Here is what I posted on the Broadlands Forum;
So here is what I know about HD and Broadlands. I wrote an email to Jun Wu who is Vice President of Operations & Engineering at Openband (I think). My first email was sort of negative outlining my diappointment w/ my high tech home not being provided "high tech" services. I keyed on the cable b/c the other services are adequate for my use. My first reply asking when we would get HD got a different result than I expected. See below;
"...Chad, we will send out a communication to Broadlands residents shortly
with a detailed status of progress (in a couple days I think). The
project is still progressing. Lansdowne has HD today and we are
extending this to Broadlands. This is currently projected to complete
this Summer (county permits, construction etc)..."
Nice enough, but they have made promises before. I asked specifically about what would be provided and when and got this response.
"...Right now, Lansdowne has NBC/FOX/ABC/CBS/WB50. Sometime in Spring,
probably April/May, we will be able to add HBO HD, Showtime HD, ESPN HD
and Discovery HD.
The OTA HD channels are free today, as well as the HBO/Showtime HDs as
long as people purchase HBO and Showtime packages today. ESPN/Discovery
HD will incur additional fees.
All HD channels (OTA included) are sent to the cable QAM modulated. But
I am not sure if the LG unit can pick it up. The headend demodulates the
OTA 8VSB modulation and re-modulates to QAM for transmitting onto the
cable system. People in Lansdowne lease the HD set top from us. They are
manufactured by Scientific Atlanta for cable providers..."
So it appears to be coming even w/ the addition of ESPN HD, Discovery, HBO HD, and SHowtime HD (my guess is we will be getting them all at once). At first they were just putting up an OTA connection to service the locals (probably to prevent people from putting up antennas). Now they are going further. MY understanding is that they are going to put up a new 9meter dish that will give them the bandwidth to add even more programing (including the above HD). I'm guessing that HD will come w/ the new STB's. They have been saying that they are going to replace these Motorola units for some time.
On the STB issue - They are renting HD boxes to their customers for $6-7/month which is a good deal. At this rate, I would rather rent than buy. I currently have 3hd tv's including a front projection system and spending $1500 for boxes would bite. I currently have the new LG3510a which has and HD receiver w/ a dvd built in and will scale dvd to 720p/1080i. This unit does QAM as long as it is not scrambled, so it will still work w/ the new system. I'm getting HD OTA w/ and attic mounted antenna, so I'm content for now. I look forward to getting HD through one jack though.
Also, on the stb issue, I understand that they may be adding and 8000HD which is a HD DVR (not Tivo, but better than a vcr). I'm sure this will be a little more per month, but even if it is $20/month, buying your own at the current street price of almost $1k, it would take you over 4 yrs to pay it off. At that point technology will have made these early units obsolete anyways.
That's what I got. Still just a bunch of promises, but we will see. I'm surprised that Openband does not monitor these forums to help to spread the word. If I get HD from Openband (even just OTA), I will be happy enough.