I sent an e-mail to the new owners of WGTU (ABC) here in Traverse City, and actually got a reply!! Scanlan never even bothered to answer e-mails. He had told me that they weren't going to have the ability to start transmitting till August, and I e-mailed him to ask him if they were planning on passing the full HD signal. This is his reply:
> those are items that are still under discussion as we speak...The cost for
us to be able to just pass-through the abc signal is about $250,000.00.
The current number of HDTV sets that are in the market make it difficult to
justify that expense now.
However, having said that; I am working with management to try and get
this done as soon as possible. Complicating this however, is the fact that the abc digital feed won't even be available to us till the end of this year as the abc plans for roll-out of the digital recieve equipment for the stations is on a market by market basis, and of course, they are doing the bigger markets first. Once we get that ($80,000.00 worth of equipment we have to buy), it then becomes a more viable option of passing it through...That leaves about $180,000.0 for microwaves, studio equipment and the like as they all have to be purchased or modified to allow for the high bandwidth HD signal to be integrated with our STD def local origination. So the additional expense there is HUGE.
This is ALL in addition to the cost of the new transmitters! Another huge expense we're making now...
The more HDTV sets we get out there in the market, the sooner we'll get
I actually had discussions with management yesterday regarding the competitions passing it through, and they weren't aware that they were already doing it...not ignorance, they're just new to the market and
weren't aware that they were already doing it...So from a competitive point of view, we may do it just as soon as the abc feed is available to us...That's what I'm pushing for...I want it as bad as you do!
Hope this helps explain the issue.
Jay R. Zacharias
Director of Engineering
Max Media of Traverse City LLC
WGTU/WGTQ-TV abc 29 & 8