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Why can't I get a distant network feed?

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Why can't I get a distant network feed?

Old 11-30-05, 02:27 PM
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Why can't I get a distant network feed?

Locally there are only two channels that provide over the air (OTA) high definition (HD) television of any kind, PBS and NBC. It has become evident that the remaining network affiliates; FOX, WB, CBS, ABC and UPN have no plans to ever offer OTA HD. I would be OK with that if I could get network feeds from one of the coasts via satellite or cable ...but the local affiliates won't allow it. I can't tell you how much that pisses me off. How the hell do they get away with this? They are NOT providing the same quality programming as the network if it is not HD. Is there anything I can do about this screw job?
Old 11-30-05, 02:33 PM
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Are you saying you tried to get a waiver from each of the affiliates and they turned you down?
Old 11-30-05, 02:36 PM
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If your local affiliates aren't broadcasting in HD, there isn't much you can do. Legally, they just have to provide you access to a signal. Not an HD signal, but just a signal. If you are physically able to pull that signal in with an antenna, you can't do squat about it. Direc Tv will only turn on the DNS feeds for you if your local affiliates are O&O, meaning owned and operated by the networks themselves, which they apparently are not.

Your only realistic option is to wait, unfortunately. Even when Direc rolls out the new mpeg-4 service with locals in HD, it is still going to depend on your affiliates broadcasting an HD signal since that is what DirecTV uses.
Old 11-30-05, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Chew
Are you saying you tried to get a waiver from each of the affiliates and they turned you down?
I have not personally but know plenty of people who have. All have been turned down.
Old 11-30-05, 02:46 PM
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You won't get a waiver if your only claim is that you can't get an HD feed. Your local network affiliates have a claim on you for being in their DMA-one they likely won't relinquish.
Old 11-30-05, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by SexualPudding
You won't get a waiver if your only claim is that you can't get an HD feed. Your local network affiliates have a claim on you for being in their DMA-one they likely won't relinquish.
You make it sound like they own me. You'll take what we give you ... and like it!! Or else!! This feels like a twilight zone episode. Am I still in the USA? What happened to freedom of choice?
Old 11-30-05, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Easy
...Is there anything I can do about this screw job?
Move. At least on paper.
Old 11-30-05, 03:32 PM
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LOL, I hear you man. Trust me, I have been through all of what you are experiencing and then some myself in regards to trying to get the DNS feeds from DirecTV. Unfortunately, there isn't always freedom of choice in HD land.

I am just thankful that I happen to live in the SF Bay Area TV market, which DirecTV just started providing HD locals for on November 22nd. I am getting my new dish and mpeg-4 receiver installed tomorrow, so I'll have ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX locals in all their HD splendor.

I do feel bad for you, because you really don't have any options until your sorry affiliates decide to bring their broadcasts into the 21st century. Here's to hoping they get off their asses soon and do it right.
Old 11-30-05, 03:35 PM
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Well, the obvious reason they do this is because local network channels have commercials that feature local businesses, which pay to be shown to the area. But the move on paper thing still works, I think.
Old 11-30-05, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Easy
You make it sound like they own me.
Technically, they do... or at least they own the exclusive right to broadcast the network they're an affiliate of within your geographic area.
Old 11-30-05, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Heat
Move. At least on paper.
Now, that is an option I didn't think of, and might be feasible for you depending on the lengths you are willing to go to to get HD "locals". You would want to make sure you "move" to an area where most, if not all, of the networks are O&O so you would automatically be eligible to have the feeds turned on and not have to fight DirecTV on it. Then, I would get a PO box in that zip code, switch your billing address to that, and then just pay your bills online.
Old 11-30-05, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Heat
Move. At least on paper.

There are ways around this if you're creative, and don't mind thumbing your nose at the law.
Old 11-30-05, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by BigDan
Technically, they do... or at least they own the exclusive right to broadcast the network they're an affiliate of within your geographic area.
I understand what you and fujishig are saying and I guess that was fair enough when most affiliates and broadcasts were pretty much equal quality. However, that has changed. If locals choose to cheap out and offer sub-par quality I SHOULD be free to seek HD quality service elsewhere. The government has created a goddamn mess where some consumers get HD broadcasts for FREE and others can't get HD quality network broadcasts AT ANY PRICE. All I'm asking is the freedom to pay for a service others get at no cost... and I'm denied. Is that fair? Something has to change.
Old 11-30-05, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Easy
I understand what you and fujishig are saying and I guess that was fair enough when most affiliates and broadcasts were pretty much equal quality. However, that has changed. If locals choose to cheap out and offer sub-par quality I SHOULD be free to seek HD quality service elsewhere. The government has created a goddamn mess where some consumers get HD broadcasts for FREE and others can't get HD quality network broadcasts AT ANY PRICE. All I'm asking is the freedom to pay for a service others get at no cost... and I'm denied. Is that fair? Something has to change.

If you write your congressman and include the text "WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN," maybe you'll see some action.
Old 11-30-05, 06:18 PM
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Well, it's not (yet) a right for you to recieve HD programming across all local channels. I'm sure the cable companies and the satellite companies have deals with the local channels to broadcast their stuff that strictly prohibit this kind of switching. If you could build your own super antenna to get the free OTA stuff, then that's separate. After all, it's not like the fee that you give the cable/satellite company cover the cost of the local stations: it's the commercials that do, and they're targeted to certain areas.

Otherwise, people would switch feeds just to be able to watch stuff earlier, and especially to watch their favorite football teams.
Old 11-30-05, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by fujishig
Well, it's not (yet) a right for you to recieve HD programming across all local channels. I'm sure the cable companies and the satellite companies have deals with the local channels to broadcast their stuff that strictly prohibit this kind of switching.
Again, I'm not asking for the local channels to do anything. I have given up on them and really don't give a damn what they do. They're a lost cause. I want HD network feeds. NY, LA ...I don't care where the come from as long as they are HD. I can't be the only one in this position...or do people just not realize it?
Old 11-30-05, 07:25 PM
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I just got DirecTV this week and didn't realize I'd need a separate antenna for local HD channels. I'm trying the waiver route, but I won't hold my breath on that. I'm 45-50 miles from my local stations (Tulsa), so I hope that does some good on the waiver requests. Doubtful, though.
Old 11-30-05, 07:49 PM
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In the same boat here. We get CBS in HD but no other network. Our NBC affilate is supposedly working on it, and our ABC has some vague plans. Fox, on the other hand, will take years I'm told. The worst to bear is ABC, as its broadcasts always look like a 15 year old VHS recording.
Old 11-30-05, 08:51 PM
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Just out of curiosity - what is this "waiver" that you all are referring to?
Old 11-30-05, 09:32 PM
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DirecTV offers HD feeds from NY and LA networks, but to allow someone in another viewing area access to that feed, you must get permission from your local networks.
Old 12-01-05, 12:53 AM
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Ah. Thanks!
Old 12-01-05, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Easy
Again, I'm not asking for the local channels to do anything. I have given up on them and really don't give a damn what they do. They're a lost cause. I want HD network feeds. NY, LA ...I don't care where the come from as long as they are HD. I can't be the only one in this position...or do people just not realize it?
You may not care about your local affiliates, but they are obviously the reason you won't be granted waivers for the DNS feeds from DirecTV. In order for you to get any of those, they do have to do something-relinquish their "rights" to your household. They do care where you get your programming from, and it's all because of advertising, as others have said.

You are far from the only person in this position. There are a lot of network affiliates across the country (usually in rural areas) that are too cheap, too ignorant, or just too behind the times to worry about broadcasting in HD. Where you live, what percentage of people would you honestly guesstimate even own HDTV sets? Remember, it costs the stations a lot of money to upgrade their equipment in order to broadcast an HD signal, broadcast it, and maintain everything. If the percentage of people there who even give a crap about HD is minute, the affiliates are going to consider it an unnecessary expense.

I am not trying to defend them at all, so don't think that. My personal thought is that it sucks for someone wanting HD programming to not be able to get it, but at the same time, there are far worse things in life. I guess you'll just have to wait for your local affiliates to step into this century. I really don't think it will be all that long, either. Remember, its only been a couple years since the networks themselves even started broadcasting most stuff in HD.
Old 12-01-05, 02:38 AM
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You need to "move". I did some bad homework and "moved". I was thinking I would get all 4 networks, but messed up, and only get Fox and ABC. But that is fine, I get CBS and NBC OTA (although NBC is not in HD, just digital). I just need to do my homework again and "move" again.
Old 12-01-05, 04:30 AM
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The best places to "move" to are obviously going to be big metropolitan areas. NY and LA are your 2 best bets right now.Not only because most, if not all, the major networks are locally owned and operated, but because they are the 2 big cities that will not be seeing the mpeg-4 upgrades for a while, since DirecTV is going to just let those subscribers keep using their current DNS HD mpeg-2 feeds for now.

Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia, SF, Chicago and I think 1 or 2 other large markets just went live on mpeg-4 with the local HD's being available via dish rather then antenna, so I wouldn't try to "move" to any of those places. If you do, bad news, because DirecTV is requiring an installer to come out to do the new dish and receiver swaps. I also wouldn't consider Boston, DC, Miami, Tampa or Seattle, since they are next on the list to be switched over.
Old 12-01-05, 09:16 AM
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Is there a list of upcoming cities somewhere? I get Tulsa's networks and was wondering where they might be on the list. They are currently broadcasting in HD, so they're not behind the times at least.

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