Ever since DirecTV launched a slew of national high-definition channels last October and November, it's been the only place most Americans can get their Cartoon Network, Sci-Fi, and Bravo networks in high-def. On Monday, Dish network caught up somewhat, announcing the activation of a total of 22 new high-def channels, including those three and many other national, high-interest channels--as well as a few lower-interest ones, including World Fishing Network HD. Twenty of the channels are supposed to go live Monday, and the last two, the regional sports networks (RSNs) Comcast Sports Network Bay Area HD and Comcast Sports Network New England HD, will be activated Wednesday, according to the company. Check out the full list of new channels on the official press release.
MIAMI--You've heard of extreme makeovers and then home makeovers. Get ready for school makeovers.
Microsoft and DirecTV announced a partnership on Thursday that will see the two companies, among other things, revamping schools in Miami and Latin America and then documenting their progress in a TV show.
The effort, dubbed Piedra, Papel y Tijera (Rock, Paper and Scissors), will see a number of schools and educational centers in Latin America outfitted with the latest technology. DirecTV will film the transitions and air the documentaries throughout Latin America on channel 999. Although the focus is on Latin America, Microsoft and … Read more
There's a good piece by Saul Hansell over on The New York Times' "Bits" blog.
Hansell describes how Comcast is being criticized for low picture quality on certain broadcasts. That's interesting, especially in light of the contention between Comcast and DirecTV on this very issue, but it isn't the most important point in Hansell's post.
Hansell goes on to give a reasonable explanation of the basic issues involved, and mentions the likely future of cable TV: digital video distributed over Internet-like network switches. Instead of always sending every TV channel to every house, a … Read more
Netflix glitch to delay deliveries http://www.news.com/newsblog/8301-10784_3-9902294-7.html
XM, Sirius move closer to improbable merger http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120638514923860085.html … Read more
Updated 1:55 p.m. PDT with DirecTV's response.
DirecTV apparently had big trouble delivering ESPN2's coverage Tuesday morning of the season opener between the Boston Red Sox and Oakland A's, who are playing the game in Tokyo.
The number of reader comments to a 6:29 a.m. blog post about the outage by Amalie Benjamin, who covers the Red Sox for The Boston Globe, soared past 120 within a couple hours after the transmission failure began. The fans, naturally, are calling for congressional hearings on the matter.
In my previous blog posts titled "Disappointed with DirecTV" (part 1, part 2) I described the problems I've had getting my DirecTV equipment upgraded for compatibility with the company's new MPEG-4 satellite broadcasts.
Today, I'll be reviewing the centerpiece of this upgrade: DirecTV's HR21-700 digital video recorder (DVR).
Since there's a great summary of the features of this product in this PDF from dbstalk.com, I won't try to rehash all the details. But I do want to describe my experiences using this gizmo, and compare it directly to my older HR10-250 … Read more
I posted the general outline of my problems with a DirecTV upgrade a few days ago. Now for some of the details.
When DirecTV called me in February to talk me into upgrading my hardware, I had three pieces of equipment in operation: a dish antenna configured to receive signals from DirecTV's three older satellites, an RCA DTC100 HD receiver in my bedroom, and a Hughes HR10-250 HD TiVo DVR (digital video recorder) in my living room.
DirecTV made a simple offer: if I simply said "yes," they'd send out a professional installer with a new … Read more
AOL buys social network Bebo for $850 million http://www.news.com/8301-13577_3-9893014-36.html
MPAA boss: Net neutrality would cramp our P2P snooping plans http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/ 20080313-mpaa-boss-net-neutrality-would-cramp-our-p2p-snooping-plans.html http://opinion.latimes.com/bitplayer/ 2008/03/mpaa-clarifies.html
Report: Microsoft says no Blu-ray for Xbox 360 http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9893090-7.html
David in Vegas: Sony (and Movie Theater owners who charge me $6 for rubbery popcorn in a theater where you can’t (send in an … Read more
Constrained by the technical limitations of its satellite television service, DirecTV has watched from the sidelines as cable operators and phone companies' high-end TV services have rolled out increasingly popular video-on-demand features.
The company is now preparing to launch its own VOD service this spring, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
Called DirecTV On Demand, the service, now offered in beta, is designed to deliver VOD content to customers in two ways: via automatic transmission of selected movie titles, which will be stored on subscribers' digital video recorders and then ordered up for viewing whenever the subscriber … Read more
DirecTV is in the middle of a long-planned upgrade to new satellite broadcast technology. The company has launched new satellites that use MPEG-4 video compression to carry an ever-increasing number of HDTV stations, both local and national.
I've been a DirecTV subscriber for many years. In fact, I signed up in 2000 because I wanted to take a look at the then-new RCA DTC100 HD receiver. I didn't even have an HDTV, but I did have a high-quality 21" CRT computer monitor that the DTC100 could drive. It wasn't good for large audiences, but for one … Read more