Clearly the MPEG 4 transition is more of interest to those of us who already own an HD set. You really wouldn't care if your HD picture was degraded???
Anyway, gpflepsen is right. This whole forward compatibility has been debunked. End of story....
"I" would care and "you" would care but the vast majority of people still do not have HD sets and/or HD boxes and I specualte that those people would not take too kindly to being forced to pay for something they either cannot use or care about.
Current TV's can display a much higher resolution and quality than currently is being used. Most people would be happy with DVD "quality" and although Dish does use that resolution (or near it) the PQ is often not even close to DVD quality due to compression.
MPEG4 will help with this "only" if used to lower the compression instead of adding more channels. Sure our HD channels look good now but that's only because they do not compress the hell out of them. If you think MPEG4 will be used to improve PQ instead of adding HD locals and other HD I have some swamp land to sell you. It's going to be used to add more channels that we all will pay for.
I, for one, want "less" channels at a lower cost. I'm not looking for more. Just let me pick the channels "I" want, deliver them to me with a high quality signal with minimal compression and I will be happy to pay Dish's distribution costs.
Making the three set packages "bigger" and a higher cost to us may be great for the "channel counters" but for the rest of us who only watch a handfull of channels it just means a bigger bill for the same few channels we do watch.
I can get my local channels for free over the air so this does nothing for me.
So the way I see it... I have 1 HD set and an 811. When I want to watch something in HD I watch it on that set. The rest of the time (95% of the time) I watch everything on the 501 and 508 and I'm very happy with those.
This "upgrade" is going to do nothing but cost me alot of $$$. Sure I'll be able to "downconvert" the HD stuff to the SD TV's but what is the point?
I know change is never easy. I know the change to MPEG4 is needed but it does not have to happen overnight.
If I was dish I would upgrade the current HD boxes for a reasonble cost first. People with HD setups are less likely to mind paying for "some" of the upgrade. Leave everyone else alone and just "phase in" the new "duel boxes" for everyone else as the equipment wears out. Once the majority of your customers have the duel boxes you can offer a "can't beat it" price for the remaining customers.
Sure this will mean the conversion will take years but so what?
Most people do not really care if we can see the wrinkles on the reporters face - we watch the news to get the news.