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· Legend
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple of weeks ago, D* announced that it was providing HD local service for Las Vegas. However, they only put up the two 720p affiliates, FOX and ABC.

Everybody says that the reason that they did not put up the 1080i affiliaties, NBC and CBS, is that those stations haven't agreed to broadcast agreements.

However two pieces of evidence make me question their claim. First, I contacted the general manager of one of the stations who told me that D* had not communicated to the station that D* was broadcasting in HD in local markets. They said they are willing for D* to broadcast their signal, but that D* hadn't completed the agreement, which obviously D* was not in a hurry to do because D* hadn't even said that other stations were going up. Second, the other station's top engingeer was unaware as of yesterday that D* was broadcasting in HD here in Vegas. He said he would contact D* and would possibly even provide a fiber link to D* (his station broadcasts on a lower frequency which is spotty and OTA might not be the best way for D* to get their signal).

All this makes me quite concerned, especially given D*'s slowness to implement OTA. Meanwhile, there has been bad audio stutter for the last couple of days on the two stations they do carry. This, according to JeremyW, is a D* issue because he experiences it as well.

So to sum up:

- D* claims that NBC and CBS are the reasons that they haven't put up those channels in HD, but neither station was aware that D* had even launched HD locals until users contacted them. Somebody is lying.

- D* still hasn't activated OTA, a promised feature.

- D*'s audio is barely listenable at present for me in Las Vegas on their 2 HD channels.

I'm wondering if other people have insight into how long it has taken markets that launched with just a couple of HD stations to get the full lineup? Note: I am not talking about markets which launched with all 4 (or 5) majors. I mean places like Seattle which STILL don't have all the HD locals after SIX months.

Any thoughts on what we can do?

:mad: :confused:
 

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Putting pressure on both DirecTV and the local stations to quickly complete the rebroadcast agreements is probably our best bet. We're in the same boat in Seattle where we only have our local NBC and CBS stations right now.

The piece I don't know, though, is how long it really takes for DirecTV to setup the equipment and required rebroadcast infrastructure once they have the legal agreements worked out.
 

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Where has DirecTV publically stated why certain networks are available and some are not?

And even though CSRs are DirecTV employees, last time I checked they are not the official source of information (Even though they are employees).

I know "here" in forum land we have theorized that it is either contractual issues, or technical issues.

What benefit is it to DirecTV to only have partial local converage? None, as you will be hard pressed to find an HD user that only watches 1 or 2 of the big four... there is at least 1 popular show on all of the big 4.

And of course the Local affiliate has an agenda as well...
So unless we get someone to sit in or bug the phone conversations between DirecTV and the affiliates, we will never know the 100% Story behind the Story.

As for OTA...
The "Official" statement from DirecTV is Late 2006.
The approved CSR Communication date is December 1st.

So where is the lie there? both of those "dates" haven't past yet.
Even the forum (and mine) "October" date hasn't been exausted yet.

As for the audio... have you compared it to OTA (if you have a 2nd tuner).
DD 5.1 sound is volume level is often lower then non DD 5.1


As for what you can do.... write a letter, make a phone call... but ultimately... other then voiceing your opinion... there is little you can do.
There is no FCC Must Carry rules, for Digital "HD" broadcasts.... at least not yet.
 

· Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07
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Most of the time it's the local station playing hardball or just being stupid (insert LIN broadcasting comment here) then it is DirecTV or Dish. For example my local CBS insists on being paid a large amount for their HD signal as well as forced carry of their CW network subchannel. Another 2 local stations are owned by LIN. Uggg.

The best source for your questions are the local HD forums on AVS. You'll get the real answers there. Most all you'll get by going to your local stations is just finger pointing as they certainly won't admit if they are the problem. But if they are owned by LIN, Emmis or Sinclair they are usually the root of the problem, not DirecTV.
 

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bonscott87 said:
Most of the time it's the local station playing hardball or just being stupid (insert LIN broadcasting comment here) then it is DirecTV or Dish. For example my local CBS insists on being paid a large amount for their HD signal as well as forced carry of their CW network subchannel. Another 2 local stations are owned by LIN. Uggg.

The best source for your questions are the local HD forums on AVS. You'll get the real answers there. Most all you'll get by going to your local stations is just finger pointing as they certainly won't admit if they are the problem. But if they are owned by LIN, Emmis or Sinclair they are usually the root of the problem, not DirecTV.
Yup. That's my problem, at least with CBS. Indianapolis CBS is LIN's #1 market, so of course they are going to play some real hard ball with it.

How about instead of calling the affiliates (who can't do anything when they are under the arm of a giant company) we post the public information of LIN and others and we all start complaining to the parent companies. Maybe a sticky from Earl saying, "Tired of your local channels not being in HD? Call these people".

I can volunteer Lin's information:
lintv.com

Vincent Sadusky
LIN TV Corp.
401-454-2880

LIN TV CORP.
1 Richmond Square
Providence, RI 02906
401-454-2880

Stations owned can be found here:
http://www.lintv.com/stations.html

Maybe if we put enough pressure on everyone involved something can happen. At the very least it'll make us feel better.
 

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noneroy said:
Yup. That's my problem, at least with CBS. Indianapolis CBS is LIN's #1 market, so of course they are going to play some real hard ball with it.

How about instead of calling the affiliates (who can't do anything when they are under the arm of a giant company) we post the public information of LIN and others and we all start complaining to the parent companies. Maybe a sticky from Earl saying, "Tired of your local channels not being in HD? Call these people".

I can volunteer Lin's information:
lintv.com

Vincent Sadusky
LIN TV Corp.
401-454-2880

LIN TV CORP.
1 Richmond Square
Providence, RI 02906
401-454-2880

Stations owned can be found here:
http://www.lintv.com/stations.html

Maybe if we put enough pressure on everyone involved something can happen. At the very least it'll make us feel better.
I like your idea... I have already asked DirecTV for a contact point on their side for these issues.... Let me talk to a few people see what is the best way to orginize such a list.
 

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In Austin (over in the AVS Forum local thread) said when he contacted our NBC/LIN station their staff responded:

I am as confused as you at the moment. We have had a longstanding agreement with DirecTV and I fully expected we would be offered with the other local HD stations. I am being told that somewhere in the corporate someone needs to sign something and we are pestering our mothership relentlessly to get to the bottom of this. I assure you this is my priority right now and we should be available very soon.

As for one of the other stations that are up, that has the "8mm" effect on video material, I contacted D* and they said they were working with the station to resolve the problem. I then contacted the engineering staff at the station to see if they could shed some light on the problem (since D* says they're working with them) and their response:

Is DirecTV now offering the Austin Local HD channels over satellite or do you have a terrestrial antenna up? DirecTV has never given us any info regarding HD locals and I was wondering what the deal was. I would appreciate any info you can provide.

name deleted
Assistant Director of Technology


Sort of makes you wonder who really knows WTF is going on here.
 

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jedster said:
A couple of weeks ago, D* announced that it was providing HD local service for Las Vegas. However, they only put up the two 720p affiliates, FOX and ABC.

Everybody says that the reason that they did not put up the 1080i affiliaties, NBC and CBS, is that those stations haven't agreed to broadcast agreements.

However two pieces of evidence make me question their claim. First, I contacted the general manager of one of the stations who told me that D* had not communicated to the station that D* was broadcasting in HD in local markets. They said they are willing for D* to broadcast their signal, but that D* hadn't completed the agreement, which obviously D* was not in a hurry to do because D* hadn't even said that other stations were going up. Second, the other station's top engingeer was unaware as of yesterday that D* was broadcasting in HD here in Vegas. He said he would contact D* and would possibly even provide a fiber link to D* (his station broadcasts on a lower frequency which is spotty and OTA might not be the best way for D* to get their signal).

All this makes me quite concerned, especially given D*'s slowness to implement OTA. Meanwhile, there has been bad audio stutter for the last couple of days on the two stations they do carry. This, according to JeremyW, is a D* issue because he experiences it as well.

So to sum up:

- D* claims that NBC and CBS are the reasons that they haven't put up those channels in HD, but neither station was aware that D* had even launched HD locals until users contacted them. Somebody is lying.

- D* still hasn't activated OTA, a promised feature.

- D*'s audio is barely listenable at present for me in Las Vegas on their 2 HD channels.

I'm wondering if other people have insight into how long it has taken markets that launched with just a couple of HD stations to get the full lineup? Note: I am not talking about markets which launched with all 4 (or 5) majors. I mean places like Seattle which STILL don't have all the HD locals after SIX months.

Any thoughts on what we can do?

:mad: :confused:
Oh, it gets better. Not only are several local stations missing from the "HD" locals package, but also, if you notice some programs that are broadcast in HD OTA will be in SD on the HD locals feed from D* Gotta love that one!
 

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WANDERER said:
Oh, it gets better. Not only are several local stations missing from the "HD" locals package, but also, if you notice some programs that are broadcast in HD OTA will be in SD on the HD locals feed from D* Gotta love that one!
Please point out the examples of that..
City / Channel / Program

As DirecTV gets the feed from the affiliate, sometimes even via OTA

There are times when the GUIDE will not list it as HD (I have seen that often for Justice on Fox), but it is in fact HD.
 

· Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07
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WANDERER said:
Oh, it gets better. Not only are several local stations missing from the "HD" locals package, but also, if you notice some programs that are broadcast in HD OTA will be in SD on the HD locals feed from D* Gotta love that one!
Ain't nothing D* or E* can do there. They just pass on the OTA feed. You are aware that many programs still aren't in HD and only in prime time on most affiliates? Also there are still many stations that just plain have bad/old equipment and refuse to upgrade. Also some still forget to "through the switch" back to HD when they come out of a local commercial break that they dropped to SD to show because they are too cheap to actually get the equipment to put their local ads in the 1080i or 720p stream. I could go on and on about problems with local digital/HD OTA signals and putting them on D* or E* isn't going to fix those local issues.
 

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chrisfowler99 said:
Does anyone know if any LIN owned TV stations are being broadcast by DirecTV?
I don't have an answer to that, but it appears as though D* and LIN have a lot in common. If you look at their SEC filings, you'll see LIN owns a good amount of stock in D* (not on a scale with Rupert or anything and their investments ARE spread around).

Also, of note, from an SEC filing on Oct 3rd:

"Mitchell Stern has been elected to LIN TV's Board of Directors. Mr. Stern previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the DirecTV Group, Inc., a leading digital television provider and as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Television Stations Group."

I wonder if that'll change anything. You can find interesting stuff in their papers, i just wish I wouldn't have skipped my finance classes when I was in school.
 

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Earl Bonovich said:
Please point out the examples of that..
City / Channel / Program

As DirecTV gets the feed from the affiliate, sometimes even via OTA

There are times when the GUIDE will not list it as HD (I have seen that often for Justice on Fox), but it is in fact HD.
I'll do as you request -

I've spoken to D* directly about this and yes (here in Dallas) it really happens. CSR stated that it's a contractual thang between the local stations and D*
The number of programs that exhibit this behaviour is lessening, but it still happens!
 

· Legend
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Earl Bonovich said:
Where has DirecTV publically stated why certain networks are available and some are not?
They may not have said it in print, but it's what CSRs have told me the problem is.

Earl Bonovich said:
As for OTA...
The "Official" statement from DirecTV is Late 2006.
The approved CSR Communication date is December 1st.

So where is the lie there? both of those "dates" haven't past yet.
Even the forum (and mine) "October" date hasn't been exausted yet.
That's not what I meant. I meant that D* CSRs always blams the local affialiates and unless the affiliates are lying, they didn't even know D* had turned on local HD. (I talked to the CBS GM just after HD was turned on and she didn't know about it; the NBC rep said what he said just recently according to avsforum which i also read.)

They haven't yet lied about OTA, they are simply on the verge of lying about OTA (they told me october).

FWIW, It turns out that the Vegas stations are owned by Sunbelt and Landmark.

Earl Bonovich said:
As for the audio... have you compared it to OTA (if you have a 2nd tuner).
DD 5.1 sound is volume level is often lower then non DD 5.1
It's a definite warbling/stutter that isn't there with OTA or QAM.
 

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Broadcast agreements are fickle things indeed.
Here in Albuquerque, Emmis Comm. used to own the CBS affiliate. Dish Network had the ABQ locals (SD) up well before D* did, yet was never able to get KRQE(CBS) on the bird. When D* gave us our locals, I was expecting the same and was pleasantly surprised to see all 4 nets on launch day. Now that we are supposed to get HD LIL by year end, it will be interesting to see if CBS is there.
As far as I know, Dish still does not have KRQE up (it may have changed). It's surprising though, if you get the SD channels, why it's so hard to get ink on the contracts for HD. Could it be a financial issue ???
 

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I think DirecTV gave a general blanket statement, which obviously is conflicting with what really has been agreed to. It must be daunting for DirecTV to negotiate with every single station in the markets they are trying to serve. I think people need to think of the scope of the task at hand. Atleast DirecTV is trying to provide HD to as many markets as they can. I don't think they delibrately lied or mislead customers.:eek2:
 

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jedster said:
A couple of weeks ago, D* announced that it was providing HD local service for Las Vegas. However, they only put up the two 720p affiliates, FOX and ABC.

I emailed the station manager at KLAS (CBS) about 10 days ago and she wrote me back (the next day) that D* had only recently approached them and they are now in negotiations for D*'s carriage of the local HD signal.

I got no response from KVBC (NBC).
 
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