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Murdoch Waves Goodbye to His 'Turd Bird' (aka DirecTV)
Plan to transfer controlling stake to Liberty Media moves forward
by Karl Bode 09:32AM Thursday Dec 07 2006 Tipped by caco See Profile
It looks like the long-rumored DirecTV share swap between Liberty Media and News Corp. is about to take off. Liberty has long held a 19% stake in News Corp. that Rupert Murdoch didn't like. Now he's trading John Malone his 38% stake in DirecTV to get it. The swap would give Liberty a controlling stake in DirecTV.

Owning several broadband networks in other countries, Murdoch had hoped that DirecTV would be his ticket into the broadband business in the United States. As many of you probably remember (and would like to forget), DirecTV already had one stint as a broadband provider, and it ended painfully.

The media mogul talked frequently this year about a theoretical billion dollar plan to get DirecTV back into the broadband business, this time as a nationwide Wimax operator. Plenty of scenarios were floated, from a partnership with Wimax operator Clearwire to a merger with Echostar.

But nothing seemed to go Murdoch's way.

The FCC's Kevin Martin hinted that while he likes a good old fashioned telco merger, he wouldn't sign off on such a huge DBS deal. Murdoch also struggled in the AWS spectrum auction, losing out to mobile carriers and the combined muscle of Sprint and the cable industry - who technically nabbed enough spectrum to become the nation's fifth largest wireless provider.

Murdoch then called the DirecTV unit a "turd bird" and expedited the Liberty deal. Speculation has been rife over whether Malone will keep pushing on the broadband or Echostar merger fronts. Investors like the idea of Malone ownership; shares of DirecTV have jumped 20% since rumors of the swap surfaced last September.

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morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000

image of this turd bird?

anyone good enough at photoshop to let the masses view a glimpse of the mythical turd bird? i've only read about it on dslreports.com.

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

1 recommendation

Re: image of this turd bird?

said by morbo:

anyone good enough at photoshop to let the masses view a glimpse of the mythical turd bird?
They only come out after you have washed your car.
--
Only SHATNER is Kirk.

malvado6
I pee on Bushes.

join:2003-09-13
00001

hello directv?

With Murdoch out of the picture and all he stands for, maybe I'll give directv the time of day.

Mactron
el Camino Real
Premium
join:2001-12-16
PRK

1 recommendation

Tivo again ?

Maybe DTV can start offering TIVO DVRs again !
That POS DVR they offer now is the Turd.

DPain
Premium
join:2004-02-19

Re: Tivo again ?

said by Mactron:

Maybe DTV can start offering TIVO DVRs again !
That POS DVR they offer now is the Turd.
said by Mactron:

Maybe DTV can start offering TIVO DVRs again !
That POS DVR they offer now is the Turd.
Not only their Tivo's but the regular dtv receivers they all suck, I used to work for ironwood communications
»ironwoodcommunications.com/directv.htm "Ironwood is a proud partner of DIRECTV, providing sales, installation and servicing for DIRECTV in many states across the US"

As warehouse manager,I got to work closely with these receivers. Basically all the techs would complain when I would give out these receivers for them to install. DirecTv sucks period.
SinNombre

join:2004-09-16
Charlotte, NC

Re: Tivo again ?

The very fact that I need a phone line for the sole purpose of getting program updates instead of being able to use an existing internet connection (because the USB on mine is crippled by default), or the satellite connection already in place (gee, wouldn't that make sense), has had me looking for alternatives since the day I got it...

One day...
zentec

join:2002-01-05
Monroe, MI

Re: Tivo again ?

The program guide does come in via satellite. Disconnect the phone line and all you get is a daily nag screen.
SinNombre

join:2004-09-16
Charlotte, NC

Re: Tivo again ?

And the only way to get rid of that (even if the program updates are coming in via satellite) is to dial up and connect at least once every few weeks. I can do it via my voip phone connection, but talk about annoying...

PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03

1 recommendation

Re: Tivo again ?

I have a very simple linux CD that fixes the daily nag screen. Take out the hd, stick it in your computer, run the linux disc, VIOLA! Tivo will never ever need a phone connection again for anything!
--
"I invented it, Bill made it famous." --David Bradley, the inventor of Ctrl+Alt+Del.

PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03
Previous Ironwood employee here, as well. I've installed hundreds of R-15s; let's just say I have 3 Tivo's in my house; the R-15 they gave me? I ended up taking the 160GB hard drive out of it and putting in my PC!
--
"I invented it, Bill made it famous." --David Bradley, the inventor of Ctrl+Alt+Del.

fireflier
Coffee. . .Need Coffee
Premium
join:2001-05-25
Limbo
The H20 HD receivers are notoriously problematic and slow (and run really hot)--at least the older 600 series of which I've got two and one of them loses it's mind EVERY FREAKING DAY! These DTV-branded receivers also only have 90 day warranties.

I miss the days when Sony, Hughes, RCA, Samsung, Toshiba and others made competing receivers and gave you the full year warranty--and the receivers were stable.

To DTV's credt the H20 that's having issues is being replaced by them free even though it's out of warranty and I bought it before the "leased" receiver program. It may be junk but at least they're still willing to stand behind it. . . DTV customer support, good. DTV receiver design group not so good.
--
Wishes: When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteorite hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteor. --despair.com

PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03

Re: Tivo again ?

That is why, when I installed, I always recommended the $5.99/mo protection plan to my customers. Then if a receiver quits working, DTV will be at your house within 72 hours to replace it.
--
"I invented it, Bill made it famous." --David Bradley, the inventor of Ctrl+Alt+Del.

fireflier
Coffee. . .Need Coffee
Premium
join:2001-05-25
Limbo

Re: Tivo again ?

If it covered things like lightning (I suspect it does) it sounds fair, but I don't see why I should have to pay an extra $5.99/month to cover replacement on a receiver that dies spontaneously simply because it--like so many thousand others of the same model has design flaws that make them prone to failure.

The H20 probably needs that kind of plan. My older Sony receivers ran fine for years and were still working fine when I yanked them (but they weren't HD).

Guess it just seems like that plan would be rewarding them for building crap. It's a little like saying: "Here's an extra $5.99/month to your bottom line because you designed a product with a 90 day warranty that's likely to fail soon afterward. I just can't wrap my brain around that.
--
Wishes: When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteorite hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteor. --despair.com

PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03

Re: Tivo again ?

The $5.99 plan covers anything that goes wrong, including if your dog chews the cable, your wife hits it with the weedwhacker, you back into your dish with your truck, if lightning fries your whole system, or if you are adding new electrical wiring to your house, short something out, and electrically fry all your recievers (which I encountered one time).

So acts of God and acts of stupidity are included. And unlike others here in DSLR that have complained it took forever to get a cable tech or telco tech to fix their cable/phone problems, DirecTV has 72 hours to fix your problem when you call in, whether that fix be over the phone, or sending a tech to your house.
--
"I invented it, Bill made it famous." --David Bradley, the inventor of Ctrl+Alt+Del.

fireflier
Coffee. . .Need Coffee
Premium
join:2001-05-25
Limbo

Re: Tivo again ?

Hee hee:

DirecTV: "Customer service, how may I help you?"

Me: "Um, yeah, I got tired of my H20 rebooting every day, so I poured alcohol in it and set it on fire to see how long it would continue to operate. . .Anywhoo, runs about 2 minutes with 8" flames coming out the vent ports on top. It's, um, no longer functional, can I get a new one?"

DirecTV: "Looks like you're on the replacement plan, we'll send someone out tomorrow to replace the charred hulk of your H20 with a new one."

I'd love to see the look on the face of the guy who gets it at the refurb center.

I bet they'd cancel my replacement plan after that.
--
Wishes: When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteorite hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteor. --despair.com

PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03

1 recommendation

Re: Tivo again ?

Just don't TELL THEM YOU DID IT INTENTIONALLY, and you'll be fine

fireflier
Coffee. . .Need Coffee
Premium
join:2001-05-25
Limbo

Re: Tivo again ?

LOL!

Jafo232
You Can't Spell Democrat Without Rat.
Premium
join:2002-10-17
Boonville, NY

1 recommendation

said by Mactron:

Maybe DTV can start offering TIVO DVRs again !
That POS DVR they offer now is the Turd.
I agree, bring back the DirecTivo. It is the only thing keeping me from upgrading to DirectTVHD. I don't want to use their crappy DVR.
--
'Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached'

roamer1
sticking it out at you

join:2001-03-24
Atlanta, GA

Re: Tivo again ?

said by Jafo232:

I agree, bring back the DirecTivo. It is the only thing keeping me from upgrading to DirectTVHD. I don't want to use their crappy DVR.
I have a DirecTV HD DVR that has TiVo software.

I agree that the "new" DVRs suck. If I didn't own so much legacy DirecTV equipment, I'd probably have Comcast right now...with ADS they aren't all that bad anymore.

-SC
--
said to me: "it seems like all you ever buy is Abercrombie and cell phones"

PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03

Re: Tivo again ?

As nice as your High-def Tivo is, I have bad news for you (and this is the reason I won't get HD yet):

DirecTV launched two new KA-band satellites this year strictly for more HD programming (mainly for HD local channels), in the 99 and 103 orbital slots. Hence the new big awkward semi-square looking 5-satellite dish that new HD customers get when they are installed. Your HD Tivo is not, and will never be, able to recieve these two new birds. So when the new programming on the new birds go live, you won't be able to get them. You will either need an H-20 (Regular HD receiver) or an HR-20 (HD DVR).

Sorry to burst your bubble, man. But you have to admit: all the cool new shows on ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX primetime would be killer in HD.
--
"I invented it, Bill made it famous." --David Bradley, the inventor of Ctrl+Alt+Del.

fireflier
Coffee. . .Need Coffee
Premium
join:2001-05-25
Limbo

Re: Tivo again ?

I bet you know what the gray box/dongle that installs in-line with the DTV receiver cable (comes with the H20 box) is for?

I know it's somehow related to the 5-LNB dish and programming but I'm not sure exactly what it's used for.

Upconverting?

PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03

1 recommendation

Re: Tivo again ?

The two new sats they put up this year greatly add to the range of frequencies transmitted down the cable from the dish to the receiver.

The new frequencies run close to 2GHz. But the recievers don't like them. So the little gray box on the back converts those near-2GHz signals to between 250-500MHz.

Yes, the new receivers suck so bad, they can't even handle all the signals piped into them. They need an external converter to lower the frequencies to something they like more. Should have been built in, I say.
--
"I invented it, Bill made it famous." --David Bradley, the inventor of Ctrl+Alt+Del.

fireflier
Coffee. . .Need Coffee
Premium
join:2001-05-25
Limbo

Re: Tivo again ?

said by PolarBear03:

Yes, the new receivers suck so bad, they can't even handle all the signals piped into them. They need an external converter to lower the frequencies to something they like more. Should have been built in, I say.
Wow. That is just insane!
--
Wishes: When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteorite hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteor. --despair.com

PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03

Re: Tivo again ?

I've been with DirecTV since 1999. I've had dozens of different receivers over the years.

By far, any of the new "DirecTV" branded receivers (D-10, D-11, R-15, H-20, HR-20) SUCK @$$!

The fact that they weren't smart enough to build that little box INTO the receiver internally (among other things), proves this.

I still use a Hughes SD-HBH for my regular receiver, and 3 Tivo's for DVRs. I WANT to get a new LCD TV and HD receiver, but I haven't yet, cause I am not going to trouble myself with their current crappy HD receivers.
--
"I invented it, Bill made it famous." --David Bradley, the inventor of Ctrl+Alt+Del.

fireflier
Coffee. . .Need Coffee
Premium
join:2001-05-25
Limbo

Re: Tivo again ?

Any idea what component on the H20-600 runs so darn hot? I've never torn into it to see where the heat is coming from but I figure it's either the CPU or a poorly designed PSU.

I hear they mostly fixed that issue on the newer H20-600s but I don't know what was changed.
--
Wishes: When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteorite hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteor. --despair.com

PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03

Re: Tivo again ?

I would assume its the PSU; they probably use really cheap inefficient ones to cut costs.

But come to think of it, with the way it runs, one could also assume it is improper cooling on the CPU. It's software operation DOES remind me of my PC when my case fan quit working.

Opening it up to find out may be interesting. If it is the CPU, you may find a simple cooling upgrade (another small fan in there somewhere?) may make your box run quite smoother. But I still say they suck!
--
"I invented it, Bill made it famous." --David Bradley, the inventor of Ctrl+Alt+Del.

fireflier
Coffee. . .Need Coffee
Premium
join:2001-05-25
Limbo

Re: Tivo again ?

said by PolarBear03:

But I still say they suck!
I wholeheartedly concur. . .

From a support standpoint I can understand why DTV migrated to their own branded boxes, but if you're going to do that you need to make sure what you offer is at LEAST as good as the run-of-the-mill equipment you're replacing if not better.
--
Wishes: When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteorite hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteor. --despair.com

PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03

1 recommendation

Re: Tivo again ?

I don't think it would have happened, if Murdoch, who owns the company making the new receivers, wouldn't have bought 35% of DirecTV. So hopefully his selling his piece will change things. Hopefully DirecTV realizes they suck, and will make some changes once Murdoch is gone.
--
"I invented it, Bill made it famous." --David Bradley, the inventor of Ctrl+Alt+Del.

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4
said by PolarBear03:

Sorry to burst your bubble, man. But you have to admit: all the cool new shows on ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX primetime would be killer in HD.
DTV doesn't offer true HD, its HD-LITE downrezzed overcompressed crap.
--
You can never be too rich, too thin or have too much Bandwidth

PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03

Re: Tivo again ?

That is because the sat they are currently using (110) to provide HD is owned by Dish/Echostar; they are simply leasing space, and a small amount of space it is. That is why DTV launched two new sats of their own this year. To provide much more (and hopefully better) HD content.

Also, I have heard similar complaints from many Comcast customers. I've had neither HD service myself (still got a 27" tube!), so I can't state an opinion.
--
"I invented it, Bill made it famous." --David Bradley, the inventor of Ctrl+Alt+Del.

sporkme
drop the crantini and move it, sister
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-01
Morristown, NJ
said by Jafo232:

said by Mactron:

Maybe DTV can start offering TIVO DVRs again !
That POS DVR they offer now is the Turd.
I agree, bring back the DirecTivo. It is the only thing keeping me from upgrading to DirectTVHD. I don't want to use their crappy DVR.
If you're willing to pay:

»www.weaknees.com/hd-tivo.php

•••
RottenTheRot

join:2002-02-17
Springfield, MO
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't have to reset my "new" DVR from DTV. It's the worst POS I've ever had sitting on my rack.
SlackBlade

join:2006-12-06
Suwanee, GA

Re: Tivo again ?

I agree. I have to reset mine every few days just to keep the thing honest. I have an old non HD Tivo and it rocks. I keep praying they just give Tivo the money and get the Tivo code on the new HR20 DVRs...

sporkme
drop the crantini and move it, sister
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-01
Morristown, NJ

Re: Tivo again ?

said by SlackBlade:

I agree. I have to reset mine every few days just to keep the thing honest. I have an old non HD Tivo and it rocks. I keep praying they just give Tivo the money and get the Tivo code on the new HR20 DVRs...
They need to make a tuner that looks like a cable card so you can bring your own series3.
WeKnSmith

join:2001-08-09
Noblesville, IN
Now we just need a way to get the message to John Malone that we want DTV to go back to TiVo.

verolom

join:2002-03-23
Reston, VA

Good for Murdoch, bad for Malone

Concentrating on his strengths Murdoch has realized geosynchronous orbit satellite communications are expensive, slow, and uncompetitive to fiber or even LEO systems. John Malone in the meanwhile remains the shark that he is in the sector. Let him choke on DirecTV.

•••

CPUYODA

join:2003-01-25
Johnson City, TN

LOL

I was wondering.....

He's in,...he's out rumors...
ric b

join:2006-03-23
Saint Louis, MO

DTV isn't so bad.

never had a problem with DTV in 8 1/2 years. EXCEPT that it doesn't offer on Demand type of stuff like. Had WAY more problems with cable and hearing for years how competitive they are. BS! The prices keep going up every year (it seems), enough to warrant keeping DTV. I haven't had a rate hike more than a few dollars, in years.

I own a separate Tivo, so don't have a clue about how bad (other than reviews) the DTV dvr's are.
sailor
Premium
join:2003-10-21
Long Island
kudos:6

2 edits

As Someone Who Purchased

700 Shares of News Corporation (NWS) back in early summer @ $19.98 per share and who also currently has 7 Call options for another 700 shares with a January strike price of $22.50, I welcomed this news today as I am of the opinion that this situation with Liberty has been holding the stock back. Now that it is finally settled, NWS can march on!

Today's reaction to the news was great combined with very heavy volume.

»finance.yahoo.com/q?s=nws