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I'm very disappointed that as Verizon came into the WNY market offering a non-satellite option to Time Warner cable, they have not recognized the demand for or been able to carry CBC and MSG HD. Hockey is huge here, specifically the Sabres and Hockey Night in Canada. One of the major reasons of why I will probably leave FiOS and go back to cable when my contract is up is that FiOS is not able to carry MSG HD (for Sabre games), as well as not offering CBC (for HNIC). I understand it's not Verizon's fault, as the MSG HD issue with Cablevision is in court or whatever, but nonetheless it's very disappointing that a major progamming issue in this region still hasn't been taken care of in almost two years.
I feel the exact same way...as a matter of fact, I was looking into prices, etc. for going back to Time Warner. While I have been 100% happy with FiOS (Android apps, incredible quality, blazing fast Internet speeds), MSG-HD is a huge deal for me. If the FCC won't do anything about it, and Verizon won't take aggressive measures then I can either suck it up, or go back to Time Warner or DirecTV and pay less, get a little less, but get one of the major channels I watch in HD.
Aggghhh so frustrated.
This has been a sore subject for a while now...I did switch from TW to Verizon in early November to gain the internet speed and overall better TV performance. Hockey is the single most important element for my TV needs. I knew I was giving up Sabres in HD (other than a few VS games but who can stand Doc Emerick?). The NHL Network carries the early HNIC game most Saturdays but any HNIC involving the Sabres is blacked out).
I already took steps a couple years back to cover my HNIC in HD needs and I'll be glad to share the tech details if needed. Even with TW I could not live with HNIC is SD, so I installed a DB8 HD antenna on the roof with a direct feed to my built in HD tuner on the TV (I did later add a +15db professional drop amp to increase the signal strength)...I get CBC (and all the other local HD over the air) at around 95% signal strength. It's great for getting CBC HD (actually UHF channel 20 in the HD spectrum - or a display number of 5.1) and an uncompressed HD signal beats anything from TW or Verizon in HD...I usually watch the Bills games on the over the air WIVB HD feed to get the FULL HD 'experience'.
One caveat is I'm 56 miles as the crow flies from top of my roof to the tip of the CN Tower where CBC broadcasts from, so if you are in the Southtowns, you start to flirt with 'physics' (after 60 miles, the curve of the earth starts to come into play)...
Regardless, I really like FiOS overall but wish for the sake of a hockey driven community that they work through this with a little more diligence. If you need any HD antenna guidance, just reply to this entry (I set my e-mail to notify me)...
Id love to watch the Sabres in HD.
One of the latest rumors floating around is TW laid all the fibre to the arena that carries the signal and that signal is bounced to MSG or something. I don't know, I have no idea how it all works. Don't really care, I feel liberated to have left TW behind.
I will say that as an ex TW subscriber, the Sabres games looked like crap on Ch 700. I'd flip from 700 to one of the Discovery channels and the HD was much better on the other stations. That being said, the FiOS SD looks almost as good on my 55 LED LCD tv as it did on an older LCD using TW's HD. When I turned off the 480 Stretch option on my TV, 700 most of the time the signal was at SD. Its was incredibly obvious as Kevin Sylvester looked like a dumpling because the screen was being stretched to 1080 on me.
I don't think its worth the hassle of dealing with the TW just to watch the Sabres on a mediocre HD signal. As much as I hate Verizon's customer service and love to point out how inept their tech support is, I'm never going back to TW. I'm downloading games from Steam in 5 minutes and my HD is crystal clear. Thats enough to keep me paying my bill to big red.