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DISH/DIRECTV Announcement... A few questions.
Posted 27 February 2002 - 08:09 AM
With the big announcement yesterday Dish Network / DirecTV announced that they would carry the channels from all 210 markets a few questions popped in my head, and so far reading the newsgroups, DBStalk.com and DBSforums.com I have yet to see them discussed.
First off in many of the Northern States that Border with Canada, many of the stations that are available both off air and via cable are Canadian stations. Even though these stations are not officially part of any DMA does that mean that cable will still hold a better hand to receive these channels? Will these Canadian Channels (such as local CBC Channels) be carried by Dish for these DMA's?
Second question is that Dish announced they would carry the channels for all 210 DMA's. While this is good for now what does this mean in the future when all local stations go Digital and turn off their Analog signals?
As you know the federal mandate for all TV stations to go Digital is in 2006. We all know that stations will not meet the 2006 deadline, however sometime in the future all stations will be Digital. What does DirecTV do then? Many broadcasters will use their signal to transmit in HDTV; others will multicast showing different programs on their Digital sub-channels. Still some will multicast in the day but will drop their multicast at night to transmit in HDTV. How will DirecTV handle this?
Dish/DirecTV announced that after the merger is complete they would have room for 12 HDTV Channels. What does DirecTV do when the locals start broadcasting in HD / Digital once the Analogs start getting shut off?
To me, while the pledge to carry all 210 DMA’s sounds like a great idea, it also seems like their plan is short sighted. DirecTV does not appear to be looking to the future. I would be interested in seeing how they handle all 210 DMA’s when they are all broadcasting in Digital Format.
It seems to me that this 210 DMA plan was announced just in the hope that they can push the merger through, yet again no regard is taken for the future of Television broadcasting which both companies know is coming.
Posted 27 February 2002 - 08:57 AM
Well CABLE isnt required to carry more than one feed either, so I suppose we should ask cable the very same questions. Every tech issue is solvable if theres enough money spent on it.
As to canada, I HOPE something can be worked out to allow them carriage in existing areas as they do today.
A question for everyone? Are small ruraL CABLE SYSTEMS DOOMED BY THE MERGER? Their future appears bleak. Underfunded to begin with they will likely loose most of there subs.
All LIL will guarantee the replacement of every receiver out there. This GUARANTEES my DP bwill go bye bye:)
Posted 27 February 2002 - 09:00 AM
You make some good points Scott but I have a couple of questions. How much bandwidth does it take to carry a 480P DTV signal? Will Dish have to carry the HDTV signal? I don't remember seeing anything in the must carry rules about Dish being required to carry HDTV in a LIL market. Maybe a scaled down version like 480P would be more realistic especially after the analog signals get shut off.
Posted 27 February 2002 - 10:57 AM
It is true that Must Carry does not require that they carry the Digital Signals. But using the current Digital Plan (which I KNOW will not happen on time) in 2006 (4 years from now) all Analog television broadcasts will cease.
While the 2006 deadline does not appear to be the actual date this shows that DirecTV and Dish are not looking too far forward with their plans and are only introducing this plan to gain merger approval from folks who have no idea what Digital Broadcasting is.
Lets say again that 2006 does come and broadcasters MUST cease analog broadcasts what does that mean for satellite subscribers? Does that mean that all the LIL's go away? Does that mean that DirecTV somehow downconverts the video so it can compress it down to fit in their space requirements?
And in stating this we are not even talking about HDTV, as just because a station is digital does not mean that they are broadcasting in HDTV. But is a station is broadcasting in HDTV what happens to its broadcast when it is sent out by DirecTV? As the documents state with this plan there is only room for 12 HDTV signals, and thats not a lot.
And what about stations that will be Multcasting? How will that be handeled? I am sure that DirecTV will only want to carry the main channel and not carry the other multicasted channels.
When the time comes and the switches are thrown to shut off all the analog stations cable will have a MAJOR advantage over DBS, as the space they were using for the Analog Channel can now be used to carry the full 6 Mhz bandwith of the Digital station, meaning that the HD signals can be passed along. Folks with older analog sets will be able to watch all the broadcasts using new cable boxes which will convert the digital signals to an anlog format used by most of todays existing televisions.
Will DBS customer want to have downconverted programming delivered to them? Or will they want to go back to cable who can provide the locals services without modifying the signals?
While there is no Digital Must Carry YET I am willing to bet that there will be some form of it in the next 4 years.
Posted 27 February 2002 - 11:46 AM
In four years' time, I am sure that technology and capacity will catch up to any possible HDTV demand. Four years can be the equivalent of four lifetimes when you are talking about technology in general.
Posted 27 February 2002 - 09:19 PM
How will thsi effect the smaller cities? What if some markets don't completely have all major networks? Would you still pay $5.99 for say 3 channels,where some markets are getting 7 or more channels for same price. Soctt,how long do you think this procedure of the all 210 locals going up will eventually take? Some cities i've seen don't have a upn nor a wb. Some don't even have fox. Would there be a substitute city they could be offered? I think it's a kinda good idea,but on HDTV how will efffect some stations?