Which high-def channels get passing grades; which ones should be passed over?

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Sean Mota

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Washington, DC (April 1) -- If you have a new High-Definition TV on your shopping list, you're not alone. HDTV sales are booming thanks to dropping prices and increased programming options.

However, once you bring your new set home, what should you watch? Which high-def channels are worth every penny? And, which ones might make you question your investment?

In the summer of 2003, I handed out the first report cards for each of the 12 existing HDTV networks. Now, with the high-def lineup climbing to nearly 20 networks, it's time to upgrade the scores. Who's improved; and who still needs remedial work.


HDNet
2004 Grade: A
2003 Grade: A

Discovery HD Theater
2004 Grade: A
2003 Grade: A

InDemand HD
2004 Grade: A-
2003: Not Graded.

Cinemax HD
2004 Grade: A-
2003: Not Graded.

Comcast SportsNet
2004 Grade: A-
2003: Not Graded

PBS
2004 Grade: B+
2003 Grade: B+

HDNet Movies
2004 Grade: B+
2003 Grade: B+

CBS
2004 Grade: B
2003 Grade: B+

The WB
2004 Grade: B
2003 Grade: B

ESPN HD
2004 Grade: B
2003 Grade: C

ABC
2004 Grade: B-
2003 Grade: B

NBC
2004 Grade: B-
2003 Grade: B

Showtime HD
2004 Grade: B-
2003 Grade: B

HBO HD
2004 Grade: B-
2003 Grade: C+

Starz HD
2004 Grade: F
2003 Grade: Not Graded

Final Note: I have not seen Bravo HD, Encore HD or the niche HD channels on Voom's satellite TV service. Consequently, I do not have grades for them at this time. But, stay tuned...
 
wasch_24

wasch_24

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CBS leads the way with programming!

You know what. In looking at that list I started thinking about picture quality vs. programming. IMO CBS is far and away the leader in programming line up. Besides their nightly line up they are definitely leading in special programming as well. Case in point, the NCAA tournament, Final Four this weekend-1080i and 5.1. Also, The Masters tournament, in it's entirety, not just the final round. PGA golf in HD with 5.1 surround, I'll have to force myself to actually get off the couch and go golfing. Might have to wait for the HD DVR.
 
squicken

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He's not missing much as far as not having seen Voom exclusives. No Spice/Playboy HD judgments are a major oversight, somewhat devaluing his credibility with this poster. HBO is the one that really bugs me. Why they don't do more in HD is stupifying.
What I found interesting were his comments about high visuals and network programming. I really would want to watch shows set in remote locals (Deadwood) because of how great they look on HD. Now, let's get "James Bond the TV Show" or "Die Hard Kills Terrorists in a City Near You" up and running. I wish my local UPN was HD so I could see "Enterprise". I imagine stuff in space would rock.
 
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madpoet

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My opinion of Phillip Swan would need to be expressed in the unmoderated Playboy thread :)
 
squicken

squicken

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madpoet said:
My opinion of Phillip Swan would need to be expressed in the unmoderated Playboy thread :)
Why does our forum dislike Swann so much? His arrogance is undeniable, but I'm guessing there's more to it than that.
 
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Carbo

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Jan 23, 2004
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PBS: B
NBC: C
ABC: B
CBS: A+
FOX: F
WB: B

HBO: A
Cinemax: A+
Showtime: F
Starz: D
Encore: C
TMC: B

HDnet: B+
HDnet Movies: C+
Discovery: A
Bravo: C
ESPN: B
Playboy: C

Voom Exclusives: B-
 
M

madpoet

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cyuhnke said:
Why does our forum dislike Swann so much? His arrogance is undeniable, but I'm guessing there's more to it than that.

He's twice predicted that Voom will fail, and the last time he did so he used somewhat sloppy (in my opinion anyway) journalism to back up his predictions.
 
squicken

squicken

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I understand. Since he has never seen Voom, how can he make an informed decision as to whether it will succeed or fail? That sort of thing. *not sarcastic*
 
DarrellP

DarrellP

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I imagine stuff in space would rock.
Odyssey 5 on HDNET does rock! It's pure eye candy, especially the space shots.
 
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rang1995

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swann is a paid hack for D* and e*...at least D* and he hates Voom without giving it a look -see? what kind of unbiased journalism is that?
 
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rang1995

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rang1995 said:
swann is a paid hack for D* and e*...at least D* and he hates Voom without giving it a look -see? what kind of unbiased journalism is that?
i'll answer,it's the kind that get's you a job on the BBC or AL-jeezera!
 
squicken

squicken

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http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/business/technology/8302779.htm

He is referred to as president of his own research firm in this article. I don't doubt you. I read some of his articles about Voom, and he certainly loves D*. But, and I may be mistaken, isn't D* the king of the mountain right now? He does seem to have something against Voom, especially because I don't see what great strides D* is making into HD programming.
 
GeneWildershair

GeneWildershair

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cyuhnke said:
http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/business/technology/8302779.htm

He is referred to as president of his own research firm in this article. I don't doubt you. I read some of his articles about Voom, and he certainly loves D*. But, and I may be mistaken, isn't D* the king of the mountain right now? He does seem to have something against Voom, especially because I don't see what great strides D* is making into HD programming.

D* isn't making any strides in HD programming! I've been waiting for them to add channels for a very long time, and will probably waiting a lot longer. That's why I also signed up with VOOM, and although I still have D*, I don't watch them as much anymore.
 
GeneWildershair

GeneWildershair

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cyuhnke said:
Why does our forum dislike Swann so much? His arrogance is undeniable, but I'm guessing there's more to it than that.

I think it's because of that goofy picture of himself on his website. ;)
site1024.jpg
 

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