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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I want my HD TV

One of the benefits being touted as coming with high definition television is a proliferation of side channels or extra outlets for local broadcasters.

So where, pray tell, are the extra channels?

All Boston stations have been broadcasting in high-def for awhile now, in anticipation of the February 2009 switchover from analog to digital. Some, like WCVB-TV, are offering programs like Chronicle, in full HD.

But with the exception of WGBH-TV, none of the Boston stations are offering the extra digital service. There are three separate WGBH feeds on Comcast's digital tier. A recent vacation led me to discover WNBC-TV in New York offering a Rutgers woman's basketball game on a channel they labeled WNBC 4.4.

So where are the extra digital offerings of Boston's Channels 4, 5, 7 and 25? Is Comcast not playing ball (a distinct possibility) or are the commercial channels milking the extra band width for other (financially lucrative) purposes?

Not that I'm expecting great programming from stations that seem to subsist on game and reality shows. But if we're supposed to be getting extra programming, where is it?

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Comcraptic! said...

not too sure, but I think it's comcasts fault (when is it not).

OTA (Over the air) with my tuner, I get both the HD and SD version of the OTA channels, plus channel 7 also has a dedicated weather channel.

Granted it's not much yet, but it is there.

March 11, 2008 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Comcraptic! said...

Oh, and check out the OTA section at http://www.avsforum.com , they'll have much more info on it.

March 11, 2008 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Currently, WHDH broadcasts a second channel 7.2... which is the NBC Weather Plus. Many HD enthusiasts will tell you that they don't want the secondary channels because they degrade the main channel. Take a look at a sporting event on Channel 4 versus Channel 7. Channel 4's signal is always clearer because it's not split into different channels.

March 11, 2008 10:26 AM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Thanks anon, I never thought about that dumb extra Channel 7 weather channel.

And comcraptic!, you are quite right in general terms!

March 11, 2008 7:18 PM  

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