I saw this posted over on one of the other forums, and thought I would share it here. I'm not sure how much truth there is to this, but if it is true, it sounds interesting. I know I would jump at the chance to ditch my digital cable package if I could still recieve all my hi-def channels. Take a look....
Hmm, from some of the other boards it looked like they can't force you to get digital in order to get HD (so guys back east were getting HD with just the basic local package). Here is the quote:
From the March/April 2003 issue of The Perfect Vision, page 33:
"The FCC requires these local [HDTV] digital channels to be part of 'basic service,' the lowest-price tier of service offered by the cable company (and the only one that's regulated by law), though it doesn't mandate that signals be sent out unencrypted. So if all you want is to see is every local [HDTV] digital broadcast channel offered by your cable company today, you can receive them at the cost of 'basic service' and an HD-box rental..."
"What the cable companies' sales people don't always tell you is that you don't need to order the expensive 'digital packages' to get premium HD channels. A law called the 1992 Cable Act has a provision in it that took effect last October. Called the 'buy through' provision, it basically says that if you have "basic service" you cannot be required to get a higher tier of service...to receive a premium HD channel such as HBO-HD."
"If the customer service person says you must get a digital tier of service to get HDTV, insist on speaking to a supervisor."