Originally Posted by foxeng
My station attempts to do AFD every chance we get. The issue is the cableco's aren't interested in it. The reason I keep hearing about is when they pass AFD and some program goes letterbox, their phones ring off the hook with people complaining about the "black bands above and below the picture" so they would rather center cut and let the stations deal with the viewer when the graphics are not in 4:3 safe title zone. We run about 3 hours a day of AFD programming and as far as OTA viewers go, to my knowledge, we have had no complaints.
The reason why you're not getting any complaints from OTA viewers is they can shut it off. If you really want progress in 16x9 television, then cable companies are going to need to adopt a system similar to OTA where the end viewer can choose their picture settings.
Some people are so shocked about it, I'm not at all. What happened with the MLB yesterday helped confirm my opinion. People are more pissed about part of their screen wasted than they are about stuff being cut off. Nobody complained on the local FOX's facebook or website, the local thread or other places on the netz I looked. If you only have a standard definition TV you're only thinking within those four walls, so the assumption is "they're not showing the score anymore" or "they goofed and put the logo in the wrong spot". Which apparently is not that big of a deal. Just like if CBS put the logo "where it was 10 years ago" people would think "cool, a bug free episode of CSI: Miami!!". Of course the networks wouldn't be as thrilled.
I'm surprised FOX didn't try to pull this **** when they still had control of what went out over the SD feed. Although I know the backlash would've been huge if you turn on the ball game only to find an ant farm with at least 1/3 of your screen wasted.