The challenges of syndicated HD

Ben Drawbaugh
B. Drawbaugh|12.11.07

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The challenges of syndicated HD
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Every year we've become accustomed to getting more and more HD content, but one type of programming is lagging behind the rest; syndicated programming. This is the programming that is sold to each station independently of their network affiliation. The best examples are Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, which can be found on a ABC affiliate in one city and a CBS in another, but most programming that's on OTA TV between 6:30 and 8pm falls into this category. Currently there are only three syndicated HD shows, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and Two and Half Men. At this point you might be saying, "but wait Two and Half Men isn't HD in my area." No, it's not cause they hate you, it's because just like when you upgraded to HD you had to change more than just your TV, each station has to upgrade more than one piece of their equipment as well. Of course their system is far more complicated than yours, and Broadcasting & Cable has written up the challenges involved in upgrading their syndication system to handle HD. Without getting too technical here -- click read to get technical -- they need an HD DVR to record the shows, so they can play them back at the allotted time. The problem of course is that the system has to be industrial strength and capable of being fully automated. So for now, only 20 stations deliver Two and Half Men in HD, with another 20 on schedule for next year.
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