DirecTV Adds 21 HD Networks

Executives at Smithsonian HD were right: The channel and 20 other high-definition TV services launched this morning on DirecTV, raising the satellite TV provider’s national HDTV service array to 31 channels.

DirectTV's Web site (opens in new tab) lists the services, which also include newbies CNN HD and TBS HD (ahead of the Major League Baseball playoffs on that service) and sports outlets Big Ten Network and NFL Network HD.

Smithsonian HD, a joint venture of Showtime and the Smithsonian Institute, had said it expected to launch on DirecTV on or about Sept. 26.

Others, grouped here by common interest and/or corporate ownership, are: A&E HD and The History Channel HD; Animal Planet HD, Discovery Channel HD, The Science Channel HD and TLC HD; The Movie Channel HD, Showtime Too HD and Showtime West HD; Starz Comedy HD, Starz Edge HD, Starz HD East, Starz HD West and Starz Kids & Family HD; the shared HD channel for Versus and The Golf Channel; and The Weather Channel HD.

DirecTV’s Web site lists another 18 HD networks to be added in October, including the as yet unlaunched Fox Business Network.

Another nine HD channel logos are in line to be added to the DirecTV map by year’s end, including a version of DirecTV’s own original programming service, The 101, judging by the Web site.

“The first of DirecTV’s new HD channels have arrived: We’ve just added 21 new HD channels to our lineup,” the site said. “And there’s plenty more to come. In October, you’ll have over 70 of your favorite channels in HD — and up to 100 by the end of the year.”