Wow. How the times have changed. In 2000, hearing about "HDTV
" was rare. You might see one or two big events in HD, and you'd probably have to visit a sports bar or something similar to see it. Most people were still wowed with broadband Internet, and seeing March Madness in 720p was the least of their worries. SD content had worked fine for decades, so why change now?
Slowly but surely, big networks began to make the investments required to bring HDTV to the masses, and pay-TV carriers began to offer them. Many charged extra for small "HD tiers," while some bragged about offering HD channels for free. Now, HD isn't just the norm, it's the expectation. Many consumers won't even watch a show if it's not offered in HD, and many are making their pay-TV decisions based on how just HD is made available to them.
Only a score after 200 total channels seemed like a pipe dream, DISH Network has just revealed that they're now offering 200 channels in high-definition. Yes, 200 HD channels on a single carrier. The company now boasts the nation's largest HD lineup, with EPIX HD, G4 HD, Headline News HD, History International HD, Nat Geo Wild HD, ShortsHD, Style HD and Turner Classic Movies HD running alongside ESPN HD, TBS HD and loads of others.
As nice as this is for DISH (we're sure they'll land a few switchers because of it), we think this is most interesting from an industry standpoint. Just ten years ago most consumers would've been thrilled to see just a handful of HD channels; now, we're upset if commercials aren't in HD. We've already reached 200--how many more can we really get?