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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,


I apologize if all this info is "old", but I figure, given all the info. posted on this site about Dish network and the superdish, it's about time for some news about Directv HDTV.


I called the Directv phone # and managed to get connected with one of the higher-ups. Here's what he had to say:


1. Directv already has a 4th satellite which is airborne (in addition to the 101, 110, and 119 birds), and which can carry HDTV or other signals should they decide to use it. He said for now they're trying to get all their HDTV content onto the three existing birds, because use of the fourth bird would require a larger dish/additional dish, which they would like to try to avoid if possible. He also noted that this fourth bird gives Directv more channel carrying capacity than any other satellite provider. It is simply a matter of activating this already airbourne satellite for HDTV should they be unable to fit all the content on their three active satellites.


2. Regarding ESPN-HD and Discovery HD: He also said it was pretty much only a matter of time till these are added (negotiations are ongoing). Furthermore, he mentioned that ESPN had underestimated the resolution capabilities/etc of HDTV, and they were currently re-doing their sets/etc as their current sets were unsuitable for HDTV (flaws in the sets visible on air, redoing computer graphics, changing color schemes, etc). In other words, he suggested that ESPN is still ironing out the details, and we should likely soon have these channels available.


3. Regarding the SuperDish and Dish network: As many of us had suspected, he pointed out a fundamental philosophy difference between Directv and Dish Network . . . Directv is more conservative and won't post/advertise services until they confirm that they are in fact fully operational . . . i.e. the Directv HDTV package won't be announced until all the contracts are signed/etc even though everyone knows that they are going to add additional HDTV programming (although I may be wrong, my understanding is that the additional DISH satellite that would be required to provide "up to 50 channels" of HDTV programming hasn't been launched yet). Similarly, they wouldn't announce activation of the above fourth bird for HDTV content until they had made sure that it was functioning properly/no signal drop-out etc. Again he noted, Directv has four airborne satellites, giving it more carrying capacity than any other provider . . . it's just a matter of activating that fourth satellite should they not be able to fit the needed content onto the currently active three satellites.


. . . in other words guys, it's just a matter of time till we get the HDTV goods from Directv--we just need to keep in mind, that Directv isn't going to announce anything until all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed.


Neil
 

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Quote:
negotiations are ongoing
So are you saying that "no news" is "good news" or that "no news" is better than "Superdish if the rocket doesn't blow up" news?


Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just think, given the above info, the recent Directv phone survey about HDTV, and the news posting about Directv HDTV, that something big is CLEARLY in the works---Directv has a huge stake invested in satellite TV--it would be ridiculous for them not to have an HDTV plan.


Everyone is entitled to their opinion, I just think it's a bit premature to talk about dropping Directv when DISH network announces a SuperDish that will operate on a satellite that hasn't been launched and offer programming that isn't available yet. There are numerous posts on this site regarding DISH network's track record on coming through on their promises.


Directv (and likely DISH as well) is going to come through with a HDTV package that's going to be competitive with anything else on the market--it would be ludicrous for them to do anything but.
 

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N123,


Thanks for the post, I guess. But, why did you not state the name of the person at DirecTV you talked to? If he was a higher up, how could it hurt? It's not like he said anything new.


I do not know anything about an extra satellite they have already up there, but as a DirecTV subscriber and shareholder, I guess I am upset they are not using it.


It seems to me that Dish has more than taken the lead away from DirecTV regarding HDTV with their recent announcement. Sure, a lot can happen to the launch of the new satellite, but at least we know they are working on it and consider it a priority. As a long term DirecTV customer, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE DOING!!!!!


I have been a DirecTV subscriber since 1996. And, considering I subscribe to the highest level of monthly programming and that O get 3 extra sports packakges a year, they propbably make a lot of money off me. But, if they do not make any announcements soon (ie in the next month or so), I will probably go to Dish or local digital cable which has just come available in my area.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by BuzaidC
It seems to me that Dish has more than taken the lead away from DirecTV regarding HDTV with their recent announcement. Sure, a lot can happen to the launch of the new satellite, but at least we know they are working on it and consider it a priority. As a long term DirecTV customer, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE DOING!!!!!
Let's not forget "the lead" DISH took with the announced HD PVR, due out last month - now sometime soon. Although the thread starter says D* waits till the i's are dotted, D* did announce their HD PVR 3rd or 4th Quarter. Probably, the same time frame as DISH in the end.


Which will have the firewire, if either, is the real question......
 

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Quote:
1. Directv already has a 4th satellite which is airborne (in addition to the 101, 110, and 119 birds), and which can carry HDTV or other signals should they decide to use it. He said for now they're trying to get all their HDTV content onto the three existing birds, because use of the fourth bird would require a larger dish/additional dish, which they would like to try to avoid if possible. He also noted that this fourth bird gives Directv more channel carrying capacity than any other satellite provider. It is simply a matter of activating this already airbourne satellite for HDTV should they be unable to fit all the content on their three active satellites.
Unfortunately, you were misled.


The DirecTV-7S satellite hasn't launched yet. And it's going to 119 degrees. It is a spot beam satellite that will do little or nothing on its own for HDTV. However, this satellite will enable DirecTV to offload locals from some conus transponders to spot beams. This will free up anywhere from four to six transponders, sufficient for 6-12 1080i HDTV channels. Of course, this assumes that they don't add standard programming, international channels, or interactive content.


All this has been discussed extensively in other threads.

Quote:
Furthermore, he mentioned that ESPN had underestimated the resolution capabilities/etc of HDTV, and they were currently re-doing their sets/etc as their current sets were unsuitable for HDTV (flaws in the sets visible on air, redoing computer graphics, changing color schemes, etc). In other words, he suggested that ESPN is still ironing out the details, and we should likely soon have these channels available.
Once again, you were mislead. This has absolutely nothing to do with the availability of ESPN-HD. ESPN-HD is available to any cable or satellite provider right now that agrees to Disney's terms for carriage. The Bristol facility upgrades to deliver Sports Center, Baseball Tonight, and other highlight programming in HDTV were always planned for next year, more specifically 2Q 2004. We've known this for eight months now; you can read about it in the ESPN thread at the top of this forum.

Quote:
Again he noted, Directv has four airborne satellites, giving it more carrying capacity than any other provider . . . it's just a matter of activating that fourth satellite should they not be able to fit the needed content onto the currently active three satellites.
Again, you were given false information.


DirecTV already has five satellites in operation over three slots. They have no more licensed DBS transponders. There are no more DBS transponders at conus slots to license; they are all spoken for. DirecTV can't magically increase capacity just by sending up more and more satellites. It doesn't work that way. The only way they can increase HDTV channel capacity (outside of a modulation change or increased compression) at these slots is by moving locals off the conus beams and onto spot beams. They've already done this at 101. They will do it at 119 after the DirecTV-7S launches in December.


DirecTV cannot and will not gain any new spectrum in the short to intermediate term unless they lease some FSS (non-DBS) capacity from PanAmSat or someone else. This would require a larger dish.
 

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I wish they'd give a time frame. I agree that there is no other possible course but for Dtv to put this together. I am banking on it and just had them install a new dish and bought a stb, that's how confident I am.


Just is it in 2 weeks or 2 months? I would almost gaurantee it's on by next football season. the leverage against espn finally kicks in...


later

rob
 

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bfdtv-


I have been reading your posts on facts about the satellites, and I must say everything you post appears to be very accurate. I'm no expert but I have had many conversations with some RF engineers at DirecTV and what they told me some 2 years ago is still precisely as you describe it. People need to pay attention to your posts if they want to learn something. Just my opinion!


While I do think DirecTV has made some recent strides in HDTV, they sure have taken their good damn time about it, ignoring expert advice along the way. e.g. the dolby AC-3 audio screwups that took them 3 years to get working right! Showtime HD that was "in negotiations" for 2.5 years behind DishNet. People on this forum were clearly wrong all along by saying Showtime HD was not possible due to bandwidth. I knew it was legal issues one month after Showetime HD went on the air. I knew it was going to be on 110 but was committed to an NDA 5 months after that. It still took them 2 more years. Some of you all will recall me hinting about this, that the engineering at DirecTV were ready to give us Showtime HD within 30 minutes. That was what I was told and that was true because they not only had space back then for Showtime HD they had space for 2 more HD channels on 110. But that is past us now, however DirecTV's policies are still much the same. They negotiate for long periods of time, meanwhile we wait. Most of the time Dish has not had this wait. So, I wholeheartedly agree that it is all about a time frame. The best position to be in is one where all your hardware is in place for both services and then you can pick and choose without regard to favoritism.

I love this competition as we will all benefit!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bfdtv
...whole lot of good stuff....
Dude, you are the DirecTv satellite master, and posses some impressive posting skills as well. I should membermark you (whoop, this isn't RB). I had to look up conus in my dictionary, but unfortunately there was no entry. So I Googled it. Apparently (this for any other hapless member such as myself) it stands for 'contintental US'. Very cool word. Perhaps a vanity plate: 'ConusHead' or maybe an investment group name: 'ConusAndWeWillSueU'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey Guys,


Sorry about the above post--I guess the Directv guy fed me alot of misinformation . . .
 

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Sorry to go off topic but I am very anxious to sign up for Direct TV's HDTV service but I am not really sure what level of base programming I'd have to order in order to get all the HD channels that Direct TV offers.


Can anyone shed some light? I've trying to avoid getting into a $80 plus TV bill, plus I'm trying to figure out if I should hold on for Comcast (due in September).


Michael.
 

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MSilla,


DirecTV's current policy is that new subscribers must sign up for the base Total Choice package ($33.99/mo) to receive Hdnet. In order to get HBO HDTV, you have to sign up for HBO; for Showtime HDTV, you have to sign up for Showtime. In the not-too-distant future, DirecTV may establish a HDTV package with multiple HD channels (Hdnets, InHD, Discovery, ESPN-HD, etc), but that is rumor and speculation at this point.
 

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At this point the only way DirecTV can match Dish with HD channels is if they dump all existing HD receivers and put out new ones that take advantage of the new 8VSB standard that Dish was smart enough to allow their receivers the ability to upgrade to. No DirecTV receivers can be upgraded (unless they can have customers return the receivers and DirecTV make the internal adjustments then return them to their customers. Even then I am not sure the DirecTV receivers can be upgraded at all!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by vruiz
It's not 8VSB, it's 8PSK.
I have a mental block with these two damn standards!!!! :mad:
 

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Originally posted by Rob4x20
what's the advantage?
8PSK effectively doubles the amount of HD channels per transponder with no degradation in quality.
 
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