[mythtv-users] 5200 or 6200

Yeechang Lee ylee at pobox.com
Thu Jan 25 16:53:35 UTC 2007

Brian Wood <beww at beww.org> says:
> You can get HD off-air in some locations for nothing.


> So the only "free" HD is the off-air channels in some markets. I can
> receive only 1 ATSC channel and the "HD" programming is mostly just
> upconverted SD stuff sent as 720p, only some prime-time and some
> weekend sports programming is transmitted in 1080i and it looks like
> crap as it is transported to the affiliates as MPEG-2, decoded at
> the station so they can switch, insert etc., then re-encoded to
> MPEG-2 for ATSC transmission using a crappy encoder.

Note that Brian lives in Wyoming, the smallest state by population,
but the tenth-largest by geographical size. The *vast majority* of
Americans live in areas where every local commercial-network affiliate
has over the past eight or nine years switched over to ATSC (and
generally without using "crappy encoders") while Europe is, relatively
speaking, still in the Dark Ages and Japan has just figured out
electricity and powered flight. Anyone who can recall being able to,
pre-cable, tune in even some analog stations with rabbit ears or a
rooftop antenna, and many who couldn't do even that, has an excellent
chance at receiving for free a full medley of HD stations today.

What I describe at
and in an earlier thread starting at
is the accurate situation for the vast majority of Americans, whether
they are aware of it or not. Now, as I've noted many times before, I
am one of those lucky ones with full, untrammeled access to HDTV cable
channels via FireWire. Were I to lose cable TV, it'd be painful. But
I'd still be able to get my fill of what that great American
philosopher Homer J. Simpson described as "teacher, mother, secret
lover" with the over-the-air antenna I have now, and my choice of
being able to add as many ATSC tuner cards as I want. As Yakov
Smirnoff said, "Vhat a country!"

Yeechang Lee <ylee at pobox.com> | +1 650 776 7763 | San Francisco CA US

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