AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
824 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Echostar and GM submitted this letter to the FCC reviewing their May 15 meeting with the FCC:


End of page 5:

"In this connection, new customers will be provided with "dual-speak" set-top boxes able to receive signals from both companies' platforms and triple-LNB dishes capable of receiving signals from all three CONUS slots. Spectrum would be recovered gradually within a period of 36 months from merger approval. This would be achieved through the early elimination for certain select programming(e.g., Spanish language and intgernational programming, HDTV channels and certain local channels). "


What I hadn't seen before was an indication HDTV spectrum might be recovered early in the transition process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
One of the interesting things about the notice is the observation that some cable companies are able to deliver signals up to 1.25 Ghz, though 750 Mhz is more common; thus giving local cable companies a significant bandwidth advantage.


Of course there are about 20 stations on the air in the San Francisco Bay area + Sacramento area broadcasting DTV/HDTV signals. Seems like at 6Mhz per channel this would be less the 10% of some cable companies spectrum. So why does cable hate DTV so much?


Seems like there should be some kind of DTV must carry that provides that local cable companies must provide all local DTV signals at a resonable price. I might actually consider subscribing to a discount basic DTV package from the local cable in addition to getting all other programming via satellite. Nah, why bother - after my $$$ investment in my antenna farm - I get perfect DTV for free.


Cable: UNWELCOME
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,574 Posts
It makes perfect sense to recover HDTV duplicated spectrum early. HDTV requires a lot of spectrum, and there are relatively few subscribers currently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
979 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Alan Sh
"...and triple-LNB dishes capable of receiving signals from all three CONUS slots. ..."
By CONUS slots, are we talking about 101, 110, & 119? If so, what are the plans for 61.5 and 148? There's lots of bandwidth on those.


Gerald C
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
979 Posts
I also trust there's going to be an HDTV version of this "dual-speak" STB. With analog outputs, of course!!?


Now that I've taken the time to read the filing (recommended), I find it an interesting treatise on why satellite will suffer big-time for bandwidth vs. cable in the long term. If HDTV ever becomes the de-facto expected consumer standard for programming, DBS is in real trouble.


Gerald C
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,220 Posts
Their arguments are very persuasive. I was leaning against the merger but maybe I am now leaning for the merger.


Rick R
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Don't be impressed by the eloquent non-sense of "aggregate throughput" and the "modest efficiency gains of MPEG-4." In the end you will get less and you will pay more.


DBS will continue to encounter problems as long as the major players continue to try to model their services after cable tv. 500 channels of crap is still just a lot of crap! DBS can recover a bunch of spectrum by eliminating some of the very special programming that nobody watches...


Instead of eliminating HDTV spectrum, these companies should be aggresively persuing deployment of a respectible hi-def network. How many channels? Maybe 6 network nationals, 3 HDNets, 3 movie channels and a little this and that... perhaps 20 channels in all.


HDTV as a niche market?? Non-sense, again. I can use my existing equipment to scale down the signal for my non-hi def gear. I dont need to wait for a non-existant, doublespeak STB to replace ($$$) what I have now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,975 Posts
Quote:
In the end you will get less and you will pay more.
ez, people who use this argument can't see the forest for the trees. Ever notice what the DBS companies charge for their service vs what the cable companies charge? That's right, basically the same pricing structure. Ever wonder why? That's right, they're direct competitors serving primarily the same market. Ever seen DBS print ads? That's right, they're aimed at taking customers away from their main competitors, the cable companies. Open your eyes and take a look around out beyond the brim of your anti-monopoly hat. Loosen those consumer watchdog blinders a little and you will see that a combined satco will continue to have the biggest, most formidable competition they currently have. It is for this reason that they could not significantly alter the level of their service or increase the pricing for it, post merger. It would be corporate suicide and akin to cutting their own throats. The only significant difference in markets between the two is the rural segment with DBS, and that issue has been addressed by Ergen in committing to only charging same-zone pricing for them. Yes, a combined Satco would be reducing the choices available to consumers but to say it would lead to anything but minor changes in service and pricing I think is just short sighted.


ron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Quote:
Yes, a combined Satco would be reducing the choices available to consumers but to say it would lead to anything but minor changes in service and pricing I think is just short sighted
Well, what will it lead to, Ron??? What advantages are there in reducing the competition by virtually eliminating one of the players? I believe one of the reasons that the cable industry has responded with the rollout of upgraded hardware is the threat of competition from both DBS and Telcos (in the form of DSL). You'd still be watchin Aunt Bea on your 36 channel converter if cable had no impetus to modernize.


Indeed, we have come full circle. DBS had the advantage with more channels, more pay-per view. Now that cable is catching-up, all of a sudden we are supposed to believe that DBS is "threatened." Nonsense...

there is nothing that the combined DBS companies could offer in the near future that they cant offer right now.


The object is dollars, viewers, control, ratings, control, conus slots, control. Watch out consumers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,330 Posts
>Maybe 6 network nationals


Must carry regs make that impossible. Most of us would not be able to subscribe for the same reason I cannot get NY feeds in Seattle.


DBS cannot compete with cable in the bandwidth department AND serve locals up to every podunk market. They need to choose. If I were running things I'd server the top 10 or 12 markets and do so with new compression technology.


They need to discover their killer app, and 500 feeds of crap (as you note) is not it. I too belive that HD could be part of that killer app, but not all of it.


IF the merger happens AND IF they make a transition to MPEG4 like technology it could be cool. I've seen Microsofts MPEG4 like "Corona" technology demo that streamed 720p 24fps to a 3 chip DLP at around 5mbps on a big ass screen and I was BLOWN AWAY.


Using this or simillar technology DirecDish(tm) could deliver BUD quality video to small dish users everywhere. Remember when DirecTV launched and they pimped it as "laserdisc quality" and not the meaningless "digital-quality" (the hyphan is important)? Those days could come again. No longer would the small dish sat service look like something my little brother downloaded off the net in his dorm room was was rented one too many times from Blockbuster.


IMHO, a single provider using those slots and transitioning to a new advanced codec like MPEG2 or "Corona" could be a very good thing.


The only problem is that the man in charge is Charlie.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,975 Posts
Quote:
The only problem is that the man in charge is Charlie.
This may be the worst thing about the buyout based on what others have said about him. We would no longer have the option to switch to the "other" DBS company just because we don't like the guy.


ez,


Why you ask? Well, one thing you may not know is that currently DirecTV is hemorrhaging large amounts of money. They are not even close to being in the black. They just recently reported their most recent, significant quarterly loss. That is why they are even up on the block at all. I haven't seen the actual E* figures so I don't know for sure but I believe if you check you will find E* is not making the big bucks you seem to think either.


You are right, having a DBS system is very good for competition in the pay TV market (which is what we are talking about here). It has kept cable somewhat honest and pushed them to add services they wouldn't have otherwise. But think about it, combining the two DBS companies doesn't remove that competition, it only strengthens it by allowing DBS to become more healthy so they can continue to remain a viable competitor to cable.


So the main benefit would be a much more healthy DBS that would have greatly increased capacity to offer more and better service. The exact reason the cable companies are lobbying as hard as they can against it. They like the fat and happy life and don't want to be pushed. Simple as that.


Don't get me wrong, I am pro consumer all the way and no lover of big business. But I think sometimes people get so wrapped up in the cause that they forget to look at the situation. Every situation is different and this one has some very unique factors. Limited satellite slots being the biggest.


ron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,191 Posts
Quote:
You are right, having a DBS system is very good for competition in the pay TV market (which is what we are talking about here). It has kept cable somewhat honest and pushed them to add services they wouldn't have otherwise. But think about it, combining the two DBS companies doesn't remove that competition, it only strengthens it by allowing DBS to become more healthy so they can continue to remain a viable competitor to cable.


So the main benefit would be a much more healthy DBS that would have greatly increased capacity to offer more and better service. The exact reason the cable companies are lobbying as hard as they can against it. They like the fat and happy life and don't want to be pushed. Simple as that.


Don't get me wrong, I am pro consumer all the way and no lover of big business.
I agree. Well said.


The days of unprofitable businesses is over. The stock market melt-down, and the bankruptcies of K-Mart, Global Crossing, and Enron, to name but a few of the big ones, means that the easy-money days are over.


The DBS company or companies must be able to make a profit... and by providing competition to the cable monopolies, maybe they can turn a profit.


BTW, the cable companies are truly a monopoly. They are granted monopoly rights in their communities. So what is the only alternative to this government sanctioned monopoly? DBS, or wireless cable, or BUD. The choice was easy for me: DBS.


One more thing --- E*'s joint venture with GILAT/ Starband is over, it seems. Starband is also in bankruptcy. Again, if you continue to lose money, eventually you will go out of business. Big or small, they must make a profit to stick around for the long haul.


I wish the merger well... I expect better service; more choices; more HDTV; more channels.


p.s. I love businesses, although I don't own one myself. Businesses employ all of the people that are not working for the government. They provide the jobs that we need to have money to buy more HT equipment.


:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Don't get me wrong - -there are positive aspects to the economy of scale argument that are just common sense. Of course the combined companies could reduce bandwidth waste, eliminate intercompany competition costs, provide us all with free equipment changeouts and increase the availability of service to Farmer John... Naaa; dont see any indication that is likely to happen according to any business model I know of.


The merger could be very good for HDTV, but I dont think the leadership of either company is all that interested. And, once again, I'm talking about hi-def, not mulitiple garbo channels. Congress continues to hype "protecting the consumer" by regulating the hell out of the merger. Who are they protecting us from?


With respect to DirecTV hemmoraging money, you shouldn't believe everything you hear. DirecTV U.S. made a tidy sum second quarter; DirecTV Latin and DSL were money losers. For those interested in the facts, check out http://content.techweb.com/cgi-bin/cnoc/422550


ianken: I would love to see these companies focused on technological improvements and MPEG-4. If I thought DirecDish(tm) would deliver I'd stand in line to get on the bus. I don't...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,975 Posts
Well my friend, I think you need to learn how to read financial statements. It's not a good sign when a satellite companies' financial performance press release focuses on their "strong subscriber growth" in the period. Here is the key quote from your link:
Quote:
HUGHES had a first quarter 2002 net loss of $156.4 million compared to a net loss of $105.3 million in the same period of 2001.
And this included a huge windfall in the quarter from a lawsuit they won against NASA contributing to the pot. Here's a hint: It doesn't do much good to look at just earnings. You can gain all the revenue you want but unless it's more than it cost you to generate it it doesn't mean a hill of beans.


ron
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top