Looking back at old articles, I remember when DIRECTV was adding HD channels like crazy. Local markets were still furiously converting to HD in 2012, and only about half of the channels offered by DIRECTV were available in HD. Flash forward about 6 years and it’s a pretty rare occurrence when DIRECTV adds an HD channel… because there just aren’t any left.
Yeah, I know the usual suspects are going to pop up with comments about the Pac12 channel, the Dodgers Channel or whatever. Obviously those are on the list for a few people, but let’s be honest… if those channels were fairly priced and had wide appeal you’d already have them. No, I’m talking about SD channels that you probably didn’t realize you had, finally converting to HD.
Today’s list… 4 channels you probably didn’t pay a lot of mind to: MAVTV, GAC, POP, and TV One. Each has a small following, but none are really massively appealing.
MAVTV brings you racing sports from all over the world. GAC is what it says — Great American Country. TV One features mostly reruns of old TV shows with African-American characters.
And then there’s POP. Now, this one gives me a chuckle just because of the history. A long, long time ago this used to be the TV Guide Channel. You remember, when the guide scrolled by just a little faster than you could read it and you had to wait until it got all the way to the bottom and back again if you missed something? Yeah I don’t miss the 1990s on that one.
A while back, the channel dumped the guide and tried to make it as a knockoff of E! Entertainment Television. That didn’t work, and so they rebranded yet again as “Pop,” producing the kind of goofy, sitcommy original programs that would find a home on Netflix eventually. In my mind, the classic POP title was Schitt’s Creek, which — basically — all you need to know is this is a sitcom with a punny title starring Eugene Levy. The rest of the show pretty much writes itself, right?
All four of these channels have been producing HD content and putting out an HD signal for years. My guess is that they all came up for contract renewal and DIRECTV simply waited for that moment to roll out the HD feeds. After all, DIRECTV is aggressively moving toward being all-HD by 2019, so this makes sense.
If you’re the least bit curious, check out MAVTV on 214, GAC on 326, TV One on 328, and POP on 273. Enjoy!