Here’s one that wasn’t terribly well advertised, but DIRECTV is offering a free preview of the HD Extra Pack starting yesterday and going through March 4.
The HD Extra Pack is an interesting little footnote in DIRECTV history. At the time it was first created, it contained all the channels that had no SD (standard definition) counterpart, such as HDNET Movies. HDNet was created as a network specifically for High Definition, so of course there was no HD counterpart. DIRECTV has always charged a few dollars a month for this package, but it is frequently available through free previews and it’s pretty common to get three free months of it to try.
HD Extra Pack channels start at channel 565 and include:
- HDNET Movies
- Hallmark Movies and Mysteries
- MGM HD
- Sony Movie Channel
- Smithsonian Channel HD
- Crime and Investigation
- MTV Live
- Shorts TV
(In case you’re wondering about the last one, it’s short films, not underpants.)
As with all of DIRECTV’s previews, the channels are available to stream on your mobile devices as well and you can record the content you have on those channels and keep it as long as you like, watching it when you’re ready.
A lot of what’s on these channels will appeal to hardcore movie buffs as it’s a lot of films you don’t see on Netflix or other streaming services, even in their so-called “classics” section. Fans of Hallmark’s “made-for-TV” films will also get their fill here, in case Christmas didn’t burn you out on that stuff.
People often ask if DIRECTV will ever integrate these channels into a regular package. I guess, “never say never,” but if they did I’m sure there would be a plan in place to replace the revenue they get from the HD Extra Pack charge, so it’s not like they would just do it for free.