Posted 04 October 2005 - 11:01 AM
TechnoCat, I'm still missing your point...maybe it's me. The HD receivers have always been sold at a premium.
Actually, I think I do understand your point, but I think you're missing part of the puzzle. Eventually, EVERYTHING will be in MPEG-4. MPEG-4 will allow DISH to add more services, which allows them to make more money and attract more customers. It's not a "new service" like HD was, although it will be sold to early adopters as such. They can't say "well, you'll need a new reciever to get that service." EVENTUALLY they will HAVE to replace people's equipment, because there won't BE any MPEG-2 service.
Let's say they add all the HD LILs for New York & LA. This helps attract new customers, who get new MPEG-4 receivers. But they still need to leave the MPEG-2 locals up, which wastes space. If they get MPEG-4 receivers to everyone in those areas, then thay can turn off the SD LIL channels, which frees up space for HD-LIL in other cities, which continues the cycle.
IF the 411 does indeed turn out to be the new base receiver, it's a key to understanding how this all will work. The fact that it's HD, but it cuts corners in other places (no UHF remote, ect), supports this theory.
So DISH offers free 411s to everyone in those cities. EVERYONE gets HD, EVERYONE gets MPEG-4, everything is easier for DISH. But for people with DVRs (even SD-DVRs), the 411 is not a fair trade.
So DISH gives them an option- take the 411 (perhaps with no extra receiver fee) and keep your current DVR, but you may not be able to record all your local or HD channels. Or pay an upgrade fee and get a 962. (I would expect a few other options as well- a dual tuner "422" (?) and a single tuner HD PVR.)
To use your analogy again- when the 921 came out, no one said "oh, BTW, your 510 will no longer get local channels and it will eventually stop working entirely- would you like to trade it in on a 921?"
DISH will use additional National-HD to lure some people into buying a new receiver at full price. People like me (who JUST dropped $700 on a 942) will hold out for a upgrade deal of some sort, but probably jump at the first one. (Personally, I'm counting on DISH getting to my HD-LIL market within a year.) Eventually the deals will get better, and EVENTUALLY, some people really will get totally free receivers.
Another way to look at it is that they will convert ALL HD to MPEG-4 first, and that HD customers will be the first to benefit from upgrade paths. I'm not sure if I buy that. Or maybe they will convert JUST Voom to MPEG-4. Those that are already subscribed may get first dibs on new recievers. Or since VOOM is going to be required to be in the "basic HD tier", perhaps the current HDpak channels become part of some basic package. ("America's Top 120 HD"?) Those channels stay on DISH 500 in MPEG-2 for now. Then, they come out with a NEW HD Pack, with Voom-21 and other new channels in MPEG-4 on 61.5 and 129. That way, they only need to convert Voomers first.
There are dozens of possibilities, but SOME people will get free or cheap receivers. And some will get suckered.