Scott's Take on VOOM

Scott Greczkowski

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Well I have been kind of silent over the past few days about VOOM.

I sat back at my desk and as each VOOM message came across my screen I kept asking myself, "what the hell?"

VOOM is a company that can succeed the question in my head is do they want to? From what I have seen this week that answer is NO.

VOOM is trying to come out of the box to be a be all DBS service with both Standard Definition and High Definition channels. Looking over the list of Standard Def Channels I ask myself why they even bothered, they are missing important channels such as FOX News, CNN, Nickelodion, Cartoon Network, ESPN.

I can not see anyone replacing their current satellite or cable service for VOOM's SD offerings.

Of course the big selling point of VOOM is its HIGH DEFINITION channels. Of course in its initial channel lineup there is only one channel that anyone has ever heard of and that is Discovery HD Theater.

Many people are excited by the number of HD Channels VOOM offers, I feel that the number of channels is just an advertising gimmick. I am willing to bet that if you took all the programming from all 21 VOOM HD channels and aired each show or movie back to back on just ONE Channel they would still not have enough material to fill up one month on that one channel with no repeats.

What good is 21 channels of HD when each channel only has about 8 programs they will be showing on each channel per month?

Folks don't fall the "We have 21 channels of HD" line, because at the moment its 21 channels continuous loops.

Where are the real HD Channels? ESPN-HD, HDnet, HDnet Movies, Bravo, INHD 1 & 2?

Yes I hear the movie channels are coming to VOOM but I say so what.

I hear that the press confrence the other day was laughable, when people asked questions many times they did not have answers and said they would look into it.

Don't get me wrong all is not bleak for VOOM, they CAN make it. If I were VOOM here is what I would do. Instead of trying to make themselves a everything satellite company I believe they should retool and become a HDTV accessory which can be sold and marketed to both existing Cable and Satellite customers.

If Voom focused on strictly being a HDTV company they (once they have their programming better setup) could easily become the must have add on for anyone who wants HDTV.

Instead of saying "Hey I see you got Dish Network, why not switch to VOOM?" they could say, "Hey I see you have Dish Network, how would you like 40 channels of HD prgramming to go along with your Dish Network subscription?"

So VOOM get rid of the SD stuff, concentrate on becoming VOOM the HD Company, sell yourself as something that is the perfect comploment to any multichannel service. Instead of working against the other satellite companies and cable companies work with them.

That's my thoughts on VOOM, I would love to hear your thoughts as well.
 

Sean Mota

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I agree with you and I think that should be the direction that VOOM should take. Only time will tell whether they will remain or they will collapse. I am a bit optomistic about it because I like the idea of these 21 HD channels. They may not appeal to everyone but some of them appeal to me.

The other item is that VOOM is being run by the same people that are running Cablevision. Cablevision has had such a negative impact by being mediocre to slow in getting their HD and SD programming.

I really hope that they can turn this new venture and get the system to work. I would not mind having only HD channels from them. The SD channels will only be good if they can provide better quality than E* or D*. It remains to be seen whether that is the case.
 

silversurfer

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I agree I think the jury is definitley still out.. I will not be sinking 750 dollars into this service until I see some definite answers, real programming, and promises becoming reality. You have to remember this is being run by a cable company and we all know how they work!
 

YuriLuzr

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Sep 23, 2003
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Well put Scott. I have E* and I get a few channels of HD from Comcast with a basic subscription. Since seeing HD all I want is more, I watch stuff that comes on in HD that I would never had watched in SD, just so I can see HD. :D If Voom had a lower entry price and provided HD only at a reasonable monthly price, I would be jumping on the bandwagon. Can't see putting out that kind of money for something I don't see keeping in the long run.

I also think that E* will still tow the line in the long run and I've got to have DVR! Life without it now would not be worth living. ;)
 

dlsnyder

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Sep 8, 2003
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Scott -

I'm not sure what kind of sense that would make for the average consumer. Add another dish on the house and buy another $800 worth of equipment, then pay another $40/mo on top of the $70 to $100 many are already paying for cable or DBS? I don't think that business model would work, especially given the fact that you would have to have two IRDs for two incompatible systems. If they could do a seamless integration with existing systems then it might fly. Perhaps if their next-generation receiver were compliant with the new open cable standard so that you could use it for digital cable services in addition to their satellite HDTV offerings then they might have a winner. That might be just the course they will pursue in their home market now that I think about it...
Hmm... :?:
 

Scott Greczkowski

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Well they are not going to win anyone over for $100 a month service and you can't even watch channels like ESPN, Fox News or CNN. :)
 

fv3

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Sep 8, 2003
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weird Dream time:

Cablevision wants to sell Rainbow 1 and the licenses to go with it to Echostar.

Ironically, Echostar is positioning itself to sell E*3 and the licenses to go with it to Cablevision.

Each will battle the other at the FCC auction to get the last two licenses at 61.5, with the hope of making a tidy profit by bundling them with their other 61.5 "properties" and selling them to the other.

Dominion realizes all this is going on, and is building their own uplink center to be able to operate with whomever winds up holding all the marbles at 61.5, or possibly even picking up and moving to a different bird (or birds) all together.
 

dlsnyder

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Sep 8, 2003
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I also seem to recall reading in the press release from the time Rainbow 1 was launched that it had FSS Ku band transponders in addition to its DBS capacity. I wonder what they will use that for?
 

A_Noland

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Sep 8, 2003
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I would have to agree. I'm not going to give up my 7 channels of "Name Brand" HD for 21 channels of crap. I didn't sub to Discovery HD until it was bundled with other stuff. Their 'Exclusive' channels are the same thing. But, maybe that is why the service is free until the first of next year.

I also think they have made an error in not selling there slots to Dish. Maybe they thought they could start up the business and add value. But Dish has shifted to using the FSS satillites and doesn't need the 61.5 slot anymore.

Just my $.02.
 

rtt2

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They probably need to have a high ARPU in order to justify the high capital they have invested. It sounds like $100 is the magic number Voom is aiming for each subscriber. The business plan probably relies on high subscriber revenue. If they went to a specialty service or an add on service they probably could not survive financially.
The whole reason they have these exclusive channels is because all the programming fees will go to VOOM. At $40 for 21 channels works out to be about $1.90 a channel you are paying. That is all profit for Voom minus the production costs. The thing that sticks about this equation is that E* Or D* put on programming based on demand whereas Voom will put it on in order to meet their bottom line. So paying $1.90 per fish tank channel is no real bargain when E* offers all of its HD for $9.99.
 

M Law

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Sep 30, 2003
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Scott,

That was a good, honest evaluation. I think we can all agree that we want VOOM to succeed, in one form or another. Anything that adds to the list of HD channels is welcome, but for most if not all consumers, it has to be tempered with a financial perspective. For VOOM to expect people to sign up sight unseen, well, I just don't think there will be that many. The investment in equipment is steep for an unknown programming product.

Your idea of marketing themselves as a compliment to the other providers is an excellent idea. One I am afraid may fall on deaf ears. If the equipment investment were a bit lower, and the monthly as well, it could be an excellent companion to any other service.

Here's hoping VOOM can blow away the smoke and see that they really need to do.

M Law
 
G

Guest

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Scott,

I could not have summed up VOOM any better myself. I still think it is good idea, but they need to be the "add on" HD service. I thought that is what they would be. They need to add all of the established HD channels to suceed. Anyone who signs up for the 21 exclusives alone is being foolish. They need the established channels and in a hurry.
 

Tahoerob

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Sep 10, 2003
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Scott said:
Scott,

I could not have summed up VOOM any better myself. I still think it is good idea, but they need to be the "add on" HD service. I thought that is what they would be. They need to add all of the established HD channels to suceed. Anyone who signs up for the 21 exclusives alone is being foolish. They need the established channels and in a hurry.

I too agree with above. Those of us who will be moving up to the Dish 921 have no reason to add PlusPak movie channels at a higher cost with Voom. I will be able to DVR HBO HD at 3am any night! I would consider it as an add on as well IF the equipment cost are less. I, like most of us reading this, already have an OTA antenna setup that WORKS. I am not going to let some contract installer use any old cheap antenna when I have already got it set by trial & error.
If Playboy HD is a reality then the other 2 big DBS will probably get it too.
I am sure Dish will have InHD 1&2, BravoHD, TMC HD and a few others to add to the line up soon. Thus, looped Texas Chainsaw Massacre in HD will not sway me!

Robert
 

Wally

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Sep 8, 2003
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Scott, you may have it assessed about right. However, the other angle is, all they need to do is add those few core SD channels, and go as a full offering service. I know I would sacrifice some "spurious" less-core SD channels if I had 8x more HD channels. Yes, the movies loop, but 10 channels! (Though they had better change more often then once per month!).
I wouldn't put that much money into an "add on" (though many viewers are at a crossroads with 811 and 921 money standing by).
Meanwhile, Dish has got me by the throat by my having CBS-HD (I'm a fortunate one), and I ain't giving that up (I cannot get any HD OTA: mts.).
 

AndyMon

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Sep 8, 2003
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Long Island, NY
Wally said:
Yes, the movies loop, but 10 channels! (Though they had better change more often then once per month!).
Ah, but have you seen what he movies are? Pretty average to poor stuff for the most part. We're not talking new releases here.
 

AndyMon

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Sep 8, 2003
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I wouldn't be surprised if voom/Rainbow eventually sells their satellite and becomes strictly a program provider of HD. They might try to build their exclusive offerings into something worthwhile, culling the losers, combining others and maybe wind up with 5 or 6 halfway acceptable offerings that they can then sell to E*, D* and cable companies.
 

rtt2

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Andy that is exactly what I was thinking. The exclusive channels would never be launced on any other system. But if Cablevision can build up a few channels they may produce a sellible product to other system operators.
 

Stargazer

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Sep 7, 2003
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I dont think Voom will be a valuable service if it offers only HD programming because a lot of people will just get Dish Network because they plan on having 50 HD channels in near future. A lot of people will not want to get two different satellite sytsems for a solution to tv. Voom would have to offer a good lineup of SD channels along with their HD content to be competitive to Dish Network to make it.

With Dish Network having a good lineup of SD and in the future a good lineup of HD as well, Voom would not make it at this route. Why would someone get two companies when one is going to offer everything? Dish wants to diversify and this is how they are doing it. They want to be the one company to sell SD, HD, internet, etc.
 

wcswett

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Oct 9, 2003
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I have to agree with you completely, Scott. With the number of transponders Voom has and their symbol rate on Rainbow 1, MAYBE they could do three HD channels per transponder and make a decent add-on service. Heck, if they're 8PSK and MPEG2 all they'd have to do is change their encryption to Nagravision and they could be put in the EPG of all existing DISH HD customers already on 61.5. That horse left the barn long ago, but if they were going to make up a bunch of their own HD channels couldn't they make a lot more money with less outlay if they sold CONTENT without all the hardware baggage? IMHO if they want to make a decent all-in-one service they're going to, at a minimum, need that entire 61.5 slot.

--- WCS
 

Stargazer

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It is more than the lack of satelite space. Even if they did have the space there is not enough HD content to support using the whole satellite slot (at this time) although there will be in the future. $749 seems pretty steep to get started nowadays. You will be able to get an 811 from Dish Network for $399 and get a free SuperDish and free installation with a year of the $9.99 HD package. That is a big difference in hardware costs plus many will be able to get their locals and more SD programming and just as much HD programming in the future.

Perhaps Voom feels that they do not need as many customers if they are going to make more from each customer that they sell too. After seeing the price they are wanting for the system it does not seem like they are subsidizing much money in each customer like Dish and Direct does.
 
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