note the HDTV part..Voom could lead or blow it

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rang1995

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Consolidation For The Cable TV Sector In 2004
Forbes.com staff, 02.06.04, 11:08 AM ET


Tear Sheet | Chart | News

NEW YORK -

Merrill Lynch said highlights in the cable television sector in 2004 will include heightened competition, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) rollouts and consolidation activity. In terms of VoIP rollouts, Merrill says Cablevision Systems (nyse: CVC - news - people ) and Time Warner (nyse: TWX - news - people ) unit Time Warner Cable are the companies to watch. "In our view, if Cablevision posts surprisingly strong take-rates during 2004 for its VoIP service (we project 14,000 in 4Q03 and 70,000 in CY04), this could result in multiple expansion for the entire sector as investors look for another product to replicate cable high-speed data's success," said Merrill. The research firm said data points on consumer adoption of advanced services could identify cable's next hit and noted that preliminary results of high-definition television (HDTV) services at Comcast (nasdaq: CMCSA - news - people ) and Cox Communications (nyse: COX - news - people ) suggest HDTV could emerge as a "potent winback tool" to encourage DSL Internet customers to switch to cable Internet.
 
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Dan Berndt

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Dec 2, 2003
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I believe VOOM knows the 21 exclusive channels are it's key to survival. There is no way an upstart satellite company could ever compete with DirecTV and Dish unless there was something very special about their service. Even a company dedicated to HDTV could never survive promoting currently available HDTV. No matter how often a satellite company gets a jump on broadcasting a subcribed HD channel it's just a matter of time before all the other service providers have it.

It's a good thing VOOM is also affiliated with broadcasting. I think because of the importance of the exclusive channels to VOOM we are going to continue to see good programming on them. The 21 exclusive channels are going to make or break VOOM.
 
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rang1995

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point is this is the "tip year " for HDTV and Voom could with their 21 and OTHERS (HBO InHD etc)become a leader in HDTV or let the cables catch and pass them since they will have more and more bandwith..Now is the time
 
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Dan Berndt

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Dec 2, 2003
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Bandwidth being the issue, does anyone know exactly how many sd and hd channels can be bradcast through one transponder with MPEG2 and with MPEG4? I know I read recently how many tranponders VOOM has availible at the 61.5 position but I don't remember off hand. So if how many channels is it possible for VOOM to broadcast from 61.5 with MPEG2 and MPEG4.

You know how DirecTV got around the bandwidth problem, they sent up more satellites. I still have a three LNB dish in may back yard. It seems to me the limit on bandwith is how many satellite locations there are, how many transponders at each satellite location and how many of those transponder frequencies the FCC will license to a satellite company.
 
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Sean Mota

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Don't know about MPEG4 but Darin (from AVS) has come up with a nice number for VOOM with MPEG2 and HD channels. VOOM has 13 Transponder and will be putting up 39 HD channels. This implies 3 HD channels per transponder. 13 TP x 3 HD Channels = 39 HD Channels! The SD channels, of course, take a lot less space and will be compressed. Maybe 88/13 or 6 to 7 SD channels per transponder.
 
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Dan Berndt

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Dec 2, 2003
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Sean,

I don't think those calcs are right. I believe band width must consider SD and HD at the same time. I believe a HD channel takes up about 3 times as much bandwidth as SD disregarding audio.

Under this assumption we can convert 39 HD channel and 88 SD channels to 205 SD channels. So if that is the limit of the 13 transponders, each transponder could handle 15 to 16 SD channels or 5 HD channels. But this is of course purly speculation on my part.

If this is the case though, we could eliminate all of the SD programming and have 68 HD channels.
 
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Sean Mota

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Sep 8, 2003
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Dan,

You maybe correct. I am not an expert on calculating these numbers. I am just echoing what I have read. One thing is for sure that VOOM only has 13 TP up to now and they will have to fit 39 HD channels and 88 SD channels into 13 TP. Let's see if they can pull it off. I do not know...
 

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