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Why did they stop development of the HDPC-20?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by CraigerCSM, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. wavemaster

    wavemaster Godfather

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    The point everyone seems to miss is this isn't just the 250.00 or 500.00 for the device that DTV will lose (Don't let that define the market).

    The minute I can do this with HD quality and a comprehensive amount of content - I am gone!

    So it is more like $2,000.00/yr from my house alone.

    You ever notice how the grocery store will lose money on items week in and week out to get your "whole order". Give the beer away at cost because doritos and chips are on a 40% margin... It's called a loss leader in retail. Niche or not, having it will be worth millions, not having it will cost millions.
     
  2. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Not today it won't .. I think DIRECTV still has plenty of time to make a decision on this market. As it is we're discussing a decision that was made some time ago. If the market becomes interesting again, I'm sure DIRECTV will look for ways to take advantage.
     
  3. gregjones

    gregjones Hall Of Fame

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    What you are missing is that the scenario above only works because beer is popular. As Doug and I have noted over and over, it takes a lot of households to offset the expense of supporting this kind of device. At this point, a number of customers are having a hard time correctly connecting the HR2x to a network. The HDPC is orders of magnitude more complex. DirecTV can't put a disclaimer saying "you must be at least this competent to purchase this device."
     
  4. briancav

    briancav New Member

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    I'm also in the camp of jumping ship as soon as I can get all of my HD TV conent into my HTPCs. I've been using XP MCE for 5 years to access all of my DVDs, music, home movies, and photos. It drives me crazy that I've never been able to integrate the TV.

    Now that you are able to purchase cablecard tuners and use them in home-built PCs, I will be most like going to FIOS.

    There are two exciting cablecard tuners that were shown at CES that should be available relatively shortly, a Ceton 4-tuner device and a SiliconDust 2-tuner device that is networked. The Ceton device is supposed to be out by 3/31/10. Once that is successfully in the market, I'll be rebuiling 4 HTPCs with Windows 7 and giving FIOS a try.

    It'll be nice to tell them that I don't need any of their boxes, I'll just need one (maybe 2) cablecards.
     
  5. wavemaster

    wavemaster Godfather

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    This is exciting news. We have digital cable as well as D. It will be nice to only have one again.
     
  6. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Can I be a bit of both? I think the HDPC-20 would be cool. Might be fun to have one.

    Yet I also understand the business logic behind "it has to pay for itself". If it can't do that, then sadly it had to go.

    Now, if someday they could get the cost below $25 and sell it for $50, then who knows, it might come back. Even then, one would have to consider an extra fee to keep it viable supportwise. As always it is a numbers game--with dollars as the key number.

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  7. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    I'm sure DIRECTV has very carefully quantified every aspect, including yours.

    Retail rotates their lost leaders, to convince customers they are the place to shop. DIRECTV can't rotate their lost leaders in the same way. And HDPC is not a lost leader item. Not enough people would jump on it.

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  8. wavemaster

    wavemaster Godfather

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    That's some funny stuff there.

    "it has to pay for itself"? That is the only reason stopping them?

    If that were the case D would NEVER have been created, lord knows it didn't "pay for itself" for years and years.

    How many millions did they put into HD years ago for the 10 of us that bought it? How long before that niche market is worth it?

    What they have now is millions of subs because they invested in the technologies.

    Obviously I wish they would think long term like they used to and not by the bottom line minute like they do now.

    And again, the first provider to embrace the technology will gain at least one more sub ;-)
     
  9. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Ah, yet DIRECTV has paid for itself. And HD has too. We all knew HD would pay for itself or at least be a market requirement. Seems disingenuous to think the HDPC has a similar market size as HD or PayTV. :)

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  10. Jeremy W

    Jeremy W Hall Of Fame

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    A CableCARD-based tuner like the new HD HomeRun has essentially the same market as the HDPC-20 would have had, but it's actually coming out along with other CableCARD tuners. So the cancellation of the HDPC-20 is 100% opposite of what the competition is doing.
     
  11. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Cablecard has a market of 70M. DIRECTV is only 20M.

    QAM tuners are cheap. Sat. Tuners aren't.

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  12. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    "QAM tuners are cheap. Sat. Tuners aren't" - Not that fast, actually practically same if you exactly mean "tuner". Often using same/similar chips.
     
  13. Jeremy W

    Jeremy W Hall Of Fame

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    Those are subscriber numbers. You have to take into account the fact that this technology will attract people to services that support it, and that the majority of subscribers will never take advantage.
    So the SatelliteCARD tuner is more expensive. I'm sure the market can deal with that.
     
  14. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    When DIRECTV has 70M subs they can realistically generate enough sales to make HDCP-20 viable. :)
     
  15. Jeremy W

    Jeremy W Hall Of Fame

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    Come on Tom, that's simply ridiculous. In reality, the HDPC-20 is not terribly more complex than any other receiver. IIRC, you can buy an H2x for $200, and DirecTV is making a profit on that. Price the HDPC-20 at $300-$400, and it'll sell. It won't sell as much, which means economies of scale will be less, but that's why the price is higher.

    If you assume that the nation has 70M cable subs, which sounds about right, the CableCARD adoption rate is about .5%. With DirecTV's 20M subs, and an adoption rate of .5% (which I believe is low, since satellite subscribers tend to be more invested in the service) you've got 100,000 sales. At $400, you've just generated $40M in revenue.

    The numbers simply don't add up. I believe the HDPC-20 was cancelled for some other reason which we're unlikely to ever find out.
     
  16. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    I ain't the finance nor marketing guy. You've made numbers sound good, yet reality isn't always that good.

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  17. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    If I would a mod I would be more positive and more often support our member not that companies' decisions. :p Perhaps I'm totally independent from them, hehe.
     
  18. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Nah, I think for myself...
     
  19. Jeremy W

    Jeremy W Hall Of Fame

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    We know that there were working models that got as far as private beta testing. In order for it to get that far, DirecTV certainly did their research and ran some numbers. The numbers didn't suddenly change one day, causing DirecTV to cancel the project and never speak of it again. Something else had to have happened. I've got my own theories as to what that was, but I simply cannot believe that it was a decision that was purely internal to DirecTV.
     
  20. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Let's just say there's at least one poster in this very thread that makes a lot of sense ...
     

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