Why do some channels have...

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#1
both an HD and SD version of the same channel?

For example WDTN channel 2 in Dayton, Ohio shows the same programming on both their main channel and sub channel. Why?

Don't they think that just maybe their audience might like to see something different on 2.2 or is there an actual reason for some channels to maintain an SD version of their HD programming? I don't know (face palm.)

About a year ago I emailed WDTN and asked if there was any chance they'd be adding something different on 2.2 and I received two totally different reply's from station employees. The first reply said basically "Nope. Ain't gonna happen" and the second reply received later that same day said that WDTN was always looking into adding something different on 2.2. So who you gonna' believe?

I will admit they're not the only station doing that in this market. There are two PBS channels around here that both have an HD and SD version of their main programming but in their Defense each channel also offers three other sub channels with different programming than their main channel.

Still, I gotta' ask why any TV station would want an HD and SD version of the same channel?
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#2
After the digital switch in 2009-2010, I saw a lot of stations doing that. I believe that was because there was a shortage of content to run on subchannels - that's no longer the case. There's plenty of content these days, RabbitEars.Info

I do know in Utah where channel 4 KTVX puts sister station CW30 on 4.30 in SD - because in some areas CW30 does not have a dedicated translator in many rural areas.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#3
My local KONG-16 runs HD and SD on their sub-channel and I've always wondered why. Although it might be a legal contract nightmare between networks, I wish regional stations including KONG would swap their (SD copy) sub-channel programming with other channels.

As an example, KING-5 (NBC) owns KONG-16 and if they struck a deal with (independent) KVOS-12, 75 miles north of Seattle, more viewers near the Canadian border could view KING-5 on a KVOS subchannel and if KVOS shared back, more Seattle folks could watch KVOS, Bellingham.

In this example, I receive both stations but many OTA watchers I know don't and this could solve their reception issues.

Jim
 
Last edited:

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#5
Are there older television sets that can't display HD, or display it, but not as crisply as SD? Just a thought. I'm too lazy right now to google it. :playball:
I'm not aware of any TV sets that get digital TV that couldn't display SD video from an HD signal. Not saying that maybe they don't exist, but if they do it has to be a very small number and certainly not enough to JUSTIFY multicasting an SD signal!
 
#6
I'm not aware of any TV sets that get digital TV that couldn't display SD video from an HD signal. Not saying that maybe they don't exist, but if they do it has to be a very small number and certainly not enough to JUSTIFY multicasting an SD signal!
Well, they don't really have to justify anything, do they? I don't think the SD multicast costs anything, but paying for content could obviously lose them a bundle. I mean, it MUST be so, or else every station would max out on the subchannels.

R.
 

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#7
From my understanding, sub channels either pay for the right to broadcast on a channels sub (which is what Cool TV was suppose to do but didn't) while other sub channels work a deal with the main channel and split the revenue of commercials broadcast on the sub channel. Pretty sure ThisTV and Retro do it that way, or maybe not.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#8
Well, they don't really have to justify anything, do they? I don't think the SD multicast costs anything, but paying for content could obviously lose them a bundle. I mean, it MUST be so, or else every station would max out on the subchannels.

R.
I don't understand stations that broadcast a single 480i or 720p channel. How can they ignore a second or third revenue stream? KJZZ 14 in SLC - an independent that broadcasts one 720p channel of mostly syndicated programming is a prime example. They used to broadcast Utah Jazz games, but sold the broadcast rights. Now they offer very little to their viewers, their ratings are abysmal. They have been approached by several multicast channels and state that they have no plans to add any subchannels.

BTW, Tim, I just moved to Las Vegas and this is one of the last remaining markets that has has The Cool TV, on KMCC. It's even included on the basic tier package from Cox Cable. You can also watch the live stream online...
[video]http://www.filmon.com/tv/channel/the-cool-tv[/video]
 
Last edited:
#9
I don't understand stations that broadcast a single 480i or 720p channel. How can they ignore a second or third revenue stream?
But you assume there's NO way for them to lose money with an extra channel! I don't plan on becoming an expert on the subject, but I've just never seen or heard of a business where expanding is more likely to make money than lose it. If that weren't the case, the market would instantly adjust. Money = Labor (and in business, it better be high quality, intelligently directed labor), except when the government mucks it up.

R.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#10
Okay, my understanding of the HD/SD simulcasting is that they are trying to accommodate cable companies that don't have the intelligence to down convert HD to SD. Really, that is what it's about. We don't have the intelligence to do what any CECB can do, so please do it for us.

Okay, rant over... carrying on!
 

dave73

DTVUSA Member
#11
In the Chicago market, WLS-TV (and all ABC O&OO stations) simulcasts an SD version of Livewell Network on their .3 channel, because they want to make it easier for cable companies to carry the channel without them having to downconvert it. I don't know how that'll work after January 15th, 2015,when Livewell Network goes off the air. WXFT Aurora/Chicago also carries an SD version of Unimás on 60.2, even after adding Escape on 60.3. I don't know what their excuse is for carrying an SD version of 60.1. WYCC used to carry an SD version of 20.1 on 20.2, but when First Nations Experience (FNX) came on the air, they were one of the first group of PBS stations to carry the new network, & eliminated the SD simulcast. In the beginning, I would have liked to seen them use 20.2 for instructional college programming during daytime hours, when childrens program is on, on the main channel (instructional programming is on in the overnight hours on 20.1), & childrens programming at other times on 20.2. WYIN Gary, IN had originally planned to have 3 subchannels, with 56.1 & 56.2 being 720p HD, & 56.3 & 56.4 in widescreen SD. After getting all that setup, WYIN never got additional programming on their subchannels, except for 56.3, which is a locally programmed 24 hours childrens channel. So they eliminated 56.2 & 56.4, & made 56.1 1080i HD. If the Indiana Channel ever gets more programming, they might reactivate a subchannel for the network.

For WTTW, they had an SD version of the main WTTW channel in the earliest days of digital. In 2009, they launched WTTW Prime, which is essentially time shifted PBS programming, but carries no children's programming. That channel started out in 4:3 SD, but went 16:9 SD a year or 2 ago, when they were able to make adjustments, & had some updated CODEC's to do it. Since they run 3 subchannels, along side a main channel in 1080i HD, the picture varies from one part of the day to the next. I do notice that children's programming is less demanding of HD bandwidth than the other programming, & not sure why. For WTTW, they say that WTTW Prime costs nothing to program, as they already have the programming available, & they have no additional people to program the channel. It also allows for them to split the pledge drive programming to different parts of the day & week. So if they have pledge drive programming during the week on the main channel (not during children's programming), WTTW Prime won't be affected. If they have it on WTTW Prime, then the programming on the main WTTW channel isn't affected.
 
Top