Originally Posted by Trip in VA
In areas like yours where all the networks have their own stations, perhaps this could be true. (I personally enjoy This TV though.)
However, in my area, I would not have access to CW or My Network TV without subchannels. In addition, I greatly enjoy the alternate PBS schedule(s) and MHz WorldView which would both not be available to me without subchannels.
Not really relevant to the thread, but just answering your message...
This was true for me when I lived in Mississippi, too. Without subchannels, we wouldn't have had access to Fox programming (no CW, MYNT or alternate PBS programming in the MS Delta).
But here in Mobile the landscape seems to be over crowded with stations. There's also a lot of overlap with WEIQ and WSRE. Neither has a good HD PQ so far from what I've seen because of all the subchannels.
Originally Posted by sore_bluto
I certainly understand your point. If only when the sausage was being made we could have gotten an authoritative rather than flexible "standard". All "they" (congre$$ and lobbi$ts) did was mandate a cloud of suggestions for this newfangled HDTV thing. "They" certainly could have said, in the US if you want a license, its 1920X1080p uncompressed and only on a UHF channel period. Oh, and we are doing it in 1996. And when the cablecos and satcos cried about bandwidth, they could have been told "adapt or die". Instead the FCC, like seemingly every government agency, has a "dual role" to regulate and promote the industry. Thats why it and most other "dual role" agencies (FAA comes to mind) do such a lousy job. It is always a battle between engineers making suggestions based on expertise and the industry sycophants crying about how much that smoke detector in the cargo hold will cost and when the body count gets high enough the regulating arm begrudgingly acts. And no one is going to die if the FCC bows too much to the broadcasters.
Sorry for the epic rant.
In a way, I blame some of this on engineers. Engineers, in my experience, aren't always the best at determining "what looks good" or for radio, "what sounds good". They only care about keeping the electronics from going haywire.
The engineers determined through some formula that the 6 MHz analog allocation could support X M/bits/sec and that would yeild X amount of standard definition digital channels, or whatever.
To limit each station to one feed would have, in their linear minds, required rebanding the TV spectrum to allocate less space to each station, say 2 MHz. And the PQ would have still suffered but it'd only be one channel per channel, so to speak.
Or maybe I'm way off base.
There's a strong independent, Libertarian streak in me and from that point of view, I think the flexibility is a good thing. Free OTA reception now yeilds a LOT more programming choices in many places, even though the quality is often suspect. But then, this is America, home of quantity over quality in all aspects of life.
The way I see it, if enough people complain, stations will drop subchannels and PQ will improve. In theory
. Unfortunately people probably don't know better because most folks haven't seen a 1080i OTA feed with no subchannels to know how crisp and clean it can look.
Hell, 90% of the TVs I see in public these days that are widescreen flat panels don't show ANY HD content. Not at bars, not at restaurants, not in people's homes, hotels or beach condos.
People, for the most part, think it's HDTV when they hook up their snowy analog cable and it stretches to fill the screen.