It's official - DirecTV to carry HDNet Movies, Discovery HD, ESPN HD - July 1, 2003! - Page 13 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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HDTV Programming > It's official - DirecTV to carry HDNet Movies, Discovery HD, ESPN HD - July 1, 2003!
bfdtv's Avatar bfdtv 09:34 PM 06-03-2003
As discussed elsewhere, InHD will not be a cable-only channel, but will be sold much like Discovery Theater and HDNet is sold today.
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turls's Avatar turls 09:37 PM 06-03-2003
I admit I haven't read all the InHD threads, but the impression I get is that their mix of programming will be similar to HDNet, and considering that, and the owners of the channel, I still say it isn't very high on DirecTV's bandwidth challenged list.
bfdtv's Avatar bfdtv 09:38 PM 06-03-2003
etcarey double posted his comments to this thread, so I might as well double post my response...

etcarey,

Quote:
For the past year, I've had HDNet as part of my $35.00/month package. Now, I will be paying $131.88 more during the next year to keep what I already have (HDNet), add and HD version of a channel I already have (ESPN-HD adds PQ but no content), 4 hours of Discovery a day and HDNet Movies.
You got what was essentially a prolonged "free preview." DirecTV didn't have to pay extra for Hdnet so neither did you. DirecTV took the position that Total Choice subscribers were getting Hdnet for free; you'll notice it was never listed under the channel lineup for Total Choice.

Hdnet does not exist as a public service. Mark Cuban runs his business to make a profit [in the future]. That means at some point, he had to begin charging DirecTV for Hdnet carriage. That time has come. And that means you've got to pay for those channels, just as cable subscribers have been, and Dish Network subscribers will be, paying for Hdnet.

Quote:
I don't know if paying for HD sets the right precedent. We should get HD because that's what TV is now (or is becoming).
That's not what HDTV is now. HDTV is not a cost of doing business, and won't be for a long, long time. The only reason we have any HDTV cable channels at all is because some executives thought they might be able to make some money on it.

HDTV content is limited in availability and costly to produce, particularly so for live events. There is no reason whatsoever for cable channels to launch free HDTV services right now; unlike broadcasters, they are not facing a digital transition; they have no need to convert viewers. There is no extra advertising revenue to be made from HDTV on cable now, or anytime soon, as ESPN has said.

If you want to wait five or ten years, then maybe by then HDTV will be a "cost of doing business," and you'll get channels at little or no extra cpst. But until that time, the only HDTV cable channels we will get will be those that charge a fee. They will be offered as premium services, not as replacement channels.

In the case of ESPN, they are spending tens of millions of dollars to upgrade their infrastructure for HDTV, and spending a premium each week to produce sports in high-definition. They could have waited five or seven years and performed these infrastructure upgrades at significantly less cost; in seven years, the cost of producing HDTV events should also be significantly less. But right now, you are not going to get something for nothing. If ESPN (and DirecTV) has to pay for it, so will you.

If other content providers decide not to do HDTV until it can be offered free, then it will be a long, long time before we have additional non-premium HDTV cable channels.

Quote:
right precedent. We should get HD because that's what TV is now (or is becoming). I think they do it right with HBO and Showtime -- if you buy them you also get the HD with no added charge. We get no added content with HBO-HD. What would we be paying for??
I hope you can see the difference between HBO's addition of a HDTV channel as part of its $6.00 to $6.50 package (which costs you $12/mo), and a $0.20 channel like Discovery offering HDTV at no extra cost. When you charge $6.00 a month, it is a lot easier to figure HDTV into your package than it is when you practically give away your channel for free.

Most channels see very little of that $30+ that you pay to DirecTV every month. Some see none of it. They make a living with their advertising revenue. But there is no advertising revenue for HDTV channels, and won't be until there are millions of viewers, so the money has to come from somewhere else.
Quote:
Imagine if (back when) the cable companies had decided that they were going to charge extra for color broadcasts or to put them on a separate tier.
When we made the transition to color, cable was non-existent. You did not pay more for over-the-air broadcast channels in color, nor do you pay more for broadcast channels in HDTV now.
THECLOSER's Avatar THECLOSER 09:52 PM 06-03-2003
WOW!!! I was gone for a few hours and this thread just keeps going and going and going (lol) like the funny pink rabit.

the good news for me was my dtv dish went bad and they replaced it at no additional cost with the triple LNB and since i have a couple of sony hd200 boxes, looks like Christmas in July!!! JAAAAA..........HOOOOOOOO

Thanks Directv
Ken Stokes's Avatar Ken Stokes 10:03 PM 06-03-2003
Twenty Pages in twenty hours. amazing!

I'm really happy this is happening and have no problem with the fee. My only concern is picture quality or lack there of. As long as it's not compressed beyond recognition I'll only resent my three digit bill once a month.

Ken
JIFISH's Avatar JIFISH 10:38 PM 06-03-2003
Quote:
Originally posted by etcarey

I don't know if paying for HD sets the right precedent. We should get HD because that's what TV is now (or is or should be becoming).
Maybe that's what it should be, but the govt has only mandated that it become digital rather than analog. HD is a premium product that requires more expensive equipment, and it's not unreasonable to expect that it be offered at a premium. I doubt the day will ever come when everything is broadcast in HD.
Michael Mullis's Avatar Michael Mullis 11:09 PM 06-03-2003
Wow!! I'm out for one day and look what happens!!! Thank you thank you THANK YOU DirecTv, and thank you mythical_phoenix for getting the bead on this one. I was totally skeptical until I filtered through half the thread.

I'd also like to add this point to the arguement as to why it's ok to charge us 11 bucks for a package. I would see a problem if these were channels being REPLACED on DirecTv. But they're not. These are being ADDED to the lineup. Additions need transponder space, bandwidth and power. So you're paying for added channels. It appears to me that if you want to pass on the new channels you simply don't pay for it, much like you pass on various movie channels and such.

The only anomaly to this is HBO-HD and Sho-HD. My theory as to why they would still be free is that they already there and it's not fair to start charging for it now. As for HDNet, I assume since we are paying for it now that it will go 24 hours. Oddly enough there have been times at 3 in the morning I would have liked to have watched it.


Oh yeah. WOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! This is going to be a great Football season too! Now if I can just get one or two Ravens games in HD I'll be happy.
aviators99's Avatar aviators99 11:20 PM 06-03-2003
Baltimore will be in HD on November 9th and December 28th. Both will be on DirecTV.
etcarey's Avatar etcarey 11:56 PM 06-03-2003
Quote:
Originally posted by bfdtv
etcarey double posted his comments to this thread, so I might as well double post my response...]
I'll only single response here.

You make some good points -- most of which are difficult to take any issue with at all! We can both agree on the bottom line (for now, anyway!). Until there are more HD viewers, there won't be more HD content.

Still -- just a few responses:

Quote:
Mark Cuban runs his business to make a profit [in the future]. That means at some point, he had to begin charging DirecTV for Hdnet carriage. That time has come. And that means you've got to pay for those channels, just as cable subscribers have been, and Dish Network subscribers will be, paying for Hdnet.
Well -- I thought I was paying for it -- just as I was paying for all the others channels. I know there are premium channels -- but they are premium because of content. I don't think HD makes something "premium".


Quote:
In the case of ESPN, they are spending tens of millions of dollars to upgrade their infrastructure for HDTV, and spending a premium each week to produce sports in high-definition. They could have waited five or seven years and performed these infrastructure upgrades at significantly less cost; in seven years, the cost of producing HDTV events should also be significantly less. But right now, you are not going to get something for nothing. If ESPN (and DirecTV) has to pay for it, so will you.
Well - I can't speak to much about the changes in Bristol itself, but I have worked on site on ESPN shows and it just doesn't cost significantly more (by anyone's standard) to do a remote in HD than it does in SD. In fact (although they pay well and treat us all very nice!) producton costs are small (very small!) compared to ESPN's real costs which are rights fees. They may spend millions on production but they spend BILLIONS in rights fees. Everyone in the country (even my Grandmother who nevers watches ESPN -- only her soaps and game shows) contributes big time to these rights fees whether they want to or not because ESPN's deal is that they are always part of the "basic service". And ESPN benefits from an advertising stream as well! And now they want to charge for a duplicate service with a few more inches of screen?? No thanks -- I'll know who won just as quickly watching SD and have a few bucks in my pocket -- not in the pocket of some rich athlete/rich owner which is where all this ESPN money goes.

And I don't mean to just dump on ESPN here. This point probably goes for non-sports as well. Compared to stars salaries, distribution, producers, directors etc... all the things that are paid for already ... the actual production costs of doing SD or HD are small.

Quote:
If other content providers decide not to do HDTV until it can be offered free, then it will be a long, long time before we have additional non-premium HDTV cable channels.
I don't know. Let's pretend USA network and TNT are in competition. Most nights -- they show competeing movies. Now let's say that TNT is showing theirs in HD. Who do you watch?? In my mind -- it's kinda like AM and FM. We all listened to music on AM until we found it was so much better on FM. Soon -- no one was listening to music on AM. As I recall, the first FM music station hit Boston on the early '70s. By 1981, the AM music stations had converted to talk radio. Less than 10 years for a complete turnover.


Quote:
When we made the transition to color, cable was non-existent. You did not pay more for over-the-air broadcast channels in color, nor do you pay more for broadcast channels in HDTV now. [/b]
Here in NH, we had cable before color ( and I'll guess we weren't alone). It was called CATV (community antenna TV) and it was a way to pull in stations you couldn't get well -- even with a roof top. We had 12 NH-Boston-Providence RI stations and one French Canadian Station micro-waved down from Sherbrooke for the French speaking in town. I think we hooked up in 1965.


Anyway -- I find myself agreeing with everything else in your well written post except something I think we both missed. I don't think the real extra cost is HD -- I think the real extra cost is doing both SD and HD. It may not double expenses, but I bet it comes close!
etcarey's Avatar etcarey 11:59 PM 06-03-2003
Quote:
Originally posted by JIFISH
Maybe that's what it should be, but the govt has only mandated that it become digital rather than analog. HD is a premium product that requires more expensive equipment, and it's not unreasonable to expect that it be offered at a premium. I doubt the day will ever come when everything is broadcast in HD.
Probably true -- but I see it more as AM vs FM. No one turns to AM for music anymore -- but it still thrives in other roles. SD will always have a role to play, but for entertainment -- people will just automatically turn to HD.
Ken H's Avatar Ken H 12:37 AM 06-04-2003
Moderators Note to etcarey & bfdtv:
I have deleted the duplicate comments both of you made in the other topic.

Moderators Note to etcarey:
I fixed the bold problem in your post above.
zeedave's Avatar zeedave 01:07 AM 06-04-2003
Quote:
Originally posted by TimHuey
Forget it, I just went to Dircet TV's web page and they don't offer anything close to "Extasy" channel and even if they did, they only charge by the hour. You can't sign up for anything on a monthly basis except for the lame Playboy channel.

I think I will wait for Dish's salvo in this war.

Tim
Dude! How much porn do you watch? Having separate equipment to watch porn would have a very low WAF (I guess that depends on the wife though).

That said I'm thrilled with the package and will probably cut something out of Total Choice Premier to get this.
Reginald Trent's Avatar Reginald Trent 01:22 AM 06-04-2003
I hope Mark Cuban is smart and savvy enought to only show movies on the HDNET Movies in their OAR = Original Aspect Ratio otherwise I'm not interested.
sangs's Avatar sangs 04:48 AM 06-04-2003
Hey, where are all the "Rupert Murdoch hates HD and this is going to be a setback for DirecTV!" prognosticators today? I know, he doesn't actually own the company yet, but I'd think this wouldn't have gone down if he wasn't too crazy about it.

Anyway, as for the price, the more some have laid it out throughout this thread, the more it seems that $11 a month actually sounds like too much considering we've had HDNet for free and already pay for ESPN. But then, when you consider what a lot of us spend on sports subscriptions throughout the year, especially Sunday Ticket, the $11 seems like a pittance.

I do know this though, I'll be cutting out all the premiums except for HBO and my sports subs. SHO just couldn't have any lamer programming if possible and I'll wait for MAX to go HD before getting it. I'm also please as this will now allow me to banish Comcast HD from my home. I was holding onto both and waiting to see who would blink first with ESPN-HD, and it appears that DirecTV has won.

Still not 24 hours since this thread's been posted and there are 33,182 views. Man alive...
TimGoodwin's Avatar TimGoodwin 04:55 AM 06-04-2003
sangs that 11 dollars better include what ever is coming down the pike too! I have been with Directv for eight years and given them a hole hell of alot of my money, so I just hope that it stays at 11 for years to come and also picks up every other channel that will pop up in the future.
TimGoodwin's Avatar TimGoodwin 04:57 AM 06-04-2003
Also what ever happened to HDNet sports??
kcmchugh's Avatar kcmchugh 06:02 AM 06-04-2003
I don't think cable is going to take this lying down.

First, DirecTV just set a precedence to allow them to charge a premium for HD content, so there is now incentive to add it to their lineup. On top of that, they have an advantage with local HD stations that you know they'll take advantage of.

Also, with Indemand's HD channel they'll have a real nice HD package..and they could always add ESPN.

It's a great time to be watching HD...these guys are using it to compete against one another! Woohoo!

...and to think just a few months ago we were debating ways to get HD off the ground!
RZ's Avatar RZ 06:19 AM 06-04-2003
Just think...one day there will be more HD channel content than SD. And then ALL HD ! This site rocks !! But, will HD prices rise as the years go by ?
Ken H's Avatar Ken H 06:29 AM 06-04-2003
Quote:
Originally posted by TimGoodwin
Also what ever happened to HDNet sports??
Now that HDNet has added the potential 30+ million subscribers (DirecTV, Dish, NCTC) for all it's networks, I would suspect work is being done on it as we speak.
Skyboss's Avatar Skyboss 06:53 AM 06-04-2003
On Quality....

Quote:
Originally posted by tmdorsey
Yep. This is really big question too considering what's happen with HBO-HD recently.
I spoke with a buddy of mine at D*. He indicated the new spot beam allowed them to remove 80 channels from the 101 SAT to the new spot beam for locals with more to follow later in the year with the next bird. This freeing up tremendous bandwidth across the system. Infact, up until the most recent bird came online, 10 local markets that were on the 119 were also duplicated on the 101. San Diego was one of them, and I have to say, my locals improved so much in the last month that they could pass for a 480p picture. They look outstanding. He said the 110 sat will only be used for the HD Package and that space is available on the 101 for more HD Feeds.

In the future, the system will be set up like this....

119 and 101 spot beams for east and west coverage
110 for HD PPV and Sports Events
119 and 101 Canvas for other HD Programing

Directv beleives they have the capacity through the use of spot beams to offer approximately 20 HD channels nationwide on the canvas satellites, Locals in the 210 DMAs in Widescreen, maybe 480p if compression isn't too bad. They will do this by launching additional transmission facilities and re-using the frequency spectrum in non-overlapping zones.
Skyboss's Avatar Skyboss 06:54 AM 06-04-2003
Quote:
Originally posted by Shark73
I guess this means cable is free to start charging extra for an HD package??? Any thoughts
They already are....
AreBee's Avatar AreBee 06:56 AM 06-04-2003
Quote:
Anyway, as for the price, the more some have laid it out throughout this thread, the more it seems that $11 a month actually sounds like too much considering we've had HDNet for free and already pay for ESPN. But then, when you consider what a lot of us spend on sports subscriptions throughout the year, especially Sunday Ticket, the $11 seems like a pittance.
I agree in respect to both of these comments. The ticket is up to $199 this year which works out to $16 and change per month, and for me that's pretty much for 1 game a week. $11 for 4 channels looks good all of a sudden, but adding another $11 to a $55 bill (not including the Ticket) is a tough sell to the wife.

Back when the ESPN-HD threads started up in March, I was against paying for it. I still am against paying for it but I'll probably cave once football season starts. If not then, I'll give in when the Big East Hoop Championship hits next March. I may need till March to get approval!


Ralph
s2silber's Avatar s2silber 07:00 AM 06-04-2003
Quote:
Originally posted by Michael Mullis
The only anomaly to this is HBO-HD and Sho-HD. My theory as to why they would still be free is that they already there and it's not fair to start charging for it now
What plan are you on? Last time I checked, I was paying about $12 each for HBO and Showtime; the fact that it's available in HD doesn't make it free.
arthurvino's Avatar arthurvino 07:04 AM 06-04-2003
Yes, great find.. Excellent news for us all!!!

Quote:
Originally posted by JohnA
mythical_phenix

You the man!! This is the top scoop of the year. Moderator - Give him celebrity status on this board!

rob8558's Avatar rob8558 07:10 AM 06-04-2003
Quote:
They already are....
not comcast in northern jersey. ABC NBC SHO HBO PBS all for free when you r on there digital tier (which most are).
David F's Avatar David F 07:19 AM 06-04-2003
Quote:
I don't think HD makes something "premium".
I think most of us would disagree with you. If you don't want it, don't pay for it.

Come to think of it, that kind of defines "premium," doesn't it? Something extra you will voluntarily pay for because you feel it has perceived value. I sure as hell think the ESPN Sunday Night Football games in HD are alone worth $11 compared to the SD channel.
robrien's Avatar robrien 07:22 AM 06-04-2003
At 0.35 cents a day for three new channels the price seems reasonable. Add a fourth, really not a bad deal. However, correct me if I'm wrong but did'nt Mark Cuban state in one of his post about the new HDNet channels that "HDNet would always be FREE"?

OB
raidbuck's Avatar raidbuck 07:24 AM 06-04-2003
God, am I envious. Maybe this will get Comcast off its rear and add some HD channels.

Congratulations to all you satellite users. If I didn't have Comcast broadband and were planning to move to an apartment I would definitely consider DirectTV instead of cable for the HD.

Rich N.
sangs's Avatar sangs 07:28 AM 06-04-2003
Quote:
Originally posted by rob8558
not comcast in northern jersey. ABC NBC SHO HBO PBS all for free when you r on there digital tier (which most are).
Yeah, but nobody is charging for the local networks to be in HD anyways. They can't it's illegal. ABC, NBC and PBS SHOULD be free. And in the case of ABC and NBC, if they were operating OTA in the NYC area (some have said they'll be back in September), there wouldn't be anything special about Comcast's present HD offerings. That's not to say they won't add anything. Also, HBO and SHO HD are not free, you have to subscribe to each service in order to get the HD offerings.
Skyboss's Avatar Skyboss 07:35 AM 06-04-2003
Quote:
Originally posted by TimHuey
Forget it, I just went to Dircet TV's web page and they don't offer anything close to "Extasy" channel and even if they did, they only charge by the hour. You can't sign up for anything on a monthly basis except for the lame Playboy channel.

I think I will wait for Dish's salvo in this war.

Tim
Dude, if T and A determines your television service, maybe you should just stay with Dish or just maybe get outside more often.
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