There is a lot to complain about with respect to Direct TV, but the number of HD channels is not one of them. Their implementation of HD provides more HD channels than just about anyone (for $10 additonal per month) even excluding stretch-o-vision ones. And in the world of sports, no one is even close (with MLB, NFL, NBA packages in dual HD game feeds & NFL, tennis, Versus, Golf, soon MLB HD channels).
You're right - I just checked their lineup. I'll have to reconsider them vs FIOS.
Just wondering, why would you spend thousands on a great HD set and not expect to spend a few extra bucks a month on HD programming?
I've had DirecTV for about 5 years, and when I checked their HD lineup a couple of years ago, it wan't very impressive. There weren't many HD channels, and the ones they had were just either showing SD in pillars, or just stretching SD. The other HD channels were pretty much just showing flowers, bugs and cityscapes, which I didn't really find all that appealing. I also would have to get a new DVR and antenna. I didn't like the idea of using lossy compression on an HD signal, then expanding it back out and still calling it HD. Also, I had heard that DirecTV did HD-Lite. Lastly, I had a philosophical problem with the business model of charging people extra for something (HD) that is now standard. So I wrote them off and decided to wait for FIOS, since at least they wouldn't compress the signal or feed me HD-Lite.
Unfortunately, FIOS arrived and it seems to be a bit more expensive, though I do like the multi-room DVR. My wife loves the Tivo, but I hear the FIOS DVR is kind of buggy and has a mediocre interface. They're just now getting features that Tivo's had forever. I sure don't need WAF problems, right now...
Interestingly, the 151 unpscales and deinterlaces the video from my very old Pioneer DVD player very, very well. It's actually quite nice to look at. A little soft, but not too bad at all. It also does a very good job with the OTA digital SD channels, although on some channels, the source material is just hopeless. Only the DirecTV Tivo ouput is really hard on the eyes.
After looking at the DirecTV HD lineup again, I think I'll reconsider DirecTV HD. The extra $10/month is well worth 100 or so HD channels, even with HD-Lite and compression artifacts. The problem is I'll always wonder what FIOS would look like, and the multi-room HD streaming capability really sounds sweet...