Owners of HDTVs are always looking for more and better ways to enjoy their high-definition video and home theater setups. Aside from content on DVDs, choices are limited to whatever is availabe on free local HD broadcasts and the paid programming available from the cable or satellite company. These broadcasts suffer from a problem of quality vs. quantity. For example, my cable company offers numerous HD channels in their HD package, but two are variations of a single channel (ESPN), or channels that I don’t watch more than about once a week or once a month. Of the 18 HD channels available to me, 8 are free even without cable.
I know that more HD cable programming is available, but not on my carrier. This leaves satellite as an alternative. I’m not quite ready to dump my cable (mainly because I’m also using it for my internet and phone service), but DirectTV’s successful addition of a satellite to their system bodes well for all of us whether we use satellite or not. This new satellite allows DirectTV to stay on track with their plan to provide 100 HD channels by the end of the year. It forces cable companies to take notice and make their own HDTV offerings more interesting, or risk losing customers.
I’m not sure whether I’ll switch to satellite at some point or not, but more competition for my cable company certainly means that I can eventually expect them to increase the quality and quantity of programming in their HD package as well. If they don’t, then I’m probably going to have a dish on my roof next year.
UPDATE: Looks likeCox Communications has gotten the message, as they recently embarked on providing 50 HD channels by the end of 2007, and 100 by the end of 2008.