Is DISH dropping the ball??? Latest News on The DISH Network and HD Discovery Theater

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by RAF, Jul 1, 2002.

  1. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    NOTE: Those interested, be sure to read message #15 in this thread for the latest update regarding this on-going situation.
    For those of us hoping to add HD Discovery to our DISH 6000 receivers:
    Dish will start offering the free 8PSK module for the Dish 6000 (required to get the new channel) when you commit to 1 year of HD Discovery Theater at a total price of $95.88 Starting on July 8, 2002.
    You call 1-888-220-3474 to do this (not the regular Dish number.) How do I know? I just tried to order this package today (7/1/02) as per previous instructions from Dish. In other words, they changed their mind once before so the 7/8 date is only as good as the E* information is.
    I'll be calling again on the 8th and let you know how things work out.
    Incidentally, if you haven't seen the HD Discovery Channel you are in for a feast for the eyes. Great source material so far on the demo channel.
     
  2. Greg S

    Greg S Supporting Actor

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    Is this module different than the 8VSB one I just got??

    I am little confused ... please tell me more or point me in the direction for more info.

    Thanks

    Greg
     
  3. Phil Nichols

    Phil Nichols Second Unit

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    Bob,

    Did you happen to have mercy on us West Coast types and ask DISH about "....when on the 148 bird"?
     
  4. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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  5. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Greg,
    Robert_J fielded your 8PSK vs. 8VSB question very nicely.
    Phil,
    With the amount of time it took Dish to figure out what I was talking about and even discover (no pun intended) that the HD Discovery/8PSK package won't be available for another week (even though the channel supposedly went "live" today) I can only shudder to think what would have happened if I mentioned the 61.5/148 bird issues.
    It must have taken almost an hour for them to realize they couldn't yet sell me what they were offering. Not exactly rocket scientists at the other end of the line so I wasn't about to bring up satellite questions.
    Actual conversation:
    Me: "I think the yearly package costs $95.88"
    Dish: "How did you figure that out? We have it listed for $7.99 per month."
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    *** UPDATE ***
    Well, it's July 7th. After several people on various newsgroups let it be known that DISH (E*) actually was shipping the 8PSK unit late last week I decided to check this out this morning and placed a call to the 888-220-3474 number to see what the real story was. (The people at E* I talked to originally had said that the free module/1 year commitment would not be available until 7/8/02).
    I spoke to a customer representative, "Kevin," who actually had a handle on the situation and was able to activate my 1 year subscription to HD-Discovery + the "free" module. He informs me that it should reach me by mid-week and that I'll be up and running.
    Unlike the other customer reps I talked to (who seemed to be referring to notes and were generally not up on anything other than basic offerings) "Kevin" not only seemed well versed in HDTV and the Dish 6000 in general, but is also a movie buff so we were able to talk informally on several HT issues, etc.
    Stay tuned and I'll let you all know how the delivery and installation goes. HD-Discovery is supposedly being sent out on Channel 9420 (as the 24/7 channel) but I won't be able to verify this until the module arrives.
    If anyone else is interested in this and gets the runaround I would suggest asking for the person I talked to. Also, has anyone out there actually gotten an 8PSK unit in their hands and do you have HD-Discovery up and running on the new channel? (I'm not talking about the free demo from 6pm-6am daily). I'm curious about how this is all working out.
    Thanks.
     
  7. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Hi RAF!!
    I called on Saturday and was told I would receive my module in 3-5 business days.
    Also, they have removed CBS off of my "waiver required" listing, so for an extra $1.50 a month I can receive CBS HD from Dish.
    Im happy [​IMG]
    Gregg
     
  8. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

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    Oooh, the jealousy is eating me up.[​IMG]
     
  9. David X

    David X Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm still waiting for them to offer HD/Dish in Hawaii.

    Until then, I'm still married to the cable.

    Do you know if there's been any change in that offering?

    -David
     
  10. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    I tried to get a straight answer from them regarding DiscoveryHD on 148 and I got nowwhere with the CSR's. I finally gave up and pointed my dish to 61.5 and then getting them to swap the CBS west coast feed for the east coast feed was a nightmare! Yeah the picture is great but the headache required a bottle of asprin!

    I was pretty happy with Dishnetwork up until now but this whole swapping satelite business has left me very pissed. I guess that offering the same program on multiple birds is beyond their ability! What's an HD addict to do? I spent a fair amount of money on the 6000 box and am dissappointed in the meager offerings to date. Digital cable is not an option...no HD content at all...OTA HD won't happen in Colorado Springs for quite some time.

    I hope that Dishnetwork does not start charging a monthly fee for every channel that they broadcast in HD, that could get very expensive. I don't have a problem with them making a fair profit from their service, but having subscribers pay for a premium channel that is supposed to be advertiser supported seems like double dipping to me. I think that the subscription thing may backfire for them, but then again there are a lot of HD starved people out there.
     
  11. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    I dont think that the Dish HD subscriber base is large enough to support an advertiser based "free" structure. Im happy to pay the $95 a year (for now anyways). As with any new technology, pricing will drop, and we as early adaptors will have to pay a premium until that time.
     
  12. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    According to some people, on last night's Charlie Chat they said that they will be offering HD Discovery on Sat 148 for the west coast starting in August. (I didn't see the broadcast but will watch one of the replays later this week.)

    On the issue of paying for every HD channel, I also would not be in favor of having to pay for each new HD offering. As it now stands I get HD CBS for no additional cost and the HD HBO and HD Showtime offerings don't cost any more than standard HBO and Showtime, so there is a mixed bag on this with the addition of HD Discovery as a fee based channel. For now, since the HD Discovery Network is unique for me as a DISH subscriber as a 24/7 HD channel I'm willing to pony up the $8/month but I don't want this to become the price for each new HD channel.

    I would think that once the 8PSK module becomes standard so that more HD channels can be offered (or when the merger comes, if ever so that more bandwidth frees up) then there will be a variety of HD 24/7 channels. My guesstimate would be that there might be some general HD "fee" something like the "Sports Package" fee that gets you a variety of sports channels for something like $5-7/ month. (I'm not talking about the premium-based Baseball, Hockey, Football and Basketball packages that are offered at much higher prices.) And, of course, when HD becomes "standard" (don't hold your breath for this) then all bets are off since you should not have to pay extra for standard offerings.

    Just my 2 cents on this.
     
  13. Joe Bernardi

    Joe Bernardi Supporting Actor

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    I also signed up for Discovery HD on July 8th, with no problems at all. The first person I spoke to knew about the pricing and the module, even getting the module free with a one-year payment upfront.

    A nice change from my earlier attempts, when customer service had no idea that a new module was coming out (and is necessary).

    Waiting for the module to arrive.
     
  14. Marc_E

    Marc_E Supporting Actor

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    I ordered it on on 8-Jul also w/o any problems. The CSR actually mentioned that customers were haveing problems but that everything was ok now. Done in under 5 minutes. Waiting for the modual.

    Marc
     
  15. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    *** UPDATE ***
    Well, yesterday I received my monthly DISH bill (actually a confirmation since I pay by credit card auto pay) and the monthly $7.99 charge for HD Discovery was listed very prominently. The problem with this is that I specifically ordered the "package" for 1 year with free module and, therefore, no monthly billing.
    Naturally, I called the 1-888-220-3474 number and here's what I found out.
    • They billed my credit card for $96 on 7/9 for a 1 year subscription to HD-Discovery. (Should have be $95.88 but I'm not quibbling over 12 cents other than it shows that someone was not doing something correctly.)
    • They acknowledged that they incorrectly had also started charging me $7.99/month for the HD-Discovery service and (hopefully) have adjusted the billing with credit.
    • They could not find any record of an 8PSK module having been shipped to me so they are sending me "another" one which should arrive later this week. This time they gave me an RA number (they claim they do this with all equipment shipments) and were surprised when "Kevin" (the rep I talked with on 7/7 for the initial order) didn't do this. Luckily he did give me a confirmation number for my $96 payment so they were able to find that.
    • The representative ("Stephanie") I dealt with today said that despite what "Kevin" had done the modules were not available for ordering as a "free" package until 7/8 so she didn't have any idea how I could have ordered one on 7/7.
    This shows that DISH definitely has some problems in the customer service area. One hand doesn't know what the other is doing. In fact one hand doesn't even know what the other hand is. Naturally, my previous endorsement for "Kevin" is now withdrawn. If you contacted him, you'd better check the status of your order.
    Very frustrating, but at least they didn't tell me that they had run out of units and now I'd have to wait.
    [​IMG]
    Is everything resolved? I honestly won't know until I receive my 8PSK and also get my next DISH bill (and Credit Card Statement.) If "Stephanie" is correct, then "Kevin" was (is?) a loose cannon that may have placed a bunch of flawed orders.
    The moral? Copy down everything that you are told (Confirmation numbers, RA numbers, etc.) when you deal with DISH. Otherwise your headaches could become migraines.
    Incidentally, those who ordered your modules on 7/8, have you gotten them yet? I'd really like to hear a success story or two before I can endorse how DISH is handling this roll-out. (Thus, the slightly changed heading of this thread.)
     
  16. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Hi guys!!

    Guess what arrived via FEDEX today ??

    BTW, I ordered mine on July 6th, AND my credit card has been billed 86 (not $96) for an annual subscription.

    2 weird, but Im happy :)

    Gregg
     
  17. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    So how's it look, Gregg? Any difference between the quality of the HD Discovery picture on the "demo" channel and on the actual HD Discovery channel (via the module?)

    Just curious. I'm wondering if "enhanced" means anything other than squeezing more stations into the same bandwidth, and what the effect is on quality (either positively or negatively.) What do you think?
     
  18. Joe Bernardi

    Joe Bernardi Supporting Actor

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    Robert:

    I received and installed the module yesterday.
    I didn't compare the Discovery HD image on both the demo channel and 9420 yesterday, and it's too early today (not yet 6pm). However the picture on 9420 is spectacular right now!
     
  19. DennisHP

    DennisHP Second Unit

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    According to a Dish rep named Gene, HD Theater IS being broadcast on the 148 bird, the modules ARE available, the shipping for the module is FREE, and the one year subscription is $96.00. I placed my order and received the associated order number and was told I could pay the $96.00 now, or wait until my regular monthly billing. I opted for waiting for my regular billing in case there are problems. It took 10 minutes. I'll post back when the card arrives and I can verify HD Discovery is being broadcast on 148.
     
  20. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    *** UPDATE ***
    My module arrived and it was an easy install. Works fine and the picture looks great. I have both the 24/7 channel on Channel 9420 and the 12 hours/day demo on the HD Demo channel. In a quick A/B comparison the two pictures look to be identical. Also, the HD Discovery logo (bottom right corner of screen) is cut off a bit (no big deal) on both sources.
    If the 8PSK module allows additional HD programming as promised I'll be a happy camper. Let's bring on HDNET and similar (maybe another HD network channel like the HD-CBS offering).
     

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