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A&E HD Launches In Quiet
Source: http://www.tvpredictions.com/aehd101206.htm

The high-def simulcast of the variety channel is only available in a few markets.
By Phillip Swann

Washington, D.C. (October 12, 2006) -- A&E is one of cable's most popular networks. So you would think that A&E's launch of a High-Definition TV channel would generate a lot of press.

Think again.

A&E HD, a high-def simulcast of the network's analog lineup, launched during last month's Labor Day weekend However, the company did not issue an official press release marking the event -- nor was there any coverage in the trade or consumer media. (A&E did notify the press last March of the Labor Day launch.)

A possible reason for keeping quiet about such an important occasion?

A&E HD, which includes such shows as American Justice and Cold Case Files, is only available in a handful of programming lineups.

Cox Cable has agreed to carry the channel, but thus far, only in a few cities, including San Diego, according to an A&E spokesman. The only other carrier in the United States is a small cable outfit in Minneapolis, the spokesman said. (It's also available on a few cable systems in Canada.)

However, he added that the company is negotiating carriage with other cable and satellite providers.

It's a good bet that A&E will issue a press release if and when it gets those carriage deals.

Final Note: A&E HD will air a concert special starring Paul McCartney on October 28. The event was filmed with 25 different HD cameras. But unless you live in San Diego or Minneapolis, you'll have to catch the non-HD version on the regular A&E channel.

Swanni Sez:
A&E's current difficulty in landing carriage agreements should quiet the critics who say that basic cable networks are dragging their feet on high-def. At this point, the cable and satellite operators have little space available for new HD channels. That will soon change, but why should a network launch a HD channel now when there's no guarantee that anyone will actually be able to watch it?
 

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ironman said:
Thanks for the news Earl. I have not noticed it yet. Is the HD A&E channel in the 70's or at its normal channel(265?)
As far as I know it is not available on either DirecTV or Dish Network

(Hence Why I put the thread here in HDTV Programming)

From the article it appears that only a few Cable-Co's have even picked it up yet.
 

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Their initial tests which were in the clear months ago indicated they would use much stretch-o-vision like TNTHD.

At the time there was also a channel labelled such that it could be History Channel HD, but it had the same content as A&E HD. That likely has changed since they went encrypted a few months ago.
 

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I have a StarChoice satellite system and just started getting A&E HD yesterday. Yes, a good deal of content (not all) is "stretched" but the picture quality is far superior to the SD version (for most shows it's outstanding), so personally the stretch doesn't bother me much...hopefully they will improve the formatting of their programming soon.

Dish Network seems to always be the first to launch a new HD service so I would hope that they will be the first major system in the US to pick it up. What baffles me is that this is a US network, yet it's widely available on both major DBS systems in Canada. What's up with that?
 

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ChrisR said:
What baffles me is that this is a US network, yet it's widely available on both major DBS systems in Canada. What's up with that?
Yep, I'm suprised the it got past the ridiculous protectionism of the CRTC. They must have been bamboozled believing the A&E still stood for the Arts and Entertainment. I'm sure any number of preferred Canadian competitiors could deliver a channel of crime drama reruns.
 

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JohnH said:
Their initial tests which were in the clear months ago indicated they would use much stretch-o-vision like TNTHD.
:nono2: I don't want it that bad. Start over when you have enough HD content A&E.
 

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ChrisR said:
I have a StarChoice satellite system and just started getting A&E HD yesterday. Yes, a good deal of content (not all) is "stretched" but the picture quality is far superior to the SD version (for most shows it's outstanding), so personally the stretch doesn't bother me much...hopefully they will improve the formatting of their programming soon.

Dish Network seems to always be the first to launch a new HD service so I would hope that they will be the first major system in the US to pick it up. What baffles me is that this is a US network, yet it's widely available on both major DBS systems in Canada. What's up with that?
This channel is an absolute waste of HD Bandwidth as 90% or more of the content is not really HD.

There are many more deserving - HD Channels which much more HD Content.

 
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