We just finished a major update of our popular chart of HD programming compared and the new winner, in terms of national and local HD channels, by our count, is Fios TV. Bringing a hefty 83 such channels to bear in the New York City area, the fiber-optic-based TV service from Verizon comes out ahead of perennial satellite champions DirecTV (67 channels) and Dish Network (68) as of today.
The key here is our definition of "national and local." The big three all tout HD channel counts near or above the nice round number of 100 in their advertising campaigns, and by our count of "total channels," they all come more or less close enough, but we took a closer look at the channels themselves, and broke down national and local channels we consider important. That includes local broadcast channels like PBS (which neither satellite service offers), ABC and Fox, premium movie channels like HBO and Max (formerly Cinemax), and the myriad niche channels from ESPN to Mav TV to Palladia to World Fishing Network. We specifically exclude Regional Sports Networks, exclusive channels like Voom (which is only available on NY-area provider Cablevision), and duplicate feeds of premium movie channels, such as HBO (east) and HBO (west) carried by DirecTV and Fios.
Check out the updated HD programming compared chart.
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