02 March 2009

Comcast working behind the scenes

During Sunday's radio pregame show, A's broadcasting veep Ken Pries addressed how CSNCA was going to be carried on various systems. It doesn't completely clear up the confusion, but it's progress.

On DirecTV, the channel will carry the broadcasts with no blackouts. CSNCA currently exists on a non-basic tier, so CSN and DirecTV are trying to figure out a way to include the channel on basic. No word on whether or not Dish network will give the channel the same treatment.

CSNCA is moving from 400 to 89 on Bay Area Comcast. 89 may sound like an extended basic channel, but the definition of extended basic is about to change. The move coincides with Comcast's own digital transition. Throughout the rest of the year, they are taking all analog channels above 34 (35-99) and moving them to digital. That means that everyone who wants those channels will need some kind of set top box to enjoy them. Those who have STB's won't notice. Those using their TV's analog tuner will need STB's. Comcast and other cable operators have a few more years to complete their digital transition, but it's in their best interest to move these channels as quickly as possible. 7 or more digital standard definition (SD) feeds fit into a single analog channel slot. 2 HD feeds fit into one analog channel. Comcast will be able to take all of the analog channels and stuff them into 7-8 slots, which will free up a tremendous amount of bandwidth for additional broadband data and on demand video, plus new HD channels as they get rolled out. Comcast will continue to move more analog channels to digital until 2012, when their own transition deadline comes up.