I’ve got less time for TV these days, so shows that aren’t entertaining me are getting the boot. The first of this season is Heroes. It’s going absolutely nowhere and has too many characters. I’ve been checking out BBC America’s Torchwood, but it’s turning out to be more “fi” than “sci”. Might give it one more episode.
Why would a network affiliate bit-starve their flagship HD content to broadcast SD subchannels? That’s what WHP is doing. I used to chalk up macroblocking during CBS football games to the network’s transmission capabilities, but after years of following NFL HD discussion on AVS Forum I’m convinced that the games would look fine if WHP would either get rid of their SD subchannel (who’s watching it?) or bit-starve it and leave plenty of bandwidth for the HD content. I can forgive a little macroblocking during live fast-motion football shots, but when I see it in pre-recorded dramas like Numbers I think WHP (owned by Clear Channel) doesn’t really care what their programming looks like. On the forums, CBS is praised for their HD NFL coverage over NBC, Fox, and sometimes ESPN. However, the picture we’re getting in Harrisburg is being compromised by WHP.
I’m definitely interested in the over-the-air set-top-box (OTA STB) coupons that the government will be distributing to assist with the DTV transition. Namely, what kind of antenna and placement will be required for adequate reception with the boxes, and what kind of outputs will the boxes in the estimated price range have? The documentation is geared towards a box designed to connect to an analog standard-definition set via coax or composite video/audio, but I’m wondering if mid-tier (s-video, optical audio) and higher-end (component video, HDMI) options will be available and eligible for the coupon. With most of the HD programming we watch delivered by broadcast networks, I can’t help but think of investing in an over-the-air alternative to Comcast’s HD DVR service. Like other Comcast services, it never seems to get cheaper. Two HD OTA STBs connected to an HD Tivo or similar unit (or a carefully-crafted media PC) might seem like a lot of money in the short term, but after a year or two of Comcast bills are avoided, it would probably pay for itself.
Update (10/14): My post at AVS Forum: WHP Is Killing Cin @ KC
Update (10/19): I had thought WHP had two SD subchannels, one for weather and one for MyNetworkTV, but was mistaken. They have just one SD subchannel for MyNetworkTV. I’ve edited my previous comments.