reply to ddane
Re: Statement: No significant changes? Personally, I am looking forward to this. The more consistent programming sounds good, as that may mean we would receive a lot of the HD channels that Uniontown has, here in Altoona.
I find myself spending a lot of time tweaking the picture when watching standard channels on an HDTV. I have to admit the analog signal is still better than the DBS satellite equivalent SD channels that are over-compressed. I also appreciate the true 1920x1080 HD feeds vs. the HD lite of the satellite providers. Hopefully that will hold true once more channels are added and analog is diminished. I noticed the newer STBs have H.264 MPEG-4 support, but I'm guessing that would require a swap out of older equipment for everyone who would have services that would make use of it - most likely HD. Of course, that may be small in comparison to the DTA handouts. SDV sounds like it would add complexity to CableCard type setups, but ultimately provide more bandwidth for more channels and other things.
It would also be nice to have the current analog channels in Clear QAM so that any digital TV tuner will do, and not require a box or cable card along with that $9-13 fee.
I too spend a lot of time looking at the cable industry and find the technology interesting. As an IT/programmer guy, I've often thought of looking for a job in the cable industry, just out of my interest in all of the different areas. I have been working with networking, VOIP, and video encoding/streaming nearly for a decade.
More HD and keeping the CAPS away has me as a customer for life - even if I hate the bill every month! I'll be interested to see what the future brings.
Dish is the only satellite provider downconverting 1080i feeds to 1440x900. DirecTV, to my knowledge, has theirs at the native resolutions. As a former Dish subscriber, I can tell you they're an absolute joke.
I will say I've watched enough MASN (Orioles Sports Network) and it looks better than DirecTV does in the bars, although I'm sure my Samsung is better than their Vizio TV's.
Altoona/Johnstown still having such a meager HD offering is really sad. Dish, DirecTV and Comcast are running laps around them. Our offerings are pretty meager too in Cumberland and we have 16 more HD channels than you guys at my last check. I think we have 67 HD channels counting all our duplicate local stations (since we have all DC stations in HD, CBS Baltimore in HD and the Altoona/Johnstown stations in HD), Root Sports Pittsburgh and MASN/MASN2.
This free Sunday Ticket promotion of DirecTV is really starting to tempt me because the HD differences are just so drastic (and getting even more stark as DirecTV adds 5 more HD channels). If I dropped my landline and went with DirecTV Premier, I'd basically have about 100+ more channels, still have access to Ravens games, and pay less. If DirecTV added H2 HD, GSN HD, IFC HD and TV Land HD, I'd probably do it.
I'm paying $152 right now, I don't have a DVR, I don't have any additional premium movie channels other than the Starz/Encore that comes with Digital Plus and I only have 10/1 internet.