Why do some cities have 2 HD spot beams? (1 Viewer)

Mister B

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I have seen on James Long's site that several cities including Austin have two HD spot beams. Most but not all are from both the 129 and 61.5 locations. That certainly makes it easier for installations where LOS may be a problem but I doubt that is the primary reason given how stingy DISH seems to be with their bandwidth. Did these cities first have only one HD spot beam and then when the second was added it would have required going back and replacing too many dishes?
 

MikeD-C05

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I think that having some cities on two different spot beams on two different arcs gives a customer a chance to be able to get their locals. It also keeps them a DISH customer. My aunt on my third DISH account in Arkansas was set up on western arc, but her locals on 129 sat were being blocked by the huge country trees where she lives. WE moved her to eastern arc and the 61.5 sat for locals and she can now get her locals without anymore trees in her way. The only bad part now is that some of her local channels are blacked out over carriage disputes between them and DISH. What you going to do?
:rolleyes:
 

sam_gordon

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I have seen on James Long's site that several cities including Austin have two HD spot beams. Most but not all are from both the 129 and 61.5 locations. That certainly makes it easier for installations where LOS may be a problem but I doubt that is the primary reason given how stingy DISH seems to be with their bandwidth. Did these cities first have only one HD spot beam and then when the second was added it would have required going back and replacing too many dishes?
That actually makes total sense. Unless you think a given city should only be able to use a single arc (which defeats the purpose of having two arcs IMO).
 
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Jim5506

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Two arcs are necessary because there are not enough spot beams available on either arc to serve all the DMAs.

Some of the silliness is that there are cities in Florida that have HD locals on the WA satellites and maybe also on the EA satellites.

A city does not need HD locals on both arcs especially if it requires a low angle to the horizon to achieve.

I am at 101 degrees West latitude and my HD locals are on 61.5 (a 60 degree variance) because the WA satellites are full of SD locals including mine that are on 110 (a 9 degree variance and 129 is only a 28 degree variance). Signal was stronger when I was on 110/119/129 because there is less atmosphere for the signal to shoot through.

It appears Dish is in the process of eliminating many of the SD channels on WA by retiring receivers that are not MPEG4 maybe we can get better signal with a more logical distribution of signal sources.

The 129 satellite is only 28 degrees above the horizon from the east coast, not anywhere near ideal.
 
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NYDutch

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At the Florida state park campground we're in right now, the site we're on only has LOS for the eastern arc. At the park/site we were on last week we only had LOS for the western arc. Both locations are in the Jacksonville DMA, and it's good for us that both arcs are available here. Earlier this year we were near Roanoke, VA where the locals are western arc only, but in our location we could only get the eastern arc. I got around the problem by "moving" us to Charlottesville, VA where the locals are CONUS beamed on the eastern arc.
 

Tampa8

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If you think Dish is stingy yet has several cities on two arcs then just maybe there is a good business decision to do so. Rain fade here on the EA during our literal tropical downpours is far more often and longer lasting than on the WA. So much that at one point Dish changed the official arc to WA for installs. (Many years ago) further why lose business from people who can see only one Arc when you can provide two choices. In Ct rain fade and snow build up was worse on the EA and could not see 72 (till some years later Utilities cut some trees)and I had a hybrid system because of it and to get internationals. I couldn't see 129 for locals so had 61 but also had three WA Sats. (110 118 119). My neighbor had no view of EA but did of all WA. Ditto my Daughter. So not silly to have two choices.
 

Frank Navin

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It makes no sense to have a DMA served by both eastern arc or western arc.

I don’t buy the argument that having 2 ARC’s opens up more potential customers due to LOS issues.

It costs more money to have 2 ARCS, than it does from the few customers they gain having an additional LOS.

I think it’s about Dish not having any insurance. If something happened like they totally lost 119, they would only have 50% of their customer base down and could repoint the rest.


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NYDutch

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It makes no sense to have a DMA served by both eastern arc or western arc.

I don’t buy the argument that having 2 ARC’s opens up more potential customers due to LOS issues.

It costs more money to have 2 ARCS, than it does from the few customers they gain having an additional LOS.

I think it’s about Dish not having any insurance. If something happened like they totally lost 119, they would only have 50% of their customer base down and could repoint the rest.
There are many areas in the east where reception of the 129 sat is difficult or impossible due to the low elevation. At our upstate NY family cottage for instance, 110 is a clear shot from several spots, 119 is "iffy" through a small opening in the trees from one spot, and 129 is out of the question anywhere. All three eastern arc sats are completely in the clear. If the western arc was all that was available to us, Dish would not be our choice for sat TV service, and DTV would be problematic as well. Traveling around in our RV, I'd say it's a roughly 50/50 shot which arc we'll see the best at any given location. Having both available works quite well for us.

In the event of a major sat failure, I think it's more likely Dish would move the currently unused Echostar 23 to the slot as quickly as possible. An interim scenario for E*14 at 119 failing might see as much programming as possible moved to 110 and 129. Since some of the 119 programming is in SD and already duplicated in HD on 129, many viewers wouldn't even see any channel loss. Whether all of the non-duplicated programming could be accommodated at 110 and 129, I have no idea. I don't know why any repointing would be needed, since western arc users already "see" all three sats, and nowhere near 50% of the subscribers would be affected to any significant degree.
 
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rvvaquero

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I think the reason that some cities are on two arcs might be simple. For many years, there was only a WA. When they added the EA, to put a city totally on EA would mean going out and refitting all customers with EA equipment. Instead of doing that, they just left them on both arcs, with new customers going to the EA. Maybe.
 

Tampa8

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It makes no sense to have a DMA served by both eastern arc or western arc.

I don’t buy the argument that having 2 ARC’s opens up more potential customers due to LOS issues.

It costs more money to have 2 ARCS, than it does from the few customers they gain having an additional LOS.

I think it’s about Dish not having any insurance. If something happened like they totally lost 119, they would only have 50% of their customer base down and could repoint the rest.


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Your argument falls apart when you say it is a few. It's far more than just a few that would not have DISH. DISH already has less subscribers than at one time and made an effort (and said so, not conjecture) to keep those who pay. If they have succeeded at building a base of more or less those who pay losing them by not serving them makes zero sense when they have the means to do so. I have no idea if you have a business background but you can bet there are write-offs, tax avenues used on equipment, number of subscribers, topography and a whole host of things that go into deciding to serve some markets with two ARCS.
 
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crodrules

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Your argument falls apart when you say it is a few. It's far more than just a few that would not have DISH. DISH already has less subscribers than at one time and made an effort (and said so, not conjecture) to keep those who pay. If they have succeeded at building a base of more or less those who pay losing them by not serving them makes zero sense when they have the means to do so. I have no idea if you have a business background but you can bet there are write-offs, tax avenues used on equipment, number of subscribers, topography and a whole host of things that go into deciding to serve some markets with two ARCS.
Just to add to this, there are a few markets that are now being served with HD locals from two satellites on the same arc (77 and 72, both on Eastern Arc) and none of those channels are on spotbeam, they are all CONUS. :)
 

Tampa8

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Even though some of what you posted isn't or hasn't been true, I'll go with it and answer this way. If RSN's were not carried in HD full time, yet some cities have two ARC's - Don't you think exactly as I posted DISH had information that was the most beneficial way to go? You make it sound like it was all done willy nilly with no thought. This whole thought that somehow having two ARC's is detrimental just has no basis in fact.
Further what you propose is, well, ridiculous. Coding so I can only get one ARC? Free for all because people can point to the ARC that best suits their needs?
 

crodrules

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We have a company which won’t even carry regional sports networks in HD all the time due to bandwidth limitations.
The only HD feed (of the ones that are still being carried at all) that isn't carried full-time is Longhorn Network. So, not a lot of bandwidth being spent or saved either way with that one. Other part-time sports channels are alternate feeds for specific games, which would only be carried part-time anyway (since they are not full-time channels to begin with, but just game-only feeds) regardless of whether they are carried in SD or HD.

Yet we can waste bandwidth by duplicating locals from 2 satellite libations?
Someone has been indulging in too many libations. ;) :drunk

What is the point of having (2) arcs anyways?

1) To prevent the licenses at 61.5 from going back to the FCC?
On the other hand, the licenses at 148 actually did go back to the FCC, and they still aren't being used for anything. So, I don't think Dish necessarily cares.

I think eventually Dish will take some of these DMA’s that are served by both arcs and eventually do repoints. However I think the issue is they have no way of knowing what customer is using what satellite.

They should have had the packages coded so there is an eastern arc Top200 and a western arc Top 200.
Uh, yeah. I can see a situation where a tech does a repoint, but customer service forgets to switch the customer to the proper arc's package, so that customer ends up without any programming. Then, the customer calls back to complain, and the tech gets dinged for something that really isn't the tech's fault. :rolleyes
 

crodrules

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There is no system in place which a company can tell what satellite the customer is using.
There is a flag on each account (at the account level, not on each programming package) to indicate which satellites each customer is using. (Or rather, which satellites they had been using the last time Dish updated their account flag, which is usually done when troubleshooting is needed through tech support.) It is not a perfect system. As I said, the information can become outdated, or simply be flat-out wrong for any specific account. I have had a CSR try to tell me that I did not qualify for international channels because my account was still flagged as Eastern Arc, for example. (I then had to go to the Point Dish screen and tell the CSR which satellites I had, so the account flag could be updated.) However, it is still better than having no record at all for any account, as you claim.

Flagging the packages as arc-specific would require a re-authorization for the new arc's package each time the customer switched arcs. This would create unnecessary hassle for any subscribers who are capable of fixing the problem themselves. (Those who already have two dishes, such as myself, to aim at both arcs, or those who change out the LNB and re-aim the dish as RV users, as NYDutch pointed out before.) The account would not be authorized for both arcs' version of the package at the same time. So, this would require a phone call to customer service and a re-authorization hit each time the receivers were connected to a different arc, which currently does not require any such customer service at all. Even worse, if accounts did somehow get authorized for both arcs' packages, that creates the risk that the customers would be charged twice for each programming package on their account. :eeek
 
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