Back in 2013 I asked the question for the first time on this blog. Since most SD over-the-air broadcasting ended in 2009, when would DIRECTV stop offering SD-only service to customers.

In truth that train had left the station by then. In 2013, DIRECTV had already stopped activating new accounts for SD service and by 2015 it became increasingly hard to even find an SD receiver to replace a broken one. By 2016 DIRECTV announced that there would be a hard stop to most SD broadcasting: when its satellite at the 119 location is turned off in 2019, that will essentially be the end to most SD broadcasting. All SD content that has an HD equivalent will be turned off, all SD-only packages will be converted to HD packages, and all SD-only equipment will stop working.

There are a few commenters out there in the blogosphere who think I’m making too much of this transition, that I’m some sort of huckster who’s trying to get you to part with your money when, if you just wait long enough, all the HD upgrades will be free. Sorry, that’s just not true. In fact it’s just the opposite — Solid Signal’s technicians can get you futureproof today and in most cases the out-of-pocket cost is small or nonexistent. What I’m trying to do here is make sure people know that when the end does get close, the installers will be stretched pretty thin so you don’t want to risk being the last person on the list. You want to be ready now… the upgrades are out there and Solid Signal can give you the same deal or better as you’d get from calling DIRECTV.

In fact, it’s my job to think about these things long ahead of time so that you don’t have to, and so resources like this blog are available online and easily searchable so that the millions of people who don’t live and breathe satellite TV can stay informed. I’ve been thinking about it a long time, and my only goal is to make sure that occasionally, when you think about it too, you’ll be ready.

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.