Satellites are nice - and they are needed to provide service - but DISH has already put all of their licensed transponders into service. Any expansion would require new licenses and new dishes to get those signals to customers.
DISH is already doing 9 feeds per transponder ... 10 in some cases, a couple less in some cases. DirecTV's move from five to six feeds per transponder is practically a baby step compared to the way DISH shoehorns in HD.
I remember when DISH first put 12 SD channels on a transponder (MPEG2 QPSK). Now 9 HD channels is typical. It would take a really good encoder to do more channels than what DISH is doing and still call it HD.
Yeah that is a lot, maybe. I thought they used wider transponders with more bandwidth, no? if not, then they have to be hurting pq to do that if they are using the same delivery method and bandwidth space Directv is.