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Old 07-14-2004, 10:51 PM   #1 (Print)
MyM3
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Curious: How many sats does DTV have up there?

This was brought up on another forum site in the form of "I think that DirecTV has more satellites than Dish Network does so they should be better - right?" One person was trying to convince another to go with DTV instead of Dish based on the numbers (quantity) of satellites. So, I became curious as to the actual quantity of sats that each company has up there.

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Old 07-14-2004, 11:13 PM   #2 (Print)
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That's about as valid a reason to choose between DirecTV and Dish Network as choosing one because you think their logo looks better.

It really has little to do with which is "better."

Evaluate the channels you desire, and the capabilities of the equipment you want to use. Look at whether or not you have a clear view to each company's satellite positions.

Number of satellites doesn't matter. Number of transponders doesn't really matter either. Neither really has any bearing on making one better than the other. How those transponders get used to provide you the channels you want matters. If the majority are pproviding locals to areas other than your own, you'll never benefit by them. If they're providing 70 foreign language channels you can't understand, you won't care about those. You'll care about differences in picture quality based on trying to squeeze more channels on a single transponder. You'll care about the selection of channels you have matching up with those you're interested in watching.
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Old 07-14-2004, 11:16 PM   #3 (Print)
Want1394
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Doug is, of course, correct in terms of "which is best" or not.

If you really care to do some research on what satellites are operational, a good site is the Lyngsat one.

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Old 07-15-2004, 07:03 AM   #4 (Print)
litzinger
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Another resource...probably the best summary out there.

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Old 07-15-2004, 08:37 AM   #5 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by litzinger
Another resource...probably the best summary out there.
That is a good one, though it doesn't really make clear the spot beam capabilities of the satellites in use.

I've also never found a good similar summary of Ku/Ka capabilities of each company.
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Old 07-15-2004, 09:19 AM   #6 (Print)
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The last I check Echostar had a few more than DirecTV.



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Old 07-15-2004, 10:59 AM   #7 (Print)
MyM3
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Quote:
Originally posted by dswallow

Evaluate the channels you desire, and the capabilities of the equipment you want to use. Look at whether or not you have a clear view to each company's satellite positions.


I could not agree more with the above quote, as well as Doug's entire post(s). The person who had raised the question was leaning towards Dish because she said that she could not get local channels where she lives with DTV. A follow-on post from another individual brought up the question of "how many" sats does each company have. I immediately recognised that as a na´ve comment and went on to diplomatically educate the second poster along the lines of dswallow's argument but I was interested and curious as to the actual number (quantity) of active sats that each Co. has.

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Old 07-15-2004, 11:51 AM   #8 (Print)
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Echostar has 8 and DirecTV has 6. Both are soon to be launching more. Both will be up to 10 by the end of this year.



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Old 07-15-2004, 03:17 PM   #9 (Print)
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DirecTV has DirecTV 1, 1-R, 2 & 4S at 101, DirecTV 6 at 110, DirecTV 5 and 7S at 119, though DirecTV5 is moving to 72.5 at some point.

DirecTV 3 is at 82 being used by Telsat Canada (not sure if that is a loan, lease, or sale).

So I count 7 for DTV in use, and 1 lent out to Telesat Canada and it looks like most are in fair condition. DTV6 is somewhat damaged and DTV 1 & 3 have lost redundancy.
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Old 07-15-2004, 07:49 PM   #10 (Print)
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To me, more sats offers more redundancy and bandwidth at a root level. If dish is serving you through a 6" water main, and directv has a 12" one, which can give you more bandwidth?

It's not the only parameter in the decision, but it makes a difference to me.

Dish has less sats and no spotbeam still right? That's just scary.

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Old 07-15-2004, 07:54 PM   #11 (Print)
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Even though they may have more bandwidth the FFC has to approve them for using certain transponders (frequencies). Some of the satellites have unused bandwith because they are not approved to broadcast on all transponders.

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Old 07-15-2004, 10:10 PM   #12 (Print)
Dan Collins
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Quote:
Originally posted by jayntguru
To me, more sats offers more redundancy and bandwidth at a root level. If dish is serving you through a 6" water main, and directv has a 12" one, which can give you more bandwidth?

It's not the only parameter in the decision, but it makes a difference to me.

Dish has less sats and no spotbeam still right? That's just scary.
The correct analogy is that more satellites is a bigger reservoir, but the size of the pipe is the number of licenses. Not even all licenses are created equal, since some are CONUS (cable of being seen anywhere in the continental US) and some are not.

DirecTV has 46 CONUS licenses (32 at 101, 3 at 110 and 11 at 119). Of these 10 are being used for spotbeams (6 at 101 and 4 at 119). Dish Network has 50 (21 at 119 and 29 at 110) CONUS licenses and also uses 10 for spotbeams (5 at 110 and 5 at 119).

Although both providers have dedicated 10 frequencies to spotbeam use, because of various factors including total number of licenses and number of uplink locations, they do not yield the same number of spot beams.

The 10 spotbeam frequencies Dishnetwork uses at 110 and 119 yield a total of 50 spotbeams (25 at each slot).

The 10 frequencies DirecTV uses at 101 and 119 produce a total of 75 spotbeams (38 at 101 and 37 at 119).

As a result of this difference, Dishnetwork has relied upon partial CONUS slots (slots that can not be practically received everywhere) to supply some local channels. They use 61.5 (where they hold 11 licenses) and 148 (where they hold 32 licenses) for some locals as well as international and some HD programming. They are also in the process of deploying additional locals (and at some point HD) on old-style FSS-Ku satellites (like the old Primestar system).

DirecTV is awaiting FCC approval to move DirecTV-5 (which is no longer needed at 119) to 72.5, where they will share the slot with Telsat Canada, providing some additional local markets from this slot - the first time some DirecTV customers will need a second dish.

DirecTV is also planning on using the Spaceway satellites (a new, state of the art Ka satellite platform) to supply more HD content, including, possibly, HD locals in some markets. Spaceway satellites will be deployed to 103 and 99 degrees west, both within reach of single dish also pointed at 101/110/119. Spaceway is planned for deployment in early 2005.

Finally, DirecTV will also launch DirecTV-8 (designed to replace DirecTV-2, which is about 3 years from its planned end of life) and DirecTV-9S (to provide in orbit redundancy for DirecTV-4S and 7S) sometime in 2005.

On the total number of satellite issue, Dish Network has:

Echostar-1 and Echostar-2 (at 148)
Echostar-3 (at 61.5)
Echostar-4 (at 157, where it is not doing much - it is nearly dead)
Echostar-5 and Echostar-7 (at 119)
Echostar-6 and Echostar-8 (at 110)
Echostar-9 (at 121) Echostar-9 is a FSS Ku/Ka/C-band hybrid, and the C Band portion is used by Intelsat.

DirecTV has:

DirecTV-1, DirecTV-1R, DirecTV-2 and DirecTV-4S (at 101)
DirecTV-3 (at 82, backing up Nimiq-2 for Telsat Canada)
DirecTV-5 and DirecTV-7S (at 119, DirecTV-5 will move to 72.5 upon FCC approval)

So, Dish Network has 8 DBS satellites and 1 Ka/Ku/C hybrid for a total of 9.

DirecTV has 7 DBS satellites.

By the end of 2005 Dish Network will have 9 DBS satellites bringing their total to 10 (plus a lease for space on a SES Americom Ku satellite at 105).

By the end of 2005 DirecTV will have 9 DBS satellites, and 2 Ka satellites, for a total of 11.

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Old 07-15-2004, 10:30 PM   #13 (Print)
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Excellent synopsis, Dan! But you did forget DirecTV-6 at 110°. And DirecTV-8 is now planned to have Ka-band capacity at 101°.
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Old 07-15-2004, 10:33 PM   #14 (Print)
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Ok Dan I'm now impressed.

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Old 07-15-2004, 10:36 PM   #15 (Print)
hawk2100n
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has anyone seen the dish network super dish? that thing is huge the dimensions are something like 20x36 with a funky looking and big lnb. reminds me of the old s band dishes. that is the only way i could get local channels through dish and the smaller dish that is the main reason i went with direc.
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