For the OP:
Note: There are several links included in this post.
IMO, a great source of quality programing is missing from your list, that source is PBS
. They try to cover everything so you will have to pick and chose what appeals to you. PBS just finished Downton Abbey
, finished/running some of the Charles Dickens stories (Little Dorrit), these are from the Masterpiece series. Other great series includes Nova (mostly science), Nature, Soundstage, Secrets of the Dead, American Experience, Austin City Limits, American Masters and Frontline. There could be others that appeal to you like This Old House. Most of this programing is available in HD and Dolby Surround or Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. It is available via your local PBS station or from AMC 21 satellite (see below). If you are interested send a PM and I will tell you how to add the PBS East schedule to Titan TV
Had DirecTV from 1994 to 2004, Dish Network from 2004 to 2006.
My viewing is from DVD and Blu-ray library, Blockbuster By-Mail, Amazon Prime (very limited use), D-VHS, OTA** and FTA satellite*. Have several TB of HD stored on hard drives. My monthly cost is 16.99 for Blockbuster By-Mail. Do not count Amazon Prime because it was obtained mainly because of shipping. Donations to PBS is welcomed.
*For programming available via C-Band the equipment cost can be substantial because of the size of the dish needed (9-12 feet). For programming available via Ku band the equipment cost can be much less because a 1 meter (39") dish will suffice in most locations.
The cost of FTA will be determined by your technical skills. If you can do the work yourself then the investment for a single satellite Ku band install can be several hundred dollars, a for hire C-Band install can be several thousand dollars.
The following are links: LyngSat
which shows the satellites with FTA programming. Forums: Satellite Forums
and Satellite Guys
. Dealers: DVB Resource
, Summit Source
, Future Vision Satellite
. More info: TSReader
, TSReader Hardware List
My interest is in HD so that pretty much limits me to PBS on AMC-21 satellite. Click the Red
in my signature line for more info.
**I have three MDP-130 ATSC/QAM tuner cards. The better half likes several series that airs on CBS network. They are recorded on the office PC, edited with VideoReDo
to a Synology DS212j NAS drive and played back in the home theater via the HTPC.