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Sirshagg said:
Heck DirecTv doesn't even give us 9 of these in SD now! Edit: (Tom Robertson) This quoted post and the rest of this thread came from the D11 Discussion. Sirshagg was noting that DIRECTV doesn't give us 9 of the HBO channels in SD.
That's because they don't really have room for any more "core" SD channels in their single KU core broadcast slot at 101W. The future hope for more channels is on the HD side. The number of SD channels probably won't change significantly from this point on, except when they start shutting off the SD versions of the channels.
 

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cartrivision said:
That's because they don't really have room for any more "core" SD channels in their single KU core broadcast slot at 101W. The future hope for more channels is on the HD side. The number of SD channels probably won't change significantly from this point on, except when they start shutting off the SD versions of the channels.
Moving all the mpeg2 HD to mpeg4 should free up enough space to add the SD versions.
 

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I think the space freed up by the MPEG2 conversion is going to be used to reduce or elminiate the need for side dishes. I believe the international channels are destined for that real estate.
 

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The HD MPEG2 to MPEG4 seems to be aimed exactly as DarinC predicts.

But don't expect an SD MPEG2 to MPEG4 conversion soon. That will take years. :)

Cheers,
Tom
 

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Tom Robertson said:
The HD MPEG2 to MPEG4 seems to be aimed exactly as DarinC predicts.

But don't expect an SD MPEG2 to MPEG4 conversion soon. That will take years. :)

Cheers,
Tom
The cost of replacing all those millions of MPEG2 SD receivers, with MPG4 ones, would be tremendous.
 

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Tom Robertson said:
But don't expect an SD MPEG2 to MPEG4 conversion soon.
I'm sorry, yes, I was speaking specifically about the conversion of the HD MPEG2 channels, not the SD ones. The latter would free up a lot more space than just enough to move the international channels. But as noted, that's not very practical right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Tom Robertson said:
The HD MPEG2 to MPEG4 seems to be aimed exactly as DarinC predicts.

But don't expect an SD MPEG2 to MPEG4 conversion soon. That will take years. :)

Cheers,
Tom
Yes, but delivering additional SD channels by enabling the subscriber to watch a down-resed version of a channel that is downlinked only in HD could begin tomorrow.

As for the SD MPEG2 to MPEG4 conversion/shutdown, that will probably be phased in slowly starting long before the final cutoff of the last SD MPEG2 channel happens, similar to the way that the HD MPEG2 to MPEG4 conversion is being handled.
 

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<Moderator note> I've moved these posts from the D11 discussion. Normally I would have left them and this topic die within the thread, but Cartrivision brought up a different point that I didn't want to continue in the D11 thread.

We'll see where it leads. :)

Cheers,
Tom
 

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cartrivision said:
Yes, but delivering additional SD channels by enabling the subscriber to watch a down-resed version of a channel that is downlinked only in HD could begin tomorrow.

As for the SD MPEG2 to MPEG4 conversion/shutdown, that will probably be phased in slowly starting long before the final cutoff of the last SD MPEG2 channel happens, similar to the way that the HD MPEG2 to MPEG4 conversion is being handled.
Ok, you have me curious. How could someone downlink an HD only version today and watch it in SD only? Wouldn't they have to have an HD MPEG4 (as all MPEG2 HD will go away, anon) receiver? And if they were to have an MPEG4 receiver capable of HD, wouldn't they watch the HD version?

And wouldn't we still be talking about replacing 38Million of the 40 million receivers (give or take a million or two) to accomplish such?

Or am I missing something?

Now, I can concur that there are transcoders that will take in a single HD feed and produce both an HD and SD output--but both those outputs would then be uplinked and subsequently downlinked. The savings is in the backhauling capacity and equipment needs; not in the downlink capacity.

Cheers,
Tom
 

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Tom Robertson said:
Ok, you have me curious. Or am I missing something?
Not that I see...
Now, I can concur that there are transcoders that will take in a single HD feed and produce both an HD and SD output--but both those outputs would then be uplinked and subsequently downlinked.
But then when it gets right down to it..who wants to watch SD anymore anyway... :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Tom Robertson said:
Ok, you have me curious. How could someone downlink an HD only version today and watch it in SD only? Wouldn't they have to have an HD MPEG4 (as all MPEG2 HD will go away, anon) receiver?
Simple... with a receiver like the MPEG4 capable R22s that are currently being deployed to non-HD (SD) subscribers. If DirecTV chose to do so, they could add Starz Kids and Starz Comedy for SD subscribers with R22 DVRs without adding a MPEG2 SD feed for those two channels (which currently only have a MPEG4 HD feed).

And if they were to have an MPEG4 receiver capable of HD, wouldn't they watch the HD version?
Not if they are an SD only subscriber who doesn't even own an HD TV and has no interest and/or budget to buy one and pay the extra monthly HD access fees.

And wouldn't we still be talking about replacing 38Million of the 40 million receivers (give or take a million or two) to accomplish such?
Not exactly. That task only has to be completed before the last of the MPEG2 SD transmissions are turned off. Everyone doesn't have to be MPEG4 capable for DirecTV to make down-resed versions of channels that they only broadcast in HD available to SD customers with the right equipment. Maybe they will use the extra channels as an incentive for MPEG2 SD equipped subscribers to upgrade their hardware voluntarily (while locking them into another commitment :)), or as an incentive to upgrade from SD service to SD+DVR service.

There will still be SD-only DirecTV subscribers even after the last MPEG2 SD mirror feed is shut down (who will still have as many "SD" channels as they have today), but that's not going to stop DirecTV from slowly but steadily continuing the already started transition towards an all MPEG4 infrastructure without any MPEG2 mirrors.

As I said before, it will be a similar model as they are using now for the transition from MPEG2 HD to MPEG4 HD&#8230; upgrade incentives&#8230;. more channels for the same subscription price with MPEG4 equipment&#8230;. and the eventual shutdown of the MPEG2 mirrors. Obviously, it will have to be a lot longer process for the SD transition given the number of MPEG2-only SD receivers.
 

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So you're statement that "...delivering additional SD channels by enabling the subscriber to watch a down-resed version of a channel that is downlinked only in HD could begin tomorrow." was slightly misleading. Yes they could...but frustrate many SD only customers until enough MPEG4 capable receivers could be delivered.

I took your meaning that technology was in the hands of many SD customers "today", but as we've discussed, that ain't so. :)

Cheers,
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Tom Robertson said:
So you're statement that "...delivering additional SD channels by enabling the subscriber to watch a down-resed version of a channel that is downlinked only in HD could begin tomorrow." was slightly misleading. Yes they could...but frustrate many SD only customers until enough MPEG4 capable receivers could be delivered.

I took your meaning that technology was in the hands of many SD customers "today", but as we've discussed, that ain't so. :)

Cheers,
Tom
It wasn't at all misleading, DirecTV is currently deploying hardware that would allow that to be done tomorrow.

As I said in the post, they can (and I think they will) follow the same model that they are using for the HD MPEG2 to MPEG4 transition. You manage the transition to minimize the frustration of those not yet converted. First a few channels that not everyone even has a subscription for... escalating over time to a boatload of extras that are available only with upgraded receivers. If they could do it with customers who paid almost one thousand dollars to purchase a HD receiver several years ago, they could certainly manage it with customers who probably paid nothing for their receiver and who in the early stages of the transition, might have to pay less than $100 to upgrade to new equipment to get the extra channels, or might just have to add DVR service to their account to get a free upgrade.

You never can put all the necessary hardware in everyone's hands overnight. It's always a slow drawn out process, but that process has already started, and there is no reason that some "extra" channels couldn't start to be rolled out tomorrow. It's not all that different from what they are already doing with SD MPEG4 LILs in certain markets. DirecTV doesn't seem to be worried about frustrating customers in certain DMAs by requiring them to upgrade to MPEG4 equipment to get locals that people next door can't get without upgraded equipment. I'm sure that many people in those markets just gladly agree to add the monthly charge for locals in exchange for free hardware upgrades, so I'd imagine that initially there would be some people willing to pay a one time upgrade fee to get other extra SD channels, or agree to add a monthly DVR service charge to their account in exchange for a free hardware upgrade to get a few extra SD channels.

As I said, DirecTV could start doing it at any time (including tomorrow), starting with small incentives, and as willingness to pay for upgrades declines, they can either increase the incentives to upgrade (more channels), or decrease the cost to upgrade, or a combination of both. No mass customer "frustration" would be involved&#8230;. only a beautifully managed balance between supply and demand. God bless capitalism, and God bless America! :flag: :flag: :flag:
 

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As it always comes up in the 'MPEG2HD cutoff" discussion. Unless you want to give allmost all international customers a new dish those channels can only go to 101. Remember the worldirect dish is 101 and 95. So who is going to pay to upgrade them to a new dish?
 

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Mertzen said:
As it always comes up in the 'MPEG2HD cutoff" discussion. Unless you want to give allmost all international customers a new dish those channels can only go to 101. Remember the worldirect dish is 101 and 95. So who is going to pay to upgrade them to a new dish?
International channels definitely aren't going to 101. There isn't any space for them now and there isn't any hd moving off them. The international channels are expected to move to 110/119 and the point is to move all the international customer to a standard dish rather than the worldirect dish and no longer have the potential for multidish installs where international and hd channels are needed or their locals are coming off 119.
 
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