most of the networks have some kind of signal that is superior they should make the same type of guidlines to the local affiliates. If I were Fox (or any other network) and had my affiliates just skating by with the bare minimum I would be mad because I've spent all kinds of money to make the broadcast better
Local affiliates go through numerous changes. WB, Fox and others have changed ownership and affiliation multple times here in the valley. They only act as a business that liscence the networks info. Think of a fast food franchise, some are Corporate owned and have strict guidlines and full support of the parent company for larger fees- these look all the same. The independants carry the basic name and look of the corporate company, but operate by themselves for lesser fees and have less support. These stations BUY the programming they think locals would like to see so that advertisers can BUY commercial space - at the same time, the networks insist on locals carrying national comercials for their advertisers as well. Lots of legal stuff...
One way the FCC can make the transition happen faster is to allow networks to place there HD (or 480p in Fox's case) on satallite and if your local affiliate doesn't pass the networks digital signal allow the sat companies to let you buy it from them.
Technically they do! All network feeds are passed via sattelite. BUD users can usually pick up the network feeds that are not scrambled (some get those too) if they move their dish to those private sats. Digital sat providers have the problem with not enough bandwidth for that many channels and as with local channels, liscening - more legal stuff.
All of us in this forum have done our part and bought the equipment now the local affiliates need to do there part and implament the networks digital signal.
We, the minority, have done our part. The local affiliates are also doing their part, but they have a timeline to adhere to. The big networks are under scutiny from the FCC to go digital and HD, but local independants are not. NBC's operating budget for one month may be larger than FOX's for an entire year, yet the equipment prices remain the same. NBC could absorb the cost faster than FOX could even request a loan to make an upgrade plan. Also, besides mid level independants like FOX, WB and UPN, there are a total of 27 TV broadcasters in the Las Vegas market, but the low power stations do not have to upgrade until much later. UPN falls into the low power category that doesn't have to upgrade.
Now I'm not talking about stations that have a plan to pass the network feed like NBC but I am talking about Fox and WB who have NO plans to do this.
Are we sure that FOX and WB are NOT planning on passing the signal? COX has FOX in their new HD lineup, and they could easily pass their sat feed just like NBC to local viewers. What about other local digital stations, like KBLR, KINC, and KFBT? They are digital, but not broadcasting HD, but they are not required to do so either.
Until there is even more programming available to all stations, we will be in a void of HD programming. Local affiliates can help if they begin transmitting what they recieve as HD, but until it reaches "x" amount of viewers for "x" amount of hours, there is no benefit in doing this. Just seeing upconverted material is NOT what we want, especially since most source material is shot on video (except for CBS who mostly uses 35mm) and looks like crap anyway. The easiest and most cost effective way to get a new HD signal out to the local masses is through local cable infrastructure, but that depends on agreements between the stations and the cable operators.
I've become very longwinded again...
thanks for bringing up those points