Originally Posted by jazzjukebox
I just got around to watching Thursday night TV on my TiVo (time-shifting for the uninitiated) and I was dissapointed to see that the all of My Name Is Earl and half of The Office was stuck on a still frame of a Nascar broadcast.
I've seen numerous problems from all four major network affiliates in Rockford and I am not pleased. I know some of these problems are being dealt with (e.g. emergency weather broadcast dropping into SD) But there are still too many issues that are unacceptable.
WQRF... please do not show SD broadcasts at 720p stretched. Let us decide how to handle these broadcast with our own equipment. Show the broadcast in its native format, please. (Congrats on going HD, BTW. The MLB games look fabulous!)
WREX... do you know that Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune are now available in HD. Why aren't you showing them in HD?!?!
I've seen too many late shows in HD where the local broadcast is SD at the beginnings and ends (the endings are my favorite, whatever guest music group performs).
Basically, if it's in HD then SHOW IT IN HD, FOR PETE'S SAKE!!! (and not a still frame from a previous Nascar broadcast).
Just get it right.. all the time! It's your job! (please don't make me report you to the fcc)
(End of late night, three martini flame)
OK, to answer your questions...
WREX had major equipment failure. Unfortunately, in small TV markets, you'll learn fast that stations not only go off the air, but digitals can go off for a while.
Expensive backups like San Fran and other large markets have aren't available
here. Sad, but true. They do their best and got back on the air as quick as they could, I more than bet.
720p...read above. 4:3 is coming. They are still working on the FOX splicer. The assistant chief engineer there is working on it.
Why is WREX not showing Wheel and Jeopardy! in HD? Because the equipment to do so is very expensive, and I'm guessing, like most small markets, they don't have the bucks to buy it yet (I heard that 40 or less than 40 markets have players that integrate with the rest of the equipment to be able to do this. And as you might imagine, it's the 40 largest markets).
Why are the local broadcasts ending in HD? Simple. When they throw their station promos up, they have to be in SD, and their Master Control Operator is handling two stations at once. In large markets, NBC controls the Master Control from a computer in New York or elsewhere. In Chicago, WMAQ is actually controlled via fiber from NYC, and they have expensive automated equipment to do it at multiple stations simultaneously.
Believe me, they want to do HD, but given limited resources, it isn't going to be perfect. If you are a long-time lurker, you then know that WIFR was off for almost a week in August, IIRC...WTVO was off for a few days when a tube blew in their tranny. It happens. Call the FCC all you want, but it won't do you any good. Unless they are intentionally trying to circumvent the law, which they are not, direct your call towards the stations themselves. That will get your questions more accurately or completely, and if you call WREX and ask them when they will getWheel and Jeopardy! in HD, the more calls they get, the harder they'll push the owners to get that equipment.