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Is the Dish Satellite really dieing?

Discussion in 'Sky Angel (Closed Forum)' started by dsharmon, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. dsharmon

    dsharmon Cool Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    I spoke to Dish tonight about satelllite 61.5 and the rep stated that the satellite is not dieing and that the SkyAngel programming is the only programming that will no longer be available for private satellite users. If this really is the case, the SkyAngel Lifetime subscriptions should still be honored, right? :nono2:

    The Dish rep and SkyAngel also stated that a new programming package will be available via satellite at the beginning of February that will consist of the same programming that SkyAngel satellite currently offers.
  2. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Apr 17, 2003
    Here is some info on the health of EchoStar 3, the satellite SkyAngel is using at 61.5°:
    (From EchoStar's Annual Report for 2006)

    EchoStar III . EchoStar III was launched during October 1997 and currently operates at the 61.5 degree orbital location. The satellite was originally designed to operate a maximum of 32 transponders at approximately 120 watts per channel, switchable to 16 transponders operating at over 230 watts per channel, and was equipped with a total of 44 transponders to provide redundancy. Prior to 2006, TWTA anomalies caused 22 transponders to fail. During April and October 2006, further TWTA anomalies caused the failure of four additional transponders. As a result, a maximum of 18 transponders are currently available for use on EchoStar III, but due to redundancy switching limitations and specific channel authorizations, we can only operate 15 of the 19 FCC authorized frequencies we have the right to utilize at the 61.5 degree location. While we do not expect a large number of additional TWTAs to fail in any year, and the failures have not reduced the original minimum 12-year design life of the satellite, it is likely that additional TWTA failures will occur from time to time in the future, and those failures will further impact commercial operation of the satellite.​

    This satellite started with 44 transponders to cover 32 channels at 120w or 16 transponders at 230w. As of the beginning of 2007, they were down to 18 of the 44 transponders (59% failed) and were able to operate only 15 of the 19 transponders E3 should be covering (21% reduction in capacity).

    It was launched in 1997 and has a 12-year design life ... it may make it to next year but NOT as a fully functional satellite doing it's job. As noted in the other thread, a replacement is on it's way.
    DISH Forum Thread: Dish Files to Launch AMC-14 to 61.5 W

    In it's application, EchoStar told the FCC:

    Due to transponder failures, however, EchoStar 3 is no longer able to use the full complement of these 19 channels, resulting in inefficient use of the DBS spectrum at one of the eight orbital locations allotted to the U.S. for DBS.
    . . .​
    While EchoStar 3's capacity has diminished, the satellite still has many years of useful life and can provide valuable services from another orbital location where the inefficiencies associated with its transponder losses will have a less pronounced effect.​

    Not quite dead, but certainly severely stricken and not able to perform the job it was intended to do. The next failure could mean the loss of more channels. E3 needs to be allowed to rest and be put at a location less critical to the future of EchoStar.
  3. dsharmon

    dsharmon Cool Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    James, thanks for the excellent info. So, with the satellite failures, is Dish moving it's programming to another satellite? Does Dish have or will Dish have a satellite that will handle the lost capacity? What is the status of the other Echostar satellites?

  4. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Apr 17, 2003
    DISH is moving international content to a non-DBS satellite at 118° and (as noted above) will be getting a replacement for E3 soon enough (perhaps three months?).

    Most of DISH's satellites are running well enough. The most important satellites are a lot newer than E3. DISH plans to get three satellites up within the year for their US service (AMC-14 for 61.5° to replace E3 and E11 for 110° to replace E8 are on E*'s plans and Ciel will be launching a satellite for 129° to replace E5 near the end of the year).
  5. Bill R

    Bill R Hall Of Fame

    Dec 20, 2002
    According to this site AMC-14 is scheduled to launch in March:

    AMC-14 satellite
    launcher: Proton M / Briz M
    launch site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
    mission: commercial communications satellite

    Sky Angel's contract was ONLY for the use of Echostar 3 transponders. Echostar and Sky Angel could not come to an agreement on the use of transponders on AMC-14.
  6. Michael P

    Michael P Hall Of Fame

    Oct 27, 2004
    This is news to me. IMHO E* is making the right move by continuing the SA channels since SA is abandoning satellite delivery for an i.p.t.v. service. Many current SA subs do not have broadband availability.

    I hope they include Familyland Network in place of the duplicate "secular" channels that SA offered. Is anyone at E* reading this board?
  7. quiverof8

    quiverof8 Legend

    Apr 6, 2007
    do you know what the package will be called? I was hoping they would add it to the family package as many are FTA channels anyway
  8. chainblu

    chainblu Legend

    May 14, 2006
    I wonder if they will continue to use 61.5 or will it take a repoint to 119?
  9. dsharmon

    dsharmon Cool Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Sounds like SA has opted to drop any satellite options. Fortunately, many satellite and IPTV opions are available for free or for much less cost than what SA is offering.

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