Originally posted by nightowl
Don't count on the Super Bowl being an incentive for Comcast and/or Cox to come to an agreement. We had the same issue with last year's Super Bowl and Comcast/Sinclair. Needless to say...there was no HD Super Bowl on Comcast Sacramento, nor is CBS up and running here yet.
Agreed. Comcast most likely won't have KTVU-DT (Fox HD) until after 10/1/2005. That is the date by which KTVU's owner (Cox) has to elect "retransmission consent" or "must carry" for KTVU's analog signal for the upcoming three-year contract/retransmission period (1/1/2006 to 12/31/2008). At that point, assuming Cox chooses "retransmission consent", negotiations will get serious because Comcast won't agree to deliver KTVU analog without also being able to deliver KTVU digital in HD (specifically, in 720p).
The same date and rules (per the FCC) apply to every channel out there.
If you really want Fox HD (for the Super Bowl or otherwise) but don't want to spend a lot, try a cheap OTA box (second hand, open box or some other deal) and if you can't get KTVU, point your antenna to Sacramento and try to get KTXL's digital signal.
That's what I do here. Can't get KTVU-DT over the air worth a damn, but KTXL-DT from Sacto comes in clear as a bell. And it's kind of satisfying, because I'm watching KTXL's advertisers (KTXL does have a deal with Comcast for Sacramento area systems) and not KTVU's advertisers when I'm watching Fox.
DirecTV probably will require a year's contract, plus you have to buy an HD box (unless you get someone to loan you an older one they're not using). As I understand it, Dish does not require a year contract and will lease equipment-- but doesn't have Fox HD.
Plus with DirecTV, you'll have to get a fake service address, outside of KTVU's territory (either in a white area or an O&O area). That, or pursue the waiver process-- which takes a while so you better start now if that's your plan. Also, the waiver process may not work-- what if KTVU sends someone to your house and he says he can get KTVU just fine with his testing equipment! (If that happens, you are responsible for the cost of the test; if the test goes your way, KTVU pays.)
And, for the slightly more adventurous, there is Canadian DBS. I don't know much about that in terms of contracts, equipment, etc. You do have to have a Canadian service address, but that's not too hard to get (kinda like the DirecTV service address).