Dish Adds HD Channels (for Most Subs)

Dish Network (opens in new tab) is adding nine HD channels to its HD tier (which it says now surpasses 160 channels), and while the new additions fall into both the basic-HD and proprietary HD categories, some HD bloggers are complaining that only current Dish customers with newer dishes will be able to receive all of the HD offerings.

Dish's statement announcing the new channel offerings doesn't address the technical aspects of the issue, but several online DBS-oriented bloggers say the new HD channels are being delivered on newly available satellite transponders that may not be accessible to older dish owners.

"Some of you are lucky enough to have a Dish 1000, which can tune in the new channels, assuming you don't live on the East Coast. [But] if you do live on the old coast of the U.S. you, need an even newer DISH 1000.4," according to the Web site engadgetHD.

Any necessary Dish upgrades would have proven a bit cumbersome in recent weeks, as some bloggers pointed out, due to the extreme weather conditions that engulfed much of the eastern half of the country, with measurable snow reported in 49 states.

Dish spokeswoman Francie Bauer told HD Notebook on Feb. 16 that while some Dish subs may have older configurations that could require upgrading, she couldn't comment specifically as to whether the recent HD channel additions may not be receivable with older equipment. In any case, Bauer said, any necessary antenna upgrades would affect only a small number of Dish HD subscribers.

The nine additional HD channels (including at least one, Showtime, which is a West Coast time-shifter) include: BBC America, E! Entertainment, Fox Soccer Channel, Hallmark, Indieplex, Retroplex, Showtime West, Sportsman Channel and Tru-TV.