One satellite internet provider?

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Just reading today that pressure is building on AT&T to dump Directv and merge with Dish in the shrinking satellite TV market.

The same already occurred with satellite radio when Sirius and XM merged.

So food for thought. What is the likelihood Hughesnet buys Viasat's subs or Viasat buys Hughesnet's subs? Given Viasat's divested interests, I could see them getting out of the residential business, but who knows.

Something to watch.
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ExSatUser

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Posted 3 months ago

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Stephen Rice, Champion

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No one seems to remember the good old days before Directv purchased USSB.
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ExSatUser

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Or when Directv was a good company!
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Ron D Stricklin

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I  miss the big dish
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Voyager

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If the LEO providers are successful at all, the geostationary providers will be out of business. I would not be surprised to see a merger as a last gasp before bankruptcy.
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ExSatUser

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There will still be a need for satellite internet to service commercial airlines I would think.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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I'm pretty happy with my Liberty 12 plan for $60 a month, but if I could get LEO internet for the same price or lower with a locked in price, I'd certainly consider jumping ship.

There is a possibility I might be able to get cable internet now, but they want $70 a month after their introductory rate expires.  No thank you. 

I've used up my priority data for the month and my speed is currently 3.36 mbps.  Thats good enough for me and at a sweet price as well!
(Edited)
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Voyager

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Cable here is 100 Mbps for $65/month. I’d be all over that if I could get it to my house. I am on Liberty 25 for $75/month, but may drop back to Liberty 12 as my data is gone so fast that it really doesn’t matter how much I have. Being slow for 28 days of the month vs 26 days hardly matters. And Liberty 12 in my area shows as $50/month which is cheaper than cable so might as well save money given the slow performance.

When I changed from Liberty 50 to Liberty 25 the difference was basically not noticeable other than the $25/month cost saving.

My speed is unusually good at the moment. Unfortunately, this is the exception rather than the norm.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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I pay $50 a month for Liberty 12 plus $10 for my equipment lease, hence me saying $60 a month.
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GabeU, Champion

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If AT&T dumped DirecTV rather than combining it with Dish, maybe DirecTV could build back their reputation as a once again independent company.  AT&T absolutely ruined them.  If they spun them off I'd be as happy as a lark.  
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Terry Hill

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I got 10 months left on my DirecTv contract then I'm done with them or I may pay to get out early. GabeU  I don't know if you have seen Orby Tv  commercial or not but that's what I will be getting. 
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GabeU, Champion

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I've got about a year left on my DTV contract.  I'd heard of Orby, but never really researched it.  It does look nice, and it would be about $70 or so cheaper than what I pay now.   It's something I may look into a little more thoroughly when my contract is nearly up with DTV.

Thanks for the heads up.  :)    
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Homeskillet

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Looks like Orby isn't for people that want stations that show sports.
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ExSatUser

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NFL Sunday Ticket.

Of course if I had reliable, high speed cable internet I wouldn't need Directv.
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Admiral Korbohuta

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Orby is good if you can get a good OTA signal for local channels. Otherwise, it's not worth it.
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ExSatUser

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I cant get that either.

No OTA TV.

No fixed wired internet.

The value of my house will he worthless when I try and sell it.
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Admiral Korbohuta

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Not really. Believe it or not there are still people who want to live a little off the grid and don't mind doing without those things.
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ExSatUser

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Fewer and fewer though. And certainly not young families unless their kids are home schooled or they are Amish.
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Homeskillet

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Anyone recommend a good OTA outdoor antenna? I thought I replaced one that died with a better one as it had good reviews and was more expensive. I lost half my channels. I am probably 40-50 miles from the TV stations.
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Michael McDowell

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This is what I am using.  I pull most Indianapolis stations from about 60 miles. https://www.summitsource.com/Channel-Master-3671-Ultra-Hi-Crossfire-TV-Antenna-Deepest-Fringe-Series-Antenna-HDTV-Aerial-Off-Air-Local-Signal-BLUE-ZONE-Part-CM-3671-P8313.aspx

Question:  How does an antenna just die (unless hit by a tornado or an ice storm) ? They are just Aluminum.
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Homeskillet

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Thanks! It was motorized for directional adjustment. It seems from day to day where it was pointed matters where I am at. What gets NBC HD nice on Tuesday may not work on Wednesday. The area I live in is flat, but in the woods.
(Edited)
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Michael McDowell

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I don't use a rotor, just pointed it in the general direction of Indy and haven't touched it since,  pulling about 50 channels (most of which are sub channels from the main channels).  I am on a 30' tower, though.
(Edited)
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bubs

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They will probably have to change the business practices, but I don't know about merging.  I could see a use for fixed use rather than tracking moving satellites in some cases, maybe, for some applications....

Glad I don't watch sports at all.  No locals by any means here either.  Youtube TV just became available a few months ago, in the area.  It works pretty well, you can set streaming quality manually.  They had a short signup period one weekend where you could get a free 3 week trial, instead of the usual one.  They just don't have RFDTV, but not a big deal.  DVR works fine, haven't had any buffering at all (of course not sat, but vz).  Hulu live was my other choice, haven't demoed that yet.  I will see what Directv says when my discounts quit, but very likely I'll drop it, either streaming or Orby.

"Fewer and fewer though. And certainly not young families unless their kids are home schooled or they are Amish."
Not the case where I live.  Houses average miles apart, but it's common for a kid/kids to stay home to work on the ranch/farm or start out on their own.  They buy someone's house when somebody dies (not many retire and move in old age until they are physically not able to do anything, some in their 80s+ still doing chores, even if "retired", common to stay in the house many miles from town).  Or, they put in a new house on a corner of their parent's land, sometimes close, sometimes on a remote chunk miles away ($100k gets a very nice new basic house).  My area (or much of the state really) hasn't been subject to much of the fluctuation in pricing, there was no housing crash to speak of (much anyway), just a fair increase through the years with not so bad fluctuations.  Quite common for a percentage of kids to go off to college, maybe live in town a few years after that, but then come back.  My cousin's kid was in LA of all places 3 years, missed the home lifestyle, came back.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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My parrents use this thing 20 feet up in the air. Works pretty freaking good.

Channel Master CM-4221 UHF and HDTV Antenna https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000FVTPX2/...
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Voyager

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This is what I use. I live in rural PA so it is hard to pull in stations over the mountains. When I was researching antennas 10 or so years ago, this was the highest gain one I could find. It is huge though so you need some room to mount it. My main stations are about 40 degrees apart and I just aim the big 8200U between them and it pulls them in great. I had no problem feeding a 2-way split with no amplifier, but when I connected to my structured wiring system which has an 1:8 splitter, I had to add an amplifier to ensure good signal to every port in my house.

http://winegard.saveandreplay.com/Win...

And don’t fall for the HD antenna crap. Antennas don’t know HD from Adam. Look at the gain and directivity and pick an antenna that suits your location. There are web sites such as tvfool.com that will help you estimate what you need and where to point the antenna. If you need to cover a azimuth of 50 degrees or less, you may be able to get by with no rotator as I do. However, if your good stations are 90 degrees or more apart, you probably want a good rotator.
(Edited)
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Homeskillet

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I don't think 20-30 feet in the air will make a difference as I am surrounded by 60 foot trees. I tried the last two antennas from anywhere from 3 feet to 15 feet in the same spot and signal strength did not change. I appreciate the suggestions.

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ExSatUser

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If you are more than 50 miles from an HD signal, depending on terrain, you get nada. Analog signals stretched further. So while I use to get a dozen or so analog signals, now I dont get a one.

Like satellite internet, DirecTV made a difference for where I live. But neither satellite internet nor TV is once what it was. If I knew 20+ years ago what I know today, my house wouldn't be built where it is.
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Admiral Korbohuta

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80-100ft trees and mountainous terrain are my problem. No antenna will work.
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ExSatUser

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Sounds like you live in a trap!
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GabeU, Champion

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I like that antenna in the link.  I have an old style house antenna on a 2" pole that goes up the backside of my house, which it could clamp right onto.  It's held onto the back of the house by U bolts, so I can turn it by hand, which is important, as there are two main locations for our OTA towers, separated by about 50 degrees at my distance.  They're about 25 and 35 miles away.   I think an antenna like that would work very well, and probably better than what I have.  I also live on the side of a large hill that faces the towers, so there is nothing to block the signal from them, save for a tree on my front lawn.  Too bad I can't say the same for the cell tower about a mile and half from here.
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@ExSat There is NO difference in transmission between an “HD” signal and an analog signal as everything transmitted is analog. The perceived difference in range is because of the intelligence in the digital world. In the analog world, as long as the received could sync with the signal, you would see whatever was received “snow” and all. In the digital world, if the signal is too poor to display properly, most TVs will simply stop displaying anything rather than display a choppy image.

Trying to make people believe that they need a different antenna to receive “digital signals” is one of the biggest marketing frauds around today.
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ExSatUser

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I know there is NO difference in antennas. There IS a difference in range to receive an HD signal that is viewable.

Analog signals you are correct. You didnt always get the clearest channels at times, but they were still watchable and you got enough for acceptable viewing.

HD channel is "all or none". You get a clear digital channel to view or you dont anything, based on the amount of signal received. The signals at my location are not good enough to watch ANY HD channel. With the analog channels, I probably could watch a dozen stations.
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GabeU, Champion

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Nowhere did ExSat  intimate that there is a digital antenna and an analog antenna.  He was speaking of the signals, and there most certainly is a difference between the transmission of the two signals, though there is no such thing as digital and analog antenna, as you felt the need to counter.  
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GabeU, Champion

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I used to get more main channels when it was analog, but I still get more channels overall due to getting the sub channels.  I used to actually get some stations from Canada, including one from Toronto, but no longer.  

And then, of course, there's the all or nothing problem with digital, like you mentioned.  
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Voyager

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@ExSat. It is a subtle distinction, but it sounded like you were saying that “HD signals” somehow traveled farther. They travel exactly the same distance as analog signals because they are analog signals. The difference isn’t the range of the signals, but the choices made in the signal processing. Analog displays everything as there is no way to know that the analog signal is degraded until it is so bad you can’t sync. Digital has the advantage of being able to know that the signal has degraded and once it degrades so much that the 0s and 1s can no longer be distinguished, then the signal processing simply shuts down. So, the issue isn’t range, it is signal processing. That is my point.
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GabeU, Champion

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One of the problems with digital vs analog is the most digital TV signals are in the UHF range, which is more dependent on a clear line of site than VHF signals.  The other problem, though having more to do more with the specific station and their tower, is that digital TV signal transmission requires more power in comparison.  
(Edited)
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Voyager

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I am somewhat surprised that some TV maker hasn’t added a feature to allow display of a degraded signal. It would not be that hard to decode the parts of the signal that are known and then choose a 0 or 1 for those bits that are lost in the noise based on some algorithm or simply roll the electronic dice and choose a bit value for those that are unknown. This would make an image that would be splotchy like the old analog images, but might well be watchable if not too bad given how good the human brain is a reading between the lines, or pixels in this cases.

However, I think digital TV as hyped so much at the outset as being so much better than analog TV that it probably is not palatable to display a less than perfect image on a digital TV.
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ExSatUser

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I understand what you are saying. But range impacts the distance you can get a viewable HD signal as you say because it is either "off" or "on". When you get further away from the transmitter (and with hills, valleys, etc), the signal gets weaker. So much weaker to the you cant watch a channel.

Same principle with satellite internet, satellite TV, etc. You either have a workable signal or you dont.

I agree about more sub channels. But when you get no channel, you dont get any of its sub channels either.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Most digital stations are broadcast on UHF frequencies. Buy a high quality UHF antenna like the one I posted and you will be amazed at the results. My parrents are more than 50 miles from New Orleans and they pickup every New Orleans station with their UHF antenna 20 feet in the air.
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ExSatUser

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Remind me how many hills and valleys and mountains are in Louisiana :)
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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We have at least a million or so ant hills.
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ExSatUser

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That you do!

I looked at the FCC page that showed what stations I should get. They assume antenna 30 feet in the air, out of 10 listed, I was marginal (a PBS I would never watch), one was fair (but because I live on the side of a hill opposite that signal no chance), and 8 were no signal at all.

Until just a couple years ago I didnt even have a wireless signal.

The really sad thing is i live a quarter mile from a level 3 fiber transmission cable. But there is no way to tap it, and a railroad, highway, and creek are between me and it even if I could :(
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Homeskillet

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I haven't had satellite TV since I moved into the woods a decade ago, sounds like satellite TV isn't as good as it used to be from some of the comments.
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Homeskillet

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It won't let me remove the double post.
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ExSatUser

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Like satellite internet, it isnt.
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Homeskillet

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What is the issue? I had it for 15 years only time I had trouble was when very high winds like 65mph gusts with dust storms would hit and the picture would freeze on and off. I used to live against some foothills on the border of a desert. It worked fine during heavy rains.
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ExSatUser

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Mainly price. It is reliable for me. But customer service has declined, there is always a channel dispute of some kind, and the infrastructure is aging.
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Homeskillet

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Agree on price, I keep thinking about it. I only want it to watch sports and the basic packages don't have the sports channels so that means a minimum of $60 a month.
I think that same package used to be $30 a little less than 10 years ago. Also all the bells and whistles costs a friend of mine over $200 and that used to be like $95 back when I had it. If a person is into sports there isn't much on broadcast TV anymore. It is down to like 3 or 4 college bowl games. In my area there isn't any MLB until the World Series, the only NBA play-offs are the finals with hardly any regular season games shown. Over half the Nascar races are on pay channels now. The only sport that seems to have the same broadcast TV coverage as it did before cable and satellite TV is golf.
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ExSatUser

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Honestly I find myself watching Netflix and Amazon more and more and anything on DirecTV less (unless sports). If it wasnt the sports, I could probably survive without it.
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Voyager

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@ExSat. I agree 100%. I haven’t had CATV for 20 years as the cable company would not run up my driveway (1700’ long) so I have had only OTA and what I watch in the internet, which is painful with DSL and now satellite. Once I get fiber, I will never watch a TV channel again, not even OTA. So much better to watch what I want, when I want, on Netflix, Hulu, and AcornTV.
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ExSatUser

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A streaming war is coming. Not all these streaming companies will survive. Amazon and Netflix most certainly will. But how many beyond that?
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Voyager

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Your guess is as good as mine. I don’t really care as it is super easy to add and drop them.
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Admiral Korbohuta

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I'm in the minority here. I still prefer live TV. With streaming services the amount of content is mind boggling and I can never seem to find something to just sit down and watch. Plus, with live TV I know when I change the channel that it's gonna work. No worrying about buffering, congestion on my network or player issues.
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Michael McDowell

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Most of what our household watches is OTA TV.  I use Tablo to record OTA programs and stream them to our TV's.  I also have a PlayOn TV account and Amazon Prime and CBS All Access.  I still have a Dish Network receiver, also, but am considering switching that to ORBY.   Sports programs?  Tired of paying for what I never watch!
(Edited)
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ExSatUser

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I couldn't even tell you the last time I watched a series on network TV.  My guess would be 1994 or so!   
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GabeU, Champion

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I think the last network TV series I watched was NYPD Blue, though I didn't watch it all the way through to the end.  Save for the evening news, nothing really interests me on network TV these days, and that is especially the case with the plethora of "reality" shows. 
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Voyager

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@ExSat Probably the same here. I really don’t know, but I moved into my new house in 2000 and haven’t had cable since then so I know for sure it was that long ago as we have never watched a series on OTA. Just an occasional show and the evening news now and then.
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ExSatUser

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Reality shows are crap. But they are cheap and easy to produce.

Amazon, Netflix, Showtime, HBO, etc. can all do series shows much, much better. Probably because they can be edgier and are well written. Even some cable channels (AMC comes to mind) can do better than network.

Then when it comes to original movies, the networks can't even come close to the providers mentioned above.
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Voyager

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@ExSat. I have found AcornTV to have the best content by far if you are looking for well-written shows that have a semblance of a plot. If you are looking for violence, bizarreness, profanity, etc., then you will be well served by Netflix, Amazon and the like
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ExSatUser

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Yea. Amazon and Netflix meet my viewing needs, but thanks for the recommendation!
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Oliver

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ATT/DTV have said no more sats in production. It knows streaming tv will take over. 10 or so years and good by sat tv, at least it will free up more MHz. I have a special hate for DirecTV as those guys took me all the way to the supreme court and lost, but still that's my damn permanent record.
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ExSatUser

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Supreme court?

Okay.

But yes. No more satellites. If only our internet infrastructure would be in place within 10 years.

I am not holding my breath.
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GabeU, Champion

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DirecTV took YOU to the Supreme Court and lost?  Say what?  
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Voyager

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What is the Supreme Court case reference?
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Admiral Korbohuta

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There will be plenty more satellites. Just not high orbit geostationary ones.
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ExSatUser

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Any reference to where that is stated? Or is that your opinion?
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GabeU, Champion

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I read the same, in that AT&T/DTV will put no further sats in the sky.   Those days are over. 
(Edited)
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Admiral Korbohuta

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ExSat, just my opinion. LEO satellite internet is set to become quite popular in the next few years. I expect them to possibly get into the TV broadcast market as well.
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ExSatUser

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If LEO internet works, Viasat and Hughesnet are out of the residential internet business and so might be DirecTV and Dish.

We can only hope we can get high speed, low latency, truly unlimited internet in the next five years.
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Admiral Korbohuta

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I believe it'll be sooner than 5 years. Watched a story on my local news the other day about Starlink, who say they plan on starting service in the southern US by the end of 2020.
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ExSatUser

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That's why I said in the next five years :).

And it will take awhile to get the bugs out and cover the rest of the U S. Still, it sounds exciting!
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Voyager

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I think it will be well over 5 years to get full US coverage, but I expect some areas will have coverage within 5 years. I am curious to see if they can do all of this with nondirectional ground antennas. I think this will take a LOT of satellites to get sufficient density to avoid the need for active tracking by the receivers which would be complicated and expensive.
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bubs

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The way I read it was the northern US gets coverage first, followed by the south by the end of 2020. 6 more launches before basic coverage.
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Voyager

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And that likely assumes all launches are on time and successful and we all know that isn’t the case.
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bubs

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Of course, failures happen.  But, as "fast and furious" as launches are planned (possibly 6 this year, iffy, but possibly), and I forget, but I think they said over 20 next year, if one fails, they might pause to investigate.  Having that many ready to go, I don't think they'd delay that long.

Everything is an "if", of course, it just looks a bit more promising than other alternatives have.  I was hopeful for VS-1, cautiously optimistic, but never saw coverage or any major improvement  from that (no coverage, minimal increase in browsing speed with Exede 5 upgrade, still massive congestion, and the beam closed for years within a couple months of "upgraded" service), no coverage from VS-2 ($110 plan at the cheapest now), and nothing to get excited about VS-3 (more of the same).  So, disappointment is definitely a possibility and won't be shocking.  Except with these attempts, if not this company, then another, unless they are blocked.  At least one ~should succeed, so if there's a failure, waiting should result in something that actually works, this time.
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Voyager

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I agree. All we can do is speculate. I, for one, wish them well. Satellite will always be a distant cousin to optical fiber, but for really rural areas and for mobile service, satellites hold a lot of promise if done right. For high bandwidth and low latency communications, LEO is satellites done right. Geostationary is great for things like weather that are relatively low bandwidth sent to fixed ground stations, but for internet it was never a good solution and never will be.

I am hoping to have fiber soon and that is far and away the best solution for communications, but I do wish for much better satellite service for those of you who may never get fiber or at least not anytime soon. LEO is by far the most promising solution for the rural areas that have no other options and, if the receiving antennas don’t have to do any tracking, it could be a great option for mobile internet as well taking some pressure off the cell networks. At the least, it should help keep cell prices in check by offering a viable alternative.
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bubs

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Yes, satellite tech has the most "promise" of getting more coverage to more people, and LEO "cures" the latency issue.  I'd think with a small number of companies doing LEO right, high capacity, reliable setups.  I'd think a small number would be better than a whole bunch crowding orbital space.  Maybe they could do something like an MVNO setup with other companies (if Viasat isn't doing their own, maybe that).  They could offer different service options to go with it, things here and there (like bundling a streaming music/video service, phone, I don't know, things like that).

Phone company said fiber would be here 10 years ago.  They upgraded out the other side of town, like 15-20 miles out.  But, it's a locally owned company, in a village of about 200 people, and they have had the company for sale for some time, very doubtful anything will be done.  Their fiber options match what they have in town.  $85 for 5 meg.  That would be "fine", but my cell is faster, and cheaper....
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Oliver

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My case wasn't anything fun. Just DTV extorting money from what it thought was a pir8. Didn't expect to end up in supreme court, took a donation to eff to help out. Don't think this was final ruling but if your bored Goog /docketfiles/07-1261.htm
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ExSatUser

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This would make you Cody Oliver I presume?

How did something like this end up in the Supreme Court!
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Voyager

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That was not an easy read. It is hard to tell the details from the court case summary, but given that one judge dissented making it not a unanimous decision and given the discussion about technicalities of the law rather than substance, it sure looks like you were doing something nefarious, but that DirectTV simply didn’t apply the right law to the situation. Is that conjecture close to correct? Or were you an innocent bystander to someone else who was pirating?
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GabeU, Champion

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So, the case essentially concerned the pirating of DirecTV's signal?  
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ExSatUser

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Something like that it appears. And Directv singled out a couple consumers that they perceived were involved. Went through the Ninth Circus Court and then appealed to Supreme Court it looks like.
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Oliver

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Zero evidence trials. I was told not to respond, didn't think it would go all the way to the top. The supreme court does print a nice little case book as a souvenir however......for a more fun read try Oliver lightning gun.
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ExSatUser

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How about you just focus your talents on high speed, low latency, truly unlimited internet for any location in America :).
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Voyager

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I notice you didn’t deny that you did it. Just that DirectTV didn’t have evidence. Interesting...