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Why so few HD channels

Discussion in 'DISH™ High Definition Discussion' started by westfield60, Apr 29, 2006.

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  1. westfield60

    westfield60 Mentor

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    Jan 4, 2006
    Two weeks ago I became a HD subscriber from Dish and was surprised at the sparse programming in HD. On the local channels only ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX are in HD and that is only in primetime and late night, otherwise it is SD for most of the day. Dish doesn't offer PBS in HD which I has one of the best qualities in HD.

    On the cable side there is nothing, unless I subscribe to Dish's HD package, which really doesn't appeal to me with the ESPN packages and Discovery channels . I can't understand why at least CNN, FOX News and MSNBC are not in HD considering that they are some of the more popular cable choices. What about Comedy Channel, E channel, SFI channel? When will these guys move to HD?

    I had heard somewhere that everyone will be broadcasting in HD by 2009? is this true and why are some many stations waiting till the last minute to change over, is it the expense involved?

    How often does Dish add new HD programming?
     
  2. boylehome

    boylehome Hall Of Fame/Supporter

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    Jul 16, 2004
    The SD to HD conversion (if you want to call it that) has and is a slow process. I don't think there is any specific law that says all will be HD in 2009. In 2009 analog gets switched off, digital then becomes the means of TV broadcasting. If I understand it correctly, TV stations have different options at their discretion. They can do digital: 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and who knows what other methods will be standard in the next three years? Logically, HD programming should continue to increase.
     
  3. julesism

    julesism Legend

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    Feb 24, 2004
    it's not everyone has to switch to HD.... everyone has to switch to DIGITAL from analog, and I think that only pertains to OTA (over the air, TV antenna stuff)TV.

    cable and sat are not under those guidelines, so it's just a content + expense thing.

    someone stop me if I'm wayyyy off plz :D

    **EDIT**
    I knew I'd be beaten to it before I hit submit ;)
     
  4. Mikey

    Mikey Hall Of Fame

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    Popular misconception. 2009 isn't the magic number for total HD. Digital, yes. Hd, no.

    Most of the network scripted programming now is HD, and much of the sports is HD, so I wouldn't expect much more HD from the networks. Local stations will ramp up news in HD, and slowly, popular cable networks like Comedy Channel and TCM will add an HD channel.
     
  5. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Kittrell, NC
    It probably is worthwhile once again to mention how long it was before all TV was color, when the first color sets were introduced way back when.

    It was many years before there were no more new black & white TV shows... but still every once in a while people will make black & white new movies for effect.

    I suspect we will have a faster adoption to HD than we did to color back in the day... but there still may be some 4:3 TV or movies for dramatic effect in the future... plus of course the legacy of all the existing 4:3 stuff that will still be worth re-watching.

    Also worth noting... The original poster says he just subscribed to HD programming within the last 2 weeks. Well, HD has been available since at least 1995... so if it took him as a consumer more than 10 years to buy his first set and go for HD, it should come as no surprise that the broadcasters are slow on the uptake as well. Knowing that he is like most of the consumers in the country, the major networks haven't just gone spend-happy buying all the new HD cameras and transmission equipment for the relatively small minority of us who actually can receive and watch the HD signals in HD.
     
  6. John W

    John W Icon

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    Dec 19, 2005
    "On the cable side there is nothing, unless I subscribe to Dish's HD package..."

    Damn, wish we could get hd without subscribing to it.How's that work?
     
  7. jmsteffen

    jmsteffen Mentor

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    May 4, 2005
    One would think, considering the high cost of upgrading camera's and equipment, that the "big guys" would be the first to broadcast in HD. When you get beyond ESPN, TNT, and Discovery, the channel lineup consists of several "unknowns". For example:

    Bigger Smaller
    MTV / VH1 Rave
    SciFi MonsterHD

    etc...

    I don't understand why companies, such as Fox Broadcasting, would not make the commitment to HD for all of their programming, not just for sports and their primetime lineup.
     
  8. boylehome

    boylehome Hall Of Fame/Supporter

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    The reason for delay in converting to HD is two fold. The expense is high and the percentage of HD users is still very low. The money profit is still in the SD market. I don't know of any TV stations broadcasting their news/local events in HD. I would like to know how much it would cost to convert a TV station from SD equipment to HD equipment (putting the digital channel transmitter aside). GMA is now in HD but most of the equipment used is still SD. Sports is getting better but still the conversion to HD is a slow process.
     
  9. Fifty Caliber

    Fifty Caliber Banned User

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    Jan 4, 2006
    If the FCC screws things up like they did in the 1980's with AM Stereo, it could take longer than you think.
     
  10. rsprague

    rsprague Mentor

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    Feb 26, 2006
    When you consider that HD Television sales have just begun to pickup the last year or so, I think there are quite a few HD channels available. With the 20 or so channels that Dish offers along with the network primetime shows in HD, that is quite a bit of viewing. I too get tired of the same old programing available in HD, but I sure enjoy the picture quality.
    With more and more HD televisions arriving in homes everyday, I'm sure broadcasters, satillite companies, and cables companies will be feeling the pressure to ramp up the HD production...
     
  11. The intimidator

    The intimidator AllStar

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    Apr 14, 2006
    Hd with Dish is def worth it.
     
  12. bhenge

    bhenge AllStar

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    Mar 2, 2005
    Just FYI, WRAL-DT in Raleigh NC has been broadcasting their local news in HD for over 6 years. WRAL was one of the first to adopt HD OTA and as far as I know, the first to broadcast local news and events in HD.
     
  13. westfield60

    westfield60 Mentor

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    Jan 4, 2006
    KABC here in Los Angeles has started broadcasting the local news in HD about 6 months ago and it looks spectacular. I've started watching their news only because it looks so good in HD. You'd think that should be incentive enough for broadcasters to invest in new equipment if their ratings gets boosted.
     
  14. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    You beat me to saying it!

    Yep, WRAL built a brand new newsroom years ago to do their high-def local news. They also have hi-def weather radar now, and supposedly just invested in high-def cameras for their newscopter for aerial views in HD!

    They also carry around the portable HD cameras to record those in-the-field reports... and during the sports segments often have HD footage & clips from local sports (college and high school) to show during the newscast.

    They've also taken some cameras around the mountains of NC and to a few places in Europe to record some documentary-style stuff that has been pretty neat. I remember a trip to a museam, and a nice history of trains show.

    But as far as I can tell, WRAL is relatively unique in the level of HD they have introduced beyond the network programming when compared to the rest of the country. They appear to have some deep pockets funding them plus the same company owns WRAZ so they are both a CBS and a FOX affiliate in this area.
     
  15. PeggyD

    PeggyD AllStar

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    Apr 5, 2006
    KOMO (local ABC) in Seattle has been broadcasting their local news in HD for at least 2 years. Just recently I've noticed that all (or close to all) of the local remotes are also in HD. KING (local NBC) has the news in HD. Now, if KIRO & KCPQ (CBS & Fox) would, I'd be very happy.
     
  16. westfield60

    westfield60 Mentor

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    Jan 4, 2006
    What's actually funny is that I was listening to the Howard Stern show last week and he mentioned that he was getting two new $20,000 LCD TV's (I didn't even think they were that expensive anymore) installed in his apartment and upgrading to the HD signal on his satellite.

    Once installed he had the same gripe that I had. He couldn't find more than 4 or 5 channels in HD and since he is not a sports fan he wasn't interested in subscribing to the ESPN HD sports channels So he felt ripped off by the consultant that convinced him to invest that much money to upgrade the TV's and signal to HD only to have four channels to watch with the regular SD programming not looking so good as they had on the old TV.

    That has been my experience exactly and it was ironic to have him upgrade almost exactly at the same time I did with one major exception, I didn't pay upwards of $40,000 for my upgrade.
     
  17. John W

    John W Icon

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    Dec 19, 2005
    Howard doesn't have Dish HD if what he has said is true.
     
  18. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Salem, OR
    Apparently there is movement to call national content "cable". The world is a funny place

    I'm also baffled that people think that because they bit the bullet, everything should rightfully move in lockstep with their decision to upgrade.

    I can't imagine what CNN or Headline News would be with more acreage to stuff rolls, crawls, videos and stills in. I can barely stand to watch it now. I have to say that I'm not all that enthralled with HDNews.
     
  19. Bill R

    Bill R Hall Of Fame

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    I feel the same way. The problem with HDNews is content -- they just don't have enough of it. They repeat some stories more than four times an hour.
     
  20. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Then again, what 24 hour news channel doesn't?
     
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