This subject bugs the heck out of me too....
Yes, even though our master control is "automated," the computers are programmed by humans, and there are 2 mcos (master control operators) on duty at all times, except from 11pm-5am, when there's only one.
Sometimes the programmers forget to add the HD "switch" to the automation system, and then it's up to the mcos. If they're not paying attention, then all you get is SD. I sent an email to the dept. heads earlier this week pointing out that Conan wasn't being aired in HD because of this issue, and as a former mco, I explained that it takes only seconds to fix. The next night, Conan was in HD!
We're still learning all this HD stuff, and there will be issues, but if you have any concerns, please email us...I'm not sure what the best email address would be, but look on the www.bigcountryhomepage.com
And if you're watching live CBS/NBC network programming that you know should be in HD but isn't, call master control at 691-2207; again, it's a matter of "flipping a switch," or actually, a few mouse clicks on the automation computers. Our mcos really do know what they're doing and care about on-air quality, but it can get hectic in there at times!
But don't hold your breath for locally-originated HD...syndicated shows like Oprah, Jeoparday, Wheel, etc., while produced in HD, will be broadcast by us in SD for the foreseeable future. That's another million dollars in upgrades.....