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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HDTV: Who's the Bigger Liar of 2009?


The nation's top TV providers stretched the truth when it came to channel counts.


By Swanni (Phillip Swann)


Washington, D.C. (December 30, 2008) -- On July 31, 2008, Dish Network issued a press release saying it planned to expand its high-def lineup to 150 channels by year's end. On November 1, 2007, Verizon released a press statement saying it would have 150 HD channels by the end of 2008.


And several times this year, DIRECTV issued press releases saying it would have the capacity to deliver up to 150 national HD channels before the year was over.


So now that year is over (minus about a day or so), did these top TV providers keep their promises?


Answer: No.


Dish Network offers more than 100 high-def channels, but the satcaster is far short of the magic 150 mark. (And if you don't count some PPV channels, the numbers look even less impressive.) Verizon provides slightly more than 100 HD channels in several markets, but not 150. And DIRECTV says it now has 130 HD channels, although that number is inflated with PPV and other questionable "channels."


(Of course, you can argue that DIRECTV should get a pass here because it said it would have the "capacity" to deliver 150 HD channels; not that it would definitely offer 150 HD channels. Yes, there is a difference.)


Asked today by e-mail why Dish Network fell short, a company spokesman ducked the question by issuing the following statement:


"We had a great year: DISH Network more than doubled its national HD offerings, rolled out the first HD-only programming packages through TurboHD at affordable pricing, had two successful satellite launches, expanded our local HD channel markets and became the first pay-TV provider to offer movies in 1080p," the spokesman said.


Asked again by e-mail to comment specifically on why Dish did not offer 150 HD channels, as promised, the spokesman has not responded as of this writing.


Verizon FiOS Vice President Terry Denson was asked last July by Multichannel News if his company was standing by its commitment to offer 150 HD channels in 2008.


"A lot has been made of actual channel counts but we don’t obsess over channel counts," Denson said.


Except, of course, when the company wanted to issue a press release saying that it would have 150 HD channels. Then, apparently, Verizon did obsess over channel counts.


Verizon and the satcasters are not the only TV providers to have played fast and loose with channel counts in 2008. For instance, Comcast last February said a "typical" local Comcast system would carry between 50 and 60 HDTV channels by year's end. While the cable operator has recently expanded its high-def lineup in several markets (Chicago subs have more than 80 HD channels now), many Comcast markets are still under the 50 mark.


So, why did the TV providers overpromise? (To put it nicely; lying would be another way to put it.)


In what has become a highly competitive industry, the TV providers are afraid of appearing to offer fewer HD channels than their rivals. High-def viewers want more channels and they will seek out the companies that provide them.


So instead of talking about how many channels they had in July, which happened to be fewer than DIRECTV, Dish Network talked about how many channels it would have by year's end. Likewise, Comcast and Verizon made their HD channel boasts when DIRECTV was rapidly expanding its high-def lineup in early 2008 and late 2007 respectively.


For them, it was easier (and more convenient) to say how many channels they would have -- and then hope that no one would look too closely when they didn't actually produce them.

http://www.tvpredictions.com/forum/c...y081230-153210
 

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Very well done, Mr. Swann.
 

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Sorry Ken H, I can't agree. We're complaining that the providers didn't clutter the limited spectrum with more useless channels as has been done on SD, causing higher levels of compression? Could one of the worst economic climates in our history have slowed down progress for channel launches? Things looked alot rosier a year ago. Waaaa, HD isn't being rolled out as fast as planned. The truth is that it's becoming a very competitive environment for cable, sat and the telcos for HD delivery. It's not like one fulfilled the promise and the others didn't.


Significant progress has been made to move to MPEG4 by the sat companies. D* was the poster child for HD Lite, but look how things have changed.


We all wish we had more HD with optimal quality, but to call the providers liars is reaching.


By the way, they made the predictions in 2008, so that's wrong too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by TVOD /forum/post/15418053


Sorry Ken H, I can't agree. We're complaining that the providers didn't clutter the limited spectrum with more useless channels as has been done on SD, causing higher levels of compression? Could one of the worst economic climates in our history have slowed down progress for channel launches? Things looked alot rosier a year ago. Waaaa, HD isn't being rolled out as fast as planned. The truth is that it's becoming a very competitive environment for cable, sat and the telcos for HD delivery. It's not like one fulfilled the promise and the others didn't.


Significant progress has been made to move to MPEG4 by the sat companies. D* was the poster child for HD Lite, but look how things have changed.


We all wish we had more HD with optimal quality, but to call the providers liars is reaching.

The bottom line is they all said one thing and did another.
 

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They set an ambitious target and fell short of it. Oh the evils of the telecommunications and cable industries! This article is pointless bickering.
 

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-1 for TWC.
They're in a different league. D*, E* adds HD channels, everyone gets them, regardless of location. Cable depends on area. While a few markets might have close to 50 HD channels, others have almost none. I'm one of them. As far as I'm concerned, TWC doesn't deserve a pat on the back, their nose needs to rubbed in it!! They added 5 national channels here this year. Whoop-dee-fricken-doo!!! One of them is the Big Ten Network HD, pfft! The others are Food, HGTV, History and A&E. All four stretch SD content. History even stretches letterbox 16:9 programming. Four more worthless channels. No USA. No F/X. No SCIFI. No CNN.
 

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I think I have to agree with Swann on this one, and I'm usually blasting him for one thing or the other.



I think Comcast should get the BS Award for it's "1000 HD options" rhetoric.



I also have to say, there's been some pretty funny commercials this year with providers taking pot shots at each another over their respective offerings. The one's attacking cable are especially funny.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan /forum/post/15418291


I think Comcast should get the BS Award for it's "1000 HD options" rhetoric.

TWC is runner up with their ad campaign "more free HD channels". Meaning they don't charge for local channels or any access fees there may be with satellite.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 /forum/post/15418281


not sticking up for directv but as pointed out they only said "up to 150"....so their 130 HD channel count is technically still correct.

I thought E* said the same thing, "Up to" 150 channels. Either way, what's really out there that either company does not have, at the moment, that's so damn compelling that we all must have it now? The answer...NOTHING. Most of the "missing" channels are pseudo-HD channels anyway. I've had enough of the "let's stretch upconverted SD content and pass it off for HD because the stupid public doesn't know any better" channels.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan /forum/post/15418291


I think I have to agree with Swann on this one, and I'm usually blasting him for one thing or the other.
.

This has to be the first time BSwammi wasnt the answer to his own question. Of course, as he tries to spin his predictions in the next few days, we will see the old BSer come back into focus.
 

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Swann failed to discuss how many employees that Verizon lost in November of this year as well. I won't go into it, but it was a lot. Things happen, objectives sometimes are not met. The economy has fluttered, and Verizon was not going to keep putting the money when a return on investment would not happen at the time they thought it would. That's called Good Business Sense. We are all so spoiled in this Country. I want 150, not 130!!!!!!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonybradley /forum/post/15421349


Swann failed to discuss how many employees that Verizon lost in November of this year as well. I won't go into it, but it was a lot. Things happen, objectives sometimes are not met. The economy has fluttered, and Verizon was not going to keep putting the money when a return on investment would not happen at the time they thought it would. That's called Good Business Sense. We are all so spoiled in this Country. I want 150, not 130!!!!!!

How about the mere fact that their are not 150 HD ch's available yet and of the "130", many show very little HD programming.


Has nothing to do with the economy or being spoilied.


VZ can afford to pay its Chairman over 26 Million dollars in 2008!

Their COO over 18 Million dollars! Their CFO over 9 million dollars!

That's just the top three, there are millions more paid out to other execs.

Don't give me any crap about cut backs. Do they lower our bills?

No they increase them!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dm145 /forum/post/15421453


How about the mere fact that their are not 150 HD ch's available yet

and of the "130", many show very little HD programming.

1. there are over 150 HD channels out there adding in all the premuim movie channels in HD.

2. HD channels not showing HD programs is not the provides fault.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dm145 /forum/post/15421453


How about the mere fact that their are not 150 HD ch's available yet and of the "130", many show very little HD programming.


Has nothing to do with the economy or being spoilied.


VZ can afford to pay its Chairman over 26 Million dollars in 2008!

Their COO over 18 Million dollars! Their CFO over 9 million dollars!

That's just the top three, there are millions more paid out to other execs.

Don't give me any crap about cut backs. Do they lower our bills?

No they increase them!

Unfortunately, that's the world we live in now, and it's sad. Same with Professional Athletes and what they get paid. All I'm saying is that it's never good enough and it never will. Even if Dish met their 150 channels, there would be people complaining that their favorite HSN channel is not in HD, etc. etc.
 
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