DirecTV fires back with 30 new HD channels

The high-def channel war continues as DirecTV fires back a whopper with the announcement of 30 new HD channels starting in May, along with some “fightin’ words” for their direct competitor. “DISH Network is very skilled at grossly inflating their HD numbers,” said DirecTV’s Derek Chang. He added, “you’d be hard pressed to find an actual list of comprehensive HD channels that match their recent claims.”

Yesterday, Dish made the announcement they were the first provider to offer 200 HD channels. However, as it turns out many of those channels are on-demand channels, not actual networks. 57 of the touted 200 HD channels are only available to customers with ViP 922 SlingLoaded DVR as VOD titles. To be fair, Dish did add eight quality HD networks including Epix HD, Nat Geo Wild HD and ShortsHD.

DirecTV’s new HD channels include MSNBC HD, Travel Channel HD, and Lifetime HD, as well as many premium (subscription) and regional networks. (See below for list.) The company says they now offer over 160 HD channels, and invite anyone to count them on their website. We counted about 150, not including the 27 DIRECTV Cinema HD PPV channels.

DirecTV also has plans to launch a suite of 3D channels starting in June that include N3D (powered by Panasonic), ESPN 3D, a 3D DIRECTV Cinema channel, and a 3D DIRECTV on Demand channel.

The now “Holy Grail” of high-definition channels is set at 200. However, neither satellite company has reached it yet, facing obstacles such as bandwidth, availability of pure HD networks, and of course the willingness to pay for those “real” HD channels.

Sure, any provider can load as many VOD and PPV channels as their bandwidth allows, but most customers would not call them HD channels. All this marketing play with semantics is just misleading. What customers really want are HD networks — full time.

DirecTV new HD channels as of April 20, 2010:

Encore HD East
ESPNU HD
GolTV HD (Summer)
Hallmark Channel HD
Hallmark Movie Channel HD
HBO2 HD East
HBO Zone HD
Lifetime HD
MSNBC HD
Showtime Beyond HD
Showtime Next HD
Showtime Women HD
Starz Cinema HD
Starz InBlack HD
Telefutura HD West (April)
TMC Xtra HD East
Travel Channel HD
Univision HD East (April)
WGN HD
FSN Florida HD
CSN Bay Area HD
CSN California HD
Additional DIRECTV Cinema Channels

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Jeff Chabot

Jeff Chabot

Jeff Chabot writes about technology, broadcasting, and digital entertainment. You can also find him on Gameverse, Gadget Review, and Google+.

24 Replies to “DirecTV fires back with 30 new HD channels”

  1. Nathaniel Brandon Harris says:

    Dear, Directv,inc.
    I missed my directv & someday I will get it back & missed my family becaused of my
    brothers & sisters & the only younger sister I do not getaong is her. Janice she’s
    totally foul mothed girl I never talk to her period. & word to the wise I am not going.
    Back to my relatives & etc. & they are too foul mouthed. But for me I just moved out.
    Of my family & they don’t gived me enough money & that’s them & I do not care for.
    Their language using over them & I am not excepting it. & I am mentally challenged.
    And this whole sibling nonsense is none of my business & it’s those siblings I don’t.
    Get along with them. And they did cussed at me & got a mentally challenged adult.
    In tears my mother is not into me. & I can’t appoligized to them it’s all their fault.
    Becaused of my menbers of my family. & I am not stepping back to them & I am not.
    Except for Sheila Janice Chablis & my brother Clyburn Harris Jr that’s all four of them.
    And one last question I am exile away from my family & that’s all. Signed [email protected]

  2. mike christy says:

    what about AMC? please!!!!!!

  3. Webster says:

    Thanks Jerry, I hope that’s true!

  4. jerry says:

    seems like right? but i think they are different feeds prob from different broadcast centers. i heard the WCoast feeds will happen soon.

  5. Webster says:

    Can someone please explain to me why Disney East & Nick East are in HD but Disney West & Nick West aren’t. Seems like this should be a no-brainer. Thanks

  6. Sam says:

    I’m curious what everyone’s opinion on Dish’s HD free for life is? Either you set up paperless billing and monthly autopay or you pay ten dollars a month for HD? Is this comparable to Direct? Which is preferred?

  7. Henry says:

    At this point it leaves me to believe that DIRECTV only really cares about putting stupid SPORTS channels in HD more than anything else. Want proof, look at the travesty that is FUEL HD, a 24 hour network devoted to “Extreme Sports” presented in wonderful 4:3 and letterboxed upscaled to 720p. Compared to Dish, DIRECTV may have more channels in HD, but in reality, Dish gets HD networks at a very constant rate compared to DIRECTV. Dish also carries HD channels are far more important.

    G4 HD
    National Geographic Wild HD
    Lifetime Movie Network HD
    Cooking Channel HD
    History International HD
    AMC HD
    E! HD
    DIY HD
    BBC America HD
    Turner Classic Movies HD
    Style HD
    Investigation Discovery HD

    None of these are available in DIRECTV HD. Yet they have that retarded FUEL TV in HD, a channel with ZERO HD content. Even E! HD have more content in full HD than that stupid FUEL HD. Come on DIRECTV, you guys are complete FAIL against Dish Network.

  8. Mike says:

    Just had Directv put in. . I was surprsed they do have HD E , AMC & Fuse everyone has it even
    Time Warner. They really need to get it . I agree local Sports networks should only count as 1 HD Channel for the local area, I am in LA I really will not watch Bay Area Fox…and pay extra for it.

  9. jessica says:

    I had direc tv for a week and i love it. But i dont get why they have not add E! in HD Yet. MY friend that
    has Dish Network has it already. I hope they added soon in HD.

  10. jesus says:

    Why direc tv doesn’t add E! yet. Im super mad because my friend has dish and
    he has it. I hope they add it soon!

  11. Wesley Campbell says:

    DIRECTV should be airing AMC , FMC, and TMC in HD. They act like these channels are not available in HD, I know AMC is forsure and carries the nations #1 rated television program “BREAKING BAD”( Imagine that, you’d think they express an interest, they have’nt because they’d rather pocket the cost of incorporating it into their programming). The others probably are too! DIRECTV forces it’s customers to pay for all those INFORMERCIALS in HD and just about any HD channel promised will undoubtedly be an infomercial by midnite in most cases. So much for their customer promise of excellence. Such fraud!

    Unhappy DIRECTV customer

  12. Jane says:

    You need to keep in mind that directv is only a programming provider and has no authority over what each channel is broadcasting. They basically open up the channel for you to view but it is up to each and every network as to what shows and how many times it shows. So maybe instead of complaining about directv you should start submitting your complaints to networks like showtime, starz, hbo and cinemax.

  13. Alfred says:

    Dish is playing with their HD lineup. They removed encore HD from their free HD package and just have it in their STARZ package. They still have in their AT250 lineup on their website, but their offshore reps say it is wrong.

  14. steve s says:

    Everybody wants curtain channels in us remember it takes a while for it to happen contracts have to be signed . I live in new Orleans I am awaiting for coxsportv network

  15. JasonB says:

    I would consider regional sports channels as individual sports channels, as long as they are counted in every market. sometimes the websites dont reflect any new hd channels – i have noticed.

  16. George says:

    I just looked at DirecTV’s ad on their homepage stating the Dish Network caught in HD scandal. Then I looked at their head to head comparison. True, DirecTV does have more HD channels (161 to 126). However, 25 of them are regional sports channels, of limited use to most people, so change that number to 136 to 126. Then I look at Dish Network’s HD channels. They have at least 6 semi-major networks that DirecTV should have in HD right now. Networks like BBCA, DIY, History International, E!, G4, Headline News, etc. Furthermore, of the touted 30 new HD channels this month, I am interested in only 1, The Travel Channel. The rest are movie channels (that Dish already has in HD) and PPV.

  17. Mark Brown says:

    It is a travesty that AMC is not available in HD on DTV yet.

  18. Jacob says:

    me too! I also wish i could get fox soccer channel but my friend has it so we trade games. directv should get it thogh.

  19. LUIS says:

    AS A SOCCER FAN AND SPANISH SPEAKER I’M EXCITED ABOUT THE NEW TELEUTURA AND UNIVISION HD, THAT MEANS WE’LL WATCH THE WORLD CUP COMPLETELY IN HD AND THE GOLTV SOCCER ONLY CHANNELS, I WISH THEY ALSO INCLUDE FSC(FOXSOCCER CHANNEL) IN HD, DISH HAS IT ALREADY.

  20. Ashtonian says:

    Still waiting for for BBC America HD

  21. Francisco R. says:

    that’s cause there really arent that many more hd networks. those premium channels are all the same. they just re-run the same crappy ass films with a few blockbusters mixed in. thats why they get away with 2, 3 and 4 variations on the network. directv does offer just about all the good hd neworks now.

  22. Kenneth Simmons says:

    I cannot get excited about Directv’s new HD channels, it’s all the same programming. I have Starz, Showtime, Cinamax, Encore, The Movie Channel, IFC, Sundance, HD Net Movies, and the Fox Movie Channel and see nothing but repeated movies. In my frustration I have added Netflix streaming, which has nearly perfect quality. I am beginning to think the heck with DTV and Dish HD premium channels. It’s shameful that with the channels listed above one has to hunt for additional avenues for movies.

  23. Smeghead says:

    You know….
    All providers exagerate the number of HD channels they offer so is DISH or DirecTV innocent in that regard?
    Take a look at past commercials for DirecTV for expample. They had to back off that claim and stopped the commercial.
    They’ve all got rproblems with this.
    My problem with any provider is that they all charge too much for the service they provide and the most outrageous one is for the tuners.
    Try looking into that area and you’ll see what I refer to.
    I would never go with DirecTV for all the problems they have and the lousy tuner equipment the offer.
    I had DISH for 6 years and complained about stuff to myself then switched to FIOS when I found DISH was going to charge as much as Verizon for set top boxes. I purchased a MOXI unit with a Mate which has 3 tumers for expanded recording. FIOS is great but MOXI needs more control over settings than offered. You can’t win and now I wish I had DISH instead:)

  24. jasonB says:

    so how many do they actually have? 160? 150? you cant count ppv channels.

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