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There was a short article in yesterday's SkyReport entitled "DirectTV 'winning' the HD war".

http://www.skyreport.com/view.cfm?ReleaseID=46#Story1

One reader took exception to the article and wrote an insightful response:
SkyREPORT: Letters to the Editor

Re: DirecTV Winning the HD War

I didn't think there was a war to begin with.

Considering the majority of people get their local HD programming via an off-air
antenna, I can't see how DirectTV is winning the war. Maybe in number of local
markets but not in national programming. As far as local markets, who really cares?

Personally, I think it is a waste of bandwidth and duplication of programming for
satellite carriers to offer all the local channels they are offering. Leave it up to the
federal gov't to make the right decisions.

DirecTV can't even provide true HD programming at the present time. Besides,
the HD picture quality from a local off-air antenna is much better than the down-
rezzed and bit-starved programming they currently offer. I think quality is a far
better indicator as to who is winning the so-called war. DirecTV has a ways to go.

-- Rich Cardone
 

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Godfather
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The reader that wrote that is a moron. First, nevermind the 50 percent or so of people that CAN'T receive digital OTA signals because of location or geography... Most people don't want to have gigantic antennae high atop their houses, or go through the hassle of pointing them.

Second. For the vast majority of the population, having network TV in HD during the fall/winter TV season is far more important than having HGTV or National Geographic Channel in HD. (the only two channels that DISH has that DirecTV doesn't that are worth anything)

Thus it makes sense to roll out locals in HD during the fall/winter and then get the new sats up in the spring and start pumping out national HD channels.

Next year at this time everybody will be talking about how brilliant DirecTVs stratgey was.
 

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I think D* is headed in the right direction. I recieve my locals with a OTA antenna, so the local network market really doesn't apply to me. I would like to upgrade to the HR20-700 and AT-9 dish, but until the OTA tuners in the HR20 are activated, it makes no sense for me to waste the time or expense at this point. Once everything goes MPEG4, there will be be no choice. I hope they have all the bugs worked out by then.
 

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Jon D said:
Most people don't want to have gigantic antennae high atop their houses, or go through the hassle of pointing them.
Which is exactly why they choose cable rather than either D* or E*.

Jon D said:
Second. For the vast majority of the population, having network TV in HD...
For the vast majority of the population, HD isn't even in the picture:rolleyes: . The vast majority is perfectly happy with SD

Carl
 

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Jon D said:
Next year at this time everybody will be talking about how brilliant DirecTVs stratgey was.
Everyone except the (Dish/cable) people that have had many HD channels available for years while DirecTV users have to suffer with less than 10.
 

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Ah, you don't understand, grasshoppers, do you? E* may be winning the HD battle right now, but D* is positioning itself to win the "war." A company should not limit itself to a knee-jerk response to an opportunistic competitor, which is what most of the D* naysayers seem to want it to do, and still prepare itself for the next 10-15 years (based on satellite longevity). I think the article hits the nail on the head... when you look at the big picture, instead of whining about not having channel "X" "RIGHT NOW!!!!" D* is positioning itself to be the dominant HD provider for the next decade.
 

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The quality of content on D* from what I understand is far better than the older VOOM channels that E* broadcasts. Quantity is definitely not better than quality. Having Sunday Ticket in HD, Our local channels (no FOX in my area, thanks for nothing Tribune!), and a stable HD DVR are higher priorities.

I just hope that D* gets moving on widening the ability to broadcast the HD RSN's beyond the immediate city that the channel serves. D* broadcasts FSN BayArea in HD but only to people in San Francisco. Even though all of Northern California gets the SD channel. I missed watching the Sharks and Wings play in HD last night.

That is more of a priority than watching "Design on a Dime" or "Mission Organization" in High Definition. (My wife's shows! She could care a less about watching them in HD)

Make sure we can see Jack Bauer come February when 24 starts back up. Either with satellite access to our networks or enable the OTA on the HR20.
 

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Newshawk said:
Ah, you don't understand, grasshoppers, do you? E* may be winning the HD battle right now, but D* is positioning itself to win the "war." A company should not limit itself to a knee-jerk response to an opportunistic competitor, which is what most of the D* naysayers seem to want it to do, and still prepare itself for the next 10-15 years (based on satellite longevity). I think the article hits the nail on the head... when you look at the big picture, instead of whining about not having channel "X" "RIGHT NOW!!!!" D* is positioning itself to be the dominant HD provider for the next decade.
Well said! :hurah:

I can tell you (from experience) that Dish Network is rather arrogant about their HD channels right now and their placement as the "HD Leader". I know several long term Dish Network customers that were not eligible for their "new customer" HD promotion. From my own personal experience, when I shared with them that DTV made an excellent offer to switch they responded (on MULTIPLE calls, MULTIPLE CSR's) that they had the most and best HD content and that they could only offer me the existing customer promotion which (in my opinion) was garbage! I told them I was leaving, they told me it was the best they could do.

I then signed up with DTV... When I called to "officially" disconnect the "account specialist" I was transferred to reviewed my account and apologized and then offered me the world. I've had received 3 calls since my disconnect with Dish and they've offered me equipment for free and some excellent promotional pricing. Being aware of DTV's plans to launch new sats and being a man of principle, I see MUCH more potential in DTV's future than Dish Network.
 

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packfan909 said:
The quality of content on D* from what I understand is far better than the older VOOM channels that E* broadcasts.
E* carries everything that D* carries, but they do it in 1920x1080. The Voom channels are sent at a rate equivalent to D*'s premium HD channels.
Quantity is definitely not better than quality.
Choice is always good. If D* were actually offering better quality programming or better PQ, your argument wouldn't be twisting in the wind.
Having Sunday Ticket in HD, Our local channels (no FOX in my area, thanks for nothing Tribune!), and a stable HD DVR are higher priorities.
Unfortunately for many, their HD game would come to them via a local channel which may not be offered or cannot be tuned OTA because of the HR20's state of development.
I just hope that D* gets moving on widening the ability to broadcast the HD RSN's beyond the immediate city that the channel serves. D* broadcasts FSN BayArea in HD but only to people in San Francisco. Even though all of Northern California gets the SD channel. I missed watching the Sharks and Wings play in HD last night.
This is problematic with their installation of HD RSNs on Ka satellites. By its very nature, Ka doesn't lend itself to CONUS converage.
 

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harsh said:
This is problematic with their installation of HD RSNs on Ka satellites. By its very nature, Ka doesn't lend itself to CONUS converage.
That is VERY interesting. So if I understand you correctly, the HD version (on Ka) of this particular RSN (Fox Sports Bay Area HD) is physically pointed at the SF Bay Area Region for the most part? Me and packfan909 are only about 40 miles (as the crow flys) from the Bay Area. Is it that narrow of a band? I apologize for my ignorance; I'm a Radio Enginerd, not a Satellite Enginerd.
 

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As far as the RSN broadcasts in HD, I can tell you that D* is working on the problem. Not particularly by choice, but they are exploring the possibilities. We have a thread going here on FSN Bay Area, but the gist of it is that D* told FSN that they would broadcast to a list of zip codes - some of which are outside the SF DMA (mine happens to be one of them). Either the person negotiating for D* didn't know how the RSNs were going to be broadcast, or that decision hadn't been made yet, but at this point, the D* system is all set up to activate RSN in HD as a part of your Locals in HD.

I've sent countless emails and calls, as has FSN, pushing them to fix it, and I've spoken a few times with a Senior VP in the corporate offices, who is working on it.

It may be that they can't figure out a way to expand just yet, but it is a problem that they're working on.
 

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harsh said:
E* carries everything that D* carries, but they do it in 1920x1080. The Voom channels are sent at a rate equivalent to D*'s premium HD channels.Choice is always good. If D* were actually offering better quality programming or better PQ, your argument wouldn't be twisting in the wind.Unfortunately for many, their HD game would come to them via a local channel which may not be offered or cannot be tuned OTA because of the HR20's state of development.This is problematic with their installation of HD RSNs on Ka satellites. By its very nature, Ka doesn't lend itself to CONUS converage.
Sunday Ticket provides ALL of the HD contests from 1pm and 4pm Eastern Time. They have not blacked out the local game as they do on the SD versions of the broadcast. My guess is due to the lack of penetration of HD locals via Satellite and the lack of OTA.

With regards to the VOOM channels, I was speaking of the quality of the content vs. the quality of the picture or sound. From what I understand, there isn't much to the content of all of those channels. That is more preference and taste than anything else. My opinion and nothing else.

Finally, is it not right for someone that is entitiled to get the SD version of an RSN get their HD version of the same channel? I am not saying that when one purchases the Sports Pack they get ALL of the RSN's. I am just saying that if I normally get the Bay Area FSN broadcast based on my DMA, I should get the HD channel. There is nothing CONUS about providing the content to Northern California. In fact, people IN the bay area are not getting this RSN. There is a member in Watsonville which is about 70 miles south of SF and he is not getting any of that content. We are about 100 miles east of the center of SF. Are we not on the same spot beam? The member in Watsonville certainly is.
 

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Sharkie_Fan said:
As far as the RSN broadcasts in HD, I can tell you that D* is working on the problem. Not particularly by choice, but they are exploring the possibilities. We have a thread going here on FSN Bay Area, but the gist of it is that D* told FSN that they would broadcast to a list of zip codes - some of which are outside the SF DMA (mine happens to be one of them). Either the person negotiating for D* didn't know how the RSNs were going to be broadcast, or that decision hadn't been made yet, but at this point, the D* system is all set up to activate RSN in HD as a part of your Locals in HD.

I've sent countless emails and calls, as has FSN, pushing them to fix it, and I've spoken a few times with a Senior VP in the corporate offices, who is working on it.

It may be that they can't figure out a way to expand just yet, but it is a problem that they're working on.
Thanks for all of your work. I have sent a few letters to FSN and D* myself. You are making more progress than I am.

I would of loved to see that rout last night in HD. I was at last years game when we scored the 5 PP goals. It was a lot of fun.
 

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I actually haven't done nearly as much as the CSR who happened to get my issue at FSN has done. After being told by D* that the problem was FSNs, I contacted them, and the FSN rep pretty much took the ball and ran with it. He's really pushing hard for some sort of resolution - obviously, it reflects poorly on FSN if the D* website says to go to FSN for more info on HD broadcasts, and the FSN website says a certain zip code should receive the programming, but D* cannot deliver. It may be that FSN has to change their website because D* cannot figure out a way to turn on the HD outside of locals, but at least it's something they're working on.
 

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harsh said:
This is problematic with their installation of HD RSNs on Ka satellites. By its very nature, Ka doesn't lend itself to CONUS converage.
If you are gonna make some kinda arguement, you should check your data first. That is simply NOT TRUE.

I believe that the RSN issue simply has to do with including each particular channel on the correct spot beam since there is currently not the bandwidth to broadcast them all nationally right now like they do with the SD RSNs. It has nothing to do with whether they use Ka or Ku radio signals.
 

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Jon D - I've heard the same thing - the transmission of HD RSNs is limited by the amount of bandwidth. I believe I heard somewhere that they have the capacity to broadcast 9 RSNs in HD on a given night, and have activated 13, or something to that effect. Basically playing the odds that all 13 won't have an HD broadcast on the same night. If by some odd chance they did, somebody is going to be out of luck.

As to Harsh's comment about the CONUS coverage.... That is not DirecTVs biggest problem right now. The problem they're facing is two fold. The first being bandwidth, as Jon D alluded to. The second is a decision that RSNs would be tied into HD locals. So for a zip code like mine 950xx, the San Francisco spot beam covers my house, but D* doesn't have a switch in their system whereby they can turn on the RSN and not the SF Locals which are trasmitted on the same spot beam.

I personally think it's a mistake on D*s part to transmit the RSNs like this. If the spot beams are in fact covering a larger area than just the supported DMA, then they could be delivering RSNs in HD to a much larger customer base than they currently are, which would stimulate sales for people like myself who just want sports in HD. I could care less about the other stuff, really. :rolleyes:
 

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Well, if and when D* delivers on the promise of better content, picture quality, and abundance, I'll sign on... Until then I can enjoy all of these things with DISH and get more bang for my buck.
 
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