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Considering switch from TiVo/Comcast +722 questions

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by Bigg, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. Bigg

    Bigg Godfather

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    Feb 26, 2010
    I'm not sure if this belongs in the HD forum, but its got so many different topics, I figured I'd post it here.

    I'm a college student, and my parents are considering (I'm convincing them to switch) switching from our god-awful analog Comcast with a Series 2 TiVo to Dish Network. My dad wants to get an HDTV, and Comcast doesn't offer much of any HD in our area, regardless of monthly cost or up-front cost (Series 3 TiVo/ Cablecard).

    Our area is ex AT&T Broadband, and so they just don't have the capacity for more than a dozen HD channels, and they don't have the two heavy hitters of the HD world, Discovery and History, or A&E or Comedy Central. Its going to be a while until they upgrade the system to digital/ DOCSIS 3, and AT&T VRAD'ed up the next town over, but we're not getting any refrigerator-sized-lawn-ornament love. So that means if we want HD, it's going to be coming down from the heavens.

    We were looking at DirecTV because of SWiM, MRV, and the AT&T bundle discount, but it turns out they are $20 more with a $5 discount, and now, if I understand correctly, Dish can effectively stack the two tuners and diplex a backfeed for the second room on the existing RG-6 (installed new with the house in 1999-2000, compression connectors, home run)? Plus, Dish has Travel and MSNBC, DirecTV somehow doesn't.

    The other issue is that DirecTV probably can't hit 119, since we have a serious tree problem, so Eastern Arc should help us out a LOT, plus making the DVR's hard drive effectively bigger is a great bonus. We are in Hartford-New Haven.

    I have a few questions about Dish Network, the installation, the hardware, etc.

    1. Is the Eastern Arc as reliable as the Western Arc or DirecTV? In theory it should be better, since its closer and higher up for us, but I read a few posts about one of the satellites being a bit weak?

    2. What if our tree problem is so bad that we're just plain screwed? Do we still get charged for a failed install?

    3. Will the installer use existing coax? There is no way to drop new wiring to the location without a probably pretty expensive install charge (it involves a lot of attic crawling and drilling down to fish the wire down through an inside wall).

    4. We need to drop about 110 feet of new coax to get from the roof to where the cable lines are in the basement, and where the TV 2 de-diplexer will be. We have a reel of RG-6 coax from Home Depot, how do we know if it good enough for Dish? We would get a compression crimping tool to do the ends right, our last crimping jobs with regular crimpers were not so hot.

    5. How long can the coax be on a Dish 1000.4 setup? By the time it goes from the roof to the basement and back upstairs to where the TV will be/ old TV is now, it's going to be close to 200' of RG6 with a splice and a de-diplexer for TV 2 in the middle. If that's too long is the 1000.4 compatible with a multiswitch to stick in the middle even though we would only get one box?

    6. Would the installer bring all three lines from the Dish into the attic so that we would be able to add more receivers down the line without having to call the installer again? It would be a lot less cabling than most installs, as we will drop coax within 20 feet of where the Dish will be mounted, as thankfully we have a wiring conduit that goes from the basement to the attic that's already got RG-6 and a bunch of ethernet in it.

    7. How do we know the installer knows what the heck he/she is doing? I've heard of a lot of rain fade horror stories from installers who don't know how to aim the things properly. We're not worried about occasional rain fade, since it will be an improvement over our Comcast service which has some sort of nasty ice/water fade that lasts like a week after a bad storm. Good job Comcast.

    8. Approximately how much would the hidden charges on a Top 120, HD package in Hartford-New Haven with a 722 be?

    9. Is it at all possible to get out-of-market locals? We are legally eligible for NYC locals, Comcast carries them all, and DirecTV grants access to 3 of the 4 networks. PBS 13 WNET would be great, is there a procedure for getting that channel?

    10. Are you allowed to switch packages for $5 as much as you want? We would only need Top 120 when baseball isn't on, but Top 120 plus, or maybe even Top 250 for a couple of months to get Planet Green and National Geographic when I am home in the summer.

    11. If we were on Top 250 for two months and sucked down a bunch of Nat. Geo stuff, would it still play back when we were back on Top 120 Plus, or would it magically disappear?

    12. Is Dish planning on ever offering MRV like DirecTV? If we got a second HDTV and wanted to add a 612 to that TV and keep the 722 on the main one, it would be nice to have them share recordings over Ethernet, but I know they don't have the software to do that as of now.

    13. Is the second tuner in the first 722 really a "freebie" in terms of monthly mirroring fees? It seems too good to be true. We can cover the entire house with one box and not pay any mirroring fees?

    14. We *might* use OTA at some point, although getting CBS and NBC up to real HD is probably not worth the hassle of doing some ghetto baseboard wiring for the second RG-6, and losing a bunch of recording space to MPEG-2. How does the 722 handle OTA? Does it require a tuner module or are both tuners already in the new 722s?

    15. Is it possible to combine the modulated TV 2 signal with the OTA signal, as long as they are using different channels?

    16. Can anyone even tell the difference between Dish's pseudo-HD NBC and CBS feeds and an OTA feed? Are Fox and ABC broadcast at full resolution?

    17. How does it handle the two tuners and the two different rooms? Are they dynamically assigned? Is there any differentiation between what TV1 and TV2 have recorded, or is it just one big bucket?

    18. How hard would it be to upgrade the internal hard drive when the unit is new? Is it even possible? Is the software on a solid state chip (like D*), or on the hard drive (like TiVo)? How big of a drive could it handle? Is it worth violating the equipment agreement?

    19. I read that it only officially supports 1TB external, can it handle a 1.5? Will they upgrade the software to support 2 or 4TB drives? It seems stupid to not be able to handle at least 6TB of external storage, considering Drobo and other sorts of things are out there that could handle that much. I wouldn't want more than a single drive, but the price difference between 1.5TB and 2TB is pretty small.

    20. Can TV1 be controlled with an additional RF remote? How much would one cost? Can TV1 be output on a separate agile modulated channel? If it does, is it just always downconverting, so that if I, say, paused a show that was going out over HDMI, walked downstairs to a third TV and unpaused it, it would be a seamless switch to SD?

    21. Is it possible, with the help of an amp, to split the de-diplexed agile modulated signal among three TVs? We're ending up with some extra TVs, and it would be nice to hook them all up, even though we wouldn't pay for a box for them.

    22. How bad is the learning curve on a 722? My mom can probably pick it up pretty quick, but my dad's never even used the TiVo, and is pretty bad at electronics in general. How does it compare to the real TiVo? Since D* is getting TiVo soon, and Comcast already supports TiVo with CableCard (would be nice if they had HD channels for it record, but that's a different problem), E* is the only provider without an authentic HD TiVo solution. How fast is the box?

    16. What would the cost be to add a 612 later for a second HDTV?

    17. Does anyone know how much energy a 722 sucks? Does it record a buffer or two 24/7 and pound the disk like TiVo does? Our TiVo uses about 35W, and has been pounding 24/7 at its 80GB hard drive for almost 6 years now. Yeah, it seriously needs a replacement.

    18. What's the availability for a 922 looking like? Is there anything that a 922 can do that a 722 with a USB SlingThing can't do other than have extra disk space? I'm interested in Sling, since it would allow HD on my laptop anywhere in the house. How many clients will it be able to support simultaneously? How much will it cost to trade up to a 922? How much will the USB SlingThing cost? Or does no one know any of this stuff yet?

    19. How do the contracts work? Do you have to sign a contract to get the equipment for free? Although I suspect its a moot point since D* isn't getting any cheaper and Comcast is on the slooooooow road to upgrades.

    Is there anything else we should know coming from the world of fuzzy analog cable?

    Sorry for the super loooong post, and thanks in advance for any input you have.

    EDIT: I just noticed that MSNBC is bizarrely in the Top 200 package (from the Olympics thread), so the fact that they actually carry it is a moot point. Oh well.
     
  2. RasputinAXP

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

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    Yup, very much so. 61.5 has some transponder failure but that's within limits.

    Nope.

    Yup.

    I believe the phrase is 'swept to 2.2GHz.' Someone with more knowledge with me can help.

    You can get a multiswitch to amplify the signal, but I don't know that it'd be necessary.

    They'll pretty much do whatever you ask, within reason.

    You'd have to ask locally. I really wouldn't worry about it.

    What hidden charges? 39.99+$6 DVR + $10 HD, plus your local taxes. What's it in CT now, 8%?

    No. Dish is specifically forbidden from doing that; you get the locals assigned to your DMA, which would probably be Hartford (WTIC, et al)

    Yup. Just the $5 downgrade when you're there.

    It stays.

    D* doesn't quite offer that yet, either, but you could do roughly the same thing with external hard drives.

    Yup. I do the whole house, 2 42's and a 32 with a 722. Only got the 211k because I wanted HD upstairs.

    722k has a slot for a 2-tuner OTA card. 722 has one OTA tuner onboard.

    Mostly, yeah.

    Nothing is broadcast at full resolution, but if you can REALLY tell the difference, you're Superman or something.

    In Dual mode TV1 is always the local output, TV2 is always the remote (SD) TV. It's one device so it's one "bucket".

    You do not, cannot, and you'd be out a couple hundred dollars. It's what external hard drives are for; unlike the D* DVRs the ViP series external drives are in addition to, not replacements.

    It will handle as large of a single-LUN EHD as you want to put on it.

    Yes, about 7 bucks on eBay, yes, yes.

    Yes, but they'd all be mirrors, so you can't individually control them.

    Faster than anything D* has. I hate my neighbor's D* DVR with a passion. It's slow to respond to everything. And that's head and shoulders above any cableco DVR. My wife learned it pretty quick, but she had Dish a long time ago at her parents' house, so YMMV.

    Single output HD DVR is...10 bucks? I forget. Someone correct me, please.

     
  3. coldsteel

    coldsteel Hall Of Fame

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    Adding a 612 is $10 a month and probably $100 for the box, same as if you had it originally. What's different is getting it later, there'd be a $15 install charge, $95 if you do not have the Service Plan, that's waived on a New Connect order.


    Also, WOW, Ras. I was gonna answer this later tonight, but, just WOW.
     
  4. RasputinAXP

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

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    LOL. Thanks. :lol: :lol:
     
  5. Bigg

    Bigg Godfather

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    Yes, very much so. That's an impressive set of information and post.

    Ok, I'll have to look into that. I can see if it says anything about it on the cable itself or whatnot. If it's not up to spec we can always get some high-end QS RG6.


    Does anyone know how far you can run without needing to amplify it? I know DirecTV has some pretty severe limitations on SWiM, but as I understand it, that's a different approach to effectively stacking.


    Ok, that's good. I think dropping all three into the attic is reasonable, since they would not be having to wire anything else, just plugging cables together to the splice, installing the de-diplexer, and then the diplexer/de-stacker tree of wires behind the TV.


    So there isn't an extra page of random unidentifiable fees like the local incumbents charge? Comcast and AT&T both have many lines of random crap fees. We're at 6% still, I think. NYC is bad, since they are like 5% state I think and then the city adds on another 4%, maybe its 7 and 2, not sure but it ends up over 9 in total.


    They were under the SHVIA, which is one part of that law that was just plain dumb. Currently, they are allowed to legally, I don't know what contracts they have and how those compare to D*'s. D* offers NBC, CBS, and FOX out-of-market from NYC (in HD), but the line where they cut off is literally 1000ft from my house, although then it goes to Providence out-of-market within 20 or 30 miles. I am guessing that they don't have ABC because our local ABC is in New Haven, not Hartford like the other three. So the answer is Dish just doesn't?

    This political/legal garbage is ridiculous. They should be allowed to flip the switch on NYC and LA locals and shove them out across the whole US, and let the boxes pick up whatever spot beams they can.

    Comcast has always offered the big four plus PBS from NYC, but they don't run an HD feed of the out-of-markets since their pathetic system can barely handle ours in HD.

    Here at school (UConn) we get Boston out-of-market locals.

    On a side note, Dish and DirecTV should start offering community access channels, as now that they have ethernet on the boxes, they could easily send them from their CDN streamed live. Probably no money in it though.

    So it's free to upgrade?

    External hard drives are really kludgey to carry around and copy stuff. D* has MRV now, they made it public within the last month or so. People who want it have to activate a public beta or something, since there is no tech support for it, but its better that way, since right now its free. They don't have the SWiM gear out to do it through the coax, so it has to be done on hardwired 100mb ethernet for now. Any HDTV location would need ethernet anyways, so no loss there.

    Which one would we get on a new install on Eastern Arc, and what's the difference? Oh also, do we have to ask for Eastern Arc, or will they automatically do one in Hartford-New Haven?

    Ok, cool. I know it would knock down the signal strength a lot, but an amp might be able to fix that. I don't even know if we could get a signal from the Hartford stations, but I really want to try.

    Are they pulling in the OTA ATSC-8VSB feed in MPEG-2 and recompressing it for uplink, or are they doing their own compression from a fiber feed? If they are re-compressing, the OTA will look a lot better. If DISH is doing their own MPEG-4 compression, it could actually look better even with the loss of resolution, as MPEG-4 can handle motion compression a lot better than MPEG-2.

    Are you telling me that all of DISH's "1080i" HD is not actually HD? That's like telling a little kid Santa isn't real. :( I know D* was doing it at one point, but I think they stopped on nationals once MPEG-2 came out, and I thought DISH was a tiny bit ahead on PQ, and with full resolution.

    Is TV1 mirrored in SD on another agile modulated channel? It would be great to have two remote TVs when the main one isn't in use.

    People have upgraded the drives. The question is, can DISH figure it out? Probably won't, but it would be a fun hack. Not even sure what we'd need that much space for. Our current TiVo starts going nuts around 70 hours, so 55 hours shouldn't be too much of a downgrade.

    I've been recording the Olympics in HD on my laptop, and I'm up to about 580GB, I'm expecting to be near close to 700 by the end of the games, but that's highly unusual. Of course that's MPEG-2.

    Yeah, I know. That's OK, considering we only have ONE DVR now, two is a huge improvement.

    Yeah, I just checked, I hadn't read it right before, as I saw the "3 rooms HD free" thing, I didn't realize they'll only give you one DVR for free. Not sure why anyone would want TV without a DVR, but OK. Would be a great deal for building a SageTV box to suck in the HD video onto a nice big RAID array though.

    Why on earth is there a $95 fee to ship a box on a UPS truck? How complicated is it for them to activate a receiver over the phone? Or do they assume that every customer is a complete moron and needs a truck to roll to plug a box in?

    Heck, anyone who can read instructions and use common sense could set up a 722 with the diplexers and such, as long as the dish was already there. A 612 would be a walk in the park.

    The other option would be to do HDMI over fiber or Cat-6 with an RF remote and leech off the 722 even more. I'd probably do fiber if the price of the converters comes down just so I can say I've wired fiber. :D

    Thanks for all the input, it seems like DISH is the best option here. Wow, I never thought I would be saying that, but DirecTV has some, eh, price issues.
     
  6. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Northern...
    Two things.
    1. Dish cannot provide signals from outside your DMA. They are under a court order for failure to comply with the law. Others can, they can't. I use to get some, they had to pull them. End of subject. And it is crappy policy about which I have written to my Congressman and Senators, as I have time to waste.:sure:
    2. Unless you want to own a DVR, you don't replace the internal hard drive. If you buy one, you can do anything you want to it. If you modify a leased one, you will end up buying it for a price they set. There is no reason to do that anyway. I have five EHD's, four 750GB units and one 1TB unit. The 750GB units hold about 110 HD movies or roughly about 200 hours of HD recordings off the satellite. You cannot, and as far as I can find out, no one has ever been able to play those recordings except with a ViP DVR authorized on the account. You can copy them to another drive to have a backup, but unless they're copied back to an authorized drive on the same account, you can't use them.
     
  7. RasputinAXP

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

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    Nope. My bill's 1 page, and the charges are about 25% of the top portion in 14 point font. Screenshot's attached.

    Edit: I feel the need to explain. 159 the previous month was service+211k DVR/EHD activation+722 EHD activation because they didn't understand me the first time. I have a 722 as my primary and a 211k in the bedroom, which costs me $7 extra. My cost adjustments are Dish correcting their 722 activation (I don't need the extra space) and I have a pair of friends who referred me, net $5 a month apiece.


    Phrelin already mentioned this, but Dish is legally enjoined from doing distants.

    If you're going to pay them more money, they're happy to allow it for free. :D


    The 922 and Slingcatcher equipment will fix most of this for Dish customers.

    Hartford was a launch EA market so it's the default installation for the area. They'd only do a twin-dish 61.5/110/119 install if you had bad LOS. 722 and 722k, you get what they give you. The OTA is the only difference, and most of the time you get the 722k now anyway.

    Depends on the market and how contentious Dish's relations are with the owners. A lot of the time, Dish gets them OTA and recompresses them with MPEG2 and MPEG4 (compression type varies by market but EA is all MPEG4).

    I believe the actual pixel-count is 1440x1080i? I forget. It's far better than cable, and IMO with my neighbor's D* setup, the PQ difference is negligible, and sometimes slightly better on Dish. Of course, he gets MSG HD, so that makes me sad puppy.

    Yup. You can set the channels yourself on the 722.

    Recording time is relative based on compression type and source. OTA takes more space but I've noticed since moving to EA that I can keep more crap recordings since it's all MPEG4.

    I do Component and stereo out over Cat5e for my second 42". Having lots of experience in it, you don't want to wire fiber. Terminating it is hit or miss, and gets expensive to learn just by sheer attrition in your materials.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. coldsteel

    coldsteel Hall Of Fame

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    The $95 is the tech charge. Dish will NOT allow leased self-installs on additional receivers. If you want to self install, you'd have to buy the 612 for $449. You might find it for less other places.
     
  9. bnborg

    bnborg Icon

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    $269 at DishDepot. Or you could get a 722k for $329 or a 211k for $129. Just listing examples. I'm sure you could find similar deals elsewhere.
     
  10. coldsteel

    coldsteel Hall Of Fame

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    Very true.

    BTW, how'd the 129 install go?
     
  11. bnborg

    bnborg Icon

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    Not there yet. I need to talk to my (ex)neighbor again.

    But he did say before that it would be the second week of March before he had any free time.

    I should go out there and re-aim my 61.5 dish to 129, my self. I'd have to put my Sorel's on.
     
  12. Bigg

    Bigg Godfather

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    Ah ok, I found references to that absurd court decision on the internet. It's sad that a bunch of pathetic little whiny local stations can screw over a national satellite provider who owns a cutting-edge multi-billion dollar satellite network...

    How would they find out? Does the box report its hard drive size back to them?

    My area is eligible for MSG HD, YES HD, and NESN HD, the last of which is the only one that counts. :D

    Other than the pathetic, whiny little ones that sued Dish, how could they have contentious relations with a local channel? Don't the locals do everything they can to get the highest quality signal to the four or more providers who serve their area (at least 5 in CT)?

    Very nice. Even though this setup would be for HD in principle, it would get the most use on other TV's in the house with downscaled HD for use when we're doing something with the TV on in the background, so a pair of RF remotes would create a whole-house DVR system for us, which would be amazing.

    I thought HD would be the same since it's all MPEG-4? Every channel that I can think of to look up is mirrored in HD, so those SD channels are sort of just there...


    Wow, that's pathetic that they think their customers can't connect some RG-6. Just wow. So it's $195. Sounds like a second HDTV will be driven off of TV1 via component over Cat-6. Component is actually a much better deal, because it doesn't require a splitter for HDMI, and we could home run the Cat-6 normally, for over 300' of Cat-6, where HDMI would require a double-cable shortcut run since it only can do 148' over 2 Cat-6 cables.

    Even if you own the 722, you get whacked with the double mirroring fees, right ($17/mo as opposed to $10/mo)?

    EDIT: Formatting and attribution
     
  13. Bigg

    Bigg Godfather

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    Also, does the 722 need to be connected to a phone line? It will be connected to Ethernet, its going to be a b*tch to get over there, but I know its needed over there for VoD as well as the Blu-Ray player and using a laptop to stream.

    What is the actual angle that the satellite signals will come down at in Hartford-New Haven? I looked up an aiming angle of ~40 degrees, but is that the actual signals or where the LNBs are in relation to the ground? We have a pretty serious tree problem.
     
  14. TulsaOK

    TulsaOK New Member

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    No.
     
  15. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    DNS would seem to be doomed based on the recent Congressional inaction toward extending it. Had it passed, it was thought to include code to once again allow DISH Network to offer DNS directly as a carrot to extend LIL coverage to all 210 markets.
     
  16. RasputinAXP

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

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    E* only carries MSG in SD, doesn't carry YES at all. NESN is game-time HD.
     
  17. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Northern...
    You might some day want to upgrade or cancel. They have nailed people who returned boxes that evidence tampering. And why would you want to do it given that the EHD gives you unlimited archive capabilities?
     
  18. Bigg

    Bigg Godfather

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    I think DNS is something different. That's providing national feeds to someone who is not in a DMA. What I am talking about here is significantly viewed channels from a neighboring DMA, since NYC is immediately adjacent to/ sort of has overlap with Hartford-New Haven. The laws should allow satellite to do whatever cable does, so that they are equally competitive. For some bizarre reason, Comcast carries WNET-HD 93 miles away from NYC, the satellite providers don't have it at all.

    Oh wow, I just checked and before I had seen three lines, so I assumed that all three were up there. I guess they don't market to NYC, LI, half of CT and NJ? YES is a requirement to compete in those markets.

    Throw the old drive back in, they would never know... Although, with 55 hours plus the possibility of EHD, there isn't that much reason to upgrade...
     
  19. RasputinAXP

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

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    It's DNS. Distant doesn't mean "far away", it's an FCC term meaning "not in your DMA."

    <-- see where it says I'm in Jersey? I'm a Mets fan, so really I don't care whether we get YES or not. Steinbrenner wants way the hell too much money per subscriber, and Charlie is notoriously cheap.

    MSG HD is a different story because that's being willfully withheld by Cablevision, much as it is with FiOS subscribers. After the last FCC decision a few months ago, I figure we'll have MSG HD by the time the Rangers drop the puck next season.



    Throw the old drive back in, they would never know... Although, with 55 hours plus the possibility of EHD, there isn't that much reason to upgrade...[/QUOTE]
     
  20. SaltiDawg

    SaltiDawg Active Member

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    On a Charlie Chat a few years ago Charlie announced that some significantly viewed in a neighboring DMA (Baltimore) were going to become available in the DC DMA(as they were in Cable.) It never happened and IIRC he (Charlie) later said that the FCC had reversed itself or some such.

    The cost to have done this would have been virtually nothing, assuming the spot beams of these adjacent DMAs overlap. It wouild have been as simple as authorizing the DC DMAs that met the criteria.
     

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