Brian, thanks for the updates (and greetings from Horizon).
The state of HDTV availability in the Fargo area is absolutely dreadful. I have been bugging WDAY, KXJB, and KVLY for a long time now, and continue to email them every couple of months. I haven't found much in the way of contact information for KVRR, but haven't tried *that* hard.
CableOne, while at least providing a feeble attempt at some HDTV, is not doing anything interesting yet. It's really up to the local networks, as the 4 major networks are where most of the HD content comes from at this point.
VOOM is an interesting option for us, but they provide no way to get major network programming, and I can't say that most of their proprietary channels interest me much.
I firmly believe that the best hope for HDTV here in the Fargo area is through satellite providers, but even that option will probably not be viable, as it will require congress to allow for the retransmission of distant HDTV networks into areas that do not receive the networks locally. SHVIA is up for renewal and is before congress as I write this. The satellite industry (Dish, DirecTV) is proposing that they be allowed to retransmit distant HDTV networks into areas they do not receive them locally (much the same as they are currently able to do for analog networks). I have written Conrad, Dorgan, and Pomeroy to encourage them to support this language in the bill. See http://www.iwantmyhdtv.com
for details and an easy way to contact our representatives in D.C.
In the meantime, the only other option is to "move" to a city with a CBS O&O station, which will allow you to receive a distant network CBS HDTV signal over satellite. It's not a lot, but if you watch much CBS, it's probably worth doing. It allowed me to watch last year's superbowl in HD, probably making me one of a very few homes in Fargo with that ability).
For my part, HDTV is nearly useless without a DVR that can record it. I have become so accustomed to my 2-tuner DirecTiVo that I simply don't watch live TV anymore. Even if I had all the HDTV networks, I'd watch very little HD content because of other obligations during primetime (think 20 month old son).
Granted, DirecTV does have the HD TiVo available (or somewhat available, since supply is still limited), but for $1000, there simply isn't enough HD content availabe locally and through DirecTV to justify the price. If DirecTV gets off their rear's and adds some more HD channels, I'll think about pulling the trigger on the HD DirecTiVo. Hopefully it will come down a couple hundred before then. Now that DirecTV has their 7S satellite in the air and are finally offering locals here in fargo, perhaps they will be able to concentrate on new HD channels.
VOOM is still the wildcard. They will supposedly be offering a DVR this fall (tho I'd bet spring of '05 is a more realistic date). By that time we will probably have more local HDTV content available as well, assuming KXJB and KVLY are able to make good on their promises. VOOM may end up being a good option a few months down the road.
Anyway, I'm with DirecTV now, and I think they are probably the best bet for HDTV here in Fargo at the moment. If congress does what is right for the consumers and allows the retransmission of distant HDTV networks, we'll be set. In the meantime, it's DirecTV with their minimal HD content and their HD TiVo (when I can justify one).
Basically, we don't have many options but to wait for the local stations or for congress, and neither will happen overnight.