The TV Answer Man!
Shop Amazon




TV Answer Man

Why Isn't Every Channel In HD?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (April 14, 2013) -- Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

Q. I noticed that DIRECTV is going to carry this new Dog TV channel and it won't be in high-def. Come on! It's 2013! Why are there still channels not in HD and why do TV services still not carry some HD channels in HD? -- Edward, St. Louis, Missouri.

Let me take the first question first. Some companies, such as Dog TV, may find that producing a new channel is still too costly in High-Definition. Even with today's HD cameras and HD production studios being less expensive than they were even a few years ago, it still costs more to launch a channel in HD than in standard-definition. And for a new company looking to save money with its channel launch, the extra cost might be too much.

Now as for TV providers not carrying HD channels in HD, there are a lot of reasons for that.

One, the TV provider may not have enough system space for additional HD channels at this time. Some estimates have found that it takes roughly seven times the amount of system space to carry an HD channel compared to a SD channel. Satellite and cable operators are constantly working to expand their channel capacities, which is why you may suddenly notice a TV provider start adding new HD channels.

Two, some networks will require additional compensation to carry both their SD and HD channels and the TV provider will decide to only carry the SD edition to save costs.

I think you'll see both reasons listed above become less important in the coming years. For instance, DIRECTV, which was slow to add new HD channels a few years ago, has been adding them steadily in the last 12 months or so and it says it
hopes to offer all channels in high-def by 2016.

See More Answers from the TV Answer Man

Join the discussion! Comment below and/or share this story on Twitter!

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily E-Mail Newsletter!

Sign Up for Swanni Sez!
Delivered to your e-mail box.

* Email Address:   
Swanni Sez has 10,000+ subscribers!___________________________________

Search TV Predictions

Hundreds of articles on HDTV!