Satellite's HDTV Advantage

Ask most folks what it will take to get HDTV rolling and the answer is content, content, and more content. Two weeks ago, Discovery Network announced its first all HDTV 24-hour/day channel, which is set to go live in a couple of months, and last week Showtime Networks and DirecTV announced that the satellite provider will carry the East Coast SHO HDTV channel beginning April 30.

SHO HDTV will be the third high-definition channel to be carried on the DirecTV service, in addition to HBO and HDNet, and will be available 24 hours a day on channel 543. The company says that Showtime will be broadcasting in 1080i with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.

DirecTV says it will broadcast the SHO HDTV channel from its satellite at the 110° west longitude (WL) orbital slot location. To receive this new channel, the company says, consumers may purchase an HDTV set with a built-in DirecTV System Receiver or a DirecTV-enabled HD set-top receiver and an 18"x24" or 18"x20" (available in summer) multi-satellite dish antenna with three LNBs. In addition, customers will need to subscribe to one of DirecTV's programming packages plus the Showtime Unlimited package.

According to DirecTV, for consumers who want to upgrade to a multi-satellite dish with three LNBs, a Sat C adapter kit will be available from authorized retailers nationwide. The Sat C kit includes a unique LNB and combiner, as well as both a 9" and a 31.5" jumper cable. Once the Sat C adapter kit is installed, no additional dish alignment is needed says the company.

DirecTV's Stephanie Campbell stated, "The addition of SHO HDTV gives consumers another opportunity to receive quality programming in a high-definition format directly in their homes. Adding the new channel to this list enables us to expand our high-definition lineup with programming that the entire family can enjoy."