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Sean Mota
01-09-2006, 08:19 AM
By Thomas Hawk (http://www.ehomeupgrade.com/forums/member.php?userid=92)

Just went by DirecTV's booth and talked with one of their engineers about what to expect in the next year. According to the engineer, 2006 is going to be the year that DirecTV brings you local channels. All in they will be launching roughly 1,500 new channels but the most new channels any one user will get will be four -- the four network channels in your local broadcast area.

I bitched a little bit about losing my East Coast network feeds on my HDTV TiVo unit but the enginer blamed the rules and said they'd love to give me everything if they could. I still get wound up about the fact that we can't get East Coast feeds of network television because of some local protectionist legislation whose whole purpose is to allow local television stations to bombard you with local advertising that so many of us don't even watch anymore. We should be able to watch both East Coast and West Coast feeds and I hate the fact that our choice has been sold down the river by a bunch of politicians.

So not a lot of new HDTV content to expect from DirecTV in 2006 except for the local channels. Personally I'm not very excited about that because I already get one local channel and the other three West Coast feeds are just fine for me. I only really care about network programming and could care less about things like local news that I'll just get off the internet anyway. The engineer said that we are going to have to look to 2007 and beyond before we see meaningful additional HDTV content. I brought up all the content that Voom had in HD but he said that much of that was just HD channels with standard definition programming. Not sure on this or not but I plan on stopping by Dish's booth at some point to talk to them about the Voom stuff that they are integrating in.

According to the engineer the new NDS high def PVR box is due out in the 2nd quarter of 2006. He said they could be off by a month either way which probably really means look for it in June or July. The new NDS high def PVR box will operate via MPEG 4. I asked him about our legacy MPEG 2 stuff with the TiVo HDTV box and what upgrade options might be available and when. He told me that you could probably upgrade to a new MPEG 4 NDS box for a nominal charge. Another piece of good news though was that he told me that there were no immediate plans to get rid of the MPEG 2 broadcasts currently being received by my HDTV TiVo, so in other words, if I'm happy with my West Coast network feeds not being "local" feeds per say, then I could just stick with what I've already got.




The only downside to not upgrading is that you miss out on some of the slick new interactive stuff that they are putting out in MPGEG 4 like the six picture in one mixes that they are now doing in MPEG 4 and other sort of interactive downloads that they will have in the future. He did say that they have recently struck deals to sell you downloaded content similar to iTunes and that you'd need an MPEG 4 receiver to get this stuff. One interesting wrinkle that he did tell me about that might give DirecTV an advantage with some of that downloadable stuff was that he said that with downloadable stuff from Fox (which they control) and maybe some other network programming in the future that you'd be able to buy programming before it is even broadcast giving you an early jump. While I can't see them doing this with anything time sensitive like CBS' Survivor, it seemed interesting. Still, I just can't see paying for TV when I can just record it on my PVR for free. This service might be more attractive those to those current DirecTV subscribers who have the unit without a PVR in it.



DirecTV's news mix. Six pictures in one that you control the audio feed with via your remote. They have sports mix, kids mix, etc. At present you cannot customize your mix channels.
The engineer didn't know anything about the Media Center relationship or what that might look like. He did have a good war story though about how RCA basically just bullied Hughes out of the production business buy buying them just to shut them down when Hughes was making better products than RCA was. He said that there were a lot of bad feelings over this from some engineer's perspective.

Proc
01-09-2006, 08:43 AM
So, does this mean that the NFL Sunday Ticket stuff isn't going to MPEG4? We can keep our existing Triple LNB and still get NFLST in HD?

Neutron
01-09-2006, 08:50 AM
If what I'm reading from other sources is true, and the new HD-DVR does not allow OTA channels, then count me out.

Sean Mota
01-09-2006, 09:04 AM
It sounds like the engineer on the floor was not very informed or he was playing stupid. He said that the HD-DVR did not any OTA tuners but CPanther posted information from DirecTv that it will have OTA tuners. Then he said that VOOM is a combination of HD/SD -- again misinformed. Wished he had done his homework before opening his mouth and start given lots of garbage.

CPanther95
01-09-2006, 09:13 AM
As usual, anything outside of an official press release, is suspect (even the press releases typically require some reading between the lines). The most accurate info about D* usually comes a day or two after implementation. ;)

Even this info posted by Thomas Hawk confirms the focus on Big4 only during this initial phase. Since the HD-DVR will presumably be out well before that changes, they'd have to provide access to all the netlets (as well as subchannels) for those with current access to those channels.

Hell of a marketing tactic to ask subs to upgrade to MPEG4, then in return, they lose their WB-HD and UPN-HD channels. :) Anything is possible, but this is one of those things that is so out there - logically - that I wouldn't put any stock in it unless it were confirmed officially.

auribe14
01-09-2006, 01:04 PM
By Thomas Hawk (http://www.ehomeupgrade.com/forums/member.php?userid=92)

One interesting wrinkle that he did tell me about that might give DirecTV an advantage with some of that downloadable stuff was that he said that with downloadable stuff from Fox (which they control) and maybe some other network programming in the future that you'd be able to buy programming before it is even broadcast giving you an early jump. While I can't see them doing this with anything time sensitive like CBS' Survivor, it seemed interesting. Still, I just can't see paying for TV when I can just record it on my PVR for free. This service might be more attractive those to those current DirecTV subscribers who have the unit without a PVR in it.

Problem is, I think you have to have the DVR to see it, as it will be push downloaded and recorded for your viewing pleasure (once you buy it). So while there may be an interest in buying to view beforehand, I do not see where they will make any money on the $.99 versions after the fact.

CPanther95
01-09-2006, 01:12 PM
The $2.99 shows (that can be downloaded 24-48 hrs. in advance) will be limited to a handful of F/X series. None of the FOX series will be available prior to distribution by their affiliates.

Personally, I hope both business models fail miserably.

rad
01-09-2006, 01:54 PM
The $2.99 shows (that can be downloaded 24-48 hrs. in advance) will be limited to a handful of F/X series. None of the FOX series will be available prior to distribution by their affiliates.
Personally, I hope both business models fail miserably.
DITTO!

Barney
01-09-2006, 07:01 PM
Sounds like D* wasn't even nere prepaired for the CES Show.....why did they even show-up!

Again, as I've said before......D* needs to flush their Marketing Dept..totally!

Don Landis
01-10-2006, 10:20 AM
Sean Mota-

Seems like you and I talked to the same "Engineer"

So I have to ask again of DirecTV- Will it have OTA tuner or not. The F style RF connector on the back that I saw and asked about was said to be an RF output, not an RF input. Nothing on this prototype was labeled.


Current position- While, since the HDTIVO was introduced, and E* failed to do proper testing and fixes on the 921, I moved the bulk of my subscriptions to DirecTV. Based on what I learned at CES and if they actually do what they claim (both) I will be moving back to E* sometime in 2006, likely April or May.

I think if you are a true HD lover, you need to be ready to churn at any time! I do!

Reigster at SatelliteGuys