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C-Band at the End?


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98 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   bruin95

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 10:23 PM

They are giving these dishes away down here in San Antone. Are they still usefull for C band FTA?


You could very well watch all CBS NFL games in the clear via C-band. Lots of other sports wild feeds. That alone makes having a C-band dish worth it.

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#22 OFFLINE   Sparky Scott

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 11:49 AM

I've always used my 9' spun aluminuim dish for news feeds 3:00-5:30 p.m. nbc patches there feeds on there in regions eastern, central,so on

#23 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 10:14 AM

Not to:beatdeadhorse: but there is a follow-up editorial by Evie Haskell in today's SkyReport.

SkyBOX: A C-Band Saga

by Evie Haskell -- 2/8/2010

Here's a story about a once-great business, the inexorable march of technology and the arrogance ... to say nothing of the destructive power ... of monopolies.

The first hints of serious disease trickled into my mailbox early last week. We hear, they said, that the C-Band business is going out of business .... We hear that Motorola will kill it by ceasing to support of C-Band authorizations.

Now Motorola is, of course, the ONLY support for C-Band authorizations. It wound up with that monopoly via its take over of General Instruments, the former "VideoCypher" C-Band monopoly, in 1999. It has profited handsomely from the C-Band business which, at its pre-Motorola peak, numbered nearly 2.4 million subscribers.

But, as in many things Motorola, the company has given this business only token support, being content to milk the revenue stream from far flung subscribers as the newer little dish services soaked up subscribers in more urban/suburban settings. Today the big dish has fewer than 23,000 subscribers ... but the revenues still come in. Would Motorola cut that off?

I called Motorola PR honcho Jennifer Erickson. I left a message. I wrote an email. I got no response so I called a few more times and ... bingo! ... Ms. Erickson answered her phone. I made my query and she said, in essence, "What's C-Band?" She said she would check the rumors out. She said she would call me back.

That call never came. So I tried Mike Mountford at NPS. And he gave me the scoop: Yes, Motorola is likely to discontinue its support of C-Band authorizations at the end of this year. There's a glimmer of hope, but Mountford's NPS has stopped selling annual subscriptions.

So I wrote a story on that (along the way completely mangling the spelling of Mr. Mountford's last name ... urgh! my apologies.) And I got a lot of response to that story. And guess what? Some of that response came from programmers who had been planning new C-Band feeds. Some of it came from folks who service C-Band equipment. One message admonished me to tell "both sides of the story." (And if the author of that email would tell me what this story is missing, I most certainly will.) But none of it ... nothing ... nada ... came from Motorola.

So we're talking about people's lives, and business plans, and 22,606 households who just love those big dishes. But we're also talking about Motorola which is, apparently, too big to be bothered.

Source: SkyReport

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#24 OFFLINE   matt

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 01:02 PM

I want one. C-Band always seemed cool to me, I hope it stays around to when I move next year and it is worth the time/effort to install it.
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#25 OFFLINE   Jtaylor1

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 01:43 PM

But that would mean that cable will be gone as well if C-band is going out of business. Cable Networks will just go to the Web.

To me, Television is on it's last leg since people use the internet to watch shows.

#26 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 03:00 PM

To me, Television is on it's last leg since people use the internet to watch shows.


Some do, but that will likely never be possible in most of the country. The infrastructure just isn't there.
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#27 OFFLINE   loudo

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 04:00 PM

But that would mean that cable will be gone as well if C-band is going out of business. Cable Networks will just go to the Web.

To me, Television is on it's last leg since people use the internet to watch shows.

C-Band home delivery is going out of business. There will still be a lot of use of C & KU band for network delivery and back hauls of programing.

I don't think you will see the majority of people watching TV via the Internet for a while, if ever. Eventually we might see home delivery of full cable or satellite packages, via the Internet and sent to a TV, but, at this time I would say television is a far cry from being on it's last leg. If I have a choice of watching the Super Bowl on my 20" computer monitor, or my 65" HDTV, the computer gets shut off.

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#28 OFFLINE   matt

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 07:48 PM

I dislike watching TV on the computer, or even movies for that matter. I just have a laptop here. The internet is too slow, the screen is too small, and the case gets too hot. Plus, why fill up my little hard drive with recordings?
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#29 OFFLINE   bruin95

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 12:41 AM

C-Band home delivery is going out of business. There will still be a lot of use of C & KU band for network delivery and back hauls of programing.


Exactly. Some people are panicking for no reason.

I don't think you will see the majority of people watching TV via the Internet for a while, if ever. Eventually we might see home delivery of full cable or satellite packages, via the Internet and sent to a TV, but, at this time I would say television is a far cry from being on it's last leg. If I have a choice of watching the Super Bowl on my 20" computer monitor, or my 65" HDTV, the computer gets shut off.


There are plenty of people, including myself, who are watching streaming "internet TV" on their big screens right now. There are plenty of plug and play devices that let you do this easily.

#30 OFFLINE   CJTE

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 03:16 AM

Some do, but that will likely never be possible in most of the country. The infrastructure just isn't there.


Ehh... I wouldn't say its not there, so much as it's not available/connected just yet.
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#31 OFFLINE   loudo

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 07:48 AM

Exactly. Some people are panicking for no reason.



There are plenty of people, including myself, who are watching streaming "internet TV" on their big screens right now. There are plenty of plug and play devices that let you do this easily.

The issue will be educating people that it is there, and how to use it. Very few people with the HRx DirecTV series receivers even know you can use it to watch Internet TV. I have showed several friends it and they were really surprised it could be done. Currently, a lot of us techy people know about it but the average DVR customer doesn't have a clue or could care less about it. They just want to use the receiver for watching satellite programing.

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#32 OFFLINE   bidger

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 08:03 AM

If I have a choice of watching the Super Bowl on my 20" computer monitor, or my 65" HDTV, the computer gets shut off.


There are plenty of people, including myself, who are watching streaming "internet TV" on their big screens right now. There are plenty of plug and play devices that let you do this easily.


Yup, I use my Vista Ult. MCE PC connected to the 46" SONY for ATSC HD shows and come Friday I'm having Roadrunner installed so that should help with the lag I experience while trying to view hi res web casts.

The folks who say they don't want to watch video over their PC on a 20" monitor aren't taking into account that bigger HD sets have a myriad of options for connecting a PC.

Sorry for the sidetrack since this thread is about C-Band.

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#33 OFFLINE   jodavis

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 08:13 AM

But that would mean that cable will be gone as well if C-band is going out of business. Cable Networks will just go to the Web.

To me, Television is on it's last leg since people use the internet to watch shows.

Broadcast Video (TV) will not be going anywhere for a while. There is no more efficient way to get a video stream to hundreds of millions of people. 106 million people watched the Super Bowl yesterday. at 20Mbps that would requre 2.12 * 10^6 Gbps to stream. This amount of throughput would be hugely expensive. According to Ben Drawbaugh of Engadget the current breakeven point is about a million viewers at that point classic broadcast tecnologies become cheaper than internet streaming.
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#34 OFFLINE   TXD16

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 05:02 PM

I miss my long-gone 10.5' C-band BUD and Shaun Kenny.

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#35 OFFLINE   loudo

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 05:05 PM

I miss my long-gone 10.5' C-band BUD and Shaun Kenny.

Well then this will bring back some memories:

H44-200 - Samsung 1080p 46" LED - HDMI
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#36 OFFLINE   xtc

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 06:22 AM

so C-band is just the name for the programming you get with the giant satellite dishes before DBS came along? what programming can you get with those vs. what you can with DirecTV, Dish Network, FiOS and Cable? Why would someone want to use that instead? is it just the crappy free over the air stuff in non-English countries?

#37 OFFLINE   loudo

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 08:10 AM

so C-band is just the name for the programming you get with the giant satellite dishes before DBS came along? what programming can you get with those vs. what you can with DirecTV, Dish Network, FiOS and Cable?

C-Band is actually the name given to the frequency band of the receivers that are used to pick up the signals. There were several different companies that sold programing for the C-Band receivers, with packages similar to what DirecTV and DISH offer today. I think there is only one company left today and that is the one mentioned here, NPS. If you go to programming on their web site, you will see what you can get for programing. They currently offers a lot less than they did years ago. Here is their web site: http://www.callnps.com/

Why would someone want to use that instead? is it just the crappy free over the air stuff in non-English countries?

Actually C-Band was around before either DirecTV or DISH, so many people who lived in rural areas as well as a few city dwellers bought C-Band equipment. In the early days nothing was scrambled and all you needed was a receiver. As they became more popular the scrambled and you needed a Motorola 4DTV receiver and subscription to receive the programing offered by DirecTV and DISH. There was still a lot of things that were unscrambled, News Feeds, sports backhauls (Feeds from the event back to the studios), International programing and Network (ABC, CBS, etc, sent to the local stations for rebroadcast) feeds. Eventually most of those became scrambled. Then the KU band started being used to send video and many of us retrofitted our dishes to receive their signals. I used to watch a lot of news feeds being sent from scenes to the networks. I specifically remember watching things like the live feeds from the Oakland California fire storms. Before the Sunday Ticket package we used to be able to watch the back haul of any football game, which used to be unscrambled.

I had my C-Band system from 1978 till 2003, when I sold the system.

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#38 OFFLINE   xtc

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 02:40 PM

C-Band is actually the name given to the frequency band of the receivers that are used to pick up the signals. There were several different companies that sold programing for the C-Band receivers, with packages similar to what DirecTV and DISH offer today. I think there is only one company left today and that is the one mentioned here, NPS. If you go to programming on their web site, you will see what you can get for programing. They currently offers a lot less than they did years ago. Here is their web site: http://www.callnps.com/


Actually C-Band was around before either DirecTV or DISH, so many people who lived in rural areas as well as a few city dwellers bought C-Band equipment. In the early days nothing was scrambled and all you needed was a receiver. As they became more popular the scrambled and you needed a Motorola 4DTV receiver and subscription to receive the programing offered by DirecTV and DISH. There was still a lot of things that were unscrambled, News Feeds, sports backhauls (Feeds from the event back to the studios), International programing and Network (ABC, CBS, etc, sent to the local stations for rebroadcast) feeds. Eventually most of those became scrambled. Then the KU band started being used to send video and many of us retrofitted our dishes to receive their signals. I used to watch a lot of news feeds being sent from scenes to the networks. I specifically remember watching things like the live feeds from the Oakland California fire storms. Before the Sunday Ticket package we used to be able to watch the back haul of any football game, which used to be unscrambled.

I had my C-Band system from 1978 till 2003, when I sold the system.


Thanks for the info, so i checked out the programming and almost all of those channels listed are now available on DBS/cable/FiOs. So is there any benefit today to owning those big dishes, or have they become completely obsolete? And back in the day, you're saying one of the major benefits to owning the big Dishes was the ability to get channels that you would normally pay for with other services, but after they became scrambled, that benefit died. So other than that, what was the benefit of owning them? We always used to see sports bars have the dishes, but i guess now with all the NBA League Pass, Sunday Ticket, etc. packages available, that's obsolete as well.

#39 OFFLINE   loudo

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 02:55 PM

Thanks for the info, so i checked out the programming and almost all of those channels listed are now available on DBS/cable/FiOs. So is there any benefit today to owning those big dishes, or have they become completely obsolete? And back in the day, you're saying one of the major benefits to owning the big Dishes was the ability to get channels that you would normally pay for with other services, but after they became scrambled, that benefit died. So other than that, what was the benefit of owning them? We always used to see sports bars have the dishes, but i guess now with all the NBA League Pass, Sunday Ticket, etc. packages available, that's obsolete as well.

I would say that after NPS stops selling programing, the basic purpose for owning one would be for the hobbyist who like to surf the sky. I know when I had my system, and living in South Florida, we could watch TV from South and Central America. This was possible as we are on the out skirts of the foot prints of some of the South American satellites. We also received most of the CBC & CTV network feeds, from Canada. I think they are now scrambled though. One I retrofitted the dish for KU, I picked up a lot more stations.

Sunday ticket used to be on C-Band and at the beginning it was about $100 a year. Since DirecTV has taken it over, that has increase a bit.

I miss my system as it was fun just surfing around to see what you could find. I probably still would have my system, had I of not sold my house and moved.

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#40 OFFLINE   lee635

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 03:21 PM

That's not exactly true. With multicasting capabilities, the stream would go out on the backbone only once, then as it trunks down the line it would get replicated until it goes to individual receviers of the stream.



Broadcast Video (TV) will not be going anywhere for a while. There is no more efficient way to get a video stream to hundreds of millions of people. 106 million people watched the Super Bowl yesterday. at 20Mbps that would requre 2.12 * 10^6 Gbps to stream. This amount of throughput would be hugely expensive. According to Ben Drawbaugh of Engadget the current breakeven point is about a million viewers at that point classic broadcast tecnologies become cheaper than internet streaming.


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