Your All-in-One HDTV Update

For whatever reason, news about high definition TV seems to happen in clumps. Here’s another of those clumps:

HDTV JACKETS: For whatever reason, we happened to tune into the “HD BONUS” channel (798) on the now-former Adelphia Cleveland-based system owned by Time Warner Cable…and we found, believe it or not, the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets playing in HD via FSN Ohio.

It’s not really a surprise to us that the Blue Jackets would be doing games in HDTV. Sure enough, a team press release says 20 of the team’s 75 FSN Ohio contests this season will be done in the high definition format.

But it surprised us that Time Warner Cable put the games on the old Adelphia HD local/bonus channel.

OMW hears that Cox, the largest remaining Cleveland cable operator which was NOT swallowed into TWC, also carried the HD Blue Jackets game. Not bad for a sport Northeast Ohio basically ignores.

We reported earlier that FSN Ohio plans about the same number of HDTV broadcasts of Cleveland Cavaliers basketball – around 20. The network carried a few games in HD at the end of the last NBA season…

WBNX/CW/HD: There’s not much new here for OMW readers, but Akron Beacon Journal TV-soon-also-to-be-movie columnist R.D. Heldenfels weighs in on local CW affiliate WBNX/55’s struggles with HDTV in a recent item on his TV blog.

WBNX boss Lou Spangler sums up the problem for Heldenfels in non-techie terms – “computers that won’t talk to computers” – and echos the WBNX website in saying they hope to get the HDTV signal available to cable companies by the first of November.

The over-air signal delay, apparently, is due to the fact that “Cleveland’s CW” doesn’t have the antenna for digital broadcasts yet…and it won’t be due on State Road in Cuyahoga Falls until it’s too late for construction this year…

SLIGHT WUAB HD CHANGE: Local viewers with a keen eye on resolution indicators note that WUAB/43’s digital/HDTV signal is now pumping out 720p, which is the standard adopted by WUAB’s new network MyNetworkTV.

MNTV is owned by FOX, which also uses 720p. Channel 43’s previous network, UPN, was 1080i. (It was owned by CBS, which is also a 1080i network.)

What does this mean for you? Well, if you haven’t been able to get WUAB-DT over the air for the past month or so, that might be why. You might need to rescan your digital over-air tuner to catch up with the change…

TOLEDO DIRECTV: And DirecTV announced this week that Toledo would be the next Ohio market to get HDTV service in “local-into-local” (over satellite) format. Columbus and Cleveland already have this service, which allows you to get digital/HD signals of the major network affiliates without putting up an over-air antenna of any sort.

It’s one of 25 markets nationwide which will get the service between now and January.

Of course, OMW readers like Chuck Matthews in Toledo would be happy just to get the market’s CW network affiliate – Block Communications/Buckeye Cablevision’s “WT05” – even in SD on DirecTV. He’s the imaging voice for the station, but can’t even get it on the bird…

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