With CBS becoming the first nationally broadcast network, today was an historical day. In fact, August has been an historic month given the great baseball game broadcast just a week or so ago on WGN.
For all the complaining that people do about this or that satellite company, HBO's OAR policy, and Showtime's lack of programming, HD is really starting to take off. I understand why people are concerned about the 2006 deadline, but that's nearly five years away. I can easilly see all primetime programming and average sporting events being done in HD by then.
Dish Network may not have had a good day in qualifying people, but it's the SHVA law that caused that, plus the fact they could have done some better planning. But the shear volume of people who called Dish today seeking to have the channels turned on should give CBS and Dish some tangible numbers in terms of interest. What's the point of Charlie adding more HDTV channels if only a few people call up to request CBS-HD.
I would urge every HDTV and Dish 6000 owner to call Dish and request a waiver, if that's required, just so they know that every 6000 or 5000 owner wants the channel. Don't be turned off by the fact that your local station will probably deny it. How many of us are there?
I really don't have a problem with my local CBS affiliate having a monopoly on their market. Sure, I think I should be able to buy any station in the country, but that's more a speech issue than a copyright issue. So many local stations are saying they're not interested in doing HD because there's like 12 people with HDTV sets. That's simply not true and granting waivers to those 12 people would be good start for them to find out just how many of us there are.
I know that many people here are against datacasting, but the local stations could play an integral part in creating the wireless internet. But to do that they're going to have to make the transition to digital and ultimately provide HDTV content, which will be the engine that promotes their other material. Sure the local PAX stations can dump lots of data out there, but how are they going to promote it if no one is listening.
The old rules won't apply when it comes to HD and to datacasting. Both will be driven by content created by a web of companies -- TV Networks, Cable/Satellite channels, local stations, newspapers, new media companies, etc. The local TV stations basically have a decade to prove they're relevant.
To wrap it up, I'll bet that we'll have more quality content options a year from now because of the things that happened in August 2001. I'll also bet that the number of people with HDTV sets will double in the next year. I just won't bet much... http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif
FastPipe Media, Inc.
[This message has been edited by ultimate (edited 08-15-2001).]