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Local channel access
This thread has 8 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Saturday November 27, 1999 at 09:55
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Well it looks like Mr. Bill is going to sign the legislation on Monday allowing Directv, et al to ditribute local tv signals. I eagerly await. But what does it really mean? I live west of Boston and receive a reasonably clear signal from most of the channels with an antenna. I am not interested in purchasing this signal from Directv or the local cable service. I would spend the 7 bucks to get the national network feeds for the convenience and variety. So I have a few questions for those in the know who care to answer:

1. Will everyone be able to buy those network signals after signing? (DTV claims to be ready for immediate transmission)
2. If not, when is the Boston area (#6)
3. Will we have a choice of local or national?
4. Is anyone aware of any forums dedicated to this subject? (found one supported by, and dedicated to the Dishnetwork) Thanks in advance.
OP | Post 2 made on Saturday November 27, 1999 at 16:35
Mark Barbieri
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For people like you that live in areas that can receive local stations via antenae, this is what is happening.

1. Only people whose local stations are on DirecTV can sign up for them. At first, that is only New York and LA.
2. They intend to do the top 20 markets during the course of the next year. They have not released a schedule. The first markets after NY and LA will be San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Denver, Detroit and Miami.
3. You will not have a choice; you will only get local.

OP | Post 3 made on Saturday November 27, 1999 at 16:54
Scott Funk
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What about those persons NOT in the one of the top 20 markets? I live near Mobile, AL.. When should I get network access via sat.? How do the determine the areas of importance in offereing the service?
OP | Post 4 made on Saturday November 27, 1999 at 21:08
Historic Forum Post
Thankyou Mark... I've been bashed enough and few people want, let alone believe whats really happening. No schedule has been finalized for the other eighteen markets yet.
OP | Post 5 made on Monday November 29, 1999 at 13:43
Todd J. Derr
Historic Forum Post
Dish network is now offering in 13 cities from 110 (i.e. using a Dish 500) as of noon EST today 11/29. I just added Pittsburgh so I know it's real :) The press release has details and a list of cities. The cities are the same ones that were available before, except now they're "legal" and all available using Dish 500 (as opposed to needing a separate dish). I had heard that Boston was not going to be available, but it is listed in the press release, so hopefully (for Dennis) it is.


DirecTV has not yet released a schedule - but in the first press release below they list 7 cities that will go up first: NY, LA, SF, DC, Denver, Detroit, and Miami. These will be available using existing equipment from their 101 satellite. I don't know if they are available now or when?


The rules are convoluted but basically what Mark said:

- if you are served by local stations (i.e. in the Grade B contour) then you only have the option to get those stations, not the national feeds. note that some local areas overlap so you can be eligible for more than one city.

- otherwise, you can get the national feeds (east and/or west coast)

The people who are still out of luck are those served by local stations which are not uplinked to satellite. You're not eligible for national feeds, or any local feeds :(

Scott, to answer your question, the order in which they are deploying locals is generally determined by the size of the DMA (Designated Market Area) as determined by Nielsen Media. They have a list at:


Dish and DirecTV simply don't have enough capacity to serve all markets, though Dish has more channel capacity so they should be able to serve more than DTV. One of the sticking points of the satellite bill (that was axed in the final version) was a $1.25B loan program to create a non-profit corporation to serve locals to most/all markets. But, it looks like that will have to wait...

To answer Dennis' last question, there is a forum I frequent at There are a lot of knowledgeable people there and they cover both Dish and DirecTV.
OP | Post 6 made on Monday November 29, 1999 at 16:13
Historic Forum Post
Thanks guy's. Just checked out DTV info on TV and I'm not elegible for New York. Kind of disappointed with the info regarding national feeds. Like I said, I get good Boston signals, why should I pay for them. Will the new law allow for providing national feeds, or is it not economically feasable for DTV and Echostar to offer a choice? Todd, dsbdish is the site I was referring to, it just seems to be heavily favored to the totally different Dishnetwork. Am I not selecting the right forum?
OP | Post 7 made on Monday November 29, 1999 at 16:53
Historic Forum Post
OK, Just went for a visit to the press release's Todd mentioned above. Looks like Echostar got the better deal, buck less than DTV and capable of an immediate offering to many more customers/areas. More questions: Is Boston in the DTV group that will continue to use the current dish? Is it posssible to convert to Dishnetwork using current equipment, ie; Sony receiver and DTV programming?
OP | Post 8 made on Monday November 29, 1999 at 17:40
Todd J. Derr
Historic Forum Post
The new law does not allow you to receive national feeds unless you are not served by local stations, i.e. basically in the middle of nowhere.

If you do get good signals by antenna then there's not much need to pay for them on DBS. You do get the guide info and save the pain of having to switch inputs on your TV, etc. In my case I couldn't get good reception, so I'm very happy to have them available.

As far as Boston, as I mentioned earlier, in the case of Dish network, there was some talk about them staying at their current 61.5 satellite. But, the press release implies that that's not true - you can pick them up using a Dish 500. So, I'm not sure about that. Cost is comparable in either case but with 61.5 you'd need to mount two dishes which may or may not be an issue for you.

My guess would be that DTV will be carrying Boston locals on their main (101) satellite, but I haven't seen anything official from them saying that.

If you convert, the dish and LNBs are compatible but the receivers are not. So, you'd need to buy new receivers and might be able to leave your dish alone.

But, most likely, you'll probably want/need a Dish 500, which is a "dual focus" dish, i.e. it uses 2 LNBs and picks up both the 110 and 119 satellites. If you're a new subscriber you can pick up a Dish 500 + receiver + multiswitch for $100-150 online.

As far as, it may be a bit slanted towards Dish, but not overly so IMO - there are a lot of DTV subscribers/supporters there as well. Certainly, not much "X is better than Y" crap goes on there, the moderators do a good job at keeping things under control.

Personally, I subscribe to both (NHL Center Ice from DTV, everything else from Dish). When I started looking for a system I was going to go with DTV, I hadn't really heard of Dish at all. I ended up going with Dish primarily because they had a better deal at the time ($300 rebate for $49/mo programming for a year). I'm glad I did - I really like the superstations and the Dishplayer. But, I wanted CI, so I picked up an "open box" system cheap ($80) and subscribed to just that. Best of both worlds IMO :) Now that I have my locals I'm even happier I chose Dish. YMMV.
OP | Post 9 made on Monday November 29, 1999 at 19:07
Historic Forum Post
Thanks for taking the time to respond Todd. Did see one of you messages at DBSDISH. Looked into some of the spin-off forums. They can get nasty huh? I will say that I did notice a little more info re: Directv in there today. Now waiting for a reply from Wayne. He takes the time also, so I think he is knowledgable as well. Maybe this forum/thread can create some more dialogue in the DBS area. (Daniel, this is a better site, ie; better grammar, spelling, layout, etc.) Thanks again.

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