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DISH added 10 new HD stations on May 1st


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#1 of 16 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted April 29 2005 - 04:04 PM

Dish is adding 10 additional HD stations this Sunday to the 8 (or 9 if you get CBS-HD) already in the line-up. By 2006 they expect to add at least 11 more (from the former VOOM offerings). The press release can be found here.

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#2 of 16 OFFLINE   PerryD

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Posted April 30 2005 - 01:26 AM

This is good news, especially if they include the channels in their HD pack for no additional cost.

Unfortunately, I dropped Dish about a year ago when they didn't offer Starz-HD and my local cable company did. What is stopping Dish from offering Starz-HD right now?

#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Scott-S

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Posted April 30 2005 - 03:01 AM

I am actually getting a little woried with all this adding. I have recently started using Dish network and they have some serious issues with compression artifacts already. Nearly every channel I watch looks like it is streaming over the internet. When watching the Masters (or any golf) the greens look terrible due to the compression. I was watching a dark scene in a movie (first blood - in the cave) and it was completly un-watchable due to the compression.

If they want to add HD channels that is fine, I just hope they can do it without turning down the bandwidth on all the channels to make room.
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#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted April 30 2005 - 06:03 AM

Perry,
Voom is upping the rate $5 a month to cover this. These new channels will be at the 61.5 location.

From what I can tell these won't be Dish exclusives. They offered them to Directv and cable. A comment on the dbs forums seems to indicate that Directv will add them after they send up the next satellite this year.

#5 of 16 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted May 01 2005 - 01:10 PM

I can confirm that DISH charges $5/month for the newly offered (by DISH) VOOM channels and that they are on the 61.5 satellite. I've never had an issue with Dish "artifacts" as some others have claimed. And the fact that Dish is using the VOOM 61.5 satellite they purchased should mean that it won't impact the bandwidth/space already available. At 50 cents/month/channel (with no time commitment) it's well worth it to me to check out the additional HD programming. While I probably won't watch all the channels on a regular basis there are already several that look intriguing. And with what appears to be 5.1 sound on all channels, and correct aspect ratios all around this is definitely a step in the right direction.

VOOM may be offering their software to other vendors, but with DISH purchasing the VOOM satellite they have a leg up for now on the competition. Of course a lot of this changes when the MPEG2 -> MPEG4 transition takes place and everyone has more room for programming.
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#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Quentin

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Posted May 02 2005 - 05:32 AM

Wonder when DirecTV will wise up? I just cancelled my HD subscription. I'll fire it up again come football season, but ESPN is the only thing really worth it for $10 a month.

They currently only offer ESPN, HDnet, DiscHD, UniHD, and I think one other. Yippee.

I get the HBO, Showtime, and networks for no extra cost (other than subscribing to HBO/Show).

#7 of 16 OFFLINE   John_Lee

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Posted May 02 2005 - 06:06 AM

Quote:
I can confirm that DISH charges $5/month for the newly offered (by DISH) VOOM channels and that they are on the 61.5 satellite.
So is this in addition to the $10 I have been paying for the [supposed to be expanding] HD package. I only see the $10 package on their website, but my receiver shows them as subscription channels I don't have.

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted May 02 2005 - 08:39 AM

Quote:
my receiver shows them as subscription channels I don't have.


Yes, that's exactly what happened to me. I subscribe to the $10 HD package and assumed that the new channels would be added to that package. Even the people at DISH that I contacted earlier in the week when the VOOM announcement was made didn't know anything about a $5 surcharge. When I first saw the "red" designation on my program guide for the 10 VOOM channels (which means I'm not authorized to receive them) I thought that it was a case of having to call to tell DISH to switch them on for me. The customer service rep (CSR) told me that she had just received a memo a few minutes earlier that stated that there was an extra charge for the 10 stations. I decided to try them out (50 cents/channel/month) since there is no long term commitment.

I agree that DISH could have promoted this a lot better than they did. It's almost as though the left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing. Eventually, when the other 11 VOOM channels are added and a few other changes take place I would think that they will restructure the HD package a little better. Right now it appears that you pay $10 for the HD content from the 110 and 119 satellites and that you pay $5 for the content from the 61.5 satellite.

At least DISH is upgrading its HD content so that I now have over 20 channels of HD. As I said, the new content is all 5.1 DD and appears to be in the correct aspect ratio. Some of it looks intriguing. Time will tell if there is a lot of repetition or enough programming to make it all worthwhile. Now if DISH would expedite the promised network HD additions (all I get now is CBS-HD) then I'll be a very happy camper. Charlie Ergen promised something in the Fall, 2005 timeframe, I seem to recall, on one of the Charlie Chats.

We'll see. So far, so good.
RAF
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#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Gregg Loewen

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Posted May 02 2005 - 11:24 AM

This is way kewl, thanks for posting RAF!

I got a call on Thursday telling me what was going on. Since I already had the 61.5 dish I was quite happy. After 2 phone calls on Sunday I was Vooming once again!! Posted Image

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#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted May 02 2005 - 03:21 PM

Man am I disapponted. I had my cable HD-Pvr for the olympics and got used to CSI, ER, Desperate Housewives in HD. I was hoping for networks or WB/UPN in HD. I am waiting for these to show up before investing in a dish HD PVR unit.

Quote:
These networks will give viewers a high-def experience in such entertainment categories as science fiction, fashion, travel, music concerts and more.

What is the "science fiction" catagory like? I'd even be happy with the Sci Fi channel in HD.

#11 of 16 OFFLINE   JeremySt

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Posted May 02 2005 - 04:24 PM

if im currently pointing at the 110 sat, can I just re-aim my only dish at the 65.5 sat and still have all the channels to which I currently subscribe? Or do I need a 2nd dish?

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted May 02 2005 - 06:22 PM

You definitely need a separate dish to get 61.5 and maintain 110/119 for other channels. In fact the Customer Service Representative insisted that I go to the "Check Switch" screen to verify that I had dishes for 61.5 and 110/119 (which I obviously do since I've been an HD customer from the early days.) When I read the numbers off the screen to her she commented, "O.K. then. You won't need a 61.5 dish" Apparently a lot of people think their dish is 61.5 when, in actuality, it is not. (West coast dish is 148 and I don't know how this factors into all this right now since I'm on the East Coast. Someone mentioned that Dish might redirect Voom to 148 for the West Coast but I can't verify that).

The CSR implied, by her comment, that if I didn't have a 61.5 dish then they would provide one. Since I already have this capacity it doesn't apply to me. However, the implication was that if you subscribe to an extra cost service (like Voom-HD) then the equipment installation to receive this will be at no additional charge. Once again, this is an assumption on my part so make sure you call for complete verification if it applies to you.
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#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Gregg Loewen

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Posted May 03 2005 - 08:09 AM

61.5 is a separate dish. Dish is charging a $100 installation fee (parts included) to install, however, if your locals are on 61.5 (some markets WB only) then they will waive this fee but you will have to tell them you want ALL your locals (including WB). 61.5 will also give you CBS HD NYC.

IF you get any grief about signing up for the Voom channels ask to speak with a supervisor. Many people are being told (when they first call) that the new Voom additions are only available to new Dish subscribers, which is not correct.

Happy Vooming!!

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#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Shad R

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Posted May 05 2005 - 11:27 AM

The channels don't even appear on my guide. Is this because I don't have a dish aimed at the right sat? Man, I don't know if it's worth 100 bucks and $5 a month! I'm already paying 10 for the other HD channels.

#15 of 16 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted May 09 2005 - 01:48 AM

I believe that the guide only shows the channels that you have the physical capability of receiving. Therefore, if you don't have a 61.5 dish none of the 61.5 stations would appear on the guide, etc. Also, none of the HD channels show up on the guides coming from my non-HD receivers so apparently this is also tied into what receivers you have as well as what dish(es) you have.

In any event, if you have all the right equipment in place then the guide shows (as you probably know) all non-subscribed stations in red. That's how I realized that the 10 new VOOM channels needed separate activation (and the $5/month fee).

As to whether or not you want to go for the $100 + $5/month that's a personal choice. Since I already had a 61.5 dish in place it was a minor decision on my part, especially because there is no long term commitment for the $5/month. You have to decide if this is something you want, especially because at some point in the next couple of years the switch to MPEG-4 may shuffle all the equipment required to some extent. While it's nice to have as much HD content as possible (I now have 22 channels including the PPV stuff) you have to decide whether you will really use it all or not. In my case, it's nice to have the new channels but to be honest I've had minimal time to watch all the new stuff. Even though some of it looks intriguing to me there are still only 24 hours in a day. Yes, I can PVR HD stuff (via my 921) but I still have to make the time to watch it all. I would be a lot happier if more network HD was made available by DISH (I don't want to go the OTA route). That will come, probably in the next couple of months, and then I'll really use those "new" channels.
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#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Marty Lockstead

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Posted May 09 2005 - 12:33 PM

If I may interject something for a moment, you guys have no idea how lucky you are to live in the US or Europe, in terms of having alot of HD programming available to you. I admit, I do enjoy my Bell ExpressVu dish, which is the Canadaian version of DirectTV in the US, (correct me if I'm wrong) but, I have to deal with the C.R.T.C. here in Canada. That basically means that a certain percentage of programming I watch has to have Canadian content. I must say I get rather envious when I'm watching an American channel and see commercials (which are also ALOT better then Canadian commercials to, by the way) for all the satellite companies. And don't get me started on HD-PVR's, or lack thereof, either! One thing I would like to ask you folks: Is the HORROR channel as cool as it sounds, and are the features shown uncut and in their originol aspect ratio? If so, sucks to be me!Posted Image
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