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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Welcome everyone to the March 7, 2002 edition of the Charlie Chat. Tony Suarez is out tonight-on assignment, putting the "public" in Public Access Television. Coming out of a deep sleep and popping 20 no doze pills, I am DBStalk.COM moderator Scott Greczkowski.

(Cheap Plug - If your looking for some good DBS talk I invite everyone to check out the Discussion groups at DBStalk.COM, if you visited in the past you will notice that place is much different now, and for all the folks out there who have been visiting all along thank you for helping us grow.)

As always you are welcomed to post this review anywhere you see fit, all's that we ask is that you post this review in its entirety. This review is typed in real time and is posted to the Internet within minutes of its completed broadcast, because this review is done in real time (with no PVR) there may be some information listed here which could be taken out of context or misreported. We take all possible steps to make sure this does not happen, however like Forrest Gump said "Stuff Happens" If you see something that you think needs correction please email [email protected]. Thanks again for your support.

Now with all that out of the way… It's SHOWTIME!

It's the standard opening showing Charlie hosting his chat from all the different studios he has been at in the last year.

Brian Olson welcomes us to the show telling us we have a lot to talk about tonight now to Jim and Charlie.

Jim wants Charlie to talk about DirecTV and the big announcement from last week.

Charlie will be testifying before the United States Senate tomorrow about the merger, he will be talking about being able to do local channels to everywhere in the US. Using 5 sport beam satellites they will be able to cover the US with local channels.

We are shown a map of areas that can get locals from Satellite and then another map is shown the areas, which will be covered after the merger (Which is all of them)

Also he will be telling congress about broadband, again maps are show areas with broadband currently and broadband after the merger. (Charlie forgets that national satellite broadband is available now)

He will also tell congress about the benefits of HDTV. Plus prices will be the same for service no matter where you live.

Charlie says to contact your senators and support the merger. You can contact them through the Dish Network website. Charlie says the merger is a great thing as it eliminates waivers. The Dish Network website is shown, and they show us the "take action" website. There is a form you can fill out to send to the FCC of your senators and congressmen. (One should note that any info submitted to the forms can be read by Dish Network)

To ask questions call 888-621-2078

Next up, Echostar 7

Lets go to the video. Here is the launch of Echostar 7 and we are clear to launch. 10, 9 , 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 - LIFTOFF!!

Echostar 7… It's up... It's Good!

Charlie says that because of the customers they can invest in new satellites, this satellite will replace Echostar 4. Alaska and Hawaii will be the first to get Spot Beam service. Charlie wants to add some additional channels as well. It will be late April before its online. Echostar 8 will be launched sometime this summer.

Jim says "Its another milestone!"

1 satellite has been launched by Dish Network a year in its 7 year history.

Also Dish has now 7 Million Customers. Jim tells us that we will talk about the Club Dish program later in the show (yippie! groan) Today is 6 years to the day of the first paying customer for Dish Network customer.

Its giveaway time! (We see a slot machine on the screen) First caller who can tell what country Dish launched the first satellite from will get the Dish Everything pack free for 7 months. Americas Everything is AT 150 plus all 29 premium Channels. The number to call is 888-642-3474.

Programming news.

CNN En Espanol has been added to channel 633 for Dish Latino customer at no extra charge.

For those who have locals available to them, they will loose the national PBS service. This is due to must carry, the locals packages for the cities served have the local PBS stations included in the locals package

Final programming announcement, more international channels, its Chinese, the plus pack is 24.99 per month or Phoenix for $14.99 a month. To get this you need a second dish.

Email question time.

From Dave, hes talking about local channels, there are DMAs which do not offer all the networks, will we still be able to get the national feeds for networks we don't get.

The answer is YES. You will be able to get the network which are missing.

Have you decided on a standard for Dish Network and DirecTV? Well no not yet, Dish and DirecTV use different equipment, There is a crew working on deciding on a standard, but no decision has been made. Whatever the decision is customers who will have to change equipment will get new equipment free of charge.

Next question from William from Florida, who lives in NRTC area, how will the merger benefit him? NRTC has rights to his area and they will continue to exist and sell service, in the areas when the NRTC serves people will have 2 choices in satellite entertainment.

Charlie holds up two pictures that show that they carry the same channels by combining the 2 services it frees up all kinds of space, and turns the company into a 3D company like cable. We then see a picture of a Dish Network / DirecTV dish which has the word MONTANA written on it.

Regulators will have to answer if consumers are better off if there is a merger.
From Mitch, he wants to know about Digital feeds from local broadcast stations. Plus he wants to know which 12 channels will be made available after the merger is complete?

Charlie tells us we can see the FCC filings at the Dish Website, there are no Must carry on the Digital Signals, for networks like CBS they broadcast the HD today. Charlie says that the next generation of satellites would be able to do all the Digital HD stations. Once the merger is approved there will be movies, sports, Showtime, Starz, PBS and Discovery channel.

Next from Ed who is a new subscriber, he lives in Florida will he get the locals in his area? Yes because he is in one of the top 100 areas so it will be the first to go up.

We have a winner, its Anthony Sonesie who knew that Echostar 1 was lanced from China.

Next question did Echostar 7 add better reception for Puerto Rico? Charlie does not know the answer, he looks over to the peanut gallery who tells them Echostar 8 will have spot beams for P.R.

Kevin is on the phone, who is concerned he wants the YES network for the Yankees, will it be coming. Charlie says that they get asked this question occasionally. Yes wants $2 a month per subscriber and he is not optimistic that YES will be carried. It's an important channel and we are trying to negotiate a fair price. Look for an announcement on one of the Dish Network FYI commercials. He is trying to figure out what happened to Dish Network News.
Next from Mr Wallzack, he wants to have TV Polanda on the 148 satellite (Poland TV) it is on 61.5 only however they are trying to get them at the 148 satellite, the discussion are not done but looking good.

Next question is about HDTV, is other HD channels available to Dish, Charlie does not think so, there will be no more HD Channels unless the merger goes through,

Next caller from Larry who is concerned about the merger will dish get access to DirecTV channel which Dish does not (and vice versa) the answer is yes but after a transaction period. NFL Sunday Ticket will be available although the contract is up after this season. It will be a year or two before it will happen.

This weekend there will be a Starz! Free preview weekend. Its Exciting says Jim.

Original Programming News also from Starz is a original movie about Joe Lewis. The movie is called "Joe and Max" which premiers on March 8th on Starz!

Giveaway time, the prize a pair of Boxing Gloves signed by the actors of Joe & Max. The question who is the 1970's character Richard Rountree known as, first caller gets them.

Its Oscar time and we have friends at Tuner Classic Movies, TCM always has a great movie. Next up we see the "Rocky" ad, which is airing all around which features some old age people holding the play of Rocky at the retirement home. Funny commercial.

70 yeas of the Oscar book is being given away, who was the actor who player Rockys Trainer (Bergis Merideth?) (SP)

Ok more questions, from Johnny, how will the merger effect the pricing for packages. Charlie says he's excited about this because they will have 17 million sub will give them some leverage, which means the pricing would be less then it would have been if there was no merger.

We have a winner of the Boxing Gloves, Ryan from Indiana knew that Richard Roundtree was SHAFT.

Next question, will any antenna upgrades been needed to get the new locals, Charlie says in some cases, yes. There will be an 80% chance you wont need a new antenna.

Next from Gary, Will the Caribbean be able to get Dish Network after the merger is complete. No it's a separate company with separate licenses.

Pat is on the phone, with the Spotbeam make her Washington stations go away (she's in Arizona now) (I want to know how she gets Washington in Arizona) The Beam for washing will not send the signals to Arizona, it's the law and Dish is following the law, there will be a half dozen station that will remain on a national basis.
Its Club Dish time, roll the video. Same old Club Dish commercial which intent is to get the customers to sell Dish Network for the friends. The current customer gets $5 a month for 12 months for a total of $60 plus PPV coupons plus a membership card, priority service number and Dish Flick newsletter. By you referring a customer you help keep costs down.

Jim says to find answer to the questions they don't answer go to Dishnetwork.com, see Dish Takes which is in your bill, Channel 101 and Dish FYI

And speaking of Dish FYI here is one now talking about Solar conjunction, it happens with all satellite services. Just blame mother nature for the problem.

David from Travis air force base wins the book and the answer was Bergis Merideth.

Polsat is on the 148 slot.

Question does Starband plan on supporting Macs, the answer is not anytime soon. Its not a viable project to invest in.

Note from Chuck who get his DSL service from DirecTV internet, will the service change because of the merger. The Answer is no unless the service is sold off before the merger goes through. Charlie says that this question would be better answered by DirecTV.

Caller has Chinese Programming and wants to know if they will add more Chinese Channels, J-Star is offering 5 of 6 channels Dish only has 3. Charlie wants to see how good the 3 channels go over with customers before adding more.

Jim says just a few moments left. Charlie plugs his visit to Congress tomorrow, and tells us to visit www.echostarmerger.com. Next Chat will be on April 8th at 9pm

Thanks for joining us and that's the chat.

Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Great recap Scott, still amazes me how you and Tony can do that w/o a PVR or VCR. From my POV this chat was nothing more then a 'Say Yes to the merger' propaganda show.

Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If someone could post this over to the other place, I am having cable modem trouble. (COX.NET)


Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It is great that the chats are recapped here and in the DBSForums. This way, more time is saved if you just read the information here and not watch the chats. Okay, that is easier said than done because when I had Dish, I accessed the DBSForums (back then it was DBSDish.com) and still couldn't stand missing the chats. I just kept watching just to see if some new information would come in. I did come away feeling that I did waste an hour of my time, but it was live TV. The best Chat for me was when there was the announcement of the first locals to be added by Dish and the thanks by Charlie for all who wrote in to their Congressmen. The worst was when they did that Chat from the ESPN studios and there was Charlie and Jim and you had these fans circling the set like it was an Indy 500 racetrack. That was the last Chat I watched before going to DirecTV.

Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Very nice Scott, I was sure looking forward to coming home and reading it this morning. :)

Thanks for the recap. :)

Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Last nights Charlie Chat was "weird" it was missing so much. No mention of the 721, the 508 or the new Dish Home portal.

There were only 2 people sitting in the Peanut Gallery instead of the usual crowd, overall it seemed like a big ad for Starz.

Charlie seemed confused by the fact that there was no longer Dish Network News on Channel 101 and wanted to know where it went.

And in the recap I tried to post a warning by writing to your local politicians via the Dish Network website. As a webmaster myself I know that with these forms, a copy of your input can be sent to anyone including Dish Network. My recomendation is if you want to write Congress or the FCC do it through their websites, not the Dish Network site.

Last nights Chat was a hard one to do, my wife was ultra PO'ed at the Dishplayer and called up Dish and told off the CSR who told us the reason for the blinkouts was due to bad cabling at our house. She managed to chew the CSR a new butt and to throw the Dishplayer across the bedroom. I am happy to report the Dishplayer is working fine today, although I am sure the Dish Network CSR is having a hard time sitting today.

Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I also had blinkout problems with my DP yesterday. In the morning, everything looked fine but by the afternoon nothing recorded and all of the timers were gone. As usual, it ended up being a currupt guide. I had to do a switch test 3 times before the guide table finally became stable.
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