HD programming wars: Comcast says 800 HD channels by 2009

Cable and satellite companies are aware of the tiny number of HD channels contrasted with the increasing demand for HD. At CES 2007, DIRECTV proudly announced that it would have 100 HD channels available by year end. Now, Comcast is reportedly trying to trump its competitor by saying that it will have over 800 HD channels by the end of 2008. Comcast hopes to have half of those 800 channels in place by year end, but the majority of those will be channels that show a single movie in an endless loop or a channel devoted to episodes of a popular cable show. Categorizing channels in that manner is an easy way to score a quick PR victory by claiming you have more channels than your competitor. The reality is many cable networks have yet to commit to launching HD versions of their programming.

HD content needs a lot more bandwidth than standard programming: satellite providers need to make the expensive move of adding more satellites while cable companies, which have a finite amount of bandwidth available in their infrastructure, have to use compression methods or specific technologies to get around the problem. For example, Switched Digital Video sends video to neighbourhood nodes from the cable company, and individual subscribers grab specific content as it is requested. Other companies use IPTV, which means only transmitting a handful of channels to a subscriber at any given time.

News source: Ars Technica

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neufuse said,
lucky... on comcast we have a whole 15....

Rogers has 35 HD channels BUT only 5 unique channels the rest are doubles *

note =*sarcastic remark

teejaydm said,

Rogers has 35 HD channels BUT only 5 unique channels the rest are doubles *

note =*sarcastic remark

20 HD channels on shaw. you dont want to know how many are doubles.

do we even have 800 channels to start with out there? and VOD doesn't count as a channel...... I wish they would implement DOCSIS 3.0 and run IPTV over it and bond a bunch of channels together so we can get full uncompressed HD... then ditch analog (yes i know we cant yet)

Well this is the problem I have with my current TV.

First of I do not watch much TV and second of I only get 2 HD channel. I have the Panasonic 1080i 42" Plasma. Thank god it was a gift cause I would never spend that much on a TV. I believe it was 1200 USD. Makes me want to vomit. On top of that it's broken and has been broken since memorial day week-end. They are waiting for parts. I think the parts are coming from china on the slow boat or something

**** Comcast! I hate there sky prices! And **** AT&T too! ****, ****, ****! They both try to take over the world with there prices! Verizon and DirecTV aren't half as bad as them and they both are decent.

I agree. I've had all the major cable companies in the US at one time or another and now that I have DirecTV I'm a lot happier with their quality and selection for the price.

I get all my HD channels from an antenna on my roof for FREE! I only really watch 5 of them (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS-HD). There are probably about 12-16 all together.

800 channels! Holy cow! I would have to say that it is quality not quantity. 800 channels sounds all well and good, until you realize 100 of them are home shopping network or something lame like LIFE network.

You know it's great to have all these new channels, but for the love of god, map the ****ing channels to their orginal station for the people who have an HD cable box. It's pretty damn annoying having to go up in the millions to get to the HD version of ESPN. It's really not that damn hard, i know its possible, because they do it with the digital versions of some of analog channels.

Comcast is the king of bullshiat. They can't even keep the crap they have on the air right now clear. 150 channels of shopping network. Now we gonna get the shopping channel in HD?

Now for you gamers in HD the Chinese Gold Farming Stations!!

I hate these companies...oh, we can have the capacity to have this many! Stop talking about it and just bring it already! Hell, we have maybe 10 free HD channels, with five of them being broadcast channels. The other 10 are premium channels HBO, Showtime, On Demand, and other crap that you have to pay for.

So, a grand total of about 20...most of which I can receive over-the-air, free of charge. They have a long way to go 'til 800...I don't see how they can promise that anyway. How do they plan to get all of those TV stations to switch to HD programming?

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