Ok, here we go...
So question for any DishNetwork subscribers that are into HD - do you know if they plan to add our local HD feeds?
No, they are not because it would be a waste of bandwidth at this point. Get a small $100 tv antenna and you should be fine.
Is there a way to get them onto your Dish DVR device and schedule recordings without the need for tons of extra equipment?
For Yes. Their DVRs would be worthless if they didn't record every channel available.
Your HDTV OTA antenna plugs into the back of your Dish DVR/Receiver. You then do a scan in the "setup" menu for local HDTV channels. If it finds the channel it will add it to your channel list from which you select what you are going to record.
How is your service? How are the channels I mentioned - do a lot of them suck, or are they at least kind of interesting?
Ok, here's the honest answer. They are great looking, but I don't watch many of them.
I watch RAVE and HBOHD the most. ESPN and HDNET after that.
All of the former Voom Network channels like Monster, Gamer, Kung Fu, etc... don't add new content regularly so there are a ton of repeats. Most of the channels are worthless to me, but you might like being able to watch "Operation Condor" or classic "Thunderbirds" episodes in HD.
What about their PPV HD? Is it on-demand? Lots of HD movies or not so much on that?
Negligible at best.
The HD scene on Dish is a mixed bag right now. It's good, not great. We're still in the infancy of the HD thing and that's why but it is getting better.
For example Universal's HD channel shows the new BSG episodes in HD as they are shot, just not at the same time they are on SciFi.