VOOM Press Conference Summary and Review

Sean Mota

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
19,039
1,738
New York City
Here is my personal review of VOOM. You saw it here first, at SatelliteGuys.us.

Voom today officially launched and my initial impression is as followed.

Voom has more HD channels than Dish Network or Direct TV. It has a variety of HD Programming for those that are hungry for HD. The hardware seems to be stable. I did not see any lock ups in the receiver while I was there. Picture looks great but not as good as HDnet and Discovery HD on Dishnetwork. There might be some compression but I do not have enough information to back that up.

There appear to be good integration of the guide with locals. They did not have an Over the Air Antenna connected so it was impossible to test the locals. These 21 exclusive channels are great but some might say that the programming will be lacking. This will disappoint a few but others will be happy to have these. The Ultra HD channel looked excellent. Beautiful women modeling. I imagine how the Playboy HD will look like ;) The Playboy HD will only be available as a Pay Per View channel. Voom is also looking into adding more pay per view channels. The guide actually had them already but there was not content on them.

Vooms seem to be very much interested into getting anything that is HD. I can see VOOM getting ESPN HD, HDNET and HDNET Movies in the future and others such as HBO. They will be adding MSG and Foxsport Net to their programming as well. But it will not be soon (this is my own speculation after speaking to some people in charge of programming). They already have contracts in place with MTV HD, NFL HD, Discovery HD, Showtime HD, Playboy HD, & Starz HD. So they are pushing the envelop in trying to get VOOM to have the most HD. Again, this also could be mean that the more VOOM adds the more VOOM will compress. Except that MPG4 will be available in last quarter of 2004. This will be huge for them. They will be able to double the SD channels as well as adding more HD channels.

I did ask how the receiver handles native feed. According to VOOM, the receiver has options to feed everything natively to the TV or use 720p or 1080i. I asked about DVR but I was not given a concrete answer about this. VOOM does not see DVRs in the immediate future. Overall I was impressed with the amount of HD programming. If you are an HD freak and want more and more, I would recommend it. If you want to wait until they get more HD content, it will be wise. As you already know, most of the movies will be upconvert. They already have their own facility to do this. They already contracted various producers to go and produce more HD content. It will be interested how VOOM does in the first two quarters of 2004. In business anything can happen. I hope VOOM does continue in what they started. In the future VOOM is planning to add interactive TV in HD. It is a good beginning and let's hope it has a nice ending...


As for your questions:

(1) Are you planning to add more mainstream HDTV programming? Yes, we are. But we need to look after what we have launched today and continue to aggressively be the HD leader.

(2) Are you planning to take over on slots from E* that become available to increase capacity at 61.5? Sure we always looking to increase our capacity but it will take time.

(3) What do you have to say about recent disclaimer that HBO or Showtime can be dropped at anytime (if they lose their temporary license)? This will be resolved before 2004.

(4) Recent rpts indicate that you will carry an adult HD channel. Will this be part of the $99.50 for all programming or will you charge extra for it? It will be PPV.

(5) What upgrade policy do they plan for those that want the DVR versioh of their box when it comes out next year? Very difficult to say at this point.

(6) Will there be a lease or rent to own option like what was mentioned last year? (I did not take this question with me). I might ask them.

(7) What about two or more room installation? According to what I heard two or more room installation will be done after 1/1/2004.



Press Briefing

At the press Briefing Charles Dolan, chairman of Cablevision Systems Corporation, was introduced. VOOM will have exclusive coverage of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular this year. This event will be transmitted in HD (1080i) live from Radio City Music Hall. This event will be the beginning of other events to follow. Rainbow 1 was lunched in July 17th as a state of the art satellite. Voom will provide the most comprehensive programming available today. Twenty exclusive channels with variety in programming without commercial interruption. All in true HD (1080i). The Yankee group has estimated that by the end of 2004, there were be 12 million HDTV owners.

Joshua sappan, Chief Executive Office:

Voom will be the first to enter the market place with an exclusive HD package. With all the local stations delivering converting to digital and delivering more HD programming, we believe that by 2007 there will be 40 million HDTV sold. Voom will provide 39 HD channels. Most providers only offer 7 HD channels until today.

Besides the 21 exclusive channels, we already have contracts with the NFL HD channel, Discovery HD, 6 MTV HD channels, Playboy HD, Showtime HD, Starz HD. All these channels will appear in Voom as they become available. By February 2004 we will add 88 Standard Definition channels and 18 Digital music channels. All your locals are available via OTA.

We have invested in an Advanced Satellite/Receiver Technology. By the 4th quarter of 2004 we will be changing from MPEG2 to MPEG4. At that point we will double the capacity of SD channels as well. All 21 exclusive channels will be HD 1080i and DD5.1. We will provide consumers with an 18" satellite, receiver, OTA antenna and 2 year service plan. The avenue of distribution will be Sears.

Here is how the 21 Exclusive Channels Breakdown:

HD Cinema (10 Channels):When you tune in (turn on the receiver), the customer will have 10 available movies. These movies will be playing all day. From Hollywood Classics to recent hits, a broad mix of movie eras and genre. Uncut and commercial free entirely in wide screen HD.

Programming Highlights for HD Cinema:

Action/Adventure:

The Bounty, Rocky V, Salvador, the Man Who Would be King, The Terminator, The Three Musketeers, The Four Muskeeteers.

Classics:

The Bad and the Beautiful, Father of the Bride, Designing Woman, Lassie Come Home, The Prince and the Showgirl, the Crimson Pirate, The Days of Wine and Roses, Love in the Afternoon, The Spirit of St. Louis, Reflections in a Golden Eye.

Crime:

Breathless, The Long Goodbye, Rush, State of Grace, Blood Simple, I Confess, The Usual Suspects, Prince of the City

Spy:

The Russia House, the Little Drummer Girl.

Comedies:

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Easy Money, Broadway Danny Rose and a Midsummer Night'Sex Comedy, Shadows and Fog and Zelig, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Mr. Mom, Benny and Joon, Oh God!

Drama:
The Indian Runner, Lord of the Flies, Star 80, Alice doesn't live here anymore, clean and sober, the man with the golden arm, Ryan's Daughter, Six Degree of Separation, Thelma and Louise

Musicals:

The Fantastiks, Hair, High Society, It's always fair weather, man of la Mancha, A chorus line.

War:

Back to Bataan, Battle of the Bulge, Under Fire

Westerns:

The Battle of the Cable Hogue, the Left Handed Gun, the Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, Cimarron, For a few dollars more, the good the bad and the ugly.

Cult:
Blacula, cleopatra jones and the casino of Gold, Coffy, Foxy Brown, Hammer, Whatever happened to baby jane, one million years, b.c., listen up: the lives of quincy jones, thelonius monk: straight no chaser.

Director's cut:

A clockwork orange, eat drink man woman, europa europa, live flesh, persona, the sheltering sky, day for night, dead ringers, roma and Satyricon.

Monster HD:

Programming Highligth for Monster HD:

Zombies:
Night of the living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Dead Alive, Evil Dead, Army of Darkness

Modern Madmen and Maniacs:

Original Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1 & 2, Wes Craven's the Hills Have Eyes, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Friday the 13th

Original Movies/Network Television Premieres:

Pinata: survival island, the shaft

Aliens & Sci-Fi Fright Films:

War of the Worlds, the Terminator, Species

Giant Monsters:

King Kong, Godzilla, Rodan, War of the Gargantuas, Frankenstein conquers the world, Gamera, Gappa, Mighty perking man

Werewolves and Vampires:

An American Werewolf in London, Dracula, Countess Dracula, The Vampire Lovers, Vamp

Exploitation and Drive-in Favorites from the 50, 60, and 70:

War fo the colossal beast, the she creature, I was a teenage werewolf, I was a teenage Frankstein, invasion of the saucer men, it conquered the world, the raven, the pit and the pendulum, blacula, the abominable dr. phibes, the land that time forgot, the amitiville horror.


World Sport HD

Programming Highlight:

World Sport Soccer: Exclusive coverage to 50 of the best games for the Spanish Premiere League

Hard Water: A 26 week serie showcasing the most exciting water and wind sports from the world's most exotic locales.

College Football DIAA All Star Classic

Japanese World Series: Japanese baseball classic.

Nancy Kerrigan Invitational: Skating and winter sports

Hidden Treasures: Golf's Hidden Treasures

World Class Track & Field: Top athletes compete and prepare fro the 2004 Olympics.


Rush HD:

Programming Highlights:

Drive--documentary chronicles legendary skateboarder Mike Valleys. His cross-country oddyssey as he explores the people, place and issues defining skateboarding and youth culture today.

Pororoca--Surfing in the Amazon. Capture the awe-inspiring sights and sounds of the Amazon River and its fabled Pororoca. Viewers have a first peak at this event from the perpectives of Helicopters, Jet skis and state of the art technology.

Red Bull Cliff Diving Championship--Life on the edge. The world's best cliff divers converge in Hawaii.

Reunion Island-- A world-class whitewater team travels to this remote island of the coast of Madgascar in search of canyons, waterfalls and ocean surf.

Exploring the Middle Kingdom--Two of the world's best kayakers take on China's most challenging waters, including the Three Gorges River.

Wings--World's most skilled skydivers and para-gliders fly the skies over Lake Erie.

Air and Waves--An intense and breathtaking look at elite surfing and skydiving.


Rave HD:

Programming Highlights:

YES--Symphonic Live in Amsterdam: Three decades of timeless hits with an accompanying symphony.

THE JAMMY'S--celebration of Live music from the Roseland Ballroom in New York City

COUNTING GROWS--Live: multi-platinum artists perform from the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam

TOM PETTY-the last DJ: live from the tour of their colorful, unique brand of rock and roll.

BRANFORD MARSALIS--Award wining jazz saxophonist live in concert.

BEYONCE--friends and family: with Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, Tyrese and many more.

SHERYL CROW--Multi Grammy award winner performs her hook-infectious rock and roll live.

VIDEO:
Marilyn Manson, Beautiful People
The Cure, Fascinating Street
Jason Mraz, You and Me Both
Ringo Starr, Never Without YOu-tribute soing to George Harrison
Clint Black, spend My Time - new single
Roscoe, Smooth Sailing - New, young rapper's smooth debut
The Distillers, Drain the Blood-dark new video
Buddy Jewell, Sweet Southern Comfort-tender tough country star's new video
Rodney Crowell, Earthbound-country star's acclaimed new single

ON SET WITH: Clint Bank, Uncle Kracker, Monica, Buddy Jewell, Iggy Pop, Jewel

ULTRA HD:

Programming Highlights:

FULL FRONTAL FASHION


NEW YORK FASHION WEEK: complete coverage of nearly 100 runway shows from New York's semi annual fashion week, staged under the tents in Bryant Park. Shows preview the fashion trends for spring 2004, featuring the work of Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta and many others (First comprehensive coverage of Fashion Week originated in High Definition).

LONDON,MILAN PARIS: major runway shows that will define the loor for spring 2004.

HAUTE COUTURE SUNDAY: Special coverage of the haute couture fashion shows from Paris, scheduled all day long on Sundays.

ULTRA EYE: Original series profiles global style capitals, finding the most compelling architecture, interior design, fashion-forward food and lodging and artist endeavors that define the city's sense of style.

ULTRA EYE MIAMI: Series premiere explores the extraordinary Spa Internazionale, where celebrities love the privacy and luxury; the interior design of Barbara Hulanicki, who is credited with igniting the stylish re-emergence of the South Beach Art Deco Distric; Barton G, the new restaurant that takes the presentation of food to the level of performance art; and Aqua, a new residential community developed on its own island.

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED: Original series takes viewers inside 'foodworthy' new restaurants to meet the chefs and sample the cuisine. Hosted by food authorities Jacqui Malouf and Ed Levine.

ULTRA SPACE: Original series explores innovative residential spaces designed to speak to the tastes of a modern world. Each half hour episode features three home and garden tours, hosted by fashion and decor journalist Melissa Barret Rhodes.

TREASURE HD:

Programming Hightlight:

First look previews exciting new shows premiering this fall on Treasure including: On the Block, Magnificent Obsessions,Treasure Seekers and Extreme Treasure. Hosted by Jacqui Malouf, this energetic hour profiles the personalities behind the world's finest collections of Disney memorabilia and Black Americana, previews and astonishing auction of American Indian art and artifacts and locates the pistol owned by the man who killed Bonnie and Clyde.

ANIMANIA HD

Programming Highlights

SHORT FILM FEST: Ongoing strip celebrates animation with a showcase of the best animated shorts from around the world. Featuring the entire spectrum of styles, formats, and genres.

CLASSIC SERIES: Timeless favorites, ground-breaking animation, cartoon styles and characters from all eras come alive in HD.

VIDEO GAME-TOONS: Video games feature their own unique and compelling styles of animation, showcased in previews of new games, animated narratives compiled from popular games, along with demonstrations and tips for playing.

CUTTING EDGE: Newest animated series in 2D, 3D and computer generated state of the art graphic.

NEWSBYTES HD

Programming Highlights

NEWS HEADLINES: updated every hour.

EVERGREEN NEWS FEATURES: from reporter/photographer teams in five regional bureaus across the country.

HD PHOTOGRAPHIC ESSAYS: From top videographers selected by the National Press Photography Association.

BUSINESS NEWS: updates, including state of the art animation and graphics delivering real-time market coverage.

SPORTSWRAP: with highlights of games televised in HD across the country.

NATIONAL AND REGIONAL WEATHER: Current temps, forecasts, satellites and radar display and HD tours of weather "hot spots".


MOOV HD

Programming Highlights

Motions videos are compositions of video art set to music. Themes are interpreted by video artists in 2-10 minute productions, drawn from abstracts and real world imagery. Unlike any other television channel, this is a high definition visual and audio experience that creates a setting-as art having on the wall-rather than serving as an entertainment destination.

TEXTURE: close up photography reveals the striking colors, complex patterns, startling structures that go unseen around us every day.

GRAPHIC LOOPS: Fantastic worlds are created by manipulating light, form, liquid and color in infinite and compelling arrangements. "Flashlike" animations respond to the music played under them, creating a distinctively techno experience.

ENJOY THE VIEW: High resolution satellite photography adn aerial views from across and above the globe.

OUT OF THIS WORLD: Virtual worlds in two or three dimensions are created by artists using state of the art computers.

FACE 2 FACE: the steady eye of the camera taps the power of human faces, examining up close the lines, the worry, wonder, fear, longing, regret, pride, and joy playing across them.

FIELD TRIP: Explore wide ranging destinations with the primacy of being there as you see what the camera sees, hear what its microphones hear. Each "field trip" is a single steadicam tour of a big city, a small town, a forest or garden in walks, through exotic urban and rural locales around the globe.

Gallery HD

Programming Highlights

Gallery HD begins a worldwide tour of the finest art collections with the October premiere of its 12 episode original series designed to bring the finest art, and the stories behind the works, home to viewers in stunning high definition. First stop is London and an exploration of two of the continent's signature collections.

POWER ART: THE TATE MODERN--Take a sweeping look at exhibits that range from the Impressionists to living Conceptual artists, all housed in stunning new building crafted from a former power plant.

CULTURE CLASH: THE SAATCHI GALLERY--Examine Charles Saatchi's personal art collection, now housed in an important public gallery on London's South Bank. Guaranteed to provoke the viewer, this program will delve into one of the world's most controversial collections of contemporary art. Gallery also premieres a couple of documentaries which explore two of the most intriguing characters of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist movement.

MARY CASSATT: A BRUSH WITH INDEPENDENCE--profiles the American painter who broke artistic and social barriers to become an influential member of the French Impressionist movement.

VAN GOGH'S VAN GOGHS--Documents the triumphs and tragedies of Van Gogh, brought to life through his paintings and the letters he wrote to his brother, Theo.

EPICS HD

Programming Highlights

STORIES: TIMELESS FILMS--The Bostonians, Pinic at Hanging Rock, The Madness of King George, Another Country, The Draughtsman's Contract.

MANIA: PERFORMING ARTS-- Ziggy Stardust and the spiders from Mars, Jimi Hendrix at the Isle of Wight, Robbie Williams Live at Albert Hall.

HABIT:NIGHTLY SERIES--Middlemarch, House of Cards.

WORLD: GLOBAL FILMS--Cousin Cousine, the Official Story, Cyrano De Bergerac.

PULP: INDIE FILMS--The Plumber, The Hawk, The Good Father, Late Night Shopping.
 

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Sean Mota

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
19,039
1,738
New York City
HD Cinema...
 

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Innova

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 24, 2003
46
0
I know your still adding stuff Sean, but thanks in advance! There are currently alot of SD channels missing that I'd want (comedy, sci-fi, noggin for the kids, espn, etc), but with you saying that there will be 88 by 2/1/04, that makes me feel better.

I'll be waiting for your review, but I have two questions right away. Did they say anything at all about ESPN? And did the receiver lock up at all? From what I saw, and have been hearing the Sears stores have had a lot of lockups already.
 
G

Guest

Guest
HBO

HBO is extremely important(sopranos , first run movies,concerts) no HBO no subscribers..not to mention ESPN etc..
 

Sean Mota

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
19,039
1,738
New York City
Nothing about ESPN HD. When asked about other HD channels, they said that it will probably be done and they are continuing negotiating with other HD channels. My personal impression is that they are willing to add all the HD available as long as it meets their business plan. Regarding the receiver locking up, I did not see this. I saw that the guide went offline a couple of times in one and it was because it got disconnected.
 
G

Guest

Guest
motjes2 said:
Nothing about ESPN HD. When asked about other HD channels, they said that it will probably be done and they are continuing negotiating with other HD channels. My personal impression is that they are willing to add all the HD available as long as it meets their business plan. Regarding the receiver locking up, I did not see this. I saw that the guide went offline a couple of times in one and it was because it got disconnected.

I can't figure out how they can carry channels like Disney, ABC
Family and Toon Disney yet no ESPN-HD. That just doesn't make any sense. These channels are all owned by ABC. Why can't they reach an agreement on ESPN, when they can carry the other ABC owned channels ?
 

Sean Mota

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
19,039
1,738
New York City
Pic 317 - Animania HD plus Guide

Pic 318 - Guide by Themes

Pic 320 - Channel Numbers

Pic 326 - Moov HD

pic 327 - Ultra HD
 

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Scott Greczkowski

Welcome HOME to SatelliteGuys!
Staff member
HERE TO HELP YOU!
Sep 7, 2003
100,209
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Newington, CT
Whoops I acidently deleted there (dang fat fingers) :)
 

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Sean Mota

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
19,039
1,738
New York City
Pic 330 - Ultra HD

Pic 334 - Epics HD

Pic 337 - HD local guide integrated

pic 339 - Rave HD

pic 340 - Animania HD
 

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Sean Mota

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
19,039
1,738
New York City
pic 341 - Newsbytes HD

pic 345 - Animania HD

pic 355 - Rave HD logo

pic 357 - Treasure HD logo

pic 358 - Gallery HD logo
 

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Sean Mota

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
19,039
1,738
New York City
pic 359 - moov hd logo

pic 360 - animania hd logo

pic 321 - sears display (lock of/too much flash)
 

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YuriLuzr

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 23, 2003
59
0
Sean,

Would you say that the shows that are being shown in your photos are orignal HD content, or are these SD shows that are upconverted or streched?
 

Sean Mota

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
19,039
1,738
New York City
YuriLuzr said:
Sean,

Would you say that the shows that are being shown in your photos are orignal HD content, or are these SD shows that are upconverted or streched?

Just by looking at them I can say that Rave, Moov, Gallery, Treasure, worldsports, Newsbyte, and Ultra were of original HD content.

The cinema movies, epics and to some extend animania were upconverts. Animania had also some original HD content. It's hard to figure seeing Felix the Cat in HD. Even if upconvert it looked quite good.


I just added my review on top of the first page....
 
G

Guest

Guest
Did you have a chance to ask about their programming packages?

Looking at their website it looks like it will be typical Cablevision.

All programming is free until 2/1/04. Then subscribers start paying 39.90/month for
the 21 "exclusive" HD channels, the SD channels and one HD Pluspack. Extra Pluspacks are 14.90/month each. Or for 99.90/month the subscriber can get everything.

First of all, I am with Scott as he posted elsewhere, the content in the Exlcusive HD channels is pretty lame. I am not interested in watching HD just for the sake of watching HD, it still needs some quality content.

Since Discovery HD is one of the Pluspack channels offered at 14.90/month, then you know ESPN HD will a separate Pluspack for another 14.90/month. The Tennis channel is the only other Pluspack available at this time (it will also be 14.90/month beginning 2/1/04).

In summary, (assuming they get all the SD channels they claim they will be adding) you get roughly the equivilant of AT100 and the 21 exclusive HD channels plus one Pluspack HD channel for 39.90/month. (Locals are OTA with their included antenna.)

As they add more Pluspacks, they will be 14.90/month after 2/1/04. So start adding 14.90 each for Discovery HD, ESPN HD, etc. unless you want to pay 99.90/month for everything.

And don't forget you get to pay about $750 for the equipment.
 

Sean Mota

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
19,039
1,738
New York City
In all fairness to VOOM, they will not have the HD content to do 24/7. I think they will be trying hard to create more HD content. Think about it who has HD content to do 24/7. HDnet is the only one. HDnet movies, Discovery HD, Show-HD, HBO-HD or Espn-HD do not do 24/7 HD content.
 

rang1995

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 30, 2003
904
0
Bergen co NJ
"Nothing about ESPN HD. When asked about other HD channels, they said that it will probably be done and they are continuing negotiating with other HD channels. My personal impression is that they are willing to add all the HD available as long as it meets their business plan"...That's what scares me..Cablevision has had a history of channels not MEETING their plans and having 2 year wars with MSG (before they bought it) and YES
 

Scott Greczkowski

Welcome HOME to SatelliteGuys!
Staff member
HERE TO HELP YOU!
Sep 7, 2003
100,209
18,827
Newington, CT
Sean great job!

Thanks for all your hard work on this!

So what did VOOM have for giveaways today? Anything good? And did anyone ask you about our site? :)
 

Sean Mota

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
19,039
1,738
New York City
Scott Greczkowski said:
Sean great job!

Thanks for all your hard work on this!

So what did VOOM have for giveaways today? Anything good? And did anyone ask you about our site? :)

I got a pair of binoculars. A viewer's guide and a programming guide. No free sytem. :( But we got lots of good information. ;)

Yes, I gave them the business card and most of them asked what is it that we do. I am going to try to establish a relation with the programming person that promised me the video streaming.
 

Stargazer

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 7, 2003
16,563
340
Western WV
Lots of great pictures and information here. I figure we will see a lot of SD programming converted into HD programming at the VOOM uplink until more HD content became available, at least I would think that would be the thing to do to give people a good variety of programming that would compare with some of the more popular channels.
 

AndyMon

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
395
1
Long Island, NY
motjes2 said:
Nothing about ESPN HD. When asked about other HD channels, they said that it will probably be done and they are continuing negotiating with other HD channels.

HaHaHa, Cablevision has been saying these exact same words for YEARS with little or no results!
 
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