Jump to content


Welcome to DBSTalk


Sign In 

Create Account
Welcome to DBSTalk. Our community covers all aspects of video delivery solutions including: Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS), Cable Television, and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV). We also have forums to discuss popular television programs, home theater equipment, and internet streaming service providers. Members of our community include experts who can help you solve technical problems, industry professionals, company representatives, and novices who are here to learn.

Like most online communities you must register to view or post in our community. Sign-up is a free and simple process that requires minimal information. Be a part of our community by signing in or creating an account. The Digital Bit Stream starts here!
  • Reply to existing topics or start a discussion of your own
  • Subscribe to topics and forums and get email updates
  • Send private personal messages (PM) to other forum members
  • Customize your profile page and make new friends
 
Guest Message by DevFuse

Photo

DirecTV Satellite Discussion (D14 up next)


  • Please log in to reply
1417 replies to this topic

#221 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

Tom Robertson

    Lifetime Achiever

  • DBSTalk Club
  • 20,245 posts
Joined: Nov 15, 2005

Posted 13 September 2011 - 08:32 PM

Great. I guess we'll have to wait a little bit longer for more HD now.

Listen to the wisdom of Sixto... ;)

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)


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

#222 OFFLINE   wmb

wmb

    Godfather

  • Registered
  • 452 posts
Joined: Dec 17, 2008

Posted 13 September 2011 - 08:48 PM

To expand upon Rad's answer, there still would need to be several billion dollars spent on replacing dishes and receivers before everything could go MPEG4. Ain't gonna happen for a long time.

Cheers,
Tom


How long after bringing out the MPEG2 HD DirecTIVO did they wait before they obsoleted the entire line? Seems there are some still angry about that.

The current boxes are available that output composite AV and S-video, along with HD. Legacy SDTVs can be fed a signal from the current HD boxes.

While we talk about the equipment change out costs, that ignores the cost of maintaining the SD signals. Channel providers are starting to only provide HD signals (e.g ESPN). This means lower distribution costs for the provider. You would only need to uplink one signal and you wouldn't need to have the equipment to downconvert the signal and send it up for distribution.

My bet is DirecTV has a number of people running models and comparing operating costs and revenue projections for various scenarios. They are probably closely tracking HD vs SD dish installs (one HD receiver requires an HD dish), and ratio of HD to SD receivers. They can probably give pretty accurate predictions of when 50% and 75% of new install receivers will be HD. The also know the rate at which SD receivers are being replaced by HD ones. Since joining DirecTV 4 years ago, I retired 2 of 3 SD TVs and replaced them with HD TVs. The last SDTV is in a guest room and never watched (something else I am sure DirecTV can track). Surely, they can also give a decent date estimate of when the number of operating SD receivers will fall below a threadhold making separate broadcast no longer cost effective/profitable.

The question is whether, when they need to contract for, and begin construction of a replacement of the current SD satellites, will it make sense economically to continue to broadcast SD signals. Given that multiple satellites are involved in SD delivery, I could imagine a scenario where they slowly reduce services available SD only (e.g movie premiums and/or PPV require an HD receiver) during the transition period. This way, they could wean SD customers from their SD equipment without forcing people to switch all at once.

#223 OFFLINE   Bonneville44

Bonneville44

    AllStar

  • Registered
  • 87 posts
Joined: Aug 25, 2011

Posted 13 September 2011 - 08:59 PM

Listen to the wisdom of Sixto... ;)


Should we be starting some new anticipating in the other thread?!

#224 OFFLINE   JoeTheDragon

JoeTheDragon

    Hall Of Fame

  • Registered
  • 4,139 posts
Joined: Jul 21, 2008

Posted 13 September 2011 - 09:12 PM

How long after bringing out the MPEG2 HD DirecTIVO did they wait before they obsoleted the entire line? Seems there are some still angry about that.

The current boxes are available that output composite AV and S-video, along with HD. Legacy SDTVs can be fed a signal from the current HD boxes.

While we talk about the equipment change out costs, that ignores the cost of maintaining the SD signals. Channel providers are starting to only provide HD signals (e.g ESPN). This means lower distribution costs for the provider. You would only need to uplink one signal and you wouldn't need to have the equipment to downconvert the signal and send it up for distribution.

My bet is DirecTV has a number of people running models and comparing operating costs and revenue projections for various scenarios. They are probably closely tracking HD vs SD dish installs (one HD receiver requires an HD dish), and ratio of HD to SD receivers. They can probably give pretty accurate predictions of when 50% and 75% of new install receivers will be HD. The also know the rate at which SD receivers are being replaced by HD ones. Since joining DirecTV 4 years ago, I retired 2 of 3 SD TVs and replaced them with HD TVs. The last SDTV is in a guest room and never watched (something else I am sure DirecTV can track). Surely, they can also give a decent date estimate of when the number of operating SD receivers will fall below a threadhold making separate broadcast no longer cost effective/profitable.

The question is whether, when they need to contract for, and begin construction of a replacement of the current SD satellites, will it make sense economically to continue to broadcast SD signals. Given that multiple satellites are involved in SD delivery, I could imagine a scenario where they slowly reduce services available SD only (e.g movie premiums and/or PPV require an HD receiver) during the transition period. This way, they could wean SD customers from their SD equipment without forcing people to switch all at once.

well they can start by offering bars a deal when if you take a hd box we will help you pay some of cost of updating your switching system to HD.
I want CLTV / CLTV HD on direct tv.

#225 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

Tom Robertson

    Lifetime Achiever

  • DBSTalk Club
  • 20,245 posts
Joined: Nov 15, 2005

Posted 13 September 2011 - 09:59 PM

...
My bet is DirecTV has a number of people running models and comparing operating costs and revenue projections for various scenarios. They are probably closely tracking HD vs SD dish installs (one HD receiver requires an HD dish), and ratio of HD to SD receivers. They can probably give pretty accurate predictions of when 50% and 75% of new install receivers will be HD. The also know the rate at which SD receivers are being replaced by HD ones. Since joining DirecTV 4 years ago, I retired 2 of 3 SD TVs and replaced them with HD TVs. The last SDTV is in a guest room and never watched (something else I am sure DirecTV can track). Surely, they can also give a decent date estimate of when the number of operating SD receivers will fall below a threadhold making separate broadcast no longer cost effective/profitable.

The question is whether, when they need to contract for, and begin construction of a replacement of the current SD satellites, will it make sense economically to continue to broadcast SD signals. Given that multiple satellites are involved in SD delivery, I could imagine a scenario where they slowly reduce services available SD only (e.g movie premiums and/or PPV require an HD receiver) during the transition period. This way, they could wean SD customers from their SD equipment without forcing people to switch all at once.


The entire post is one of few that delves into the whole of the big picture. There are lots of costs to balance out and I am sure DIRECTV has the numbers modeled very thoroughly.

To me the first enabler will be when it is no more expensive to produce MPEG4 boxes than MPEG2 only boxes. Then DIRECTV will cut off the new shipments of MPEG2 boxes into the supply chain.

The next sign might be no more 18" dish installs. Or removing the D series from installs and replacements.

It will be a very long-term evolution. So long-term, you really can't even call it a project yet.

Until the number of active MPEG2 receivers falls below 5M, it will still be less expensive to launch another satellite. (Generally speaking that is.)

And yes, absolutely, I expect DIRECTV will use the same techniques to encourage people to swap off SD receivers in groups as they did before. Slowly turning off SD services and offering economical upgrades to those last holdouts. :)

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)


#226 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

Tom Robertson

    Lifetime Achiever

  • DBSTalk Club
  • 20,245 posts
Joined: Nov 15, 2005

Posted 13 September 2011 - 10:02 PM

well they can start by offering bars a deal when if you take a hd box we will help you pay some of cost of updating your switching system to HD.


You hit another key point: bars, hotels, offices and businesses that use DIRECTV for their music, private networks for companies, etc.

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)


#227 OFFLINE   Coca Cola Kid

Coca Cola Kid

    Hall Of Fame

  • Registered
  • 3,586 posts
  • LocationMt. Morris, MI
Joined: Jul 19, 2009

Posted 13 September 2011 - 10:03 PM

Why is there no D13? Are they that superstitious?

DIRECTV customer

All comments are my own. Unless specifically stated, my views do NOT represent the views of other DIRECTV customers


My giant list of missing or wrong logos


#228 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

Tom Robertson

    Lifetime Achiever

  • DBSTalk Club
  • 20,245 posts
Joined: Nov 15, 2005

Posted 13 September 2011 - 10:08 PM

Why is there no D13? Are they that superstitious?


D13 was licensed for satellite orbital slot 110° but DIRECTV surrendered that license, reverting to their existing license at that slot. So I presume they will not re-use that designation to avoid confusion.

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)


#229 OFFLINE   TheRatPatrol

TheRatPatrol

    Hall Of Fame

  • Registered
  • 6,694 posts
  • LocationPhoenix, AZ
Joined: Oct 01, 2003

Posted 13 September 2011 - 10:30 PM

Never say never. :)

Oh I know I know. ;)

Listen to the wisdom of Sixto... ;)

And you too Tom. :D

#230 OFFLINE   georule

georule

    Hall Of Fame

  • DBSTalk Club
  • 1,585 posts
Joined: Mar 31, 2010

Posted 13 September 2011 - 11:05 PM

Do they use the same STBs in Latin America as they do in the US?

I use to think as their growth curve flattened yet new model HD STBs rolled out, that'd help on the conversion end (rolling older HD STBs to replace SD STBs). But if LA is using the same equipment, and still growing rapidly. . . not so much.

#231 OFFLINE   harsh

harsh

    Beware the Attack Basset

  • Registered
  • 18,262 posts
  • LocationSalem, OR
Joined: Jun 14, 2003

Posted 13 September 2011 - 11:29 PM

To expand upon Rad's answer, there still would need to be several billion dollars spent on replacing dishes and receivers before everything could go MPEG4.

If they played it right, they could use the existing dishes. Move the non-lifeline CONUS and more small DMA LIL to Ka and start collapsing the Ku stuff to MPEG4 in the vacated space.

Those who wanted certain season packages (like NFLST or MLB EI) could be a nice small group to start with. Throw in a complete household update with each subscription.

Of course none of this can happen until they get all the DIRECTiVo customers fixed up with new Ka capable gear. ;)

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -- JFK


#232 OFFLINE   harsh

harsh

    Beware the Attack Basset

  • Registered
  • 18,262 posts
  • LocationSalem, OR
Joined: Jun 14, 2003

Posted 13 September 2011 - 11:32 PM

Do they use the same STBs in Latin America as they do in the US?

Mostly similar, but not identical. For one, the LA equipment doesn't seem to support RF remotes.

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -- JFK


#233 OFFLINE   inkahauts

inkahauts

    Hall Of Fame

  • DBSTalk Club
  • 14,685 posts
Joined: Nov 13, 2006

Posted 14 September 2011 - 02:11 AM

If Directv is going to use D15 for a replacement at say 101, would it make sense to make all channels mpeg4? sure it would be nice to have all replaced with HD, but we all know that isn't going to happen. However, mpeg4 would make the SD channels look better.

Just a thought.



How long after bringing out the MPEG2 HD DirecTIVO did they wait before they obsoleted the entire line? Seems there are some still angry about that.

The current boxes are available that output composite AV and S-video, along with HD. Legacy SDTVs can be fed a signal from the current HD boxes.

While we talk about the equipment change out costs, that ignores the cost of maintaining the SD signals. Channel providers are starting to only provide HD signals (e.g ESPN). This means lower distribution costs for the provider. You would only need to uplink one signal and you wouldn't need to have the equipment to downconvert the signal and send it up for distribution.

My bet is DirecTV has a number of people running models and comparing operating costs and revenue projections for various scenarios. They are probably closely tracking HD vs SD dish installs (one HD receiver requires an HD dish), and ratio of HD to SD receivers. They can probably give pretty accurate predictions of when 50% and 75% of new install receivers will be HD. The also know the rate at which SD receivers are being replaced by HD ones. Since joining DirecTV 4 years ago, I retired 2 of 3 SD TVs and replaced them with HD TVs. The last SDTV is in a guest room and never watched (something else I am sure DirecTV can track). Surely, they can also give a decent date estimate of when the number of operating SD receivers will fall below a threadhold making separate broadcast no longer cost effective/profitable.

The question is whether, when they need to contract for, and begin construction of a replacement of the current SD satellites, will it make sense economically to continue to broadcast SD signals. Given that multiple satellites are involved in SD delivery, I could imagine a scenario where they slowly reduce services available SD only (e.g movie premiums and/or PPV require an HD receiver) during the transition period. This way, they could wean SD customers from their SD equipment without forcing people to switch all at once.


There where so few of the HD Tivos out there in comparison to mpeg2 only boxes, its not even a comparable situation.

They don't need to replace a single sat to switch to all hd and get rid of sd channels. The problem with killing the sd feeds is in peoples homes. Any sat they launch today as a replacement for one already up there is likely to have all the abilities for anything it replaces and more.

I also feel that replacing and adding sats has ZERO to do with hd and mpeg 4 in the big picture. Its all about capacity in general. The more capacity they have, the more channels and services they can have. We have already seen they have some On Demand content on a sat. I don't think they will stop adding sats until hey can offer all they have and more via sat if its monetarily possible to do it and not hinder their profits. I think the BSS sat packages will be all about that.



The entire post is one of few that delves into the whole of the big picture. There are lots of costs to balance out and I am sure DIRECTV has the numbers modeled very thoroughly.

To me the first enabler will be when it is no more expensive to produce MPEG4 boxes than MPEG2 only boxes. Then DIRECTV will cut off the new shipments of MPEG2 boxes into the supply chain.

The next sign might be no more 18" dish installs. Or removing the D series from installs and replacements.

It will be a very long-term evolution. So long-term, you really can't even call it a project yet.

Until the number of active MPEG2 receivers falls below 5M, it will still be less expensive to launch another satellite. (Generally speaking that is.)

And yes, absolutely, I expect DIRECTV will use the same techniques to encourage people to swap off SD receivers in groups as they did before. Slowly turning off SD services and offering economical upgrades to those last holdouts. :)

Cheers,
Tom


I think that they already are killing off SD MPEG2, but only based on obvious opportunity right now. They are launching all their new Local DMAs and the ones they moved off 79 to MPEG-4 only DMAS. That's the start...

BUT I don't think they are even close to a proactive effort about killing off old equipment till they have bss equipment being deployed. We don't know what all will be required to receive BSS stuff yet, but they know what that is, and till its launched, there is no point in starting the process. And as you said it will be gradual.

When they went to a lease model, they decided that every box they produce will have a lifespan of X. And they wont stop using them till X years has passed by, so if the boxes that we have now can't in some way receive BSS...

Now if they can, via a new SWIM setup, then maybe, just maybe you could make the argument they have begun the process in general by starting to filer the newer hardware out there via natural attrition. I don't see a focused decision till they realize they can't launch any more sats (no more bandwidth available, and no need to replace any for a while) for x number of years and they might as well spend that type of development money on swapping out to newer hardware, and hey have the bss capable dishes ready to be installed.

I wouldn't be surprised if they followed the same path as they did with the HR10's. First Sports packages, then by dma, and then one final call to everyone that just waited and procrastinated. But again, till they have definitive BSS hardware, what would be the point in even worrying about costs of boxes on mpeg2 vs. mpeg 4 being the qualifier to move to all mpeg 4, unless there is an unexpected mass exodus to only mpeg4 hardware by the subs without any push by directv. That might move up their plans if a push to non bss but mpeg 4 hardware would be so low in comparison to costs of continuing to feed sd versions of channels that it made sense.

I am hoping that all the current mpeg 4 equipment will be able to receiver bss sat stuff with a new swim and dish. That would be nice.

I'd love to know all the details on how many of each kind of box is left out there, and by dma. How many people are still using non directv branded hardware somewhere in their house.

#234 OFFLINE   maartena

maartena

    Hall Of Fame

  • Registered
  • 2,795 posts
Joined: Nov 01, 2010

Posted 14 September 2011 - 08:32 AM

Indeed. And will it be part of the "expansion" or "replenishment" of the constellation? I've pointed out several times that some of the Ku satellites are getting to the point where replacement has to at least be on Directv's long-term technology roadmap.


Since satellites generally last about 15 years or so, and the oldest seems to be nearing 12 years now, I would assume that with both 14 and 15 they will have capacity to off-load some of their older birds. I'm sure they know how old their satellites are. ;)
[Disclaimer] The definition of "soon" is based solely on DirecTV's interpretation of the word, and all similarities with dictionary definitions of the word "soon" are purely coincidental and should not be interpreted as a time frame that will come to pass within a reasonable amount of time.

I am the Stig.

#235 OFFLINE   cypherx

cypherx

    Hall Of Fame

  • Registered
  • 2,722 posts
  • LocationPA - Berks County
Joined: Aug 27, 2010

Posted 14 September 2011 - 09:42 AM

At what volume of manufacturing does MPEG4 receivers cost about the same as MPEG2 only?

I would imagine that in bulk, by now it shouldn't be that much cost prohibitive.

- > Link to my setup thread< -

My  DirecTV HD WISHLIST:  NickJR, Nicktoons, Revolt.TV, FXM, We, Oxygen, The Hub, Fuse, GSN, Sprout, GAC, Esquire, MTV2, BBC World News, Ovation, Reelz , Sundance, Up, Music Choice Play HD (formerly SWRV), Al Jazeera America, Military Channel, NASA

My DirecTV SD WISHLIST: MTV Hits, MTV Jams, Music Choice, Youtoo TV

 

---
HR24-200
H24-200


#236 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

Tom Robertson

    Lifetime Achiever

  • DBSTalk Club
  • 20,245 posts
Joined: Nov 15, 2005

Posted 14 September 2011 - 09:59 AM

At what volume of manufacturing does MPEG4 receivers cost about the same as MPEG2 only?

I would imagine that in bulk, by now it shouldn't be that much cost prohibitive.


Since they are all ordered in bulk, I'm guessing the prices haven't equalized yet.

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)


#237 OFFLINE   alnielsen

alnielsen

    Godfather

  • Registered
  • 450 posts
  • LocationDuPage Co. IL
Joined: Dec 31, 2006

Posted 14 September 2011 - 03:32 PM

How many people are still using non directv branded hardware somewhere in their house.

I am. I have 2 receivers that are at least 10 yrs old and are still in use. However, I think that I'm in a minority. I would think most of the growth of Directv was after they went to the leasing model.

Direct TV subscriber since 1999
Choice Ultimate Customer
Equipment:: HR21-700 HR20-700 H20-100 (owned) SlimLine 5 Antenna
Winegard HD 8800 8-Bay for OTA

 

KC9ZOU


#238 OFFLINE   harsh

harsh

    Beware the Attack Basset

  • Registered
  • 18,262 posts
  • LocationSalem, OR
Joined: Jun 14, 2003

Posted 14 September 2011 - 04:10 PM

At what volume of manufacturing does MPEG4 receivers cost about the same as MPEG2 only?

I would imagine that the MPEG2 receiver cost rose some when they started putting SWiM capability in them. I wouldn't be surprised if they're using the same tuners that the HD equipment is. They still don't have networking but that's kind of a gimme in todays mainboard world. The only considerable deduction is probably DECA versus an H24. The H25 may be a wash against the D12 as it is.

Thinking back, many (myself included) figured the end of MPEG2 had begun with the release of the R22 40 months ago. Whoda thunk?

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -- JFK


#239 ONLINE   LameLefty

LameLefty

    Hall Of Fame

  • Registered
  • 12,043 posts
Joined: Sep 28, 2006

Posted 14 September 2011 - 04:35 PM

Since satellites generally last about 15 years or so, and the oldest seems to be nearing 12 years now, I would assume that with both 14 and 15 they will have capacity to off-load some of their older birds. I'm sure they know how old their satellites are. ;)


Actually I'm not sure of that at all. Directv 14 was mentioned in the most-recent investor presentations as being an expansion of the Ka fleet. That does nothing to help out with the older Ku birds. Page 48 of the December 2010 Investor Day presentation indicates that Directv 5 will hit design end-of-life by June 2014, although it has predicted fuel through at least 2020. D4S, D8 and Spaceway 1 all hit design end-of-life between December 2016 and October 2017, with SW2 following by mid-2018. Satellites take several years from contract-award to completion and launch, so expect to see more announcements like this within the next year to 18 months, I would think.

"Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!"
Directv since 1997
Will Work for Beer


#240 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

Tom Robertson

    Lifetime Achiever

  • DBSTalk Club
  • 20,245 posts
Joined: Nov 15, 2005

Posted 14 September 2011 - 04:55 PM

Satellite life = Fuel, battery, transponders. If all are good, the satellite can last much longer than the designed life.

DIRECTV likely has a very close eye on the health of these guys and is ready to go with replacements.

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)





spam firewall