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CES2008: Sling/Echostar STB


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#1 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 07:19 PM

A little off topic for this site but worth reporting:

The Echostar ATSC to NTSC solution is now available for pre-order at a price of $39.99, so you actually get to keep a penny of that voucher. They've decided to brand it a Sling... the early literature still says Echostar but the prototype has Sling branding.

...Ads Help To Support This SIte...

#2 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 07:24 PM

First of all you know I think you ought to just get what suits you. DIRECTV suits me.

I spent a little time in the DISH booth, which was in one of the main halls not separate like the DIRECTV experience was.

I thought it was cool that they were optimistic and friendly to me even though one or two of them recognized my name (surprised).

The big thing that I walked away thinking they had that DIRECTV didn't was a series of customized dish covers that could show your favorite sports team. This is smart branding.

#3 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 09:18 PM

Dish Press Conference
Carl Vogel, President and Vice Chairman of Dish Network led things off.
Dish wants to be “Industry Leader Across the Board”

Now third largest MSO, having overtaken TimeWarner

Split off Echostar Holdings: equipment and satellite capacity (including Sling); SATS trading symbol on NASDAQ. After the first transition of the split, will become just Echostar again.

Dish is the customer side, selling video services, leasing the Echostar equipment to customers.

Both companies now become pure plays in their business spaces and can grow independently and maintain their particular focus.

Q1/Q2 60 new locals in HD plus new HD nationals (contingent upon sat. launch)

Dish Decision 2008 Election portal, a new item on Dish Interactive.

Original goal was “Dish on every home”, new goal: “DVR in every home”

Echostar Holding Company

Mark Jackson, President
Will sell STBs to anyone who is interested, including cable, Dish, DIRECTV, anyone.

ViP612 to be available February 1. MPEG4 HD DVR, Dual satellite tuners, OTA tuner, does not have a TV2 output.

ViP211k receiver announced, essentially an updated packaging for the Vip211.

DVR conversion: connect EHD to ViP non DVR to make a DVR! Initially the EHD cannot be removed from the unit once the ViP updated firmware is loaded. Phase II firmware will support the EHD being moved to any other ViP units on the same account. (Sounds cool, especially in phase II!)

TR-40 “Free OTA converter” with FCC coupon. Echostar created this OTA convertor as a “project” because it was the right thing to do to help with make the digital transition go smoothly for the ~13 million people who only have OTA today. Might be a great upsale opportunity or might even make a profit if Echostar gets a significant amount of the 22million coupons to be given out.

TR-50 standalone SD DVR. Both MPEG2 and MPEG4 ready. Not eligible for FCC coupon, but another upsale opportunity as well as the project to help the transition. Pricing not set yet.

Pocketdish product name has been dropped. Now you can download to any Archos advanced Video player, giving more access to better players.

Sling
Blake Krikorian
Sling Pro HD has HD ATSC tuner and will be releases Q3 of this year. (Now I'm ready to get one!) :)

Sling modem Docsis 2.0 cable modem with Slingbox solo built in. Working with a cable operator already, will continue to work thru the cable company channels at first. Ready for deployment

Sling player for Blackberry is ready.

Clip+sling: share clips to friends and family. Will then link to the original full episode if its been uploaded to the sling site. Clips are uplinked to the sling site for your friends to see. Announcement: http://www.slingmedi...-slingplayer2.0

Charlie Questions
Echostar Holdings will become Echostar Corporation in the next phase of the transition to the two company organization.

Dish will become the customer sales side. Echostar will be the equipment, satellite bandwidth, and satellite services organization.

He was asked about Triple play – It is a factor out there. The question is the PC going to be the TV or the TV become the computer? STB is the starting point for triple play.

4 satellites scheduled for launch in 2008: one in China, 3 in the US. One per quarter, first in US. Two of the US had been scheduled for 2007 until both Sealaunch and Proton had launch issues last year.
MPEG4 only service coming still awaiting new satellites (more coming at this year’s team summit)

All MPEG2 HD customers will move to MPEG4 this year. No terms or prices were discussed.

Go Packers!

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#4 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 09:26 PM

As expected, the Dish, Echostar, and Sling people were very helpful and accommodating to our questions. I had very good conversations with several of the key players. Thank you.

From your questions (and some of my own):

Dish Q&A
Equipment
TR-50 FCC coupon certified? No, hard drive disqualifies from FCC eligibility.

EHD move from one receiver to another Vip? To Vip DVR? Not initially, DVR conversion needs to stay with the unit for now. Phase II will permit sharing of EHD to all Vip boxes, EHD shared on 622/722 now. One EHD license fee covers whole household.

EHD portability with an account? Household key, which is the last piece to enable, will be activated within next 4-8 weeks assuming testing goes well. Backend accounting systems were a bit part of the hang up.

Slingmodem consumer purchase in Big box stores? Not initially, immediate sales will be via OEM arrangements with cable companies.

Native resolution in the Vip family? TVs aren’t reporting their true capabilities. (I have run into this problem before watching other equipment vendors trying to deal with the TVs.) Looking into how to handle this problem and want to do right thing. I asked if perhaps a UI solution could be found, they are looking into "several ways to solve the problem." :)

Folders on EHD? Not sure if that will happen at this point.

ViP with HD on Tv1 and TV2? DLNA is being demonstrated today!. Other technologies under investigation are dtcp, mocca, Ethernet. Showing at CES as a demo today, they expect further improvements at team summit. Unsure of timeline for finalized product. Very cool! (Pictures don't do justice, one really needs to touch this.)

Sling embedded in receiver? It is on the road map for the sling and ViP series, but there likely will be interim steps before the two technologies will be married. The merger and acquisition of Sling has just completed, so plans are still to be firmed up.

Channel and Programming
PBSHD? no specific plans, always talking to people in can’t discus contract negotiations or the existence of negotians.

New HD channels?

All the HBO lineup in HD? Not that they can say yet.

HD Dish on demand? They now that it has to come and they are working on it. No announcements or timelines. I couldn't glean if it was contract, technical at Dish, or a provider holdup. (Or all three in a case by case basis.)

Future of 61.5 and 77?61.5 more channels as spots and CONUS. 77 is already sending to Mexico.

Go Packers!

My real treasures: 5 Grandchildren - S, D, M, M, C ; Now 5! Great-Grandtibbers - B, H, J, A, and M (Born 7/31/2011)


#5 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 09:31 PM

Since we're sharing here, I thought I'd chime in again about my experiences. Just like last year, the Dish, Echostar, and now Sling people were all very helpful and accommodating. I was able to get quality discussion time with some very key people... but I won't name drop. :)

I'm very thankful to many people who I needed to talk to since our questions covered hardware, programming, satellites, and new innovations.

Cheers,
Tom

Go Packers!

My real treasures: 5 Grandchildren - S, D, M, M, C ; Now 5! Great-Grandtibbers - B, H, J, A, and M (Born 7/31/2011)


#6 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 09:36 PM

The TR-40, the model number of the ATSC tuner, was a "project" to help ease the Digital TV transition for the people in the roughly 13 million homes that still only get their TV via OTA.

Yes, there are upsell possibities, yes there is a chance the project will be profitable, tho that wasn't Charlie Ergen's main drive--profits might be more long-term than short. (On the other hand at the press conference, Charlie did say if this unit sold anywhere near the 22million coupons that are likely to be given out, the unit will be a profit maker.) :)

Cheers,
Tom

Go Packers!

My real treasures: 5 Grandchildren - S, D, M, M, C ; Now 5! Great-Grandtibbers - B, H, J, A, and M (Born 7/31/2011)


#7 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 10:20 PM

Charlie did say if this unit sold anywhere near the 22million coupons that are likely to be given out, the unit will be a profit maker.) :)

Is there any competition?

I could see E* selling these units under many different brand names at different stores.

#8 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 10:29 PM

RCA announced one today, the DTA800, no pricing. http://keepmytv.com/default.aspx

Cheers,
Tom

Go Packers!

My real treasures: 5 Grandchildren - S, D, M, M, C ; Now 5! Great-Grandtibbers - B, H, J, A, and M (Born 7/31/2011)


#9 OFFLINE   Richard King

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 11:17 PM

Thanks for the great coverage, Tom. Wish I could have been there again this year. :(
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#10 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 11:21 PM

Thanks Tom for taking the time. Much appreciated!
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#11 OFFLINE   DustoMan

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 12:07 AM

ViP with HD on Tv1 and TV2? DLNA is being demonstrated today!. Other technologies under investigation are dtcp, mocca, Ethernet. Showing at CES as a demo today, they expect further improvements at team summit. Unsure of timeline for finalized product. Very cool! (Pictures don't do justice, one really needs to touch this.)


I want to know more!!! What is getting streamed? Recorded programs on the DVR or is it the standard streaming content from a PC?
Dusto
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Echostar customer since longer then I can remember.
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#12 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 08:17 AM

RCA announced one today, the DTA800, no pricing. http://keepmytv.com/default.aspx

Cheers,
Tom


On the show floor, I noticed about five no-name vendors from Asia trying to sell converter boxes. I expect that they'll show up in Rite Aids, CVS's, etc.
Opinions expressed by me are my own and do not necessarily reflect
those of DBSTalk.com, DIRECTV, DISH, The Signal Group, or any other company.

#13 OFFLINE   Mike D-CO5

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 08:29 AM

James see the reference to the all mpeg 4 service STILL coming this year in Tom's post? Looks like we will still get a relaunch of DISH in mpeg 4 sometime this year after all the satellites are up and running. I say the last part of the year when Ciel launches the replacement sat for 129.

#14 OFFLINE   Mike D-CO5

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 08:35 AM

The TR50 does both hd and sd at the same time. IT is a dual tuner ota receiver that records both analog and digital channels. It has hdmi, s-video,rca jacks and coax. It comes complete with external hard drive support right out of the box. It was refered to as a 622/722 without satellite . You can record two things at the same time and watch a third on the hard drive. I watched and read the reveiw at CNet.com. The internal hard drive size and the price hasn't been set yet but it will be available in large quantities in July. It is NOt Eligible for the coupon from the government. The best part is there will be NO DVR FEE! I WANT ONE!

#15 OFFLINE   Aransay

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 11:11 AM

Future of 61.5 and 77?61.5 more channels as spots and CONUS. 77 is already sending to Mexico.


Aloredy sendidng But when the service is starting

who si woduel it be oeprated as dish emxico or a difffferent brand mvs sateltial , amstv staeltial,q euzat,


Whois their real aly MVs televison, qeuztat , telemx, grupopo pegso (apolodth)


Wehn s 77 startr eorperatiosn soems ay march , april, may deembe 08?

thx

#16 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 11:27 AM

James see the reference to the all mpeg 4 service STILL coming this year in Tom's post? Looks like we will still get a relaunch of DISH in mpeg 4 sometime this year after all the satellites are up and running. I say the last part of the year when Ciel launches the replacement sat for 129.

I don't know what Tom may have heard in private, but based on the press conference audio E* isn't ready to give out information about an all MPEG4 service but will talk about it more at Team Summit. That does not say that an "all MPEG4" service will be sold this year - just "standby".

Charlie did say that the new satellites being launched would be used for MPEG4 only. You could take that as meaning the MPEG4 part of the current services (especially for AMC-14 at 61.5° and Ciel at 129°). But there are MPEG2 services at 110° that will find their home on E11 ... so his comment is not entirely accurate.

#17 OFFLINE   theoak

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 11:55 AM

The TR50 does both hd and sd at the same time. IT is a dual tuner ota receiver that records both analog and digital channels. It has hdmi, s-video,rca jacks and coax. It comes complete with external hard drive support right out of the box. It was refered to as a 622/722 without satellite . You can record two things at the same time and watch a third on the hard drive. I watched and read the reveiw at CNet.com. The internal hard drive size and the price hasn't been set yet but it will be available in large quantities in July. It is NOt Eligible for the coupon from the government. The best part is there will be NO DVR FEE! I WANT ONE!


Question:

Is this guy just a dual OTA tuner then? Edit: Never mind this question - I just need to read better ...

Therefore record HD satellite would not be possible without down converting the signal on this box? Or, will there be some sort of "special" connector that you could connect to your non-DVR based receiver that would allow you to record the native HD satellite signal?

#18 OFFLINE   loudo

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 03:21 PM

Dish Press Conference
Carl Vogel, President and Vice Chairman of Dish Network led things off.
Dish wants to be “Industry Leader Across the Board”

Sling
Blake Krikorian
Sling Pro HD has HD ATSC tuner and will be releases Q3 of this year. (Now I'm ready to get one!) :)

Sling modem Docsis 2.0 cable modem with Slingbox solo built in. Working with a cable operator already, will continue to work thru the cable company channels at first. Ready for deployment

Sling player for Blackberry is ready.

Clip+sling: share clips to friends and family. Will then link to the original full episode if its been uploaded to the sling site. Clips are uplinked to the sling site for your friends to see. Announcement: http://www.slingmedi...-slingplayer2.0

Tom, was there any word on the SlingCatcher, that was announced at last years CES? It is the unit that is supposed to take your Sling Signal from your home network and convert it to view on a TV. It was supposed to be released last year and many of us are awaiting its arrival.
Last years announcement of it: http://us.slingmedia...8286861787.html

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#19 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 01:18 PM

Dish Press Conference

Split off Echostar Holdings: equipment and satellite capacity (including Sling); SATS trading symbol on NASDAQ. After the first transition of the split, will become just Echostar again.

Both companies now become pure plays in their business spaces and can grow independently and maintain their particular focus.

Echostar Holding Company[/B]
Mark Jackson, President

TR-50 standalone SD DVR. Both MPEG2 and MPEG4 ready. Not eligible for FCC coupon, but another upsale opportunity as well as the project to help the transition. Pricing not set yet.


Among CNET's the Best of CES 2008:

....There just isn't a good DVR solution for the rabbit-ears crowd, especially if you prefer high-def. (You can opt for a TiVo HD, but you'd still have to pay a monthly fee for their programming guide.) But that may finally be changing, thanks to the EchoStar TR-50. For all intents and purposes, the TR-50 takes many of the features found on Dish Networks' excellent satellite DVRs (such as the ViP622 and 722) and brings them to antenna-based TV viewers.

Which goes on further as follows:

...EchoStar touts its ability to "access premium Internet-based TV programming via broadband Internet," as well as "DVR management and timer creation via Internet"--though the timeframe for such features wasn't disclosed.

My point is its ability to "access premium Internet-based TV programming via broadband Internet." Yeah, not developed yet, but how about my 722!. Am I going to get this feature or is the new Echostar making it available to the TR-50 customers and the new Dish Network will have to decide whether to pay for the feature.

Thanks for all the news release reporting of new HD in 2008, but this little subtle non-satellite-feature entry may have been the most future-significant Echostar corporate announcement in the past six months.

It joins the tv manufacturers who announced network plugs on their new tvs in explaining what's happening to tv.

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#20 OFFLINE   Jim148

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 09:34 AM

Nice posts. I think that I would like Slingbox. I have a DISH 622 now and just Friday got an EVDO card for my laptop computer. If they are only a year or so away from embedding the Sling technology in a DISH DVR I may just wait for that.

I will probably get two of the TR-40 receivers when they are available. I think it will be interesting to read the reviews of of well the various coupon eligible convertor boxes work. I think they have got better in being able to deal with multi path distortion interference.




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