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Actually the only difference between 129 and the other sats is the LNBF. The modifications to the 301s, 501s and 6000s were to add the designation and the possibility of receiving 4 sats.

The reason stated for using Telstar 7 is there is no more capacity at 61.5. This reason is plausible since they have been using 1 more Tp there than it is supposed to be capable of powering. Remember EchoStar 3 did not reach its full potential, due to some power supply problems.

As to the reason they chose Philadelphia, it could be any of many.
 

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The space for Grand Rapids at 61.5 was 3 channels and was reserved at the same time as the other locals were reserved on 61.5. Space is still reserved for one Grand Rapids local at 61.5.

Some other cities at 61.5 required more than originally planned. The Chinese channels were not added to Tps reserved for locals.

In the original layout they found it necessary to put a few locals with some HD Channels.

They want to launch more local cities, also.

Philadelphia has 11 channels reserved at 129 of which at least 7 are being used.
 

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Wait until you find out there is no spotbeam for Philadelphia. And Philadelphia is certainly not alone in the split up locals area. Practically every top market is in the same boat, so to speak.
The 4sat solution solves the 61.5, 110, 119 and 129 problem, still with only 2 dishes.
People in the west have to have 3 dishes to get locals and Sky Angel.
 
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