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DIRECTV HD Channel Anticipation (Official Q3-12 Thread)


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#2526 OFFLINE   maartena

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:42 AM

This thread is turning in to page after page after page of Alan wanting his CW HD. :D
[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.

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#2527 OFFLINE   banditt76

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:46 AM

This thread is turning in to page after page after page of Alan wanting his CW HD. :D


Hey I would have been doing the same thing if I didn't have my local CW in HD. It is one of the best channels for original programming and it looks and sounds like crap in SD. I have no problem with him asking for what he wants. I was very passionate about wanting HD for CW in my area for the longest time and was the best festivus of my life when it became available. When I switched to DISH a few years ago like a fool :P they did not have CW in HD and I was so pissed. It took them another 1.5 years to finally add it last January. CW in HD is an absolute must and anywhere it is not offered is just a travesty. :nono:
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#2528 OFFLINE   maartena

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:47 AM

I'm pretty sure that all locals have to be in HD by 2013 or 2014, I forget which. It will happen eventually. Just sucks waiting for so long for them.


2013. But it is not "all locals have to be in HD". It is "all locals that offer HD should be carried". The "carry one, carry all" principle means that if they carry 1 station in HD, they have to carry all that OFFER it.

They can't make a struggling SD local change their equipment and setup to be HD if they don't want it or cannot yet afford it. Only those who offer it will need to be carried.
[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.

#2529 OFFLINE   banditt76

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:53 AM

2013. But it is not "all locals have to be in HD". It is "all locals that offer HD should be carried". The "carry one, carry all" principle means that if they carry 1 station in HD, they have to carry all that OFFER it.

They can't make a struggling SD local change their equipment and setup to be HD if they don't want it or cannot yet afford it. Only those who offer it will need to be carried.


That's basically what I meant and realize what you're saying. Of course a struggling SD channel is not going to be required to have an HD feed. At least not for now until hopefully in the future all streams are only HD and SD is a relic of the past. Long ways away, but I can dream. ;)
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#2530 OFFLINE   seern

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 09:16 AM

Well, I am out of the CW debate since we have it in hd. I am happy now with what I am getting in hd fro D* and IonE would be a cherry on top since I do like Flashpoint and they are carrying the new, as well as repeats, of this show and it is best in hd.
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#2531 OFFLINE   maartena

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 09:30 AM

So, the technical thread has been discussing the potential amount of free HD slots there are left with all the technology being implemented, and the general consensus seems to be about 20 to 25.

Let's assume 20 for a moment.

What do you guys realistically think will happen over the next 2 years to fill that up?

I'm thinking at least HALF of those will be sports. 7 for PAC-12, 2 for TWC LA, 1 for Comcast Houston. (FS New Orleans I think will be part time HD, probably stealing a bit of PPV during games). I'm also hoping for Universal Sports HD, but I don't think that will materialize till next year or so.

The other half.... I think will be a variety of channels, but I do think most of them will be channels accessible to most people. Perhaps a few more basic, perhaps a bit more encore, perhaps an addition to the HD extra pack. What do you guys think?
[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.

#2532 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 09:34 AM

What do you guys think?


I think it had better be more than 20 or we see the reason why the PAC 12 network has not been added. You'd be talking about giving 1/3 of your open resources for the next couple of years to one network.
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#2533 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 09:48 AM

This thread is turning in to page after page after page of Alan wanting his CW HD. :D


Technically, aside from the changes to my signature, I'm not...

I was actually asking for an HD-DNS feed. I wasn't planning on griping about it until right before the new Fall season begins on it the first week of October, and most likely, again when some new mid-season shows premiere early next year. However, while flipping through some channels the other day, I noticed that CW DNS East (WDCW) was apparently experiencing some technical issues as the picture was windowboxed on multiple programs... including a Nationals ball game. It'd take someone who actually receives the channel to verify, but I suspect they're not currently offering HD for some reason, thereby showing up as windowboxed instead of pillar boxed. The HD version would have some issues too, but not as many... hence why I went on my rant.

If I was asking for my local channel, which doesn't start HD until sometime next year, I'd focus more on doing it in the locals thread, as it's a little more on topic there.

Besides, I'm good with moving on...

But I digress... I'll drop the subject until my regularly scheduled gripe before the new Fall season begins the first of October... ;)


Someone change the subject! :D

2013. But it is not "all locals have to be in HD". It is "all locals that offer HD should be carried". The "carry one, carry all" principle means that if they carry 1 station in HD, they have to carry all that OFFER it.

They can't make a struggling SD local change their equipment and setup to be HD if they don't want it or cannot yet afford it. Only those who offer it will need to be carried.


Sort of the same subject, and this conversation could be moved to the locals forum, though it's national repercussions is a little more on-topic in that it affects everyone instead of a few people who receive DNS feed, or the DNS feeds imported into their DMA, so I'll continue it here... for now.

The problem with that is, at least with some networks (particularly The CW which runs on many stations as an SD sub-channel) is that James Long is under the impression that the station actually has to transmit in HD for the station to be eligible for coverage under that rule. That's good news for my local CW who intends to broadcast HD OTA in addition to CBS, as well as Columbus, GA who is currently broadcasting NBC and The CW in HD, but I question whether many markets will do the two HD channels on a single frequency. So it's not just a question as to when stations will upgrade... as I suspect most of the affiliates will offer HD feeds to the cablecos and satcos and try to get coverage.

~Alan

#2534 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 09:53 AM

So, the technical thread has been discussing the potential amount of free HD slots there are left with all the technology being implemented, and the general consensus seems to be about 20 to 25.

Let's assume 20 for a moment.

What do you guys realistically think will happen over the next 2 years to fill that up?

I'm thinking at least HALF of those will be sports. 7 for PAC-12, 2 for TWC LA, 1 for Comcast Houston. (FS New Orleans I think will be part time HD, probably stealing a bit of PPV during games). I'm also hoping for Universal Sports HD, but I don't think that will materialize till next year or so.

The other half.... I think will be a variety of channels, but I do think most of them will be channels accessible to most people. Perhaps a few more basic, perhaps a bit more encore, perhaps an addition to the HD extra pack. What do you guys think?


I think Indieplex and Retroplex may show up...

I agree with TWC LA...

Unless Indieplex and Retroplex are HD Extra Pack, I don't see any channels added there...

Two or four "basic" channels will probably be added prior to D14... I won't go any further than that in my predictions.

I'm not sure what to expect with PAC-12... I'm not sure everybody is going to be happy with it though...

~Alan

#2535 OFFLINE   maartena

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 09:55 AM

I think it had better be more than 20 or we see the reason why the PAC 12 network has not been added. You'd be talking about giving 1/3 of your open resources for the next couple of years to one network.


Perhaps. But are there more important things to add? PAC-12 would lose customers, while the current selection of basic HD is good enough for customers to stay. I don't see people leaving DirecTV over missing DIY Network or HLN. And the focus, as Mike White has said, is "retaining customers", which is something PAC12 would do.

Looking at it purely from a customer-retention, maximizing profit side.... what channels are most important for DirecTV right now to retain customers and keep in bringing in the money? And with that, does it really matter that 1 group of channels takes over 1/3d of available bandwidth?

What other channels in the coming year or so are important enough for the bottom line?
[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.

#2536 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 10:00 AM

Perhaps. But are there more important things to add? PAC-12 would lose customers, while the current selection of basic HD is good enough for customers to stay. I don't see people leaving DirecTV over missing DIY Network or HLN. And the focus, as Mike White has said, is "retaining customers", which is something PAC12 would do.

Looking at it purely from a customer-retention, maximizing profit side.... what channels are most important for DirecTV right now to retain customers and keep in bringing in the money? And with that, does it really matter that 1 group of channels takes over 1/3d of available bandwidth?

What other channels in the coming year or so are important enough for the bottom line?


I think one needs to take regional figures into account.

Yeah, the PAC-12 may be more important in some areas, but in others, it could very well be beat by some of the basics like DIY... that's certainly the case in my area.

One would need to look at the demographics and subscriber information for the areas in order to see the overall picture...

~Alan

#2537 OFFLINE   maartena

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 10:14 AM

Yeah, the PAC-12 may be more important in some areas, but in others, it could very well be beat by some of the basics like DIY... that's certainly the case in my area.

One would need to look at the demographics and subscriber information for the areas in order to see the overall picture...

~Alan


Well let me rephrase that: We have seen in the past that even though certain BASIC HD was not carried, DirecTV continued to add subscribers. Additionally, from this board I have gathered that MOST people will not switch carriers for a missing basic HD channel.

I think Sports is a different beast. Regardless of the region, (as this would go just as much for SEC or BIG10 conferences) sports teams are in my opinion a much bigger reason why people would switch or would choose a different provider.

Another consideration in this is that people would essentially LOSE all the games they had last season, so this is not something they already had in SD, and may now get in HD, it is something they have essentially already lost, and are hoping to retain by the addition of these new channels.

Give or take, the PAC12 conference has about 50 million people. Sure, that's only 20% of the U.S., maybe not so important to the other 80%. But it does include a few markets where DirecTV is hugely popular, such as Los Angeles and Phoenix.

And I am really not looking at this as a sports fan (I could care less about handegg.... I mean "foot"ball) but looking at this from the investment side. Football is a big money maker for every party involved, including those who carry the channels.

Basic channels already carried in SD, but may be carried in HD.... really don't do anything for the bottom line, especially now that we have reached a list of channels that are "nice to have" but not really "critical" for DirecTV.
[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.

#2538 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 10:32 AM

Well let me rephrase that: We have seen in the past that even though certain BASIC HD was not carried, DirecTV continued to add subscribers. Additionally, from this board I have gathered that MOST people will not switch carriers for a missing basic HD channel.

I think Sports is a different beast. Regardless of the region, (as this would go just as much for SEC or BIG10 conferences) sports teams are in my opinion a much bigger reason why people would switch or would choose a different provider.

Another consideration in this is that people would essentially LOSE all the games they had last season, so this is not something they already had in SD, and may now get in HD, it is something they have essentially already lost, and are hoping to retain by the addition of these new channels.

Give or take, the PAC12 conference has about 50 million people. Sure, that's only 20% of the U.S., maybe not so important to the other 80%. But it does include a few markets where DirecTV is hugely popular, such as Los Angeles and Phoenix.

And I am really not looking at this as a sports fan (I could care less about handegg.... I mean "foot"ball) but looking at this from the investment side. Football is a big money maker for every party involved, including those who carry the channels.

Basic channels already carried in SD, but may be carried in HD.... really don't do anything for the bottom line, especially now that we have reached a list of channels that are "nice to have" but not really "critical" for DirecTV.


I agree with you completely on sports... I was not arguing that.

My statement's intent was aimed more toward regional demographics. Yes, L.A. is certainly a big location for DirecTV... (for one thing, many of the folks that are responsible for these decisions live there). I'm not familiar enough with Phoenix, but I'll take your word for it.

I just think that with seven channels that are of more regional interest, you'd dang well better be sure it's worth it.

Besides, Mike White has stated they are not as gung-ho about RSNs as they used to be...

~Alan

#2539 OFFLINE   fleckrj

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 11:13 AM

I doubt that all seven PAC 12 channels will be added in HD. I expect one or two might be, with the rest added in SD only until D14. I have not followed the PAC 12 network development closely enough to know what will be shown on each of the 7 channels, but there is not enough "must watch" sports in the PAC 12 to fill seven channels.

I agree that two slots will go to TWC LA and one to Comcast Houston.

I expect Universal Sports to go HD on May 1, 2013 - the Wednesday before the Giro d'Italia starts on May 4.

That still leaves room for a few more basics, but not for a HD DNS CW or PBS. I expect H2, and DIY will make the cut.

#2540 OFFLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 11:22 AM

I could sure use MyNetwork TV in HD in Albany, NY for the Yankees in HD on that one night a week it's on my9/my4.

Probably won't ever happen...

Kevin


Do you not get the RSN alternate channel 633-1 near YES that simulcasts the My9 games?
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#2541 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 11:22 AM

I doubt that all seven PAC 12 channels will be added in HD. I expect one or two might be, with the rest added in SD only until D14.


EDIT: I was kind of thinking that myself... now I don't know...

I did however get a little bit of a surprise though when I read the following in the network's thread:

The network covers 7 of the top 30 DMAs(last #s I saw).


I still believe not everybody's going to be happy with the results, but those numbers do impress upon me more their importance.

That still leaves room for a few more basics, but not for a HD DNS CW or PBS. I expect H2, and DIY will make the cut.


The fact that's it's (CW HD DNS) my personal #1 want aside, I agree... Ion East HD gives me a little hope, but I put the odds pretty low until D14.

I think both DIY and H2 stand a good chance as well.... I feel like TV Land also has a good chance.

I give 50/50 odds for CSN Houston (I think those are the odds I gave it?!), and I have no thoughts related to Universal Sports.

Overall though, I pretty much agree with your thoughts...

~Alan

Edited by Alan Gordon, 20 August 2012 - 12:05 PM.


#2542 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 11:26 AM

For what it's worth, Shop NBC has gone HD!

I have added it to the "NON PREMIUM CHANNELS THAT DIRECTV CURRENTLY OFFERS IN SD, BUT NOT HD" section of the list.


Adjust your wishlists accordingly! :D

~Alan

#2543 OFFLINE   maartena

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 11:44 AM

I doubt that all seven PAC 12 channels will be added in HD. I expect one or two might be, with the rest added in SD only until D14.


The problem is... that the model for PAC-12 really doesn't work like that. They more or less have a similar setup as RSN's, where each of the 6 regions will get the LOCAL channel as the main network, and the 7th, NATIONAL network will be in the Sports Pack.

You really can't say... "Okay, L.A. is more important so they get their local network in HD, and the national one will be in HD, and the rest of the regions.... sorry, your sports will be in SD".

There is a separate topic of many pages on this forum where the model is explained in more detail. But what it comes down to is that they probably won't do "some in HD, rest in SD". Especially not since all the cable companies offer the regional PAC-12 in HD in all affected regions, combined with the national channel in HD.

In a nutshell it is probably a "all or nothing" type deal.
[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.

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#2544 OFFLINE   michaelruggeri

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 12:16 PM

My one wish now is the Ovation Channel. It is a top quality arts and culture channel which also shows BBC, ITV and Australian TV drama series.

Mike

#2545 OFFLINE   TravelFan1

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 12:29 PM

Let me add my 2 cents about the PAC-12. Why not go to the following model:
- Add National HD and Regional SDs in conus/national channels
- Add the specific HD local RSN on Spotbeam for that particular region.
- Put Saturday college football games in HD, and college basketball games everyday but Sunday(until Sunday ticket season is over) in HD on an part-time basis in conus.

That would be more or less the business model used by the cablecos, with the advantage, from the sports bars perspective, of having all PAC-12 college football and most college basketball games in HD.

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#2546 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 12:39 PM

Let me add my 2 cents about the PAC-12. Why not go to the following model:
- Add National HD and Regional SDs in conus/national channels
- Add the specific HD local RSN on Spotbeam for that particular region.
- Put Saturday college football games in HD, and college basketball games everyday but Sunday(until Sunday ticket season is over) in HD on an part-time basis in conus.

That would be more or less the business model used by the cablecos, with the advantage, from the sports bars perspective, of having all PAC-12 college football and most college basketball games in HD.


The problem is that the spot-beams most likely would not have room for the regional ones...

Some places out West do not have full KA spot-beam coverage either...

~Alan

Edited by Alan Gordon, 20 August 2012 - 12:47 PM.


#2547 OFFLINE   georule

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 12:44 PM

James Long explained something to you that I should have earlier... but I'll add this... you're grossly overestimating demand. ;)


Nah, I don't think I'm overestimating the demand (if D* started carrying CW HD DNS). I think the "demand" is going to be there and be met by "No, no, no, no, no, no, no. . . ." etc xThousands. And some important people might just like to avoid that hassle in the first place.

Anyway, I think we threshed that one out pretty well, tho I'm still surprised that the network has no legal say in DNS carriage. I gather it must be the actual affiliate carried for that purpose that makes some additional money off allowing their signal to be used for DNS?

Edited by georule, 20 August 2012 - 12:51 PM.

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#2548 OFFLINE   fleckrj

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 12:49 PM

The problem is... that the model for PAC-12 really doesn't work like that. They more or less have a similar setup as RSN's, where each of the 6 regions will get the LOCAL channel as the main network, and the 7th, NATIONAL network will be in the Sports Pack.

You really can't say... "Okay, L.A. is more important so they get their local network in HD, and the national one will be in HD, and the rest of the regions.... sorry, your sports will be in SD".

There is a separate topic of many pages on this forum where the model is explained in more detail. But what it comes down to is that they probably won't do "some in HD, rest in SD". Especially not since all the cable companies offer the regional PAC-12 in HD in all affected regions, combined with the national channel in HD.

In a nutshell it is probably a "all or nothing" type deal.


One could say LA is more important, because it is the largest DMA in the PAC 12 and has USC and UCLA (and is closer to Stanford than any of the other PAC 12 DMAs are). Given the model you described, though, the one national might be HD and the six locals in HD on spot beams only into their local market until D14.

#2549 OFFLINE   maartena

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 12:58 PM

Let me add my 2 cents about the PAC-12. Why not go to the following model:
- Add National HD and Regional SDs in conus/national channels
- Add the specific HD local RSN on Spotbeam for that particular region.
- Put Saturday college football games in HD, and college basketball games everyday but Sunday(until Sunday ticket season is over) in HD on an part-time basis in conus.

That would be more or less the business model used by the cablecos, with the advantage, from the sports bars perspective, of having all PAC-12 college football and most college basketball games in HD.


Yeah that has been discussed as well, the spot-beam thing. It IS and option, however bandwidth on spot beams is also fairly restricted due to the "carry one - carry all" ruling, which is causing DirecTV to launch more and more locals in HD (new markets, AND channels in existing markets).

From some comments made in other threads, with the addition of all of the Spanish language HD in the Southern California region, the L.A. spotbeam (which is already spread over 3 transponders) is pretty much near capacity. So there isn't a large amount of spotbeam bandwidth available either.

Additionally, the PAC-12 DMA stretches over multiple spotbeams in some DMA's, so you would need to have more than 6. To get the entire Southern California DMA, it would require as many as 3 spot beams to get PAC-12 regional to all areas. Same with Northern California, some of Northern California is on the same spotbeam as Oregon, so the Northern California network should be carried on 2 spotbeams. Utah/Colorado gets even more tricky. Too far apart, each would need their own spot beam.

In short, it would be a waste of as much as 10+ spot beam slots when there is room on the CONUS transponders right now. In addition to the spot beams, you would still need to shut down some PPV for a few hours two or three times a week to get some temp feeds up for games. It would be a much more complicated, and a much more bandwidth wasting solution, and for what? The CONUS bandwidth realistically isn't needed for other channels. At least none that would retain customers and/or add to DirecTV's bottom line.

I know we all want (including me) our "precious basic HD", but fact is that basic HD is really cool and nice.... but not something that would cause customers to leave.
[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.

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#2550 OFFLINE   fleckrj

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 01:27 PM

OK - so it looks like we are stuck with 7 CONUS slots for the PAC 12, 2 for TWC LA, 1 for CS Houston, and 1 for Universal Sports. That is half of the available slots until D14.

It still seems odd that the PAC 12 needs six regional channels for only 12 schools. I guess they are planning for the future when they might have 16 schools. With only 12 schools there can only be 6 conference games on any given day, and they are usually not simultaneous - especially since the PAC 12 covers two time zones. Even if they expand to 16 schools, there could only be 8 conference games. Four channels with two games each should be sufficient. Any non-conference game against a major opponent is likely to be picked up by ESPN or CBS, anyway.




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