What do you guys think of the new VOOM service?

I thought this might be of interest to VOOM customers.

EchoStar To Purchase Satellite from Cablevision

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan. 20, 2005–EchoStar Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) announced today that it has agreed to purchase certain satellite assets from Rainbow DBS Co., a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC), for $200 million.

Specifically, EchoStar has agreed to purchase Rainbow 1, a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) located at 61.5 degrees West Longitude, together with the rights to 11 DBS frequencies at that location. The satellite includes 13 frequencies, up to 12 of which can be operated in “spot beam” mode.

The EchoStar III satellite also located at 61.5 degrees West Longitude broadcasts DISH Network TV programming to hundreds of thousands of consumers today using DBS spectrum controlled by EchoStar at that location. EchoStar is assessing how the Rainbow satellite’s flexibility can best be utilized to enhance DISH Network’s existing service. Also, as part of the transaction with Cablevision, EchoStar will acquire ground facilities and related assets in Black Hawk, S.D. The transaction is subject to review by the Federal Communications Commission and other regulatory agencies.

Follow up cut/paste:
Now it’s a bit more clear what will happen with VOOM, the satellite TV service from Cablevision. The service and its customers may remain in some limbo, given that VOOM said it will continue providing service during a transition period. But the satellite supporting the service and other assets are going to EchoStar. And that deal alone may have sealed VOOM’s eventual fate.

And probably no one could be happier than the folks on Wall Street. Some in the financial community thought a dark cloud had hovered over the Cablevision stock due to VOOM. Richard Greenfield of Fulcrum Global Partners said in November that the “correct management decision would be to shutter or sell VOOM, ending the cash ‘black hole’ they are perpetuating.”

What Wall Street got right was who would eventually get the VOOM stuff. Fulcrum’s Greenfield, Tom Eagan of Oppenheimer and Co., Craig Moffett of Bernstein Research, and others predicted that EchoStar would end up with the key assets, including the Rainbow satellite supporting VOOM.

And it appears the deal is a winner for DISH. The company bought a satellite already in orbit and associated ground facilities for $200 million. The satellite appears to be functioning normally, and EchoStar doesn’t have to go through the process of ordering, building and launching a satellite. Those points alone may appear that DISH got the assets on the cheap side.

The asset is already in space, and it’s in a DBS orbital location where EchoStar already conducts operations. And it gives the company access to more orbital capacity, a critical component given that TV viewers will eventually be moving to more advanced services and programming, including more high def.

The next big event will be regulatory approval, including a blessing from the Federal Communications Commission. Expect the companies involved to push for a quick OK on this deal while at The Portals.

More subject matter related to the VOOM sale: http://news.ft.com/cms/s/621383e6-6b3e-11d9-9357-00000e2511c8.html

Glad I’m leasing the hardware and not buying it. :sad: No doubt that Dish will gut the service and use the satellite for their own purposes. Let’s hope that that includes adding many HD channels to the Dish service. :iagree:

I’m leasing my hardware for satellite TV, too, but it’s a 3-year lease. :sad: Only 200 million dollars??

Yeah, if I’d known it was going to go so cheaply, I’d have bought it myself. :wink:

I have to think that due to the (relatively small) existing base of users that require HD service, that Dish will not do anything to cut themselves off from 26,000 subscribers and that monthly cash flow from Voom. I also hope we see an end result of additional HD programming somehow or at least maintain what they have. I welcome this competition to DirecTV’s inferior 5 HD channel offering. DirecTV best get in gear with MPEG4 and swing some enticing deals, or they will be the SD satellite service and will watch as a growing number of those with HD sets abandon ship. I guess we will know by September what the environment will be.

Well, I think it’s likely that Dish is not buying a 200m satellite for broadcasting only HD content, and since VOOM is producing about 3/4 of the HD programming they broadcast, that much will at least be going away. About 90 ch on VOOM are duplications of Dish programming. So there’s a fair chunk of available bandwidth there. Let’s pray that Dish is not planning to use all of it’s available bandwidth for local channels as DTV has done.

My hunch is that DVT plans to stop offering off-air HD content and antennae, and put those channels on the satellite, which will put any other HD programming WAY back on the back burner for another 1-2 years. Dish has always tried to be the “cheap” service, which does not usually include things like abundant HD offerings and self-produced programming.

VOOM’s biggest problem is their pricing. $100/mo for the full package is too steep for most folks. If Dish is smart, they’ll see the niche and jump in offering “high-end” services that DTV does not. The question is: are they smart? I’m not willing to pay $10/mo for DTV’s pitiful HD package, but I’d be willing to pay $30/mo for a true high-end package.

For me, one major attraction to VOOM was the absense of the 200 or so worthless channels clogging up my program guide.

We’ll see, I just hope I get some months of the current VOOM service before it vanishes.

Yeah that makes sense grimes. I think 10 bucks a month for DTV HD package is too high as well. Fortunately with the 7 months “free” sevice, I get a year for 50 bucks. (don’t get me started on Cinemax HBO and Starz! I already cancelled after the 3 free months, but that cast me 2 HD channels! :Z ) But, especially after what I see in this forum, I will jump ship for the best HD package. Right now that’s VOOM.

VOOM is up and running here. Looks very nice. :iagree: Picture quality on all the HD channels is excellent. Picture quality on the standard cable channels is also a tad better than DirecTV. Deffinitely is nice to see ~30 HD channels to watch, and the VOOM original channels all seem to have decent stuff on to watch. Just having all the available premium HD channels is great.

sigh Sounds good Grimes! :cool: I’m glad you like it! In June my “free” HD is expired. At that point, if you are still happy maybe I can make the switch too! I’ll see what it sets me back.

Hopefully, they’ll still be around in June. :eek:

Boy… Your not joking.
Cablevision owns voom and the family that owns its is about to kill each other. :eek:
Read some of the story about the family feud.
For starters the son wanted to shut down (by the end of March) voom and farther didn’t.
Also from what I understand anyone that went along with the son got the boot. :eek:

Have had a few days to surf VOOM. It’s great, and well worth the extra $10/mo that it costs ove my old DirecTV package. You can watch nothing but HD programming, there’s plenty of great stuff on. Lots of the old movies they have on appear to be mastered in HD too, it’s great.

The channel guides and software are a bit clumsy, not as customizable as the competition, but once you get used to it it’s not too bad.

I’m encouraged to read that the owner is going to bat to save this service. He reminds me of Hughes, Tucker, and others who dare to flame out in a big way when they believe in their business. He’s got my business for as long as he wants it. I wish I had the balls (and cash) to risk $200 million and face $660 million in debt.

Well its easy for him when its other peoples money. :eek:
I mean this guy has sockholder meeting and tells the sockholder they can’t come. :eek: It great he wants to do this but use all hes own money!!!
The stock for this company at its high was around $85 USD a share, now for the last few years it been around $20 and lower. The day he sarted do all this shit hes stock went down. They say hes got the money so spend it. :slight_smile:

Currently I pay $50 per month for cable internet, $25 per month for Vonage, and $100 per month for VOOM (taxes not included.). Since VOOM may or may not make it past March I’m “jumping ship” to Cablevision. For a $10 install fee and $134 per month I get all of their services. All SD and HD channels (including premium channels) and an HD DVR! They claim to have 16 HD channels, but we’ll see on Saturday 19MAR what they consider HD. Also included in that price is VOIP and cable internet. I very much doubt that Cablevisions HD content will be anywhere near as good as VOOM’s, but not having a DVR is such a pain. I end up watching lame TV instead of what I really want to watch. I know I could buy a TIVO or Replay, but I don’t want to. I want an integrated HD solution like a used to have with SD. FYI, when I called to cancel VOOM they offered to let me have 2 months at half price if I stayed with them in the hopes that they would offer an HD DVR or still be in business after that. Good luck VOOM. Call me when you get your act together and after my Cablevision contract is up (12 months.)

My friend has the HD (or what ever its called) from Cablevision and he has to complaints. One is the not HD local channels look like shit so he don’t use the cable box for them. :eek:
Two he says the box takes a while to kick in. :eek:
If you have a choice you don’t want a Sony cable box, ask for a Scientific Atlanta. I’m not sure if they have them in a HD box but I’ve seen the SA digital box work so much better then the :Z Sony. After a week of the Sony digital box you will throw it out the window. Good luck.

Looks like the end is near.


Thanks for the news grimes. Damn I have been Googling this daily since we spoke about this action and I was afraid they would shut it down. I was wanting to switch to Voom and I am so glad I asked you first what you thought. You were exactly right at what would happen. With all those 40,000 customers I wonder what will happen with all the equipment and the HD channels? Do you think there is anyway we will see more HD on any other service soon that was on Voom? I am really needing a bigger HD fix. :iagree: :stuck_out_tongue: :sad:

Neither DTV or Dish currently has any bandwidth available for more HD, at least until they switch to MPEG4, but even then it’s doubtful they will add more HD. Once they add satellite capacity, there’s some chance that some of the VOOM original channels could get picked up, but there’s at least 10 premium HD channels that aren’t being made available either on DTV/Dish.

The last nail in the VOOM coffin was the fact that Cablevision had sold the satellite leases to Echostar, and Dolan couldn’t get them back. So even though he might get financing for VOOM, he had no satellite and Echostar refused to give it up.

I’ll be switching to Dish in hopes that they will ad the VOOM satellite, but there’s a problem with that too. The VOOM satellite is in the southeast sky, Dish satellites are in the west, so no one dish will get them all. It would be great if Dish just moved all the HD to the one sat., but who knows what they have in mind. I don’t know if they can move that satellite or not.

I will sorely miss VOOM, the quality was excellent. To help me with the loss, I think I’ll get the Dish HD-DVR to play with. :iagree: