I was a fan of DirecTV until a few days ago.
Using "Public Interest Obligation" law to justify moving Baby First TV, a standard-definition channel, to a satellite location that requires HD equipment.
In other words, getting Baby First TV "free" requires upgraded equipment, payment of a monthly access fee, and signing a fresh two-year commitment. first-year costs of at least $120, $219 if one is not eligible for a free equipment upgrade. $15 per month remaining in the new contract if one needs to cancel.
leveraging a "public interest obligation" requirement into a basically coercive HD migration marketing initiative. . .ka-ching!
i already have complained, and you can too. go to fcc.gov, select "complaint" on the upper right. I used the options for "satellite provider," "marketing communication," and "false or misleading." it's hard to find the selections that applied, but since they are advertising this change on Baby First, you can basically complain that DirecTV's advertising message is false.
Seriously, there is no way they have to put this channel on an HD satellite location. it's a freaking standard definition channel.
Let's insert some facts into this thread. Comments like the one above and other comments like "they pulled this same thing with NASA" is nonsense.
This is not the case at all on a number of levels. Directv is required to have a certain number of PIO channels at various orbital slots by a percentage of total channels offered. The number is 4%. They needed to add another at 99/103 slot to be in compliance with that mandate. No different than NASA and GOD TV changes. There is no "ploy". As DTV has added channels at 99 and 103, they needed to also add PIO channels at those slots per the FCC.
From what I understand, the majority of Baby First customers have at least one HD receiver and are not affected. A small minority do not have MPEG4 HD equipment, but most of them are eligible for discounted or even free HD hardware upgrades. Not all, but most.
DTV is now allowing for the channel to be free to all of its customers that have HD equipment starting in mid January. It's unfortunate that some customers will have to upgrade to continue viewing BabyFirst, but to suggest this is a way to force HD upgrades is incorrect especially when considering why the channel is moving to the PIO designation in the first place. If DTV was forcing HD upgrades on people as some kind of ploy, they sure would have been smarter to pick a service that has many more subscribers than BabyFirst does. The accusation is ridiculous on all levels.
In the end, the vast majority of customers will get a channel for free that they would have had to pay for in the past. That's a good thing. Unfortunately, a small handful of customers will have to get an HD upgrade or not get the channel. What are these customers going to do in a few years when SD is no longer offered? Complain then as well? Get over it.
If you don't want to pay for the HD Access fee, go to auto bill pay and get it waived.