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Old 12-18-2005, 05:20 PM   #1 (Print)
MouseJstr
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Forced Direct TV upgrade..

i've been doing a search and am not seeing it so I thought I'd just ask...

I was told that Direct TV is upgrading the sats and pretty soon our tivo HD units will not be able to receive HD content. Also, all new channels they make available will also not be viewable on my old hardware.

Doesn't this basically mean that unless we take the $100/$200 payoff, inside of two years we have to throw the hardware away anyhow?

thanks
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Old 12-18-2005, 05:21 PM   #2 (Print)
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Please reveal your sources. As far as we know, we will continue to get all programming in SD content for years to come.

You really think Directv is going to orphan their customer base and tell them they have to upgrade their receivers to maintain service?

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Old 12-18-2005, 05:31 PM   #3 (Print)
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As for HD boxes, DirecTV will be replacing them as needed. Meaning when HD locals become available to your area they will swap out your equipment.

If you do a search for "MPEG4" you'll find a lot of info on this.

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Old 12-18-2005, 05:34 PM   #4 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dkerr24
Please reveal your sources. As far as we know, we will continue to get all programming in SD content for years to come.

You really think Directv is going to orphan their customer base and tell them they have to upgrade their receivers to maintain service?


The OP's message was only addressing HD and for what it is worth, he is correct! DirecTV is upgrading to MPEG-4 and our HD Tivo's will not be capable of receiving the MPEG-4 signal.

Will DirecTV move their existing HD channels to MPEG-4? Only time will tell but it would not surprise me if DirecTV did move these channels sometime in 2007 or 2008 after DirecTV 10 and 11 have been launched and activated..

I personally believe DirecTV will move everyone to MPEG-4 over the next 10 or so years as existing satellites wear out and programming is forced to move to next generation satellites.

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Old 12-18-2005, 05:56 PM   #5 (Print)
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Ok, just got off the phone with a direct TV rep..

1) No, your current HD hardware will not view the newer HD channels as they are made available

2) No, the $200 rebate will not cover the $1000 you are out on a tivo which will no longer be able to record newer HD content

3) No, there is no plan to upgrade existing tivo based hardware for free

4) Yes, as newer channels come online, they will all be using the mpeg-4 format which means that even in the non-HD case, the newer channels will not be viewable. This means that your non-HD tivos will not be able to view the newer channels regardless

5) Quote, "Your best solution is is to pull your HD and local channels off the air and not use direct tv.." Why do I have direct TV again?

6) I quote

"Why are you so worried? if you get two years worth of viewing out of your hardware.. you have gotten your moneys worth from the $1200 in tivos you have.. two years from now just buy the newer boxes when there is something you want to see.."
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Old 12-18-2005, 06:11 PM   #6 (Print)
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No one knows for sure what will happen in terms of swap out but DirecTV is already subsidizing upgrade costs for customers in their new HD-locals markets and a few articles have stated that after the initial roll out free upgrades will come to those with existing hardware.

It's highly unlikely that directv will abandon early adopters of their technology, especially since it's only been out for what, like 2 years now?

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Old 12-18-2005, 06:14 PM   #7 (Print)
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well, I am going to cross my fingers and hope you are right and the person at direct TV was as much of a moron as I think they were...

I mean, to be honest, at this point.. the only reason we have DirectTV is for the guide and the warrenty on the tivo's... we find that we are watching everything OTA
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Old 12-19-2005, 08:05 AM   #8 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluffybear
I personally believe DirecTV will move everyone to MPEG-4 over the next 10 or so years as existing satellites wear out and programming is forced to move to next generation satellites.


I also believe that they'll migrate everything to MPEG4, but the satellite has nothing to do with it, it's just repeating 0's and 1's. They could move it all to MPEG4 today if the STB's supported it.
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Old 12-19-2005, 08:22 AM   #9 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rad
I also believe that they'll migrate everything to MPEG4, but the satellite has nothing to do with it, it's just repeating 0's and 1's. They could move it all to MPEG4 today if the STB's supported it.


I could have swore I saw this being discussed in another thread sometime back and it was determined that the older satellites were not capable of handling the MPEG-4 stream.

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Old 12-19-2005, 08:52 AM   #10 (Print)
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Well, MPEG4 is just a bunch of bits arraged slightly differently than mpeg 2 so I'm sute they can handle that. THey can't broadcast in the same frequency bands as the sats that are doing the new HD locals though.

AS long as all they offer in mpeg 4 is locals. I am am not concerned in the least (and it will probably not cause problems for many here, since most people who bought the HD TiVo can get locals OTA). However, if they start adding things like TNT-HD in Mpeg 4 that will be a different story.

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Old 12-19-2005, 09:56 AM   #11 (Print)
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The switch to MPEG4 isn't really a problem for current satellites, but that current receivers can't decode MPEG4. And to make it more interesting the new sats will be using a different set of frequencies and the receivers will also need to be able to decode those as well.

I will be waiting to see what DirecTV does before I jump on the HD DVR bandwagon.

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Old 12-19-2005, 10:51 AM   #12 (Print)
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Back in california, one of the local cable companies switched everything over to the MPEG-4 formats, even non-HD channels. The reason for this was that they could get 4 standard def channels into the same bandwidth as a single old channel. So, effectivly, they gave everybody HD receivers when 90% of the people did not use the HD capabilities

So, DirectTV is going to keep those old sats, running the old format, and waste all that potential space? somehow I doubt it

I guess my real question now is, since I am paying for support on my tivo's.. when one of them breaks and they cannot replace it with the same model, will I get upgraded for free?
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Old 12-19-2005, 10:56 AM   #13 (Print)
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Fluffybear -- I see you already have the new AT9 dish along with an R15 and an H20. What, if anything, did you swap for the H20 and did you incur any cost in the transition to MPEG 4 capability ? The forthcoming HD DVR apparently is a replacement for the HR10-250 but what is the replacement for your HDVR2. I don't want to swap my dtivos for a non-recording box even if it is MPEG4 and HD capable
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Old 12-19-2005, 04:09 PM   #14 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andbye
Fluffybear -- I see you already have the new AT9 dish along with an R15 and an H20. What, if anything, did you swap for the H20 and did you incur any cost in the transition to MPEG 4 capability ? The forthcoming HD DVR apparently is a replacement for the HR10-250 but what is the replacement for your HDVR2. I don't want to swap my dtivos for a non-recording box even if it is MPEG4 and HD capable


There is not MPEG-4 DirecTV capable DVR (SD or HD) out there at this time.

I purchased my own dish (I know more then any installer they would send out here) and took DirecTV up on their rebate offer for the R15 and H20 so those receivers in the end will cost me nothing. If I don't see my rebate check by Valentines Day, I will be on the phone.

I found installing the AT9 to be easy but until they activate a spot which covers the twin cities or a national beam I will not know if I have to do something more.

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Old 12-19-2005, 04:40 PM   #15 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluffybear
I could have swore I saw this being discussed in another thread sometime back and it was determined that the older satellites were not capable of handling the MPEG-4 stream.


It was the transmision type/frequency that the older SATs could not handle 8PSK or something like that... It wasn't the fact that it was MPEG-4 it was just the method of transmission.

MPEG-2 SD probably won't go anywhere for a very long time.... 13 million subscribers, average of 2 boxes per subscriber.... that is a LOT of hardware to replace without losing customers.

HD numbers are much much lower.

MPEG-2 HD probably will eventually be switched over, but that is probably a good 2-3 years away, until most of the HD content is on MPEG-4 and they have a very small number of MPEG-2 only HD recievers out there.

Isn't the "similar" thing going on with the Cable-Co's.....
Switching premium and popular channels to the Digital Bands, so that you HAVE to get their BOX and larger package to get those popular channels (Re: Sci-Fi on Comcast is now in the Digital Band)....

At least at this point DirecTV is not FORCING you switch to get something you already had..... You only have to switch if you want the newer items.

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Old 12-19-2005, 08:41 PM   #16 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluffybear
There is not MPEG-4 DirecTV capable DVR (SD or HD) out there at this time.

I purchased my own dish (I know more then any installer they would send out here) and took DirecTV up on their rebate offer for the R15 and H20 so those receivers in the end will cost me nothing. If I don't see my rebate check by Valentines Day, I will be on the phone.

I found installing the AT9 to be easy but until they activate a spot which covers the twin cities or a national beam I will not know if I have to do something more.


Interesting.

You mean the newest DVRs in all the commercials, with the new design/remote, aren't MPEG-4 capable? I don't see why they'd be releasing new hardware at this point with the switch to MPEG-4 on the horizon. I guess this means their timetable for upgrades is longer than I expected - over many years, at least.

I found an interesting article describing how to get a free (or maybe $99) upgrade of dish and HD receiver, at least for those in markets where they carry local HD channels:

http://www.tvpredictions.com/freeupgrade112805.htm

I've been waiting for HD locals for years, and they've been promising them "within six months" since at least 2003, in Chicago at least. The OTA antenna is a pain for the channels I can get now, and CBS-HD is conveniently on channel 3 in the vhf range, where I can't get it all.

Now they are here, but using MPEG-4 - I'm not willing to just toss my $1000 HR10-250. There had better be a very good offer for the new generation of HD-DVRs, whenever they finally become available.

I'm wondering - can the new 5 LNB dishes receive old MPEG-2 satellite feeds? If I upgrade to an MPEG-4 capable dish, can I connect it to both new and old receivers? Or would I need to have two separate dishes for that?
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Old 12-19-2005, 10:19 PM   #17 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonovic
It was the transmision type/frequency that the older SATs could not handle 8PSK or something like that... It wasn't the fact that it was MPEG-4 it was just the method of transmission.

MPEG-2 SD probably won't go anywhere for a very long time.... 13 million subscribers, average of 2 boxes per subscriber.... that is a LOT of hardware to replace without losing customers.

HD numbers are much much lower.

MPEG-2 HD probably will eventually be switched over, but that is probably a good 2-3 years away, until most of the HD content is on MPEG-4 and they have a very small number of MPEG-2 only HD recievers out there.

Isn't the "similar" thing going on with the Cable-Co's.....
Switching premium and popular channels to the Digital Bands, so that you HAVE to get their BOX and larger package to get those popular channels (Re: Sci-Fi on Comcast is now in the Digital Band)....

At least at this point DirecTV is not FORCING you switch to get something you already had..... You only have to switch if you want the newer items.
ebonovic - I agree with everything you have said, although you appear to be somewhat of an optimist with your HD time frames. The movement of all HD content to MPEG4 will likely take 3 to 4 years, instead of 2 to 3 years, mainly because of delayed lauches, delayed product deliveries, and delayed HD delivered video sources, otherwise your concepts are right on.

I do know from your previous posts, that you are somewhat of an optimist, which goes along with IT software developers. Programmers, myself included, always remind me of that game show "NAME THAT TUNE". I seen programmers time after time say that they can "name that tune" in 1 note, when they really cannot "name that tune (finish that project)" in anything less than 4 notes.

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Old 12-19-2005, 10:27 PM   #18 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeckner
ebonovic - I agree with everything you have said, although you appear to be somewhat of an optimist with your HD time frames. The movement of all HD content to MPEG4 will likely take 3 to 4 years, instead of 2 to 3 years, mainly because of delayed lauches, delayed product deliveries, and delayed HD delivered video sources, otherwise your concepts are right on.

I do know from your previous posts, that you are somewhat of an optimist, which goes along with IT software developers. Programmers, myself included, always remind me of that game show "NAME THAT TUNE". I seen programmers time after time say that they can "name that tune" in 1 note, when they really cannot "name that tune (finish that project)" in anything less than 4 notes.


Well 2-3 was just an estimate... and you know us developers, we always go short on our estimates.

2-3;3-4 either way, it is a good chunk of time... and the longer it takes, the longer the MPEG-2 only equipment will still work with the current HD content.

Oh.. from a programming point of view.... I have learned my leason way too many times. If I say I can do it 3 notes, most likely means I think I can do it in 2 notes, but gave myself at least 1 note for the unexpected. but ultimately it will take 4 notes after all...

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Old 12-19-2005, 10:33 PM   #19 (Print)
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Originally Posted by grapes
Interesting.

You mean the newest DVRs in all the commercials, with the new design/remote, aren't MPEG-4 capable? I don't see why they'd be releasing new hardware at this point with the switch to MPEG-4 on the horizon. I guess this means their timetable for upgrades is longer than I expected - over many years, at least.

I found an interesting article describing how to get a free (or maybe $99) upgrade of dish and HD receiver, at least for those in markets where they carry local HD channels:

http://www.tvpredictions.com/freeupgrade112805.htm

I've been waiting for HD locals for years, and they've been promising them "within six months" since at least 2003, in Chicago at least. The OTA antenna is a pain for the channels I can get now, and CBS-HD is conveniently on channel 3 in the vhf range, where I can't get it all.

Now they are here, but using MPEG-4 - I'm not willing to just toss my $1000 HR10-250. There had better be a very good offer for the new generation of HD-DVRs, whenever they finally become available.

I'm wondering - can the new 5 LNB dishes receive old MPEG-2 satellite feeds? If I upgrade to an MPEG-4 capable dish, can I connect it to both new and old receivers? Or would I need to have two separate dishes for that?


Well the newest DVR (the R15 the one in the latest commercials), is an SD only unit. It is not capable of the MPEG-4 due to the fact that right now, I don't think DirecTV has any plans to move it's SD content from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4...

Where where they promising within "6 months" for HD Locals.... ? HD-Locals was the announcment they made at CES in January 2005 and they told us it would be with in the year or so.... IIRC....

The new 5 LNB can pickup just about every within the 100 area pointing direction for the satalites (so yes, it will pick up all the MPEG-2 feeds).... What the dish picks up is based on the transmision styles, not what the content is compressed in. The compression is reliant on the boxes..... But yes, the new 5 LNB will work (hence why they are replacing it with a 5 LNB dish)... no second dish is necessary, unless you want some of the specilized ethnic programming as I think that angle is either the 90 or 72....

But I digress..

Where in Chicago are you? I too have no luck getting CBS-HD from Chicago. VHF-3 is the worst possible place they could have placed them at (thanks FCC). In about 5 years they are going to move to VHF-11.. but... that is 5 years from now.

Everything else is a gem, and I am 35 miles away from the tower, and using an attic mount. So I use CBS-HD-East for my CSI recordings....

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Old 12-21-2005, 03:46 AM   #20 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonovic
Where where they promising within "6 months" for HD Locals.... ? HD-Locals was the announcment they made at CES in January 2005 and they told us it would be with in the year or so.... IIRC....


Never anything official, just when I asked their CSRs on the phone - which I have several times since then. They said they would be rolling them out in the biggest cities, that was in 2003. After that, they blamed the delay with HD locals on the delay getting new satellites off the ground.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonovic
Where in Chicago are you? I too have no luck getting CBS-HD from Chicago. VHF-3 is the worst possible place they could have placed them at (thanks FCC). In about 5 years they are going to move to VHF-11.. but... that is 5 years from now.


On the north side, near Irving and Ashland, so not too far from the tower. Most of the other OTA come in fine with just a set-top antenna, but even when I had a powered one on the roof and was closer to downtown, there was no CBS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonovic
Everything else is a gem, and I am 35 miles away from the tower, and using an attic mount. So I use CBS-HD-East for my CSI recordings....


How do you get CBS-HD-East? The only national HD feeds I get are for channels that come in fine OTA anyway.
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