Monday, June 22

Lost In The Translation

A local Spanish television station has been broadcasting, for the last week or so, an announcement that they've switched to high-definition digital, on channel 619.

Their content is no longer available on Channel 22.

OK, locals, if you're still using a "standard" TV - in other words, one that has a 4:3 aspect ratio - go take a look at channel 619. Most, if not all content on the left and right sides of the picture are lost. Which is typical. For example, digital channel 652 is channel 4 (KTVX) in HD. During most shows, that "ABC" logo is offset from the right by about a quarter of the screen size. But display that image, using the controls on your remote, at 4:3 and the ABC logo appears in its pre-June 12th position.

Just like a "standard" TV.

But there's another, uh, aspect to this that's not immediately apparent - what if you haven't gotten around to buying an HDTV? And you don't have a cable company HD box?

(There are SO many combinations of boxes, TV's, HDTV's, cables, cable companies, antennas, ad nauseum, that I wouldn't want to be anywhere near a cable company help desk right now.)

Anyway... Comcast - as well as cable companies nationwide - said that if you were on cable, you didn't have to worry about your old TV working, because the cable would still provide a signal your TV could use. Except for one crucial factor - if your TV doesn't know what a channel 619 is, then what?

All you get to do is watch a test pattern.

TeleFutura should be ashamed of turning their back on an entire block of the population - who may not have gotten all the information on the HD switchover in the first place.

[About the title of this post]

I originally was going to make this post about channel 22 switching to all-HDTV. Being a Spanish-only station, the text displayed on channel 22 is thus: PROGRAMACION DE TELEFUTURA PUEDE SER ENCONTRADA EN EL CANAL DIGITAL 619. Using Google Translate from Spanish to English, that turns into the following:

"TeleFutura's lineup can be found on digital channel 619."

Wow - translation software has come a long way, hmm? Not only is that apostrophe in the right place, but the extra capitalization of TeleFutura is rather impressive.

In other words, WTF?

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