Originally posted by acs236
Hypothetically, is there harm in ALWAYS keeping HD on?
WCET-DT (PBS Cincy) Currently does just that(when they are on the air, 8am-11pm), but, PBS feeds them HD/Widescreen programming 24 hours a day over the PBS HD Sat feed, the other networks don't.
It really shouldn't be THAT big of a deal for stations with the necessary equipment for HD Passthrough to properly do the switching to(and from) HD when it is available from the network, even if the switching is done manually, which the last I heard is the case at least for WKEF-DT. The only station I know for sure at the present time that has automated switching to and from HD(and automated switching/insertion of local ads during HD programming) is WLWT-DT Cincinnati.
Nevertheless, here are a couple of the problems involved with leaving the HD feed from the network switched "on" all of the time :
1.) Soon, a requirement from FCC goes into affect which requires a digital station to simulcast a certian percentage of their analog programming, the precentage goes up to 100% before 2006. I think this is an issue FCC will be reviewing soon, however. Granted, this shouldn't be a problem for the stations running a simulcast of their analog station in 4x3 on their 2nd subchannel. However, for those with TWC that would probably(for the time being at least) just be getting the main subchannel from the digital, if upconverted programming weren't shown, then all TWC would get from the digital stations would pretty much be a blank screen/test pattern/etc except during the times when HD programming was being shown.
2.) Most stations (understandably!) want/need to insert local ad spots into HD programming anyhow, which requires switching between SD/HD sources.
It's very frustrating and a real PITA, but about the only thing we can do (besides switching channels) is call/contact the station and ask them for HD when it is supposed to be there, and remind them we notice, when it isn't there. It's a silly way to do things IMO, as they should do it right if there is even a CHANCE that 1 person is watching(which is always the case I'd think), but if they don't get any calls when they "mess up", they often don't think anyone is watching, or that anyone cares. They certianly should know better by now though!
Hopefully, someday their will be so many of us watching, and calling them when they mess up they'll finally get the idea that they HAVE to get it right.
Sometimes, the Networks mess up at a higher level, or an affiliate can have difficultly with the feed. But, Luckily, there are often "on time, On demand" threads in the programming area at AVSforum(there is one on "The Boss" on CBS last night), where you can see if folks in other areas of the country are getting HD -- This helps us when the stations tell us "The Network didn't send that in HD/etc --- as we know better!" Also, most of us with OTA around here can pull in Dayton and Cincinnati stations, and can usually see what is going on. It's actually rare that both network affiliates in both Cities miss the HD ... Bruce last night being the first exception I've seen in a long, long time where stations from both cities missed the HD.