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DIRECTV HD Channel Anticipation (Official Q3-12 Thread)


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#2341 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:02 PM

OK... now that my #2 most wanted channel (BBCA) became available yesterday, it's time to update my anticipation list:


  • CW HD-DNS
    While I will continue to hold out hope that it will come prior to the start of the new Fall season (October 2nd is when it starts for The CW), I don't expect them until D14.
  • TV Land HD
    My hope is that the recent Viacom deal included TV Land HD. Of all the channels on my wishlist, it's the one that I feel I have the best chance of receiving this year.
  • Lifetime Movie Network HD
    Overall, I only watch this channel around November/December, so with it being August, it's higher on my list than it might usually be.
  • DIY-HD
    Watched frequently at this home, and a highly watched channel in my area.
  • Cooking Channel
    Watched frequently at this home.


I omitted Ion as I suspect it'll be here in the next couple of weeks...


BTW, while I'd LIKE to have multiple other channels, including The Hub and Fox Movie Channel, if I could get the channels listed above, I'd be pretty much satisfied with their national channel lineup for the time being.

Of course, on the locals front, I'm still waiting on ABC-HD and hoping I won't have to wait on CW-HD when it launches next year. :(

~Alan

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#2342 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:08 PM

If you stick with this very strict definition of "basic" Directv doesn't have any basic HD, since they charge an extra fee for HD. You can get this fee credited back for 2 years if you autopay, but the fee is still there.

It's one of those cable marketing ploys, "we don't charge extra for HD."


Technically, DirecTV charges for HD Access... or at least they did. Now it's lumped in with an Advanced Receiver Fee... not the channels themselves. Cable lumps in the same fees, but adds it to the equipment fees as well...

Plus, the SD versions of the channels would be considered basic, so the term basic would still apply to HD versions of the channels.

This continual argument is why I stay away from the term basic usually. Sorry to have restarted it. Channels are channels. They are available on a system or they are not. the rest is how and how much you pay for them.


The term is still appropriate... the pricing is up to each individual provider as to how much to charge for them, but there's nothing wrong with the term.

~Alan

#2343 OFFLINE   crawdad62

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:12 PM

While I really haven't gotten to enjoy our recent HD since the Olympics took up most of TCM's debut (I do have a lot on the DVR) and BBC/NGW just hasn't been up long enough I guess it's time to rethink my HD want list.

1. HLN
2. Cooking
3. DIY
4. FMC
5. TVLand

While I don't watch it much I think I would watch Ovation if there was HD content so I'd add that too. That would pretty much do it for me.

#2344 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:12 PM

The term is still appropriate... the pricing is up to each individual provider as to how much to charge for them, but there's nothing wrong with the term.

~Alan


Sure there is. Nobody calls packages basic. And nobody (various systems) agrees to what is a basic channel. With so many different packages, not even a single system can agree what is basic.

Here's a good one for you. Fios actually has a handful of channels that are included in their lowest package but are not in the next one up. So those channels can't be basic as they are not built upon.

I have a huge problem with the term.
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#2345 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:14 PM

  • CW HD-DNS
    While I will continue to hold out hope that it will come prior to the start of the new Fall season (October 2nd is when it starts for The CW), I don't expect them until D14.


Of course, on the locals front, I'm still waiting on ABC-HD and hoping I won't have to wait on CW-HD when it launches next year. :(


CRAP!! :mad:

I just found out a neighboring market's (Columbus, GA) NBC affiliate added HD to their CW sub-channel, and wouldn't you know, it's one of the two affiliates in that DMA I CAN'T receive via OTA since the digital switchover... :rolleyes:

~Alan

#2346 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:17 PM

Sure there is. Nobody calls packages basic. And nobody (various systems) agrees to what is a basic channel. With so many different packages, not even a single system can agree what is basic.

Here's a good one for you. Fios actually has a handful of channels that are included in their lowest package but are not in the next one up. So those channels can't be basic as they are not built upon.

I have a huge problem with the term.


Again, I state that the channels define themselves as basic. If the channel defines itself as a basic, but the provider doesn't offer them as a basic, it's still a basic.

As a DirecTV subscriber, I'm aware that Hallmark Movie Channel and Sony Movie Channel are not basics, but they are meant to be.

~Alan

#2347 OFFLINE   Barcthespark

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:27 PM

I'm VERY happy with BBCA (Doctor Who) and I'm really hoping ION will go live HD before the new Flashpoint season begins.

My remaining HD hope list:
DIY
Cooking Channel
Fox Movie Channel
NASA
Encore channels
Fox Soccer Plus (full time)

#2348 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:32 PM

Again, I state that the channels define themselves as basic. If the channel defines itself as a basic, but the provider doesn't offer them as a basic, it's still a basic.


Say that out loud. It makes no sense. Especially as every channel contract has packaging clauses.

And what is basic? What level? It is an obsolete term from when cable just had analog channels and premiums. There were no tiers. No sports packages. Just cable and premium movie channels. Mostly HBO.
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#2349 OFFLINE   revm1m

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:33 PM

I don't watch any of new HD channels that were added, but I am happy we got more HD and happy for everyone else who were waiting for those channels to be added. If we could get DIY HD, then I will be very hapy:)

#2350 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:44 PM

Say that out loud. It makes no sense. Especially as every channel contract has packaging clauses.

And what is basic? What level? It is an obsolete term from when cable just had analog channels and premiums. There were no tiers. No sports packages. Just cable and premium movie channels. Mostly HBO.


When a company launches a channel, they decide whether to market it as a BASIC cable channel or a PREMIUM cable channel.

If they intend for it to be a basic channel, they shop the channel around to providers, hoping to get the channel into the lowest tier in order to have the most potential viewers for their advertising.

If the providers do not want to offer that channel in the lowest package, that should not discount the channel as a basic channel. As I stated previously, DirecTV's carriage of several BASIC channels in the HD Extra package... a premium package, does not change the fact that those channels are BASIC channels, but as DirecTV subscribers, it may change our view of those channels.

~Alan

#2351 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 06:26 PM

When a company launches a channel, they decide whether to market it as a BASIC cable channel or a PREMIUM cable channel.

If they intend for it to be a basic channel, they shop the channel around to providers, hoping to get the channel into the lowest tier in order to have the most potential viewers for their advertising.

If the providers do not want to offer that channel in the lowest package, that should not discount the channel as a basic channel. As I stated previously, DirecTV's carriage of several BASIC channels in the HD Extra package... a premium package, does not change the fact that those channels are BASIC channels, but as DirecTV subscribers, it may change our view of those channels.

~Alan


Because you have to clarify and clarify and clarify and caveat and give interpretations, the term is a bad one. If you ask 100 people what a basic channel is you will get 101 answers. It is an obsolete and bad term. Even Wikipedia defines it as an analog unencrypted channel. Obsolete.

And a useless one at that. Since their is no consensus on basic and no consensus on pricing , what difference does it make? For the consumer there is no such definition that carries from provider to provider. So it also means nothing. A provider has a channel. It will cost me X amount of dollars. Doesn't matter if it is basic or premium. It is X amount. A new channel is added. Am I getting it without extra cost with my current package. That is all that matters.

Basic is a useless, obsolete term that no one can agree on. Carry on using it then.
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#2352 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 06:37 PM

Basic is a useless, obsolete term that no one can agree on. Carry on using it then.


I will... :)

The term may be useless and obsolete to the consumer, but the usage in the industry is still valid.

~Alan

#2353 OFFLINE   maartena

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 07:51 PM

I will... :)

The term may be useless and obsolete to the consumer, but the usage in the industry is still valid.

~Alan


I would disagree. The models for distribution have changed so much over the years, the introduction of digital cable has changed all that. It was once a way to differentiate between cable channels included in your monthly price and channels you had to pay an extra fee for, such as HBO.

But then they launched Encore, which with DirecTV is in a "Choice" package, and could be considered "basic" under the definition above. Others would disagree because there are no commercials. But then again, neither does TCM. Then there are HD-only channels in the HD "Extra" package. Some would consider these Premium, but money-wise, the $5 you spend on them is the same as the price difference between the Choice packages. Now add specialty sports channels such as MLB network and the likes..... and it really becomes quite a fluid situation. NHL Network for instance is on the same package level as Encore channels. Is one of em still "basic" though, and the other one not? Are they both? Are they neither?
[Disclaimer] The definition of "soon" is based solely on DirecTV's interpretation of the word, and all similarities with dictionary definitions of the word "soon" are purely coincidental and should not be interpreted as a time frame that will come to pass within a reasonable amount of time.

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#2354 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:05 PM

[quote name='maartena']I would disagree. The models for distribution have changed so much over the years, the introduction of digital cable has changed all that. It was once a way to differentiate between cable channels included in your monthly price and channels you had to pay an extra fee for, such as HBO.[/QUOTE]

Why has digital cable changed that?! I admit, I've never had cable so I may be confused, but I just don't see how that changes the definition.

[quote name='maartena']But then they launched Encore, which with DirecTV is in a "Choice" package, and could be considered "basic" under the definition above. [/QUOTE]

The Encore channels were in the base packages on DirecTV during the earlier days as well. They treat them as both premium and basic channels. I'm not sure how Starz differentiates them.

It's kind of like an RSN being in a base package if it's your local RSN, or if you get it via the Sports Package.

BTW, the Disney Channel was a (expensive) premium during the early days.

[quote name='maartena']Others would disagree because there are no commercials. But then again, neither does TCM. [/QUOTE]

I don't really see what that has to do with anything.

[quote name='maartena']Then there are HD-only channels in the HD "Extra" package. Some would consider these Premium, but money-wise, the $5 you spend on them is the same as the price difference between the Choice packages. [/QUOTE]

HD-only has nothing to do with anything.

However, as I stated already, the HD Extra package is consider a PREMIUM package by DirecTV, but the package includes multiple channels (Hallmark Movie Channel and Sony Movie Channel for instance) that consider themselves "Basic."

[/QUOTE]Now add specialty sports channels such as MLB network and the likes..... and it really becomes quite a fluid situation. NHL Network for instance is on the same package level as Encore channels. Is one of em still "basic" though, and the other one not? Are they both? Are they neither?[/QUOTE]

I would imagine both MLB and NHL consider themselves basic. I'm not sure where the Encore channels stand, but given that they are in the Starz Super Pack, I'm going to assume they consider themselves basic.

~Alan

#2355 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:47 PM

Why has digital cable changed that?!



Okay, let's go back. Originally cable was merely community antenna TV (CATV). Just a rebroadcast of OTA for people who didn't want an antenna or couldn't get good reception. CATV often brought channels from big cities to rural areas that didn't have their own channels or at least strong signal ones. The first recognized CATV system was in Mahoney City, PA, in the mountains northwest of Philadelphia and brought signal from Philadelphia. There was no basic, no premium. Everything was everything and the first systems were limited to channels 2 to 6, eventually to al VHF. I had cable of that type as a child.

Then HBO, the first premium to survive, came along. It was originally scrambled or on another frequency and required a box to tune it. Now we had two things. Basic, which was analog OTA and a premium (although those names didn't exist yet).

Then cable channels started. CNN, ESPN et al. (TBN may have been one if not the first.) Around that time, cable started putting channels on what we consider cable frequencies today, that is channels above 13 that are not UHF but many early systems stll stayed at 2 thru 13. Those that did not required cable tuners attached to your TV but when TVs started being able to get those channels, the tuner was not required for all but the premiums that started to exist. Still no tiers. Just what we consider basic plus premiums although I am not sure when the titles started. But it was all analog. Only the premiums required additional hardware.

Some premiums required a tuner box. Still using "odd" frequencies (that were often just high UHF) or scrambling techniques or (the cheapest method) line filters that removed a noise overlay on a channel like HBO or Home Team Sports (today's CSN Mid Atlantic) in Maryland.

So we had two clear things. Basic, which only required hardware if your TV could not tune the channels (pretty much 2 thru 64? and 94-99 on the cable "dial" but still analog and in the clear). And Premium, which required some sort of hardware at your outlet. Either a box or a filter. Premium also cost more. But other than the premiums, everyone paid the same amount and got the same thing.

Then came digital cable. Channels above 99. The advent of tiers. The start of blurring of the term "basic." Basic was not basic anymore. Basic was the analog channels below 99. Digital had channels above 99 that were not premiums. Typically things like the newer channels. MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News, Discovery. Many things you would call "basic" but were not. And this varied by system. Some companies moved things to digital that were on the analog portion. The digital tier (yes, they started using tiers) required hardware.

Of course, we have evolved even past that. Now pretty much everything is digital with the below 99 channels given a simple tuner box for older TVs but everything is addressable. So you get scattered channels and even non-premium add ons like the HD Pack from DirecTV (those are not considered premiums by anyone; they are just a pack of channels). Every system now has its own list of channels in different tiers. That is how you get channels on Fios's lowest real package not in the next one up. There is no such thing as basic on Fios (and with DirecTV's numerous packages, you can't define it there either).

But that is how digital changed things. Tiers rather than basic versus premium and addressable boxes and varied packages.

FWIW, when I googed "basic channel" the vast majority of hits were from Comcast as they still use the names Limited Basic (local OTA) and Extended Basic (for the 1 to 99 range) but I would be willing to bet that those names exist because of local regulation and laws requiring them to deliver certain service levels that were written years ago. Fios doesn't call its OTA only package basic. They call it Limited Prime or something like that.

When a term is not easily understood or does not have an agreed upon definition, it is worse than useless. The term basic channel is worse than useless.
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#2356 OFFLINE   MIKEB64

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 09:03 PM

My HD anticipation list is:

DIY
COOKING CHNNEL
OWN
WE
FMC
TV LAND
HLN
STYLE
LMN
IFC
ID

#2357 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 09:11 PM

When a term is not easily understood or does not have an agreed upon definition, it is worse than useless. The term basic channel is worse than useless.


Your history lesson was interesting, but really didn't answer my question.

My local cableco, Mediacom used to have broadcast basic (locals + assorted popular cable channels), basic (I think), and extended basic. They've too since changed the names on everything but broadcast basic (well, technically it's listed as digital broadcast basic), but you get the picture. However, the naming is not important. The fact that we're talking about "cable networks" in the age of satellite, fiber optics, and IPTV prove that some names stick around.

Plus, I still don't see why "basic" is inappropriate?! "Basic" channels are channels that WANT to be in the lowest base packages in order to attract the most viewers. Just because certain providers wish to put them in higher or premium packages does not change what the channels market themselves as... and as early as a couple of years ago, channels were still referring to themselves as "basic" channels.

~Alan

#2358 OFFLINE   Fog627

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 09:26 PM

I guess it's time for a blog name change...I submit "The Alan and Tony Semantics Bore"

#2359 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 09:29 PM

I guess it's time for a blog name change...I submit "The Alan and Tony Semantics Bore"


I support this idea! :D

~Alan

#2360 OFFLINE   Fog627

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 09:36 PM

I am not a moderator, but Alan and Tony...why don't you guys just PM each other and take it away from here. This isn't your personal blog of "who can get the last word in."




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