"Official" announcement of DirecTV 2019 changes

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by docj, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. docj

    docj
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    Lots of people on various RV forums have been worried about changes to the DirecTV broadcasting lineup that are anticipated for 2019. There has been lots of misinformation posted to the effect that many systems currently in use will become obsolete.

    Many of us have suspected that the satellite TV vendor community is privy to information about what DirecTV is planning on doing next year, but they're bound by confidentiality agreements not to disclose it.

    The following is from a document that I came across on a satellite TV vendor's website. It is an internal memo to TracVision dealers explaining in detail what is going to happen. What's important for everyone here to understand is that the changes will make most dome system (both rooftop and portable) better than they are today rather than worse, as many had feared. In fact, your dome will be able to receive most of the major HD channels which will be broadcast from the 101 satellite on the KU band. Yes, DirecTV is ending MPEG2 SD but it is making it possible for you to receive HD broadcasts if you wish. (If you don't want to pay for HD, your receiver will probably be able to downconvert to SD).

    Here are the key portions of the document:

    DIRECTV/AT&T will be ending Standard Definition (SD) television transmissions from the 101W and 119W satellites in mid-2019. At that time, SD transmissions originating from the 101W orbital slot will be converted
    to high-definition (HD) format, and SD transmissions originating from the 119W satellite will be terminated.

    DIRECTV has not yet identified the specific channel listing that will be available from the 101W or 119W satellites once the transition is completed. KVH anticipates popular national channels such as CNN, ESPN,
    etc., will be available in HD on 101W, but we have not received confirmation. DIRECTV is currently sendingout notifications to customers that DIRECTV equipment needs to be updated, and that they will upgrade the equipment for free to HD compatible components.


    For those who are interested, here's a link to the entire document:
    https://www.sats2go.com/images/DirecTV-chages-2019.pdf
     
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  2. Bama Camper

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    Thanks for posting that memo; good info.
    Being a bit suspicious of DirecTV/ATT, there are several ways they can make more money on this:

    The memo said they will upgrade existing SD equipment, that's good. But they will replace it with H series equipment which would include a "Advanced Receiver Service-HD" fee of (currently) $10 per month per unit.

    The other way they might make more money is to limit the programming on the 101 satellite to a package that would be an upgrade for most folks.

    Using H.64 encoding (MPEG4 with special signals in the "wrapper"), they could encode the transmissions on the 101 bird to enable only receivers that are authorized for mobile use, and charge more for that service. I think ATT has wanted them to do this in some fashion since they took over DirecTV (charge more for that "specialty" market, and to keep people from dragging their receivers out of their homes to take on the road).

    Or, they might encode the programming on the 101 bird at a higher compression ratio in order to squeeze more channels on a transponder. Still HD, but more subject to pixelization in the picture.

    I appreciate good HD video, but have opted to accept SD on the road just so I'd have a higher rate of success finding a "hole" in the tree canopy. After all, it's only when that special football game (Roll Tide) is not carried on a terrestrial station or when I'm out of coverage.

    It will be nice not to have to find a large hole in the trees with my portable dish and still get HD, but I think I'll be paying for it.
     
  3. docj

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    The current expectation is that DirecTV will replace SD receivers with HD ones but will only allow HD output for those customers who pay for HD service. The receiver is quite capable of downconverting its output signal to SD quality even without a separate SD channel being broadcast and that's what we think will occur. They could alternatively give everyone HD access and simply charge everyone for the service. Or, they could give everyone HD access for free, but if you believe that I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you!:D

    As for the others things you mention that DirecTV could do, they remain possible. But many people have spent the last two years convinced that DTV was going to employ a strategy to make all current dome and portable systems obsolete and that has turned out not to be the case. I've been telling people that this was all hearsay and that there wasn't any evidence it would occur. I don't think it's worth the effort to worry about all the other "bad things" DirecTV could do until we see evidence that they are moving in that direction. JMO
     
  4. BankShot

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    Our contact with Direct TV was due to a billing question and at that time we were told about what was going down after the first of the year and that our satellite receiver would need to be changed out. They also told us that we would need to go into a RV place such as Camping World and buy a new compatible receiver, take it home, hook it up and then call them to have them "authorize" it, etc. We were told nothing about them swapping out the old receiver for a new one but rest assured that after reading the above posts on this, I will be talking further to them about this. I realize that we can buy our own receiver but we rent our current SD unit and will also be doing the same with the new HD unit as long as this will still be available to us. Thanks to Joel and Bama Camper for this information.........

    Regards, BankShot...............(aka Terry)
     
  5. docj

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    You should be aware that even if you purchase your own hardware, DirecTV still treats you the same as if you were renting it. As far as they are concerned all receivers used on their network are under their control. I, also, have purchased some hardware but I wasn't under any delusion that it was buying me anything tangible.
     
  6. BankShot

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    Hi Joel. Boy you got that right. My S.O copilot has the Direct TV account in here name. I have Dish in mine at the house and buying a receiver still incurs a monthly use fee to use it on their systems. The downside to buying one is that if something goes wrong with it you pay to repair or replace it yourself whereas when renting/leasing it from them it is replaced at no charge when something goes wrong. Both companies are rip offs of course but where we live we have no other real choice other than Comcast which is even a bigger rip off as OTH signals don't reach into our area where we live............. :( And with Comcast the cable to go along with us on trips would be way too long...:rolleyes:

    Regards, Terry..............(aka BankShot)
     
  7. Bama Camper

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    Your receiver is under their control because they authorize your receiver with the transmitted activation code (for the price you pay), but they will only upgrade units they lease won't they? (genuinely asking - I don't know). I thought if you buy a receiver elsewhere you have to upgrade it yourself. (?).
     
  8. NYDutch

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    The receiver fee you're paying DISH is for access to the program guide and it's features, and is the same for both purchased and leased equipment. If you have a problem with your DISH equipment, just sign up for the DISH Protect add-on for a few months at $9/mo. Service calls are only $10 and equipment replacement is free regardless of whether it's leased or purchased. You can even add DISH Protect in the same call as the service request and you'll be covered. There's a minimum number of months it needs to stay active, but I don't know what that is currently.
     
  9. BankShot

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    Not beat a poor old dead horse into the ground on this but in all the years I've been with DIsh I have never had to pay for a replacement receiver when one has gone bad. I did have to pay a small extra monthly fee when HD came around and I upgraded from SD receivers to the new HD ones but never a charge to have one replaced that went south, and that did happen a couple of times along the way. Where all this will go in the future is anyone's guess. All I know is that we never had to pay for TV or radio and now it costs us up the old ying-yang for both if we want to listen or watch all the great (oops, meant to type crappy) news and programming being made available nowadays. Whatever happened to "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Cheers". Yeah, I know we can watch them on the rerun channels and those cost us to watch also............ :mad: Don't ya just love it........... :D

    BankShot..............(aka Terry)
     
  10. NYDutch

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    Three words... "Over The Air"... Still "free". You're paying DISH, DTV, Spectrum, etc., for delivering the programming to you, not the quality of the programming. Don't want to pay? Then don't. It's your choice...
     
  11. Bama Camper

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    And terrestrial broadcast (OTA) is the best quality. All the satellite, cable and internet providers compress the transmitted signal more than broadcast. Sometimes they absolutely ruin it. This is most evident in wide shots (landscapes), fast action (sports) and fine detail like graphics.
     
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  12. BankShot

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    I hear you guys loud and clear but OTA reception is not available where I live without having to install a 1/8th mile high antenna. If that weren't the case I'd drop Dish like a lead brick but unfortunately that's not the case so I have to go with either them, Direct, or Comcast to receive TV signals. Many years ago when I first moved here I had a really good T.O.T.L. TV antenna installed on top of a 120 foot Pine tree and all I was able to receive was NBC okay at times, with CBS, ABC, and PBS fuzzy and most of the time not close to being able to watch. So I opted to go with a satellite company, Dish, and have had them since.. Never had problems down south in the LA area as I lived on a hillside overlooking the San Gabriel valley and directly across from Mt. Wilson where all the TV broadcast antennas are located. Great picture and nothing to interfere with the signal....................

    BankShot..............(aka Terry)
     
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  13. NYDutch

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    If locals meet your watching needs, you could only take the cheapest package that includes them. I think that's about $25 on Dish. I don't know what DTV has...
     
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  14. BankShot

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    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    There's the rub Dutch. We've gotten into watching some of the more "informed" channels such as the Science, Discovery, National Geo, Travel and History channels and those aren't available OTA, at least not to my knowledge they aren't. One thing nice is that we are able to receive our local channels all the way up to Canyonville, Oregon and on out to the coast and as far south as Bakersfield without having to make special arrangements to receive them or pay extra to while on the road. Once however we reach the limit in each direction as to where the locals are no longer received we just watch Fox, MSNBC and a couple of other channels to get the national news, such as the news is anymore... :(

    Regards, Terry.............(aka BankShot)
     
  15. NYDutch

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    And there it is, you have to "pay to play". ;)

    It would be great if we could have a completely a la carte channel selection, only paying for those channels we want to watch. Unfortunately, the program providers don't see it that way, bundling multiple channels together in their carriage contracts so even the lowest viewed channels are forced on the carriers at exorbitant prices.
     
  16. BankShot

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    With regards to cable broadcasts fiber optics would allow customers to pick and choose just the channels they want and not have to have all those hundreds of useless shopping networks and belly fat analysis crap that are forced on us now. It could be accomplished with the two satellite providers also but at a significant cost and a whole lot of new equipment which in turn would end up having us pay a lot more for just those channels we wanted. Who watches the junk channles anyway, anybody you or I know? I sure can't come up with anybody I know who does. But combined together those crap channels bring in a large amount of income for each of the providers so we get stuck with them whether we watch them or not. Out of the 220 some odd channels on my lineup, I probably watch no more than about 14 at alternating times. All the others just take up room on the guide.............. :mad:

    Terry................(aka BankShot)
     
  17. NYDutch

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    Did you know that most of those "junk" channels are paying to be on the cable/sat services? And most service providers do not include them in the package channel counts? On our Dish receivers, I just leave them out of the listings using a custom "Favorites" list.
     
  18. BankShot

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    I am aware of that Dutch however when you look at the various channel packages those junk channels are part of the count in each package. At least on my package they are. I was once going to do what you do and set up a custom guide showing only the channels I do watch or may want to watch just every so often, etc. but haven't got around to doing that. Been too busy RVing. Or at least that's the excuse I'll use................. :D

    Terry................(aka BankShot)
     
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  19. NYDutch

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    Well, the next time you have a spare few minutes, do yourself a favor and setup a custom list. It'll save you some aggravation when you don't see those unwanted channels. I don't know which package you have with which provider, but as just one example, the Dish "Top 120" package actually gives you about 240 channels, including the audio only Dish and Sirius/XM music channels.
     
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  20. BankShot

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    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    At my home I currently have Dish's Top 200 package and I know there are a lot more channels in the full guide than that. But of those "top 200" channels I still only watch probably no more than 14, maybe a couple or three more when I find myself channel surfing and run across some channel that has something on that grabs my interest for half an hour or so. I think I will take your suggestion and follow thru to make up a custom list of my most watched channels as that really will save some time time scrolling thru the long list of garbage (aka junk) channels that I never watch. On the road we have a Direct TV setup due to my S.O. having Direct at her digs. We wanted TV in the coach to watch the news just to keep updated on what's going on in this crazy old world we live in, and for when the "weather outside is frightful" and the reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond are on. She wanted us to use the Direct setup as she likes it mo betta than Dish, so I gave in on that. Other than that the satellite dome/dish just sits up top silent as is are the TV's inside. Oh, we do listen to a few of the music channels for background music which can be nice at times with a glass of wine................ :D

    Terry............(aka BankShot)
     
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