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>>> "EchoStar-DirecTV Merger Might Trim Set-Top Box Choice" <<<

 
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alexcue is offline Old Post 11-09-2001 05:31 AM
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alexcue
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Post "EchoStar-DirecTV Merger Might Trim Set-Top Box Choice"

LA Times article on merger.
http://www.latimes.com/technology/l...es%2Dtechnology

An interesting line...
"Prospects for UltimateTV withon the merged company appear especially bleak. Not only did EchoStar have an unhappy experience with Microsoft on the initial DishPlayer, but Microsoft threw its financial support behind News Corp. in its bid against EchoStar for DirecTV."

Doesn't guarantee anything for DTivo's, but I'd rather be in Tivo's shoes at the moment.



------------------
Most toys wins!!!
30hr Philips SA Tivo
14hr Philips SA Tivo
35 hr Philips DTivo
96 hr Philips DTivo
126hr Philips DTivo

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Corey140 is offline Old Post 11-09-2001 05:38 AM
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Corey140
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I just hope this deal doesn't go through, it is bad for the consumer.........

------------------
Directv Subscriber (oval dish+ sat c kit)
RCA UTV, Hughes 2 E25 and 1 Hughes E11
Comcast Subscriber:
cable modem and basic cable

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rogo is offline Old Post 11-09-2001 05:22 PM
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rogo
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I think the deal is very, very good for the consumer for countless reasons. I also think the combined company is going to be forced to offer an open hardware design. Tivo is well equipped to have a relationship with the new company. Microsoft might be less well equipped. If, however, they sell hundreds of thousands of Ultimate TVs in the next year, they'll be in the mix.

Regardless, I think the open set-top rule will mean that Tivo can build a DTV box with the help of Sony or Philips. With the new Directv APG being used, there is little to prevent this from occurring.

Mark

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tomr is offline Old Post 11-09-2001 10:28 PM
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tomr
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quote:
Originally posted by Corey140:
I just hope this deal doesn't go through, it is bad for the consumer.........




Lets see, bad for the consumer,

1) More satellites
2) No Duplication of channels


What could become of this:
1) More channels
2) Less compression
3) HDTV
4) Higher Price (for more channels, HDTV, etc.)
5) Less Overhead


Give me more channels, Less compression, HDTV, and I will gladly pay more for my service.

If none of the above, different story.



------------------
--Tomr

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Quantu5 is offline Old Post 11-09-2001 10:43 PM
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Quantu5
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I am sorry but removing the second satellite competitor is a bad thing? Look at the people in rural areas that can't get cable or digital cable? The satellite companies aren't exactly making money at this point. And you're telling me that the satellite companies are making money, will offer more channels, etc (and HDTV is gonna cost them tons of money in sat launches, compression, programs)? Nope! They will try and make the company profitable. What that means, less (or the same channels) and an increase in monthly costs. Then there are the satellite boxes that people bought themselves. I hope this deal fails.

-Q

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brott is offline Old Post 11-09-2001 11:41 PM
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brott
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quote:
Originally posted by Quantu5:
... and HDTV is gonna cost them tons of money in sat launches, compression, programs ...


Tom's point is that the merger will add capacity by reducing channel duplication. Thus, there will not be a need to launch additional satellites. This actually lowers the barrier to offering HDTV.



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-brott

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Dmon4u is offline Old Post 11-09-2001 11:50 PM
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Dmon4u
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alexcue
"might" (in your topic)

I believe we are down to just one manufacturer (Hughes) of all new (upcoming) receivers. The new Sony and Hughes regular models are the same product behind the panel.

** Some say RCA will still built their own. I think that may be because they have already invested in new production lines.

Companies, slapping their name on the front panel of these new models is not choice. Where is the innovation and differentiation anymore. The remotes are not what I'm talking about.

We are all on the road to E* type model choices !

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mishagray is offline Old Post 11-10-2001 12:02 AM
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mishagray
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quote:
Originally posted by Quantu5:
I am sorry but removing the second satellite competitor is a bad thing? Look at the people in rural areas that can't get cable or digital cable? The satellite companies aren't exactly making money at this point. And you're telling me that the satellite companies are making money, will offer more channels, etc (and HDTV is gonna cost them tons of money in sat launches, compression, programs)? Nope! They will try and make the company profitable. What that means, less (or the same channels) and an increase in monthly costs. Then there are the satellite boxes that people bought themselves. I hope this deal fails.

-Q



I don't really buy this argument. Both DISH and DirecTV don't have two markets: Rural and urban. They have a national market. They don't charge rural customers any more than urban customers. True, rural customers are more likely to purchase local channels, but plenty of urban customers buy them also.

DirecTV and Dish's largest growth has been in urban markets lately. Since the addition of local channels, there has now been true competition between cable and DirecTV. I was one of those converts that switched once I got my local channels.

Currently, neither DirecTV nor Dish charges different rates for different parts of the country. One these reasons is that "enforcement" of such rates can get difficult. It is much easier from sales, marketing, billing, support etc to have a single national set of rates for all customers. Of course these rates have to be competitive with cable rates.

I am positive that Echostar will need to make this current status quo a promise to the FCC in order to get merger approval. And I think that given a promise to either set national rates, or even if they have regional rates, the "regions" need to be compromised of both rural and urban customers, in order to make sure that the rural customers rates are competitive with their closest cable providers rates.


There are significant benefits to merging the networks of DirecTV and Dish. Most of the channels that DirecTV carries, Dish carries. The new must-carry rules will actually benefit the satellite companies, since it may erase much of the competitive advantage cable companies still have for many markets. However the must-carry rules also have placed tremendous stress on both DirecTV and Dishes satellite networks. A merger of the two companies could have a tremendous benefit in the longer run.

I will make one prediction: If the merger fails, DirecTV and Dish may still decide to create a new DBS technology standard that would allow interchangeable receivers. The FTC and the FCC would probably allow such a thing, since it would probably INCREASE competition in the satellite business. Customers could switch providers without buying anything new.

DirecTV and Dish could still share satellites. They already share satellites, they just don't share spectrum and they use different encryption technologies. This means that for every channel that they both carry, must be transmitted twice.

There was resistance to this before, since a hardware purchase usually created a loyal customer. However with the stress of having to satisfy must-carry, the theft of DBS services, the demand for HDTV, etc, a new generation of DBS equipment could solve issues for both DirecTV and Dish.

If that sounds expensive, may not.
A new satellite can be a two billion dollar proposition. (a cost number that I made up!) That over $100 per current subscriber. Swapping out receivers may be just as expensive, but offer a lot more benefit for both carriers.


------------------
Phillips DSR6000R/107hours
Phillips DSR6000R/125hours
Phillips HDR312/60hrs

[This message has been edited by mishagray (edited 11-09-2001).]

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alexcue is offline Old Post 11-10-2001 12:57 AM
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alexcue
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quote:
Originally posted by Dmon4u:
alexcue
"might" (in your topic)




Ahh, Dmon4u, guess you didn't read the article. I didn't write that title, the LA Times did. That's why the subject, topic?, is in quotes. I am sitting on the fence on this one, and I just put the article up there for information.
All i know is, i didn't want Microsoft owning any part of Dtv.



------------------
Most toys wins!!!
30hr Philips SA Tivo
14hr Philips SA Tivo
35 hr Philips DTivo
96 hr Philips DTivo
126hr Philips DTivo

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Corey140 is offline Old Post 11-10-2001 02:10 AM
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Corey140
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quote:
Originally posted by mishagray:

DirecTV and Dish could still share satellites. They already share satellites, they just don't share spectrum and they use different encryption technologies.



They share orbital slots not satellites.....

------------------
Directv Subscriber (oval dish+ sat c kit)
RCA UTV, Hughes 2 E25 and 1 Hughes E11
Comcast Subscriber:
cable modem and basic cable

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rogo is offline Old Post 11-10-2001 07:54 AM
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rogo
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25 million receivers will be needed over the next 3 years if the merger goes through.

For those of you who believe that this will lead to one manufacturer solely of set-top boxes, I have a bridge to sell you, New York City, great view of the (bad taste deleted)...

Mark

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Old Post 11-10-2001 08:58 AM
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larryy
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In order to cut costs, I would expect EchoStar to migrate users of one system or the other to a single set of satellites and single receiver technology, rather than maintaining all the current capacity and existing systems. If this happens, either existing DISH hardware will be obsolete or existing DirecTV hardware, including our beloved DirecTiVo boxes, will be obsolete. I doubt they can justify maintaining two incompatible systems or excess satellite capacity for any extended period of time. This is my single biggest concern with the merger... I don't want to lose the use of my DirecTiVo box. (I also own a DISHPVR unit and it *sucks* by comparison to the DirecTiVo boxes.)

And the issue for rural customers, all platitudes and rhetoric aside, is that currently there are two providers, while if the merger happens there will be only one (well, except for C-band, which I also use extensively). Many of us, because of location, don't have either a cable or a terrestrial broadcast option.

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Dmon4u is offline Old Post 11-10-2001 08:35 PM
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Dmon4u
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alexcue - I was not questioning you, just the title.

Some have stated that this would never happen.

I've read that DOJ & the FCC have said that they will be taking a look at this. They have been highly critical of the Cable Industries lack of standards and the inability of customers to purchase their own STB's.

They expect the merger will lead to one STB manufacturer. People need to wake up. Imagine if this situation applied to any other consumer product you buy.....

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rogo is offline Old Post 11-11-2001 02:24 PM
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rogo
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Larryy, every single existing receiver will be made obsolete by the merger. Every single one. I hope this point is clear.

Now, also note: Every single existing receiver will be replaced for free by the merged company. Every single one.

You rightfully worry that the DirecTivo receiver -- the best satellite receiver of all time, IMHO -- might not be around. I worry too, except that I don't see the combined company shying away from Tivo. Tivo has proved it's mettle with AOL (big investor), DirecTV, AT&T Broadband and Sony.

It's going to be a player in the future.

Mark

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