OMW has heard through various online sources that Time Warner Cable is launching more HD channels across the country, though apparently not on the same schedule in each area.
The first of the new HD wave was TBS-HD, the former WTBS cable feed now split off from its former over-air Atlanta sister station. That came in early in Northeast Ohio, in time for the American League Division Series playoff race involving the Cleveland Indians.
We're hearing lots of online rumors, but no confirmation, that other channels added to the list could include: CNN-HD, Food Network HD, and perhaps the History Network's HD feed. Some of these networks have already launched other TWC systems, even in other parts of Ohio.
But for now, the only new channel on Time Warner Cable's Northeast Ohio system today is one that isn't (at this time) available to local cable subscribers in HD - the FOX Business Network, that company's answer to CNBC, on SD digital channel 185.
After reading this press release, we found it on our own TWC lineup on the former Adelphia system based in Cleveland. Regular OMW readers and Cleveland area viewers might recognize one of the new on-air personalities - reporter Adam Shapiro, who left Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS/5 "NewsChannel 5"'s "Good Morning Cleveland" some time ago looking for a job in New York City.
There actually IS an HDTV version of FOX Business, which is available to DirecTV subscribers with the proper equipment (MPEG4 receivers with the appropriate dish). OMW has no idea if that will migrate to cable, but we'll assume no, for now.
DirecTV is now advertising over 70 new HDTV channels, as a part of a new wave the satellite service started adding a month or so ago.
There should be an asterisk somewhere. For example, there is precious little HD programming on the HD version of the TBS network - aside from the baseball playoff games. And some of these new networks are nearly 95% upconverted standard definition. Much of what CNN-HD's offers in high-definition comes solely from studio shows from the network's New York City studios.
But it's "planting a flag" for the day that the overwhelming majority of TV programming will be in HDTV, many years down the road...