|Originally posted by HDTVFanAtic|
It did it tonight in the last segment of James Bond on CBS in Tampa.
Sounds like another case of manual switching. WKRC (the CBS affiliate in Cincinnati) has a routing switcher and a tiny monitor for the DT transmitter right in front of the Master Control switcher. Two of its inputs are the CBS HD feed and the output from the Master Control switcher. In order to get local commercials onto the DT transmitter, the op has to manually switch from the CBS-HD feed to the output of the MC switcher before every local commercial/news break. This also means they have to switch it BACK at the end of the commercial break. If they forget to do that, the next segment of network programming will be fed from the MC Switcher and, therefore, in SD.
There are a ton of stations wired this way. Astonishingly, some have those routing switchers in completely different rooms. As magarg18 mentioned, some are computer controlled. If the breaks aren't logged in properly, nothing happens (our NBC affiliate is that way and almost NEVER misses an HD show). Still others have integrated master control switchers that autoswitch the DT transmitter whenever the MC op does ANYthing. Unfortunately for us, that means we lose HD whenever our ABC affiliate puts up a weather bug, since the integrated switcher senses ANY activity as "local break."
When you see a whole segment of an HD show come up in SD, call the station's newsroom and ask them to notify the control room. In most cases, you'll have your HD back within seconds. After a while, they'll get in the habit.
Ours has gotten really good at it. The last time I had to call the station, I began the call with "Your normal master control operator is on vacation, isn't he?" A couple of stunned seconds of silence was followed by "How did you know that?"