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You beat me to the punch by about a minute. It's going to be interesting to see how this all plays out. I suspect it will end up being a win for all sat subscribers because it should mean more available bandwidth.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by msink
I dont have satellite, and havent been following this. What does this mean to those of us with neither one?

Thanks,


Mark
Way, way too soon to tell. Call back in 6 months, or a year.


Since Echostar allocated a substantial amount of cash for subscriber hardware replacement as part of the offer, the best guess is that any replacement program will be at no, or little cost to the consumer.


But again, we really won't know for sure, for quite awhile.
 

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From CBS Marketwatch:

Quote:
The National Consumers League sent a letter Thursday to Federal Trade Commission chairman Timothy Muris and Charles James, assistant attorney general for the antitrust division in the U.S. Justice Department expressing its concerns over the possibility of an Echostar-DirecTV deal.


In the letter, the organization's president Linda Golodner says a merger of the two largest home satellite TV providers would give the company "absolute monopoly power'' over people who live in rural areas and have no cable television access as an alternative.
I'm not sure that I agree that there are antitrust issues here. First off, how costly is it for a cable provider to rollout service to rural areas? Are these costs prohibitive? Secondly, don't some telephone companys offer cable service over the telephone medium? Could cable companies ally with telephone companies to deliver television service where cable doesn't exist but quality telephone networks exists? Is the telephone medium too unreliable in these areas for quality viewing?


Finally, what percentage of existing DBS viewers wouldn't have a service alternative if DirecTV and Echostar merged?
 

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Since Echostar allocated a substantial amount of cash for subscriber hardware replacement as part of the offer, the best guess is that any replacement program will be at no, or little cost to the consumer.
Including replacing my RCA DTC-100 with whatever converter I'll need to pick up E* HD signals?
 

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Originally posted by heskech
I'm not sure that I agree that there are antitrust issues here. First off, how costly is it for a cable provider to rollout service to rural areas? Are these costs prohibitive? Secondly, don't some telephone companys offer cable service over the telephone medium?
My educated guesses:


Yes, it is too costly to roll out cable to rural areas. If it weren't, they would have done it already. Rural area == very spread out, requiring much more physical cable, signal boosters, etc. per subscriber than in irban areas.


Same for telcos. To roll out enhanced services, they first need to upgrade from the regular copper wire. To do that to rural areas would cost a lot.


At the current time at least, the only way for these rural areas to receive non-OTA broadcast TV is via satellite.


dinesh
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Tom Snyder



Including replacing my RCA DTC-100 with whatever converter I'll need to pick up E* HD signals?
Ok lets say that E* decides to replace all the DTV hardware. You have a HD DTV box with built-in OTA. Do you think that they would also replace the OTA capability? OR force you to BUY their OTA module.
 

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Originally posted by zmeister



Ok lets say that E* decides to replace all the DTV hardware. You have a HD DTV box with built-in OTA. Do you think that they would also replace the OTA capability? OR force you to BUY their OTA module.
It would follow that any replacements would have to have comparable capabilities, or at least those that were available on the other system.
 

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Well, I'm trying to find an upside to this news. First, I can't think it will stand; he!!, they won't even leave Microsoft alone, what makes us think they'll let one company OWN DBS????

But, if by some chance it stands, what's the upside for consumers? We've got to look at the money. DirecTv is worth 25 billion or so because of their SUBSCRIBER INCOME. Now, there are two things at cross purposes here, it seems. On the one hand, the value of the company lies in the millions of subscribers willing to shill over 50 bucks or more a month to get the service. OTOH, these people will supposedly have to replace their equipment at some point. Maybe re-orient antennas? I'm not talking HD here; we're small potatoes and I can tell you we don't even register on their worry meters in this deal. But all the rank and file receivers out there are really obsolete now. They're obsolete because E* can't win in this deal unless they achieve some economies somewhere. SOOO.... the way I see it, they must raise rates and inconvenience people. The folks in rural areas like me will do whatever it takes to keep the service, since there's no alternative (other than C band). But the vast majority of urban/suburban users are not going to like having to upgrade all those receivers and antennas, and E* is not going to enjoy paying millions and millions to get them converted.

So what's the deal? Do they keep dual service? Yes, I think, for awhile, but the inevitable pressure will be there to standardize. One might argue that they could wait for new technology and manage through attrition, replacing new systems with new features to make consumers want to self-obselytyze their own old systems. But I think the bottom line will pressure for change quicker than that.

When I decided to go with DirecTV years ago, I did a careful cost-benefit analysis and concluded DirecTV was a better deal than Dish. I've never really questioned that, and it's held up. Now, we who are invested into HD are probably going to take a pretty big hit it this stands. Unless I can find a substantial upside, and soon, I plan to start a campaign at the congressional level to stop this, in the interest of the consumer.


John
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by NightowlKY
I wonder how much influence will be made my Microsoft since their UltimateTV is linked with DirecTV and MSN?
And dont forget Dish Network's Dish Player 7100/7200.


Steve
 

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Quote:
he!!, they won't even leave Microsoft alone, what makes us think they'll let one company OWN DBS????
They basically are leaving Microsoft alone.
 

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I really don't understand some of the conversations going on here... I'll respond to them 1 at a time.


1. Its antitrust because the rural customers will not have competition because they aren't served by the cable companies. False - there is no pricing strategy that says we'll charge people who live on farms more because they don't get cable - its one price. So the rural people will benefit from the competition going on in the cities. They're prices will stay low. If they don't like Satellite they can take the alternative, oh wait, thats nothing. So rural customers still receive a competitive price, full programming, and the option to walk away at any point.


2. All the equipment will have to be swapped out. False. First off we're talking years. So likely, in the next year we'll see DirecTV equipment stop being for sale, Dish equipment will replace it so all new customers are set. In a couple years we're likely to see Dish based equipment receive more and better upgrades, but Direct still work against the old sats (remember, they got the sats too, you won't have to repoint your dishes.) Maybe in 3-4 years time from now they'll convert the sats or decommission the older ones and someone with DirecTV equipment will be limited to 1 or 2 packages, limited locals, excess compression, etc. But there will be Dish equipment and likely policies for discounted equipment available too. I'm sure a service such as Dish Mover will come out and move your equipment around. The last thing Echostar will do is flood themselves by converting everyone at once. They'll move them as commitments and programming warrants.


3. And lastly, lets think realistically here. The competitor is cable. I just got a notice that my lifeline cable is going up by $2 a month, basic is going up by $4.50 a month, digital cable is going up by $5.50 a month. The excuse? The infrastructure upgrades they will be having to do. So, if as a result of this merger, DirecTV users receive SHO-HD, Dish users receive HDNet and Sunday Ticket, and prices go up by $3-4 a month to allow for faster equipment upgrades, aren't they still providing an alternative (a completely digital, more feature rich, quicker to adopt new technology alternative to boot) to cable anyways? Isn't that what this is all about.


This is good. It's very good. They'll work out the kinks. Microsoft, Sony, Mitsubishi, all the RCAs with built in DirecTV HD decoders, will not be left out. It would be suicide for this company to do that and they know it. Dish made radical strides to catch up to DirecTV. Remember just 1-2 years ago it would've been unthinkable for Echostar to buy DirecTV. Now its a reality - Charlie must be doing something right.


Chris
 

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I can't see Dish replacing everyones DTV box. At about $200 depending on model, that's 2 billion dollars. Why would they want to spend that much money to reduce compression? They can and will add more channels, and also increase compression.


Is there a way to broadcast a signal that both boxes can pickup?


If not, then I think the two companies will operate seperately for many years. The overall overhead between the two will be less thus saving them money and paying off debt.


When AOL bought Compuserve, they did not combine the services.
 

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I'd be shocked if there was any serious antitrust threat to impede the deal. First, when I read the prospectus outlining the terms of the offer (there was a link to it a while back), there seemed to be a very cogent position being taken, i.e., you can't look at satellite television apart from the context of cable television. When viewed as such, it's really hard to say that, even with the combined subscribership of Dish and DirecTv, there's anything like a "monopoly."


Monopolies aren't just created regionally. So even if there are areas of the country that can't get cable, it's not going to make a difference in the way this whole issue gets portrayed.


Perhaps more basically, the Microsoft case should be the real indicator of what will--or won't--happen. Unless there's an attempt to privately enforce the antitrust laws (which can happen, but probably is a longshot), it's a real stretch to think that the Justice Department is even interested in this. Remember, the Clinton Justice Department was the one to go after Microsoft, and, now that there's a new Justice Department, it's already been stated that breakup is no longer being sought. Look for the Microsoft case to go quietly away with a settlement that Microsoft will be only too happy to provide.


Given the climate and concerns of today's Justice Department, my bet is that they'll continue to focus on putting terrorists in jail, and leave the issue of DBS alone. Look for the Dish acquisition to encounter little resistance from those quarters.


But, look for lots of people to lose jobs. And, the equipment is going to have to be swappped out, one way or another. My hope is that at least one of the systems will survive replacement, although I'm personally pulling to keep my Dish 6000 receivers.


Hey, at least the one holding all the cards now is the guy who said that HDTV is important and will be part of the network in an increasing amount. Now we'll see if he delivers.


Even after the acquisition, though, the systems will probably continue to operate separately for awhile. I'll bet it's the DirecTv subscribers who get the first benefit--now they'll get Showtime HD (just a guess).


Interesting development, though.


Nick :cool:
 

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I still wonder if satellite TV will stop getting cheaper if there becomes one company

where now there are two.


My long distance phone bill has gone down in recent years, thanks to competition.

But my home's local phone bill has gone up.
 

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Rate increases shouldnt happen beacuse cable is the competation for DBS.


Steve
 

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If the boxes need to be swapped out, will the dishes need to be repointed to another satellite? If not, and if the Directv satellites will still be used to send signals to the Directv dishes and boxes, why would we need to swap anything at all? Wouldn't it be most logical to continue the Directv service until a critical mass of new users are set up for E*?
 
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