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According to a new report, Forrester Research predicts that cable can fight back and win the battle with satellite TV, sooner-or-later.

The report suggests that cable operators should expand their video-on-demand (VOD) content, improve programming interfaces and offer entertainment gateways that deliver entertainment throughout the home.

"Nearly two-thirds of new satellite subscribers had cable last year, and 22 percent report that they had digital cable before shifting to the dish. Digital cable isn't sticking," said Josh Bernoff, principal analyst at Forrester. "But in the next five years, we believe that cable will take three tries at winning back satellite subscribers and ultimately will triumph."

The first step for cable TV is to add broad collections of VOD content to its digital cable product. To fight the threat of satellite's personal video recorders (PVRs), cable must respond with not just movies but also broad subscription VOD collections with programs from Discovery, Lifetime, ESPN and NBC.

The second step toward reversing satellite growth is to focus on improving the on-demand interface, which will become the key to creating customer satisfaction and driving traffic to VOD and information screens. Such interfaces will end satellite growth by 2004, says Forrester.

The final step in winning back satellite customers is to offer an entertainment gateway or a next-generation set-top box with a hard drive and a full-time broadband connection. This entertainment gateway will enable cable operators to offer new, revenue-generating services, including music downloads and games, content sharing and videoconferencing.

From SkyReport (Used with Permission)
 

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Only problem is that cable companies typically work under the telephone company business model. Why should we upgrade? Don't equipment upgrades affect the bottom line? That's why I dropped my cable many moons ago.

DBS forced the cable companies to respond with digital cable. Do you think you would have it if DBS wasn't available?

Cable companies will not innovate unless they have to in response to a threat. This mentallity is a major road block to cable becoming superior to DBS.
 

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And look at digital cable as that response. It is more expensive and not any better PQ than DBS.

DBS's response to VOD is the multiple tuner PVR.
 

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Being someone who closely follows Cable and Satellite, and because I work closely with some of the biggest names in Cable, I can say that in the talks I have had with cable brass they all say the same thing.

They made a mistake by not upgrading to newer technologies, they lost most of their good customers (the ones who subbed to everything) as they could not meat their demands while satellite could (such as Dolby Digital, HDTV, etc)

They dragged their feet in offering Digital Cable and did it on the cheep so that most of the high tech functions were not available even in their Digital product.

Many are now rushing to get their systems done so they can offer some HD by the end of the year.

The only really good roll out cable has had is its Cable modem service, its something that satellite will never really be able to touch.
 

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When cable converts all the channels to digital is when the satellite companies lose out...... The digital cable is good quality but it is only offered on half the channels and not the channels that most watch (like ESPN, Fox Sports, USA, etc.)...... The prices are within 10 dollars of each other..... I do get a cheaper package with directv but the signal has gone off a lot this summer with all the storms..... So you weigh your options, pay 10.00 more and get a signal that doesn't go off when a T-Storm comes up.....
 

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And so I thank you guys still with DBS for waking up my cable company. My digital cable is pretty much the same cost as DBS, through the digital box the analog channels are virtually indistinguishable from the digital, and HD is already available through my digital box. As far as the cable companies only improving in response to the competition provided by DBS, seems like I remember many posts concerned that if there were only one DBS company there would also no longer be any pressure for improvements to take place.

I can understand Rich's concern that digital cable has a picture no better than DBS, because PQ certainly had gone downhill since my Primestar days.

Coming soon on my Cox Digital Cable, DVR and VOD. I hope by the end of the year. Thank you DBS. I don't care why they are doing it, but they are. Plus, the internet connection is great as is my local and long distance phone service.
 

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Interesting research. It's nice to see that the cable companies continue to believe their own bull****. That's the only evidence needed to tell you that satellite will always be the winner.

The only battle in this war that's worth mentioning is Internet access. Cable has won the first round. For satellite to compete, they're going to need to invest some serious R&D money into their own technology or continue to team with telcos and pray that they can increase download speed while decreasing cost.

Currently, I get Comcast Internet as opposed to Qwest only because of the cost to speed ratio. I believe most everyone who has access to both has been forced to make this decision at one point or another.

That being said, the idea that every home in the future is going to be paying $50 plus a month for a 1.5 MBPS pipe is ridiculous. Most people don't need that speed and only the upper crust will pay for it. The marketplace is going to undergo such reconstruction that the researcher’s findings will become void.

The VOD argument is a joke. If you're sticking a hard drive in everything then you can do VOD over satellite nearly as easily as over cable. Have the user select a movie, have the satellite service broadcast a highly compressed copy of the movie to the user, and have the box decompress the movie. It's fast, it's secure, and anyone whose Digital Cable gets pixilated on a high-traffic Sunday afternoon knows it's a higher quality, too.

Anyone that believes a physical connection is that much better than a wireless connection is a damn moron. It’s all about the cost to quality ratio, and satellite is winning.

James Hill
 

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Anybody else notice that until this article, cable companies haven't been so gung-ho on VOD lately. There really hasn't been that many announcements or future VOD plans, packages, and predictions coming from "big cable". Wasn't that supposed to be the big dbs killer? They seem to have ditched the VOD effort and more and more have admitted that PVR/DVR whatever you want to call it will be more than capable of competing with VOD.
 

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Why can't they concentrate on providing the best picture and sound quality for every channel. The reason I switched to dish was the picture and sound quality. The digital box they provided did not even have an S video connection. If they improve the quality, add a dvr people would switch. Since I will have to buy all new hardware for dish for HD, I might try Comcast who will start offering HD next month. Then after D and E get the HD DVR up and running, figure who has the best programming and hardware. E has let other companies back into my purchasing decision's,
 

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jm9 said:
Why can't they concentrate on providing the best picture and sound quality for every channel. The reason I switched to dish was the picture and sound quality. The digital box they provided did not even have an S video connection. If they improve the quality, add a dvr people would switch. Since I will have to buy all new hardware for dish for HD, I might try Comcast who will start offering HD next month. Then after D and E get the HD DVR up and running, figure who has the best programming and hardware. E has let other companies back into my purchasing decision's,
You know, it might help if you would specify who "they" are. There are many cable companies, using a number of different boxes. DirecTV boxes are not all the same, and they aren't the same as Dish boxes, but DBS subs refer to Cable like its all one big monolithic company, with exactly the same service, equipment, and customer service in every area. The quality of picture I receive is just as good as anything I got since Primestar got bought by DirecTV. My customer service is outstanding. They already provide HD. I hope to have my DVR by the end of the year. So if your "they" refers specifically to Comcast in your area, say so. It doesn't apply to my cable company, in my area. In fact, I'm not even sure if you are talking about people switching to cable or Dish.
 

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Deductive reasoning suggests that, when jm9 says "they", he is referring to all DBS and cable companies.

If you're going to flame then at least think about what you're flaming first.

And in case your cheerleader regulation pom-poms are blocking your view, all of the cable companies combined are closer to "one big monolithic company" than competing entities.

How many cable companies did you get to pick from in Middle-of-Nowhere Nebraska?

James Hill
 

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James Hill said:
[...]The only battle in this war that's worth mentioning is Internet access. Cable has won the first round. For satellite to compete, they're going to need to invest some serious R&D money into their own technology or continue to team with telcos and pray that they can increase download speed while decreasing cost.[...]James Hill
We need to remember that trying to superficially compare overall internet experience over satellite versus cable is flawed. Satellite internet access in a "perfect" case has a built-in 1/4 to 1/2 second EXTRA LATENCY that doesn't occur on cable internet systems. Yes, satellite systems have the potential to have higher bandwidth/capacity, but the latency (the time between when you press ENTER until the time the request makes it to the destination) is the killer -- especially if you want any interactivity (be it gaming or telnet/remote control/PCAnywhere, etc). Satellites operate at 22500 miles "up" and the speed of light says it takes 1/8 second to travel from the ground station (your home) to the bird. It takes another 1/8 second to go from the bird to the ground station that routes your request to the internet. That's a mighty long "pipe" (minimum 1/4 second) to fill before your request brings results and then there's another 1/4 second to see the results). Once the "hose" starts delivering, it can deliver VERY fast, but it takes time to fill. Joe Gameplayer will DETEST satellite internet access, no matter HOW fast its capacity is. Latency is the key here.
 

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I guess my main point is why do cable companies feel the need to try and expand thier markets by offering new services when they don't do a good job with distributing TV singnals. I live in the Twin Cities, top 15 market. AT&T then my cable company suggested digital cable as a solution to my horrible picture quality. They gave me a Set top box that did not have a S video connection and no DD sound. The people who would most likely use a VOD system are people with HDTV's With a separate sound system. Cable has driven these people to D and E. I would rather pay an extra $10 - $20 more a month with cable then have to front $1000 with dish for HD. Comcast will be offereing HD in my area next month, I'm not PRO anybody. I will give my $ to the company that can provide the best picture and sound. Up until june I was going to buy a 921, now I will wait and see how comcast and direct step up to the plate. Time Warner will be showing Fox SPorts Net Midwest in HD, I'm hoping that Comcast can also pick this up. From my experience with dish I don't believe this is a channel that they will go after, I could be wrong. Dish has been a value leader in programming and I don't think they can become a true leader in HD. They don't understand why Direct overpaid for season pass football, If i'm a customer of Direct for the football and have spent large $ on equipment then I expect them to overpay and keep it. IF cable(Comcast for me) would just improve the picture, add HD, and offer a DVR then they would have my business. Then they would also get my phone and internet accounts.
 

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James Hill said:
Deductive reasoning suggests that, when jm9 says "they", he is referring to all DBS and cable companies.

If you're going to flame then at least think about what you're flaming first.

And in case your cheerleader regulation pom-poms are blocking your view, all of the cable companies combined are closer to "one big monolithic company" than competing entities.

How many cable companies did you get to pick from in Middle-of-Nowhere Nebraska?

James Hill
James, I hardly think my post to jm9 constitutes much of a "flame". I was asking for clarification and suggesting that he better define the "they". Deductive reasoning suggests that your pom-poms are decidedly devoted to DBS.

I seem to have much more in common with jm9 than you. He is interested in the company that will provide him with what he wants. So am I. I am in favor of healthy DBS companies, and healthy cable companies. I am in favor of competition, because this is what brings all of us upgrades and better services, with a minimum of price increases. I have been served by several cable companies, Primestar and DirecTV. My provider has depended upon location, as when cable was not an option due to living in the middle of an 18 acre lot, and the services available from providers.

Here in the Omaha area of Nebraska I only have access to one cable company. However, here in the middle of nowhere, from posts here I have access to a cable company the rest of you can only dream about. I have no desire to move to "big city" just so I can have crappy service. At least here in Omaha people treat each other nice, including the Cox service reps.

To sum up, my opinion of all the "my company is better than yours" BS is childish. I have no particular loyalty to any provider, I just happen to get good service from the one I have right now. We all benefit from competition. In case anyone else who has only posted here a couple of times thinks I am not only trying to flame someone, but am a troll, take a look at how many posts I have here, and when I registered, and my user #. I'm not just passing by. When I registered here I checked with the admins as to whether they would mind me being here since I did not currently have DBS, but I did know many other people here due to when I did. They welcomed me. I primarily confine myself to the non-dbs section of this site, except when the subject is DBS vs. cable. Then I figure I have a right to jump in.
 

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Jacob S said:
I saw on CNN Headline News about satellite gaining ground against cable and that the advances cable has is just not enough, that it has to do with price, thats what its all about.
If it were that simple, then the smart thing would have been for cable to have done nothing, and kept prices low. And DBS should never have added local stations, extra channels, better sound, and PVRs. They should have just kept prices as low as possible. I think there is a combination of product+price=value that is the key. And competition is what drives that equation is competition.
 

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jeffwtux said:
Anybody else notice that until this article, cable companies haven't been so gung-ho on VOD lately. There really hasn't been that many announcements or future VOD plans, packages, and predictions coming from "big cable". Wasn't that supposed to be the big dbs killer? They seem to have ditched the VOD effort and more and more have admitted that PVR/DVR whatever you want to call it will be more than capable of competing with VOD.
VOD has about all the desirability as VD in my eyes. I can't see the masses turning cartwheels and rushing to return and embrace cable again on account of VOD alone when consumers can get to the exact same destination through an alterior and cheaper means (PVR/DVR). I'm with you on it being massively overhyped. Why pay X a month for VOD to see something you can currently grab for free now on a Dish DVR if you can stand waiting a bit longer?
 

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Bogy said:
James, I hardly think my post to jm9 constitutes much of a "flame". I was asking for clarification and suggesting that he better define the "they".
Thankfully I wasn't asking. Two points for Hill.

Bogy said:
Deductive reasoning suggests that your pom-poms are decidedly devoted to DBS.
Earlier in the thread I noted that I subscribe to cable Internet via Comcast. It's all about cost to quality, you know.

If I were "devoted to DBS" why would I admit this? Another point for Hill.

Bogy said:
Here in the Omaha area of Nebraska I only have access to one cable company. However, here in the middle of nowhere, from posts here I have access to a cable company the rest of you can only dream about. I have no desire to move to "big city" just so I can have crappy service. At least here in Omaha people treat each other nice, including the Cox service reps.
You've got a good cable company. Congradulations. The other 99% are still waiting for something other than a dated "digital" service. A fourth point for Hill.

Bogy said:
To sum up, my opinion of all the "my company is better than yours" BS is childish.
Agreed. So why do you keep doing it? Point for Hill.

Bogy said:
I have no particular loyalty to any provider, I just happen to get good service from the one I have right now.
Service we all can "only dream about". You're drinking the Kool-Aid, and you can't have it both ways. You're either biased towards your provider or hold no loyalty. Pick one. Point.

Bogy said:
In case anyone else who has only posted here a couple of times thinks I am not only trying to flame someone, but am a troll, take a look at how many posts I have here, and when I registered, and my user #.
More bonus points for Hill! He's gone to counting the stars under our names as a determination of... well, anything!

Since you have 5, and I have 1, that means an extra 4 bonus points for Hill.

Bogy said:
I primarily confine myself to the non-dbs section of this site, except when the subject is DBS vs. cable. Then I figure I have a right to jump in.
You have the right to jump in anywhere you want. Moreover, the board could use more of a voice from the cable side of things. You get a point for that.

However, you do not have the right to use half-truths to make a point. Once again, we should all have access to the kind of service you get from your cable company. If I had it, I'd drop DBS in a second... and save $10 a month on my Internet in the process. Point for Hill.

The problem is that I don't, he doesn't, and the vast majority of people don't. Will we? Hopefully, eventually. Though the current state of the cable industry hints that it's going to be some time in coming for the masses. When I call Comcast and ask, "When will HD be available?", I get the "I don't know." form letter response... every time.

Let's tone down the rhetoric. None of these companies are worth it.

Score: Hill 11 Bogy 1

James Hill
 

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James Hill said:
Let's tone down the rhetoric. None of these companies are worth it.
James, if you think this is inflamatory rhetoric, you have a very thin skin. Unless you are referring to the DBS pom-pom wavers. I was in favor of competition to improve everyones service when I had DBS, and I haven't changed my position. My point is that there are good cable companies out there, and they aren't only in Omaha. I gave my history because I have been accused before of being a troll for the cable companies by those who have only been posting here a short time and don't know me.

As far as your points, you seem to be less than impartial. :grin: :D :lol:
 
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