If they only offer HD equipment hookups now for new customers how do they justify charging an additional 10 dollars for the service?
DISH is not "HD only installs". They push HD ... for example, if you order through the website you must order Hoppers and Joeys ... if you want anything different DISH makes you call in to talk to a salesperson. The "Smart Pack" (55 channels for $19.99 per month for 12 months $32.99 per month after) does not have HD or the Hopper.
HD is free for 24 months ... the same as that other satellite company ... however existing customers who got grandfathered can keep their "HD Free for Life" (life of the account). It is easy to justify $10 for HD when the other company is doing it.
Best thing to do is just include HD in the programing.
That would be nice ... but DISH went the other direction by changing their HD Free offer to "for two years". So I doubt that they will backtrack and make HD "included" any time soon.
One thing to be clear ... HD equipment is not HD service. DISH can deploy all the HD equipment they want and not activate the HD channels. DISH has kept the HD service fees separate from the equipment fees ... so there is no problem installing advanced receivers capable of HD without including HD channels.
DISH does not release numbers on how many customers have HD equipment and how many have SD only ... but they certainly have been pushing to sell HD - and anyone in an Eastern Arc only market gets the appropriate equipment to deliver HD locals.