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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Outlook for Voom


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9 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 22 August 2004 - 05:29 AM

Cablevision says the outlook for its Voom service is crystal clear. But in the rapidly evolving satellite TV market, the reception has been considerably more fuzzy.
By Peter J. Howe, Globe Staff | August 22, 2004

As the owner of a 64-inch high-definition television set, Stephen Ferreira of Billerica got excited when a new satellite network called Voom started up last year, offering nearly three dozen channels of high-definition shows and movies.

All Voom needs now is about 2 million more people like Ferreira -- and fast. Nine months after Cablevision Systems Corp., the Long Island cable TV company, launched Voom at a cost of over $600 million, the service has attracted only 25,000 subscribers nationwide.

With Voom accounting for less than 1 percent of Cablevision's revenues but nearly half its most recent quarterly loss, and threatening to gobble up another $500 million this year, many Wall Street analysts have been bluntly urging Cablevision to pull the plug on the would-be third satellite TV provider.

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#2 OFFLINE   Capmeister

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Posted 22 August 2004 - 06:40 AM

I'm so torn with Voom. I like them. I like the channels. I'd like them to be closed captioned, however, but even ESPN-HD and DISC-HD aren't Closed Captioned yet on everyone's systems.

I'd like an HD-DVR. I have Dish network as well. But I hear the 921 doesn't do OTA recording well, and now I hear Dish HD channels are three and not two to a transponder.

So I don't know WHICH service to go with anymore for HD. :-(
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#3 OFFLINE   wcswett

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Posted 22 August 2004 - 10:21 AM

Cablevision says the outlook for its Voom service is crystal clear. But in the rapidly evolving satellite TV market, the reception has been considerably more fuzzy.


DISH should just buy the thing at spinoff and give the 25,000 subscribers 811 receivers and DISH 500 installs. Rainbow 1 is already 8PSK and at 61.5, so it could be the DISH HD satellite. It would give them a clear-cut use for that orbital slot since they're going to have to move all their secondary network channels off there anyway and their foreign programming is all duplicated at 121.

--- WCS
DISH RECEIVERS: 622(x2), 510, 211(x2)
PROGRAMMING: DISH HD Platinum, Atlanta locals
ANTENNAS: 61.5, 110, 119, 129

#4 OFFLINE   BobMurdoch

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Posted 22 August 2004 - 02:30 PM

Ditto.
"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." Henry David Thoreau Walden (1854)

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#5 OFFLINE   scottchez

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Posted 22 August 2004 - 03:41 PM

Word is DIrect TV plans to out bid Dish for Voom so they will not have the compeditive advantage over Direct.

Direct will then use the slow for more locals and not HD, while preventing Dish from adding more bandwidth for more HD.

The race is on. Direct TV has more money now. I bet they win the bid when it starts.

#6 OFFLINE   LOBO2999

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 10:38 AM

Where did you read this ?
Word is DIrect TV plans to out bid Dish for Voom so they will not have the compeditive advantage over Direct.

#7 OFFLINE   BobMurdoch

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 11:00 AM

Me thinks it is wishful thinking on his part. (Just as my emphatic ditto is the same on my part). E* just has the most to gain with the easiest hurdles to overcome. D* woul love to play spoiler, but they have several technical hurdles to overcome, which might not seem worthy of dealing with. I wouldn't put it past Rupe to try and tweak Charlie for past headaches, but in actuality Rupert got a BETTER deal when E*'s DirecTV takeover attempt was nixed by the feds. Instead of a bidding war, GM was left with only one interested suitor who paid much less than he would have two years earlier. Charlie, for is trouble, got to grow faster than D* and grab market share for a few years. That's over now as D*'s Pegasus handicap has gone away (in brutal Machiavellian fashion as they castrated Pegasus first) and E*'s rural advantage starts to dissipate.
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#8 OFFLINE   scottchez

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 11:10 AM

There is a fixed limited number of transponders over the USA.

Any chance to buy more, and Direct TV and Dish will get in a bidding war.

There were some over the ocean and Direct TV waited. Direct TV also just sold some more hardware assets.

Direct TV is sitting on now about 600 Million cash in there war chest, just waiting to buy things.

Voom is next.


My source says they want to buy voom, scrape it, but keep the name.
Voom would be what they would call there new HD package with 50 channels.

#9 OFFLINE   wcswett

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 12:38 PM

Word is DIrect TV plans to out bid Dish for Voom so they will not have the compeditive advantage over Direct. Direct will then use the slow for more locals and not HD, while preventing Dish from adding more bandwidth for more HD. The race is on. Direct TV has more money now. I bet they win the bid when it starts.


Well, they also just sold PanAmSat, so they should have lots and lots of cash, but will they really spend it on a *new* *partial* satellite location that's not ideal for the West Coast when they're already looking at 72W? They'd be far better off working a one-for-one swap with DISH to get rid of their transponders at 119 in favor of more at 110. Both companies are *way* too spread out across the sky as it is. DTV should let DISH spend money on wing transponders and concentrate on building new spot beam satellites so they can best utilize the slots they already have. More transponders on 61.5 would only serve to balance DISH between east and west coast wings. It doesn't look like it would take much right now for DISH to just dump the wings and concentrate on the four slots in the middle, given that they're committed to superdishes now. Wings, to me, seem only good for continued support to Sky Angel and to serve Alaska and Hawaii. They just complicate the installation of superdishes unnecessarily.

--- WCS
DISH RECEIVERS: 622(x2), 510, 211(x2)
PROGRAMMING: DISH HD Platinum, Atlanta locals
ANTENNAS: 61.5, 110, 119, 129

#10 OFFLINE   EdV

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 03:51 PM

Voom or no Voom, there's no chance that E* will offer HD at the 61.5/148 slots again. They've spent the last year moving away from that solution.

Initially, E*'s HD offering was HBO/Showtime via the 61.5/148 Sats. and required a second dish pointed there to get them. That was ok for the HD early adopters that were willing to do whatever it took to get HD. In the meantime, D* began offering their HD with a single dish that only required the addition of a third customer installable LNB on their existing dish.

Then last summer, when D* trumped them by offering their 4 channel HD package, E* was forced to offer the same deal. But at the time, they still weren't ready to put all six channels onto the main sats. so they still required the second dish at 61.5/148, which made their offering less appealing than D*'s, and they knew it.

Then as Fall approached, came the big SuperDish announcement with all that talk about lots of room on the 105 sat for a ton of HD channels in the future. And the Charlie and Tech chats at that time centered around this plan and even outlined upgrade packages for existing HD customers to move to the SuperDish for HD.

But then by mid Fall, that whole plan came to a screeching halt when E* came to the embarrassing realization that the useable area (footprint) of the existing but aging satellite at the 105 slot left out major areas of the North and South including all of Florida to say the least.

So at that point, E* had a decision to make. They could have kept things as they were with a two dish solution for HD. In fact, the HBO and Showtime channels were still using the older QPSK modulation that required 1 transponder per HD channel. By forcing everyone to upgrade to the new 8PSK modulation (which they did anyway) they had room for at least two more HD channels on the 61.5/148 slots (even more than that considering E* latest packing of three channels per transponder).

But the need for a single dish solution was too compelling and early this year, E* made the surprise announcement that all of their HD programming (except the limited availability CBS) would move to the 110 sat. and be available to all of their customers.

As for the future, E*'s plans had already been tied to major commitments for transponder space on the AMC satellite that will replace the old 105 bird later this year. Once that's in place, expect any new major HD package to see the re-emergence of the SuperDish to support it.




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