What’s On Your HDTV?

HD channels

We take a look at the current and upcoming HD channels from top satellite and cable providers.


Jun. 05, 2007 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

If you’re thinking about buying an HDTV, or if you already own an HDTV and are thinking about switching content providers, here’s a sampling of current and upcoming HD channels from a variety of companies.

Please note that these listings may change depending on your location. This overview does not take pricing or package tiers into consideration.

DirecTV HD Channels

  • TNT
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • Universal
  • Discovery
  • HDNet
  • HDNet Movies
  • National Geographic
  • HBO
  • Showtime

Regional Sports Networks (not including NFL SundayTicket):

  • Altitude
  • Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic
  • Comcast SportsNet Chicago
  • FSN Arizona
  • FSN Bay Area
  • FSN Detroit
  • FSN Florida
  • FSN New England
  • FSN North
  • FSN Northwest
  • FSN Ohio
  • FSN Prime Ticket
  • FSN Rocky Mountain
  • FSN South
  • FSN Southwest
  • FSN West
  • NESN
  • SportsNet New York
  • Sun Sports
  • YES HD

Check local listings for networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CW, MyNetworkTV

Other: HD pay-per-view ($4.99 per program)

More info available through DirectTV’s Web site.

Dish Network HD Channels

  • A&E
  • Animania
  • Discovery
  • Equator
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • Family Room
  • Film Fest
  • Food Network
  • Gameplay
  • Gallery
  • HDNet
  • HDNet Movies
  • HDNews
  • HGTV
  • Kung Fu
  • Monsters
  • National Geographic
  • NFL Network
  • Rave
  • Rush
  • TNT
  • Treasure
  • Ultra
  • Universal
  • World Cinema
  • World Sport
  • Cinemax
  • HBO
  • Showtime
  • Starz

Check local listings for networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox

Other: Dish Network pay-per-view

More info available through Dish Network’s Web site.

Comcast HD Channels

  • PBS
  • ABC
  • CBS
  • NBC
  • Fox
  • National Geographic
  • MHD
  • TNT
  • Discovery
  • Universal
  • Versus/Golf
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • Mojo
  • Food Network
  • A&E
  • HGTV
  • Cinemax
  • HBO
  • Showtime
  • Starz

Other: Comcast On Demand HD

More info available through Comcast’s Web site.

Charter HD Channels

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • NBC
  • Fox
  • PBS
  •  
  • Discovery
  • Universal
  • TNT
  • MHD
  • HBO
  • Cinemax
  • Showtime
  • Starz
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • Regional sports networks

More info available through Charter’s Web site.

Cox HD Channels

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • NBC
  • Fox
  • PBS
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • Discovery
  • TNT
  • Universal
  • Mojo
  • MHD
  • HBO
  • Cinemax
  • Starz
  • Showtime

More info available through Cox’s Web site.

Time Warner HD Channels

  • CBS
  • ABC
  • NBC
  • Fox
  • Discovery
  • TNT
  • Universal

Time Warner’s Web site adds: “Get more primetime programming than satellite - see HDTV programs from local broadcast networks including ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS. You can also get high definition movies, events and original programming from HBO and Showtime.”

More info available through Time Warner’s Web site.

Verizon HD Channels

  • TNT
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • NFL Network
  • HDNet
  • HDNet Movies
  • Universal
  • Discovery
  • Wealth TV
  • National Geographic
  • MTV
  • Food Network
  • HGTV
  • Lifetime Movie Network
  • Cinemax
  • HBO
  • Showtime
  • Starz
  • TMC

Check local listings for networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox

More info available through Verizon’s Web site.

Satellite vs. Cable
For channel variety, satellite seems like the tasty choice. Perhaps you’ve seen DirecTV advertising 100 and 150 channels of HD for its programming of the near future. “Earlier this year we called 2007 the ‘Year of HD’ and we’re going to deliver on our commitment to offer more HD channels than any other multichannel provider,” says Derek Chang, DirecTV executive vice president, strategy and development. “In addition to the networks we’ve signed to date, we will continue to add more HD programming to our launch list between now and year-end.”

DirecTV recently announced agreements to launch four Discovery HD channels (Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet and the Science Channel), five Starz HD channels, CNBC and Chiller, as well as completed deals with The History Channel and A&E. It has agreements or agreements in principle to launch: Bravo, Cartoon Network, CNN, Food Network, Big Ten Network, HGTV, MTV, Disney Channel, Toon Disney, ABC Family, ESPN News, NFL Network, SciFi Channel, Speed, TBS, Weather Channel, USA, Versus, Tennis and TMC.

The addition of these channels will help DirecTV near that mark of 100 national HD channels by year’s end, but will that make everyone flock to DirecTV? Comcast recently added some of those channels to particular markets -– Food Network, A&E and HGTV, for example –- and Dish Network already has them in its lineup.

In terms of variety, Dish might be the most intriguing option. It carries HD channels from Voom HD Networks, with stations such as Animania (cartoon programming), Equator (geographical), Film Fest (remastered films), Gallery (art world images and stories), Rush (adventure sports) and Treasure (live auctions for collectors).

“Our subscribers are generally very satisfied with the amount of HD we have and the programming,” says Cory Vasquez, manager of corporate communications for Dish Network parent EchoStar Communications. “We use the same kind of process as with standard definition channels for [choosing] the programming -– we evaluate based on our bandwidth, the type of channel and how popular we think it would be.”

While Dish isn’t touting a certain number in its HD goals, Vasquez notes that it plans to launch two more satellites by the end of 2007, thus increasing the bandwidth and, subsequently, HD possibilities.

Comcast appears to be leading the way among cable providers, and the company points toward its HD channel within its On Demand service as an added incentive to HDTV owners. (The nation’s three most subscribed-to cable services besides Comcast did not mention any such service on their Web sites.)

“On average we have 20 HD linear channels per market, but for us a big differentiator is HD On Demand, because we look at it in terms of the number of viewing choices,” says Comcast spokesperson Jenni Moyer. “Instead of programming at this time, this time and this time, that show is available anytime you want –- with HD On Demand we have about 180 HD On Demand offerings at any given time.”

Moyer estimates 95 percent of the HD On Demand programs available are at no extra cost to what subscribers are already paying for their HD package. She adds that by 2008, Comcast hopes to turn that figure of 200 HD viewing choices (On Demand plus linear channels) to 800.

“What we’ve heard from customers is that they want more HD,” Moyer says. “But, more importantly, they want to watch it when it’s convenient for them.”

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