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I used to be a Comcast Digital subscriber (thanks to you guys I jumped off that fence) and the only time I could notice that the signal was digital (I mean that in a good and a bad PQ way) was when it would go into these "burping" fits, where the image would tear annoyingly throughout a program for whatever reason. With DBS (specifically DirecTV) the PQ is great but at times, fades, dark areas, etc... you can notice compression artifacts. The PQ on DirecTV is in my opinion still superior... Anyway, to my question...

As more channels need to be added, how is DirecTV (of course Dish as well) going to address this? Is the pending merger what they're hoping to alleviate the bandwidth with more sats, or do they have side contingentcies?

Right now mini-sats are a great value, and best of class... but cable companies are catching up fast. Comcast just introduced their "On-Demand" which has VCR like features, and of course they have their surperior broadband service (low end DSL is too slow for too much $$$) throw in those features with package discounts and sats will start having problems...

If the PQ issue isn't an issue anymore, or now works in the favor of cable, what does sat companies have up their sleeve to stay ahead? Any thoughts on all of this?
 

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Hall Of Fame
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(and if they merge, they better not waste their bandwidth on carrying every local like they say they might).
If they merge, they will have enough satellites and transponders on those satellites to do all locals without a problem.

When comparing cable to satellite (in general), don't forget about the efficiencies gained... no cable to be cut by Billy Backhoe, STB's that are far superior to cable, and mobility, just to name a few.
 

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With the merger there will be a lot of bandwidth freed up. If the merger doesn't go through, both Dish and Direct are each launching another spotbeam satellite. I really wouldn't expect to see all locals put up without the merger.

Also there has been talk about a new compression system that would allow more channels that look better. I'm not that technical but somebody who is might have more info about how likely that is. Scott, maybe? :)

Edit: I made it sound like the new spotbeams won't be launched with the merger. I think both companies will, they are both scheduled to launch this year, I believe. :eek:
 

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Not planned, but there are new systems to cram more on the transponders aren't there. IIRC it was QPSK or some other alphabet soup thing, wasn't it?
 

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There are more efficiant compression out there now, the problem is to change would mean they need to change out all the receivers, I have heard that such an update requires new onboard chips and is not something that can be done via satellite.
 
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