DirecTV offers 105 high-definition television channels in the premier package to new and existing subscribers, with 285 plus channels overall. To confirm you can receive HD programming from DirecTV, check your satellite dish and receiver to verify whether your system will decode the upgraded signal. If you don’t have the right equipment, DirecTV will upgrade your system, sometimes without extra cost, depending on your customer status.
High-definition cable transmissions don’t work on televisions not configured for high definition digital. HDTV prices have come down since television broadcasts changed over to high definition in 2009. HD-ready televisions must be capable of a minimum of 720 progressive lines of resolution, known as 720p. For best HD resolution, choose a television that displays 1080p. Every major television manufacturers makes a variety of HDTVs ranging from liquid crystal display, light-emitting diodes, digital light processing and plasma units. Screen sizes vary from 15 inches to 72 inches and more.
The “Low Noise Block,” or LNB converter on the DirecTV satellite dish, requires a 5-LNB as opposed to a standard LNB to decode the HD signal. The LNB, the device with a plastic cap over it, sits on the arm projected in front of the dish and receives the low-level microwave satellite signal bounced by the dish from the DirecTV satellite in space. The 5-LNB, though it doesn’t look any different than a 3-LNB does, amplifies and changes the high-definition signal received from the satellite to a signal in a lower frequency band capable of transmission through the coaxial cable. If your DirecTV dish was installed before October of 2005, it is does not have the correct LNB to receive the high-definition signal.
To properly translate the signal received from the 5-LNB dish, DirecTV requires the use of a H20 or HR20 receiver. DirecTV offers several high-definition receivers from different manufacturers for use with the DirecTV high definition subscription. To upgrade your service to include high-definition television and equipment call 1-800-531-5000 and say into the phone, “order new equipment.” That will route your call around the normal voice mail system for immediate help.
If you have the correct satellite dish and LNB, and have an older H20 or HR20 receiver, DirecTV offers an inexpensive upgrade to convert your receiver to accept high-definition signals. The B-Band Converter module is a little rectangular gray box that hooks up directly to the back of your H20 or HR20 receiver. The coaxial cable from the satellite installs directly into it. This is often a less costly process for converting your existing system.
BBC Test Channel
To check if your system can receive high definition television right from your existing receiver, tune into the BBC test channel on your DirecTV system. Use the remote to access channel 499. If your system cannot receive the HD signal, you’ll see a message that says something similar to “Important HD Information. Your B-Band Converter module is not connected.”