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I have to say that I share the anti-trust concerns should E* win. In the short term, it might be interesting to see capacity on one provider expand enough to provide more HD conent (not a gaurantee by any stretch), but most of us know the downside of having a monopoly in any consumer market. I guess there is always ExpressVu.


I just hope the benefit to consumers is considered somewhere in the equation.


Cheers. --Karl
 

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GM is going to sell it off no matter what we like. Their board is responsible for getting maximum shareholder value & the EchoStar deal is worth more money, assuming the stock price of E* holds up.


We're left with the lesser of two evils. While Fox has done a good job of deploying local digital service, their utter lack of support for HD makes then ultra-evil, IMHO. Look at the bright side - it would be highly likely that all receivers would work if Dish held all the marbles. The sworn enemy of sat based services is the cable companies. Monopolies are rapidly happening there. The only HD content from any cable operators has been very limited to Time-Warner in very few markets.
 

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As a Dish subscriber, I'm clearing leaning toward an Echostar award here. It's been discussed before, but from where I sit:


Newscorp hasn't given me anything lately that makes me feel comfortable that they are willing to push the technology. Fox isn't even broadcasting in HD, why would Rupert want to waste valuable bandwidth for HD channels when he can squeeze 6 more SD channels per transponder by dumping the HD offering? I don't know that he would do this, but I wouldn't count on them rushing to add new HD content, if Fox Network is any indication.


As far as the antitrust issues goes, I don't really believe this is an issue. My housing development is locked into one cable television provider, even though there are two to choose from. I have no choice. It's not a monopoly, though, and it's not illegal (immoral, perhaps, but not illegal) It depends on how you view the medium. As many have stated, DBS is just the delivery mechanism. If we're talking about programming, then there's OTA, cable, and DBS that should be lumped into the same category. If I don't like what DBS is charging, I can go to cable and get virtually the same programming if I so choose. Or I can unplug them all together and just watch whatever my antenna can pick up (remember the old days when you actually had to touch the television itself to change the channel and finetune the picture each time?)


The antitrust issues won't hold water. The NY Times article mentions John McCain's comments, which I think are right on the money. It's up the FCC to decide and regulate, not Congress.


Are you afraid of price gouging? The way I see it, with an Echostar win, there will eventually be a lot of transponder space made available by the elimination of duplicate channels from both services. Assuming no major hardware upgrade costs, that means eventually we all get more HDTV that may have previously been restricted by transponder space. Not to mention less compression (hopefully) on the rest of the system.


I just don't see any value added reasons why Newscorp should win. If it's just to prevent Echostar from getting the business, that's the wrong reason to vote against Echostar.
 

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Echostar & DirecTV currently use different transmission standards, and E* have said they will standardize on their current method. This will involve replacement of all DirecTV receivers with E* receivers (at their expense), a significant issue for those of us that have invested in expensive HD STBs or have integrated receiver/monitors.


Tony
 

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I'm no techowizard when it comes to this stuff, but couldn't a small conversion device be placed in-line at the STB to convert the E* signal to something the DTV or other STB's could use? I mean, if they can make a Mac read a PC disk (remember Mac Charlie?), wouldn't it be possible to convert the signal to a different standard, rather than replacing the entire receiver (or monitor?)
 

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I am biased because I use Dish and like their service.


That said, Echostar is pro HD. Newscorp is not. I feel nothing but frustration with Fox the broadcaster. All D* vs E* emotions aside, could anyone suggest why ND* would be better long term as opposed to ED*?


Examining my thoughts, ND* would be a global conglomerate that has shown no desire to participate in our passion. ED* would have the tools and demonstrated desire to do so.


Are the anti-ED* people closet cable company supporters?
 

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It would be very hard to make a converter. It's not the signal they woudl need to convert. The problem lies in the decomression built into the hardware. That is why they will change recievers. I would have to believe that if it happens dish will either trade in directv recievers for dish recievers for free or very cheap. They would not want to loose lots of costumers over it. Directv's hardware is very prone to hacking where as dish isnt. Directv looses lots of money each year in stolen services. This is one reason dish wants to switch out recievers. Also if everyone has the same receiver then they can get rid of duplicate channels and free up bandwith.
 

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It's more the just the compression built into the receiver. There is the logic that authorizes the user to view selected channels. E* has a much better (harder to crack) access card. The D* card (made by News Corp - Mr. M's company) is a giant sieve where the test card market has flourished for years. I imagine if E* wins the deal, there will be a small group of customers that will be "inconvenienced" by the required change out of equipment.
 

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If E* gets DirecTV, wouldn't it make more sense for them to convert all the E* receivers to the DirecTV standard?


Must be a lot more DirecTV receivers out there than E*. It would seem they will have to make some accomodation to all those users they are buying, so why not go the cheaper route?
 

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I am stuck with cable currently, but before I heard about the sale of DirecTV, I made the very tough decision to go with Dish when I get my HT setup. So naturally, I too would like to see Echostar win the bid for DirecTV.


HDCblGuy
 

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It might be easier to convert the dish to directv but there are many good reasons not to.

first it will be dish that is the owner so of course they will want to use thier own equipment that they make themselves. Also like it was stated directv recievers are much easier to hack so they want to get rid of those as soon as they can becuase it is a big loss of money for directv. Also it has been theorized that directv still uses mpeg1 as their compression method while dish uses mpeg2
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Savageone79
It might be easier to convert the dish to directv but there are many good reasons not to.

first it will be dish that is the owner so of course they will want to use thier own equipment that they make themselves. Also like it was stated directv recievers are much easier to hack so they want to get rid of those as soon as they can becuase it is a big loss of money for directv. Also it has been theorized that directv still uses mpeg1 as their compression method while dish uses mpeg2
These are all good points. I'm trying to remember details of a conversation I had with a gentleman on a business flight a few months ago. He worked in the business and had some insights about DTV. I believe he said that it just "wouldn't work" for Dish to take over Direct because their standards were in fact so different.

It just seems to me that Dish would be biting off more than they should with this proposed acquisition. Would they not have to make some accommodation to all the STB owners who are obsoletized overnight? Gee, I would think if they have to replace both by DTC-100 and my built-in receiver in the F38310, not to mention my other two DTV receivers, and multiply times the number of subscribers/receivers they are acquiring, that they would think twice.

I still say it would be cheaper to convert the smaller number of Dish receivers. Or maybe what we'll see is some new network that operates both satellites, thus accomodating both receivers? I dunno - I think they should just punt.
 

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I've been reading all the posts, but didn't see anything that stated what I believe the real reason behind E* wanting to buy D* is. Sports.


D* made 1 smart move in all these years. They signed long term, sole-satellite carrier agreements for the NFL and MLB packages. They also grabbed HDNet. What would the number of subscribers look like if this was not the case? Personnally I know at least 10 people who made the D* choice for 1 reason only - sports packages. Without them E* will never be able to fully compete on all levels(I have E* because at the time it was the best HDTV choice, but believe me, I want those sports packages)


I think E* will do what they have to do to get the sports agreements under their control, claim that by owning D* they own the rights to the sports packages, overhaul some of the D* infrastructure, offer deals to D* people to switch, decide if its worth converting and if not, resell D* with or without the sports packages but keep the sports packages licensed to E*.


This is about money and subscribers to compete with cable. I don't think there is an anti-trust issue here because the medium is not what is suspicious, it is the product which is enhanced TV programming.


As an E* customer I look at it this way - we've got the transponder space to hold the sports packages and HDNet because E* was smarter on their business plan. They've been able to compete with D* without the sports packages. If we get them D* essentially becomes a 2nd rate product with worse customer service, poorer hardware, bad infrastructure and a huge cost expense to catch up to E*'s satellite space and better technology. Its gonna happen now or in a couple years since E* has the momentum and the better return and retention of subscribers - we might as well let it happen in a friendly manner so as to force the cable companies to begin offerring better service and HD feeds.


Chris
 

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I would guess that the anti-trust issue hinges on two things:


1. Is satellite service considered a separate service from cable, and/or are we better served having competition within the satellite services?


2. There are a classification of people within the United States for which satellite providers are the *only* option already. Choice between the remaining two satellite companies would be taken away from these folks.


I'm fortunate in that I will always have the recourse to use my cable hookup, but for rural folks especially, I can see a case for some sort of anti-trust controls against a company that is the sole provider of satellite service within the US.


--Karl
 
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