sports and movies, forget the locals or just go East and West, then add whatever else is coming down the pipe.


My question... A few months ago some where saying D* had limited capacity slapping me down when I said it was possible. Any so called "experts" care to explain how they can add 30 HD feeds in 2004?


Crickets Chirping....
 

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In recent news, D* or News Corp was quoted saying they intend to use their Ku and Ka bands, much like what E* has planned. That will get them a lot more bandwidth but also require new receiving hardware.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Skyboss
Any so called "experts" care to explain how they can add 30 HD feeds in 2004?
Interesting question. Obviously when the new spot beam satellite goes up, they will free up a fair amount of space at 119°, even with adding some new LIL markets. I've also seen some suggest that they could drop Para Todos, since NewsCorp already has a Latin satellite service. But even with all that, they only have 11 transponders at 119°, some of which will be used by spots, and some of which is already broadcasting HD. I can see adding quite a few HD channels in 2004, but 30? I've read they have some more satellite bandwidth up their sleeves, but I don't see how they could utilize it with current hardware (and therefore, in the very near future). It'll be interesting to see how this all pans out.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Skyboss
Give us national feeds and an over ride requiring the purchase of locals to get them East, Pacific, Central and Mountain (ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, FOX, and WB) - 5x4 = 20+1 PBS National = 21 and then you add Starz!, MAX, TMC = 25 with 5 spares.
If you are talking national feeds, there is no "Central" feed for the big networks...it runs on the same feed as Eastern.


Prime time starts at:
  • 8pm EST in Eastern
  • 8pm EST in Central
  • 9pm EST in Mountain
  • 11pm EST in Pacific

Historically, networks send two feeds of their programming...one at 8pm EST and one at 11pm EST. Eastern, Central, and Pacific watch "live", while stations in Mountain must tape delay the 8pm EST feed.
 

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Using Ku-FSS band satellite -- things Hughes already owns and has slots for -- would require a new dish and possibly a new switch. But it might well require nothing new on the receiver end of things depending on how many transponders were lit up.


Using Ka band for video is not currently on the agenda for Dish or DirecTV as neither has proved it even remotely possibly to do this.


Mark
 

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Quote:
Using Ka band for video is not currently on the agenda for Dish or DirecTV as neither has proved it even remotely possibly to do this.
Actually, in the recent filing, DirecTV said their next satellite launches would be as early as 2006 and no later than 2008; the implication was that Ka will be used. Certainly, that is some time off, and that timetable will depend on how fast technology progresses.


As you note, if DirecTV wants to add 30+ [non-local] HDTV channels next year, without substantially more compression than they use now, they'll have to deploy a Superdish-like solution using KU-FSS, probably from 99 or 123 degrees. I wonder if they'll deploy such a solution next spring with the HD DirecTivo?
 

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I think much of today's problems relate to them waiting for the last Merger to happen.


Now we have this news from Skyreport:


"This week, DirecTV notified the Federal Communications Commission that its future spot-beam satellite - DirecTV 7S - will fly later than its original launch date.


DirecTV had expected to launch the satellite later this year. However, delays in the assembly and testing process experienced by the satellite manufacturer, and to a lesser extent some problems with the primary launch vehicle, have pushed the launch date out until no earlier than mid-February 2004, the company told the FCC. "


Sitting still while your competitors advance can leave one in a deep hole !


* The only way things will work out for LiL HDTV is if D* and E* jointly provide the service.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by nabsltd
If you are talking national feeds, there is no "Central" feed for the big networks...it runs on the same feed as Eastern.
Yes, but to satisfy the local affiliates, they would likely adopt a channel to carry. For Example. LA is the West Coast Feed, Denver in the Mountain, Chicago in the Central and New York in the East. Perhaps even set up a special feed for each time zone. Individual broadcasts like a "regional" news program, add to that the other national coverage programs. Using media black outs, they could time shift live events so people in New York aren't up until midnight watching Monday Night Football. And people in LA aren't racing home to watch the same game at 5:30 or 6:00 pm. Lets not forget Alaska and Hawaii. That's a whole other thing.


One more thing. If they do go dual band... They better pay for any equipment changes. I've spent enough money on two TiVos and two HD units. This is getting ridiculous.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by HDTVChallenged
Huh? ... What possible motive could NAB and the NRTC for that matter have in trying to force DBS to carry all locals?

HDC
The motive for a broadcaster to be carried on DBS should be self-evident. I work at a broadcast TV station. We want our viewers to have every possible opportunity to see our station...whether over the air or via cable or DBS.
 

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Quote:
"This week, DirecTV notified the Federal Communications Commission that its future spot-beam satellite - DirecTV 7S - will fly later than its original launch date.


DirecTV had expected to launch the satellite later this year. However, delays in the assembly and testing process experienced by the satellite manufacturer, and to a lesser extent some problems with the primary launch vehicle, have pushed the launch date out until no earlier than mid-February 2004, the company told the FCC.
No surprise there.
 
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