I just got a reply from WGBH - thought you all might be interested. I believe it is similar to what others have received in the past.
I urge everyone to write to WGBH to let them know we are out there and want to receive HDTV.
(I hope the formatting is not a problem.)
Subject: Re: HDTV
Date: 16 Jul 2001 11:50:38 -0500
From: feedback <email@example.com>
Dear Mr. Haines,
Thank you for your interest in WGBH's current plans for
digital television broadcasting. We always appreciate
hearing from our viewers.
WGBH has been assigned two digital television channels to
serve the Boston market. The current FCC timetable
requires that we and other public broadcasters begin
digital broadcasting no later than May 1, 2003.
WGBH-DT19 (the "digital twin" of WGBH-TV2) is ready to go
on the air, and we will be conducting intermittent tests of
the transmitter over the next several months, most likely
including broadcasts of occasional high definition program
feeds from PBS, as well as datacasting trials. We do
not expect to activate WGBX-TV43 (the "digital twin" of
WGBX-TV44) until May of 2003.
We project the cost of electric power to operate WGBH-DT19
to be in the neighborhood of $100,000/year. Despite the
fact that there are five commercial DTV transmitters
already on the air in Boston, we estimate that at this time
there are fewer than 1,000 TV sets in the market capable of
receiving a broadcast DTV signal. As the number of
viewers capable of receiving the DTV19 signal increases
significantly, we will ramp up to normal broadcast
operations. In the interim, we are producing a small but
growing number of our programs in high definition formats,
anticipating the eventual success of HDTV in the
One factor which would accelerate our DTV timetable would
be an agreement by Boston-area cable operators to carry
the DTV19 signal, thus making it available to hundreds of
thousands of viewers who have analog receivers and
subscribe to cable's "digital tier". Time Warner Cable -
which operates cable systems in other markets - has agreed
to carry public TV's DTV signals as they come on line. At
present, we are in discussions with AT&T Broadband, the
dominant cable operator in Massachusetts, to carry DTV19.
Another factor which would accelerate our DTV timetable
would be an FCC requirement that all new TV sets have the
capability to receive and display both analog and digital
signals. It was a similar "all channel receiver"
requirement which was critical to the launch of UHF
television stations in an era when UHF stations were
struggling because few sets could receive channels above
We are compiling an email list of Boston-area viewers who
have digital TV receivers and would like to receive advance
notices about HDTV broadcasts on DTV19. If you would
like to be added to the list, please email us at
I hope you continue to enjoy the wide variety of programs
on 'GBH 2, Select44 and 89.7fm, as well the supplementary
content and information available at our Web site, www.wgbh.org.
And to keep up-to-date on our many offerings, we encourage
you to visit our Web site today to sign up for our free
bi-weekly program highlight e-newsletter, @gbh. You'll
find information on your favorite public broadcasting Web
sites, reminders of upcoming shows on 'GBH 2, GBH Select44
and 89.7fm, and answers to your questions and the latest
WGBH Audience and Member Services
On Friday, July 6, 2001, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
>QQsender_name: Edward Haines
> QQemail_subject: other
> QQemail_sender: email@example.com
> QQemail_body: I have been a member of WGBH for decades. In
>general, we really value many of the programs available on PBS.
> Last November I bought a HDTV with the expectation that WGBH
> would be broadcasting High Definition on Channel 19 within a
>couple of months.
> I am EXTREMELY disappointed that you have chosen not to
>activate HD yet. There are many High Def programs on PBS that
>I would love to see. Unfortuneately, I cannot receive channel
>57 here in Waltham.
> When it comes time to renew my membership, I may have to
>rethink my position.
> Ted Haines
> QQMemberCard_number: yes