My Evaluation of VOOM after Two Months

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Sean Mota

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Sep 8, 2003
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Here is my first month evaluation of VOOM:After a Month of Subscription, My VOOM Evaluation and yours?

My installation was done on November 23, 2003. It has been 2 months already! Where do I stand? What do I like or dislike? What problems have I experienced?

After two months, all I can say is that VOOM has grown on me. I love the idea to have a lot of High Definition (HD) channels. It is true Cinema 10 could be better and should really improve. Which channels I like? I love Monsters-HD. I have watched a lot of good movies here. Some of them my favorites. Epics has made some impact on me. It has had good movies but there are others that I really did not like or I haven't had the time to watch. I also question some of their movies or shows to categorize them as epics. Can we see more war movies? Animania has changed since last month and more stuff was added. I have watched some of the classic cartoons but the quality (even though is all that can be done given the fact these are old cartoons) is lacking. I love the concept of Animania and there are others that have superb picture quality. We need more content and more cartoons that we are more familiar with. Worldsport, I have started to like because of the soccer games. These games are of excellent quality and I like them. I like to see more Japanese baseball games (other than the world series). The worldsport is a channel that can be excellent if more content is added. I am not yet sold on Ultra, Treasure, Gallery and Moov. I have to watch more of these channels.

How about these new promotions which are cutting the initiation price of VOOM? What's my opinion? I love this price cutting. It means that VOOM recognises the necessity to put themselves in the same level with the other dbs providers. I am not happy that I pay an extra $500 to be the first one to have it but I hope that VOOM will give us something in return. What? I do not know. Now, do I feel so mad about this that this will make me quit and deinstall. No. Deinstalling at this point is illogical and it is based only on emotions. I will not do that until 2/29/04. What do I expect? I expect to see more HD added. Like INHD, INHD, HBO, CINEMAX, BRAVO, and others.

Dissapointments/problems? My biggest dissapointment has been Starz-HD. This has nothing to do with VOOM but Starz-HD is a disgraced of a channel. It is worse than Cinema 10. How the heck can you show 20 HD movies in a month and your premiere movies like the pianist, chicago, gangs of new york, and frida are not shown in HD, although they all say HD where availalbe.

my problems are minimal, my OTA is working and I love the PG integration with the OTA. Dish will not give me this. The stb has been good on me and if I experience a problem I do not hesitate and get it resolved.

In conclusion, I'll be hanging out for one more month. This was my original plan when I signed up. Use the three months and then evaluate once I have seen everything. I am right now leaning towards staying with VOOM more than leaving.

I hope to hear your opinions as well after a month or two months...
 
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rudolpht

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Sep 12, 2003
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Sean,

Concur with your points, but maybe not conclusion.

I have been a pretty vocal defender of Voom and even accused by luminaries like Don of being unabashedly biased in my new service :) That said the lack of straight shooting on programming is getting me down. I will wait until after 1 Feb & reassess. I was pretty sure I was in Voom for the long haul, but now I'm waivering.

It has nothing to do with price drops (more subscrtibers = less bankruptcy). It has nothing to do with the somewhat quirky but very usable STB. It has to do with after the fact moving dates & no explicit upgrade policies. As Arun says, it's unfortunate that the early adopters aren't being taken care. We have been and could be the biggest Voom zealots.

A week ago I would use Voom as my main STB and infrequently go to dish to fill in the gaps. Now I am almost backwards. I look at zap2it to see if there is anything on Cinema1-10 & Monsters-HD. Epics is the non-epic chaneel so hardly worth looking at listing. (Note to Voom: Epics = action and/or war and/or large scale battles/adventures or the like). So I only turn on Voom intermittrently.

Tim
 
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Sean Mota

Thread Starter
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Sep 8, 2003
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Tim,

I agree with you but let me remind you that when it comes to adding programming neither E* or D* have very good tracking records. Take a look at E*, they have been adding Bravo-HD+ since last summer. I have read so many times that they already have a contract yet, no Bravo-HD+. Look what happened with ESPN-HD, it took them quite a while to add it. Roughly about 6 months after it launched.

Same thing I can say about D*, it took them 2 years to add Discovery-HD and another two years to add Sho-HD. Even after ESPN-HD launched it took D* a month to two months to add it. How long did it take E* to launch HDnet? I do not want to count the months.

As of today, E* is limbo regarding HD. Charlie Ergen pretends that all the HD channels available today are the ones he offers. He has not add Starz-HD or TMC-HD and who knows when we are going to see those in E*.

I can say the same about D*. Their latest programming addition has been CBS-HD which E* for a long time and this is limited to only 30% of the subscribers. Fox-EDTV also will be added with the same restrictions. Some people will care about these two local channels but in my situation I don't since I watch them via OTA.

I have learned that when it comes to adding programming nothing is set in stone and there will be changes. I will say to you and all others to at least wait until 2/29/04. That's all I have in plan to give V*. If for some reason the channel line up does not shows up by 2/29/04, V* will have to do another extension.

Right now, it is not costing us anything to stay until 2/29/04 since the money back guaranteed is in placed. This is just my opinion Tim and you know I do not work for VOOM or have any special bias.
 
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rudolpht

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Sep 12, 2003
587
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My concern is that if programming is not in place by the end of Feb, that the mass defections of an admittedly small user base may spell the end. Lining up in bakruptcy court will spell getting $10 back in about 3 years.

I have a bias that I want Voom to suceed. The concept is great, and with a little more being up front with customers, the execution would be bearable.

That's I guess what I'm most disappointed with, and it pains me to say it.
 
S

Sean Mota

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
19,039
1,738
New York City
Tim,

I see what you mean but I think I am seeing more positives than negatives. I will say that the new subs under the new promotion will offset those leaving for whatever reason. I am not saying this as a fact but as a subjective reasoning. I am going to roll the dice for one more month. Now there are other indications that I think make me to believe that bankcruptcy will not happen. One is the spectrum fight that VOOM currently has with Echostar. Two is that there has been hidden indication for which I cannot freely say everything that VOOM will not fold even if some subscribers decide to leave. I can only say that at this moment.
 
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dubinvero

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Nov 30, 2003
15
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I have been a Voom subscriber since late November. My opinion of the service has eroded over time.

I have had good experiences with installation and Voom customer service. I am on my second receiver because the first one had a severe red-push on my Sony front projector. Unfortunately my second receiver has the same red-push and now needs to be unplugged every day to function properly.

When I first got the service I mostly watched Voom. Recently I have not accessed Voom at all. I have watched all of the Cinema 10 movies I care to see. I have watched all of Real Madrid's matches a number of times. I have reduced my Favourites List so that it now includes only 3 of the 21 exclusives (channels 121-123 ) plus the other HD prime channels and no SD channels.

I have gone from being a definite long-term subscriber to a near certainty that I will cancel the service and request a refund. I have not asked for my second receiver to be replaced because I dont want Voom to incur additional expense in case I cancel the service.

I find it incredible that Voom does not communicate with its subscribers. It would not be difficult to keep us all informed of the current schedule for introducing future HD channels. They would be smart to tell us that they recognize particular technical shortcomings and provide us with their tentative schedules for fixes. This lack of communications is one of the main reasons I have soured on the service.

For me to remain a Voom customer, I will need to see the introduction of many more HD channels, a pricing structure that does not force me to purchase expensive duplicate SD channels that I already get with a better STB and Program Guide from Dish Network and lastly, a refund of the additional $350 that I payed to be an early adaptor and help Voom work through its early teething pains.

Derek.
 
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lizard20022000

SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 29, 2003
40
0
I got VOOM about the same time as you guys...

I concur with you guys on most things. I did not expect VOOM to be an E* or D* out of the box, but I really hoped that they would speed up (not necessarily be completely up to speed, but getting there) by now. I find that the only time I am going over to E* is for SciFi and FoodTV and then infrequently. My son on the other hand is on Dish more frequently for boomerang and a couple of the other kids channels.

I am a movie type, so I am not dieing for ESPNhd or INHD. I would like to see HBO and Cinemax in HD, but will probably not add them as one of my plus packs. I would like to see what VOOM expects the final versions of the Plus Packs to be, I am expecially interested in DiscoveryHD, since it looks like it is standing alone right now, maybe voom should consider making it part of the standard package.

In general I think that there is no solution that is perfect. There is just not that much good content on TV right now (on any provider).

I am happy enough with VOOM that I am going to invest in a good OTA and see if I can pull in the fringe stations. Once I do that I will pretty much be commited to VOOM for the long run. (wow Gamera looks pretty good in HD).

Anyway, I really hope that VOOM appreciates and takes care of us early adopters, but that is really not why I got VOOM. I got if for HD.
 

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