DirecTV is poised to take the lead in the HD battle by adding 30 extra channels starting on August 14th. That would give them 130 channels of HD in total—putting them well on their way to the 150 mark they floated around early this year. By the end of this month they also plan to be the first company to transmit all of their HD programming in the MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding standard with Dolby Digital Audio. And the icing on the cake will come later this year in the form of 1080p movies.
Some of these new HD offerings include: Showtime Extreme HD, Showtime Showcase HD, Planet Green HD, ABC Family HD, additional DIRECTV HD pay per view channels and an additional 23 Regional Sports Networks. DirecTV is also planning to launch satellite #12 next year, which will push the national HD content to 200 channels. Sure, there are compression issues and those 23 RSNs are all filler, but hey—its better than watching standard crap. [WSJ Marketwatch via Electronic House]