Ah, the HDTV channel wars are heating up again. Earlier this week, Dish Network announced that it was going to add eight more HD channels, bringing its “total” to 200 HD channels. Then DirecTV revealed plans to add 30 more HD channels this year, bringing its “total” to 160 HD channels. Now, I’ve put “total” in quotes because not everyone might agree with the count. For example, Dish Network includes 72 pay-per-view HD movie slots in the total. Is a 90-minute program equivalent to a channel that has 24 hours of content a day?
DirecTV can also claim some bragging rights from the fact that it also will have four 3DTV channels, including the new ESPN 3D channel and one 3D movie on-demand service. Granted, only a handful of households will be able to make use of these, but it is an important first step in providing stereoscopic content for its subscribers.
All this bragging over the number of channels seems to lose its punch when you’ve just surfed through the whole range for the second time, trying in vain to find something that you want to watch. As with most things, there comes a point where quality trumps quantity. If none of these extra channels add content that enough subscribers want to watch, it doesn’t matter who has the most.