Originally posted by DoubleDAZIt's so hard because the engineer on duty is probably busy taking care of something else to do with the analog stuff or otherwise occupied. It doesn't help that the first hour (7:00-8:00) was SD, or at least I assume Dateline i\\was SD. It would probably not be as bad if they needed to do things on the same schedule every night, flip the switch at 7:00 and the flip it back at 10:00. FWIW, they seem to get it right at 10:30 when Leno comes on. Could just be that the engineer watches Leno in HD and not the other stuff.
FWIW, Smallville on WB never got switched over tonight, so it's not just NBC. At least they figured it out after the commercial.
You might be reading too much into it. Or not.
Most of the switching of DT between the pristine network feed and the upconverted SD network feed (as well as in and out of local commercials) is done with auxillary commands built into the SD channel's automation. IOW, they have a computer program that controls switching of the sources for the SD channel, and with the addition of a few auxillary switch events it can control the DT channel, too (as long as it carries the same programming as the SD net feed, yet in HD). When a program is SD-only from the net, such as "Scrubs", it probably comes down in SD both on the HD net feed as well as the SD net feed, so that should not enter in to the equation other than when the local station decides to futz with the aspect ratio. I'd like to think that all of the local stations do it this way, but there might be a straglgler of two that is actually still manually "flipping the switch" on occasion (if you a carrying the WB, this might mean you).
While in theory that should mean that we always get the right feed at the right time, there are a few things that can thwart this plan. First, the SD feed is typically the backup for the HD feed. If any part of the signal chain has problems, the backup is switched in (the SD feed typically has a second SD backup feed, so we don't notice when that happens).
Also, few stations own HD graphic equipment to date, so when an amber alert, weather alert, or whenever an overzealous promotions manager enters the picture, again we get the backup.
The other thing is that there is still not a lot of monitoring of the HD feed, as it is a secondary task and comes about 7th in line after all the other tasks master control operators are asked to do these days, so a lot of stuff gets by them. Also, there is a tendency for traffic typos in the automation playlists to be more prevalent and less noticeable for the DT side than the SD side, usually for the same kinds of reasons. It shouldn't be that way, but it is. Chalk it up to still being in the infancy stage of HD.