For those with Direct TV, where is HDTV headed?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by don burns, Sep 18, 2002.

  1. don burns

    don burns Auditioning

    Sep 16, 2002
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    This is my very first post on this forum, although I've been involved in many other forums over the years, mostly having to do with computer games, Star Trek or skyscrapers.

    After acquiring HDTV in December, I signed up for Direct TV (DTV) as at the time, DTV was the only option for actually getting HDTV programming in my home in Scottsdale, a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. Cox Cable has digital cable, but that is not HDTV (even though their advertising is a tad misleading in this regard). DTV currently has three HD channels, 199 (HDNet); 509 (HBO high-def); and 543 (Showtime high-def).

    A couple of the local Phoenix stations are broadcasting some HD programming over the airwaves from South Mountain, which is about forty miles SW of me and another Mountain (Camelback) sits partly in the way (obscured, if not totally blocked, direct line of sight). In addition, I was not keen on mounting a large antenna tower on my house to get these over-the-air HD broadcasts and was leery about the signal strength.

    So, to get to the original point of my post, I've now read that DTV and Dish Network are likely going to merge (still awaiting various regulatory approvals, etc). In reading over the detailed points of said proposed merger, there is a claim that DTV will be able to roll out up to 12 HD channels in the next year after the integration, assuming all goes well. I figure this could be up to two years away, and of course the DTV staff don't know anything about the possible enhancements to their HD channel lineup.

    What makes this really interesting is Cox finally indicated recently they were coming out with six HD channels here in the Phoenix area in the fall, so I kind of feel like a schmoe for not waiting. Of course, when I talked to Cox Cable before making the jump to DTV in January, they could not tell me about any future HD programming changes, even though it had to have been in the works at the time.

    Does anyone else here have any other knowledge or comments in regard to future HDTV programming changes? I'd be curious to see if there is other information out there that is not readily available to the consumer.


  2. Bryan Acevedo

    Bryan Acevedo Second Unit

    Aug 7, 2001
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    I live in Chandler (work in Scottsdale), and I too have DirecTV. I switched from Cox's so-called "Digital" cable. Their advertising is more than misleading - they lied to me when I asked them if ALL channels were digital. "Oh yes sir - that is why it is digital." It is only after I have it installed when I find out only channels above 100 are digital, everything else (which is most of their programming) is the same crappy analog signal (with grain and wavy lines).

    Now that they have started talking about HDTV, I am also contemplating switching back. The lure of course is the simplicity. No dish to install on the side of my new house that is currently being built. Splitting to any TV the analog signal, without having to buy an expensive multiswitch. (However, I have run 4 quad shield RG6 lines from my structured wiring box to my attic, so that my new oval satellite dish is ready to go, serving 4 receivers or 2 DirecTivo. This should be all I need for the HDTV upgrade when I do it.)

    But alas, I go and check out their lineups, and most everything is still analog, and I know, no matter how much I complain to them, they will not be able to fix the picture problems. Also, they are missing some of the channels on DirecTV, like DIY. I don't know why, but my wife and I love this channel, and it is one of the channels we watch most of the time. Cox doesn't have it. Also, Cox is more expensive, for less channels, and not the same quality.

    But in the end, I don't have an HD tuner. I am purchasing a new HDTV soon for the new house. But I don't know when I will take the HD plunge for programming, because there isn't enough HD programming for the stuff I watch to make it cost effective.
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    May 19, 2002
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    DirectTV does not telecast any local stations HD signals—they are all only available OTA (and, in some locations on cable). I have read that DirectTV makes the CBS HD feed available in some locations, but I consider this unverified. Perhaps someone else can provide definitive information.

    There has been a lot of talk on this forum (and others) as to a possible merger of DriectTV and Dish. Personally I would not hold my breath, as the companies would have to provide a compelling reason to the government as to why their merger would not (almost) eliminate competition in their business. Presumably they would have to prove that the real competition was cable. And so far cable systems are lagging well behind the satellite services in providing digital and HD feeds. For example in my area, Dallas/Fort Worth, only the Park Cities (small, upscale population) have cable service with any HD service available at all—and then only two stations (HBOHD and Showtime HD).

    And even if DirectTV and Dish merge, the initial result from a customer perspective will probably be zero. After all, the two sets of satellites will still be separate and in different locations. Their signals will still be delivered in their own, proprietary format. In other words, even thoguh two companies merge, their technologies will still be separate and different. It may be that the exclusive agreements that each company has with its service providers will now become mutual. Net effect for HD would be that DirectTV customers will get Discovery HD and Dish customers will get HDNet.

    Otherwise everything will be the same.

    On the plus side, both of the satellite companies ‘promise’ to have more HD channels available in the future, just as do most cable companies. And lots of guys have promised to call in the morning. But no firm dates yet as to what will be available when.
  4. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

    Mar 16, 1999
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    Dish, not DTV, provides a CBS HD feed, but you need a waiver to get it.

    HDnet is going to expand with more channels in the near future. The merger, if it goes through, should free up some bandwidth. I imagine we could see national network feeds for all the networks for folks with waivers, but other than that, you'll need to get the networks via local affiliates. I get five (and counting) OTA HD channels, so this doesn't really matter to me.

    For now, HD via DBS is great, but cable will be able to offer all of what it has, plus local HD sources in the near future. Cable will always be able to deal with the bandwidth problems more easily, though they tend to be cheaper/lazier about doing exciting things with it.
  5. Rick_M_F

    Rick_M_F Auditioning

    May 21, 2002
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    I live off of 92nd st and shea, and have HDTV through DirecTV using a sony HD-100, I pick up all the local channels, 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 33, 45, 61 using the radio shack bow tie antenna. sometimes I will have to move it a bit left or right to home in on the ABC stations.. works great.. great picture.. prob around the same rough area where your at.

    I would go with DirecTV but I believe that cox is all things evil. LOL have you ever seen the devil and cox together? no? cause the are the same!

    Alas I have already bought the DirecTV HD equipment.. so would not upgrade to the cox service with them offering something more than what I already have. I truly miss discoverHD so may some day go that route.. prob dish though.. not cox.

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