AfterDawn: Tech news

DIRECTV adds 30 HD channels, full 1080p

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 14 Aug 2008 14:43 User comments (24)

DIRECTV adds 30 HD channels, full 1080p Beginning today, DIRECTV, the US' largest satellite television provider, will add 30 additional HD channels to its service, bringing the total to 130.
More notably, the provider says it will begin to transmit all of its HD programming in superior MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding (AVC), the first company in the industry to do so. By the end of the month all HD programming will have Dolby Digital 5.1 audio and by the end of the year DIRECTV promises to begin offering movies in full 1080p resolution.

The new channels include "Showtime Extreme HD, Showtime Showcase HD, Planet Green HD, ABC Family HD, additional DIRECTV HD pay per view channels and an additional 23 Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) in HD 24 hours a day."

"Despite all the sound and fury of confusing HD claims from our competitors, our customers understand that DIRECTV is the destination for the most compelling and complete lineup of HD content,"
said Derek Chang, executive vice president, Content Strategy and Development, DIRECTV, Inc. "Our message is clear - DIRECTV is the content leader, and our delivery of the best quality HD via the most advanced technology is one way we continue to dominate this category and offer our more than 17 million customers nationwide an unparalleled entertainment experience."

The company also adds that it now has a new satellite in its fleet which will help expand HD capacity to 200 HD channels by next year.

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24 user comments

114.8.2008 19:20

hmm, wonder why After Dawn didn't mention Dish network adding all premium movie channels in HD a few weeks back, and 1080p VOD (First pay TV provider to ever offer 1080p)

214.8.2008 19:33
susieqbbb
Inactive

Good point..

Considering Dish Network has had HD Programming for years now and Direct Tv just now starts adding more and what i have seen lately more consumers are going to Dish network over Direct Tv due to the fact that Direct TV has lied in the past saying they had more hd content then Dish Network which wasn't true.

they even got sued over it.

I am so glad i have Dish Network.

314.8.2008 19:35

Originally posted by hendrix04:
hmm, wonder why After Dawn didn't mention Dish network adding all premium movie channels in HD a few weeks back, and 1080p VOD (First pay TV provider to ever offer 1080p)
Thats a good question because I was thinking the exact same thing. I was like hey, I have been seeing Dish Network 1080p VOD commercials for weeks, where was that news blip when that came out.

I do not know how reliable this source is but a Rep that works for AT&T (their Dish Network Division) told me that they hope to get most of their more popular channels into 1080p over the course of 2009 and as long as you have a newer receiver like the ViP622 or ViP722 DVRs it will just be a software upgrade to be compatible.

414.8.2008 23:11

I can assure you guys there is nothing to look into, just an article that got missed over, even the staff here is human :)

If you ever do see a good article you think fits the niche of AD please submit it using this form and we will look into it :)

514.8.2008 23:17

I guess the problem is not that AD didn't mention the Dish Network news but the fact that this is written in the article:

"More notably, the provider says it will begin to transmit all of its HD programming in superior MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding (AVC), the first company in the industry to do so."

It is kind of misleading because again Dish has been transmitting their HD channels over the MPEG-4 Codec for a while now. What most people don't see is the operative word which is "all" because even though most of Dish's HD Channels are on the MPEG-4 codec I do believe a few of their original HD channels are still in MPEG-2 but they are converting those too. They state the process for that is slower due a customer base that still has old receivers and a quick transition would leave those subscribers without HD channels so they are working them to upgrade before they flip the switch. I would hope DirectTV is doing the same or are they gonna just say "too bad so sad" to their customers with older equipment.

615.8.2008 3:00

Is Satellite better than Digital Cable cause i got Digital and its already HD... so wtf am i watching on my digital cable 720 or 1080?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 15 Aug 2008 @ 3:03

715.8.2008 9:12

Originally posted by SSSJDanny:
Is Satellite better than Digital Cable cause i got Digital and its already HD... so wtf am i watching on my digital cable 720 or 1080?
Depends on your provider and equipment. Armstrong used to be 720p for me, but Time Warner broadcasts in the native resolution of the network, many of which are 720p. Their equipment did not upconvert 480i standard channels and threw my HDTV in a tizzy!

I recall an article on here about Dish adding channels. I already see the DirecTV added a ton of HD channels, as I was going through my guide last night.

There's also a new "Sports Mix" channel, that has 8 sports networks windowed simultaneously on-screen and you can change which audio feed you get at a time, though it's not HD, it's still really cool to check out.

815.8.2008 9:55

I'd switch to Directv if it wasn't for their lousey customer service.

My friends all had nasty horror stories to tell about their experiences with DirecTV and God forbid if you ever had a problem with your equipment.

It takes more than a large number of HD channels to make a service worth getting.

915.8.2008 10:45
fgamer
Inactive

It's such a shame that DirecTV doesn't offer their current customers much for staying with them. I find it funny that they offer you free programming when you say you're going to discontinue the service. They gave me HBO & Showtime for free for 12months and $10 off my monthly bill for 12months. Now I'm so used to getting both premium channels for free and the 10 bucks off a month, I don't think I can return to paying my full $115 bill again, I think I'll try to disconnect my service again a few months after my deal is up:) DirecTV is beginning to be a very expensive provider.

1015.8.2008 11:06

I would love to have 1080P. Only problem is with direct TV is the weather or rain screws it up most of the time. Who doesn't want to watch tv when it's stormy raining out? I've seen it happen many many times. I have comcast which used to be nice until they started to choke the bandwitdth down or something.. HD on comcast looks absolutley horrible now. It's not even worth paying for anymore. Anyone else seen a difference in the service? I have had it since day one. I would rather watch standard def tv.. Looks better than what they call HD.. Pathetic..

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 15 Aug 2008 @ 15:47

1115.8.2008 12:48

I have Direct Tv. Their services are pretty good in comparison to Comcast who I switched from 2 years ago. Their biggest negative is their hardware cost. I think its stupid to over charge like hell on hardware you won't own. That's the only benefit Comcast has over them besides Comcastsportsnet of Philly. I need that station but that station isn't enough for me to switch back. I don't know much about Dish Network. I heard prior to getting D-TV that, their services were horrible. The only good thing I've heard over the last year was, their HD box was better than D-TV. So that makes it harder for me to say I will switch.

typo...

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 15 Aug 2008 @ 12:53

1215.8.2008 12:50

Originally posted by Motomatt:
I would love to have 1080P. Only problem is with direct TV is the weather or rain screws it up most of the time. Who doesn't want to watch tv when it's raining? I've seen it happen many many times. I have comcast which used to be nice until they started to choke the bandwitdth down or something.. HD on comcast looks absolutley horrible now. It's not even worth paying for anymore. Anyone else seen a difference in the service? I have had it since day one. I would rather watch standard def tv.. Looks better than what they call HD.. Pathetic..

Yes I can completely agree that Comcast version of HD sucks badly. Its not worth the price or the headache. Comcast needs to be knocked off their high horse. Hopefully more great channels will keep coming to Satellite TV and Comcast will need a serious overhaul to compete.

1315.8.2008 16:34

I have had Directv for over 10 years and found their customer service to be excellent. They have gotten more and more expensive and their charge for equipment that you don't own is objectionable. I have had HD for a couple of months and found it to be erratic. They have had to send out a technician twice and replace the receiver once.I have been thinking of switching to Dish but don't know if it would really be better.

1415.8.2008 16:52

I've had DTV for close to a year. Yeah the hardware costs are BS, but at least the hardware does what I want it to. I can upgrade the hard drive if I want, and also stream media.

I've only had my dish go out twice during storms. I think it's dependent on your area and where your dish is. Remember, you need a clear line-of-sight for reception.

The AM-21 over-the-air add-on has been tremendous for HD viewing also, and is as storm proof as the antenna you use with it.

Customer service has been okay for me so far, and I used to have DTV years before and never had issues. (I had to drop them when I moved into an apartment.) Sure beats Time Warner in my area!

1515.8.2008 17:18

Originally posted by susieqbbb:
Good point..

Considering Dish Network has had HD Programming for years now and Direct Tv just now starts adding more and what i have seen lately more consumers are going to Dish network over Direct Tv due to the fact that Direct TV has lied in the past saying they had more hd content then Dish Network which wasn't true.

they even got sued over it.

I am so glad i have Dish Network.
I had Dish and switched to Direct TV and I am glad I get my local channels from Direct TV and not an antenna which you need for Dish.

1615.8.2008 17:32

Quote:
Originally posted by susieqbbb:
Good point..

Considering Dish Network has had HD Programming for years now and Direct Tv just now starts adding more and what i have seen lately more consumers are going to Dish network over Direct Tv due to the fact that Direct TV has lied in the past saying they had more hd content then Dish Network which wasn't true.

they even got sued over it.

I am so glad i have Dish Network.
I had Dish and switched to Direct TV and I am glad I get my local channels from Direct TV and not an antenna which you need for Dish.
Really? I have Dish Network and I have CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, WGN all right through my Dish Receiver and in High Definition. I also have ther other local channels but they are not in HD yet. Either locals are not available in your market (Probably an FCC thing not a Dish Network thing) or you don't know what you are talking about.

1715.8.2008 17:36

All you people dogging comcast HD quality. I imagine this varies from areas and is not consistant across the board. This is at least partially because they still use mpeg2 I guess? I'm invested in cable but hate to think I'm getting an inferior signal since I notice every pixel on my 1080p projector.

1815.8.2008 23:18

Quote:
Quote:
Originally posted by susieqbbb:
Good point..

Considering Dish Network has had HD Programming for years now and Direct Tv just now starts adding more and what i have seen lately more consumers are going to Dish network over Direct Tv due to the fact that Direct TV has lied in the past saying they had more hd content then Dish Network which wasn't true.

they even got sued over it.

I am so glad i have Dish Network.
I had Dish and switched to Direct TV and I am glad I get my local channels from Direct TV and not an antenna which you need for Dish.
Really? I have Dish Network and I have CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, WGN all right through my Dish Receiver and in High Definition. I also have ther other local channels but they are not in HD yet. Either locals are not available in your market (Probably an FCC thing not a Dish Network thing) or you don't know what you are talking about.
Depends on the market. For my DirecTV, my locals are SD only, no HD locals off of the dish. I guess this is normal for the smaller markets, so I bought the AM-21, which allows you to integrate OTA local channels into your DVR system and program guide. It also allows this for 2 markets, so I can actually use channels I get OTA that aren't in my DTV package.

1916.8.2008 10:42

I'm hoping I can take advantage of all the knowledgeable people here to ask a question. I have a regular old (20yrs.) tv (Toshiba) with a Comcast DVR and signal stuck in it. Lately I have noticed more and more of this pixelation crap in my picture, it looks like the picture is full of little squares. It's not all the time, but seems to be happening more and more. Does this point more towards my old tv, Comcast signal/equipment or senility setting in? Thank you.

2016.8.2008 10:47

Originally posted by SSSJDanny:
Is Satellite better than Digital Cable cause i got Digital and its already HD... so wtf am i watching on my digital cable 720 or 1080?
Cable is running on an mpeg 2 system and they do not have the bandwidth to send to many HD signals. Cable is going to have to switch to all mpeg 4 (which would be VERY VERY hard and expensive) in order to even think about competing with Sat providers on the HD level.

2120.8.2008 20:46

I'd like to know where the sources for this article are coming from. Believe me I hope it's true about the Full 1080p because I'm about to make the switch from FIOS TV(because of their lack of HD chnls and poor dvr service). Any ways my friend is a regional manager for Circuit City who as some of you may know is in conjunction with Direct TV on many packages/plans. He has spoken to Direct TV Reps and he in turn told me that full 1080p broadcasting is still years away

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 Aug 2008 @ 20:47

2221.8.2008 1:42

Originally posted by DADEO1:
I'm hoping I can take advantage of all the knowledgeable people here to ask a question. I have a regular old (20yrs.) tv (Toshiba) with a Comcast DVR and signal stuck in it. Lately I have noticed more and more of this pixelation crap in my picture, it looks like the picture is full of little squares. It's not all the time, but seems to be happening more and more. Does this point more towards my old tv, Comcast signal/equipment or senility setting in? Thank you.
What you are seeing is due to Comcraps VOD service and the fact that they are pushing their bandwidth. One of my friends is finally going to wake up and make the change from Comcast because of the vary poor and sometime total loss of picture or freezing he gets from them. Besides the fact that they don't structure their channels well and all of the pricing changes that continually go on and on....

Originally posted by Susieqbbb:

Good point..

Considering Dish Network has had HD Programming for years now and Direct Tv just now starts adding more and what i have seen lately more consumers are going to Dish network over Direct Tv due to the fact that Direct TV has lied in the past saying they had more hd content then Dish Network which wasn't true.

they even got sued over it.

I am so glad i have Dish Network.
So has DTV and they have been ahead of Dish with newer and more satellites, better pricing packages, and more channels plus 1080p VOD. You can have your Dish and stay in the dark I’ve had both and DirecTV is much better.

The new channels we are seeing, and some haven’t been mentioned because they are more spot beam locals for those who still haven’t had their locals in HD, are due to the new bird DTV10 which will be fully operational in September. Early in 2009 DTV11 will be in flight and we will see even more channels including local markets added.

Although Dish is working on new birds it is nothing compared to DTV and this is why you will see much more hype about DirecTV in the future.

2324.8.2008 15:30

I am a Directv user and have also used Dish in the past and of course cable. The only advantage Dish had for me was the ease of making and switching between different favorite channel lists. I currently have an HD DTV receiver and you can only make 2 favorites lists and due to a "software upgrade" recently it now takes about 6 button pushes to change from one list to another. With Dish, the remote had a favorites button that brought all the lists up to chose from and you are able to have at least 4 different lists.
Unfortunately, even if Dish might have some advantages, as long as NFL Sunday Ticket is exclusive to Directv, there is no way I would ever switch from DTV. Seeing any game I want every sunday and almost all of them in HD, is quite simply a deal breaker for ever switching.
I don't believe there is much difference in signal quality between the two. I used to work for DTV and I know that they actually share some of the same satellites. Dtv has more satellites than dish and since they put up the new ones almost a year ago, my signal strength jumped from the 70s up into the high 90s. It takes very heavy storms now to disrupt my service. In my area, cable can also be knocked out by weather. These days, many local cable providers get their signal by satellite anyway, so it can go out too.

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