I had a rather lengthy dialog with Bill Anderson inspired by Fred's message to him. The whole exchange follows. Sorry about the length.
**** My original email
Hello Mr. Anderson
Fred Jerina sent me a copy of the email message sent to you this morning regarding waivers for CBS high definition feeds on Dish Network. Although I have no interest in a waiver (I'm a DirecTV subscriber) I can certainly understand Fred's request.
I think what we'd all much rather see is CBS high definition broadcast lcoally by KRQE but I understand that the transition is difficult and expensive. Although I think the FCC came up with a pretty raw deal for the broadcasters, CBS should be applauded for their willingness to embrace the new technology and make the best of the situation. I think HDTV could be
what the broadcasters need to recapture viewers lost to cable and direct broadcast satellite over the last few years. I have not watched any local programming for the last six years or so that I've been a DirecTV subscriber. The picture and sound quality of NTSC just doesn't do it for me.
A small number of viewers in the Albuquerque market are equipped to receive high definition programming now. We would greatly appreciate an update from you about your progress and timetable in starting up KRQE-DT. Everyone that Fred copied his message to is a member of www.avsforum.com.
This forum is populated by dedicated home theater enthusiasts, hardware manufacturers and people from the broadcast industry. I've been impressed with the interaction between broadcast professionals and their viewers on the forum. It's truly a win-win situation for both. The broadcasters get feedback from technically savvy viewers about programming and transmissions. Viewers get reliable information from the broadcast industry. Broadcast engineers and other personnel from stations, as well as network executives (Bob Ross from CBS for one) regularly post comments, questions and
Information from you would be MOST WELCOME by the forum members. There's a fairly active thread discussing HDTV in Albuquerque at (link given here). Your contribution would be greatly appreciated.
Good luck in your transition to digital broadcasting and thanks for your time.
****reply from Mr Anderson****
Smart observations, thanks. You are right that it has been very helpful for us to hear from DTV customers and prospects about their interest in our conversion timetable. We'll undoubtedly build out much sooner than critical demand, so it's some comfort to know that there is at least a small, informed group out there that will take advantage of our investements.
Our digital antenna was ordered more than a month ago, the critical first step. We are ordering the necessary equipment now with hopes of getting this installed this fall before the weather on the Sandia crest makes it impossible to continue.
Thanks again for writing.
VP and General Manager
**** my response *******
Those of us obsessed enough to have the equipment before you do are the best salesmen out there. I had some people over last week to see the Cubs-Rockies high definition broadcast on WGN and DirecTV. They all left my home convinced that they'd own HDTV systems soon too!
We'll all hope for a warm fall and no snow on the crest. Do you mind if I post my original inquery and your reply to the forum?
Thanks for the info.
Not at all. Thanks for writing and feel free to check in.
By the way, your letter made me think that if there are a group of interested DTV folks out there, maybe we should hold a Open-House/meeting in our TV studio sometime and our engineers could give you all an update on our conversion timetable, field questions and maybe ask a few of our own. Let me know if you think that's an idea worth pursuing.
***** my response********
An open house would be a great idea.
The best place to organize it would be on AVSforum. A number of the other stations that post there have hosted open houses. You could probably get some milage if you contacted the high end dealers in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. There's probably five or six in both cities that sell nice equipment. I don't know how aware you are of the home theater hobby (or obsession).
Some of these systems run three hundred grand for electronics only. It's nuts.
Let me know how I can help.