Do you already have a Direct TV card? If so, which one is it? You most likely have one of two different cards, the H card and the HU card. The H card is an analog card and is unable to pick up digital signals. The HU card was introduced in 2001 and picks up both analog and digital signals. Both access cards are used to pick up satellite programming on the Direct Satellite System (DSS). If you don't have the HU Direct TV card, then you might want to get one, in order to receive digital signals.
The HU Direct TV card is also known as P3 or football card; and may now be the only valid card to receive DSS programming. Though the actual digital broadcast (HDTV) standards is due in 2006, the hardware and software manufactures in the satellite industry has already begun sending digital signals; as a result, the manufacturing industry is coming out with HDTV-ready equipment.
Most Direct TV cards are re-programmable. Retailers even offer to reprogram your old card to access the channels you are looking for. You can order a Direct TV access card online; and receive it in the mail. Installation is a wink and results gratifying.
When buying a Direct TV card separately from the Direct TV system, look for the companies that offer universal and not receiver-specific cards and a retailer who guarantees compatibility with your system.