State of HDTV in Seattle
Well, it's a pretty sad picture for HDTV particularly in Seattle. But at least a little better than a year ago.
Seems like it is hard to get information on what works and what doesn't. Here is what I've found out via sites like "HDTV Pub":http://www.hdtvpub.com/ which keeps track of such stuff:
* "Over the Air":http://www.hdtvpub.com/local/localarea.cfm/city_Seattle/state_WA/cat_Washington/. Over the air, if you can see the right antennas (mainly on Queen Anne Hill), you can get Fox, PBS, NBC, CBS, ABC and WB. PBS is actually a multicast with a couple of stations. Independents include KONG, PAX, UPN My dad has this and it works well if you can see the "Hill"
* "Comcast Cable HDTV in netnews" and "HDTV Pub Reports":http://www.hdtvpub.com/local/viewReports.cfm/zipcode_98101/dma_819/county_King/cableco_1/. The news thread explains it, but on August 7th, Comcast rolled out HDTV versions of KCTS and ESPN, the public channel, KOMO which is NBC. They also have some Mariners games on Fox Sports Northwest as well as Showtime and HBO. The charge structure is that you pay $25 for a new digital set top box. You get KCTS HD, KOMO HD and Fox Sport HD if you subscribe to Digital Cable. If you want Showtime and HBO HD, then you need to pay $15/month each or get a package. The HDTV Pub folks also say that Fox, KING, etc. are coming by year end. Hallalujah!
* "DirecTV HDTV":http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/imagine/HDTV.jsp. You get ESPN, Discovery, HDNet and HDNet movies for $11/month, HBO and Showtime HD if you have a package with these as well as pay-per-view movie channel for $5/movie. Also, there is the Masters and NBA games as special packages.
* "Dish HDTV":http://www.dishnetwork.com/content/programming/hdtv/index.asp. Right now, you get Discovery for $8/month, HBOHD or SHO-HD if you subscribe to any package with HBO or Showtime, CBS for $5/month and one pay-per-view movie and NBA station. You do need a Model 6000U Receiver as well and be able to see latitudes 61.5 and 148 locations.
So right now, the best thing would be to watch what Comcast is doing with HDTV, if they add all the locals in HD, that is lots of programming. Beyond that I'd say that DirecTV has a slight edge because of ESPN and HDNet (they have some great programming on "HDNet":http://www.hd.net/ BTW including Thieves and Fugitive two original shows of theirs. Thieves is actually pretty good).