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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am getting very frustrated with the very slow progress D* is making with their HD services and new MPEG4 HD-DVR. Have been thinking about switching back to E*, but D* is launching two new sats for HD next year with the capacity for 150 national HD networks and 1500 or so HD locals on spotbeam. They also appear to be pressing networks to launch their HD versions next year in order to over extend other providers and highlight their advantage. I don't want to switch if E* doesn't have plans to keep up. I also don't want to switch if E* has no plans to carry SNY-HD by the upcoming baseball season. Can anyone provide info on either of these issues? New satellite launches etc?
 

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Hall Of Fame
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D* dosen't have a Ka satellite capable of conus broadcasting in orbit so everything for them depends on successful launches. If they have good launches they will have more capacity than E* in 2007. Next you have to have programming to fill that capacity, currently there isn't anywhere near the programming to fill the capacity. The answers to your question won't exist until mid 2007, make a guess and hope you are right.
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, my guess is that E* won't be able to keep pace with D* and its HD offerings in 2007 and possible 2008. But I want to know if I am wrong. Any E* satellites in the design or building phases which might close the gap? Plus, as you say, capacity for 150 national HD is nice, but without content to fill it, the D* advantage may be non-existent. However, looks like they are working on that too.
 

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What gap? E* has more unused bandwidth already in the sky than they need to launch every RSN in HD and many local LIL HD markets.
 

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Also as has been pointed out before... satellites wear down over time... so launching and having capacity for 150 channels that do not exist and may not exist for several years is not necessarily an advantage.

Right now Dish really has bandwidth for more channels. They are negotiating for some, and may for others in the future as well... but not out of bandwidth at the moment. There are less channels that Dish doesn't have than would fill up what they have plus some space to boot.

Sure, DirecTV could claim some capacity next year, but if there are no channels to fill it... then it is no advantage... also, they will lose the claim of "no room for new channels" and will be forced to admit that there simply are none to add if they get too far ahead.

Meanwhile, by the time Dish needs more capacity they will have had a few years to launch some new satellites of their own.

It is really sort of a non-bragging point really to me.
 

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Legend
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HDMe said:
Right now Dish really has bandwidth for more channels. They are negotiating for some, and may for others in the future as well... but not out of bandwidth at the moment. There are less channels that Dish doesn't have than would fill up what they have plus some space to boot.
Not that I'm doubting you, but if there's extra bandwidth, why aren't they using it to increase bitrates on the current channels and improve the picture quality?
 

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Beware the Attack Basset
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cornflakes said:
Not that I'm doubting you, but if there's extra bandwidth, why aren't they using it to increase bitrates on the current channels and improve the picture quality?
I think both E* and D* are hoping that MPEG4 will close the gap without having to redistribute.
 

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cornflakes said:
Not that I'm doubting you, but if there's extra bandwidth, why aren't they using it to increase bitrates on the current channels and improve the picture quality?
What Harsh said, I echo.

If they "spread out" to fill their capacity, then anytime they add a new channel they would have to juggle and redistribute again every time... so they are trying to experiment with MPEG4 and see how good they can get, and are using some of the free bandwidth to perform various tests too.

If they knew there would be no more new channels to ever add, then I'm sure they would spread out to fill all the existing bandwidth, minus leaving a few for testing... but knowing they will be adding channels in the future, it makes no sense to spread out and then have to compress again.
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
At current bitrates, compression levels etc., about how many national HD channels can E* launch before they run out of bandwidth? I am more concerned with national than local as D* has done pretty well with their Spaceway sats for locals RSNs (they already have Yes HD and SNY-HD in the NYC market for instance) and LIL-HD.

As for channel availability, from statements they have made to the press, it is pretty clear that D* understands a bandwidth advantage means nothing without content. Apparently, they are pushing very hard for networks to launch their HD versions. There have been rumors that they have even threatened not to carry channels if they have not gone HD by the end of the 2007.
 

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monetnj said:
There have been rumors that they have even threatened not to carry channels if they have not gone HD by the end of the 2007.
I sincerely doubt that i even close to true. The people (like myself) who have an HDTV are very much in the minority in the US... and still will be by the end of 2007. I don't expect 50% of the homes to have an HDTV for a few more years... and that will be the real driving point to get more channels to go HD.

If DirecTV followed through on that kind of threat, then they'd have about 50-60 channels total probably by the end of the year after they dropped all the non-HD ones!
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
HDMe said:
I sincerely doubt that i even close to true. The people (like myself) who have an HDTV are very much in the minority in the US... and still will be by the end of 2007. I don't expect 50% of the homes to have an HDTV for a few more years... and that will be the real driving point to get more channels to go HD.

If DirecTV followed through on that kind of threat, then they'd have about 50-60 channels total probably by the end of the year after they dropped all the non-HD ones!
I wasn't clear enough in my posting. They haven't threatened all networks. There was a posting on one of the D* groups from an employee from a "well known" news network that claims D* made this threat to them. It was in a thread discussing a recent interview with a D* executive where he talked about how D* was pushing networks to launch their HD versions by end of 2007. The argument the executive made was that if the networks don't launch HD versions, they will lose eyeballs to their competitors that do. HD sets may not make up 50%, but the difference in a succesfully rated program and one that isn't doesn't have to be that large. The price points are really dropping too with 32" LCD sets now selling in the sub 1K range. I think this Christmas and 2007 will see some explosive growth.

Anyway, this is off the topic. I want to know how E* intends to grow their capacity for HD. The wave may not come this year, or even next, but it will come one day. Just ask D* how that stuff can sneak up on you. I think they counted on E* not having any more capacity than they did to add HD and then Voom went belly up. E* has added much more national HD and D* has been stuck for 2 years. I just don't want to go through that again if I switch.
 

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Dish can compete with any carrier if they wish. They simply need to launch more satellites to provide enough bandwidth for the future HD nationals as they become available. In fact they may have enough now for the HD nationals because they offer much less local HD then DirecTV.

Yes Dish can offer the same... but will they?
 

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Legend
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I see no problems in going with Dish and then back to DirecTV if they catch up and pass Dish with HD programming. I think the commitment is 18 months so it's not like your stuck with either carrier forever and it's no big deal to unscrew one satellite dish and put up another (the installers will do that for free anyway).
 

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cybrsurfer said:
Dish can compete with any carrier if they wish. They simply need to launch more satellites to provide enough bandwidth for the future HD nationals as they become available.
How many more slots are available in the Clarke belt for CONUS coverage? There's only so many places you can put satellites up there before they start to interfer with each other.
 

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RAD said:
How many more slots are available in the Clarke belt for CONUS coverage? There's only so many places you can put satellites up there before they start to interfer with each other.
DirecTV has 4 satellites hovering at the 101 degree orbital slot right now. Next year, DirecTV will have 2 each satellites for slots 99.2 and 102.9 ([email protected] and [email protected]). Most people don't realize this, but there is no restriction by the FCC on how many can be positioned at each orbital location.

Dish can certainly do the same.
 

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cybrsurfer said:
DirecTV has 4 satellites hovering at the 101 degree orbital slot right now. Next year, DirecTV will have 2 each satellites for slots 99.2 and 102.9!

Dish can certainly do the same.
OK, so? That's doesn't say that you can or can't add more satellites at a particular position. There has to come a point where the FCC says that there has to be such and such amount of spacing between each satellite. There also has to be an issue about uplink capacity, you can focus the beam only so fine so that it doesn't interfer with other satellites.
 

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The FCC regulates the orbital locations... permitting Dish to have something at 110 and DirecTv something at 101, for example... and the 110 cannot interfere with 101.

But... Dish (if it is physically possible) could put 12 satellites at 110 as long as they don't interfere with another orbital location. IF Dish interferes with its other 110 satellites, that is a Dish problem not an FCC one.

That said... I don't know what the theoretical limit is to satellites at a particular orbital location. There is one... but I don't know what it might be.
 

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RAD said:
OK, so? That's doesn't say that you can or can't add more satellites at a particular position. There has to come a point where the FCC says that there has to be such and such amount of spacing between each satellite. There also has to be an issue about uplink capacity, you can focus the beam only so fine so that it doesn't interfer with other satellites.
You can have 4 satellites to an orbital location because of the 4 bands... Ka High,Lo, Ku Hi,lo... So the industry knows what the capacity is. Dish just has to take advantage of the capacity that is available.

I understand that you cant expect to have more than 4 to one orbital slot, otherwise it will be a problem.

I'm simply speaking the facts.

Keep in mind Comcast and all cable companies also use satellites to provide services to customers, it's not just DirecTV and Dish. Ending future satellite launches will kill all carriers, carriers being DirecTV, Dish, Comcast and Verizon and all the others...
 

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cybrsurfer said:
DirecTV has 4 satellites hovering at the 101 degree orbital slot right now. Next year, DirecTV will have 2 each satellites for slots 99.2 and 102.9 ([email protected] and [email protected]). Most people don't realize this, but there is no restriction by the FCC on how many can be positioned at each orbital location.

Dish can certainly do the same.
E* would need FCC permission for anything they do in the sky to reach American consumers ... more on that in a moment:
cybrsurfer said:
You can have 4 satellites to an orbital location because of the 4 bands... Ka High,Lo, Ku Hi,lo... So the industry knows what the capacity is. Dish just has to take advantage of the capacity that is available.

I understand that you cant expect to have more than 4 to one orbital slot, otherwise it will be a problem.

I'm simply speaking the facts.
There is no fixed limit of 4 satellites per slot ... and 4 satellites because there are four bands is just, well, wrong.

The important part about satellites sharing an orbital location is that they don't interfere with each other. Take the DBS band, for example. At 61.5° E* has two satellites. The transmissions of one satellite OVERLAP the other satellite on different channels (E12 does odd transponders, E3 does overlapping even transponders). Echostar holds the license to 22 transponders at 61.5° (and has borrowed 6 licenses from SkyAngel) ... that is what limits what they can do there (other than satellite failures).

Spin over to 110° ... two more E* satellites there, E8 and E10 (plus DirecTV has a satellite there). Once again, all in the DBS band. Both are spotbeam satellites (although E8's spots are silent). E* has devised a plan on how to use six uplink centers (with three more unused at the moment) to feed input transponders on different receive antennas and send those feeds down to spots all over the US. DirecTV does the same trick at 101° and 119°. Multiple uplinks are needed to have multiple downlink spots.

All this (so far) in the same 500MHz DBS spectrum.

Now add FSS and KA. Do you need separate satellites for that as you suggested? No. E9 at 121° is a good example of an FSS/Ka bird on one satellite --- and that same satellite also serves C band signals! Three bands from one satellite.

What the FCC is looking at most for granting permission is bandwidth ... for DBS they have 500MHz divided into 32 transponders, with these transponders licensed to satellite carriers. What they do with those transponders (whether they are ConUS or spots) is monitored by the FCC (and internationally by the ITU) but as long as they are not interfering with other licensees it's up to the carrier.

Currently E* has more DBS bandwidth than any other carrier. At the core locations (101°-119°) D* has 46 channels and E* has 50. Plus E* has 22 at 61.5° (plus 2 borrowed from the FCC and 6 borrowed from SkyAngel) and 32 at 148°. Then we get into foreign locations. D* has partial use of a Canadian slot 72.5° ... E* has negotiated partial use of Canadian slot at 129°. The FCC has allowed the two companies to serve American customers from these slots. (More DBS transponders.)

Then we add in FSS ... E* has nearly abandoned 105° but could still put content there. E* still operates at 121° and has started operations at 118.75°. Three locations that provide another 500Hz of bandwidth each. D* went the Ka route. E* also has other Ku licenses pending.

Plenty of bandwidth up there ... E* is just approaching it from the higher spectrum.
 

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James Long said:
E* would need FCC permission for anything they do in the sky to reach American consumers ... more on that in a moment:There is no fixed limit of 4 satellites per slot ... and 4 satellites because there are four bands is just, well, wrong.

The important part about satellites sharing an orbital location is that they don't interfere with each other. Take the DBS band, for example. At 61.5° E* has two satellites. The transmissions of one satellite OVERLAP the other satellite on different channels (E12 does odd transponders, E3 does overlapping even transponders). Echostar holds the license to 22 transponders at 61.5° (and has borrowed 6 licenses from SkyAngel) ... that is what limits what they can do there (other than satellite failures).

Spin over to 110° ... two more E* satellites there, E8 and E10 (plus DirecTV has a satellite there). Once again, all in the DBS band. Both are spotbeam satellites (although E8's spots are silent). E* has devised a plan on how to use six uplink centers (with three more unused at the moment) to feed input transponders on different receive antennas and send those feeds down to spots all over the US. DirecTV does the same trick at 101° and 119°. Multiple uplinks are needed to have multiple downlink spots.

All this (so far) in the same 500MHz DBS spectrum.

Now add FSS and KA. Do you need separate satellites for that as you suggested? No. E9 at 121° is a good example of an FSS/Ka bird on one satellite --- and that same satellite also serves C band signals! Three bands from one satellite.

What the FCC is looking at most for granting permission is bandwidth ... for DBS they have 500MHz divided into 32 transponders, with these transponders licensed to satellite carriers. What they do with those transponders (whether they are ConUS or spots) is monitored by the FCC (and internationally by the ITU) but as long as they are not interfering with other licensees it's up to the carrier.

Currently E* has more DBS bandwidth than any other carrier. At the core locations (101°-119°) D* has 46 channels and E* has 50. Plus E* has 22 at 61.5° (plus 2 borrowed from the FCC and 6 borrowed from SkyAngel) and 32 at 148°. Then we get into foreign locations. D* has partial use of a Canadian slot 72.5° ... E* has negotiated partial use of Canadian slot at 129°. The FCC has allowed the two companies to serve American customers from these slots. (More DBS transponders.)

Then we add in FSS ... E* has nearly abandoned 105° but could still put content there. E* still operates at 121° and has started operations at 118.75°. Three locations that provide another 500Hz of bandwidth each. D* went the Ka route. E* also has other Ku licenses pending.

Plenty of bandwidth up there ... E* is just approaching it from the higher spectrum.
:)
 
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