IMHO, if Directv is swapping boxes why not replace them with MPEG4-compatible hardware? Converting all channels to MPEG4 will free up much more bandwidth than eliminating the mpg guide.
While I agree that would be a step in the right direction it doesn't really free up any serious bandwidth until the last MPEG2 box goes dark.
Until then they have to continue to use all of that MPEG2 bandwidth...at least for conus. Whether it is being used by 20 million subscribers or 2 million. It stays on until it's off. I suppose they could free up some of the LIL bandwidth if they converted entire markets to MPEG4 but then it becomes a question of are they going to re-purpose that bandwidth or discontinue it? Can it even be re-purposed for anything other than MPEG2 with those transponders or would re-purposing amount to putting new MPEG4/RBS birds into the 101 and 110 slots? And what about Latin America? Does that figure in?
My interpretation was that by eliminating the mpg guide data they are actually freeing up MPEG2 bandwidth to better support their continuing MPEG2 subscriber base (not to mention just ditching obsolete technology and not having to maintain it)...but I could be wrong. If so that indicates the continued existence of MPEG2 for at least a while longer.