A Letter for Change

I do not have cable television. I get by with a Netflix subscription, cable internet, and good old-fashioned over-the-air television. The over-the-air channel selection in San Luis Obispo is very limited. I get ABC, NBC, CW, and 4 PBS stations in HD. I get an analog broadcast from FOX (more on that later) and a station that plays infomercials and old classic shows. And I get about a dozen channels in Spanish.

FOX comes in with a little static; I’m on the outskirts of the broadcast range. When I first picked up the station early in 2013 I noticed that much of the programming (and all the sporting events) was chopped from a widescreen aspect ratio to a full screen aspect ratio. It was evident pieces of the picture were missing, and for sports broadcasts the box with the score and other game information was cut off.

It seemed to me that they should be able to send out a widescreen signal in analog, so I did some research to find out why the cropping was happening. I discovered that the cropping should not be happening. In fact, FOX has an email address you can contact them at to report this type of cropping.

At first I was skeptical. Should I waste my time writing this email? FOX is huge, what are the odds they’ll pay attention to my letter? So I did not send the email right away. Finally, after months of inactivity I followed through and wrote the email.

Within a few days the aspect ratio of the analog FOX broadcast was switched to widescreen.

This was a rather boring and meaningless post, I’m sorry. But maybe you watch over-the-air television and the aspect ratio is wrong. You could write a letter about that–it worked for me.


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