Originally Posted by HDTVChallenged
Frogs ... pots ...
Then again, my local ABC station is down to ~6.5Mbps on their primary OTA HD sub-channel, so it could be that I no longer have any valid, so-called "HD" references.
Well, that's not D*'s fault since the best they can do is send on what they get. Even if they didn't transcode the signal to MPEG4, it still would look like crap.
You have two choices, make the "pipe" bigger or reduce the "flow" rate. I don't see how they can make the pipe any bigger unless they're "stealing" it from the FEC.
There are other choices, one being dynamic bandwidth allocation. In other words, channels that need more, get more. Channels that don't, get less.
There's also equipment upgrades that than can be made to replace outdated encoders that aren't as efficient. It means the old one and the new one are doing the same thing, except the new one does it better.
They can also move channels to different slots to allow a better mix of low bit rate, high bit rate and part time channels.
PS: I threw in the towel on "broadcast/satellite HDTV" 1.5 years ago and downsized to a 42" display. Thus, it's unlikely that I would notice any day-to-day changes ... on purpose.
Then I would say that pretty much negates whatever assessment you have of things.