I'm also soooo tried of hearing about this satellite that has to be launch to get more HD channels. They keep raising my bill for nothing new. No Pac 12 no Long Horn no Sec channel and no LA Dodgers. They give u dogtv, weather nation and Al Jeezer and el ray but nothing most people want.
The channels you listed are contractual disputes and have almost nothing to do with bandwidth. (Although Pac-12's 7 channels will be a lot bandwidth wise since it isn't like BTN where the other feeds are only used during football and basketball season, they frequently have regional content) Heck in the case of TWC SportsNet LA NO ONE has it outside of TWC (and of course Brighthouse) since it's a channel that shouldn't even exist and was created out of nothing but greed by the Dodgers and TWC who dangled the offer of a team specific RSN with guaranteed coverage on their system to win the bidding war against Fox Sports. Now they want other providers to pay $5 per subscriber to cover their rediculous bid when they could have easily added the games to TWC SportsNet since there's very little overlap between the Dodgers and Lakers seasons.
WeatherNation was a result of the dispute with Weather Channel and bandwidth wise took the place of one of the PPV movie channels. (The final result was that Weather Channel is now in Choice or higher while WeatherNation is the weather network available in all of the packages) Very few HD PPV Movie channels are actually 365 days a year, the bulk of them are just filler between seasonal sports packages and some is reserved space in the event they come to terms with a channel before D14 goes live like missing RSNs and future launches where, barring some major impass with ESPN, will be coming at the next renewal later this year like Longhorn and SEC.
The rest of those channels are only in SD on DirecTV and have nothing to do with HD bandwidth, while Al Jazeera America was a rebrand of CurrentTV (which itself was a rebrand of Newsworld International). And just because you don't watch something doesn't mean others don't either. There's an entire thread in the TV forum dedicated to El Rey's original series From Dusk to Dawn, several threads about WeatherNation, including many users praising them for actually having weather 24/7 and focusing on the entire country as opposed to the other weather channel which ignores the entire country for days if it's going to snow more than an inch in a major east coast or midwest city, while DogTV is a subscription channel so only those who want it are subscribing. (Not to mention the previous quarter's thread had multiple people asking for these channels in HD)
Satellite launches require coordination from multiple international regulatory bodies, it isn't something that can happen right away along with the time it takes to build a satellite after the slot and frequencies are approved. It isn't like cable where they can free up space by doing things like eliminating analog service and implement off the shelf technology like switched video that only delivers the channels that the people in that specific hub or node are watching at a given time. So they have several choices, wait until D14 goes live and save whatever space they have left for special cases that might arise in before it goes live (i.e. WeatherNation, SEC, Longhorn, RSNs, etc) or start over compressing the existing channels and squeeze in as many channels as possible. Another option would be to eliminate SD service entirely, but by the time they complete the nationwide truck rolls to swap out the remaining 18 inch and Phase 3 dishes along with every non MPEG4 receiver, D15 will probably be in service.
Edited by KyL416, 22 April 2014 - 12:32 AM.