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Guest Message by DevFuse

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All Voom users will need a bigger dish.


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34 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 06:44 AM

Problems such as the high cost of attracting viewers and a need for bigger satellite dishes are noted in SEC filings

Since Cablevision Systems Corp. launched its Voom nationwide satellite TV service in October, one in five customers who tried it have dropped it.

And later this year, subscribers may have another reason to dump Voom as it shifts to a bigger home satellite dish, nearly twice as wide, requiring the dishes installed so far to be replaced.

The start-up problems are revealed in a document Cablevision filed this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the planned spin-off of Voom into a separate company.

Although Cablevision executives expected a turbulent shakedown period for the service, which stresses a wide array of high-definition TV channels, some of the problems go beyond their expectations, including the extra-high cost of attracting subscribers, according to the 180-page filing.

The need to install a different type of dish, 35 inches wide by 20 inches tall, stems from a new deal to lease satellite capacity from SES Americom, to supplement Voom's own Rainbow 1 satellite and expand channel capacity. Voom will replace the current 20-inch round dishes for free but warns "we do not know how much customer resistance to the larger antenna size we will encounter."

As of April 23, Voom activated 8,000 customers and another 3,400 were awaiting installation.

Jericho-based Voom also ran into operational problems with the existing dishes. "We believe that most of these problems have been eliminated, but because our hardware and software are new, we continue to encounter operational issues that need to be addressed and resolved, and we expect that we will continue to encounter problems in the future," especially as Voom shifts to a new technology called MPEG-4 that allows more channels. Installation snafus with over-the-air antennas that pick up local signals, and delays in signing up cable channels, also hurt.

In February, Voom, which originally charged $750 for equipment but ran into resistance, began offering an alternative of paying $9.50 per month, plus $5 for each additional receiver, or $499 up-front plus $199 for each extra receiver. Program packages cost another $40 to $80 per month.

The hiccups for Voom, which posted a $54.8-million operating loss in the first quarter and expects to require $482 million in funding this year, are fueling the skepticism of Wall Street analysts, who question whether it can compete against DirecTV and EchoStar Communications, which have 22 million subscribers combined.

JP Morgan Securities analyst Jason Bazinet warns that the spin-off, formally called Rainbow Media Enterprises, may have a hard time raising $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion it needs to carry it beyond next March 31.

Voom is not the only part of the spin-off with financial hurdles. Cablevision's chain of 53 movie theaters, excluding the Ziegfeld in Manhattan, which is staying with Cablevision, posted losses of $230 million since January 1999, the filing said.

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#2 OFFLINE   Richard King

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 07:41 AM

Sounds like a Superdish for everyone with Voom. I think the time is approaching to write them off. I wonder when the fire sale of space assets will take place.
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#3 OFFLINE   mainedish

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 07:59 AM

What about that name? VOOM?

#4 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 08:30 AM

I guess the good thing is that the new dish size falls below the FCC ruling that it can be no more that 1 meter in diameter (39.37"). The only problem is that some neighborhood associations might have something in their rules saying that it can't be any larger than 18".

If anyone has trouble with their association, reference them to this page:

http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

#5 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 10:22 AM

Wow, what a difference in perspective on this latest Voom news between here and the other place. While we're digging a grave, the Voomers over at Satguys are jumping up and down with glee at the news.

Go figure! :rolleyes:

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#6 OFFLINE   Mike123abc

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 10:32 AM

Wow, what a difference in perspective on this latest Voom news between here and the other place. While we're digging a grave, the Voomers over at Satguys are jumping up and down with glee at the news.

Go figure! :rolleyes:


They are jumping up and down about the new satellite capacity. This is a downer because they need 1.2 billion dollars... It will be exciting to see VOOM able to offer 100HD channels (in 4 years) plus all the standard def ones people expect... But, the problem is if they will be able to find funding to get them through the next year, plus even if they build it will enough people come?

The problem I see right now is if VOOM suddenly is able to demonstrate HDTV is a winner Dish/DIRECTV will suddenly come up with enough HDTV to keep from losing subs. Right now VOOM is probably the worst possible thing for HDTV progress. Think about what is going on at D/E*...

Hey Rupert/Charlie how about we add more HDTV like channel abc?
Rupert/Charlie responds bah, that HDTV will never sell, look at VOOM less than 10k subs! Let them have the 20k that care, we will get another 2 million subs with locals into more markets!

#7 OFFLINE   JohnH

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 12:26 PM

AMC 6 at 72 west, I guess.

#8 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 01:20 PM

Wow, what a difference in perspective on this latest Voom news between here and the other place. While we're digging a grave, the Voomers over at Satguys are jumping up and down with glee at the news.

Go figure! :rolleyes:


I haven't been to satguys but I have to admit that this thread has a negative slant. What can you do though? The facts are that Voom has some serious financial hurdles to overcome and ignoring them will only paint a false picture and hurt well meaning consumers.

I think Voom has great potential and would love to see them succeed. I guess only time will tell.

#9 OFFLINE   iceshark

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 07:00 PM

iceshark
old time bud installer! Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 13

VOomin in Seattle with the new 30in DISH! FYI

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Started a new thread to help others instead of postin to the original.

Okay, My installer showed up right on time with the 30incher.
First concern was that it was used and was missing some hardware.
Luckily I had some extra hardware and it was not missing anything essential.

That would be the days only negative.

Put dish up as planned and I will give our Portland group comrade (forget his name) credit for statement that he had heard dish would not work in this area.
Without knowing what he was doing and without help from me, Most installers would have looked at the dish scale on side of dish that only goes down to 30degrees and would have packed it back in truck and drove away.


Not us though!, We knew the simple fix would be to put dish mast lower of leval to componsate for scale on dish.

Cheating with 18 incher nearby we were able to eyball new dish for a good starting point for signal finding.

The installer was so good that within a minute or so we were smokin a signal I never thought Id see here in the upper corner of this great state of Washinton, next to the Canada border.

Well first let me tell you if you dont remember my other posts about 18inch dish poor performance after tweaking and peakin. My strong signal on the 18
inch was about 78-81 on a clear day. With even a cloud on the horizon I would drop to 70-74 and lose picture.

Well DRUM ROLL PLEASE((((((((((
I am know experiancing a steady signal of 97 with occasional blip to 98!!!!

WE ARE VOOMIN IN SEATTTLE BABY!!!!

So if I was you and I was also on the west coast and experiancing weak signals. I would call VOOM and say HEY I need that 30inch dish. The real ugly one with no logo. CAUSE it rocks!


I will follow up when it rains to see how long it will hold up signal.
Also if you would like a picture of it, PM me and I will email you one.


Have a great weekend guys and gals.

Iceshark
Snohomish Cnty
Washington state

#10 OFFLINE   Jacob S

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 09:21 PM

I expect the sub numbers for Voom to rise a lot because a lot of retailers are starting to look into selling Voom and selling their service as an alternative to Dish and Direct, along with an increase in HD television sales. Angry Dish/Direct retailers will sell Voom instead especially considering that the retailers have no chargebacks with Voom.

#11 OFFLINE   Geronimo

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 10:01 PM

What about that name? VOOM?


What about it?
I never cared for all the signatures that insult posters with other points of view.

#12 OFFLINE   kstevens

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 05:15 AM

Until Voom offers a pvr receiver, they will be hard pressed to convert those users that are used to them on E* and DTV.


Ken

#13 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 06:33 AM

Until Voom offers a pvr receiver, they will be hard pressed to convert those users that are used to them on E* and DTV.
Ken


Agreed. One of the reasons why I'm staying with D* is because I can record HD content. From what I have seen though, Voom's DVR systems will be quite good.

A demonstration of their "Home Networking DVR" can be seen in this video courtesy of Don Landis:

http://www.bestoftheweb.tv/VOOMhs.wmv

#14 OFFLINE   bcadotte1

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 12:26 PM

How long can keep giving(renting)the dishes and receivers to new subs,with the cost of the units,it will take Voom a year at least to break even on new subs,that is a lot of money going out with not enough coming in and with every new sub. they are getting deeper and deeper in the red which will not look too good to investors,I think the smartest thing Voom should have done would have been like how USSB was with D* but with E*(since at that time when Voom started up all the HD was at 61.5)they could have provided all the HD(not the SD) content to E* as a add-on(like the HD pack now)

#15 OFFLINE   Jacob S

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 05:48 PM

If Voom's HD DVR is cheaper than Dish or Direct's HD DVR then this would help them. Even having a lease for a Voom HD DVR would help them because the consumers would not have to shell out all that money for one.

#16 OFFLINE   mini1

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 05:59 PM

will the dish have 2 or 3 LNB's?

#17 OFFLINE   Ken_F

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 05:40 PM

The title of this topic, and the article, are a bit misleading.

VOOM has said elsewhere they are not going to force existing customers to take the larger dish. Existing customers will be able to keep the current dish and everything they have now -- plus a number of future additions, as VOOM moves to MPEG-4 and WM9. They will upgrade customers at no charge--based on the current plan--for those that want the HD content at the new slot. The new dish will also be the default dish for new customers -- although that is subject to change.

The new slot will be used for additional, as-yet unannounced programming. According to the filing, the 82 degree slot will double VOOM's MPEG-2 HDTV capacity to 78 channels. The move to MPEG-4/WM9 for HD in late 2005 is said to increase this HD capacity by another 50% (up to 120 HD channels?). Speculating, the likely additions on the new slot may include PPV, sports packages, and RSNs in HD. Additional cable HD channels may also be added temporarily to the new satellite slot, until the move to MPEG4/WM9 for HD in 2005 -- at which time, VOOM could move them back to the 61.5 degree slot for small-dish customers.

#18 OFFLINE   Jacob S

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 08:54 PM

So we are looking at 2 1/2 times the channels than what they currently have that can be delivered from them, which is going to allow Voom to add the channels that Dish and DirecTv have and/or many more HD channels. I would think that Voom would at least want to add most of the basic channels that Dish and DirecTv offer before adding the other HD channels.

#19 OFFLINE   Mike123abc

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 12:10 AM

What has not been mentioned is that VOOM will be able to do LIL (standard definition probably) when they get a second satellite slot. Rainbow-1 is a powerful spot beam satellite. They could move the national content over to 72 and turn the spots on. Perhaps LIL HDTV with WM9 compression?

#20 OFFLINE   Ken_F

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 12:41 AM

Mike123abc,

VOOM said in the SEC filing that they have no plans to do LIL; they have no plans to use the spot beams on the Rainbow1 satellite. Some existing and potential customers simply won't accept the larger dish, and VOOM understands that.




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