So I guess it would depend on your idea of the "near future." That is the story I've heard from several Comcast types, with the complaint about having to provide a box also attributable to these same folks.
Our situation here is we have about 79 analog channels still on our system. So this would accomodate upwards of 160 HD channels (wow) or 5-600 digital channels (of which no doubt 1/4 to 1/3 would be shopping channels).
As far as simulcasting, Comcast is in fact sending out HBO, HBO2, HBO3, MAX, MoreMax, Encore, Showtime, and TMC on both analog and digital.
I would imagine right now they have the older non-digital boxes in a number of homes here in the Sarasota system (remember, were they called SSAVI I think) which they would have to replace with the digital SA boxes.
As much as we would like them to ditch the analog channels to free up bandwidth for all these HD channels we want, it would have to be a HUGE move to make the switch, with a pretty long transitional period. And I can't see them cutting off folks who for whatever reason, don't want a box.
I'm sorry I got lost where this post was going.
As far as HD Net/HDN Movies I was not implying that they already had the rights. I have heard they are in negotiations right now. It was one of those if it was up to me, they could go ahead and add them any time they wanted to...heck I'd even give up all my shopping channels to help free up bandwidth