DIRECTV HD Channel Anticipation (Official Q4-17 Thread)

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by James Long, Oct 1, 2017.

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  1. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2013
    Four years ago fully one fourth of Directv's customer base (i.e. 5 million people) were still SD only. I'm sure that number has dropped a lot as some of those customers have left and anyone joining in the last few years has to get HD installed - but likely some number of those new HD installs were for customers who only have SD TVs. There is only one Directv receiver that doesn't support SD TVs - the C61K.

    Cable is probably even worse for percentage of customers who are SD only because they have less customer churn than satellite providers (people who don't want / can't get satellite and have cable as their only option don't churn)
  2. JoeTheDragon

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

    Jul 21, 2008
    also some systems like comcast still have old boxes like the dct2000 still in use.
  3. AngryManMLS

    AngryManMLS Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2014
    Comcast around here at least for people on the lowest basic package gives out boxes that are SD only unless if you pay extra for an HD box. In 2017 that's inexcusable.
    Coca Cola Kid likes this.
  4. CTJon

    CTJon Godfather

    Feb 5, 2007
    Amazes me what exists in 2017 - we complain a lot about DirecTV but. Where I live the cable alternative is Spectrum (was TWC) the only DVR option now is 2 tuner - and NO whole home networking - have to watch on the set you recorded on. I guess you can do TIVO with it but in almost 2018 2 tuners and no whole home??
  5. KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 10, 2005
    Tobyhanna, PA
    They're now in test mode.
  6. YUMA11

    YUMA11 AllStar

    Apr 26, 2012
    Thanks KyL,what about Starz Encore?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. TheRatPatrol

    TheRatPatrol Hall Of Fame

    Oct 1, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    Outstanding. Thank you.
  8. jle1639

    jle1639 Member

    Apr 15, 2013
    dothan al
    Thanks KYL4
  9. mws192

    mws192 Godfather

    Jun 17, 2010
    -Latest U-verse filing-

    U-verse Programming Changes

    AT&T's contracts with programmers for the content displayed on U-verse TV service periodically expire, or may be terminated, but are usually re-negotiated or extended with no interruption or change for our U-verse members. Additionally, from time to time it is necessary to change channel line-ups as well as television package contents. The programming changes set forth below may occur as follows:

    December 2017:
    Effective December 31, 2017, the Chiller channel (channel 153) will be discontinued by the programmer.

    January 2018:
    Sony Entertainment Television Asia (channel 3704), GOL TV (channel 656 and 1656 in HD)

    February 2018:
    Ovation (channel 385 and 1385 in HD); Stingray Karaoke (channel 96 and 1096 in HD); Stingray Music (channel 500, 531 and 1500, 1531 in HD);
  10. ep1974

    ep1974 Legend

    May 22, 2010
    Did I read the other post correctly that we're getting the remaining Encores in HD also?
  11. Coca Cola Kid

    Coca Cola Kid Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2009
    Mt. Morris, MI
  12. Bigg

    Bigg Godfather

    Feb 26, 2010
    What I can't figure out is why programmers want DirecTV to pay MORE for an HD feed than an SD feed? If anything, I would think that part of the deal for carriage would be that DirecTV has to provide it in HD, as more people will watch it, thus more people will demand it in the future, and more eyeballs will watch the ads.

    The transition off of MPEG-2 is likely waiting for the last of the big wave of U-Verse conversions to happen, which seem to be winding down now that AT&T laid off a bunch of installers. As those installers are freed up after the several million conversions that happened fast and furious, they can convert people who have somehow kept SD equipment all these years, and continued to pay for DirecTV. All the cable and satellite providers should get rid of SD, as it's just a waste of bandwidth. If grandma is too stubborn to get an HDTV, let her pay the same as everyone else, and give her a composite dongle.

    4k is going to be a frustrating wait for anything, anywhere. I doubt at this point that we will see very many, if any, 4k channels. Some of the premium channels would be well served to make a 4k channel, since they have a huge content library of movies waiting to go in 4k, but for sports, where channels actually have to produce the content in 4k, I'm skeptical that we'll see much, if any, other than Tokyo 2020, which will be produced in 8k by NHK.
  13. JoeTheDragon

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

    Jul 21, 2008
    But staying on the old contract till it ends is cheaper then going to a new one. or they can jump now and pay the new rate to get HD.
  14. richall01

    richall01 Godfather

    Sep 30, 2007
    South Georgia
    Why don't they extra for SD only?
  15. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2013
    If they really were waiting for the MPEG2 transition to begin after the Uverse transition was winding down, why would they have laid off all those installers? They're going to need them to upgrade all the SD only customers. It was only four years ago this month that they reported nearly 25% of their subscriber base was SD only - almost 5 million customers.

    Since they quit doing new SD installs the last few years they've been relying on churn to reduce the number of legacy SD only customers, but those customers are perhaps less likely to churn than average. Undoubtedly there are still at least a couple million of them.

    I assume we'll start hearing about letters going out to the SD only customers sometime next year, similar to the letters they sent to the MPG receiver owners a few years back, which should provide us an exact date for the transition and more information about how exactly it will work.

    We are already seeing sporting events produced and delivered in 4K, but there is a significant expense to replace production trucks with ones designed for 4K production flow. It is understandable why they don't want to make any big investments in new trucks when things are still a moving target. Given the budget cuts at ESPN thanks to their stupid NBA deal killing their bottom line I think FS1 will be the first to go 4K - probably in a couple years when they are able to produce in 4Kp120 HDR.

    I think we'll only see the 'flagship' stations go 4K rather than all of them. That is, HBO will go 4K, but not HBO2 et al, Discovery goes 4K but not Discovery Life and other hangers on.

    I'm still skeptical about 4K OTA - the problem is that broadcasting in 4K won't increase the station's bottom line unless cable providers are willing to pay more for it. Why would they, unless a LOT of customers are willing to pay more to get 4K locals from their cable company - which is unlikely given how people are already upset over the size of their cable bill. Without a way to make money broadcasting in 4K, local station owners who convert to ATSC 3.0 will use the extra bandwidth for more subchannels, which will now be able to be in HD (useful for the ones showing movies, not so much for the ones showing reruns of pre-2000 TV shows) Plus they'll be channel sharing at first anyway, which totally rules out 4K. Without enough demand from local stations for 4K, the networks might decide it isn't worth it and decide the situation for everyone!
  16. Bigg

    Bigg Godfather

    Feb 26, 2010
    So do the contracts pre-date when these channels were available in HD?

    My bet is that the 5 million number is significantly less today, due to upgrades, attrition, moves, and the customers stuck on SD dying off, to put it bluntly. I'd bet on the rate of conversions to be significantly lower than the rate of U-Verse to DirecTV conversions when you account for the schedule that they have to do them.

    That very well could be, ESPN has a lot more problems than a stupid NBA deal- they have a lot of stupid deals that they way overpaid for, and are going to start really hurting them. I just don't see 4k as a money maker for them. How many people are going to keep pay TV just for 4k?

    That would be great, but I'm not convinced that we'll see that. We'll probably see something, maybe a few all-4k channels that re-purpose content available in 4k, like an HBO 4k channel that shows all 4k movies or something.

    Some old TV shows are film, but I don't know how they were scanned, and if anyone wants to drop the dough to re-scan them, so they are likely stuck in SD, even if they could theoretically be scanned in HD. I'd agree on 4k locals, it sounds to me like we might see 1080p HDR channels, but beyond that it will be a plethora of subchannels. I'm not sure what timeline we'll see for transition to ATSC 3.0 due to the need for channel sharing to get there, which is going to be a nightmare to figure out on a market by market basis. I'm pretty sure you can do two 4k channels in HEVC while channel sharing, but they'd probably rather have several HD channels plus a whole bunch of SD channels. I don't think the networks will go 4k anytime soon, that's a HUGE change and investment to start producing everything in 4k, when most people don't seem to be able to tell lousy HD picture quality from good HD picture quality as it is.
  17. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    I expect we will see HBO launch a 4K channel in time for, if not before, the final season of game of thrones.

    I do not expect to see anyone get any SD boxes swapped out till well into 2019... I still believe it will be different hardware offered than anything we have today.

    And if DIRECTV turns off all duplicates of channels, so they have one feed (not counting 4K) only be it Hi Definition or SD if that’s all the channel has made available, by January 1 2020 I believe they will be years ahead of everyone else that has been around since before Hi Definition launched. Dish is the only other one I think has a chance to do that, because they already did for half their subscribers. Cable I don’t think cares enough.
  18. Sandra

    Sandra Legend

    Apr 16, 2012
    I believe my biggest DirecTV disappointment was when they moved GOL TV from HD to SD and from the sports pack to the Spanish package.
    Soccernut likes this.
  19. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

    Apr 17, 2003
    I expected HBO 4K by the end of 2016. The industry has not lived up to my expectations.

    There are very few HD carried channels that do not have a SD feed also carried on the same arc (about 10 national channels that once had a SD feed?). Locals on Eastern Arc are carried HD only (if the station transmits HD and any station in the market is carried in HD).

    This is one of those contract issues ... contracts that not only allow a carrier (DISH/DIRECTV etc) to carry a channel but require the carrier to carry the channel until the end of the contract. For example, if DISH has a contract to carry HBO SD they must deliver the channel for as long as that contract is in effect. Regardless of the presence of HBO HD or the fact that 100% of customers on that arc can receive and view the HD feed.

    Breach the contract and the carrier may not be able to carry any version of the channel until a new contract is signed. With the channels taking the opportunity to negotiate a higher price for carriage due to the breach.
  20. chino

    chino Member

    Jul 11, 2017
    I am surprised that they haven’t put NASA TV in HD
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