Yesterday DISH Network unveiled its new plans to add eight national HD channels to its already impressive HD lineup. Today, DirecTV conveniently announced that it will add 30 new HD channels. Both will be a progressive introduction over the next few months but the combined HD selection now features over 160 total HD channels. For a layman’s perspective, 30 is much bigger than 8, thus some might think that DirecTV always adds this many channels. But after looking at the numbers, one will find that both companies are pretty comparable.
Furthermore, DirecTV is adding a few regional HD sports channels, which also contributes to the inflation of the channel additions. They are adding two Comcast Sports Net California channels, ESPNU, and an FSN Florida. After accounting for the number of “regional” channels they are adding, really all they are adding Hallmark, Lifetime, and MSNBC to their resume. That’s why although 30 is a large number, one has to take into account the marketing ploy that they are using. Just because they throw a number out there doesn’t mean that the programming will be better. DirecTV seems to be taking more of a shotgun approach while DISH is steadily adding respectable programming. Sure many viewers are stupid and are probably unaware of these strategies. They just look at the numbers and go with the higher HD channel lineup. But not only will this lead to unsatisfied programming but it could also lead to higher prices for channels you might never even watch. Just make sure to read through the entire channel lineup to make sure the package you sign up for has the channels YOU want to watch, not just what DirecTV puts on the air.
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