I Think I Know Why E* Switched Things Today (1 Viewer)

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What a day, huh? Tell me what you think about this.

Chronology:
1. E* announces it will put (new) HD channels and (new) locals at 105 and (new) internationals at 121. (SuperDish would “see” either (110, 119 and 105) or (110, 119, and 121), depending on what the customer prefers. Note: Though not a widespread problem, this configuration wouldn’t work if the customer wanted both (new) HD/locals and (new) internationals, in addition to core programming, of course. E* probably figures most people (95%?) are either in the A) English speaking camp or the B) non-English speaking camp.)
2. Telstar 13 (a.k.a. Echostar IX) is launched in August. Destination is 121 (for (new) internationals).
3. SuperDish production lags—manufacturing problems.
4. E*’s rollout of Superdish is delayed.
5. Also, at the same time as the manufacturing problems, E* tests the signal from 105. E* sees that the signal is pretty weak and that not all of the lower 48 can get a signal from 105. (This problem is only temporary, though. When AMC-15 launches in 2004 to 105, all 50 states will get an acceptable signal. But, until then, maybe E* needs to rethink putting critical (new) HD channels at 105? A marketing nightmare lurks?)
6. E* totally switches course and announces that all (new) HD will go to 110, not 105.
7. E* announces that all (new) local markets will go to 121, not 105.
8. E* says nothing about (new) internationals.

How it will all work:
• For now, all local markets will be added to 121. (So, years from now, these (new) customers will get service from 110, 119, and 121 on SuperDish.)
• In a year—once AMC-15 at 105 has been put in service—locals will also be added at 105. (So, years after that, those customers will get service from 110, 119, and 105 on SuperDish.)
• Absolutely NOBODY will need to get service from all 4 slots--> 110, 119, 105, and 121. (Basically, SuperDish has switched from being an innovation designed to dramatically increase HD and internationals, to one that is primarily designed to increase LIL markets. In fact, conceivably, LIL coverage could go from 60 markets or so to just about all of them?)
• And, in the future, MANY customers will get service only from 110 and 119. (If you live in a market served by E* today, and your locals are on 110 or 119—I’m ignoring the lame stuff on the wing satellites, of course—there’s no need for you to get a SuperDish because there’s nothing being added to 105 and 121 that is for you.)

Why E* did this:
• Dish can roll out SuperDish upgrades on a market-by-market basis, rather than all over the damn place if (new) HD had been added at 105. (I think Dish’s roll-out of new LIL markets will be determined by the production schedule of the SuperDish. If there are lots of new SuperDishes being produced, then E* can add more cities quickly. E* was worried about being overwhelmed by distributing SuperDishes nationwide…what if production got screwed up? E* now has a much better ability to control the logistics of the SuperDish roll out. One market at a time.)
• Now, those who want (new) HD—and who have Dish 500—can just get it. Don’t need to install the SuperDish because the (new) HD is on the core satellites at 110 and 119. (Anyway, with the problems at 105—at least until AMC-15 goes up next year—putting HD at 105 would have created marketing problems because some areas couldn’t get it.)

Problems for E*:
1. 110 doesn’t have enough room for all (new) HD channels if programmers announce lots of new national HD channels. (i.e. Lifetime HD, Tennis Channel HD, etc.)
2. Filling up 110 with (new) HD will mean there’s no room for new SD services. I think new SD services are the big loser in this switch. (In several years—maybe sooner? Depends on the production of SuperDishes—when E*’s rollout of new local markets slows, which would allow for a more “national” rollout of SuperDishes, new SD channels (and new HD channels?) could be mirrored at both 121 and 105. Obviously, those new services would be available to those with a SuperDish. All other customers would need to switch to a SuperDish if they want the new services.)

Solutions for E*:
1. Compress channels more on 110 and 119. (This is the key. E’s going to have to become much more efficient in managing their licensed transponders at 110 and 119. Better compression and better spot beam technology will help immensely.)
2. As explained above, at some point in the future, some new services could be mirrored at 105 and 121—again, this is because the (new) local market customers are going to be in 2 groups: the “we have no access to 121” group and the “we have no access to 105” group. So, anything that isn’t local, has to be on both. (There's a third group, the "we have no access to 121 and 105, so we need a SuperDish if you put something on one or both of those satellites" group.)

SUMMARY:
SuperDish allows E* to add capacity, as we all thought. But, the new capacity is primarily being used for more locals. Far less emphasis than we initially thought on (new) HD, (new) SD services, and (new) internationals.

Note: This whole analysis is predicated on my belief that E* will avoid migrating services that are already out there and being watched by current customers (ones that are not (new)) to a satellite that requires an equipment upgrade. Its one thing to get people to buy new equipment to get a (new) service (i.e. (new) local channels). Its another to say, “The stuff you were getting. You need new equipment to continue to get that.” I think E* will avoid that at all costs.

Scott--> agree with this?
 
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The only reason for the swap is that the 105° footprint does not reach some border states.

Therefore the HD package had to move to a Sat where it is fully available to all customers.

Locals in those states (i.e. Lansing, Flint, Traverse City, Duluth, Albany are going to 121.
Others such Fort Smith , Dayton and Chattanooga are going to 105° because they are in its footprint.
Internationals including new ones will be at 121.


Eventually, E* will need more bandwidth for HD than is currently available at 110. HD channels may eventually migrate back to 105 or the side Sats. Mpeg 4 may deliver additional bandwidth or E* will develop KA band Sats.
 

Scott Greczkowski

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What you say is logical.

I understand this decission to put HD on 110 was finalized on MONDAY. I am sure it was a tough call but for now it is a correct one.

I know many people who are HDTV lovers were planning on leaving Dish for DirecTV because they did not want a SuperDISH or could not have a SuperDISH, I have been contacted via email and PM's from some of these folks who now plan to stay put because of yesterdays announcement. The number of people who joined our waiting list for 921's after the announcement was amazing.

I do believe however that sometime in the future we will again see the SuperDISH in play, but only when Dish has everything ready to go.

I do not see E* upgrading to Mpeg 4 as they would need to swap out everyone receivers.
 
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Those two InDemand HD channels are really getting some great programming. Their website says "only available on digital cable". Any predictions if DISH will someday have them?
 

Sean Mota

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My only problem with this is that if the SD channels are compressed more, the SD channels will look like crap. I am not happy with the compression right now imagine what it would like if E* starts doing this. At this point it is hard to follow where E* is going. They do not seem to get a good story and follow through on it. They always unplug or plug a new idea at the last minute for better or for worse. As a subscriber I do not like it.
 
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Scott Greczkowski said:
I do believe however that sometime in the future we will again see the SuperDISH in play, but only when Dish has everything ready to go.

Scott-In what capacity? Enabling what specific content? I'm interersted in your theory.

Given the only facts we know (1. a SuperDish can only "see" 3 satellites at once, 2. some locals now on 121, 3. some HD now at 110, and 4. E* doesn't like to migrate programming to another satellite if it requires an equipment change), I can't see how they can do anything other than use 105 and 121 for 1) new locals (placed on one satellite or the other) and 2) Mirrored SD and HD services (mirroring would still require existing subs to get a SuperDish to get the (new) services).

I agree with you that this was a tough call for E*. Over time, they wanted to be in a position to increase locals, and to dramatically increase HD, and to dramatically increase SD services. But, given the circumstances, and given that locals is more important than HD for sub growth, they're betting they can get almost all locals out there + all the HD channels people (really) want to see.

If new HD services sprout up, E* will have to deal with that then. HD is a fantastic product--and E* will have it with a "regular" system and without upgrades--but true (mass market) sub growth comes from locals. E* had to take this opportunity to get in front of that. Especially given they can bring HD to their customers, too.

The only hole in this plan is if there are tons and tons of new HD services that get rolled out quickly. Then E* is in a bit of trouble.
 

Scott Greczkowski

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The hole in the plan is a big one.

Already there are a bunch of HD Channel Dish does not carry, includings...

IN HD 1 & 2
Bravo HD
CINEMAX HD

And coming next month
The Movie Channel HD
STARZ HD

I also know a few channels are planning to announce HD Channels (Perhaps as early as the CES) and I know from contacts at NBC that Dish has an agreement in place to air the Olympics in HD.

Thats a lot of HD to go on 110. Hopefully the space is there.

And I also believe we will see a big ramp up of new HD Channels over the next year. Lets hope Dish has the space to keep up.
 

ScottChez

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Oct 2, 2003
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Its all about the money.

Right now there is money to be made if you have almost every local market up on dish. You will beat Direct TV and Cable.

As for HDTV, look around. NO ONE else has those other channels yet. Cable does not either. There is time to wait on HDTV.

This gives you time to gain the local channels and a hudge customer base that you can sell HD to later once all those new channels are ready.

I think this is a perfect marketing plan. They will make lots of $$$$

Going to buy stock in Echostar soon.
 

mike123abc

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The reality is that Dish has 50 spots on 110/119 (25 each) DIRECTV has 44. D-7s will go up and DIRECTV will have 88 spots (or so). Dish adds 64 equivalent spots with 2 satellites giving them 114 "spots" to DIRECTV's 88 (this is equivalent transponder capacity, 105/121 are not spots). Dish is also building a new spot beam satellite for 110. It could give them another 25+ spots (if they build another uplink center).

Using both 121/105 for locals gives dish the desparately needed capacity for LIL to keep up with DIRECTV. Quite frankly at this time LIL brings in FAR more $$ than HDTV.
 
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It would also seem logical that over time, Dish could start to migrate all of the locals over to super dish. Just mirror them for a while, and install superdishes in one city at a time. They have locals for several smaller cities on 119 and 110. This would slowly create more bandwidth for extra SD and HD channels on 110 and 119. The only peeps who would need a superdish are those who don't want to get their locals off air.

I live in a place where I get 15+ local channels from two cities off air. Dish offers locals in my area, but I would only get 7 if I subscribed. I already get a good pic with my antenna, and no rain fade, even in the most severe of storms. I would be one of those peeps who would only need a dish 500. There have to be several like me, and Dish knows it is the long term best investment to only require superdish for those who do need to subscribe to a locals package. Everyone else just needs the smaller, more attractive on your roof, dish 500.
 

Stargazer

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I agree with Scottchez on this one. HD will not bring in nearly as much as what local channels will at this time, until HD becomes more popular, plus there is not that much content anyways that is in HD for it to be an immediate concern (if you want some good HD channels, not crap ones). Since Dish already has locals available for a majority of the U.S. population it makes more sense for them to have all future locals to be added onto SuperDish, that would be a lot cheaper than having to provide everyone in the U.S. a SuperDish that wants HD.

As HD gets more popular they could do some figures and convert those in the least populated DMA's (smaller DMA numbers) on over to SuperDish at a later date in time that is currently at 110. They may make more money off of the HD channels nationwide that those locals are taking up than off of those people in that market that has Dish for the local channels, or figure out which markets the fewest people are ordering the locals. Each market would take up the space of about 1 or 2 HD channels.
 
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If Dish would make all their receivers with a digital tuner, then anyone with the capability to pick up ota signals would have the ability to get their digital locals. With dvrs and digital tuners this would effectively give people the ability to receive and record their digital hd signals without Satellite having to uplink all those channels now.

They would only have to have hd distant signals for the same cities they already have now ,for people who can't receive ota digital signals in the white areas. This is more economical for Dish and Directv to do this now then try to uplink hd channels now.

It is more important to do the rest of the locals now in sd so they can compete with cable. In the future they can switch all the sd signal to the digital signal in the future.

Some of Dish's cities are using the digital feed now when they can't get a good analog signal. So this will happen someday in the future.

Voom has the right idea to install an antenna into the dish and build a digital tuner into every box so they won't have to do everyones locals . This is kind of like a stand alone Tivo which allows you to combine an antenna with satellite today. Except it is digital instead of analog.

Someday in the next decade , most likely we will see the transition of all the existing channels in analog today to digital signals, but it will be a slow transition for both satellite and cable. Better compression techniques will have to be invented to make better use of the existing bandwith in order to do this or a whole lot of bigger satellites with more spot beams to do it.
 

Stargazer

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Compression and new techniques will have to be done. Also with each analog channel that gets replaced by a digital one, thats really 6 times the space (from what I have seen from other posts), so in all actuality, 1 digital channel to replace 6 analog. Could this cause some of the less popular channels to get dropped in order to improve the more popular ones when dire need of space is needed?
 

James Long

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Stargazer said:
Compression and new techniques will have to be done. Also with each analog channel that gets replaced by a digital one, thats really 6 times the space (from what I have seen from other posts), so in all actuality, 1 digital channel to replace 6 analog.
Not really.

The olden days of C Band had one channel per transponder. Digital uplinks on C Band can be 6 channels per transponder, usually 6 video streams multiplexed on the same digital channel with some compression. Pretty much the same as it is with broadcast OTA television - one channel NTSC or up to six video streams on an ATSC channel.

JL
 
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does this mean that hbo and showtime and ppv hd will be move

need to klnow what i will need to receive this


freak
 

Chris Freeland

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david1pro said:
It would also seem logical that over time, Dish could start to migrate all of the locals over to super dish. Just mirror them for a while, and install superdishes in one city at a time. They have locals for several smaller cities on 119 and 110. This would slowly create more bandwidth for extra SD and HD channels on 110 and 119. The only peeps who would need a superdish are those who don't want to get their locals off air.

Will never happen. (1)locals on 110 and 119 are on spotbeam satellites which E* spent millions of $ for, these satellites are only good for locals and since these locals are on spotbeams, moving them to 121 and 105 will only clear up 5 TP's at each location (2) It would cost E* too many $ to move these customers to SD and make these spotbeam satellites useless.(3) 121 and 105 will fill up with new locals currently being added now and over the next year or so. (4) E* has already ordered a new spotbeam satellite to be placed at 110, with another up-link center E* will be able to add additional locals to 110 without using up any additional TP's, this satellite will likely allow E* to move locals off of 61.5 and 148, which would open up additional space on the wing satellites for future HD channels and International channels with out people having to upgrade, thus the long term future for HDTV on E* will be on the wing satellites, this is why E* is instructing dealers to install a 2nd dish with all HD receivers.
 

MikeD-C05

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I wonder if the FCC will be happy that Dish will move all the locals to the main satellite or the superdish and eliminate the need for the 2nd dish just to get locals. Of course you will still need the 2nd dish if you want hd.
 

James Long

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MikeD-C05 said:
I wonder if the FCC will be happy that Dish will move all the locals to the main satellite or the superdish and eliminate the need for the 2nd dish just to get locals. Of course you will still need the 2nd dish if you want hd.
As long as the Dish300 is provided for subs with side slot locals, the FCC is happy. It won't make them any more happy to waste SuperDish transponder space on locals already provided on side slots.

JL
 

G Johnson

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Interesting thread. Anybody believe these conclusions have changed? What is E*'s strategy for 105 and 121, locals, etc.? What's the future for E* and HD?
 
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