Ok, with the theater done, I have been itching to get an HDTV signal in here. We have DIRECTV right now. Unforunately, DIRECTV is on the verge of a complete system overhaul. They just launched one of a couple of new satelites that will offer 500+ new HDTV channels. Currently, DIRECTV only provides a small number of channels in HD and the locals aren't one of those. They just added FOX though in some markets -- that's good for NASCAR and 24. I was going to wait for the big system upgrade to occur but today I was reading the recent press release about the launch of the satelite and it said that they would be rolling out the new HD service in 13 cities this fall. Denver was not listed. So now what?
The bad news with this upcoming DIRECTV upgrade is that you are going to have to switch out any of your hardware that you want to receive HD broadcasts on. The current hardware has chips for decoding MPEG-2 video in it. However, the new satelittes will be broadcasting in MPEG-4 which will require new decoding hardware. DIRECTV hasn't said how this is going to be done, but I imagine that they are going to have to do a trade-in program.
Anyway, since it isn't likely I will be on the new system until 2006 now, I pulled the trigger and ordered the current HD system today. I opted not to get the $1000 HD-capable TiVo because I just couldn't see the money in the box for one year. I love TiVo and we have them other places in the house. But for the theater, if I want HD, I will have to watch it the old fashioned way -- live. Oh well. So I ordred the basic $300 DIRECTV HD receiver. Install this Wednesday.