I'd consider it a test of the broken down bird placed there. Perhaps some day a better satellite will be placed there ... one that will reach Alaska and Hawaii.
Shifting satellites isn't a good thing. Imagine a globe. Place a camera above that globe, about 3x the diameter of the globe above the surface at the equator - center the image of CONUS (the continental US). Just for the fun of it, place the camera at 85º (about Chicago) and take your picture.
Now on that picture draw an outline of CONUS. Draw a small circle around Hawaii and another for Alaska, if your CONUS outline doesn't include Alaska.
Next move your camera to the same distance above the equator on your globe at a different position. For the fun of it, line it up with Colorado Springs, CO, and take another shot.
Take the outline you drew for the first picture and place it over the second. You can adjust left and right to get as much of CONUS in the picture. It probably won't be the same kind of outline that you would have drawn if you KNEW the camera (satellite) was going to have to work there.
The pictures above demonstrate AMC-2 moving to 105, and the reason why the footprint is bad for E*'s use.
Satellites designed for 110 and 119 are interchangeable as the 'picture' isn't as much different (and a wise designer would take a move into account). But move a satellite designed for 110-119 to the 157 slot ... the image is worse than the 20º move of AMC-2.
BTW: E*1 and E*2 at 148 were designed back when the eastern slots were not intended to cover Alaska and Hawaii ... which explains their lack of footprint in Hawaii. E*4 at 157 was never intended to be there. Hopefully E* can get more out of it than a placeholder.
Somewhere down the road there will be a "Dish500" pointed at 148-157 providing service ... but it won't be in Hawaii until the 148º birds are replaced.
If they did get a Dish500 solution for the west coast then perhaps they could put a lot of HD (mirrored on 61.5 too) and locals for the west coast on the 148 and 157 slots saving space at 105 and 121 to add locals from the east cost and other areas that cannot pick up 148 and 157.
Thats the bad thing about the wing slots, all the HD channels would have to be mirrored to both spots taking up twice the bandwidth but saving the core slots. It would be interesting to have a Dish500 solution for two slots for the east wing as well for something beside of 61.5 for the second lnbf.
Don't forget that when DBS began the FCC's plan was to have an equal number of channels on Eastern satellites (61.5 - 101 -110 - 119) and Western satellites (148 - 157 - 166 - 175) ... with the eastern serving the east coast and central US and the western serving the west coast, Alaska and Hawaii. Mirroring was part of the plan.
When it was discovered that satellites at 101-110-119 could reach the whole US the mirrored assignments ended. The next assignments were not mirrored - and thanks to bigger changes at the FCC, they were auctioned.
I don't see a huge problem with mirroring national channels at 61.5 and 148, especially if a new 148 bird is launched that will get those channels to Hawaii.
Its the fact that it would end up costing the companies twice as much to operate the wing slots than the core national slots due to the fact that you have to uplink twice and have twice as many satellites up, one at each wing slot for a total of two compared to having one at the main core slots that serve the entire U.S.
Are the locals on 157 active to the subscribers for those locals? I noticed Portland and Eugene share a tp. on 119 for a total of 12 stations, but on 157 they are on separate tp.s, perhaps offering a better picture quality.
Perhaps they could take it off of 119 onto 157 to come up with more space for HD channels but then there would be a lot of subscribers against having a second dish up to receive the locals and it would be an added cost to Dish to getting those dishes put up. They do tend to mirror the channels before taking them off of one of the slots if they plan on doing something like this. Perhaps they are just putting channels on 157 so that they do not lose the license to have a satellite at that location.
They are probably just protecting their license, putting Portland & Eugene
@ 157. Perhaps Charlie has been too busy to put in the order for Software
to see 157. It sure could clear up some HD space, moving west coast locals
to 157. Boise & Missoula would have been a nice fit for 157 and saved Charlie money, plenty of dish 500 stock & cheaper than superdish.
157 is worth money, its not logical too be wasting it.