Satellite TV Blog information about sat-tv receivers, programming, HDTV, DVR equipment, and promotions. Learn about devices and deals from DirecTV, expressVu, DishNetwork, Starchoice and FTA (free-to-air). Description, RSS feeds, email subscription, and more.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

DirecTV HDPC-20 - Use your PC as a DVR

We have a feeling that someone at the MPAA home office is probably freaking out right now; first Sony announces that PS3s will be able to rip Blu-Rays to PSPs, and now DirectTV leaks that they’re going to be releasing a device that allows you to use your PC as a DVR. Known as the HDPC-20, the USB-connected device hooks into your satellite connection and your Windows Vista-powered machine (what’s that? A legitimate reason to upgrade to Vista?) to combine DVR abilities with “certain Windows Media Center applications [for] unique benefits,” like integration with the rest of your media library, searching, and movie jackets.

We’ve been intrigued by the possibilities of media center PCs for a while now, ever since hardware and software started to hit the critical juncture to make that kind of immersive experience not only possible, but worth the investment. The HDPC-20 won’t be for everyone, but it certainly helps make the world of media PCs that much more real.

Labels: , ,

Super-futuristic SpeedRay 3000 from RaySat

We're a little skeptical of any company that plays it large and manages to use a .us domain, but RaySat's getting some big ups so we figured we'd give you the scoop. Basically, they're all about mobile satellite data communications (no, not the sat phone kind), getting video, audio, and internet to your car; or, in some cases, your train (as in their TorpedoRay). They're provider agnostic so you can hook up your RaySat SpeedRay 3000 (how good is that name, anyway?) with DISH or DirecTV, whomever else you want a roll with. And besides having a huge sat antenna that looks like a giant toilet seat up on the roof of your ride, you're good to go with its integrated 802.11b/g system all for just shy of $3,500 (not including installation and sat subscriber fees). We should also mention that they have a miniscule 2-inch integrated antenna version called the StealthRay, but where's the fun in that?

SpeedRay3000 is world’s thinnest in-motion satellite TV antenna, allowing you to connect to internet and satellite anytime, anywhere. This UFO shaped 64 lbs kid sits on the roof of your car channelizing the whole world inside your cozy Benz or Bentley or BMW or Porsche and the like. The thin 4 cm high satellite antenna is packed with advanced sensors and tracking system, a satellite modem, a WiFi router and a DBS satellite receiver, enabling high quality access while you’re still on the move.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, January 21, 2008

DirecTV offers new TracVision A7 satellite TV system for vehicles

trackvision A7 mobile antenna
If you've been eyeing one of those rooftop satellite dish monstrosities for your Suvee-action-jeep or gravity-defying motor home, there's a new one in town that can receive those snazzy DirecTV value-adds like XM Satellite Radio and local programming. The TracVision A7 goes for a spankin' $2,995, and of course you'll be shelling out $45 for the subscription cost, but isn't that a small price to pay to be able to make fun of your local sports guy wherever you may roam? (Within your local television market area, of course).

track vision under the hubYou can leave the DVDs and videotapes at home and instead enjoy up to 185 channels of DIRECTV service and your favorite local channels on the open road. The ultra-low-profile TracVision A7 sets a new standard for fun on the road with live DIRECTV programming right on your car’s video screens. For the first time, you can take your local channels with you – don’t miss that big game, traffic report, or breaking local news story again. Now your family and friends can enjoy the DIRECTV service that they watch at home while in your car.

DirecTV Total Choice Mobile is still the only satellite TV package for cars after two years in action, and we don't see any price breaks in sight, but at least now you can get a bit more for your money.

Labels: ,

Sat-Go portable satellite TV system from DirecTV

SAT-GO from Direc TVIt took a little while, but DirecTV has finally made good on its promise of an all-in-one portable satellite receiver, officially announcing its Sat-Go unit at CES. Intended for both indoor and outdoor use, the Sat-Go packs a 17-inch LCD monitor into its flip-and-fold design, along with an integrated flat antenna that DirecTV says will let you find line-of-sight with DirecTV satellites "within minutes." Also included is a rechargeable "laptop-style" battery, although the company isn't making any promises on battery life just yet (it'll also run off your vehicle's cigarette lighter with the included adapter, or plain old AC power).

directv portable TVWhile DirecTV hasn't officially announced pricing details, The New York Times is reporting that that the Sat-Go will come in between $1,000 and $1,300 when it launches this spring. Current DirecTV customers will also be able to mirror their service to the Sat-Go for an additional $4.99 per month. The Times also got word from Sat-Go inventor Rick Rosner (who just happens to also be the creator of CHiPs) that DirecTV already has some additional models in the works, including the Sat-Go Pro, with a ruggedized design for use in emergency situations, and the Sat-Go Light, which will weigh in at less than half the Sat-Go's 25 pounds. Those curious about the Sat-Go's various states of foldedness can check out a couple more pics of it in action after the break.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

DISH freezes pricing to 2009

Echostar will freeze prices for its most popular satellite television packages until 2009 as competition sharpens in the slowing U.S. economy. The owner of the DISH Network said it is also offering three months free programming to new customers and will waive activation fees.
dishnetworks satellite tv

The move comes as stronger concerns over a U.S. recession prompt investors to question where consumers will cut their home spending on goods and services. The concerns have intensified competition for pay-TV customers among satellite television operators, cable TV companies and phone companies that have launched nascent video services.

EchoStar has traditionally marketed its services to lower income households as well as to the higher end, while larger satellite rival DIRECTV Group DTV.O has more recently focused on higher income households by tightening credit requirements for new customers. Some analysts believe this is one of the reasons EchoStar has seen a sharper slowdown in subscriber growth as economic pressures first begin to be felt at the lower end of market.