The TV Answer Man!

Why Doesn’t DIRECTV Add More HD Channels?

Q. All I hear from DIRECTV is 4K, 4K, 4K, but what about HD? I, like most DIRECTV customers, have a High-Definition TV and we want more HD, not 4K! Why isn’t DIRECTV adding more channels in HD? — Neil, Orlando, Florida.

Neil, to be fair to DIRECTV, the satcaster now offers around 200 HD channels when you include some of the part-time sports channels. But I must say that it’s been nearly five months since DIRECTV has added a new high-def channel and many subscribers, like yourself, are getting edgy about it.

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The list of channels that are not available in high-def on DIRECTV include some popular networks such as the FX Movie Channel, VH1 Classics, CSpan, NASA, POP, Game Show Network, American Heroes Channel, Nicktoons, among several others. Many of these channels are available in HD on other pay TV providers.

So why doesn’t DIRECTV just add them and make its high-def audience happy?

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My educated guess is that AT&T, which now owns DIRECTV, does not consider HD a top priority right now. The telco believes that new, trendier features such as 4K and streaming will generate more media attention and, consequently, more new subscribers.

I believe that’s a mistake. Never take your existing audience for granted, which AT&T seems to be doing to some extent.

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Hopefully, in the coming months, as AT&T begins to streamline the programming differences between the two services, it will put HD back on the front burner. But for now, don’t expect a lot of high-def channels in the near future. Instead, yes, you will hear a lot about 4K, 4K, 4K — and streaming.

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