i agree, it is silly. my guess is that most stations don’t know how to use their encoders to the fullest. the opening months of ATSC were very rough, and probably once they got something working they did not want to mess with it.
i tried the zoom on the TV. it’s not the best solution. on the samsung TVs there’s no preset for this so i had to set the custom zoom to do what i want. then i have to remember to unzoom after exiting channels. if for instance i just powered everything down without exiting channels, the next user (wife or one of the kids) is going to be very confused about the zoom. it’s not family-friendly.
my feeling is that eventually channels DVR is going to have to have per-channel database entries for comskip yes/no and even comskip.ini differences. this would be a convenient place to stash whether or not the channel needs custom zoom. in the end the TV has zero information about what the program is and channels potentially has a lot of info, so that heuristic decisions can be made about zoom. where i’m coming from is that ETV has this zoom functionality, ETV is kind of a pile, and channels is and can be so much more. from my POV it’s a loss of functionality in a product that’s way ahead of the competition.