Newsflash, Voom is still in business

September 14, 2004

VoomThere’s quite a bit of speculation floating around the net about the future of Voom. A couple of facts, instead of speculation, might be in order: (1) If I listed the number of corporation’s who posted a loss last year, it would scroll off every post on the page; (2) Companies predict and allow for gains and losses, it’s just the way it is, no corporation (unless run by orangutans) starts a business without some capitol to stay afloat, and without a doubt, Cablevision isn’t in the habit of running new ventures up the flagpole to see if they’ll fly; (3) For every “doom and gloom” article you can find about Voom, you’ll find another glowing review.

Recently on several message boards I frequent, the doomsayers were already touting Voom’s demise. Some of these “experts” have even taken to punctuating their messages with smiley faces, and alike. Why the seeming joy in a company’s demise, one that delivers a valuable service, to home theater aficionados?

Voom doesn’t pay me one red cent. I don’t get a break on my Va-Va Voom package, nothing. Heck I wish they did, I’d gladly accept. But I’ll tell you, after being in the consumer electronics industry since 1991, I’ve seen the death of large parabolic style, satellite systems. I’ve also seen the birth, growth, and maturing of DBS style satellite providers such as, DirecTV, Dish network, Pegasus, Echostar, whoever. Voom has shown real innovation and vision. In a market where boring old standard definition channels and a handful of HDTV is the norm, Voom has put together a package, which offers the most hi-def content available, announced a DVR with streaming capabilities (movie clip) as well as embracing new codecs such as WMV9.

What? DirecTV is launching 4 new satellites? Great, can I watch them now? No I can’t. Neither can you as the first two don’t launch until next year. Listen, I don’t even pretend to hide my Voom fandom, heck I wear it on my sleeve. It’s nice after many years of not even caring, to be excited about a cable or satellite provider. Let’s face it, a lot of them haven’t given a squat about any of us, for a long time, until recently when they saw the opportunity for a few extra bucks, with the advent of HDTV.

Do I wish DirecTV ill? Of course not, more choice equals better quality and programming for everyone, and even more so, innovation. Am I the only one that remembers the fire that was lit under cable providers, once they saw competition from DBS? Competition is the American way. It’s healthy and generally only helps the consumer. And that really is my ultimate question, for these Voom naysayers. Don’t they realize DirecTV hasn’t posted earning gains every year they’ve been in business? I’m just a little confused by the apparent hypocrisy, and even more suspicious of the intention, of these chicken little’s.

So as “Voom dies” and “Voom’s doom” is predicted, I’ll get up from this chair, walk 10 feet to my couch, and sit down in front of more HDTV channels than DirecTV or Dish network can offer, today, tomorrow, and maybe for sometime to come, as the only people who know what’s in store for Voom subscribers, are Voom themselves.

*Update, Voom’s Adding a 24 hour HDTV KungFu channel!*

Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Commentary