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VoomGate update: Dolan Eyeing DISH Deal?


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#1 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 05:51 AM

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Even more details are surfacing concerning Cablevision, its VOOM satellite TV service and attempts by Chairman Charles Dolan to take over the struggling satellite TV service.

A letter sent Thursday to Dolan by Victor Oristano, on behalf of independent directors and class A shareholder directors, detailed how Dolan planned to approach EchoStar to negotiate an arrangement in which the Rainbow-1 satellite supporting VOOM's service could be "brought" together with the VOOM business outside of Cablevision. "For our part, we agreed to support a delay in the shutdown of VOOM for a short period while you engage in those discussions and that if you are able to negotiate such an arrangement with EchoStar on terms satisfactory to us, we would be prepared to renew discussions with you for a sale of the VOOM business," the letter sent to Dolan stated.

It's unclear how Dolan would gain use of the Rainbow 1 satellite, if he could get access to the satellite at all, or even if a deal was actually discussed between the Cablevision chairman and EchoStar.

Cablevision released the contents of the letter through a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. EchoStar has a deal in place with Cablevision to buy the satellite and other assets for $200 million, and Dolan has been working to gain the other VOOM assets through an entity he set up called VOOM HD.

Cablevision suspended plans to shut down VOOM at the end of the month a day after Dolan appointed new Cablevision board members.

The letter also took issue with a new Web site - http://www.voomllc.com - that apparently is helping with the enrollment of new VOOM customers. "These efforts - likely to deceive new subscribers and the public into believing that VOOM is still an authorized going business of Cablevision - are in direct contradiction to the action taken by the board ... because they are an expansion rather than a shutdown of the business," the letter stated.

The Web site was still accessible Thursday night, but contained a message stating its services were temporarily unavailable.

Also, Cablevision revealed Thursday that the Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting an informal inquiry into the trading of its securities, and has requested information concerning the suspension of its Rainbow Media spin-off and agreement to sell certain Rainbow DBS assets to EchoStar.

http://www.skyreport.com (Used with permission)

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#2 OFFLINE   jeslevine

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 05:53 AM

one way or another we will no Monday if Voom survives or not

flip a coin

#3 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 07:20 AM

We should also know by Monday which way this corporate soap opera is going to end. There is more to the story than is being reported. As Chris says, this whole fiasco has become a VoomGate.

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#4 OFFLINE   stonecold

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 08:36 AM

See this is what ahppens when you try to run a satellite company like a cable company.

#5 OFFLINE   tonyp56

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 03:21 AM

And this is what happens when people spread rumors and hopes and dreams. All the talk about how Voom is going to last forever, and the Voomers out there talking up their satellite service and how it will never end. And etc... Does nothing but make peoples expectations higher, and gives everyone a false sense of hope. VOOM IS DEAD. End of story.
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#6 OFFLINE   Mike D-CO5

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 08:46 AM

I have said all along that Voom should have been an hd addon service to either or both of the sat providers. A simple add on dish to the existing setup and you would have all the hd you want. Dish could easily do this and use 148 to mirror the programming for the west coast. This would give Dish instantly more hd than Directv. Dish could provide the sd channels to the Voom customers and eventually change them over to Dish customers . We would all get what we want. They should also take the hd versions of the premium channels too. Dish could use the spotbeams to do hd locals for the top cities . Then all Dish would have to do is start the hd locals in mpeg4 and they would be able to compete with Directv. Voom would still go on in a way and the transition to Dish would be done in less than 6 months. Then Dish could say they have hd powered by Voom. THis way Voom would become a content provider and stay in business. This could easily be done if Charlie and Dolan would work together . Everyone would win.

#7 OFFLINE   Mike D-CO5

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 09:13 PM

Man, you are cold Stonecold.

You don't see any logic in making this work . I mean if we could have access to all the hd movie channels that Voom has, as well as the Voom produced hd channels, and the potential to get the top dma networks over the conus spotbeams , don't you think that would be sweet? It would be better to have Voom customers transition to DISH customers and still keep all the hd channels out there don't you think?

IF Voom would have done nothing but hd like I suggested, and then worked with Dish and Directv to do an addon side dish to both companies , they wouldn't be going out of business now and both sat companies could concentrate on doing the hd locals and finishing up the sd ones. Voom could have been a hd content provider and they still could do so with Dish if they could work a deal.

I hate to see all that hd potential gone if Voom goes Boom. With them gone as competitors there is no real rush for either Dish or Directv to add any more hd .:eek2:

#8 OFFLINE   BFG

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 09:18 PM

Nah, I agree with stone cold.

HD potential on voom? are you serious, they just tried to make something out of a format without no content to go with it, voom is lame and a disgrace to good quality hd content....

#9 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 09:54 PM

- 31 brilliant, sharp HD channels
- new HD channels are coming on VOOM this month.
- a new HD-DVR is coming out soon
- Universal HD is an outstanding new addition

The only reason I can think of why a few people here would want VOOM to fail is because they are losers themselves. Otherwise, why would they emotionally invest themselves in the premise of VOOM failing? Could it because they don't have HDTV, or don't have VOOM?

I now have over 40 HD channels with more coming. I'm especially enjoying the excellent new Universal HD channel I just discovered on VOOM.

Why would a normal, reasonable person want to see any DBS provider to fail? That kind of thinking just isn't rational, it's upside-down :shrug:

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#10 OFFLINE   kb7oeb

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 10:47 PM

Is voom DVB or something else?

#11 OFFLINE   ocnier

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 09:57 AM

Sorry guys, but i just see Dolan at the table with Charlie and ergen saying something along the lines of this: "ARE YOU HIGH!?!". Charlie has said repeatedly that he has no interest in the voom service. It's nowhere near his "compelling content standard" whatever the hell that standard is. Either way you cut it, sooner or later (probably later knowing dolan) voom is toast.

#12 OFFLINE   stevesmall

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 10:36 AM

I dont get it . Why would anyone want Voom to fail? i had alot of problems with Voom but never did i want them to fail. Between the installation issues, billing and over lack of a good business model i could see people being unhappy with the product but anyone that is serious about HDTV would have to want Voom to succeed. Competition is a good thing. Voom is a good idea but as we all would agree was not implemented in a very business like manner. the soap opera that is going on now is something that most of us are not surprised at. But AGAIN WHY WOULD ANYONE serious about HDTV WANT VOOM TO FAIL? I for one hope Voom survives. ITS a long shot but i like the underdog. GOOD LUCK VOOM!

#13 OFFLINE   tonyp56

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 10:59 AM

:rolleyes:

- 31 brilliant, sharp HD channels
- new HD channels are coming on VOOM this month.
- a new HD-DVR is coming out soon
- Universal HD is an outstanding new addition

The only reason I can think of why a few people here would want VOOM to fail is because they are losers themselves. Otherwise, why would they emotionally invest themselves in the premise of VOOM failing? Could it because they don't have HDTV, or don't have VOOM?

I now have over 40 HD channels with more coming. I'm especially enjoying the excellent new Universal HD channel I just discovered on VOOM.

Why would a normal, reasonable person want to see any DBS provider to fail? That kind of thinking just isn't rational, it's upside-down :shrug:


:rolleyes:
It has nothing to do with wanting Voom to fail. The whole point is they have already failed! But yet you still comment on how great they are, and how you've got more HD channels comming. Who's upside-down?
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#14 OFFLINE   Mike D-CO5

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 12:19 PM

I am only suggesting a way to keep Voom hd channels alive by merging it with Dish , or doing a content provider deal , and providing the top dmas with their digital locals over the spotbeams. Voom should have been nothing more than an all hd content provider to both sat providers. They still can be by working a deal with Charlie . Why wouldn't he want these channels? He could add them instantly and transition all the current Voom customers to dish with the side sat dish for 61.5 and use the 148 sat for west coast customers. He could add the top dmas digital locals as soon as he can get his hands on the Rainbow 1 sat. THis would give him the hd premium movie channels that he lacks and the Voom inhouse channels and then he could do digital locals now before Directv does and without doing mpeg4 yet. Then he could take his time to do mpeg4 right next year without the rush. Voom would be nothing more than a hd content provider via a contract with Dish using or renting the Rainbow 1 sat, kind of like SkyAngel does with 61.5 Dish satellite. Voom stays in business and Dish benefits from instant hd channels without compressing anymore of the picture .

I don't see why they can't make this happen . Everyone would win . Why doesn't anyone else see the logic in this proposal? Charlie even talked about doing some of the voom content on older Charlie chats. He must have been talking about doing this at one time. Isn't now the time?

I feel without Voom there will be no real rush to add anymore hd channels and we will see even less in the future. I think the only reason why Directv is pushing HD is that they had the space sats anyway and they wanted to do something with them other than internet. This way they re launch "The New Directv - powered by Rupert Murdoch" and they kill Voom too. Why else would you want 2 sat providers doing the same sd channels just to get some more hd. This is why I say Voom should have done nothing more than hd . They could do this as a sub company that provides all hd service to Dishnetwork .


IF this doesn't happen I see a long 5 years before we see anything in hd of any consequence. Sure they might add a few national channels here and there to keep you interested( The dangling carrot approach) , but I don't see the flood of channels predicted last year.:nono2:

#15 OFFLINE   DonLandis

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 12:43 PM

And this is what happens when people spread rumors and hopes and dreams. All the talk about how Voom is going to last forever, and the Voomers out there talking up their satellite service and how it will never end. And etc... Does nothing but make peoples expectations higher, and gives everyone a false sense of hope. VOOM IS DEAD. End of story.


Yep! especially for Charles Dolan. You need to explain it to him, not us. Anyway, we appreciate your point of view, now you can get on with your life and stay out of the VOOM news discussion. Why beat a dead horse, unless you just like beating dead horses!


Meanwhile- there is no such thing as this is going to end and we all will know Monday. Monday will just be another down, using football anology.

I believe it will die if Charles Dolan dies in the next 6 months.

I believe it will die if Tom Dolan bails on his father. The two feed off of each other as a father son team and they feed off of the fact that HDTV is growing and they know thay have the ability to a part of that growth.

Meanwhile, it looks like we will be watching Voom while the ball is still in play.

The major questions in my mind is what will the FCC do with respect to the licenses / sale of same to E* and what will the SEC do with respect to their investigation. I appreciate the concern all have about this maner in which public money may have been used to fund a family business startup cost. But I'm nopt a stock holder and I don't even own the equipment. Therefore, my only interest is in seeing the service of great variety of HDTV continue, I don't care is D* or E* takes up all these channels or Voom stays in business.


Mike- I agree that the best way for VOOM to expand HDTV is to offer it as a VOOM HD Network service to cable, D* and E*. But as Stonecold has said over and over, they think like cable people. Heck, even Ergan and DirecTV is like a cable service without the wire. I'd like to see it happen except for one thing, part of what I liked about Voom was the offering of all the prime premium channels like starzhd cinemaxHD and all the others that were not being offered by E* or D*. If what you suggest happens, it will only affect the VOOM exclusives as Voom could not subcontract the other networks they have and I doubt Voom becoming another HBO would give either E* or D* the incentive to add those other networks, heck it may even delay them. Please consider what I have said with this and offer your suggestions on how these other networks could be maintaind for our viewing. The only solution I see is for VOOM to continue as it now is. If D* or E* wanted to offer the other premium channels they would have by now. Fact is they don't and Charlie Ergan has answered this as to why. He gave two reasons. Compelling content, that we all joke about and claims the networks want too much money.

#16 OFFLINE   jeslevine

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 03:44 PM

I really doubt ergn wants to take over voom programming

what I do think might happen is that dolan may lease the space from dish on the satellite they just bough from cvc

monday will tell all

#17 OFFLINE   ocnier

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 04:45 PM

I really doubt ergn wants to take over voom programming

what I do think might happen is that dolan may lease the space from dish on the satellite they just bough from cvc

monday will tell all



Again see my previous post, I doubt ergen would even do that, he needs the bandwidth for his primary business too badly.

#18 OFFLINE   jeslevine

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 08:32 PM

ocnier:

that me be, but Ergen will NOT be the HD leader, that will be comcast or direct tv if voom fails. Dish offers NO compleling HD content. and marginal hardware at best. Excluding Voom, Comcast has the most content and quality today, and DTV indicates they will have HD content and quality before the end of the year

Monday will decide vooms fate

Incidently, I currently subscribe to Dish and Voom. After putting up with the 921, and extremely limited HD content, I sold the 921 on ebay, downgraded my dish service, and subscribed to Voom when they offerred the free hardware and installation

Charlie is more interested international broadcasts right now, and it will be a minimum of 6 months before he aquires the CVC satellite, and another 6 months before he decides how it will be used. By that time the competition will not only have mpeg4, but leave him in the dust as far as HD is concerned

#19 OFFLINE   juan ellitinez

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 08:35 PM

ocnier:

that me be, but Ergen will NOT be the HD leader, that will be comcast or direct tv if voom fails. Dish offers NO compleling HD content. and marginal hardware at best. Excluding Voom, Comcast has the most content and quality today, and DTV indicates they will have HD content and quality before the end of the year

Monday will decide vooms fate

Incidently, I currently subscribe to Dish and Voom. After putting up with the 921, and extremely limited HD content, I sold the 921 on ebay, downgraded my dish service, and subscribed to Voom when they offerred the free hardware and installation

Charlie is more interested international broadcasts right now, and it will be a minimum of 6 months before he aquires the CVC satellite, and another 6 months before he decides how it will be used. By that time the competition will not only have mpeg4, but leave him in the dust as far as HD is concerned

why do you put so much stock in what dtv says? They have unproven new leadership which plans to use european based dvrs(kinda like e* does today) I would not call them a leader till they accomplish what they say they are gonna do!!!

#20 OFFLINE   jeslevine

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 12:15 AM

I am just quoting what dtv said, I don't have a strong feeling whether it will become reality or not, but they said they would have HD content out this year, time will tell. Dish is extremely silent in regard to any new HD content.

If Voom goes under tomorrow, and I give it a 50 50 chance, I most likely will go with comcast, "can't believe I am really saying that". For one thing their HD receivers are 5 bucks a month, DVR HD receivers 10 bucks a month, and they have a fair amount of HD content, but much better than dish or dtv, and I am not invested in hardware or a contract

it will be interesting to see how this all comes out in the wash

#21 OFFLINE   jeslevine

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 12:18 AM

tomorrows wall street journal:

Deal to Save Voom May Be in Works

By PETER GRANT
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
March 7, 2005

Executives working for Voom, the satellite service owned by Cablevision Systems Corp., have assured Sears, Roebuck & Co., the largest retailer of the service, that they likely have a deal that will keep the service going, a Sears spokeswoman said last night.

Those assurances are a sign that Charles Dolan, Cablevision's chairman, may succeed in his bid to save the Voom service, which has been at the center of a bitter boardroom and family battle at the nation's-sixth largest cable operator.

Cablevision's new board is scheduled to meet today to consider Mr. Dolan's last-minute effort to buy the service himself. Last week, Mr. Dolan ousted three board members who had voted two times with the majority of board members to shut down Voom, his pet project for 10 years.


Mr. Dolan has spoken about Voom's status with Tasso Koken, Sears's vice president of home electronics, according to Lauren Jiles-Johnson, a Sears spokeswoman. She says that Sears is continuing to sell the service because Mr. Dolan indicated to Mr. Koken as recently as last week that they will be able to keep the service going. "Tasso has been in very close communication with the Voom people, and it looks like it will work out," she said. A Cablevision spokesman said that Charles Dolan last spoke to Mr. Koken weeks ago, but the spokesman couldn't comment about more-recent conversations between Mr. Koken and Voom officials.

Despite these assurances, a number of Sears stores have decided to stop selling Voom. Salesman at stores in Nebraska, Florida, Idaho, California and North Dakota contacted by The Wall Street Journal yesterday said they had discontinued selling the service. Ms. Jiles-Johnson said Sears stores that decided to take Voom off their shelves did so independently, probably on the basis of news reports about uncertainty surrounding Voom. The stores didn't get direction from the corporate office to stop selling the service, she said.

A cloud of uncertainty has hung over Voom since Cablevision's board first voted in January, over the objections of Mr. Dolan, to stop funding Voom and sell its only operational satellite to EchoStar Communications Corp., another satellite- TV operator. Charles Dolan's son, James Dolan, who is Cablevision's chief executive, voted with the majority, sparking a public falling out with his father.

Since then, Charles Dolan, 78 years old, has launched an all-out campaign to save the service, going so far last week as to replace three of the board members who voted against it. He also sent Voom employees an optimistic note predicting the service would continue and put up his own Voom Web site after the company took down the official site.

Spokesmen for Mr. Dolan, Cablevision and EchoStar declined to comment.

After a committee of independent board members objected late last week, Charles Dolan's Voom Web site also went dark. But last night, the Voom Web site was back up again, although it wasn't accepting orders. Still, that was another sign that a deal to keep the service running may be at hand.

The new board, which now has four new members recently appointed by Charles Dolan, is today scheduled to consider Mr. Dolan's plan to save Voom by buying its remaining assets himself through a company he recently formed with another son, Tom Dolan. According to a Cablevision filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Charles Dolan has been holding talks with EchoStar to combine those assets with the Voom satellite that EchoStar just agreed to buy.

#22 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 09:08 AM

...Ergen will NOT be the HD leader, that will be comcast or direct tv if voom fails. Dish offers NO compleling HD content. and marginal hardware at best. Excluding Voom, Comcast has the most content and quality today, and DTV indicates they will have HD content and quality before the end of the year

Monday will decide vooms fate

Incidently, I currently subscribe to Dish and Voom. After putting up with the 921, and extremely limited HD content, I sold the 921 on ebay, downgraded my dish service, and subscribed to Voom when they offerred the free hardware and installation...

Well said. I concur with your analysis.

In January of last year, I paid $149 for an 811 to get just 5+2 HD channels from E*. Including the cost of the HD pkg, that works out to roughly $21 per month for the 'privilege' of watching 7 channels of HD on E* over the last 14 months, or roughly $3 per channel per month.

I can't imagine shelling out $1,000 or even $500 for a 921 just to watch 5 or 7 channels of HD. Figure the per channel cost for 14 months on that!

I receive 39 HD channels on VOOM for less than $2 per channel, plus (hopefully) more HD to come. Over the 14 months I've had VOOM, I've enjoyed HD programming unavailable elsewhere, with the very best PQ I've seen anywhere.

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#23 OFFLINE   Mikey

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 09:46 AM

Well said. I concur with your analysis.

In January of last year, I paid $149 for an 811 to get just 5+2 HD channels from E*. Including the cost of the HD pkg, that works out to roughly $21 per month for the 'privilege' of watching 7 channels of HD on E* over the last 14 months, or roughly $3 per channel per month.

I can't imagine shelling out $1,000 or even $500 for a 921 just to watch 5 or 7 channels of HD. Figure the per channel cost for 14 months on that!

I receive 39 HD channels on VOOM for less than $2 per channel, plus (hopefully) more HD to come. Over the 14 months I've had VOOM, I've enjoyed HD programming unavailable elsewhere, with the very best PQ I've seen anywhere.

So how's that VOOM DVR working out for you? Oh yeah, they don't have one. So the cost of your VOOM HD DVR is $0, and so is the value. And if VOOM survives in some form, it will have to stop bleeding cash, so your cost per channel WILL go up.

And do you know why the VOOM HD programming is unavailable elsewhere? Because only 40,000 fanatics are willing to sit and watch that crap. The rest of us want something worth watching besides a lot more pixels on the screen.

#24 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 09:57 AM

Dude, what is your problem? :confused: :rolleyes:

BTW, how are those two 811 DVRs working out for you? Filled up those hard drives yet? :grin:

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#25 OFFLINE   Mikey

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 10:38 AM

Dude, what is your problem? :confused: :rolleyes:

BTW, how are those two 811 DVRs working out for you? Filled up those hard drives yet? :grin:

Dude, touchy, aren't we? I don't care about time-shifting. I'm not the one complaining about the cost of DVR's. My 811's cost me $5/month, with $0 up front. :glasses:




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