While D* may be deficient in the array of basic HD channels compared to the cable companies, D*'s sports offerings are second to none.
With all that said, the only ones worth adding from your list are Investigation Discovery, BBC America, H2, Nat Geo Wild, and an outside possibility of DIY and Fox Movie Channel if that is ever going to be in HD.
I don't really care about sports so I don't care how many billions of dollars and how much space DirecTV is wasting on them. I doubt a majority of the population cares about sports enough that they need that many sports networks. The few times I want to check some sporting events out there's usually an awesome, much higher quality backhaul feed going on on free-to-air satellite. Sports games are a dime-a-dozen; unique native HD gameshows like Baggage
on GSN HD and quality animation like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
on The Hub HD are more unique and much harder to come by. So I make my decision based on how much unique and interesting niche content my provider can give me, and channels like The Hub and GSN are must-haves in HD including the previously mentioned criticals like H2, Nat Geo Wild, etc.
What made you subscribe to a forum about DBS Satellite Systems then?
And have you checked out Dish Network's HD lineup?
Dish Network's HD lineup is definitely better than DirecTV's... but it's still lacking in some areas. They also have a serious quality problem - downrezzing 1080i channels to 1440x1080 is ridiculous and I can't support that kind of activity.
I am on this forum because I do
dabble in free-to-air satellite - fronthaul networks, wildfeeds, backhaul feeds. I try to maintain an account on all the Internet's big satellite forums.
I see what's being done via satellite distribution 'behind the scenes'... 40 Mbps 1080i 4:2:2 MPEG-2 video... Dolby E audio... 20+ Mbps 1080i H.264... and then I look over at what the subscription services are providing to people who are actually PAYING to see the content and I can't help but be disappointed by what a poor job DirecTV and Dish Network are doing representing this technology. I check out these threads and I couldn't resist commenting on these recent poor decisions by DirecTV.
So I'd like to subscribe DirecTV or Dish based on my positive experiences with satellite technology, but examining the technical specs and HD channel lineups of these companies reveals an obvious and disappointing conclusion: they're inferior to even cable right now. I just hope that when DirecTV gets that new satellite in 2014 they finally step it up and stop letting cable and Verizon FiOS kick their ass.