Washington — In the first phase of its HD service expansion, DirecTV added 21 new national high-definition channels to its now 31-channel lineup at 6 a.m. ET Wednesday.
New channels include CNN HD, A&E HD, The History Channel HD and The NFL Network HD. Many of the channels will be available to current subscribers of DirecTV’s $9.95 per month HD service tier at no additional charge. Premium HD channels will be available to subscribers who have signed up for those premium service packages.
The satellite TV provider has said it plans to have a total of 100 national HD channels by the end of the year. The next expansion phase, planed for October, will give the service 70 HD channels.
The new channels are only offered in DirecTV’s new MPEG-4 compression format from a recently launched satellite, meaning new HD equipment may be necessary if subscribers continue to use older MPEG 2-HD systems. A new wider dish with additional LNBs may also be required if subscribers have not recently upgraded.
High-definition channels added to the service Wednesday include the following:
A&E HD (channel 265)
Animal Planet HD (channel 282
Big Ten Network HD (channel 220)
CNN HD (channel 202)
Discovery Channel HD (channel 278)
The History Channel (channel 269)
The Learning Channel (channel 280)
The Movie Channel (channel 544)
NFL Network HD (channel 212)
The Science Channel HD (channel 284)
Showtime Too HD (channel 538)
Showtime West HD (channel 540)
Smithsonian Channel HD (channel 267)
Starz Comedy HD (channel 519)
Starz Edge HD (channel 522)
Starz HD East (channel 520)
Starz HD West (channel 521)
Starz Kids HD (channel 518)
TBS HD (channel 247)
The Weather Channel HD (channel 362)
Versus/Golf Channel HD (channel 604)