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DirecTV Adding 30 HD Channels on August 14th, 1080p Movies Later This Year

Illustration for article titled DirecTV Adding 30 HD Channels on August 14th, 1080p Movies Later This Year

DirecTV is poised to take the lead in the HD battle by adding 30 extra channels starting on August 14th. That would give them 130 channels of HD in total-putting them well on their way to the 150 mark they floated around early this year. By the end of this month they also plan to be the first company to transmit all of their HD programming in the MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding standard with Dolby Digital Audio. And the icing on the cake will come later this year in the form of 1080p movies.

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Some of these new HD offerings 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. DirecTV is also planning to launch satellite #12 next year, which will push the national HD content to 200 channels. Sure, there are compression issues and those 23 RSNs are all filler, but hey-its better than watching standard crap. [WSJ Marketwatch via Electronic House]

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DISCUSSION

DirecTV's channel line-up for HD is second to none, and continues to improve. I can tell you from first-hand experience that the picture quality is not at Comcast quality, and neither are at over-the-air quality, and none match what a PS3 can do. Of course, if you are not sporting a very high-end TV, your mileage is likely to vary. And, frankly, very few people are paying that close of attention. DVD quality is still 'good enough', and I can tell the difference.

My real complaint with DirecTV is requiring me to buy all new equipment after only a few years on the current HD hardware. I know it was the only way they could fit their eventual year-end 150 channel goal into the few orbiting contraptions they have, but it is unfortunate to require new hardware purchases every few years. Oh, and those dish things sitting on the south side of every house are not particularly attractive, either. Can't you offer them in multiple colors to at least liven them up a bit?