Print 24 comment(s) - last by Oregonian2.. on Mar 20 at 3:02 PM

Analysts say it could take years for Dish to fully recover from a full failure

For many Americans across the country the only way to get HD channels or a decent TV signal altogether is to go with satellite TV. The two main players in the satellite TV arena are Dish Network and DirecTV.

Dish Network is currently tailing DirecTV in the amount of HD channels that its service offers. In an effort to better compete with DirecTV on HD offering Dish Network attempted to launch a new satellite to increase its available bandwidth to be able to expand its HD channel line up from the approximately 50 HD channels available now to a proposed 70-100.

The AMC-14 satellite took off Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on Friday.  While the Proton rocket launch vehicle launched successfully, the AMC-14 platform failed to reach its desired orbit.

Echostar, Dish Network's parent company, is insured for any full or partial failure of the satellite.

Broadcasting & Cable reports that International Launch Services (ILS) and a Russian state commission are investigating the failure of the satellite.  Broadcasting & Cable quotes Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett saying, “Dish Network had made it clear that HD featured prominently in their own future plans, and that they did not plan to cede ‘video superiority’ to anyone. Given the long lead times involved in contracting for, building, and launching a satellite, however, it could take years for Dish Network to fully recover.”

SES AMERICOM, the company responsible for operating the satellite, believes it can boost the platform into orbit at the expense of diminishing its service live. 

"We are confident that the engineering teams at Lockheed Martin and SES will find a way to place AMC-14 into the correct orbit in a manner that our customer’s requirements can be met," said Edward Horowitz, President and CEO of SES AMERICOM.

Dish has another pair of satellites scheduled to launch later this year, but they are to be used for local HD channels using spot-beam technology whereas AMC-14 was for non-local HD channels. DailyTech reported in October of 2007 that AT&T had plans to acquire Dish Network. Neither AT&T nor Echostar would comment on how the failed satellite will affect a potential sale.

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RE: so when..
By Gnoad on 3/18/2008 9:12:15 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking the same thing. But though I'm all for testing our missile defense system, at what point would we have to worry about excessive debris floating around our planet?

RE: so when..
By Alexvrb on 3/18/2008 10:29:30 PM , Rating: 2
Depends whether you shoot it down as cleanly as possible (as we recently did) or if you're sloppy like the Chinese and leave lots of space debris.

RE: so when..
By Samus on 3/19/2008 4:20:40 AM , Rating: 5
If I had any say in it, I'd ban the Chinese from 'the' space program for basically putting every potential astronaut at risk for the remainder of orbital space travel. it'll only take one of those thousands of pieces, be it a bolt or shard, to destroy an orbiting vessel.

Besides, The USSR and the USA were there first, so we should have every right to dictate when the Chinese can and can't do in space. The international space travel community is still and will always be pissed over how the Chinese proceeded to wrecklessly shoot down a satellite with a payload carrying rocket. Stupid Stupid Stupid.

RE: so when..
By Cygni on 3/19/08, Rating: 0
RE: so when..
By idconstruct on 3/19/2008 10:25:36 PM , Rating: 2
Do you know the probability of collisions in orbit? not only do you have many times the square footage of earth in any particular orbit, but then you have countless different orbital heights (granted some heights are quite common, stationary orbits for example)

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
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