Originally Posted by tylerSC
I believe one of the engineers has stated previously that most stations only send an HD signal to the cable and satellite companies, and it is these service providers who choose to downgrade the signal to SD in the secondary markets. Which is silly and pointless to me, and one of the reasons I use an antenna for neighboring regional markets. I use an antenna in Greenville, SC to view WBTV from Charlotte with a nice strong signal and clear picture.
In eastern NC, I know WRAL has been carried on many systems outside the Raleigh DMA, but not sure if HD or SD. And unfortunately in the last year it has now been dropped by some systems, possibly as a result of the affiliate change from CBS to NBC. I would hope an antenna would maintain reception in many areas, but perhaps not all. But WRAL has major NC news, weather, and political coverage concerning state govt. and is a station deserving of carriage, especially in HD as the first in the nation. And now they are developing 4K transmission. Well deserved significantly viewed status.
Yes, Directv claims the stations send them both while the stations claim to send them only one signal. I believe it was Foxeng who said that they send one signal with the instructions to letterbox for SD so things weren't chopped off and I would believe him over any CSR at Directv.
My current SD locals (Boston) chop everything. You can't read the score on the ABC games. CBS graphics are chopped. Fox SD is letterboxed, though, and ion, the independents, Spanish networks are all severely chopped. Thankfully, those are rarely needed and the HD is, of course, perfect. My SV locals are an HD-only market (Burlington, VT) so I get those in HD.
WRAL was not available via satellite or cable where I lived, but it's OTA signal was strong and nearly flawless, so it was like I had WRAL when using the AM21 tuner.