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From the article:
Quote:
Some broadcasters and viewers are starting to meet in the middle, thanks to TV manufacturers' subsidizing HDTV broadcasting costs. ABC, for example, is moving toward airing almost all of its shows in HDTV formats.
I wonder if I should write a letter to the editor, pointing out that although ABC broadcasts most of its prime-time schedule in HDTV, the local ABC affiliate, WJLA, only broadcasts in standard definition?


The reason I hesitate is that I would like to believe Chris Pike when he said in this message that WJLA would go on the air with HDTV in 2002. Do I further stir the pot, or lay low?
 

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Scott:


I can tell you're a "glass half full" kinda guy! I think the Washington Post article gives us a prime opportunity to put a little more pressure on WJLA.


Personally, I think Mr. Pike's reply to you contained almost no information at all. By the way, I still haven't gotten a reply from the guy. I bet if I threaten to keep pestering him the way you did, he'll send me the same, vague e-mail. If WJLA really does have solid plans to go HiDef next year, why wouldn't there be a more positive feeling to his message? Instead of using empty phrases like "beginning sometime in 2002" and "this may or may not be coordinated with our relocation," why wouldn't he have written something like, "we are planning to make the necessary equipment upgrades during the first half of 2002 and hope to have HDTV programming available shortly after we relocate next summer"? A statement such as that would've met his (understandable) requirement of not making any promises, but it also would've been more positive and believable. Instead, his words were terse and hollow, leading me to believe that WJLA really hasn't made any concrete plans for HDTV yet and he replied only because you threatened to keep bugging him.


I say go for it with the letter. I'll probably write one, too.
 

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The article mentions two shows on NBC in HD. Is this an error or is there another show besides Leno that NBC broadcasts in HD?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by BondDude
The article mentions two shows on NBC in HD. Is this an error or is there another show besides Leno that NBC broadcasts in HD?
NBC began broadcasting Crossing Jordan in HDTV on October 8th.


I'm going to write the letter to the editor... I'll post a "cc" here when it's done.
 

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Quote:
From: Scott Gammans

Sent: Friday, October 19, 2001 4:12 PM

To: '[email protected]'

Cc: '[email protected]'

Subject: Comment on "Price of HDTV Falls From 'Yikes!' Level" article in 10/19/01 edition of The Washington Post


To The Editors:


I would like to comment on a statement made by Mike Musgrove in his article, "Price of HDTV Falls From 'Yikes!' Level", which appeared in the Friday, October 19, 2001 edition of The Washington Post.


Mr. Musgrove states that "ABC... is moving toward airing almost all of its shows in HDTV". In fact, ABC is already broadcasting most of its prime-time lineup in high definition. Unfortunately, Washington-area viewers cannot see these broadcasts because our local ABC affiliate, WJLA-TV, only broadcasts in standard definition.


All of the other local network affiliates for CBS, NBC and PBS broadcast in HDTV, but thus far WJLA-TV has neither jumped on the high definition bandwagon nor made any public statements as to when (or if) they will begin broadcasting ABC programming in HDTV. Local viewers who wish to watch ABC shows in HDTV must erect tall mast antennas to pull in the high definition signal from WJLA's competitor in Baltimore, WMAR-TV.


Scott Gammans

Washington, DC 20001
Beware the power of my poison pen! :) Now let's see if the Post actually prints my letter. They might... I got published six months ago when I complained about radar cameras on the George Washington Parkway. (In my letter I found myself (gasp!) agreeing with Congressman Dick Armey, who also disapproves of the contraptions. You see, I feel I have a constitutional right to zip down the parkway at 85 in my Z3. :D)

UPDATE: On Tuesday, October 23rd I received an e-mail from The Washington Post... they are considering publishing my letter to the editor! Stay tuned...
 

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Nice going, Scott! I sent the following message to the editor and Mike Musgrove:

Quote:
As a member of the growing number of HDTV owners in the D.C. area, I was pleased to see some exposure of this technology in the article, "Price of HDTV Falls From 'Yikes!' Level."


The article mentions: "ABC, for example, is moving toward airing almost all of its shows in HDTV formats." Although this should be good news, it brings up a source of contention that most D.C. area HDTV owners have with WJLA, Washington's ABC affiliate. WJLA is the only major television station in the area that doesn't transmit an HDTV signal. Currently, area HDTV owners can enjoy high definition programming on CBS, PBS, NBC and FOX, but not ABC. Plenty of ABC affiliates all around the country in much less populous areas have already decided that HDTV is of interest to both the station and its viewing public and have upgraded their equipment accordingly. However, WJLA, in one of the most important and influencial cities in the world--in the FCC's own back yard, no less--has decided to ignore the technology.


Hopefully, WJLA can be pressured into providing an HDTV feed to its viewers as the news concerning its lack of initiative becomes more widespread. Until then, many HDTV owners in the area are either tuning into Baltimore's more forward-thinking ABC affiliate or not watching ABC at all.
 

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Excellent letter! I wish that I had mentioned some Nielsen DMA statistics in my e-mail, so I'm glad you made that point about how smaller ABC affiliates are already broadcasting HDTV. (For example, Honolulu's ABC affiliate is broadcasting HDTV, and they're in the 72nd-largest DMA in the country with less than one-fifth of the eyeballs of 8th-ranked Washington, DC. :mad: )
 

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Ha! Beat you to it. This is the post I sent to the 'webnews' alias on the post's web site, and their response which indicates my letter will get to Mr. Musgrove at least:


Hello,

I want to thank you for Mike Musgrove's article on the recent boom in HDTV

sales:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2001Oct18.html


I only wanted to add that, despite the fact that ABC nationally is starting

to carry many of their primetime shows in HDTV format, viewers in the

Washington D.C. area are not able to view them. Local affiliate WJLA has

been on the air with a digital signal since 1998, but they still do not pass

through the available network high-definition broadcasts. Instead they send

a low-quality digital copy of their normal analog signal.


WJLA has been extremely unresponsive to numerous complaints and requests on

this point from the local HDTV viewers in Washington D.C. It would have been

nice to see this point made in Mr. Musgrove's otherwise fine article.


-- Jim Ferguson


======


Dear Mr. Jim Fergurson:

Thank you for your letter. I have forwarded your thoughts on to our editors and Mike Musgrove.


Thank you for writing to us at this time.


Sincerely,


Sarah Abruzzese

Customer Care

washingtonpost.com
 

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Quote:
"This is really starting to take off as the prices come down," said Schelley Olhava, an analyst with IDC. The research firm projects that 1.2 million digital TVs will be sold this year, bringing total sales to 2 million.
This is WAY OFF! There were millions of HDTV's sold before this year alone yet they quote maybe 2 million overall by years end!
 

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Mr. Musgrove and I talked at length about the issue of WJLA's lack of leadership around HD broadcasts. He told me during his research that when he mentioned that WJLA was finally commiting to HD broadcasts to a rival station owner in DC, the person laughed and shook his head. I told Mike specifically that he needs to do an article exposing WJLA!


Again, as I have stated before many times:
THERE WILL BE NO HDTV FROM WJLA AS LONG AS JOE ALLBRITTON IS OWNER. Unfortunately folks, the FCC laws as they are currently written do not require broadcasts of an HD signal, only digital, which is what WJLA has done for some time. Frankly, the station is near bankruptcy, so maybe Joe will sell out.


BTW, I live near Annandale, and I'm able to pick up the B'more ABC HD feed perfectly. Believe me, you want to see Alias in HD & DD 5.1.
 

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Mike, from where did you hear that WJLA is on the edge of bankruptcy? I know that Joe Albritton squeezes a penny till Lincoln screams, but I never heard the b word before!


If that's true, Mr. Pike probably was fibbing to me when he said WJLA would commence HDTV broadcasts next year. If the station is teetering on insolvency, the last thing they're going to do is spend the money to buy HDTV transmission equipment. :(
 

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Scott,

I can't find direct published information on the financial status of WJLA & CO. My knowledge is based on information provided by a family friend who used to be a high-up employee - but this was some time ago. Also, corporations are loath to publish 'negative' reports. Here is a link to a gap analysis report that would cost $$$: WJLA


My father is fond of saying: "Choose your battles"

I'm suggesting that your wonderful passion & energy could be better used than hammering away at WJLA. Maybe letters to ABC/Disney might be more effective. How about a note to Dish Network to consider carrying the ABC network HD feed?
 

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I actually wrote to DISH quite a while back, and you see the results... the CEO of Echostar is actively lobbying for permission to carry the HD nets. Now, I'm not saying that I was responsible for that; I'm just saying that it's more effective for me to work at the local level, since things at the higher-up level seem to be taking care of themselves.
 

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Even if Dish were to start carrying the ABC HD feed, you would never be able to subscribe to them in DC legally because of WMAR.


Have to go the Canadian route if you want to watch HD via satellite in this area, sad to say.
 

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Mike Musgrove wrote a piece on HDTV awhile back.


His article was full of misinformation regarding HDTV.


I wrote him and explained a few things to him and included the link for this forum.


I happy to see he has been surfing this forum and educating himself and his readers from info he got here :D :D


Blue
 
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