After exploring the costs involved with each, I decided to have digital cable installed in order to get the HBO and Showtime HD feeds. Time Warner is charging me just $50 a month for the first year to get all of their digital channels and all movie channels. The HD cable box is supplied without additional costs. In order to get HD from DirecTV, I would have needed to install a new dish and purchase a high def capable satellite receiver [at the least an $800 total investment]. One could argue that I'm just "renting" my HD service instead of buying, but its a good way to try out HD without the big initial investment. The high def channels look great, but none of the other channels look as good as they do via satellite [no surprise there!] Several people who do not have satellite and have seen the digital cable signal say the picture looks fantastic [its all relative, I guess!]. We are feeling a bit "indulgent" at our house, with both satellite AND digital cable! When the $50/special ends in a year, I'll again evaluate the state of HD technology. I'm sure that costs, programming and hardware will be different!