Why would you ever intentionally choose to watch standard definition?

DIRECTV offers crystal-clear high-definition picture and Dolby Digital sound. Yet there are people who are afraid to upgrade, or once they do they just watch the standard definition version of a channel anyway.

But Why?

There are people who will swear that they need standard definition channels because they are more resistant to rain fade. That’s kinda true, but mostly not true. Standard definition signals come from the satellite at a lower frequency (referred to as the Ku band) and those Ku band frequencies do a better job penetrating the clouds than the frequencies used for HD and 4K (known as the Ka band.) So in theory, yes you could get SD channels even if the HD channels fade out in a big storm.

Except, that shouldn’t be true in real life. A properly aimed dish will only have about a 1% difference in signal reliability between the Ku and Ka band signals, meaning it’s going to be a rare storm indeed that gives you access to the SD channels without the HD channels. If you’re seeing a lot of rain fade from your system, so much so that you think it’s necessary to keep those SD channels at the ready, it’s possible you need a little dish realignment.

But, for those people who just won’t let go of their SD, here’s a tutorial on how to access SD duplicates if you need to.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.