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· Godfather
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know when the phase out of the MPEG-2 HD stations will be? I am being bombarded again about swapping out my last 2 HD receivers. This time everything is to be free. I swapped out my last DVR HD receiver last week and it was a very screwed up scheduling nightmare. I had to pay the installation fee for it. It took them 3 times to just get to the right state.

I have to have OTA-HD capabilties on these last two thus the reason I am holding off. I understand the H21 will not work with the AM21 yet. But a H20 will work, but no-one has them anymore (at least D*).

I am even thinking of buying two H20 units just to not have the hassle.
 

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reubenray said:
Does anyone know when the phase out of the MPEG-2 HD stations will be? I am being bombarded again about swapping out my last 2 HD receivers. This time everything is to be free. I swapped out my last DVR HD receiver last week and it was a very screwed up scheduling nightmare. I had to pay the installation fee for it. It took them 3 times to just get to the right state.

I have to have OTA-HD capabilties on these last two thus the reason I am holding off. I understand the H21 will not work with the AM21 yet. But a H20 will work, but no-one has them anymore (at least D*).

I am even thinking of buying two H20 units just to not have the hassle.
I'm guessing they will be gone by the end of the year.. All HD channels are now broadcast in MPEG-4, plus the couple in MPEG-2... I'm guessing end of November, but that just me... Will they give you HD DVR's for the last 2 rooms? then AM21? Then everything would work immediately... :D If not HR22's are only 169.99, so if your going to spend money to buy something.....
 

· Broadcast Engineer
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reubenray said:
Does anyone know when the phase out of the MPEG-2 HD stations will be?...
I don't think DTV even really knows, and that they are playing it by ear. There are two main driving factors:

1) the number of MPEG-2-only boxes still in the field

2) the desire to add more HD content (obviously dropping MPEG-2 channels frees bandwidth to add more MPEG-4 and/or HD channels)

#1 gets continually smaller, while #2 gets continually stronger, but the fact that DTV added 30 channels and only a paltry few were core HD channels that would attract subs makes me think that channel slot availability is there and not at a premium, and is outpacing the actual channels that potentially could be put there. IOW, there just aren't that many HD channels left to sign agreements with, and the logjam is in networks launching the channels themselves rather than DTV finding a slot on the sat for them.

Time is on their side, for the most part. They can gently persuade us to convert our STBs by turning channels off 1 by 1 if they like. On the other hand, if one of the current Ku sats falls out of the sky (and one of them is already past its predicted end-of-life) things could change in a hurry. I also imagine it's costly to keep both systems running at once, and that they would like to get off some of the older sats just to save a buck.

So there is a definite shelf life for the HR10, it's just hard to predict really how long that actually might be with any sort of accuracy.
 

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TomCat said:
I don't think DTV even really knows, and that they are playing it by ear. There are two main driving factors:

1) the number of MPEG-2-only boxes still in the field

2) the desire to add more HD content (obviously dropping MPEG-2 channels frees bandwidth to add more MPEG-4 and/or HD channels)
All indications are that you are a little off on #2. They are interested in getting the bandwidth from the mpeg2hd channels to use for other things but not for HD. All indications are that the international packages and other non core packages will end up on 110/119. They wouldn't be pushing the SL3 for markets that don't have locals on 119 if they planned to throw more general HD content up on 110/119.

For several reasons DirecTVs goal at this point is to get setup so that the majority of their customers can receive all their content with nothing but a SL3 receiving signals from 99/101/103. It makes cheaper installs. Has less LOS issues.
 

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reubenray said:
I have to have OTA-HD capabilties on these last two thus the reason I am holding off. I understand the H21 will not work with the AM21 yet. But a H20 will work, but no-one has them anymore (at least D*).

I am even thinking of buying two H20 units just to not have the hassle.
The AM21 does work with the HR21. If you happen to get HR21's and not HR20's (they are still sending out some refurb'ed units), call back up to DirecTV and explain the situation. They might send you out the AM21 units for free or even just for the cost of shipping.

- Merg
 

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The Merg said:
The AM21 does work with the HR21. If you happen to get HR21's and not HR20's (they are still sending out some refurb'ed units), call back up to DirecTV and explain the situation. They might send you out the AM21 units for free or even just for the cost of shipping.

- Merg
He was talking about the H series of receivers not the HR series of dvrs. The receivers don't yet support the am21 but it does look like they are working on it.
 

· Broadcast Engineer
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evan_s said:
All indications are that you are a little off on #2. They are interested in getting the bandwidth from the mpeg2hd channels to use for other things but not for HD. All indications are that the international packages and other non core packages will end up on 110/119...
Split that hair if you must. You only assumed I meant that freeing up room on 110/119 meant they would be putting HD back on 110/119, which I never even implied. Freeing up space anywhere means you have more aggregate space for whatever you want to do with it, so freeing up space of any kind means more space somewhere for HD as well, whether it goes there or somewhere else. I really thought that was kind of obvious.

IOW, if they move the niche channels to 110/119, then wherever they moved them from becomes space that can be used for anything else, including new HD, which I still maintain is one of their chief goals. I don't think it's a secret that they will be adding more HD content, and I don't think it matters where the space comes from.

The bottom line is that I still stand by my original statement: dropping MPEG-2 channels frees bandwidth to add more MPEG-4 and/or HD channels. And having the motivation to add more HD is also motivation to drop those MPEG-2 channels, regardless what they do with that actual space. If I clean out a closet the nature of what I throw away doesn't imply what I can or can't later put back in that closet, which also should be kind of obvious.
 

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TomCat said:
The bottom line is that I still stand by my original statement: dropping MPEG-2 channels frees bandwidth to add more MPEG-4 and/or HD channels. And having the motivation to add more HD is also motivation to drop those MPEG-2 channels, regardless what they do with that actual space. If I clean out a closet the nature of what I throw away doesn't imply what I can or can't later put back in that closet, which also should be kind of obvious.
It is more complicated than just saying they are dropping redundant channels so they can add more HD.

1) international content currently comes from a rented SAT and location and requires a special dish to pick it up. Assuming that international content gets mirrored to 110/119 they will not be putting anything back on that rented sat as they don't want to continue that lease and don't want to keep using the international dish. Net effect of moving the international channels will be a loss of over all bandwidth but no longer needed a special dish and potentially multidish installs. It wouldn't surprise me too much if the international content on 110/119 was in mpeg 4 format.

2) all Core SD programing and HD programing is being handled on 99/101/103 to allow the use of the Slimline 3 for a cheaper ODU and much less LOS issue. This will simplify installs and allow them to lower the cost of acquisition. It also means channels shifting around outside of this core area don't effect the core. They are already starting to roll out the SL3 so this isn't something they can change their mind on with out a major expense of replacing all the SL3 dishes that get installed.

They will gain things when they shut off the MPEG2HD channels but because all bandwidth is not equal the shutting off of the mpeg2 hd channels will not have a direct or even indirect effect on the amount of HD programing they offer. It is part of their over all plan to simplify installs and reduce customer acquisition costs.
 
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