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FCC Sets DBS Spectrum Auction

Discussion in 'General Satellite Discussion' started by Chris Blount, Feb 10, 2004.

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  1. Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

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    The Federal Communications Commission set July 14 as the date for auctioning DBS spectrum in non full-CONUS slots, orbital locations that don't have complete coverage of the continental United States.

    The DBS spectrum up for auction involves three locations: 175 degrees, 166 degrees and 157 degrees. All slots will have 32 channels for DBS service up for auction, except for 157 degrees, which will have 29 channels.

    A license for available spectrum at 61.5 degrees - which is being used by EchoStar, Sky Angel and Cablevision's VOOM - will not be part of the auction.

    The three orbital slots up for auction have coverage primarily for the Western United States.

    http://www.skyreport.com (Used with permission)
     
  2. James Long

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

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    Yay! Finally filling the skies.

    I wonder if 61.5 will be split between Voom and E* or dealt with in a more reasonable manner than auction.

    JL
     
  3. rvd420

    rvd420 Legend

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    I wonder if groups bidding on the western non-conus slots will be planning on using the slots to supplement a current fleet, or if a group might bid a do a startup. Satellite service to the Wesrern half of the US.
    If someone would get all 32 TPs at a slot there could be a nice offering.

    All Below is assuming using 8PSK

    160 SD Channels (20 TPs with 8 channels per TP)
    18 HD Channels (6 TPs with 3 Channels per TP)

    And 6 TPs on spot beams re-used 4 times for locals & Big 4 HD where available
     
  4. James Long

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

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    Why are are you shorting the SD? On QPSK only PPV and movie channels are assigned at 8 per TP, and now they have two normal channels plus the 8 PPVs on one QPSK. The defacto standard has become 12 SD per carrier QPSK, and 8PSK can do better, not worse.

    It is interesting that you choose 6 * 4 spotbeams instead of the 5 * 5 spotbeams used by E*. With the must carry rules, that limits you to less than 50 markets, at QPSK SD. Assuming 8PSK I'll give you the 50 - but in SD.

    Choosing to carry some locals in HD and others in SD is currently a violation of the law. All locals are supposed to get the same bandwidth.

    JL
     
  5. Mike Richardson

    Mike Richardson Banned User

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    I think 8PSK can do something like 33% better so that would be 16 channels on a TP at max if I calculated right. That would have low end PQ though so it would be better to do 14 per TP for your national channels. That's 280 national SD channels with 20 TPs. If you need more space you could do 15 per TP for 300 channels.

    For locals if you do 6 * 4 that's 24. Say 15 per 8PSK TP, that's 360 locals. 16 per, that's 384.
     
  6. Mike Richardson

    Mike Richardson Banned User

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    Maybe Echostar will get some more of 157 for Alaska/Hawaii service or the like.
     
  7. Mike123abc

    Mike123abc Hall Of Fame/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Actually I do not think that digital stations are covered at all right now... CBS-HD definitely gets more bandwidth in NY and LA than the other networks. Fox-ED would also get more bandwidth.
     
  8. James Long

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

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    Digital stations are not yet covered under the consent to carry/must carry rules. But the issue is the bandwidth provided. Even with all NTSC/SD stations, DBS providers can't put the big four on at the PPV channel bandwidth without giving the other channels the same treatment.

    CBS-HD is currently out of the box. As you note, the FCC doesn't have "must carry" for digital feeds. But note that the two CBS-HD channels are not offered as local stations. Both have their normal SD counterparts that are offered as locals. IIRC: Fox-ED is/will be a network feed separate from the locals offerings.

    JL
     
  9. uncdanwrong

    uncdanwrong AllStar

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    IIRC digital only broadcasters are covered under the consent to carry/must carry rules presumably just for their primary signal in SD. Analog broadcasters can only elect must carry for their analog station. There is no law that would prevent a broadcaster from negotiating consent to carry of their digital rather than analog station although it probably hasn't happened yet.
     
  10. rvd420

    rvd420 Legend

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    As far as the counting of channels per TP i kept my numbers low to allow more bandwidth per channel...higher PQ.

    Also what my idea for locals would be to carry locals in SD, and where there is room HD locals in select markets.
     
  11. James Long

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

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    DT does not currently qualify at all. Many stations who have both ATSC and NTSC stations have negotiated to use their DT signals for DBS and broadcast use *instead* of their analog station, but the rule allowing or requiring the carrage is based on their NTSC station.

    The rules don't care what method is used to get the signal to the DBS/cable company. Using their DT feed is just another relay medium. The use of a DT feed doesn't make the DT feed "must carry" any more than putting a station's output on a microwave or fiber optic link.

    JL
     
  12. James Long

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

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    A good idea, but you'll be providing more bits than anyone else. Hopefully you can convince the unwashed masses that your limited channel count system is better than bigger systems with more channels. The first step would be to convince the uneducated that your PQ *is* better. Have fun!

    Under current rules you would have to provide EVERY HD in the market, if you are providing them as locals. The indications from the FCC seem to be that when DTs are carried they will also be carried in a equal manner. If you give enough bandwidth to the HD station to be HD, you will have to provide the same bandwidth to all others for whatever they are doing with their DT feed (even if it is a multiple SD feed).

    Regulation is catching up. Perhaps this time next year we will have rules in print that actually apply. Stay tuned.

    JL
     
  13. uncdanwrong

    uncdanwrong AllStar

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    justalurker, I hope your right that this time next year we will have rules in print, although I suspect they'll be ready for public comment rather than actually applying. The actual legal principle behind must carry seems to be that the public benefit has to be great enough to justify what would otherwise be an unconstitutional taking of the DBS provider's property. Therefore, I personally think it's doubtful that they''ll be must carry of HD or multiple SD signals.
     
  14. Jacob S

    Jacob S Hall Of Fame

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    I thought Dish put a satellite at 157 to try to keep from losing that slot.
     
  15. Mike123abc

    Mike123abc Hall Of Fame/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    They did E*4 is there. Only 29 of the 32 frequencies are being auctioned off, E* owns the other 3. E*4 is really on its last legs there, dish better get busy planning/building some new wing satellites. They really could use 2 new ones, one for 148, and one for 61.5. They could move E1 or E2 from 148 to 157, unless of course they bid and get the whole slot for 157, then they could use a new sat there too. If they were considering HDTV locals for the west coast that might be ideal.

    Right now I have trouble figuring out E*'s strategy for the wing satellites. Perhaps they do not have one? Right now the only thing I could see that would make sense would be to get E*10 launched, move all the silly LILs from the wings to 110, then finally transition the internationals completely to 121 (they really need a supply of single dish KU-FSS DP LNBs). Once cleared of internationals and locals they could do HDTV nationals from the wings or do LIL HDTV NY/LA from the wings. Or, perhaps just sell off the wings to VOOM or something.

    This really begs the question of who would buy 157, 166 and 175? Building/putting up satellites is not cheap. 157 really cannot be seen east of the Mississippi. 166/175 would be west coast only w/AK/HI. VOOM would be the only buyer I could think of just to compliment 61.5.
     
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