Skip to comments.CEO: Dish "Open" to Being Sold
Posted on 01/14/2012 1:16:27 AM PST by Las Vegas Dave
Dish CEO Joe Clayton raised eyebrows yesterday when he said the satellite TV service is "open" to being purchased by another company.
"We're open to all possible options," Clayton told Bloomberg News after being asked about possible merger plans. "We could be acquired or we could be the acquirer."
Clayton, who was interviewed at the Consumer Electronics Show, did say the company would be "open" to those options after it finished 'building out' its wireless spectrum and entertainment businesses. There has been speculation that Dish might be interested in buying T-Mobile.
Clayton, a long-time executive in the satellite and TV business, is known for his candor, but it's somewhat unusual for a company CEO to acknowledge so openly that his company is "open" to being purchased. Normally, the CEO dodges such a question with generalities and industry-speak.
But for Clayton to say his company could be purchased suggests that Dish could be actively soliciting bids as well as discussing possible acquisitions of its own. The Dish executive almost seems to setting the stage for a major change to the company's status.
Of course, over the years, there have been countless rumors that Dish would be purchased by another company, or merge with ne. And only twice did the rumors come true: In 1997, Dish began merger talks with News Corp, but they collapsed when company executives butted heads. And in 2001, DIRECTV and Dish Network agreed to merge, but the deal was killed by federal regulators on anti-competitive reasons.
And with Dish as the nation's second leading satellite TV service, any deal would likely again be carefully reviewed in Washington.
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What’s Hot and What’s Hype
The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is the Super Bowl of new TV technologies. And this year’s big event promises lots of new products. Big OLED TVs, 4K and 8K TVS, gesture control and maybe the first contender for a glasses-free TV that really works.
The most beautiful sets at CES are OLEDs: Organic Light Emitting Diodes. They have much higher contrast than current LED sets; light can be turned off on a per pixel basis. Dark scenes offer the blackest of blacks rich deep colors without the blooming of light that affects other LCD and LED TVs.
OLEDs are super thin: 3/16ths of an inch. Some are so thin that the power ports and connectors need to be housed in the stands, not on the set itself. OLEDs use half the power of current HDTVs and some sets will consume less energy than a 50-watt bulb. And finally the dreaded motion blur of LED and LCDs (when sports and fast action appear blocky) almost completely disappears with OLEDs.
I’ve seen small 12 and 20-inch prototype OLEDs in past years at CES, but never a true big screen option that is in production and planned for release. This year is different: LG has a 55-inch OLED on display, and Samsung is rumored to have another OLED debuting this week. The prices on these sets will be ridiculous $8,000-10,000 but predictions from analysts say that by the end of 2013, they’ll be more like $4000. Availability is still a little unclear, although rumors of late 2012 offerings are in the air.
4K and 8K Resolution
Another trend at CES: higher resolution TVs than ever. 4K and 8K respectively double and quadruple the resolution of the highest high definition sets on the market. Panasonic, Sharp, Samsung, and most other TV manufacturers are going for this crisper, more vivid resolution as an incentive to get consumers to trade in their old TV sets. But this technology is still a ways from every day reality, and CES may prove a litmus test on whether attendees think the 4K sets are that much more visually compelling. An even greater inhibitor to widespread 4K/8K TVs any time soon is that they will mandate all new source video and new cameras and infrastructure from TV networks and production companies. Today, very little content is produced at such high resolution.
3D Is Dead Long Live 3D!
In the early press releases from manufacturers, there has been very little mention of 3D. It seems they now understand that most consumers aren’t willing to pay much more for a TV with 3D. It’s being seen as less of a feature, more of a gimmick. That being said, there is early buzz around Toshiba, who is saying that they will have a glasses-free, big-screen 3DTV available for sale within the year, according to CNET news. This is a big departure from other manufacturers like Samsung, which has managed expectations, saying they don’t expect to have glasses-free technology ready for market within 10 years.
Gesture Control An End To The Remote Control?
The success of the XBOX Kinect, which tracks the player’s movements to control gaming, has spawned a whole new idea for interacting with your TV: gesture control. Imagine flicking your wrist to mute the volume, raising your arm to pull up the guide and grabbing or swiping to select a show. Such sets could even have facial recognition to turn on your favorite channels and volume presets when you walk into the room.
PrimeSense, the company behind the Kinect’s gesture control, is showing off a TV driven with the same technology, and Samsung is rumored to be debuting sets with this same type of user control.
Smart Internet Connected TVs
Internet connected sets are becoming completely mainstream, so expect a lot of products to tout Google TV and Yahoo! Connected TV built into their sets. Apple is rumored to announce later this year a full-fledged, big screen TV with all the Apple content access built in. Yet more than 8 million consumers have already purchased TVs with the Yahoo! Connected TV platform. One cool product for people whose existing sets aren’t connected yet, and who don’t want to upgrade, is a new product from Roku. It’s a small stick about the size of a USB stick that you plug into your TV through a slot called the MHL port (many TVs have these ports- check your spec sheet or the back of the T for something that looks like a micro USB port) for wireless access to Netflix, YouTube and a whole host of independent Internet content providers. No price yet, but estimates are centering on the $50 range.
2nd leading satellite TV provider? Yes in a field of 2 providers. hee hee hee
(BTW: I have two receivers boxed and in my basement!)
(BTW: I have two receivers boxed and in my basement!)
Shows I don’t watch TV (wife does).
Never heard of VOOM.
Every company is for sale, it’s just a matter of price.
I’ve been thinking about switching to Dish lately. I never watch FOX anymore, I’m sick of Rupert Murdock and Roger Ailes getting my money, so Dish would give me what I need for a lot less each month.
A couple of items. The LG display at CES was interesting on one level, I’m thinking every single display tv was in 3D with glasses not needing to be tied to the tv. I turned mine in after viewing the huge entry display and the crowds were so bad I couldn’t get another pair till I reached the other side of the booth. I wasn’t going to fight the crowds to reverse course.
Voom sorta is still available, as dish bought the uplink facility and the channels. Don’t know exactly how many made the transition, but I think the whole package did. Just access by VOOM box became access by Dish receiver. I could start a museum with all the old big dish and ancient little dish receivers in my basement
Trivia: The VOOM uplink facility was outside Rapid City, and is still operational but unmanned. An additional uplink antenna has recently been added to the two already there.
T-Mobile may be a good fit. AT&T deal fell through. And T-Mobile is weak in certain areas of USA.
Just don’t take away my dual DVRs.
I found the VOOM lineup.
BTW: I signed up with VOOM knowing that they “may” go dark. Well they did, one month after installation. DISH did pick up a few VOOM stations but that didn’t last long. (We eventually went back to DISH.)
Way-back machine: CNET Review of Voom’s standalone HD service (2004):
I no longer have cable or satellite and wouldn't want to be invested in any of the companies.