08.15.2007 12:00 AM
DirecTV Prepares Subs for Fall HD Lineup
As the battle to provide the most HD content to subscribers continues to be heavily marketed (and in some cases, litigated) between DBS firms and cable (and within each of the two industries, as well), DirecTV is notifying its subs not to forget one easily overlooked necessary piece of hardware as the DBS firm prepares to grow its HD menu in the next several weeks.

Along with the more obvious hardware like dishes, switches and HD monitors, a potential missing piece of the technical puzzle for some subs may be a small device that usually accompanies each MPEG-4 HD receiver—but very often is not installed during initial setup. It’s called the BBC (B-Band Converter) and DirecTV is prompting its subs in letters to be careful not to overlook it, according to Engadget HD.

The BBC (the device, not the broadcaster) is wired between the set-top box and the dish and right now it’s not a required device. Thus, the potential problem. But come September, it will be required to capture HD content directly from DirecTV 10—the DBS firm’s newest satellite that was successfully thrust into orbit a few weeks ago (HD Notebook, July 11, 2007).

Meanwhile on the legal front, DirecTV and Time Warner Cable said last week they had settled a dispute over ads by DirecTV that suggested the DBS company’s HD quality was superior to TWC’s in markets where both firms compete. The companies would not reveal details of their mutual agreement, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Earlier this month, a court ruled against use of DirecTV’s ads produced for television and Internet consumption—although another court later found the ban on the online ads should not have been restricted.

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