In case you guys didn't see this in "programming" - A guy listened in on D*'s 1Q financial conference call and found out the following - which I found very interesting given our conversations about moving...
1) D*TV's plans for the next 12-24 months include a migration to HD LOCAL stations (rather than analog), first in the top 30 markets in 2005, then more with the 2006 new sat. D*TV seems to feel that locals in HD would be a big competitive advantage, especially to those with little or no HD locals now via OTA - also the feeds would be more reliable than OTA.
2) D*TV plans to grow HDTV in 2004 after the new locals on 7S are all turned on. Their 8S (2Q 2005) and 9S (2Q 2006) sats will allow D*TV to expand their HDTV channel offerings to "well beyond what anyone else will have to offer", according to Eddy Hartenstein (CEO). He also stated that "unlike some other content providers, we will add quality content, not just HD for the sake of saying something is in HD. We will be the HD leader for many years to come." He added that "the timing of HDTV channel offering expansion beginning in July-Nov 2004, along with much more in 2005, ties into the anticipated new content that will become available".
3) FOX HD will be the first new offering, both for national feeds "much like we did CBS", as well as for their 6 weekly NFL Ticket games starting in September. In addition, "other channels will be rolled out between July 1 and the end of the year".
What I take to mean for us...
A) If you "live" in Houston - they are likely to have their locals in HD in 2005 over D*.
B) In the short run... if you "live" in Houston, their Fox station is an O&O so my understanding is that you'll get the Fox HD feed sometime this summer.
C) This is all very good news for D* subscribers interested in HD.