Thursday, November 15, 2007

Where are all the HD Channels?

I know I’m not the first one to say this, but High Definition television is fantastic. I love the crisp, clear picture and the wide screen. When we got our first HDTV, I remember saying that it was like I just got a new pair of glasses. I could see detail that I never noticed before. I always enjoyed sports on TV, but like it a lot more with HD.

I have Time Warner Cable, and like any other cable company, they push hard for you to get their digital and HD packages. My big gripe? Time Warner in our area offers few high def channels. I have 16 available, 5 of which are networks (including PBS), 4 premium movie channels (which I don’t bother to have because the programming is tepid at best), and a few sports channels (one of which only comes on once a week or so for special local sports events). It seems that channels HDT, UHD, and MOJO show the same programs over and over, ad nauseam, so there isn’t the need to watch them often. Talking to other people about their cable companies, this offering sounds about as thin as what they have available.

I keep hearing that DISH network will have close to 100 HD channels by the end of the year. I am resistant to convert to satellite dish; after all, I still have memories of hassling with the huge antenna on the roof of my house, and the related picture problems. AT & T is talking about fiber optic networking for our area, for phone, internet, and TV. If they offer a better number and selection of HD channels, it’s bye-bye to Time Warner. But, I'm sure it's a long way away from reality.

If DISH can offer so many HD channels, why can’t the others? And why can’t I choose the HD channels that I know I will watch? I would imagine that’s possible with DVRs.

Cable companies need to step up to the plate. The technology is there – and the content is there – that more HD channels can be offered. It’s seems that cable is just a tease, dangling HD in front of viewers, but “dishing” it out in small portions.

For the price paid for cable or satellite service, viewers deserve more.

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