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Sky Angel will NOT honor lifetime for IPTV


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#1 OFFLINE   quiverof8

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 12:27 AM

I received a letter from the vice president of SkyAngel, answering some of my questions which I will post below. I highly suggest you contact her yourself! Her email is
Nancy.Christopher@SkyAngel.com

They have also started to shut off lifetime peoples SKY ANGEL service if they did not return the letter signing up for the "special 4" at $4.99. It seems they "accidentally" shut off ALL your channels , not just the 4. then you have to phone and ultimately be told to WAIT 24 hours for service to be restored

1- When will DBS broadcasting be discontinued?
The transition to IPTV in the U.S. will occur over the next year, and more information will be provided about the transition during the coming months.

2-What happens to those who prepaid and don't have internet access or just can't afford to buy new equipment?
We will honor one's annual subscription for the duration of our satellite service. If there is any unused portion of the subscription once we cease satellite operations and are solely offering IPTV the subscriber will receive a pro-rated refund.

3- What about LIFETIME subscribers? Lifetime subscribers who don't have highspeed internet?
The terms of the lifelong subscription state that the subscription is for the life of the satellite delivery system. It is unfortunate that we have been unable to solicit the financial support to continue offering that service. We value our subscribers' support for our vision and will be communicating with our subscribers in the coming months about how they will be able to continue to receive high-quality Christian and family programming via Sky Angel.

4- Why aren't you continuing to broadcast BOTH DBS and IPTV?
With the loss of a satellite transponder last spring, and as our satellite continues to age, it has become increasingly evident that Sky Angel must embrace new cost-effective technology opportunities that will help us to further our vision to deliver the Gospel around the world. DBS is an extremely costly business, which makes it difficult for niche players such as Sky Angel to compete and grow in the DBS marketplace. IPTV will enable us to provide an overall service that is more economical than our current satellite system, while providing Sky Angel viewers more options and benefits. We believe that our subscribers will truly enjoy the interactive programming and other benefits resulting from the convergence of Internet and television.

Warm regards,


Nancy Christopher
VP, Corporate Communications
Sky Angel Television & Radio System

...Ads Help To Support This SIte...

#2 OFFLINE   Michael P

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 09:15 AM

3- What about LIFETIME subscribers? Lifetime subscribers who don't have highspeed internet?
The terms of the lifelong subscription state that the subscription is for the life of the satellite delivery system. It is unfortunate that we have been unable to solicit the financial support to continue offering that service. We value our subscribers' support for our vision and will be communicating with our subscribers in the coming months about how they will be able to continue to receive high-quality Christian and family programming via Sky Angel.


It appears to me that going IPTV is a way to dump us lifetimers. It's a shame that it's come to this, however when SA dumped Familyland they dumped the only reason I went lifetime with them to begin with!
An E* subscriber continuously since February 1997.

#3 OFFLINE   Michael P

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 09:19 AM

BTW: They never "lost" a transponder. Prior to the shutoff of the 3 Christian networks SA was on transponders 25 & 32. Today, sans the 3 channels they are still on transponders 25 & 32.

They may fool the average subscriber with this talk, however the real reason they "lost" the ability to carry the 3 networks stems directly from their decision to carry the "secular" channels and E* playing hardball whit them after they dragged E* into court over Daystar and Familynet.
An E* subscriber continuously since February 1997.

#4 OFFLINE   sansha

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 02:18 PM

It appears to me that going IPTV is a way to dump us lifetimers. It's a shame that it's come to this, however when SA dumped Familyland they dumped the only reason I went lifetime with them to begin with!


I can't imagine why they'd want to dump their lifetime subbers and what they can possibly hope to gain from it. It seems to me they should start up the accounts of the lifetimers in IPTV, whether they choose to buy a receiver or not. What would that cost them, just turning them on? Surely their lifetime subbers deserve not to be left behind. Whether people choose to use the servive, or get broadband, or buy a receiver is the subscriber's choice, but I can't see what sky angel gains by kicking off its lifetime subbers except a lot of ill will -- and however they want to "parse" their agreement -- the reputation of a welching company.

Interesting if they are also lying about the transponders. They keep saying 61.5 is aging and dying, but E* still seems interested in it enough to put its HD programming on it and file for use of the transponders. What does that say about sky angel's honesty, if they are twisting the truth on these points to get out of their side of the deal?

#5 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 03:00 PM

It appears to me that going IPTV is a way to dump us lifetimers.

Other than the secular channels, lifetime subscribers should not cost SkyAngel very much at all. They may have to pay a maintenance fee to E* to keep the receiver activation records (since they decided to let E* handle activations instead of having their own system). But SkyAngel's religious channels do not operate on a per subscriber cost.

As much as I dislike SkyAngel's business practices (a subject for another thread) I do not believe they would dump satellite just to annoy people and hope that they would buy $120 worth of equipment (per room) and subscribe to a $25 per month programming package. If they could keep satellite going they would ... but that takes serious money that SkyAngel never had.

BTW: They never "lost" a transponder. Prior to the shutoff of the 3 Christian networks SA was on transponders 25 & 32. Today, sans the 3 channels they are still on transponders 25 & 32.

Yep ... but what transponder are they on? We refer to transponders by what we see ... a channel number that relates to a specific frequency in the DBS band. But there are more transponders on the satellite than licensed channels. Some redundancy is built in.

E3 @ 61.5 was set up to cover 32 transponder channels with 44 physical transponders. Prior to 2006 (per their annual report) E* lost 22 transponders on E3 ... in April and October 2006 E* lost four more - they have 18 transponders left but due to WHICH transponders are left they can only cover 15 of the 19 transponder channels that E3 should be serving.

So when they say a transponder was lost they are right (although it is only "their" transponder through the lease deal with E*).

They may fool the average subscriber with this talk, however the real reason they "lost" the ability to carry the 3 networks stems directly from their decision to carry the "secular" channels and E* playing hardball whit them after they dragged E* into court over Daystar and Familynet.

A decent guess and probably not far off. It is likely that E* would not be as happy to keep SA on the air after the lawsuits and addition of secular channels ... noting that E* controls the uplink so they know full well that SA put those four channels up because E* did the deed.

SkyAngel wants to be a 32 channel service but they are on a satellite that is 21% disabled. They didn't lose any audio services (the 16 audios taking up the space of four video channels) so in essence they had room for 20 video channels ... a 21% reduction in capacity to match E*'s diminishing satellite works out to losing four video channels. SA only lost three. It looks like E* was being nice to SA waiting for one of the two transponders actually used by SA to fail and then letting them decide which three channels they were willing to lose.

SA is on a satellite that can only cover 79% of it's assigned transponders and is actually down to 40% of it's designed capacity. If it were not for E*'s purchase of R1 (E12) the 79% would be closer to the 40%. E3 is failing ... SA signed a deal with E* for the life of that satellite ... life is almost over for E3.

We can complain about E* reducing the capacity but it was fair warning that DBS providers NEED to own DBS satellites. A challenge SA never met.

#6 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 03:07 PM

It seems to me they should start up the accounts of the lifetimers in IPTV, whether they choose to buy a receiver or not. What would that cost them, just turning them on?

If it were up to me I'd offer "lifetime" subscriptions to IPTV to the "lifetime" DBS subscribers ... perhaps even selling "lifetime" IPTV subscriptions as an introductory offer. The cost of the receiver would be up to the subscriber.

The receivers cost real money ... allowing another subscriber to access the IPTV server not so much money. Meeting people halfway would be good.

Interesting if they are also lying about the transponders. They keep saying 61.5 is aging and dying, but E* still seems interested in it enough to put its HD programming on it and file for use of the transponders. What does that say about sky angel's honesty, if they are twisting the truth on these points to get out of their side of the deal?

I don't believe SA is lying ... although referring to a satellite they lease space on as if it were their own is a stretch of truth. E* is placing HD on another satellite at 61.5° - E12 purchased from Cablevision/Rainbow DBS/Voom. And be sure that they are planning a replacement for E3 --- one that does not include SkyAngel.

#7 OFFLINE   quiverof8

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 02:40 PM

Lying or not SA is saying the "lost" transponders. they are also saying 1)lifetime was for lifetime of SATELLITE not satellite and subscriber and surviving spouse as agreement states. 2)they will NOT honor lifetimes for IPTV!

they got all the $ they could from monthly subscribers. We serve no useful purpose to them unless they can find a way to get cash from us.

this all comes down to $! Getting more $ from lifetime, getting $ for selling those "bad" satellites etc

It appears the canadians are paying $25/month for the "privilege" of viewing sky angel via IPTV! sky angel stayed at $9.99 for years then quickly jumped from $11.99 to $14.99. IPTV will make it jump yet again.

What next we buy all new equipment and then have yet another price increase?

the fact which proves their deceit is that there is no "special vs basic " package for monthly subscribers. furthermore they will NOT let monthly subscribers opt out of the "special secular 4". Believe it or not there are some christians who never wanted/do not want the secular channels. they added them and THEN increased the price!

How can they justify taking the channels away ONLY from lifetime members after we have had them for almost 1 1/2 years!

#8 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 04:06 PM

SkyAngel made several bad marketing decisions ... the description of "lifetime" was one of them. Based on the many quotes here it appears that "lifetime" changed several times ... it all depends on when your life began.

Expecting "lifetime" to extend beyond the life of the service is a stretch. I'd love to read a full copy of the service agreement back when "lifetime" was offered. I'd bet that it only refers to the SkyAngel satellite service (since IPTV was not an option).

It would be good marketing to continue "lifetime" subscriptions via IPTV ... especially with the new features. GOOD word of mouth from subscribers would be an excellent way to promote the new system. As opposed to what is happening here.

When the masses of SkyAngel subscribers find out what we know on the forums ... that SkyAngel is ceasing satellite delivery and will offer only IPTV service ... I hope SkyAngel has more answers. For now very few of their subscribers know anything about the change and are blissfully ignorant. They can find out more if they are surfing SkyAngel.com but not much more.

IMHO: Creating the four special channels was a mistake. Either they should have ALWAYS been a separate program offering or they should remain free to "lifetime" subscribers. It was a failure to look ahead that got SkyAngel into this situation. Giving away subscription channels that they have to pay rights for as if they were free? Bad management.

I'm drifting into an anti-SkyAngel rant again ... so I'll step back. :)

SkyAngel still has potential ... just not the same potential as they promised.
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#9 OFFLINE   quiverof8

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 06:09 PM

I have recommended Sky angel for years. In the past few months I have found myself in the position of suggesting people do not subscribe. I had given out DVDs and packets of info but no longer feel confident enough in sky angel to tell people about sky angel.

Unfortunately most if not all internet posts about sky Angel are negative. Even those who feel the IPTV may be a good long term option feel that sky angel should also broadcast via satellite as long as it is functioning and/or offer to switch lifetimers to IPTV.

Sky Angel is picking and choosing which parts of the "lifetime agreement to honor. they like the part about DBS satellite so they say the "lifetime of the satellite"(satellite is still working) however there are a few key points they ignore such as LIFETIME of subscriber/spouse, sky angel will launch NEW SATELLITE in 2002 and sky angel will offer programming using DISH BRAND EQUIPMENT

#10 OFFLINE   sansha

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 06:57 PM

Sky angel has an interesting view of "lifetime". I was expecting Sky angel to honor those subs as long as they were in business and the E 61.5 was still working. If 61.5 had fallen out of the sky that would be one thing. But to switch to IPTV when the sat is still functioning for e* and not add the lifetime subbers to IPTV to me seems mean spirited. I'm very dissapointed.

I don't expect them to give us equipment/receivers. But I'd be willing to purchase the receiver after trying IPTV over my existing broadband via computer for awhile and seeing if it degraded it too much.

If they don't bring along the lifetime subbers to IPTV, I don't expect to continue with them. I have some doubts if they'd stay in business with this move - it seems very expensive to consumers. But at least they'd made some $$ off the receiver purchases by lifetime subbers.

They can't honestly expect many if any of the lifetime subbers to follow them if they turn us off completely without good reason -- expect us to buy their equipment and pay monthly fees? Having been faithful enough to pay a large fee upfront and been kicked out, do they expect us to come around again? A dog might do that but not people. They haven't even notified us yet. I sent in a request for more info weeks ago, and have never been contacted. But everything I've heard from others says that they are refusing to honor their lifetime subbers.

What kind of business model is this? How can you toss out the part of your customer base that was willing to pay upfront to help get the business off the ground. I understood at the time it was a gamble. If sky angel had folded that would be one thing, and I'd have understood. Though I hadn't expected it. With the strong religious base in this country, I'd expected it to take off with reasonable management. And as for management, to leave behind their lifetime subbers just becaues they refuse to add them to IPTV seems really unsound. Who would trust them now to make any kind of committment to them?

I'll more likely explore glorystar. Seems to offer many similar channels, with the perks of perhaps seeing other secular channels not available on dish and their one room system is 199$ for receiver and 36 " dish with no monthly fees. $350 with installation. It looks very tempting. Anyone tried it yet? I looked at it a bit but haven't found much detail about how it works -- or who they are or how they can afford to offer so many channels with no fees at all.

#11 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 08:32 PM

There are lifetime subs that have looked at the big picture ... they paid X dollars and got Y years of service ... and X divided by Y was a bargain. SkyAngel stopped selling the "lifetime" subscriptions a few years ago ... only the final signups would be possibly have paid more for "lifetime" than if they just bought and renewed an annual subscription.

The "lifetime" contract allows you to use the SkyAngel DBS service for the rest of your life or the life of the surviving spouse. Within the next year there will be no more SkyAngel DBS service. If you can find in the contract where they agreed to provide channels beyond the life of the satellite feel free to scan and post and image of the contract.

E3 is at end of life ... at last report it was 60% disabled and able to cover only 79% of it's assignment. It is on it's deathbed. At least SkyAngel didn't wait until it died to make other plans.
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#12 OFFLINE   gary_zw

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 08:38 PM

I'll more likely explore glorystar. Seems to offer many similar channels, with the perks of perhaps seeing other secular channels not available on dish and their one room system is 199$ for receiver and 36 " dish with no monthly fees. $350 with installation. It looks very tempting. Anyone tried it yet? I looked at it a bit but haven't found much detail about how it works -- or who they are or how they can afford to offer so many channels with no fees at all.


Glorystar is very good. Well worth the investment... also it is very easy to install, many people install it themselves and save the installation fee. My Glorystar System is an old Primestar Dish with 2 LNB's strapped together and a Traxis 3500 receiver. Right now you get a little over 40 channels with Glorystar and they will be adding more soon and there are more Channels that you get that are not part of Glorystar, such as news, movie and music Channels... all with no monthly fee. I highly recommend Glorystar. I have had my system up for about 4 months now and very happy with it.

#13 OFFLINE   quiverof8

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 10:02 PM

IPTV wasn't even invented at the time the lifetime subs were sold! It would indeed be one thing if the satellite had fallen from the sky but it is still working. sky Angel didn't live up to their end of the contract by not launching the new satellite. they even specified a year 2002!

sky angel is not going out of business they just want to switch to IPTV. therefore it would be the "right" thing to continue those lifetime subscribers with IPTV for those who can even access it!

I am sure there are others like ourselves who are on a fixed income, disabled etc. that was why the lifetime was such a good buy. sky angel is our only TV unlike some who may have DISH, cable etc. Losing our lifetime DBS will be a major loss to us one not easily replaced due to financial reasons

I am looking into gloryStar or Possibly dish family package as it will use the equipment I already own. At least we have a year (I hope) to figure this out and save for new equipment

Unless Sky angel changes their mind they have stated lifetime ends with the end of DBS! there were also people who bought 10 years subs that have at least 2 years minimum left! Sky Angel math is going to prorate them on a monthly basis at full price (current $14.99 so they end up with no $ back.

don't take my work for any of this contact the VP yourself!
her info is below:

Nancy.Christopher@SkyAngel.com
Nancy Christopher
Sky Angel
PO Box 7609
Naples, FL 34101

#14 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 10:57 PM

That is the second time you have posted that address and contact info and that is enough. We don't run campaigns against companies here at DBSTalk. We can openly discuss their shortcomings, but please ... no causes!

As far as Ms. Christopher, her login has been used to visit DBSTalk within the past month ... she is welcome to answer any questions in any thread that she wishes to participate in ... considering the response to her last posts (in 2004) I do not expect a reply.

Anyone who can provide a clean copy of the "lifetime" agreement is encouraged to post it.

#15 OFFLINE   quiverof8

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 11:35 PM

I certainly did not mean to upset anyone. It seemed by the questions that some had not read my earlier post regarding Nancy's reply which is why I posted again. I was trying to be fair to Sky Angel by letting people get answers for themselves. You should never take anyones word for something online without verifying it yourself.

If people email Nancy at least they get an answer rather than a generic Sky Angel form letter sent out by customer service.

IPTV is not a viable option for many due to the availability and cost of high speed internet.

I did find it interesting that you mention Nancy is lurking rather than posting. Any and all I have posted here I have already said to her myself. There was some question on another board as to "lurking" sky angel staff, at least we know they are reading our comments.

At what point does this become a "campaign/cause" rather than a discussion? its not as if I was suggesting a picket line at SA headquarters. Could you please explain your guidelines?

If I have a "cause" then I guess it is maintaining continued SA service for a legally disabled man and his family of 8 children. Is that so wrong?

#16 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 11:48 PM

We don't do petitions and class action suits ... and anything that approaches from that perspective. The "everybody get together and let's change this" attitude. We trust that you have given us the information you have (and have given us no reason to doubt the veracity) so contacting Ms. Christopher isn't needed to verify what you have said.

That being said, Ms. Christopher has presented herself as the voice of SkyAngel and I consider her to be in the same position as those who answer the "ceo" mail for Dish Network ... so giving out her email address will be allowed (we normally redact contact information for people within the satellite companies).

But a couple of mentions should be enough unless you are starting a grass roots effort that we just don't do here. :)

If you have any more questions on the matter please send a private message (PM).
:backtotop

#17 OFFLINE   aegrotatio

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 12:38 PM

Glorystar is very good. Well worth the investment... also it is very easy to install, many people install it themselves and save the installation fee. My Glorystar System is an old Primestar Dish with 2 LNB's strapped together and a Traxis 3500 receiver. Right now you get a little over 40 channels with Glorystar and they will be adding more soon and there are more Channels that you get that are not part of Glorystar, such as news, movie and music Channels... all with no monthly fee. I highly recommend Glorystar. I have had my system up for about 4 months now and very happy with it.


I have the the Glorystar/SatelliteAV dual-LNBF antenna kit and can attest to you that it is an excellent investment, and really inexpensive for what you get.
The 39" dish (mine is the black matte finish version), LNBF-bracket, pre-assembled dual-cable assembly, super-miniature LNBFs, and miniature DiSeQ switch are great.

Plus you get on The Hope Channel mailing list (though nowhere in the letters I get tell me what freq/tp to use, but the Glorystar systems have it programmed already).

There are more channels on G-25/AMC-4 than you can ever want.
I can say nothing but great things about Glorystar and SatelliteAV.

You won't need Sky Angel anymore.

#18 OFFLINE   Michael P

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 05:32 PM

So are all the Glorystar networks FTA? Can any FTA receiver with proper dish & LNB receive the service?
An E* subscriber continuously since February 1997.

#19 OFFLINE   quiverof8

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 08:39 PM

glorystar is FTA. what makes it unique is that it comes to you preset with ONLY Christian channels. No worry about receiving something inappropriate for your family. of course you can override it and receive other FTA channels. No scanning or manually entering channels if I understand the info they gave me correctly :)

#20 OFFLINE   FTA Michael

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 08:44 AM

Another uncommon feature is that Glorystar uses a special larger dish with a custom mount for a pair of LNBFs to let viewers watch Galaxy 25 and AMC 4 without a motor. Great idea! And if Glorystar gives good support to new FTA viewers, that would be nice too.

But if you install a motor on a vanilla FTA system, you can get all of the stations that Glorystar promotes plus classic movies (White Springs), classic TV shows (RTN), some sports, Gospel Broadcasting Network and a Harold Camping TV station (AMC 6), and more.
Yes, FTABlog is active again. Why do you ask?




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