Xfinity and NHL Center Ice: Few HD Channels (2019-2020)

How in the world does Xfinity not have all the NHL Center Ice games in HD? It’s baffling to me that a cable provider as big as Xfinity in 2019 doesn’t have every channel in HD. So, fair warning to all those NHL Hockey fans thinking of getting Xfinity and the NHL Center Ice Package: be prepared for disappointment.

As of the 2019-2020 season, there are only two dedicated channels for NHL Center Ice on Xfinity that are in HD. But what happens if more than two games are playing? You have to get the Xfinity X1 system (plus a subscription to NHL Center Ice) then speak into the remote control and say “NHL Center Ice”. This will bring up a menu of the 40 out of market games each week, as promised by NHL Center Ice. However, not all the games are in HD.

Just browsing the list, it’s easy to see less than half are in HD while the majority are in SD. Again, bizarre to me that in the year 2019 a cable provider doesn’t have all channels in HD. Especially when 4K TVs are starting to be mainstream.

To put it in perspective, I used to have DirecTV and subscribed to the NHL Center Ice Package. I could get every game in HD … 13 years ago!

When I buy a car, I expect it to automatically come with A/C and power windows. It’d be very strange for a dealership to tell me they don’t offer those options. When I subscribe to NHL Center Ice on Xfinity, I would it expect it to have all the games in HD.

For those who are not avid hockey fans but are perhaps just getting into the game, following the puck in SD is not easy. For those who have been watching hockey for a long time, they’ll remember when FOX tried the “glow puck” with disastrous redicule. The idea was to make the puck easier to follow while watching 480i content so they made the puck look like a comet streaking across the screen. It was horrible.

Xfinity offers a NHL Center Ice broadcast that’s reminiscent of standard definition TV from 25 years ago.

I’ll be cancelling the package for a refund, but I’m also debating cancelling my service and going back to DirecTV just so I can get the NHL Center Ice games in HD. No way I’m paying $169/yr for NHL Center Ice in which a vast majority of the games are in SD.