It’s time for cable systems like Comcast to drop their non-HD channels, with the exception of those for which there is no corresponding HD channel available. It’s hard to believe in this day and age that my local Comcast system offers more standard definition channels than HD channels, but it’s true. Think of all the waste of bandwidth that could be used for more HD channels. There are many channels for which they only offer the standard definition version even though there is a high definition version available. The Sundance Channel and CSPN-3 are just two examples. And although they offer the standard definition versions of multiple HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and Starz channels, they offer only one high definition version of each.
Standard definition channels look horrible on HD sets, so Comcast is obviously keeping all of those standard definition channels for the sake of those customers who have yet to purchase an HDTV, at the expense of all the rest of us. However, HDTVs are now cheaper than standard definition TVs ever were. Unless someone is living well below the poverty line, there is no reason why they shouldn’t have replaced their standard definition TVs with HDTVs by now. And those who are well below the poverty line have no business subscribing to cable TV anyway. So Comcast should give all their subscribers 90 days’ notice that all the non-HD channels for which there are available HD versions are going away. Once that point is reached, those channels should be dropped so that more HD channels can be immediately added – without increasing everyone’s bill.