Originally Posted by sebenste
You do know, as do I, that HD has nothing to do with any FCC mandate. It is merely a bonus. The purpose of DTV is to get you sharp, clear *SD* pictures. HD is not mandated, mentioned or otherwise put into any FCC docket. It is a "bonus" for those who wish to do it.
You are quite correct. That said, there were members of Congress that raised a stink when certain networks said that they were not going to do HD. That went over like a lead balloon. If the mind changing hadn't occurred, I'm sure that bills would have been introduced in both sides of the hill that would have forced the issue.
I know that high bitrate HD would be very nice, but broadcasters have to make money, and if they can do so with multicasting, then I'm all for it. People need to be paid, and might I remind everyone again, there is ZERO ad revenue going to stations that broadcast HD content. ZERO. There's *no* additional ad premium for HD whether the commercial or program is in HD or not. That may change in the future, but right now, DTV is making zero or nearly zero revenue for stations, and is thus losing them money, especially as the transmitters gobble up power.
Yes, at this point in time, money is being pissed out the window because of having to pay for the power of two transmitters. But it will not go on forever. Broadcasters have been living with one channel for over 50 years (in some locations). So why piss on the viewer now. Ya, I know, the landscape has changed because of all the competing channels on cable and satellite.
Given that the entertainment money pie has been cut like Edward Scissorhands got a hold of it, subchannels of infomercials, value-added weather data, etc are a given. I don't like it, you don't like it, we all don't like it (except when they do news and/or weather), but it attempts to pay the bills for something that the FCC thrust upon broadcasters whether they like it or not (and most didn't). And you are right, 12 MHZ of bandwidth would have helped, but some stations would just do more subchannels. Given the number of analog stations, 12 MHZ would have been impossible to do without a flash-cutover.
You are quite right, I don't like it and I for one will not be watching any of the subchannels. You mention the same thing I did, i.e., that the extra bandwidth would be eaten up by more subchannels, which is where I mentioned also the bitrate limitation that could be placed on HD. With 12 MHz, I'm sure that HD would have been mandated and a minimum bitrate allocated to it. But it ain't gonna happen, ever