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Distant Networks: When Will They Be Disabled?


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#1 OFFLINE   wakajawaka

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 09:39 AM

Currently I get NYC/LA ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX (SD only) in addition to my LIL's (Both HD and SD). My question is, when is D* going to eliminate the distant networks?

I've been toying with the idea of eliminating them myself, they cost me $9.60 a month and since moving back to the eastern time zone I rarely watch them. But there have been times the LA networks solved a conflict. They just haven't been as useful since I moved from Utah, where being on the mountain time zone I could start watching primetime at 6:00 pm (NY station), plus I would get 3 timezones of primetime (6, 7, and 9pm). Plus since having HD locals, it's hard to watch a show in SD if I know it's available in HD. Anyway, just wondering what D* plans are with the distant networks.

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#2 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 09:51 AM

As for a "date"... most likely when the conversion to MPEG-4 is complete, and they are shut off.... and the remapping of the existing MPEG-4 versions, to DNS availability status...

And audit of who still is eligible for the DNS woudl be done.

I know here in Chicago, they have gone through a couple times already (in the last 18 months), and have updated DNS availability.
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#3 OFFLINE   Herdfan

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 11:01 AM

and since moving back to the eastern time zone


I am surprised you didn't lose them when you moved. One of the stipulations of being grandfathered is that if your account status changes ( ie you move, don't pay etc.) you lose your legal protections to keep them.

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#4 OFFLINE   jwd45244

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 11:10 AM

I don't want to open up a "can of worms" but what is it about the FCCs ruling concerning distant networks best serves the people? It is clear that it serves the local stations and their advertisers. But, then again, what does the FCC do that really serves the people anymore anyway? (other than arbitrate bandwidth).
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#5 OFFLINE   bidger

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 11:25 AM

Wouldn't they still have to offer Distants to folks with RVs? Also, what about folks with waivers who don't want locals, do we have them forced on us?

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#6 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 11:42 AM

Wouldn't they still have to offer Distants to folks with RVs? Also, what about folks with waivers who don't want locals, do we have them forced on us?


What forced on you?

I am sure something will be done for RVers....
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#7 OFFLINE   bidger

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 12:01 PM

What forced on you?


Locals. Will I have to accept locals or can I keep the distants for which I currently qualify?

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#8 OFFLINE   Greg Bimson

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 12:03 PM

I don't want to open up a "can of worms" but what is it about the FCCs ruling concerning distant networks best serves the people?

Perfectly good question. Now let's get to the heart of it...

It is clear that it serves the local stations and their advertisers. But, then again, what does the FCC do that really serves the people anymore anyway? (other than arbitrate bandwidth).

With the passage by Congress and signature of the bill by the President on December 4, 2004, the Satellite Home Viewers Extension and Reauthorization Act (SHVERA) updated the laws concerning carriage of local stations by satellite carriers.

So, first, this has nothing to do with the FCC, and everything to do with Congress and the President.

The updated law stopped the practice of having any newer subscribers sign up for distant networks if the satellite provider served a subscriber with local channels. It also updated the law to allow for "digital distant networks", which means the law was also updated for "analog distant networks".

So, lo and behold, when the analog local channels cease to exist, so will analog distant networks. And the qualifications for digital distant networks are much more strict, which means the more subscribers are served with their digital locals, the ability to receive distant networks drops way down.

Of course, the reasoning is that distant networks were created by Congress back in 1988, without any forethought that satellite companies would ever serve customers with local channels. Once the local channel barrier was broken in 1999, Congress and the lobbyists noted that people are being served with their local channels now, so no longer, except in very limited cases, will distant networks be needed.

#9 OFFLINE   jimmyv2000

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 01:51 PM

i had all distant networks years ago with directv then in 1999 when boston locals were launched BANG they were gone in 30 days
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#10 OFFLINE   Dolly

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 02:18 PM

i had all distant networks years ago with directv then in 1999 when boston locals were launched BANG they were gone in 30 days

That is one day I dread :crying_sa We have our locals, but I much perfer the Nationals. Our local channels are :icon_lame

#11 OFFLINE   wakajawaka

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 02:29 PM

I am surprised you didn't lose them when you moved. One of the stipulations of being grandfathered is that if your account status changes ( ie you move, don't pay etc.) you lose your legal protections to keep them.


I was surprised too, but hey I wasn't going to make them aware of it either. Truth is, I don't get much benefit from having them where I live now. I rarely have conflicts and I'm stuck with 8pm primetime viewing. I have 3 DVR's in the house so conflicts could be resolved that way. More I think about it, the more I'm leaning to canceling them, but I know if I cancel them I'll never get them back, so I'm a little torn about it.

#12 OFFLINE   Dolly

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 02:33 PM

I was surprised too, but hey I wasn't going to make them aware of it either. Truth is, I don't get much benefit from having them where I live now. I rarely have conflicts and I'm stuck with 8pm primetime viewing. I have 3 DVR's in the house so conflicts could be resolved that way. More I think about it, the more I'm leaning to canceling them, but I know if I cancel them I'll never get them back, so I'm a little torn about it.

Since they are going to be taken away at some point anyway, why not just keep them while you can?

#13 OFFLINE   Bill Johnson

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 03:39 PM

...So, lo and behold, when the analog local channels cease to exist, so will analog distant networks. And the qualifications for digital distant networks are much more strict, which means the more subscribers are served with their digital locals, the ability to receive distant networks drops way down...

I'm having trouble understanding this whole area, especially about the qualifications for digital distant networks being more strict. How are they more strict? Something about adjacent and non-adjacent time zones?? Or in some other sense??

Perhaps related to this, I get Fox and CBS NYC on 80 & 81 and 380 & 381. But I get Fox and CBS LA only on 388 & 389 since two years ago D* in essence said I can no longer see LA in HD but can only watch them in blurrier analog I guess.

So they took away 88 & 89 for me, blaming it on SHVERA. So I guess the FCC and Congress is saying I can only watch channels, I've fully qualified for, with the poorest PQ -- but not in HD. Of course I've never been convinced that it was the "LAW" but rather it might be D*'s wacko interpretation of SHVERA to D*'s benefit.

I'm just struggling with this whole area and would like it somehow simplified for me.

#14 OFFLINE   N5XZS

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 03:49 PM

There may be some good news for people like me wants to get out of market from other citys.:)

They are testing it in L.A. areas by bringing in WNBC from NYC for $5.95 a month with no waiver needed, on Directv and for life of me I can't find this thread that's talks about it this subject.

Please hunt it down and post the link!!:lol:

And also other good new is that congress critters saying they are prospsing the H.R. bill 2821 that would allow you to get your next door TV market!:)

Follow this thread here on dbstalk....... http://www.dbstalk.c...ead.php?t=90570

For example I live in Albuquerque and if this bill pass, then I can get El Paso, Denver, Colorado Spring and few other TV markets that around our New Mexico state.

7-30-07
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#15 OFFLINE   mika911

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 04:55 PM

I don't see how the SD distants will be affected by MPEG4.

#16 OFFLINE   wilbur_the_goose

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 05:43 PM

Strangely, I still have the NY HD nets with my HR20. I'm in Philly, and I get all the local majors in HD.

It gives me the opportunity to compare the PQ, though. MPEG-4 Philly locals are DEFINITELY higher PQ than the MPEG-2 NY HDs.

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#17 OFFLINE   willis3

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 05:44 PM

There may be some good news for people like me wants to get out of market from other citys.:)

They are testing it in L.A. areas by bringing in WNBC from NYC for $5.95 a month with no waiver needed, on Directv and for life of me I can't find this thread that's talks about it this subject.

Please hunt it down and post the link!!:lol:

And also other good new is that congress critters saying they are prospsing the H.R. bill 2821 that would allow you to get your next door TV market!:)

Follow this thread here on dbstalk....... http://www.dbstalk.c...ead.php?t=90570

For example I live in Albuquerque and if this bill pass, then I can get El Paso, Denver, Colorado Spring and few other TV markets that around our New Mexico state.

7-30-07



Sounds good to me, I live in PA but I am in a DMA from NY state (Elmira, Corning).. My DMA isn't available on Direct or Dish.. What is weird the people in my zip code that live in town can get CBS, ABC on cable from Buffalo AND Elmira/Corning. Seems unfair, why can't I get locals from Buffalo?

#18 OFFLINE   myselfalso

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 07:07 PM

I've never gotten Distant locals. If MNTV ever went to having a national channel, could Harrisburg get the national channel because we don't have the local channel?
I have been a DirecTV subscriber since 2005.

A few channels I'd still like to see DirecTV add are:
CSPAN3, the PAC-12 Network(s), BBC World and more international news channels.

#19 OFFLINE   Greg Bimson

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 08:45 PM

I'm having trouble understanding this whole area, especially about the qualifications for digital distant networks being more strict. How are they more strict? Something about adjacent and non-adjacent time zones?? Or in some other sense??

There are two distinct differences to the digital qualification:

1) No timezone earlier than the subscribers home timezone;
2) If local digital channels are available, the distant digital channels get pulled.

So, if one is on the west coast, one by law cannot receive Eastern, Central or Mountain digital feeds. Therefore, DirecTV has implemented their own policy: if their Pacific Time Zone subscribers can only have one distant HD feed, then DirecTV will only give Eastern and Central Time Zone viewers one feed (from NY).

It is the second one that is the biggie. Because DirecTV is supposed to be up to 75 markets by the end of the year, that would mean DirecTV will be serving over 80 percent of the US households by the end of the year. Technically, that means none of those subscribers should be eligible for digital distants, unless there is a waiver in place. So if analog distants disappear with the digital conversion, qualification for distant networks will only follow the digital distant legislation.

Perhaps related to this, I get Fox and CBS NYC on 80 & 81 and 380 & 381. But I get Fox and CBS LA only on 388 & 389 since two years ago D* in essence said I can no longer see LA in HD but can only watch them in blurrier analog I guess.

So they took away 88 & 89 for me, blaming it on SHVERA. So I guess the FCC and Congress is saying I can only watch channels, I've fully qualified for, with the poorest PQ -- but not in HD. Of course I've never been convinced that it was the "LAW" but rather it might be D*'s wacko interpretation of SHVERA to D*'s benefit.

I'm just struggling with this whole area and would like it somehow simplified for me.

So to me, it sounds like you are either in the Eastern or Central Time Zone. DirecTV's policy is to only give one set of distant digital channels. It is because of the law that only one set of distant digital channels are given to the Pacific Time Zone customers, so DirecTV has implemented this across the board.

#20 OFFLINE   Bill Johnson

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 09:27 PM

... So, if one is on the west coast, one by law cannot receive Eastern, Central or Mountain digital feeds...It is because of the law that only one set of distant digital channels are given to the Pacific Time Zone customers, so DirecTV has implemented this across the board.

Hello Greg,
Thanks for the clear explanation regarding DNS! Unhappily, this provides a perfect example why some of us see D* as not being honest & upfront with their subs.

In the July 2005 letter telling me D* was taking away my LA HD feeds, it stated and I quote, "This law has revised the rules to now say we can only offer these feeds from your own time zone or the adjacent one... While this was not our decision, we feel it is our responsibility to keep our customers informed."

If I understand you correctly, the law applied only to the West Coast so D* implemented a nationwide policy to apply to me as well here in Virginia. That seems fair enough, but as I read the July 2005 D* letter, that's not what they're saying and, pardon my French, they're clearly fibbing to me. :nono2:

There was no need to do that and it just serves to make me even more wary of D*, whether it's about promises of no increase in HD fees, about reducing the rez of signals MPEG2 & MPEG4, or other things. Oh well, what's that saying in the marketplace that I should well know, having worked many years for a Fed. consumer agency: Buyer Beware!




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