You’ve all seen them. The outrageous claims. The random AD character sightings (“I’ve used one word to describe myself” and “You stole his eyebrows? They make me look dressier” will be the chosen quotes to describe them.) It all boils down to one common theme: “we have the most HD channels.” But who’s telling the truth? The blond guy, a modern day commercial luminary at a fake news desk? Wayne Jarvis and Stan Sitwell? Or a chick with bug eyes and a 60 second timer in the bottom corner of the screen?
What I’m about to tell you is very important. HD only matters for sports games, nature shows, and movies. I’ll be generous and say thats 25 HD channels that are useful. Just think about the rest of the hundreds of channels on your TV and what they show during the day, and how useless it would be in HD. Thats the most ridiculous part of this escalating ad war. Someone says they have 100 HD channels, then someone else says they have twice that amount as that guy, then this chick says she has 60 seconds to warn me about one of the other two. Where is that chick from anyway, dish network or something? If you think I don’t change the channel for a full minute whenever I see that commercial come on, you’re kidding yourself.
While the battle of who can claim to have the most HD channels rages on, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention another commercial regarding HD TV. In my opinion its one of the most counterintuitive commercials I’ve ever seen. The commercial says this: “If you buy an HD Television, you won’t get HD programming unless you have an HD cable box.” Considering you are currently logged on to the internet and reading this blog, you most likely already know this. Considering that someone ran that ad, I’m sure there are people who had no clue. In fact, the cable company that ran the ad isn’t even important. The question is why. Here is the message you just gave potential HD TV buyers: “That huge flat screen that you already barely can afford is just the beginning of your expenses when switching to HD TV! You will also have to switch cable boxes, which will certainly involve calling the cable company AND waiting for a technician to come out (I wouldn’t even wish that on Jeremy Shockey) while also paying more per month for cable service.” How is this not guaranteed to sell less HD TVs? If you already know, the commercial is insulting to your intelligence. And if you didn’t, now you know. Why not wait until someone has bought the TV, plugged it in, wondered why they weren’t getting HD channels, and called up the company hoping they can fix it? They could even charge five times as much for an HD cable upgrade and it would still look dirt cheap next to the price of the TV itself. When people hear things they already know, they tune out. Here are two things I already know: 1. You need an HD cable box to get HD channels. 2. Everyone thinks they have the most HD channels. So much for that commercial.
At the current rate, DirecTV will strike a huge blow to the industry in a year or two, locking up Nick Gas HD to be its 350th HD channel. A few short years later the FIOS network will be available in enough homes, internet video will be good enough, and the years of the worst customer service since the days of the infamous Muffin Man will all combine to make the cable companies the new radio stations – enjoyed by some, but only when that person can’t currently enjoy one of their many other much better options.
But, as tempting as it is to look to the future of the quickly improving TV industry, we still have a key issue at hand. WHO HAS THE MOST HD CHANNELS?!!?? Instead of both Comcast and DirecTV continuing to run ads during every single commercial break, I will instead solve this problem right now. Someone with DirecTV, hit that guide button and see how many HD channels you get. Someone with Comcast do it too. If you have some other shit, like Time Warner or Cablevision, get on it. I will list the results while taking full credit for all work done. And remember, the next time you turn on ESPN2HD for a champions league game, only to see the game in regular definition, even though you KNOW its being broadcast in HD in England, just remind yourself that somewhere, someone is enjoying some H>V HD that Comcast just had to have to stay competitive.