Something I've never really heard said... so I'll say it
Consider this... Dish, DirectTV, and Cable all have sizable customer bases right now... and already have people signing up for the meager HD offerings they have at the moment.
From a business perspective... considering all the costs of doing business + Satellite launches and such... IF neither Dish nor DirectTV considers the market for HDTV big enough to put more money into expanding their infrastructure... how can we conclude that a brand new company that has to launch Satellites like VOOM did, and establlish itself in the industry would be viable?
Not a VOOM basher here... but from a logistics point of view... it seems like VOOM was behind from the start... considering that the folks in the best position to add the few existing HD channels weren't interested enough to do it... then you figure that VOOM itself didn't attract that many (50,000 isn't many in the scheme of a national company) people to its model.
I considered VOOM myself when it first started... but it was priced to high at the start... even now with free installs and no-buy on the receivers... the monthly charge is too high for an add-on service and not enough channels for a standalone service.
I think they either needed to wait a few years, as one poster just said... OR needed to synch-up fromt he start with both Dish & DirectTV to supplement their offerings and piggy-back on the already established customer base of those companies. VOOM, in that light supplying just HD feeds as an add-on to existing Dish & DirectTV customers could have done a lot better, and taken advantage of much lower startup costs by using the pockets of the big two Satellite guys.