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It's been awhile since I called them on anything to do with HD as it's too frustrating with the lack of accurate information in the customer service area. I wanted to find out why their national web site has "local" ABC, CBS and NBC listed, along with wide screen Fox, Discovery, HDNet, HDNet Movies, HBO & Showtime but I cannot get CBS and ABC. There is an asteric on that lineup that says it varies by location.


This particular person seemed at least to be knowlegeable and stated that they are limited to 8 Hi Def channels in any one location. For Los Angeles he said the 8th channel will soon be ESPN HD, so that leaves CBS and ABC omitted for now.


Does this sound like accurate explanation? Anyone "in the know" have any additional information about how far down the road this HD channel limiting bandwidth situation will continue to exist? He did not. Would it take another sattelite?


Edit....Wasn't thinking clearly about the sattelite question as this is cable. Guess in back of my mind was the giant dish I see on their premises in Glendale.
 

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I'm not an expert, but I'll throw out a guess and let others take a whack at it.


First off though, it will not take another satellite, this is cable you are talking about. :) Actually, they generally receive local HD signals either OTA with an antenna just like you could or through a direct link to the station. Either way, satellite has nothing to do with it.


I believe the 8 limit is related to the multiplexing equipment they are using. I don't know how much they (and any other needed equipment) cost, but adding more HD channels is basically as simple as adding another multiplexer. Here in Phoenix with Cox, we are stuck with 8 at the moment too, but I think that has more to do with negotiations that are going nowhere as opposed to lacking bandwidth, though I could be wrong. I believe Cox in Omaha has 10 or 11 channels and I would think similar, re-built markets probably have similar channel capacities.
 

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Here in Western MA we have 3 Charter HD channels, all pay, no locals. The explanation from Charter engineering is that in order to add more channels, the head end in Chicopee will have to be upgraded. The Boston market has their 8 channels. We are #108 or so on the market list and even though we have had HD for a little over a year, we will wait until H3!! freezes over for an upgrade.


The current rumor around here is that Charter is days away from filing for Chapter 11 protection and that the leading suitor is Comcast. That could explain the delays. Or it could be just a rumor.


Meanwhile D* has announced that we will get local channels in the early spring timeframe. Whether they will be HD locals or not remains to be seen.
 

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Hey Ron F, I live in the same exact area (the hills of Burbank) and I've been going through the same exact problem with Charter. I have an HDTV with a built-in tuner that's completely worthless. I have Charter with NBC and Fox, but no CBS or ABC, and the superbowl a week away that I'll have to watch in crappy SD.


When I signed up for Charter cable (I also have D*) in November, they all but assured me that CBS and ABC were coming online on Jan 1st. Well, that day came and went, and now they say that was never a sure thing and that they don't have any current plans to add them.


I did manage to get a hold of someone who's knowledgable in the company, who I believe is the installation training manager for Charter in the Burbank/Glendale area. He was able to get the Showtime audio sync issue somewhat corrected after I told him about it (it's closer but still not completely in sync yet). He said that they were going to try to rebroadcast the superbowl (I guess this was done last year) but now they're not going to do it this year because CBS wants money.


Anyway, there isn't much we can do but keep complaining. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who's in this boat though. I'm a little confused as to whether we're going to be able to get CBS-HD over DirecTV though. Do you know if we will be able to get it without having to get a waiver and all that stuff?
 

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An update to my earlier post. I went ahead and ordered the HD receiver and dish for D* so that I can get CBS-HD for the SuperBowl. So, now the only major network I won't receive is ABC. It sucks to have to subscribe to both Charter and D* but I can cancel Charter at anytime, and once D* gets Fox-ED, then the only reason I'd have Charter for is NBC, and that might not be worth $30 a month.
 

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I'm nestled just at the foot of the hills in Burbank and, if it makes you feel any better, I'm stuck in exactly the same situation. I just bought a condo here and decided to decorate it with a 70" HDTV.


However, much to my chagrine, I'm sitting here watching gorgeous high-definition documentaries of the LA aquaduct and touring the Sudan! ha ha. I usually do my research thoroughly before making purchases, but the TV called out to me and I had to bite. Unfortunately, all I have is an extremely large TV. I've got 4 HD channels, only 2 of which are HD all the time. And I'll be d***ed if I've seen one show in HD on FoxHD. Very dissappointing.


If I lived in the boondocks of Tennessee I could understand this. But in Los Angeles? Oh the humanity!!!
 

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Quote:
It's been awhile since I called them on anything to do with HD as it's too frustrating with the lack of accurate information in the customer service area.
I happen to live in Fairfield County, CT - a county that boasts 4 towns out of the top 15 towns in the US for average home price. Yet Charter continues to only deliver 3 channels of HD here. And yes, they have promised many more channels for the past year but have delivered none.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by gio1050
I'm nestled just at the foot of the hills in Burbank and, if it makes you feel any better, I'm stuck in exactly the same situation. I just bought a condo here and decided to decorate it with a 70" HDTV.


However, much to my chagrine, I'm sitting here watching gorgeous high-definition documentaries of the LA aquaduct and touring the Sudan! ha ha. I usually do my research thoroughly before making purchases, but the TV called out to me and I had to bite. Unfortunately, all I have is an extremely large TV. I've got 4 HD channels, only 2 of which are HD all the time. And I'll be d***ed if I've seen one show in HD on FoxHD. Very dissappointing.


If I lived in the boondocks of Tennessee I could understand this. But in Los Angeles? Oh the humanity!!!
70" eh? Would that be the Sony XBR950? If so, I got the 60" XBR950, so you're in good company!


If you haven't already, you should go to the Charter website and fill out a channel request form. It's good for them to hear customers asking for HD programming. Even though the response I got from Charter was a pretty standard response, they do state that they forward all requests to their programming people. Specifically ask for CBS and ABC. It's ridiculous that here we are in the media capitol of the world, and we can't even get the KCBS feed that is being broadcast across all the USA via DirecTV starting today.
 

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Worthless because???

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Originally posted by ArchieGates
Hey Ron F, I live in the same exact area (the hills of Burbank) and I've been going through the same exact problem with Charter. I have an HDTV with a built-in tuner that's completely worthless.
 

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Worthless, to me and others in Burbank, because there is a mountain that's right next to us that completely blocks out our view of Mt. Wilson, which holds the transmitters for all of Southern California. We live about 10 miles from those towers but there's a mountain between us and them, so we're in the shadow without any OTA coverage.


Someone on this board managed to build a huge antenna where he got San Diego stations instead, but that's 150 miles away. And he can't get the LA stations being transmitted 10 miles away, even with NBC 3 miles down the street, out of the path of the mountain. It's an odd place to be, for sure - in the media capitol of the world, with no local channels OTA.
 

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I guess I'll be bringing a dead thread back to life here, but has anybody heard anything nw from Charter about CBS, or PBS for that matter? They're now offering a total of 9 channels, so I guess the 8 channel limit is much of a limit anymore. I've gotten an SA 8000HD I'm hungry for content! :)
 

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I haven't heard a single thing from Charter. What's funny is that HD channeles just seem to show up one day and there's an announcement with the next bill that they've added a new HD channel. Which, if you watch TV at all, you've already noticed before you get the bill. That's what happened with ABC.


So you've got 9 HD channels? That's unfair. I only have 7. I hope you're including some sort of premium channels in there like HBO.


And I want to know what the heck is up with the ESPN HD? Is it just me, or does it look worse than the standard analog ESPN channel? The picture is vertically challenged making the whole screen look squashed, and the quality and clarity is far from HD standards. It's just a distorted analog signal blown up to fill a 16:9 screen. And it's not the settings on my TV, either. They need to go back to the drawing board on that one.


ArchieGates, I didn't notice that you had asked me a question, but the TV I have is indeed the KDFXBR950. Those Grand Wegas are nice, aren't they? And I still didn't spend as much as I would have on a 50" plasma. Granted, I'm still in love with the idea of hanging a TV on the wall, but I just couldn't justify the expense. And I've had enough girlfriends to know that size DOES matter! 70" was never better!!!
 

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I have Charter in Malibu with the SA8000HD I get 9 stations . Do you have Pass Thru or Fixed as a choice useing your componant hookup or do you have to switch 1080i and 720p 480p in your setting for each station. I was told DVI will be active in Sept.
 

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Quote:
Do you have Pass Thru or Fixed as a choice useing your componant hookup or do you have to switch 1080i and 720p 480p in your setting for each station.
I'm guessing that by "pass through" you mean native. The answer is no. There is no native mode support in my unit. I have to manually select the display format. Which does suck, because I prefer my TV's zoom modes over the limited ones offered by the box.

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So you've got 9 HD channels? That's unfair. I only have 7. I hope you're including some sort of premium channels in there like HBO.
Yes, premiums included: HBOHD, SHOHD, ESPNHD, HDNET, HDNET MOVIES, DISCHD, NBCHD, ABCHD, FOXHD.



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And I want to know what the heck is up with the ESPN HD? Is it just me, or does it look worse than the standard analog ESPN channel?
ESPN used to use an awful zoom/stretch for all of it's SD upconverts, but if you've tuned in lately you'll notice some pretty graphic side mattes.
 

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You're right. ESPNHD is indeed better now. But it still isn't HD. If anything, the patterned sidebars look HD while the main picture is still basic digital picture. I think I saw a few shows in HD, so apparently ESPNHD is just like the local HD channels...they're HD a small fraction of the time. And very few shows are in 16:9 format, which I thought was another specification of HD. Is it considered true HD if the picture is 720p or 1080i but is still in 4:3 format?


My cable box has the choices of passthrough, fixed, Upconvert-1, and Upconvert-2. I have mine set to Upconvert-2, although I've never noticed any difference between any of the settings or the setting for standard or widescreen picture. It appears to have no affect on viewing.
 

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Quote:
Is it considered true HD if the picture is 720p or 1080i but is still in 4:3 format?
No, It needs to be material that is either shot in HD, or transfered from a film source in HD. Everything else is just an up-convert.


You have to remember that the transition to HD for broadcasters is expensive and therefore slow. A lot of the programing they offer is still produced for SD delivery. It will change, and you'll see more and more original HD content; it'll just take time.


Which cable box are you using?
 

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Right now I have the Scientific-Atlanta 3250HD box, although I'm now seeing ads for a DVR that Charter offers. I haven't taken the time yet to see what kind of DVR they're offering and whether it supports HD content. I know plugging a TiVo into the works downgrades HD content into standard digital signals.
 

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Go to the charter office on San Fernando get your hands on a SA 8000HD! ASAP! Just tell them you'd like to do a box swap. Hope they have some left. :) 160gigs of HD recording goodness. They just started offering them last Thursday. It's not as good a a TiVo, but you won't be a grand poorer either. The PQ is a little soft, but the time shifting abilities more than outweigh the disadvantages.
 

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No kidding? Does it record HD content, too? I guess I have an errand to run tomorrow. I was going down there to pay my bill anyway.
 

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Yes, it records HD! :) 20 HR's of it. and/or 80 Hr's of SD.
 
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