--Why would you expect to get the digital feeds for the same cost as the analog signals?--
--BNH had to invest a lot in infrastructure to get digital out there. --
Believe me when I say their predecessors had to invest a lot of money to get analog out there, too and they didn't have the luxury of income while they did it. If there was no wire, there was zero income, not $40 a month while they got around to it.
--They also have to provide a digital box--
1. Whose fault is that? Not the customer's. The customers have been crying for years that they don't want boxes. All they want to do is turn on the TV and see something, not turn on a box *and* a TV and get each *just* right before they see anything at all. The cable companies just couldn't get together and agree on a standard (as directed by the FCC years ago) that the TV manufacturers could agree with. Now they have, but it is years late, just as it was when analog was new.
2. Boxes are nothing new. The last time this happened (before cable and TV manufacturers got together on analog) basic service required a box. So, 25 years ago, or so, if one subscribed to basic service (just the locals) one got a box and the TV was tuned to channel 3.
--I think it is unreasonable to expect digital cable to cost the same.--
Why? Because it is new? We already covered the cost of running the cable and the box. If you want to do this on a cost + basis, you better get some numbers. Oops. No numbers to be had, secret company info. Oh, well.
--As far as I know the must carry rule still does not apply to digital locals--
Not yet, but it should, especially in this type of market where all the local stations (well, do we have to count the Channel 9 owned one that got their knuckles rapped?) are pumping out a digital signal now at great cost to themselves.
The pain should be shared and this is a logical way to make that happen. How better to give digital a boost?
--whole ala carte thing was discussed--
'Tis true, but I can't resist a dig.
--but I understand why it is the way it is--
Secrecy is why it is. Secret deals permeate this entire industry.