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High-definition television in Wilmington

READ MORE: High-definition television in Wilmington
We all have digital television now, and many of you have a high-definition television. But if you subscribe to satellite, you will not be able to watch HD programming offered by Wilmington stations, including WWAY, no matter what the companies may tell you. Dish Network's advertisements mentioning their Turbo HD service may have you thinking about your high definition viewing options. What is not to like about a hundred high-definition channels, including your local stations? But you have to read the fine print. So are Wilmington stations available? WWAY called Dish Network to find out. A customer service operator told me Wilmington stations are available, but not in high-definition. "It's basically a waiting game," she said. "If they're not in high-definition, which they aren't, then I can't offer them to you in high definition." The operator told me as soon as high-definition signals are available, Dish Network will offer them to subscribers in our market. The problem with that is the fact that Wilmington stations, including WWAY, have been offering high-definition signals for months. It is not just Dish Network that is getting it wrong. An operator with DirecTV also told me the HD versions of the local stations are not available here. The reason? "There are negotiations going on with the (TV stations) in your area with DirecTV for us to use their programming and display it in high-definition," a DirectTV operator said. That, too, is false. DirecTV Public Relations, Director Robert Mercer, later told me the real reason is the company's satellites simply do not have room yet for the Wilmington channels. Wilmington is not yet on DirecTV’s list of markets where it will offer local high-definition. Mercer said the company is launching a new satellite next year, but he did not know if that would include space for WWAY and other Wilmington stations in high-definition. DirecTV's Robert Mercer said the company would review our findings with its customer service team to make sure everyone is on the same page. A Dish Network spokesperson also admitted the information the operator gave was "patently false" and said it would be reviewed with customer service. She also said there is no timeline yet on when Dish Network would offer Wilmington stations in high-definition.

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Locals in HD finally turned on

Even though Directv hasn't sent out any formal announcements, the local channels in HD were turned on as of March 25, 2012. This includes all of the locals channels, plus The CW.

Just get an external antenna, old-school style

It is ridiculously simple to get the local stations in HD. All you have to do is hook up an external antenna to your Dish Network box, have it scan for the local stations, and VOILA! Anything in range is automatically integrated into the channel listing. I'm currently using an amplified indoor antenna and while it can't get a couple locals (I'll have to get an external antenna to grab the rest), those it does get come in GREAT! In fact, you will see a higher quality HD using an external antenna versus what you get via Road Runner because they are compressing the signal to use less bandwidth. The same likely will happen if and when the satellite companies decide to carry Wilmington's stations in HD. For more info about what type of antenna you may need to get the stations in your area, check out All you have to do is plug in your address and it will break down all the local over-the-air stations in terms of the signal strength that you can expect where you are living and what type of antenna will be needed to best get each channel.

Directv and HD local stations

After seeing the news story about satellite subscribers being short changed on local HD programming. I explained that I was concerned that I was not getting HD local stations. The Directv representative told me that Wilmington local stations were broadcasting in "Digital" but not HD. I explained that the Wilmington market had transitioned to digital broadcasting which meant that local stations were broadcasting in HD. The only thing these companies will understand and spur them is losing market share. I am prepared to make that switch and will be happy to tell Directv the reason I left was their lack of HD local coverage. I am tired of paying for HD service and not getting it.

You are incorrect: "I

You are incorrect: "I explained that the Wilmington market had transitioned to digital broadcasting which meant that local stations were broadcasting in HD." Digital does not necessarily mean HD, however if a broadcast is HD, then it must be digital. You can receive all the locals in HD with an antenna--if you have satellite already, with an HD receiver, then it will have in input for an external antenna, and a digital tuner for over the air signals (OTA). A current problem appears to be that DirecTv has not yet "programmed" their system to know that WILM-CBS is now digital, and therefore their receivers will not scan WILM. I have no problem with my Dish ViP722 tuning all locals via antenna, and I don't subscribe to their locals package. Satellite providers have limited bandwidth to provide local standard definition channels to all cities, let alone the bandwidth to provide the locals in HD. In a market as small as Wilmington, we're lucky to even have locals via satellite (which you'll see referred to as LiL, or local into local).

Wilmington, NC Local HD

I have been waiting a long time for DirecTV to get Wilmington HD Locals. It is time for them to get going or they will loose a lot of customers in the Wilmington area to Cable TV or the other Sat. company. I plan to wait until Jan 1, 2012 and if they don't have local HD channels I will change back to Cable.