A users notes from the CEDIA Expo (1 Viewer)

Scott Greczkowski

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Sep 7, 2003
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I saw this EXCELLENT post from a gentleman named Alan Dana on the alt.dbs.echostar usenet newsgroup.

I hope Mr Dana does not mind but I wanted to share his note with all the members here at SatelliteGuys.US

Mr Dana was lucky enough to attend last weekd Cedia Expo and has a very interesting report.

I don't know if Mr Dana is a member here yet, but he should be!

Here you go a VERY interesting read!

I attended the CEDIA Expo in Indianapolis this past weekend and spoke to two Echostar reps at length. One was an engineer, the other a high-level administrator in product development and pricing. Here are my notes from the conversations:

Tentative pricing on the new 811 and 921 HD receivers is $299 and $999
respectively. However, Dish dealers at this conference were lobbying hard to have Echostar raise the prices to $399 and $1199 and thus give them some margin for either profit or being able to offer discounts. The product guy told me that they were going to go back and reconsider the pricing based on this feedback.

The 921 is being subjected to far more rigid testing than was the 721.
Echostar admitted that they rushed the shipment date on the 721 and did not complete a full testing cycle. They are guaranteeing that the 921 will ship with far fewer problems than the 721 did.

The 921 has a "Dish Link" port, that is really a 1394 port, which will be
enabled to copy programs to D-VHS units. It also has a USB port, which will not be supported for any functionality when first shipped. It is there for potential future use. It has an internal expansion slot that could be used to add an Ethernet port, for possible connection to broadband services. But no guarantee that an Ethernet port card will ever be delivered. It will support recording onto the hard disk from the OTA antenna input, but only HD programs, not Standard Definition or cable input.

The 921 will not support recording from it's A/V inputs, those are offered
for pass-through connections, such as camcorders or video games.

Current hopes are that the 921 will ship in November. BTW, the other
Dish-compatible HD receiver that was in development by JVC has encountered even more problems in getting to market than the 921 and they were not sure when it might ever be shipped.

All future Dish receivers will have integrated Smartcards, but for the
present time they will retain external Smartcard slots, for repair and
diagnostic purposes.

Dish is definitely going to ship their funky 40" HD RPTV in an HD package.
No plans at this time to offer other TV sets.

Echostar IX testing is going very well.

Use of 61.5 for HD is expected to be shut down within a year.

The Superdish will ship in October. Expect to see more locals up soon after that.

I spoke at length with the product guy about the implementation of PVR fees. I relayed that there was significant resistance in the on-line forums and he said that Dish was aware of this because they have people monitoring the forums. I told them that not only was there large scale resistance and dissatisfaction, but that some of Dish's most loyal, level-headed defenders on the forums were now either switching or contemplating switching to DirecTV. He was concerned by this, but said that they knew there would be a lot of dissatisfaction. But that this was something that had to be done at some point because the cost of providing PVR support was climbing. He was confident that over the long-term that Dish's PVR fees would be less than what people will pay for DirecTV PVR.

He said that no firm decision has been made, but that there was a
possibility that no fees would ever be levied at the DP, 501, or 508
customers.

Alan
 

Cyclone

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It will support recording onto the hard disk from the OTA antenna input, but only HD programs, not Standard Definition or cable input.

I'd bet that he meant that he 921 will record Digital OTA, but not analog. This would be due to additional hardware being required to convert the analog TV signal to Digital before it could be written to the Hard Disk. If the OTA is Digital then it would not need to be converted.

Digital OTA can be either High Definition or Standard Definition. Analog of course can only be Standard.

Cyclone
 

Wally

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 8, 2003
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$399 MIGHT work okay for the 811, but $1199 will blow me and about 50% or more potentials users away from getting it. Everyone has said for a long time that the price point maker or breaker would be about $999. I hope they know this!
 

ride525

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Sep 7, 2003
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SF Bay Area, California
It's disappointing to me that the price of the 811 gets announced at $299 in July Technical Chat, then gets raised to $399 after dealer input(?).

One would have thought that Dish would work this out with the dealers before any price announcement....
 

Randy_B

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Sep 8, 2003
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He said that no firm decision has been made, but that there was a possibility that no fees would ever be levied at the DP, 501, or 508 customers.

That is wise choice. I have already taken a copy of a 501 brochure that clearly states "FREE PVR" to the local office of the State AG and "chatted" about how to proceed should E* ever get STUPID enought to levy a fee on the receivers. The AG does not believe that changing the name of the service from PVR to DVR or DVOD abrogates the terms of service. So E* don't even think about trying to float that lame line.

but that some of Dish's most loyal, level-headed defenders on the forums were now either switching or contemplating switching to DirecTV
Amen. It is pathetic that after 7 yrs of being a loyal subscriber that I found it necessary to visit the AG because I am afraid E* is unwilling to do the right thing, and has now left the impression that they will now screw anyone at the drop of a hat.
 
G

Guest

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:D :D What if E* sent a software upgrade and changed a 501 to a 502?(Just renameing the receiver)
 

Randy_B

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Sep 8, 2003
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Well, we talked about such tricks and they didn't believe that would float. The "box" I bought was promoted as being fee free. Even changing the software by adding features for an added cost would be problematic unless the customer had the option to refuse the upgrade and keep the receiver as is. Automatically sticking new software on the receiver and then charging for the new functionality would still ahve my AG after them. They woudl have a hard time dumping the receiver as well. The staff looked up the oldest Dish reciver around, the 2000 is still isted as active on the Dish website and lists that it is still receiving upgrades, so dumping the 501 or 508 would be be out character with Dish's historic maintenance and thus tantamount to forcing the customer to take a for fee model. Changing the name of the 501 or 508 or 721 won't work. The 510 is different because it is being advertised as carrying a fee.
 

dlsnyder

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Sep 8, 2003
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Moreno Valley, CA
Scott Greczkowski said:
He said that no firm decision has been made, but that there was a
possibility that no fees would ever be levied at the DP, 501, or 508
customers.

Alan

Don't DP users already pay a DVR fee? Does this mean that E* had been considering adding ANOTHER fee on top of the one that DP users already pay?
 

Bill R

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Sep 8, 2003
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dlsnyder said:
Don't DP users already pay a DVR fee? Does this mean that E* had been considering adding ANOTHER fee on top of the one that DP users already pay?

Some DishPlayer owners do pay a $9.99 a month PTV fee. Others get it for free because they either bought it when DISH was offering "free lifetime PTV service" (which they latter changed to 3 year PTV service) or they paid $99 for "lifetime" or "3 year" PTV service (depending on when the customer ordered the service).

"Lifetime or 3 year" PTV service was set to expire in June of this year and DISH did start billing some DishPlayer owners $99 for 3 more years (which DISH said was a mistake due to "auto renewal" on the PTV option). Then DISH said that anyone that got it for free (or paid the $99 fee) three years ago will continue to get PTV until the end of the year. Those that have been paying $9.99 will continue to pay the $9.99.

It is not at all clear what DISH is going to do about the DishPlayer PTV fee at the end of this year but many DishPlayer owners (including myself) have already made up their mind that they will never pay any PTV fee to use the DishPlayer's recording feature.
 

Unthinkable

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 7, 2003
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Randy_B said:
He said that no firm decision has been made, but that there was a possibility that no fees would ever be levied at the DP, 501, or 508 customers.

That is wise choice. I have already taken a copy of a 501 brochure that clearly states "FREE PVR" to the local office of the State AG and "chatted" about how to proceed should E* ever get STUPID enought to levy a fee on the receivers. The AG does not believe that changing the name of the service from PVR to DVR or DVOD abrogates the terms of service. So E* don't even think about trying to float that lame line.

but that some of Dish's most loyal, level-headed defenders on the forums were now either switching or contemplating switching to DirecTV
Amen. It is pathetic that after 7 yrs of being a loyal subscriber that I found it necessary to visit the AG because I am afraid E* is unwilling to do the right thing, and has now left the impression that they will now screw anyone at the drop of a hat.
Thats messed up. Why so paranoid?
 

Stargazer

Supporting Founder
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Sep 7, 2003
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Scott Greczkowski said:
He said that no firm decision has been made, but that there was a
possibility that no fees would ever be levied at the DP, 501, or 508
customers.
[/quote]

Do they also mean 721 customers? I would assume so. Also is it meant that no fee would ever be levied at the 501, 508 customers on any future DVR receivers such as the 510 or just on the receivers that they have now and that any future 501, 508 receivers that new customers activate would incur the fee? It has already been said that 501, 508, 721 customers were to be grandfathered from DVR fees on those units.

Also what if someone had a 501 or 508 then had it shut off or has some but has not activated them yet? Would they end up charging you DVR fees for the 510 and other future DVR receivers anyways? Probably so. You probably have to have a 501, 508, or 721 currently active on the account to get the fees in the future waived if they would even do this for those customers. Perhaps this will be another promotion they will give existing customers on future DVR receivers, grandfathered from DVR fees or free DVR functionality for a given amount of time like 1 or 2 years.
 

Randy_B

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Sep 8, 2003
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Unthinkable said:
Thats messed up. Why so paranoid?

It is pretty apparent that Dish is looking for ways to bring the older DVRs into the DVOD fee arena. I would bet my bottom dollar his lawyers are are looking at how they could go about it. If he wasn't, Charlie wouldn't even be MENTIONING the 501, 508 and 721.

I am just making sure that E* knows that some of us are "thinking" about them as well. E* tried this with the DP, I was one the people that had an official document from E* that said the DP $99 special offer was for free PVR for life. Dish started backpeddling after I sent them a copy. Do you think they had an epiphany and put the renewed fee on hold out of goodness! HAHA! I am not saying my documents alone led them to rethink that idea, but I know it was a factor, a legal one to boot.

E* lives by the lawsuit, I am just speaking their language.
 

Bob Haller

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Sep 11, 2003
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pittsburgh pa
Its sad that we as a group have lost faith in E and believe they are out to screw us. Charlie should of just said never a fee on older receivers pre 510. By the lack of comments it indicates its being considered.
 

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