Thursday, June 10, 2004

Voom fizzle

Well, so much for my flirtation with High Definition satellite service.

Voom is offering a sweet deal: no up-front equipment or installation charges. Same monthly charge as cable but with a bunch more HD channels. I figured it's a good time to become part of the new TV age.

The installation was to happen today. But the service guy pulls up, takes one look at the surrounding hills and tells me it's a waste of time; we're not going to get reception.

Apparently line of sight from here to the Voom satellite, Rainbow 1, is only 14 degrees above the horizon, due east. That's like, hardly any inclination. I had to see why; where was this satellite located?

It's orbital location is at 61.5 degrees west longitude. Launched in July '03, Rainbow 1 is out over the Atlantic. Great for the eastern seaboard. Lousy for the hills of coastal California.

DirectTV has satellites at 61.5°, 110° & 119° W. That last one would give a direct line of site for the west coast at ~45 degrees.

So until Voom launches another bird, or until I move back to the east coast, or a really large flat place, experiencing Playboy Hot HD will have to wait.


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