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Discussion Starter #1
I have seen many threads where people are considering postponing HDTV equipment purchases due to the recently announced DIRECTV/Echostar merger. Since it will be years before we know what impact the merger may have (if it does go through) you may have to go without HDTV for a long time. Today's Consumer Electronics Daily magazine points out:


1. Shareholder approval is required and isn't expected for 4-6 months.

2. Government approval could take 9 months or more.

3. It will likely be a year or more before it is known whether the merger will actually occur.

4. Former Justice Dept. Antitrust Division Chief Don Baker is quoted as saying there's a 50-50 chance the merger will be blocked by antitrust regulators.

5. It would probably take 3-4 years and $2.5 billion to change satellite receivers to whatever platform is finally chosen and the losing transmission streams are shut off.


Given this many unknowns and the long timeframe before we have any answers, you may want to think twice about delaying planned purchases.
 

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After the transition, would Echostar be likely to keep DirecTV satellite locations? I can get the DirecTV standard definition satellite, but not the Echostar one.
 

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Not necessarily. What will drive the transition is the new multi-layer receiver being co-produced by Hughes and EchoStar. If they can get the new receiver in the marketplace by Fall 2002, the transition is all but completed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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Not necessarily. What will drive the transition is the new multi-layer receiver being co-produced by Hughes and EchoStar. If they can get the new receiver in the marketplace by Fall 2002, the transition is all but completed.
Excuse me? The transition will be "all but completed" when a new combined receiver hits the market? This new receiver will "drive the transition"? They could have it available in less than a year? Give me a break. What an outrageous statement. And worse yet, it isn't even related to the question ericlhyman asked.


They won't even know if the merger will really happen for a year. If it falls through they will be fierce competitors again. Until then, how many technical secrets do you think they will be sharing and how close do you think they will be working?
 

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I thought all parties have to be still operating individually until the merger is approved which would take any where from 6 months and onwards if it is approved, only then can they share info, cause they own it not before, so maybe 2003 maybe something will happen if it ever does
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Peterson



They won't even know if the merger will really happen for a year. If it falls through they will be fierce competitors again. Until then, how many technical secrets do you think they will be sharing and how close do you think they will be working?
Rich, I agree that this merger will be looked at very closely, challenged by some, lauded by others. It will take a couple of years for it to be completed. However, as far as planned purchases are concerned, the apparent uncertainty will have some impact on sales of both Dish & DTV hardware (especially HD boxes due to their higher cost). I was interested in the new Zenith box for 2 reasons:


1. Superior OTA reception


2. HDNET- I currently don't have DTV



I was planning to buy the box as soon as it was available but now will wait and see how if their OTA reception is better. THEN I will decide.
 

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Any effect on hardware sales is going to be infinitesimal in the big picture. Those of us who buy HD boxes and the like are noise to DirecTv, Dish, Sony, Panny, etc. etc.


The fact is, however, that the combination will free bandwidth and allow more HD channels that can reach more homes than would otherwise occur. It will move us more quickly to QPSK (I believe that's the acro-babble), which will allow more HD channels per transponder. It will light a serious fire under cable's rear to get a clue.


It is going to take years. It will obsolete little sold today or within the next year before those boxes were gonna be dead anyway.


It is going to be a big win if the government doesn't block it.


I am very excited today. I just bought a second DirecTivo the other day and I'm not worried about it, either.


Mark
 

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Tonight in a interview with Ergen (FoxNews - Covuto) he said that whomever is a current customer and needs to get upgraded equipment will get the equivelant equipment free of charge. So if you buy today you will actually get a NEW HD receiver 2 to 3 years down the road....not a bad deal!
 

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It appears to be a good start.


I think it is a sheer waste of spectrum resources to have two satellite providers sending out mostly identical programming. The local channels situation is an even worse waste, as the material is also supplied over the air by the broadcasters themselves; and only a small part of this programming, the local market, is allowed to be viewed by the wider satellite audience.


Now, hopefully, we will be able to have more programming with more HDTV channels. Of course, if they took out the local channels, there would be even more space! I doubt that they will ever provide HDTV service for the locals over the satellite, so why bother - go OTA with HDTV, enjoy the high quality and leave the satellite space for a wide variety of programming to cater for all.;)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by FrankS
Tonight in a interview with Ergen (FoxNews - Covuto) he said that whomever is a current customer and needs to get upgraded equipment will get the equivelant equipment free of charge. So if you buy today you will actually get a NEW HD receiver 2 to 3 years down the road....not a bad deal!
Unless the new receiver does not have outputs that your TV can accept....


Or you have a RCA TV with a built-in receiver....
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Lee L
Unless the new receiver does not have outputs that your TV can accept....
That is why a lot of people bought Mitsubishi HDTVs, but frankly I think these new connections will only be needed for PPV and maybe for HBO-like channels.

Quote:
Originally posted by Lee L
Or you have a RCA TV with a built-in receiver....
Even those RCA HDTVs has a set of component inputs that accept 1080i so they are okay.
 

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Originally posted by STL

That is why a lot of people bought Mitsubishi HDTVs, but frankly I think these new connections will only be needed for PPV and maybe for HBO-like channels.


You have now described the vast majority of HD programming that people buy HD boxes for! This is why there is concern.
 

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(QUOTE]Originally posted by STL

"That is why a lot of people bought Mitsubishi HDTVs, but frankly I think these new connections will only be needed for PPV and maybe for HBO-like channels."


You have now described the vast majority of HD programming that people buy HD boxes for! This is why there is concern.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ken Ross
You have now described the vast majority of HD programming that people buy HD boxes for! This is why there is concern.
I'm not sure you can really say "vast majority" IMHO. I didn't buy my HD STB for HD PPV or or HD HBO. I bought it to get OTA HD programming and for HDnet. Other people I know seem to have the same views on HD. I myself might consider getting HBO, but I never fool with PPV. I suspect HD PPV will be the first thing to go with the new digital connections, but it will probably be quite some time before we see premium channels go that route (or it might never happen).
 

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well, I imagine that many of us bought the DTC-100 within the last 2 years simply because it was the best value for any HD-capable STB regardless of OTA vs Dish vs DTV, I am one of them. I couldn't see myself paying more for another model given what was available (and largely still is) at the time.


In either case, a big contributor to my decision to purchase was the fact that HBO-HD would be available. I have limited OTA reception and at purchase time HBO-HD was 50% of the HD I could receive (CBS being the other channel). If it weren't for HBO-HD I probably wouldn't have purchased (yet ;) ). Now, I get HDNet and ABC, so HBO is only 1/4 of my options, but it's still a HUGE percentage, even greater if you count actual hours of content delivered. If it went away, there is alot I'd be missing.


anyway, maybe i'm not in the "vast majority", but I bet most people who bought prior to the last 3-6months had HBO-HD as one of their top reasons.


jake
 

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Equipment purchased in the past or today will be functional for some time.


As mentioned, it will take a while for the merger to occur. It will take even longer for existing equipment to become non-functional.


A change that is happening sooner is the transition to HDCP for STB->display connection.


Buy and enjoy your equipment today. The future will happen and we will adjust to it.
 

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The only thing I worry about from all of this is what the lack of competition will do. Without it, there is no incentive to reduce the consumer's cost or for the company to continually improve their hardware. History has shown time and again that monopolies are not efficient or responsive.


On another subject, we just had an earthquake here in southern California!
 

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They are going to be required to allow many manufacturers of hardware. Period. Also, with 16 million subs today and -- therefore -- 25+ million boxes just to replace, there is going to be plenty of competition to build those and the millions more needed going forward.


You will see Thomson, Victor, Sony, Philips, et al. all in the box building business for Dish/Directv. It's a huge market.


Also, there is some FCC rule for cable that requires a move to an open-hardware design and a divorcing of the conditional access from the set-top box to allow for consumer choice but cable-company piracy prevention. This rule will probably extend to DSS after the Dish/Directv merger.


Mark
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by rogo
They are going to be required to allow many manufacturers of hardware. Period.
Why? There's no reason why Echostar can't continue to manufacture their own hardware. I would think that would keep the costs down. Echostar didn't get where it is by not being efficient.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by vruiz



Why? There's no reason why Echostar can't continue to manufacture their own hardware. I would think that would keep the costs down. Echostar didn't get where it is by not being efficient.
It would only make sense for Echostar to provide choices to the subscribers. They need to keep us happy. By limiting our choice in hardware, it could really have a sour twist with the transition. People like their choices and this also could play part of the anti-trust issues. Sure it would make economic sense to Echostar but being efficient is not always good for business.
 
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