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Technically Speaking, Why Red Sox Weren’t in HD

“By now you’ve heard that the Red Sox game tonight is being moved to CN8 on Comcast systems (another channel on other cable systems) so that tonight’s Bruins/Canadiens playoff game can be shown in High Definition on NESN,” said “Bruce,” a blogger on the NESN Web site, in a posting last week.

Bruce said in his blog that he had wondered whether Comcast might be able to still show the Red Sox in HD by putting the CN8 feed onto an HD tier for the night (perhaps, he said, on channel 881 or 882 in the Boston market). In the past, Bruce said, Comcast had put sports events (mostly the Celtics prior to when the CSN HD Channel was created) on one of those channels.

“I asked a contact at Comcast, who then had to check with NESN to get the answer on this. I got a call … from NESN, who explained that because of the enormous amount of satellite bandwidth used in the delivery of an HD broadcast, it’s not technically possible for them to deliver two at the same time. Thus, the NESN broadcast of the Bruins will be in HD, while the broadcast of the Red Sox game, no matter which system you’re getting it on, will be in Standard Definition,” Bruce blogged.

Therefore, he concluded, “It’s a technical capability issue that is keeping the Sox in [standard definition] tonight, not NESN not wishing to share the Sox broadcast with another station.”