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DirecTV is contemplating embedding an antenna into their set top boxes
in order to offer live over the air broadcasts, thereby circumventing retransmission fees. Speaking at the JP Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom conference in Boston, DirecTV chief financial officer Patrick Doyle stated they didn't have a timeline on the project, but that it makes financial sense due to the soaring price of retrans fees and the landscape shift that's occurring courtesy of Aereo. He also stated that whenever it does get deployed, it would only be initially made available to new customers. "Well probably test in some markets an over-the-air integrated tuner set-up and make sure the customer experience is there," insists Doyle.
In late 2011 after several delays, ViaSat finally launched their new KA-band satellite ViaSat 1, which allowed the company to finally start offering consumers some faster residential bandwidth speeds via the Exede brand. Now the company has announced
that they're hard at work on ViaSat 2, with plans to launch it sometime in the middle of 2016 (in satellite launch parlance, that means probably around 2018). According to ViaSat, the launch of ViaSat 2 will double their existing bandwidth capacity and expand coverage across much of North and Central America. While satellite broadband is still considered the black sheep of the broadband industry because of high prices, high latency and low caps, the faster speeds made availability by this added capacity has clearly been reflected in our user Exede reviews
by Revcb Thursday 14-Mar-2013
by Revcb Wednesday 13-Mar-2013
by Revcb Tuesday 12-Mar-2013
Apple, Sony, Microsoft, Google; there have been no limit of companies eager to disrupt the pay TV ecosystem, though every one of them have run face first into licensing restrictions imposed by a pay TV sector that very much doesn't want to be disrupted. That doesn't seem to stop the tech press from getting blindly bubbly and enthusiastic every time another company says they're going to try. story continues..
Dish will celebrate the new year by raising rates on most of the company's TV packages by $5 to $15 a month. According to flyers being sent out to subscribers
, most of the company's TV tiers will see a $5 rate hike starting in January, though the company's "America's Everything" package will see a $15 hike to $120 a month. The company also says the monthly rate it charges for its VIP DVR will increase $1 to $7 monthly. The company's hopper DVR service, which has angered the broadcast industry by letting users automatically eliminate ads from recorded programs, won't see a rate hike. Dish is quick to point out that this is the first price hike since 2010, and as is usually the case, blames the price hikes on higher costs being imposed on cable and satellite operators by broadcasters.
DirecTV's offering a new satellite broadband bundle the company hopes appeals to rural users, though it suffers from the bane of all satellite broadband: annoying usage caps. We've known since May
that DirecTV would soon be selling ViaSat's Exede satellite broadband service, and now we're getting a good look at some of the bundle pricing DircTV is offering.
ViaSat has bumped their lowest usage cap slightly for their new Exede satellite broadband service. According to user comments in our forums
, ViaSat's $50, 12 Mbps tier originally came with a 7.5 GB cap, but has now seen that usage allowance increased to 10 GB per month.
After successfully launching their new EchoStar XVII satellite last July
, HughesNet today officially launched
(pdf) their new "Gen4" broadband services. Despite earlier rumblings that they'd be offering speeds up to 20 Mbps, the company's new tiers come in 10/1 Mbps, 10/2 Mbps, or 15/2 flavors, which help bring HughesNet in line with the faster services recently offered by Viasat/Exede
, as well as Verizon's new fixed LTE service Home Fusion.
Back in August story continues..
word leaked out that Dish was going to start selling a nationwide satellite broadband offering, and today the company confirmed the service is going live next week. According to a Dish press release
, the new dishNET service will launch October 1 offering speeds up to 10 Mbps downstream.
Bankrupt LightSquared still doesn't have anything close to an actual product on the market, and they likely never will
-- given the FCC's decision to block a necessary waiver due to interference of their planned LTE network with GPS services. The company is also just burning through money
, having spent at least $134 million since their May bankruptcy, much of it on futile lobbying efforts. Still, that isn't stopping the company from paying at least four executives up to $6 million in bonuses
. LightSquared insists they're simply making sure they can retain these "irreplaceable employees" who again oversee no actual product and little to no hope of one.
Dish is already in hot water with the FTC for ignoring the Do Not Call Registry
, and now the satellite carrier's mailers are causing some additional annoyance for consumers. The Consumerist
points out how the company is also sending consumers a mailer with the words "INSTALLATION NOTICE," along with a specific "Appointment No." listed on the front. The additional message of "welcome to the DISH family" on the back tricks customers into thinking they've already been signed up for service, prompting them to call in to Dish. As some Consumerist
commenters note such ads are all too common, with so many mail spam these days dressed up as official correspondence designed to catch the eye. However, letting customers know you're dishonest right off the bat doesn't seem like a winning brand strategy.
The Federal Trade Commission has sued Dish network for violating the Do Not Call Registry. According to a statement issued by the FTC
, Dish has a tendency to consistently call people who have specifically asked to be left alone by the company. Dish has made millions of calls since about September 1, 2007 to consumers who had already told them that they did not want to receive any more telemarketing calls from the company. "It is particularly disappointing when a well-established, nationally known company which ought to know better appears to have flagrantly and illegally made millions of invasive calls to Americans who specifically told DISH Network to leave them alone," says the FTC.
After successfully launching their new EchoStar XVII satellite last July
, HughesNet is starting to take the wraps off of speeds and pricing for the company's new "Gen4" broadband services. Despite earlier rumblings that they'd be offering speeds up to 20 Mbps, the company's new tiers come in 10/1 Mbps, 10/2 Mbps, or 15/2 flavors, which help bring HughesNet in line with the faster services recently offered by Viasat/Exede
Dish Network Charlie Ergen now says that his company will likely have to partner with another company
in order to get their LTE network built. Back in March the FCC delayed a waiver decision
that would allow Dish to ignore some of the satellite phone requirements placed on the spectrum they plan to use.
Earlier this year ViaSat launched Exede
, their faster satellite broadband service, which while providing faster speeds of 12 Mbps, still comes with some punishing and costly bandwidth caps. The service comes in flavors of 7 GB ($50), 15 GB ($80), or 25 GB ($130), with users throttled back to speeds of 128 kbps unless they shell out $10 per each additional gigabyte
Nobody really knows if Dish is bluffing
about building an LTE Advanced network. Some believe that Dish really is considering building a major LTE network that could help compete with major carriers -- potentially by around 2016
. Others believe that Dish boss Charlie Ergen is just bluffing in order to bloat the price of the company's spectrum holdings before a sale. Dish needs an FCC waiver to allow them to build the network they're dreaming of (conditions require they offer satellite phone service), but if they don't get it the company still sees a niche for satellite phone services
Even if the FCC lifts the satellite burden, Ergen believes there's a "minor" market for satellite-capable handsets, identifying targets such as first responders and people who live in rural areas that are beyond the reach of cellular connections....Dish has teamed with Qualcomm to develop a new chipset that can operate in both terrestrial and satellite modes in the 2GHz/AWS-4 bands. Ergen's using this as hedge just in case the FCC doesn't let Dish use its spectrum with terrestrial-only wireless devices.
Despite these claims, there are more than a few analysts I've spoken to who continue to think a Dish LTE build is simply a lie designed to bump Dish's acquired spectrum value.
Following on the heels of continued cable subscriber losses at Comcast
and Time Warner Cable
, DirecTV's earnings
out today indicate the company saw their first ever net loss in TV viewers. DirecTV lost 52,000 subscribers during the quarter, which was significantly more than analyst expectations. In their earnings call, DirecTV blamed stricter credit policies and its focus on higher paying subscribers for the decline (just don't mention cord cutting, whatever you do). Just like Comcast and Time Warner Cable the customer dip isn't hurting DirecTV's wallet just yet, with the company still seeing a 7% revenue jump of $5.65 billion, and a net profit of $604 million.
Stop the Cap story continues..
notes that the WildBlue official forums have been filtering links to websites that are critical of the company. That's a bit of a problem, given that as our user reviews attest
, there's usually plenty to be critical about.
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Recent news contributorsKarl Bode , JKukiewicz , swintec