I apologize in advance that I'm about to ramble....
1. We are very sensitive to the fact that people who are receiving the HD signal can usually also get the SD signal, and that you don't like the HD being squeezed for the closing announcements. We are trying hard to find a solution. Part of what we're wrestling with is this: if you're watching HD and we DON'T squeeze to pass along vital emergency information, then are we doing you a service? Beyond that, the earlier post by Vince Stone is very perceptive. It would cost us somewhere between $100K and 200K for the additional equipment needed to do one squeeze on 7 and a different squeeze on the HD. As you know, we believe in HD, and I am evaluating whether to suck it up and spend the money. But that means I can't buy some other piece of HD equipment that might mean more to you and other viewers.
2. We are also sensitive to the blocking issue. Our director of operations and engineering gave serious consideration to shutting down 7.2 and 7.3 during the SuperBowl to give all of the bitstream to 7.1. In the end, we lost our nerve because these encoders are so fragile. We were afraid we might not be able to get it to run right for the SuperBowl. We will still find a time period with less critical HD programming to experiment with the question of whether we can ever completely eliminate blocking in sports programming -- even with the entire bitstream. (and again thanks to vstone for realizing that we really are trying to give you the best possible service within our ability to deliver it.)
3. This is not a plug, but it may be helpful to the considerable number of new adopters in Lynchburg who have antenna questions. We have become aware of Chip Wood, who has a home theater installation business in Lynchburg. Early on, many of his home theater customers started asking him antenna questions. He has become something of an expert when there are reception issues or antenna questions in and around Lynchburg. I have found him to be a real straight shooter. I have given his name to several folks in the area, and several have subsequently gotten back to me to talk about their satisfaction with Chip's advice and his work. His address is email@example.com
. I think he might be a good resource for antenna advice anywhere, but especially in the Lynchburg area.
Now I'm going back to my mail and phone calls about the halftime show.