I can't complain. I remember watching games on CH. 9, on a 13 inch black@white TV, with rabbit ear antenae with tin foil assistors, to try to keep the "snow" to a minimun. I thank the hockey gods every game-night, for MSG and DirecTV.
I think part of it may also be how it translates to your cable company. Where I used to live, MSG was always superior. When I moved, I noticed a stark contrast to the quality of FSN on my new cable system, but MSG was also still very good.
MSG has pobably the best cameras, staff, and production values of any I've seen. They do tend to have issues when they go remote with MSG2, but really compare when they're on the road to when the Rangers are home, and the difference is huge. No one does it better than MSG IMO, of course they also have more money than most if not any other network covering hockey. (except NBC of course) FSNY is good too, but the two networks are pretty much the same so, I'm not comparing them. Both are owned by CV.
or does the MSG have the worst production values of any network you have ever watched? The persistent audio problems and reoccuring loss of picture has become quite irratating.
It's you. Spend a night or two scanning Center Ice and you will see that MSG is right at the top of local hockey productions. The point about HD is valid though -- I've noiticed this not only with MSG but also with other carriers throughout the year. I wish my cable operator would/could upgrade Center Ice to HD.