Wednesday, September 26, 2007

DirecTV HD part of nefarious plan to control TV

DirecTV launched 21 new high definition channels Wednesday morning, officially kicking off its plans to get more of the high dollar customers who pay premium prices for next-generation offerings like HDTV and video on demand.

DirecTV now offers 31 HD channels and promises to add 18 more in two weeks and 70 by the end of October. At the end of the year, DirecTV has plans for up to 100 HD channels.

Comcast added five new HD channels to its lineups Wednesday to try to answer DirecTV's salvo: A&E HD, Food Network, HGTV, National Geographic and the NFL Network.

Late Wednesday, DISH announced several new HD networks: Altitude Sports and Entertainment (ch. 360), known as the television home of the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche; Comcast Sports Net Mid-Atlantic (ch. 374), providing extensive coverage of professional teams from Washington, D.C.; Comcast Sports Net West (ch. 359), featuring Sacramento Kings basketball; and FOX Sports Ohio (ch. 375), delivering coverage of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Currently, DISH and DirecTV are the kings of HD channels, well ahead of cable and Verizon's FIOS service. DirecTV's new HD channels, which require a new dish and receiver for older customers, are better looking than DISH, which has to compress its HD channels more due to less satellite capacity.

Cable has similar bandwidth problems and cannot offer as many channels currently.

DirecTV's new channels look nearly as good as what customers can get with an off-air antenna and as good as FIOS, which had been the industry standard.

DirecTV is also getting ready to launch its video-on-demand service, which will use high speed internet to help deliver content. VOD is one huge advantage cable has had over satellite. Currently in field trials, DirecTV's service allows you to record up to three shows at once -- two live shows and one from the internet.

Having seen DirecTV's new channels for a few hours, I am amazed at the quality and clarity. These are as good as over-the-air. I hope it stays that way.

If it does, and DirecTV makes their HD-DVR free or basically free, it could win the HD war before everyone else can get their answers ready.

Here is a list of DirecTV's new channels:

1. A&E (Channel 265)
2. Animal Planet (Channel 282)
3. Big Ten Network (Channel 220)
4. CNN (Channel 202)
5. The Discovery Channel (Channel 278)
6. The History Channel (Channel 269)
7. The Movie Channel East (Channel 544)
8. NFL Network (Channel 212)
9. Showtime West (Channel 540)
10. Showtime too (Channel 538)
11. The Smithsonian Channel (Channel 267)
12. The Science Channel (Channel 284)
13. Starz Comedy (Channel 519)
14. Starz East (Channel 522)
15. Starz West (Channel 540)
16. Starz Edge (Channel 520)
17. Starz Kids and Family (Channel 518)
18. TBS (Channel 247)
19. TLC (Channel 280)
20. Versus / The Golf Channel (Channel 604)
21. The Weather Channel (Channel 362)


robinson williams said...

Langston, glad your writing about this. I think a BUNCH of cable customers like myself might switch. We get nothing new but higher prices.

My question is this, Is it possible that Dish could go out of business?

In all seriousness I am really wondering what will keep Dish in business now that DirectTV has added so many full resolution HD channels. DirectTV now has the NFL, A LOT of HD, better PQ, and their prices are reasonable. So what does Dish have to offer that will compete with DirectTV? Are their DVR’s good enough to keep them in business?

I guess a Ton of cable company subscribers will also switch to DirectTV. I have been a big Cable supporter for about 10 years and I am finding it hard to stay with them now that DirectTV looks so attractive(Literally). Anyone else thinking about making the switch?

John Dwyer said...

I picked a great day to switch from Time Warner. When my DirecTV installer fired up my new box I was blown away. This is miles better than cable and much more choice. My neighbors who have cable have been on the phone for the past 20 minutes getting ready to get D*

Anonymous said...

Just got home and turned on my TV after reading this. Holy Toldeo, these look good! Thanks for letting me know.

Anonymous said...

We have a commercial subscription with the HD package but for some reason DirectTV is not making the new channels available to us yet. I don't know if it's a regional thing (Los Angeles) or because we're a commercial subscription. I called and they said we should be able to receive the new HD channels within a month. Too bad, I love watching the HD channels we do get.

Dan Lightfoot said...

Langston, love this blog! Just found you from out here in Texas. We switched from Dish last month and were initially disappointed with HD quality from D*. Not today. D* really stepped up and honored its promise. They are truly the leader. I feel sorry for those with other providers. You are really missing out

Anonymous said...

Yet another customer here strongly considering the switch from cable to DirectTV, with new full-resolution HD channels being the main driver.

Langston - Do you know if DirectTV's VOD and Internet download services will require new receivers? I'd hate to invest in new equipment now only to be out of date in a few months.

Langston Wertz Jr. said...

You will need the new HR-20 receiver to get the new MPEG 4 HD channels and the VOD. Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

DirecTV Rocks! I'm getting them, after viewing HDTV off-air.