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With Comcast cable, I've noticed that in the areas where they have the DMA locals plus a few out-of-DMA locals (often in "border" counties at the edge of a DMA) they are offering all of them in SD but in the HD tier they're usually ONLY offering the in-DMA locals in HD without the "significantly viewed" channels.


Examples:


Howard Cty, MD - which gets both Baltimore (DMA) and some DC (adjacent DMA/Significantly viewed) channels in SD...but only Baltimore in HD. Same thing for York County PA which gets the DMA channels (York/Harrisburg/Lancaster) in both HD/digital and analog but Baltimore, which is significantly viewed (presumably) only in SD.


Does this mean that after 2/2009 they'll only offer in-DMA stations like the DBS providers do? Or will they bring in the other channels once the bandwidth frees up from no longer having the analog stations offered?
 

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I don't see the analog cut off date impacting this at all, the cable companies themselves aren't require to stop broadcasting analog over their closed systems. They could easily take a digital feed from the different local stations they carry and convert them to analog for broadcast over cable.
 

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Will out-of-market stations in digital be subject to the "no material degredation" law, or will cable companies be allowed to downrez out-of-market stations? Here in Bakersfield we get several Los Angeles stations on Bright House. No Bakersfield stations have local news in HD. I would like to get HD news from L.A. stations. Currently Bright House carries the L.A. stations only in SD and even freaking scrambles the digital simulcasts! I HATE BRIGHT HOUSE!!!
 

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The benefits of Off-Air antennas are compelling and numerous. There is only so much room on cable or satellite bandwidth in which to squeeze signal, so data is compressed to fit, resulting in a somewhat "soft" picture. An OTA signal is the gold standard in digital reception because it's completely uncompressed and also FREE; good news for the millions of homes not using cable or satellite. But what about those cable or satellite subscribers that want access to all their local broadcasts or all available HD local broadcasts, but can't get them from their present provider.


Local digital TV broadcasts are everywhere. And how hot is HD? High Definition Televisions bumped digital cameras out of the top spot for the most desired CE product for 2007. But bandwidth limitations mean that cable and satellite providers may not carry all local channels in many areas, or may not offer all of them in high definition. Contract disagreements between local cable operators and local broadcasters can mean that major networks may not be available via cable TV in several areas. DISH Network® offers local HD coverage to about 47 percent of U.S. markets, while DIRECTV® reaches about 65 percent, but for an additional monthly fee.


What about those other millions of viewers who want to see their favorite local shows and in HD. The answer is to add an OTA antenna to other signal reception sources. This not only gives a viewer the ability to receive all their local stations, but, with the right Terrestrial Digital antenna, some viewers may even be able to receive out-of-town channels, which may carry blacked out sports programs or network broadcasts not available in their home town. For lower income families, an OTA antenna may be the only alternative. As an added benefit, an OTA antenna provides back-up reception options for local cable or satellite signal loss due to equipment failure or rain, snow and ice fade and to smaller TVs and second sets in homes not wired for whole-house signal distribution.
 
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