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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Just installed HR34 and C31 today and have 2 questions


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29 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   TMan

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:29 PM

I'm thinking of it in terms of the provider's cost.

If you fire up multiple computers and launch a Netflix stream on each of them, the effect on bandwidth demand is cumulative. They have to build capacity for that and provision enough bandwidth from their backbone provider.

The satellite signal is a broadcast containing every channel they offer (spot beams notwithstanding), reaches everyone at the same time, and it is a function of the receiver(s) to allow access to the channels subscribed to. The same signal hits your dish whether you're lighting up one or ten televisions.

In my opinion, the charge for each additional television falls into the "because they can" category, not the "because there is extra cost to DirecTV" category, because I presume they continue charging additional outlet fees whether the receivers are owned or leased.

I could probably come up with one or two more locations in my house where a small TV would be convenient on a very infrequent basis, but to pay $72-144 per year IN PERPETUITY to do so is absurd.

Surely the programming providers don't charge DirecTV more per subscriber based on the number of outlets the subscribers have, do they? Then again I'm sure they'd love to.
October 2012 DirecTV subscriber - HR34(Genie)/C31/C31 - AU9-S-SWM Five LNB - Premier

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#22 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:36 PM

I'll just say the same two things I said about other launches.

First, developing the technology costs money and DIRECTV has to recoup that. They can spread the cost out over everyone, or they can focus it on people who actually use it. My guess is, where you stand on that debate has a lot to do with whether or not you have a C31.

Second, I get that no one wants to pay more when common sense tells them that they shouldn't need to. But really, DIRECTV is going to ask for money when it can, for as long as they can. People say, they shouldn't have to pay for DVR service, HD Access, Whole Home, or RVU clients. They say they should pay only for the channels they watch... if they watch 50 channels out of 500, their bill should be only 10% of what it is now.

But you know, it doesn't work like that. These itemized charges wouldn't go away if the line items did; they would be folded into your bill and instead of it being your choice to pay or not pay, all of a sudden everyone's got the same service and the same, unmodifyable $150 per month bill.

So bottom line whether they get you with an RVU charge or just jack up the bill, it's the same, right?
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#23 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:12 PM

I'm thinking of it in terms of the provider's cost.


I see you are. But that's not how our capitalistic society is run; nor are our TV providers regulated public utilities. (Cable companies can be regulated, but apparently not very effectively).
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#24 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:47 PM

First, developing the technology costs money and DIRECTV has to recoup that.

I suspect that it is flawed logic to conclude that DIRECTV is alone in bearing the expense of development for RVU clients.

The RVU alliance is made up of many companies that have varying amounts riding on the eventual success of RVU technology. For DIRECTV's part, I suspect most of it lies in adapting their authentication to hardware that someone else has borne the cost of developing; something they (along with NDS) have been doing for years on other platforms.

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#25 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:53 PM

I suspect that it is flawed logic to conclude that DIRECTV is alone in bearing the expense of development for RVU clients.


Then why posit that? No one else has.
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#26 OFFLINE   harperhometheater

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:55 PM

I have to say, the best thing I ever did cost wise for tv service was using a cablecard tuner (Ceton, HDHomerun, etc) in my PC and XBox360's as extenders using Media Center. I only paid $2/month for the cablecard and had basic cable for $35, but Oceanic TWC didn't scramble almost all the digitals so I got almost the entire digital package for the cost of basic AND had whole home DVR, integrated playlist, etc from EVERY TV with the 360s!

As many are saying, it was my choice though to go with DTV, all because of that beloved NFL Sunday Ticket ;)
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#27 OFFLINE   TMan

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:12 AM

I fully understand the need for product development, infrastructure improvements, etc., but it still gets tedious when they add up like they do. Especially for things that don't seem to represent an additional operational expense for them. For example, once that software is baked into their hardware, with whatever features they chose to include, it doesn't impact DirecTV at all (in terms of their operating costs) whether I want to move 0 hours or 50 hours of programming per day between receivers, or whether I record 100 hours a day or none. To specifically charge a monthly fee to use features of their software seems a bit disingenuous to me.

The remaining argument is whether one considers all or part of these fees to be an "installment plan" intended to fund their initial hardware, and/or upgrades a couple years later, etc. That is much more valid. Equipment is often given to new customers for free, so those customers have to pay it back somehow. Can you buy them outright somehow AND get some of those fees waived? I suppose not, but I don't know.

I guess that's a cost that I want to pay for once, up front, and not be locked into some indefinite slow bleed.

Microsoft doesn't charge me a monthly fee to recoup their development costs for the current or forthcoming versions of Windows. Those costs are built into the purchase price of the product. They don't charge me a "whole home" networking fee if I want to share files between my two Windows computers. They developed the software to facilitate the means to perform file transfers, but it ends there, and the costs of hiring programmers to make it capable of doing that are built into the purchase price. They don't need a taste every month, over and over again, like DirecTV seems to think. Microsoft also produces security patches and provides them each month, but that's also part of the purchase price and not on a monthly bill somewhere.

I realize that's probably an imperfect comparison because Microsoft sells a product while DirecTV primarily sells a service. They just seem to want the tangible non-service items (ie, hardware) to be handled as a service, too.

I'd rather pay $600 instead of $200 for my next cell phone and have the bills be $400 less over the next two years, and have no contract. Or after you've paid a higher bill for two years on contract to pay back the $400 subsidy they ostensibly gave you on the phone at the time or purchase, the bill should go down to reflect that part being completed. Of course, that isn't gonna happen.

Bear in mind that I am a recent convert from cable, where my only monthly add-on to my television package was the $2 CableCARD rental for my TiVo. I paid for the TiVo once, along with their so-called "lifetime" (of the box) service. That box has lasted over five years, and continues to serve as a backup antenna-only solution for me with no monthly cost. I like it that way. I considered the box and one-time service price to be the true cost of the unit. Paid, and done. Not 60 or 72 months of $10-15 or whatever, indefinitely, until it fails. No contract. The box is even salable with the service being transferable to a new owner.

Fees, fees, fees...everywhere with the fees!:eek2:;) Yes, it is my choice to acquire these services. I have more functionality with my new DirecTV service than I did with my previous TiVo/cable setup. With two little kids in the house, we don't get out much, so a good television package is a reasonable entertainment option for us. For the most part, I accept and understand the main costs. I accept the additional cost for the additional functionality to a certain extent. I just feel nickel and dimed sometimes in the little line items. :(
October 2012 DirecTV subscriber - HR34(Genie)/C31/C31 - AU9-S-SWM Five LNB - Premier

#28 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:22 AM

Boy has this tread taken off over what started as a $3/month fee.
DirecTV is a for profit company.
While I too think the $3 fee should have been a "value added" [free] service, the fact is other providers bundled it into their service and charged for it, so DirecTV "crunched the numbers" and found $3/customer would add millions/month to their bottom line, and it's simply too appealing to them to give it away.
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#29 OFFLINE   TMan

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:32 AM

Boy has this tread taken off over what started as a $3/month fee.
DirecTV is a for profit company.
While I too think the $3 fee should have been a "value added" [free] service, the fact is other providers bundled it into their service and charged for it, so DirecTV "crunched the numbers" and found $3/customer would add millions/month to their bottom line, and it's simply too appealing to them to give it away.


You're absolutely right! Plus, I'm sure the marketing folks have found the average consumer is much more amenable to "$x/month" than a one-time, but larger, charge. Perceived as less "painful" somehow even if that method ultimately costs more. Our credit card, pay-it-later society is in full bloom.

Is it too late to comment on-topic? I have the HR34 and a couple of C31 units, and they do indeed exhibit their share of annoying quirks that should not be present in a flagship DVR solution. Here's hoping all those fees they keep charging will hasten a resolution to these problems. :D
October 2012 DirecTV subscriber - HR34(Genie)/C31/C31 - AU9-S-SWM Five LNB - Premier

#30 OFFLINE   Rickt1962

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 09:49 AM

Boy has this tread taken off over what started as a $3/month fee.
DirecTV is a for profit company.
While I too think the $3 fee should have been a "value added" [free] service, the fact is other providers bundled it into their service and charged for it, so DirecTV "crunched the numbers" and found $3/customer would add millions/month to their bottom line, and it's simply too appealing to them to give it away.


I agree a value added service like $ 3.00 dollars fee once a month for what you get is great deal. It would be the same thing if you added extra TV's An extra $ 6.00 a month fee for up to 10 TV's in your house would be a value added service. But charging for each is ripping people off.

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