DIRECTV adds 5 new HD channels in Los Angeles, rest of country green with envy

DIRECTV’s west coast offices are near LA International Airport. Is it any surprise then that SoCal residents have hands down the best selection of HD channels? As if a full slate of network programs wasn’t enough, DIRECTV very quietly added several five HD locals and one SD local to its already crowded lineup of satellite-delivered HD.

Just to make the rest of the country jealous, here’s the full list of channels available in HD on DIRECTV in the Los Angeles market. New HD is highlighted in red.

  1. KCBS-2, CBS
  2. KNBC-4, NBC
  3. KTLA-5, CW
  4. KABC-7, ABC
  5. KCAL-9, Local news
  6. KTTV-11, FOX
  7. KCOP-13, My Network TV
  8. KWHY-22, Independent local (Spanish)
  9. KCET-28, Independent local
  10. KMEX-34, Univision
  11. KFTR-46, Telefutura
  12. KOCE-50, PBS
  13. KVEA-52, Telemundo
  14. KAZA-54, Azteca America
  15. KDOC-56, Independent local
  16. KJLA-57, Independent local (Spanish)

DIRECTV also added KVCR 24-2, which broadcasts in standard definition, and DIRECTV’s addition of KDOC-56 in HD is also fairly recent, dating back to June.

Jealous yet? Of course there’s a pattern to this week’s announcements: all the added HD is Spanish only. That’s good news if you’re a Spanish speaker in one of the largest Hispanic markets in the US, but predictably less interesting if you’re an English-only speaker. DIRECTV has seen huge growth in Latin America and it’s a fair bet that they’re looking for similar growth in the Hispanic markets here at home. There are a wide variety of packages for Spanish speakers. They have traditionally focussed on the lower end; in fact DIRECTV’s least expensive package is a Spanish-only SD package. They’re cluing into the demand though, and are happy to provide HD service as this list shows.

So what do you think? Are you torqued that DIRECTV is using bandwidth for channels you don’t care about or are you just blown away by seeing sixteen channels of HD in a single market? (In case you weren’t jealous enough, add SD and that number jumps to 29.)