Originally Posted by Super Eye
I don’t think it’s a matter of too many 4:3 CRTs out there. I think the reason the cable providers still simulcast most HD channels in SD is because there are too many cable co provided SD only set top boxes out there.
That's a good point. I honestly have no idea what the percentage of SD STBs is and there may well be quite a bit of difference between the different providers. I know with Charter you could walk into any of their stores with your SD box and trade it in for an HD box but I doubt they would be prepared if everybody did that tomorrow. I'm not sure what they are doing with new subscribers but at some point they will have to stop handing out SD boxes and that might already be the case FAIK. I think my perspective may be a bit clouded by only knowing how Charter is approaching this and not other providers.
I hear that there are some people even with 16:9 HD sets still using SD boxes.
I believe it is quite common. I'm not sure how all cable and sat providers are approaching this now, but I can understand this with customers whose providers charge a fee for "HD tier" and they do not want an additional charge. Now that Charter dropped any additional charge for HD and hence an HD box, the only reason not to have an HD box, especially if you have an HDTV is not knowing about this option at no additional charge. I did post a similar thread on another site and learned that DishTV still charges more for HD service, so I have no idea how other cablecos currently handle this.
s for 4:3 versus 16:9 feeds, when hooked up to an old analog 4:3 CRT - my Motorola DCT3400-M will output an analog SD feed via composite or S-Video in either 4:3 letterboxed or 4:3 center-cropped full screen and this setting will not affect the HD HDMI output.
I'm pretty sure all of these HD boxes have analog outputs that allow you to select 4:3 output parameters.
Some networks like History will play different programs on their SD feeds but I think this is due to licensing.
I haven't seen that yet but I really don't look at any of the SD channels when there is an HD option. I'm curious if I find this to be the case with the upcoming expansion.
ETA: I just went back and looked at my upcoming lineup and see two H2 SD channels + one H2 HD channel. Similarly two Bio SD channels + one Bio HD channel, and there are many other examples. I'm guessing those must be separate East-West feeds like the OP mentioned; time will tell.
I still wonder about my original question. It seems to me that it's inevitable that SD channels end someday on cable and satellite services. Maybe it will take a long time and I suppose it's anybody's guess, though I wonder if the major players have started discussing this.Edited by DocCasualty - 2/17/14 at 6:06am