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DirecTV/Viacom Dispute?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by danpeters, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    I would never say its impossible to do anything like this. We sent a man to the moon with an aircraft that had less processing power than a cheap wrist watch has today. It can be done. The probem is at what point is this kind of thing cost effective for everyone. Packages of some sort can continue to keep everything cost effective. Per show will never be cost effective. Imagine if you had to pay $2 for every 30 minutes of tv you watch that isn't sports, and about $10 for every sports program. D you really think that would ever come out more affordable than today's system? Only if you don't watch much tv.
  2. kevinturcotte

    kevinturcotte Active Member

    Dec 19, 2006
    Technologically possible? Yes. Humanly possible when there's money to be made? NOT HAPPENING!
  3. hasan

    hasan Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Ogden, IA
    Because the laws of physics haven't changed.

    Required signal strength is a function of power output, antenna gain, transmission line losses, free space path losses, other path losses, receive antenna gain, receive feedline losses, and receiver noise figure.

    All of these things have been well understood for decades, and nothing has changed since then (in terms of antenna/propagaion theory.

    Greater power is not a practical solution, not only because of cost, but because of the numbers. When enough water is present, in high enough concentration between the sat and the receiver, the attenuation essentially becomes infinite. No amount of increased transmit power or antenna size (that can be put in orbit) will overcome that much loss. Receive antennas could solve a lot of the problem, perhaps 99.999%, if and only if the receive antennas were the size of the valley dish at Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

    Given the current frequency assignments, the problem cannot be solved. It was seen by the powers that be, to be relatively infrequent and of such short duration for most customers, that the trade off of available bandwidth and dish size versus reliability was/is worth it.
  4. tvropro

    tvropro AllStar

    Nov 3, 2010
    It's here it's called C band, 3.7- 4.2 ghz. Why do you think the broadcasters use it as the backbone. They cannot afford rain fade at the broadcast level. Direct and Cable use these signals to get the distro feed's. Then cable sends it over a wire (no rain fade) and Direct retransmits it to K bands. Ku and Ka band can have attenuation (loss of signal) as high as 60 db when there is a storm. It has to do with the frequency, wavelength and scatter of the signal at 12 ghz and 18 ghz with moisture.

    In theory a k band signal could overcome the loss by cranking up the power of the satellite by megawatts. If that was done besides causing all kind of interference it would be dangerous since those satellite frequencies are microwaves, and can cook you like in a microwave oven.

    K band originally was never designed for broadcast as it is being used. It was used for guick links for news, sporting events and teleconferencing. In Europe they started using it for home television. Then it was adopted for that purpose in the U.S. K band has its limitations but is favored over C for Joe couch potato because of the size of the dish and aesthetics.
  5. BlackCoffee

    BlackCoffee AllStar

    May 23, 2009
    Not only do you need to consider the attenuation caused by water content, but also the electrical activity disrupts the signal. A lot of time, the frontal cloud to cloud lightening wil degrade the signal well before the storm clouds are raining on your house.

    That being said, the current SD signal is very good and survives all but the worst. As long as lightening is not a factor, I get an SD signal in some pretty heavy downpoars. Things are a lot better and keep improving.
  6. caseyf5

    caseyf5 Member

    Mar 21, 2009
    Hello hasan,

    I am adding a visual to assist with your post for those whom have the land required to install this type of replacement dish. :rotfl: It lists the dimensions needed for the dish at Arecibo, Puerto Rico or anywhere else.

  7. BlackCoffee

    BlackCoffee AllStar

    May 23, 2009
    I think it would be managable. Just as every customer has a package, there could be a way to support ala carte.

    Bundling is primarily a marketing tool, not just an accounting problem. Even in an ala carte implementation, bundles will be set up and most people will probably choose the bundles.

    The real question is who constructs the packages. Does VIACOM dictate the package based on their business model to include their own underperforming stations. Or, does DTV construct the packages based on user preference in an attempt to maximize the overall user experience. This would be done based on viewing preferences independent of producer. I think when DTV speaks to unbundling VIACOM they are talking about the later option, not a strick customer ala carte option.
  8. tvropro

    tvropro AllStar

    Nov 3, 2010
    The SD signal goes south all the time here in Chicago due to the direction the storms come through these parts. I have a 90 CM dish on 101 which adds a good amount of headroom above threshold but it still isn't enough. I figure a 15 foot dish may overcome that -60 db barrier. :eek2:

    My C band works great in the rain. All I see from cloud to cloud lightning or lightning strikes is a short slight pixelation on digital or static burst on analog.

    Direct goes out ahead of time (before the storm) and sometimes takes a while to come back depending on the cloud cover. I learned to shut it off during a storm since no matter what I do to try to increase gain with a bigger dish and super alignment it still isn't enough. My regular FSS ku 11.7 to 12.2 goes out in the rain too. Its the nature of the beast.
  9. n3vino

    n3vino Godfather

    Oct 2, 2011
    The only way I think ala carte would work for me is if they charge what they charge per package now, and then give credit for the channels you don't want. Say I don't want BET, MTV, VH1, Food Network, Golf Channel, Opra, etc, give me credit for those. It might not work for D*, but it would certainly work for me.
  10. crashHD

    crashHD Godfather

    Feb 29, 2008
    I went from an 18" dish to a 24" dish. I went from having periods of 5-8 minutes of rain fadeout in the worst of storms to having 10-15 seconds of moderate pixelation. That extra 6" nearly doubles the reflective area of the dish, and if that's not enough, there are 30" dishes available, which is still less than 1m. For some legal red tape reason which I forget at the moment, there is some sort of big reason to keep your dish under 1 meter.

    I know the Ku band used for HD is said to be more sensitive. I do not know whether it would respond the same way to an increase in dish size, but it would be tougher to implement a DIY solution. Parts availability for single LNB dishes that look at single orbital slots is much greater.

    For a stronger HD signal, one might look at the dish setup they use in Alaska. AFAIK, everything in Alaska is bigger. LOS to the satellites there is low on the horizon, meaning the signal has to pass through much more atmosphere, and generally dish setups with larger reflectors are used to compensate.
  11. susanandmark

    susanandmark Godfather

    Feb 15, 2007
    Funny how when customers, whose income as a whole has been stagnant, or falling, for the better part of five years now (unlike DirecTV's profits), complain about rising costs it's "bitching and whining," but when DirecTV resists price increases they're "holding the line" and "fighting the good fight." :rolleyes:
  12. fleckrj

    fleckrj Icon

    Sep 4, 2009
    Cary, NC
    I am not disputing what you say, but are you sure you have the settings the same for the two inputs? When I first set up my Pannasonic TC-P55ST30, I noticed that the color was much more vivid and sharper when watching DirecTV than when watching the same local channel OTA. What I discovered was that the settings for brightness, contrast, hue, sharpness, etc, had to be set independantly for each input (antenna, component, HDMI1, HDMI2, etc), and the out-of-the box setting for OTA was not optimal. Once I had the settings the same for the different inputs, my results with OTA versus DirecTV were mixed. On some channels (notably the CBS affiliate), OTA is better. For others (notably the ABC and PBS affiliates) DirecTV is better (probably because of multipath problems with the OTA reception - there are many more artifacts on OTA than DirecTV), and for others, I cannot tell the difference. The quality of the OTA picture depends on the station that is broadcasting the signal.
  13. ATARI

    ATARI Hall Of Fame

    May 10, 2007
  14. mnassour

    mnassour Icon

    Apr 23, 2002
    Frankly, I don't think anyone in the business wants a true a la carte model. My gosh, keeping up with the programming choices per subscriber would be a nightmare. However, there's NO reason we can't have theme packs, where you could choose kids programming, drama, sports, etc. In fact, it's being done right now north of the border.


    This link opens a PDF that shows what I mean. The Shaw bundles are an excellent example of how programming could be sold. You will also notice, please, that the costs are higher than those here in the U.S. once you get to selecting a LOT of them.
  15. fleckrj

    fleckrj Icon

    Sep 4, 2009
    Cary, NC
    Versus (now NBC Sports) had le Tour de France in addition to the NHL. Versus viewership was up nearly three-fold its annual average during the Tour. If you will recall, the dispute with Versus started after the 2009 Tour and was resolved in time for the Stanley Cup Playoff (and the 2010 Cycling season). While the NHL regular season was lost (although our local NHL team did not have a single game scheduled on Versus that season), DirecTV did step up for cycling fans and carried Universal Sports for the Vuelta a Espana (at a time before Universal Sports was full time on DirecTV) and gave free or discounted NHL Center Ice to those who asked.

    This time, DirecTV has added Disney Jr (which as others have already pointed out was already in the works - whether its start days after Nick Jr was pulled was planned or coincidence is a point for discussion) and has opened Sprout, HUB, and Encore to everyone, regardless of the subscribed package. In addition to Sprout, HUB, and Disney Jr, there is plenty of alternative children's programing on Boomerang, the Cartoon Network, and the other Disney channels, and there is enough trailer trash reality programing on We, E!, Style, Bravo, et. al. to replace the other Viacom channels.

    The bottom line is that there is nothing unique on the Viacom channels that warrants paying more for them.
  16. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    The Change.org petition site (which is supporting DirecTV to hold their ground against Viacom on pricing) now has >10,000 signatures in about a week.

    Looks like they'll hit their 15K target within a 10 day period or so.
  17. snappjay

    snappjay Legend

    Jul 16, 2010
  18. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    Sep 3, 2004
    Snappyjay and fleckrj, you obviously don't watch Comedy Central a lot.

    I will definitely miss The Daily Show and The Colbert Report when they come back from vacation this week.
  19. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    I'm not sure what makes you think that a bunch of children's channels and a small collection of "classic" movie channels equates to a replacement for the Viacom channels. Outside of AXS, I'm not sure where the replacement for Palladia rests. If DIRECTV was given to wide distribution of AntennaTV, MeTV or the other classic TV LIL networks, the loss of TVLand might be more sustainable.
  20. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

    Jul 24, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    Audience has a lot of concerts.

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