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DIRECTV's 160 channels beats DISH's 200 channels

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Doug Brott, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. Bigg

    Bigg Godfather

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    Oh yeah, of course, that's part of expanded basic, I was talking about the HD version. The DTA's and expanded basic is SD only, even with current digital switchovers.
     
  2. am7crew

    am7crew Legend

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    I love how everyone gets in a uproar over the Dish 200 count when Directvs "30" news channel announcement is really 22 channels and *more direct cinema* channels. go figure :confused:
     
  3. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Wellll... It might have to do with the fact that all of DIRECTVs current HD receivers can play all those 8 channels. Unlike Dish's "channels" that are only available if something has downloaded to only one DVR.

    (And the old HD receivers that can't receive the PPVs had opportunities for free replacement. Try that with an older Dish receiver--oh yeah... like a non-DVR...) :)

    While I understand the questioning of PPVs as HD channels, they do take bandwidth 24/7. Calling a VOD item a "channel" crosses a line about honesty.

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  4. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I give it some leway as some VOD 'channels' are available on DISH's oldest HD DVR (the four year old ViP-622) and having instant start options in the guide is just as good as having a PPV channel ... except the movie can start at 10:14pm or 10:32pm without missing anything. The movie starts when the customer wants it to.

    I prefer not to count PPVs and VODs anyways, but if you're going to go there don't forget to ignore duplicate movies and "off air" channels. "29" is a nice number but isn't an honest one with the same thing playing in 30 minute/hour intervals.

    VODs are certainly not as good as regular channels such as E!, History International, Style, Headline News, even premiums like HBO Signature
    or HBO Family. But they should count for something.
     
  5. RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    Dripping...
    I wouldn't count any of the preloaded HD PPV's on either service since if you didn't have a HD DVR those 'channels' would be unavailable to the customer.
     
  6. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    I usually think of you in these discussions about counting or not counting the PPVs. :)

    You've remained pretty consistent with your counting, very well thought out, and well described.

    Anyway, how can anything that can only play on a DVR and doesn't take bandwidth be counted as a "channel". Even all the H2x can play the PPV channels. :)

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  7. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    As noted, I don't count them ... nor PPV channels. But I'll note them for those who do want to give credit for them. I do like the way they are displayed in the guide as channels (one channel per movie) and not hidden away.

    How many HD PPV channels are showing the same movie or are off air in the evenings for sports? Is the count of "29" accurate? I understand that some Sundays during football season DirecTV only has four PPV channels. Which is fine for subscribers who are watching the NFL Sunday Ticket games (at extra cost) anyways - or thought ahead far enough to record a movie earlier in the day (which of course requires a DVR).

    (Hmm ... It's 11:57pm and 14 movies start now on my DVR. That has to be worth something. It will be worth more if it was 12:04am and I'd just missed the beginning of the PPV. :D)

    Capacity ... that is a moving target. Having room for 40 more channels after the "May" additions is just preparing for the inevitable filling of those slots and the desire for more HD. And the begging of people who's channels didn't make the "May" list. DISH, like DirecTV, has some HD not yet available to customers. We really don't know what capacity is without doing a complete transponder inventory and looking for holes.

    I try to be fair in the counting ... I have my preferences and my core count does not include PPVs, VODs and (in general) RSNs because of the heavy use of blackouts during key programming. But at the moment DISH is so far ahead with those categories removed that I'll count the 22 full time RSNs. :D

    But I'll pass on counting PPVs or VODs ... even though they are valuable viewing options.
     
  8. dcowboy7

    dcowboy7 Hall Of Fame

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    Per sixto its 24:

    - 24 HD Full-time Regional Sport Networks (RSN's).
     
  9. Bigg

    Bigg Godfather

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    Comcast has "1000 HD choices" on a system with ~20 non-local HD channels. At least Dish is 70% honest, Comcast is 2% honest. DirecTV is 100%.

    Seriously though, PPV is okish to count, it is an HD channel from an electrical engineering perspective, even if it's not a channel to the consumer. Some of Dish's "HD channels" physically don't even exist. Don't they fill every last bit of bandwidth with HD, and just add more PPV channels if they are placeholding for "real" HD channels?

    What's their capacity going to look like when they have new sats at both 99 and 103?

    The other question is why did they abandon 110 and 119 for English CONUS programming? They can't use them now because they are using SL3 dishes that can't see them. Hartford-New Haven uses SL5s because of locals. Were the LOS issues that big of a deal to give up 110 and 119? Or do they need them for international anyways?
     
  10. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I'll take another look ... I see 69 channels and removed the -1s as part time/alternates leaving 25 but three non -1 channels are marked part time.

    Nobody is 100%. :rolleyes:

    That seems to be DirecTV's trick ... with HD Cinema channels going away to make room for "real channels". DISH managed to add four new HDs last week without changing the PPV count.

    New satellites will help provide space to add more - and both companies have a satellite hanging around in a test slot "ready to move". Things are looking pretty good for both companies.
     
  11. Sixto

    Sixto Well-Known Member

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    Best way to find the full-time RSN's is on the transponder maps. Post#2. I have them labeled as RSN.

    68 full-time HD on D10, 64 on D11, 1 on D7S (119). 133 Total, all transmitting 24x7.
     
  12. Sixto

    Sixto Well-Known Member

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    It seems that DirecTV's counting mechanism is fairly accurate.

    Per the transponder maps, you have transponders transmitting HD channels. 133 of them.

    What's the difference whether its a regular network, an RSN, or Cinema HD. That's a DirecTV business decision in how to best utilize the available bandwidth.

    You tune to the channel with a regular non-DVR receiver, with the proper subscription, and you get the HD channels. 133 of them.

    If there's any issue, it's around the 8 DNS, which I think one person can only get 4 of them at once, but it's still 8 in total. Also, 136/137 come and go for Mix HD (MLB Mix HD now).

    And the hesitancy to count Cinema seems unfair, since the channels are real HD channels, received by any regular non-DVR receiver, and they go a step further and reuse the same channel bandwidth for many part-time needs, which is a great use of the bandwidth.
     
  13. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    And that one person cannot get all four networks (or any of the four networks) in every market in the country. Distants are, by law, very limited offerings.

    A lot of this comes down to engineering vs programming.

    From an engineering standpoint one can remove all the labels from the channels and count raw feeds ... without a care for any down time or shared use. In some ways an engineering based number will reduce a count (people who count the same bandwidth used for a PPV as a part time/alternate RSN). In some ways an engineering based number will increase a count (feeds that are only used for part time uses and are dead most of the time - available but not in use 24/7).

    From a programming standpoint the labels mean a lot more. Programming does not count feeds of whatever, programming counts content. Using a programming count "corrects" the engineering count and makes different mistakes.

    I don't have an 8PSK tuner and the furthest I can go on DISH Network's system is the NIT/SDT that tells me what transponder a channel is on but does not tell me what content is shared. Experience helps narrow some of that down (seeing the same channel in the 9000s and the 4000s does not make it two HD feeds). But I do know that DISH has about 117 HD channels live to all customers (including non-DVR receivers and not counting any RSN). Add in the "feeds" used by engineering for HD RSNs and the new channels in test modes and the number goes up.

    Of course, for DirecTV the numbers will go up next month when another 20 real channels go online (and space for more is available). DISH will just sneak a few more channels on the air without a lot of fanfare. And the real HD war ... the one between the satellite providers, not the fans of the companies, will continue.
     
  14. Sixto

    Sixto Well-Known Member

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    My perspective has been to just take a regular "customer" perspective, one with access to the top programming tier and $ for Cinema HD. Just J6P.

    If J6P can sit in front of a TV, with a non-DVR, and tune to a linear HD channel 24x7x365, and watch the HD programming 24x7x365, then it seems reasonable to count the HD channel.

    Only issue was how to deal with the DNS HD channels, because they're really not available to everyone. Every other HD channel is, with the proper tier and $. I actually was alright with counting DNS HD because at least some people could access the DNS HD channels, but wasn't sure if anyone could actually get all 8.

    So if we ignore DNS, DirecTV would be 125. Right now, with a regular non-DVR HD receiver, J6P can watch 125 HD channels, with the proper tier and $.

    Just curious, what's the HD channel count for Dish with the same criteria?
     
  15. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    As I noted in my post there are 117 channels that people with enough money to buy all the PPV could watch live at any moment on any HD receiver. The count only goes up if one includes any RSNs that might be active for that customer (DISH RSNs do not take away from the 117).

    The cost would be $109.99 for AEP+HD, $49.99 for a WWE event and $5.99 each for 14 unique (one channel per movie) PPV channels ($403.82).

    102 24/7 HD Feeds for $109.99 isn't a bad deal.
    118 24/7 HD Feeds for $129.98 (after "May") isn't bad either if blackouts don't count.
    (I found the two 24/7 RSNs - too many are marked "game only" in the first post of that thread.)

    As you noted a couple of posts back ... it is a business decision. DISH decided to offer national channels instead of PPVs and RSNs. Their next push is 100% locals coverage in SD and full HD markets to meet the conversion deadlines. There will be more national HD released as well. Just nothing announced.
     
  16. JoeTheDragon

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

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    But I think dish is just replace a old sat with a new one that will maybe add a little more room but dish needs to work on there RSN HD and give the RSN over flows fixed channel numbers.
     
  17. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I'd like to see DISH at least spotbeam the RSNs 24/7 ... but there is only so much space. The business decision went to national channels first.

    E14 will help with locals more than anything else ... but the details are a topic for another forum.
     
  18. May 1, 2010 #238 of 255
    Bigg

    Bigg Godfather

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    The engineering perspective is the only way to avoid counts getting out of control, i.e. double counting and the like.

    The DNS feeds are tricky, because of a couple of things:

    1. In the NYC or LA area, you get the four that belong to you.
    2. Hartford-New Haven gets three of the four NYC's (but not PBS or ABC, no clue why). Other neighboring DMA's presumably in the same situation.
    3. If you aren't in NYC, LA, Hartford-New Haven or another adjacent DMA, you would have spot-beamed locals for your area, which aren't counted here, since they aren't CONUS.
    4. In Hartford-New Haven, as an example, there are 6 spot locals (5 Hartford, 1 New Haven), and 3 CONUS (NYC) locals, for a total of 9, which is 1 more than the DNS feeds, 5 of which the area can't get.

    Of course, a valid counterargument is that networks of any kind shouldn't count, since you can stick an antenna up and get them for free. That's just as right as my math above.

    EDIT: Spelling.
     
  19. May 1, 2010 #239 of 255
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    In their own markets they are called "locals", not distants.

    "Significantly Viewed" stations are distants ... but neighboring market signals that are a lot easier to carry than distants or locals. Stations qualify for this status based on the size of their over the air viewership (not via cable or satellite). Some stations were given status when the law passed that created the "Significantly Viewed" category for cable usage - others petitioned for status in later years. Stations that don't have SV status either don't qualify or didn't need the status to get cable carriage.

    Using a list designed for cable carriage for satellite carriage is a mistake I like to rant about in the legal issues forum. :)

    And having your own locals of a network is an instant disqualification for getting that network as a distant.
    BTW: In my market all six local stations DirecTV carries via satellite are in HD.

    The math is complicated. One number that satellite providers have been throwing around for years is a percent coverage of their locals. "We provide locals to 9x% of the nation's television households.*" The difference between 93% and 95% isn't that many markets.

    So do we look market by market and channel by channel and work up a percentage of carriage for each network? Rank it on a sliding scale? "DirecTV provides an ABC HD feed (local or distant) to 95% of the nation's households." Then celebrate when 20-30 more markets are added and they can raise that number to 96%? Or perhaps just draw a line and say that if a feed is available to 95% of potential subscribers it counts and 94% doesn't.

    The math just gets too hard on network TV.
     
  20. May 2, 2010 #240 of 255
    Bigg

    Bigg Godfather

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    Yes, but they are the same channels from an EE perspective.

    Complicated... I assume then, that cable is not going by this list? Because they carry all 5, PBS in HD (its the only one that carries different programming during prime time). Does PBS even count for this stuff? I.e. why is DirecTV not allowed to turn on WNET (PBS-NYC) for parts of Hartford-New Haven?

    Unless they are neighboring, so legally, yes, but from an EE perspective, Hartford-New Haven gets 3 national feeds.

    Doesn't the tail get pretty long for the last 5% though? The networks are such a legacy model that just won't die. It would be so nice if the networks had national feeds that everyone could get.

    Isn't the goal 100% carriage? Maybe the networks should have taken some initiative and consolidated markets. Plus there's markets where the locals are spread out over two cities (Hartford-New Haven), markets that are incomplete, and markets that have duplicates, triplicates, or even quadruplicates (Boston has a bunch).

    Also, what's the waiver process like these days? Does it still exist?

    EDIT: Cleaning up the quotes
     

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