EXCLUSIVE: Big Happenings at DirecTV (1 Viewer)

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Scott Greczkowski

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Sep 7, 2003
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As I mentioned earlier in the week Big Things are happening at DirecTV.

I have recieved a copy of a letter from DirecTV which will be sent out to all dealers over the upcoming week.

I will be posting a full copy of the letter when I have a chance to scan it in, but some items of interest from this letter

In programming, we will introduce interactivity in sports, news, and other areas. Specially tailored content will downloaded to DVR's. New Channels will be launced for our customers. A new electronic programming guide will have exciting new compabilities. Our high definition programming will incresae by two or three times including the expansion of local HD centent We will agressively expand our international program offerings to compete in those important niches. We are also launching 70 local markets in the next year.

DVR will be one of the cornerstones of our plans and an area of focus and energy in 2004. Our DVR must be the market leader in ease of use and capabilities. We plan to have more storage capacity, sped, flexability, reliability and unique content that our competitors. We also must make sure we fully develop the opportunities created by a hard disk in the home to develop exciting new experiances for our customers.

Update I have scanned and placed this document online for your enjoyment. :) You can download it for clicking here
 

Alan Gordon

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Oct 20, 2003
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Scott Greczkowski said:
In programming, we will introduce interactivity in sports, news, and other areas. Specially tailored content will downloaded to DVR's. New Channels will be launced for our customers. A new electronic programming guide will have exciting new compabilities. Our high definition programming will incresae by two or three times including the expansion of local HD centent We will agressively expand our international program offerings to compete in those important niches. We are also launching 70 local markets in the next year.


All boxes to have new programming guides via software update, or just the new DirecTV branded boxes?! Local HDTV content...Spaceway satellites or just the FOX and CBS O&O markets?! 70 local markets... counting the ones waiting for 7s to go up, or 70 additional markets (OK, I already know the answer to that one)?


~Alan<~~~~~Who figures we'll have to wait and see...
 

Stargazer

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Or is it just the DVR boxes to get the new program guide seeing how they have hard drive space for the information for a new program guide?

Dish Network better get on the ball FAST and add some more channels, fix their reliability issues in their DVR's, and improve the software in their receivers (if that is even possible), along with adding more HD content. Looks like DirecTv is going to show them how its done then Dish will follow this time.

DirecTv might even convince me to switch over if they are going to have all of these improvements especially since they are getting my locals this year. I already know what the DirecTv systems are like and the receivers are smaller, turn channels quicker, have better look and feel, and the DVR's have better functionality with a cheaper price.

I have seen a lot of people complain about the $5 DVR fee but if it is Tivo with better functionality and has a lot of storage space with good quality, then it would be well worth the $5 to pay for that type of DVR functionality if you use it a lot, unless they want a lot of money for their receivers. Getting a discount upfront helps out a lot of consumers to make it an affordable product. To charge $5 for a DVR service with less functionality and MUCH higher hardware costs is totally another ballgame that is foul but not struck out because Dish has sold more DVR's than anybody else so they must be doing something right.
 

jcolombo

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Jan 4, 2004
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sparker said:
"Local HD"????

Hmmm. It would make sense for D* to offer local HD in the major markets if they are going to compete with cable. Even though you can get HD via OTA, most people don't want to bother. Cable systems in the major TV markets are already offering the HD locals, so a "no antenna" solution is more attractive, and it probably makes TIVO functionality easier. More bandwidth required, obviously, but for major markets like NY, LA, Chi, etc. it would make sense.

John C.
 

Alan Gordon

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Oct 20, 2003
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jcolombo said:
Hmmm. It would make sense for D* to offer local HD in the major markets if they are going to compete with cable. Even though you can get HD via OTA, most people don't want to bother. Cable systems in the major TV markets are already offering the HD locals, so a "no antenna" solution is more attractive, and it probably makes TIVO functionality easier. More bandwidth required, obviously, but for major markets like NY, LA, Chi, etc. it would make sense.

John C.

Well, they are fixing to have CBS and FOX in HD/ED for NY and LA. However, I'd be surprised if they don't start putting up some HD locals when the first SpaceWay satellite goes up in the summer. There has been a lot of talk about this on AVSForum and DBSForums. The question is, how many cities are they planning on using for the first SpaceWay satellite, what kind of dish will be needed to pick them up, or are they planning on putting more HD locals on 119 when the new satellite is launched for the top cities.

~Alan
 

Alan Gordon

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Oct 20, 2003
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Stargazer said:
DirecTv might even convince me to switch over if they are going to have all of these improvements especially since they are getting my locals this year. I already know what the DirecTv systems are like and the receivers are smaller, turn channels quicker, have better look and feel, and the DVR's have better functionality with a cheaper price.


I've been leaning towards staying with DirecTV recently due the recent stagnation at Dish Network. With the exception of having to deal with the evil spawn that is Pegasus, the lack of WB! and UPN programming, and the possibility that Dish might come near adding my locals, I would never DREAM of dumping DirecTV. I get a GREAT picture (almost close to DVD quality on my 50 inch Hitachi), good selection of channels, hardly any problems with the receivers (except for a couple went bad on me in 10 years of service), and just a good experience with them. The only thing that will make it perfect for me is to have Pegasus no longer provide service for DirecTV (praying for that to happen), and national WB! and UPN feeds for those who don't receive a grade B signal or get waivers, and I'll be extremly content with DirecTV. Plus, you'll be able to get the TV Guide channel! Of course, you might lose the Bingo channel, unless Rupe decides to pick it up! ;)

~Alan
 

Tampa8

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1. Many including myself have said it will be mandatory for DBS to have local stations in HD, because in most cases cable will. This is very forward looking by Direct, especially saying they want to do this in the short term.

2. The items in the letter should make Dish worry. I am overall happy with Dish, but some of the things planned by Direct would make me look closely at switching if Dish does not follow. (Or lead) I hate to say it, but I put more faith into a letter like this from Direct than I would from Dish given their track record on delays.
 

Sean Mota

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In my case, I don't care about the local HD. Give me more streamline HD channels and you will get my business. Right now, from my point of view, don't care about interactive tv (this does not cut it with me), I don't care unless it is an HD DVR with more than 50 hrs of HD recording (nor E* or D* can provide this at the moment) and firewire. Lastly, be the leader of HD and don't drag your feet (do not count the HD locals). Let me tell you for me this is not good to add these HD locals. D* will drag its feet again in adding the other streamline HD channels because they would like to add the HD locals. So history will repeat itself. What we are seing with LOL we will see again with HD locals, pathetic. Whoever satisfy my needs will get my $$$. No loyalty here. I am fed up with E* and I do not see much improvement right now by switching to D*.
 

bgooch

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Jan 24, 2004
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The best dbs service will integrate the major nets

The dbs carriage of major ota networks in hd is important for several reasons. The reason most people subscribed to cable in the beginning, and is still valid today, is for better reception of local stations. Even in today's multichannel environment the majors still attract mass audiences. And more hd content is available via the majors (combined) than anywhere else. A majority of hd ready households still don't receive hd. Even with a top of the line uhf antenna & amp I don't receive all the hd stations ota in Los Angeles and I live 2 miles from downtown. My personal experience contradicts a widely perceived idea that when you receive a digital broadcast signal your equipment locks on to the signal equal to what is sent out from the point of origination. But I can see a difference and pq does vary. Today's terrestrial digital transmission is not perfect. The best dbs channel guide/interface will integrate the majors with basic, digital and pay channels.
 

Stargazer

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I personally think they need to get all the basic and premium movie channel content in HD before worrying about getting all locals in HD. Also they could probably do 10 or so markets in HD in which is a fraction of what they have up right now to get a lot if not most of the U.S. their HD content. It will be important to get locals in HD as well since HD is the wave of the future. I know that in 2007 the requirement will be digital in which is not HD but I think HD will be the norm in many cases.
 

Alan Gordon

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Oct 20, 2003
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Sean Mota said:
In my case, I don't care about the local HD. Give me more streamline HD channels and you will get my business.

Neither do I so much as I expect it to be 2010 before my locals come online. However, for those of us who don't live in New York or LA feel this is a good omen for HD. Think about it, these areas consist of a good portion of the United States. Whenever these people go out and upgrade to a HDTV, the salespeople can tell them their locals are available in HD on DirecTV. These people then subscribe to the HD package, more subscribers to HDTV service means more attention to offering new HD channels.


Sean Mota said:
Right now, from my point of view, don't care about interactive tv (this does not cut it with me)

I liked to use the Interactive Weather when I didn't want to go to my computer, especially considering High-Speed Internet wasn't available to me until Alltel offered DSL at my home last fall, but I don't miss the interactive functions now that they are gone.

Sean Mota said:
I don't care unless it is an HD DVR with more than 50 hrs of HD recording (nor E* or D* can provide this at the moment) and firewire.

Give it time and there will be. If I stay with DirecTV, I may get the HD DVR, although I really don't want to spend that much money.

Lastly, be the leader of HD and don't drag your feet (do not count the HD locals).>>

I don't think anyone will be the leader in HD... I think sometimes DirecTV will lead, I think sometimes Dish will lead, but I think locals should count, as they affect a HECK of a lot of people. (Just wish they affected me)

Sean Mota said:
Let me tell you for me this is not good to add these HD locals. D* will drag its feet again in adding the other streamline HD channels because they would like to add the HD locals.

They may put up distant networks on the main sats, but I suspect they will put the majority of locals on the SpaceWay sats, considering that is one of the things they said they wanted to do with them. I doubt they will affect how DirecTV adds the streamlined channels, and I suspect several new HD channels will be added this year (hopefully TNT-HD).

Sean Mota said:
So history will repeat itself.

It has a tendency to do that. I, for one think history needs to admonish itself for doing such a thing.

Sean Mota said:
Whoever satisfy my needs will get my $$$. No loyalty here. I am fed up with E* and I do not see much improvement right now by switching to D*.

I agree, that's why I've been trying to decide whether to switch to Dish Network or stay with DirecTV. Whoever satisfies me needs, or offers me the best deal, gets my money. However, the problem is, one is always going to be first, or going to have the best stuff at the moment, and unless you make enough money to subscribe to both at the same time, or keep switching from one to the other every time something new comes along, you're going to be disappointed sometimes. I have been fed up with DirecTV for not having a Distant feed of the WB! ever since Superstation WGN stopped airing WB! content, but maybe someday they will, and maybe even a distant HD feed! :)

I didn't mean any of this to sound rude, and hope it wasn't taken that way, but I have been trying to figure out for almost a year now which service is going to offer me the most HD programming (when I get my HDTV this year), and which provider will get my locals (in SD) first. I still don't know the answer. I've about decided to stay with DirecTV and upgrade my systems, but I'm going to be upset if Dish announces my locals right after I do! That's the nature of the beast, or so they say...


~Alan
 

Chris Freeland

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Sep 8, 2003
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This all sounds great and is convincing me even more that once my locals are added by D* this Spring or Summer I will likely switch unless I see some major changes at E* to counter D*. I have been with E* since 96 and it seams to me that as E* is getting less customer friendly, D* is getting more customer friendly and has now passed E*.
 

Chris Freeland

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Sep 8, 2003
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Oh I forgot, just one question? Where is D* coming up with all this bandwidth for them to add all these additional channels like doubling or tripling HD, HD locals, more International, more SD etc.?
 

Stargazer

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Not to mention that DirecTv's dish is smaller and cheaper than the SuperDish, so I would take it that it is easier to install as well. Even the switch on the SuperDish is $100 plus $20 shipping if your lucky, more expensive than what an oval DirecTv dish would cost.

Dish better get in gear and do something here. The reasons why I have stayed with Dish is because they got the locals first, have a promotion to swap customers over to the dish for free, and have been giving existing customers some promotions lately on hardware. They also dont give you grief about phone lines unless you have five or six receivers and have a cheaper basic package and have the superstations available in which is a biggie for me since WB is my favorite station. You dont need to sign a one year agreement everytime you add a receiver or swap one out to a newer one and you dont have to pay for a replacement card like you do with DirecTv sometimes in which can be a HUGE inconvenience. You can also order channels without a basic package for a $5 fee and you cannot do that with DirecTv. There are still some good advantages to Dish Network that I really like over DirecTv. It seems like every move you make with DirecTv you have to sign a one year agreement even if you are an existing customer wanting to reactivate hardware, according to some posts I have read on here. If someone wanted just the locals after the first year (after getting a free SuperDish and free hardware from Dish Network) you could get just the locals for $10.99 per month if you got hard up for money.
 

chelsea

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Sep 8, 2003
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D* has 64 locals now, will add 41 locals on the new 119* spot 7S Feb. or Mar.
Then their next sat. 72.5*, which is full powered, not a spaceway will
debut another 18 locals.

>http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/aboutus/headline.dsp?id=01_08_2004B
 
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