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At his press conference yesterday discussing his offer for Dish to acquire DirecTV, someone asked Charlie Ergen which technology platform would be the standard for the combined company, and how the migration would be handled. It was a little unclear, but I believe the answer was that the combined company would use the Dish technology, which was superior because it used MPEG2. This would require all DirecTV customers to swap out their STB's for a new one. Dish has budgeted a significant amount of money (I think the number was $600 million) to offer incentives for DirecTV customers to make this switch.


Ergen also said that the companies had not settled on which sets of services would be broadcast from which orbital slots, so it's possible that new dishes or dish realignments might also be required.


Could someone please explain the differences between the technologies used by Dish and DirecTV in their respective systems? It is surprising to me that Dish would intend to replace all DirecTV STB's instead of all Dish STB's because there are so many fewer Dish STB's in the field. What is it about the Dish technology that makes it superior and makes it worthwhile for Dish to pay the money to replace so many more STB's?


[This message has been edited by lhl12 (edited 08-07-2001).]
 

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One reason for using Echostar equipment might be the fact that DirectTV equipment has been hacked. See thread on DTV suing individual hackers or something like that.


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Echostar makes their own equipment and therefore more profit on selling it. Selling new equipment to 10 Million subscribers of DTV would make a lot more profit, than letting other manufacturers replace his own equipment with maybe a little royality. This has to be the bottom line on his decision.


Jerry
 

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It's always been my understanding that the underlying technology between these 2 services is the same. MPEG2 is not unique to Dish so far as I know. DTV has been using it for years.
 

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Yes, Dish and DirecTV use different modulation methods and encoding, but both use MPEG-2 for the digital video compression standard. I won't mind if we are given a good deal. I can still use the DTC-100 for OTA reception. Hope this buyout goes through. The other suitors for DirecTV would be bad news.




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HDjunky
 

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Quote:
It is surprising to me that Dish would intend to replace all DirecTV STB's instead of all Dish STB's because there are so many fewer Dish STB's in the field. What is it about the Dish technology that makes it superior and makes it worthwhile for Dish to pay the money to replace so many more STB's?
Well, DTV has more subscribers, but the ratio of IRDs/sub is stilted toward Dish, so the difference may not be that much. For the most part, subs of both providers believe that the DTV IRDs are superior in the GUI. Perhaps E* would take the Hughs interface and integrate it into their IRDs.


As for Security systems... the common statement is that E* has a superior encryption system that hasn't been hacked. This is not true. The statement that DTV systems are easier to hack is true, but only marginally - There are simply more DTV card hacks out there because:

(1) DTV has been around longer.

(2) DTV has had more desirable programming - eg. Sunday Ticket.

(3) DTV receivers have been more readily available w/o the requirement for activation - i.e. You could walk into a Radio Shack, pick up an IRD, pay cash and there was no way DTV knew you were a potential pirate.


Should the E*/Kuldeski Conditional Access system be the only one out there, it will only be a matter of time before they have a commonly available hack. IT's a simple rule of encryption - when you have to provide the end-user with a decryption device, you can't guarantee the communications are secure.
 

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All,


I don't believe the FTC will allow this merger/buyout to take place. It would give DISH an almost total monopoly on satellite TV, since the big dishes are virtually obsolete.
 

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The only way they would remain this large is if they convince the 11 million customers to switch to Dish's boxes. I will not be one. And unless they do it for free they will loose half of DirecTV's customers.


If they use their heads they better switch Dish's boxes to DirecTV's.
 

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Dish has promised national pricing for remote area subscribers with no cable options. With the two satelite companies combined, the new company would be no larger than ATT cable. With the larger size and cost efficiencies, the new DISH would be better able to compete with cable. The big picture is that competition for satelite is not necessarilly other satelite companies but all subscription T.V. services, i.e. CABLE. The consensus is that for the customer, a DISH merger is preferable over News Corp. I perceive the integration of the two systems being as big an obsticle as anti-trust concerns. Randy
 

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Hi All,

Back in April I spent $700 to purchase a Mitsubishi HD-5 HD DirecTv STB. If Dish thinks that I going to spend more to replace this with one their boxes, I got big news for them. If Dish wants my business then they will replace both of my DirecTV STBs for free. And if the new box does not have IEEE1394 Firewire on it, they can forget the whole deal.


I just start watching OTA and DVDs. By this time next year we will have 7 Digital stations on the Air.




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Bruce.in.Cary
 

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lhl12,


Basically there isn't a difference in the video or audio offerings from DISH or DirecTV. They use different encoding schemes, but they are both MPEG-2, and both offer digital audio and 5.1 sound.


However, if this deal goes through the combined company would control 91% of the U.S. satellite-television market. That, is scary! Sure some of the cable companies are big, but they don't control 91% of the market, nation wide.


As for one being hacked and the other not... well that's simply not true. They are both hacked, one is with the card, the other with the hardware. DirecTV has had a bigger problem with it, and with the new Hu cards has taken great strides to eliminate it alltogether. For all intent they don't worry about the H cards anymore since an update they sent out a few months ago (called black Sunday) pretty much wiped out everything that was out there by literally fusing and burning out an area in the card itself.


The Hu cards I hear are hacked but it's nowhere near as easy as it was with the H cards. It had gotten to the point with the H cards that just about anybody with a card programmer could do whatever they wanted.


Not so with the Hu cards, or any receiver purchased in the last year or so. Before you can buy one now days you have to give them your credit card so that they can bill you for service before you even take the box home. Some receivers have even been shipped without cards, with a coupon in the box for a card, that you have to send to DirecTV once you have your system installed. (then they'll send you a card)


The DISH system however isn't the same and as others have mentioned, DISH makes more profit selling thier own boxes than someone else's. That alone is the only real deciding factor as far as they are concerned.


However, I am like the others that have commented here. Unless DISH is going to upgrade ALL my receivers for free then they've lost me. In my home I have five standard receivers and one Ultimate TV dual-tuner receiver. DISH would have to come off the hip pretty darned well to make me happy! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif


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Later,


Tony / Premier AV
 

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They are both mpeg2 based, however, Dish Network uses a slightly less compression algorithm, which seems to render a less pixilated image. I also like the fact that Joel Silver of the ISF has been working with Dish Network in order to deliver even better performance. Direct TV has never seemed to be as committed to advancing HD as Dish Network despite their head start in the game. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/eek.gif http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/eek.gif http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/eek.gif


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COBRA


. . . Unleash the Hounds of Hell . . .
 

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DirecTV hacking, for what it's worth, is way way easier and more common that Dish hacking. That is a fact, which I have no particular opinion or concern about. It's just true. Read around the net for more information.


The reason it's easier to hack DirecTV is the conditional-access system is inferior. Period.


As for control, the 91% argument is ludicrous. Dish + DirecTV would equal something like AT&T Broadband in number of customers or AOL/Time Warner Cable. Get a grip, because there will not be more than 4-5 total TV providers nationally within a decade.


Also, if Dish and DirecTV merge and Northpoint (not the DSL company, the terrestrial would-be broadcaster that plans to re-use DBS frequencies from the north in major markets) can prove it's technology is non-interfering, we'll get more competition.


Plus, 10-15 years from now, the phone companies will be able to provide VDSL competitively.


We WANT Dish and DirecTV to merge because that will massively accelerate national competition (they'll compete for 80-90% of cable customers with locals vs. 50% or so now) and they'll have loads of bandwidth for HD, et al.


Mark
 

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If such a merger were to be approved, I would hope DISH would factor in TiVo and UltimateTV owners. As an owner of two DirecTiVo's, I'd certainly hate to lose my dual-tuner functionality once the update is publically available.


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E. Donald Argo, MCSE+I

HDTV: RCA DTC-100 / Mitsubishi WS-55805

TIVO1: Sony SAT-T60 @ 88hrs [2.0.1]

TIVO2: Sony SAT-T60 @ 35hrs [2.0.1]
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dhildebr:
All,


I don't believe the FTC will allow this merger/buyout to take place. It would give DISH an almost total monopoly on satellite TV, since the big dishes are virtually obsolete.
It depends on how you look at monopoly. Yes, they will have the vast majority of DBS subscribers, but both companies see the cable co's as their competition and the lawyers will try to convince the FTC of that. When compared with all subscription TV services (cable, DBS, BUD, etc), E* and DTV combined have nowhere near a monoply.


jake
 

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Well thank god this is not going to happen because I'm sure dish would ignore the needs of prior dtv/ultimatetv/tivo owners. It would not be profitable for them to replace the existing equipment.
 
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