No HD Red Zone Channel For You, Comcast Tells Chicago

There are three ways in which HDTV blows your mind: It lets you read too-small text in video games and movie subtitles, makes the picture on DVDs take up the entire screen, and in football games lets you see more of the field, and in such stunning detail you can make out the tears on Buffalo Bills fans’ faces as their team blows 11-point leads in the final two minutes.

Once you’ve come to expect football in HD, watching it in standard definition feels like you’ve got cataracts. So you can understand the disappointment of Chicago resident Chris, who must deal not only with his Bears trying ill-advised fake punts that cause them to lose games, [ed. note- Sure, rub it in, Phil. -Meg] but not having the NFL Network‘s Red Zone channel in HD, even when advertisements have promised it. He writes:

As a subscriber to both Comcast in the Chicago area, and their sports and entertainment package, I was excited to find out we were getting the red zone channel. The promos on the NFL network mention many times ‘Live in HD’.

You can imagine my anger and surprise when I found the channel (411 in the Chicago area), and discovered that Comcast doesn’t carry the channel in HD, only standard definition.

What exactly is that supposed to accomplish? I still watched it all day, but I have an HDTV almost specifically for football games. It seems like either an egregious over sight, or some type of punitive action against the NFL by Comcast for their little disagreement earlier in the summer.

I called Comcast to verify/comain, but I imagine my pleas fell on deaf, first level of CS ears.

Any news on this travesty, or what I can do to get Comcast to carry this channel I HD?

We brought up the concern to the all-knowing and ever-helpful Comcast Frank, who shot back this reply from his BlackBerry:

The advertisements on the NFL Network were provided by that network and not Comcast. At this time we are not currently offering the HD version of this channel in the Chicago area, but that may change in the future based on available bandwidth and interest from our Customers. We will share the feedback regarding the availability.

As indicated in the email chain we are in the process of shifting the expanded basic analog channels to digital. As part of this effort we are providing up to 3 boxes (1 full featured box and 2 digital to analog devices). This effort will result in better quality and it will free the bandwidth for a lot more services, such as additional HD channels. To read more about this visit: Comcast DigitalNow.

So, Chris, “that may change” is the best Comcast can do for you right now. Basically the same promise Detroit Lions’ management gives to fans depressed about their everlasting suckage. Just be thankful your Red Zone Channel isn’t in black & white.