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One thing is as clear as high-def: cable and satellite operators had better be ready to accommodate a surge of HD upgrades when customers unwrap their new HDTVs this holiday season. While industry analysts are warning that the ill-prepared should embrace for higher churn, slower subscriber growth and higher spending, the well-equipped HD providers will reap the benefits.


So between the cable, satellite and telco companies all offering HD, which is in the lead? According to Bernstein Research's Craig Moffett, at least temporarily, cable does. "Cable and satellite - and even the telcos - each have their advantages in the battle for HD subscribers... but cable operators would appear to have the edge for now," he said.
Unlike satellite, it's cable that offers all the local broadcast channels - which in addition to the primetime lineups, also dominate the sports landscape - in virtually all their markets. By contrast, DISH offers HD locals to about 47 percent of U.S. markets, and DIRECTV (after recently expanding its local footprint) reaches about 65 percent. Of the startup telcos, Verizon has an edge but is available to only 1.2 million households (less than one percent).

For national HD, Moffett gives the nod to DISH which offers 30 HD channels compared to the average cable operator's offering of about 20. DIRECTV, the analyst said, is by far the weakest of the big guys only offering 7 national channels. But don't count the nation's largest satellite provider out of the race, he said, because DIRECTV is poised to take the lead with new satellite capacity slated for next year - bumping the company's total offering to a promised 150 channels of national HD.

"That programming doesn't exist yet," Moffett said, "but when it does, DIRECTV will likely have more of it than anyone else. It will take the cable operators a few years - and new technologies - to be able to match DIRECTV's 150 by the end of the decade." As far as equipment is concerned, Moffett said by most accounts (and without going into specs), EchoStar's may be the best but costs the most with an upfront charge in its leasing agreement. Cable operators like Time Warner and Comcast provide similar units that have less intuitive user interfaces - and don't require any upfront fees. Moffett also said DIRECTV has struggled the most with its equipment, which goes a long way toward explaining why HD penetration is so much lower given the company's high-end demographics.

Source: www.skyreport.com
 

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Legend
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The thing that I don't think a lot of people realize is that there are not 150 channels available in HD (national feeds excluding RSN's and locals)...there are only max probably 50...anyone who is expecting 150, is gonna be disappointed. All the adds say "We will have the "CAPACITY" to carry 150 nation wide HD channels" not that "We will have 150 HD channels"...you gotta love how people sometimes hear what they want to hear...
 

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There aren't 30 HD channels either. Look at DISH's channel line up! LOOK AT IT! Kung Fu HD? Are you serious? On paper Dish looks like they have more channels, but if those channels were so awesome, VOOM wouldn't have tanked. Really, there are only two HD channels they Dish has that matter: NationalGeographic and FoodTV.

I think D*'s plan of getting as many local channels in HD is smart. Most people watch primetime TV. If they can add *important* channels next year, they'll be okay. Dish can keep Equator HD, thanks.
 

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noneroy said:
There aren't 30 HD channels either. Look at DISH's channel line up! LOOK AT IT! Kung Fu HD? Are you serious? On paper Dish looks like they have more channels, but if those channels were so awesome, VOOM wouldn't have tanked. Really, there are only two HD channels they Dish has that matter: NationalGeographic and FoodTV.

I think D*'s plan of getting as many local channels in HD is smart. Most people watch primetime TV. If they can add *important* channels next year, they'll be okay. Dish can keep Equator HD, thanks.
AMEN! VOOM=CRAP
 

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noneroy said:
There aren't 30 HD channels either. Look at DISH's channel line up! LOOK AT IT! Kung Fu HD? Are you serious? On paper Dish looks like they have more channels, but if those channels were so awesome, VOOM wouldn't have tanked. Really, there are only two HD channels they Dish has that matter: NationalGeographic and FoodTV.

I think D*'s plan of getting as many local channels in HD is smart. Most people watch primetime TV. If they can add *important* channels next year, they'll be okay. Dish can keep Equator HD, thanks.
Haha I agree, I have all my locals in HD, ESPN and a few Movie channels, I really dont care about to many others.

Really the only other ones I would want would be Spike, Sci FI and all the Premium channels in HD.
 
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