Originally posted by bszob
(a) Since Charter then includes the HD receiver in its own cable box, and you'll also be able to get the broadcast channels via its digital cable, doesn't this mean a lot of expense down the drain for you all? i.e. Doesn't this eliminate the need for the housetop antennae and seperate HD receivers? We're talking a few hundred bucks, right? Reaction?
(b) Is it that satellite providers just haven't tried to include broadcast stations in their own HDTV packages, or is there some technical reason that DirecTV, for instance, can't give you WSPA in HDTV as a part of the subscription. Just wondering ...
Also, you'll note that both the Charter CEO (in the side Charter story) and the senior VP (in the HDTV story) said they would prefer to get the local broadcast channels involved in its HDTV plans, but will roll out the service this year regardless of how many deals they can strike.
Anyone get Charter's HD cable from either Columbia or Charlotte? Does that include the local broadcast HD as well?
Ben: answers from a viewer of the Columbia channels:
a: Perhaps in the long run. But it will take some time for all your local stations to get on cable. It also provides a backup option and possibly a way to get other distant DT stations that will not get on cable (may not apply to all areas). I also doubt your local Charter could just put the HD channel on their cable w/o the stations permission and those can take months if not years.
In the Columbia area we have Time Warner, not Charter cable. ABC and CBS have succesfully negotiated with TWC for cable carriage. PBS is on TWC but IAW a national agreement. ABC and CBS are recieved OTA by TWC and inserted into their system. PBS is connected by optical fiber. So CBS, ABC, and PBS HD (along with other cable type HD channels) can be viewed through a HD cable box.
NBC and FOX stations have NOT completed agreements and are not on cable. The WB-DT station in this area (Sumter technically) is not on cable nor can it be received OTA in Columbia. A HD cable user I also can receive NBC, FOX, and WB digital because I have a ATSC receiver and antenna.
b. No, not enough bandwidth to carry hundreds of HD channels. Your local commercial broadcaster (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX) essentially owns your eyeballs by contract with the network. They have an exclusive right for you to view their commercials which pays for the programming). Some areas do overlap (physics). Rights can be waived but rarely are. Recent DirecTV contracts with CBS and FOX apply only to Network Owned and Operated affiliates. To put your local ABC/CBS/NBC/whatever HD channel on satellite would require them to put all of them on satellite and control your access to your local one (as they do with LiL of the analog ones). Technology is not there to allow that too happen yet (insufficient satellite resources).