Rogers introduces Auto Tuning to HD channels

Rogers Cable in Ontario has introduced a new free auto-tuning feature for high definition (HD) cable customers called Auto HD.

The way it works is that when a viewer tunes into a standard definition channel below channel 100, Auto HD checks to see if an HD version of the channel exists and, provided the customer subscribes to both versions, automatically switches over to the HD Version.

The benefit for viewers is they will always be watching the high definition channel even if they have inadvertently selected the standard definition version or if they were unaware that an HD version of the channel now existed.

Auto HD only works for channels 1 through 99. This is done so customers who still want access to standard definition channels can tune into them above channel 100. The SD versions are remain available to customers that wish to watch or record the SD versions of their favourite programs, perhaps because the HD version is stretched or to reduce the amount of storage space used on their PVR.

For example in Barrie, the Auto Tune HD Channel for CBC Television is channel #6 so any HD customer tuning to channel #6 on an HD set top box will be tuned to CBC HD on channel #518. Conversely, a standard definition customers in Barrie tuning into channel #6 would only see the SD version of CBC. If, for whatever reason, a Barrie HD customer wanted to see the CBC in standard definition, they could tune to the duplicate CBC SD channel which can be found on Channel #127.

Rogers says Auto HD functionality is transparent to users and will have no effect on parental controls or favourites settings.

Discuss Rogers Auto HD in Digital Home’s Rogers Digital Cable forum.


9 Responses to “Rogers introduces Auto Tuning to HD channels”
  1. GUyKap says:

    It would have been nice if this was better communicated. Poof my DVR blew up on storage because it was recording the HD versions instead of the SD versions (we watch a lot on the DVR). It took me two hours to reprogram the DVR, and there are still shows I can’t find!

    • Styan says:

      Agreed… terribly communication from Rogers on this one… lost all my recordings that were going on while the upgrade happened.

  2. Mike says:

    The “update” is terrible and the new interface is very basic and ugly. The playback of recorded shows is much less responsive now (fast forwarding, rewinding etc. takes too long to recognize you’ve pressed the button). It’s still not as bad as playback on channel 100, but it’s worse than it was.

    I’ve also noticed I can’t view the guide while recording two shows anymore. It’s rare, but (especially on Thursday night) I’ve found myself wanting to make sure the next shows are going to record properly while I’m recording two previous shows. I guess I’ll have to just do that when nothing’s on.

    • Tony says:

      In Vancouver, we have Shaw. We get a pop-up that says the channel is available in HD. Press Ok and it takes you to it. I kind of wish I had the option of making it automatic. It would save me from having to patiently explain to my wife how much better the HD would be if only she would change the channel.

  3. Dennis says:

    Well, I’m not getting auto HD happening. All I’m getting is all SD channels being stretched (very ugly) and no way that I can see of turning that off.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, i never watch SD in stretched. I hate when they are out of proportion. this part really sucks, kinda like the cleaner look of the guide but they still need to make that 16:9

  4. Jason Bonham says:

    Great new feature – did they mention they’ll be charging an extra $3 per month for it?

    Oh – I guess that was going to be a surprise.

  5. Patrick says:

    New UI is really lame & I still am not getting auto HD. Even after rebooting HD box. I really don’t feel like waisting an hour on the phone with Rogers.

  6. Marilyn says:

    This will mess up my TiVo recording as I can only record one HD channel at a time whereas I can record two SD channels!

    How do I opt out?