A while back I noticed the quality of WGME's broadcast had diminished some. If you own a bigger High Def TV (say, above 40 inches) you are more likely to notice a poor quality picture.
Some people swear there is no difference between 720p and 1080i but those people are wrong. It's fairly obvious.
Locally, in Portland, Maine, take a look for yourself.
- NBC, PBS and the CW have an amazing picture (all in 1080i
- ABC, FOX, and MyNetwork have a diminished picture (all in 720p)
CBS on WGME used to be the hallmark of high quality HD pictures. But for quite a while now, it has been lacking. One day I hit the "info" button on my remote and it showed "720p" for the broadcast signal. I had to stare at it for several minutes. I thought my cable company was screwing with the CBS signal. I took the the Internet and double checked. No, I was right, CBS is broadcasting nationally in 1080i. So WHY IS MY WGME SIGNAL IN 720P?????
It took until today to find out. I can't name names or quote anyone. But apparently WGME has been getting away with this for several (like 4) years. What I thought was my eyesight going, or the lighting in the room, or my TV crapping out on me, was actually WGME themselves DOWNGRADING the 1080i signal from CBS to 720p.
As it turns out, WGME is "considering" returning to 1080i.
I asked my source specifically why CBS corporate would allow a local affiliate like WGME to screw with its signal, the answer is, they wouldn't. Big Brother is watching. And rightly so.
Now, I suspect it took a while for CBS corporate to figure out what was going on but somebody finally noticed. I believe, and I'm speculating based on what I know, that CBS is forcing WGME back in to the 1080i game. For WGME is was simply CHEAPER to try to get away with a 720p signal. Less storage space for audio/video because the files are smaller, less compression, and more room for their current alliance with FOX 23 (who is in 720p and for whom WGME reproduces its own news on FOX 23). FOX 23 used to ally itself with WCSH (NBC - 1080i) for its local news. I suspect part of the deal when Fox 23 changed to WGME was that WGME use 720p. It's all a complicated shell game (read "money") and WGME GOT CAUGHT!. Or was it SINCLAIR BROADCASTING GROUP WHO HAPPENS TO OWN BOTH WGME AND WPFO (FOX 23) who got caught.
I wish I could say it was I who blew the whistle and called the FCC and CBS Broadcasting. While I have complained on this site and speculated on a few occasions, I never had real answers. So it wasn't me.
I am so glad I finally figured out what's been going on. It's been driving me crazy and it's always great to finally GET answers, even if it could take WGME (or Sinclair Broadcasting) a year to undo the mess they made.