Although the tongue weighs very little, very few people are able to hold it. -Anonymous
Question #33837 posted on 03/09/2007 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How come BYU does not broadcast HD signals over BYU cable? Granted, I'd guess that 99% of the TVs connected to the network are hand-me-downs or bought from DI, but what about those of us who want to shell out the cash to upgrade? Besides, within two years, everyone will have to switch to digital - February 2009 marks the end of analog TV in the US.

Is it any more expensive for BYU to pay the local affiliates extra for better quality starting now? Why the wait? Regular broadcasts don't look as good on an HDTV, and even basic cable elsewhere often has the national affiliates in HD. I'd like to see my favorite shows in HD.

I also noticed between shows on KBYU that they have a digital station! Why not broadcast at least that one to on-campus cable? Those with regular TVs can still get their version, and I can get whatever KBYU (and hopefully all the other stations) broadcasts in HD.

I am hoping whoever is in charge of Campus Cable is ahead of the game and transitions in soon. I know they sneakily added in a few language channels over the past few years, and I'd like to thank someone specifically for adding Japanese. Any clue of who is in charge of campus
cable or how I can make a request to just add HD signals over cable? I'd like to drop them a line.

- Hoping for HD

A: Dear HD,

We need to explain a few fundamental differences between Analog, DTV, and HDTV (all three are different).

Analog is the current system that we are currently using. It uses "magnetic waves to transmit and display pictures and sound". DTV uses bits, namely the binary that we see of 1's and 0's. It will use the same technology currently used by wireless networking and cellular phones (all use digital radio technology). HDTV is a protocol under DTV. Mainly, it uses a higher resolution and different aspect ratio (see the following website for more information).

As for BYU, they are researching multiple ways of providing DTV. For them to broadcast such, they would need different receivers and transmitters to broadcast through campus. As a possible solution, they are investigating the use of streaming video through the network using "multicasting." In addition, there are ideas of out sourcing to Comcast and iProvo to provide DTV. All of the above are options and they will proceed depending on the needs of the campus and what is the most flexible and providing.