Recently we were happy to hear the news that our Dish Network service has added 22 New Channels for our viewing pleasure. Unfortunately, along with this wonderful news, we discovered that several of our favorite HD channels have disappeared from the regular lineup. We loved watching the sweeping, continent flyovers that were featured on Equator, the extreme sports shown on Rush, and the unique concerts and musical programming on Rave. Hubby also loved the fact that he could watch world soccer almost any hour of the day on World Sport. Those channels were some of the best HD programming that we had available.
But here’s the thing… I contacted Dish Network to ask where those missing channels were, and they sent me a list of the channels intended to “replace” the ones that are gone. There are, according to Dish, 22 new channels. Let’s take a look at the list I was given of new and “replacement” channels, shall we?
Animania was dropped, and was replaced by Cartoon Network HD and Toon Disney HD, with an “alternative” choice of Boomerang. Okay, here are two “new” HD channels…
Equator was replaced by Discovery HD, History Channel HD, Travel Channel, AAnimal Planet HD, and SCI-FI HD. And here are four more “new” HD channels… we already had the Travel Channel, so it’s not new at all.
Family Room went away, but we get TLC HD, ABC Family HD, TBS HD, Disney HD and Hallmark Movies HD instead, with alternatives of ION and Hallmark available. Five “new” HD channels here…
Gallery made way for Arts and Entertainment HD and Smithsonian, with alternative choices of Classic Arts Showcase and Ovation. One “new” HD channel… and Smithsonian is new, but not HD.
Game Play was replaced by the alternative channel G4 – no direct replacement was listed and we already had G4.
HD News is gone, but we now have CNN HD, CNBC HD and CSPAN, with the alternative option of Fox News. Two more “new” HD channels…
Kung FU was knocked out and no replacements were offered except the alternative offering of SPIKE, which we already had on our lineup. And it doesn’t even come close to replacing the Kung Fu channel.
Monsters disappeared, also without direct replacments, but can be replaced by the alternative selections of the Premium Movie Packages (at an additional cost, of course) and there is an alternative available called Chiller. I haven’t seen Chiller, but obviously it’s not HD, and the premium channels don’t replace the Monsters channel any more than Spike does Kung Fu.
RAVE took a final bow, to be replaced by MHD 369 or the alternative offerings of FUSE, MTV, or MTV2. I haven’t seen MHD, but Hubby says it’s primarily country music, whereas RAVE showed jazz festivals and other alternative music choices – not a great trade, in my opinion. Also, we already had FUSE, MTV (do they play music anymore??) and MTV2.
RUSH is gone, and replaced with ESPN HD, ESPN 2 HD and SPIKE HD. Three “new” HD channels… but none of them really show the cool extreme stuff RUSH did.
Treasure disappeared, but was replaced by Travel Channel HD, HGTV HD, Food Network HD or the alternative, Fine Living. Three more “new” HD offerings…
Ultra was dumped for the replacement options of Travel Channel HD, HGTV HD and Food Network HD, with Fine Living or Soapnet being listed as alternatives. Obviously, these replacements are the same as the ones for the Treasure channel that’s gone, so no “new” ones counted here.
VOOM HD Movies (formerly World Cinema) was replaced by IFC, which I love but we already had.
World Sport is gone, and now we have ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD , Tennis HD and Fox Sports HD, with an alternative offering of Fox Soccer. Two of these were used to replace RUSH, so only one counts as “new” HD.
So, there are 22 allegedly “new” HD channels. HOWEVER… most of the new channels are not new at all, but are duplicates of channels we already had but with an “HD” added to their name. Of the HD versions now listed, most have been available for at least several months on our lineup. So, we are paying the same amount of money for fewer actual offerings.
The real kick is that adding the letters HD to the end of the channel’s name, and sending it through an HD signal, does not mean that programming on the channel will be shown in HD format. David Bromstad will not be any hunkier than he already is on my other HGTV channel, Raven will not be any funnier than she is on my other ABC family channel, and the Challenges will not be any more riveting on my non-HD Food Network channel. So Dish Network is pulling a big one over on their paying customers, and suckering in a bunch of new ones, I’m sure, by saying they’ve added 22 new channels. They have really only added – that we can tell – Smithsonian, which is NOT EVEN HD!!!!!
We’re going to look at Direct TV – maybe they will treat us as intelligent consumers, not morons.
Update: We are now Direct TV customers! We are paying less, and although there are a few duplicate channels, it’s not nearly the number of Dish. Thanks for nothing Dish – you still suck!