CBS Chicago to begin OTA May 31 - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 298 Old 06-20-2001, 10:38 PM
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It's disappointing to hear that the interference problem is still there. Will this mean a long delay in regular OTA transmissions?

Meanwhile, AT&T Cable apparently was not carrying the WBBM HD signal either last night or this morning. Maybe it was difficult to do both simultaneously. I hope this service will resume. It's not a perfect solution but it's better than nothing.

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post #92 of 298 Old 06-21-2001, 06:25 AM
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Chuck,
Are you out there? If so can we get an update? At what point does this finally become AT&T's problem should this continue? Or is there a quick fix to this most recent apparent setback? The deadline is looming. I myself have not watched WBBM since getting my HD equipment, as the analog signal is completely unwatchable due to interference from an FM antenna in my line of sight to your antenna. The picture the other night was outstanding when being broadcast in HD. Maybe I can get the FM station to shutdown because I'm experiencing interference even though they are broadcasting on their assigned frequency. Or maybe I can get them to build another antenna at a remote location and beam their signal back to their antenna in the city and bounce it back to their audience, oh yeah and while they figure what to to they can remain shutdown and lose market share. Kind of ironic don't you think? At what point does WBBM wash their hands of AT&T's problem?

Okay I feel better now that I've vented.

Rick

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post #93 of 298 Old 06-21-2001, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by FrankS:
Yes! Once again it appears AT&T's problem is preventing us from getting CBS-HD! Sounds like AT&T's "supposed" work to prevent this interference problem was minimal at best. So I guess it's back to NO CBS-HD because of AT&T's old/inferior equipment.

Did we really think AT&T would invest any decent amount of money to replace all those cable boxes?


Frank,

I can personally attest that AT&T has spent serious dollars in the Chicago market over the past 2 years which appears to have eliminated any ingress issues on the cable systems themselves.

The headends have been rebuilt to telco standards. To say the least, a group of CBS execs who recently visited AT&T were very impressed, including myself.

The problems are still centered around the immediate Chicago downtown area which is the old Prime Cable system. AT&T just took ownership of Prime in January and are now focusing on upgrading this system.

They recognize the urgency to turn on the HD transmitter and are aggressively working with CBS to resolve this issue.

Chuck


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post #94 of 298 Old 06-21-2001, 08:16 AM
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Chuck, as you can tell we're all just a bit frustrated with this situation. Is AT&T giving you a timeframe to correct the problems with the Prime system or don't they know what it will take to correct it? Were all the calls just from the Prime customers and none on the AT&T system that's been upgraded?

Is the problem only on channel 3 in this area, which we understand is used for the WBBM-TV signal or is it effecting other channels on their system? If it's only the channel 3 signal do they have some other channel that they could switch WBBM=TV with, such as the TV Guide/schedule channel (something that has much lower viewing levels)?

Is WBBM still working on setting up an alternative transmitter site, which we've been told has been in progress before, or has that plan been dropped and all the hopes are being pegged on AT&T fixing their network?

I guess I'm asking if you can spill the beans on exactly what will happen when, if possible. As you can tell we're a fairly pasionate group here and I think if we're told the whole story about what's happening and will happen we can be a bit more understanding as to why we can't receive the OTA network that has the most HDTV content. Thanks - Rick
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post #95 of 298 Old 06-21-2001, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rad:
Chuck, as you can tell we're all just a bit frustrated with this situation. Is AT&T giving you a timeframe to correct the problems with the Prime system or don't they know what it will take to correct it? Were all the calls just from the Prime customers and none on the AT&T system that's been upgraded?
I certainly share your frustration. The lack of a CBS HD signal in the Chicago market is hurting us financially and certainly not providing Chicago market HD set owners with the network that provides most inriched HD programming schedule. At the same time, the testing we just went through and the data collected will allow us to address some of the very questions you have raised.

The only call center that received calls Tuesday night was the AT&T downtown center. Since the Prime Cable system is located in the downtown area I would only be able to make assumptions on answering if any old TCI system users complained. AT&T does have the data. As of this AM the parsed data has not be provided to CBS but we expect it shortly. This information is key to determining the "hot" spots from the tests.


Quote:
Is the problem only on channel 3 in this area, which we understand is used for the WBBM-TV signal or is it effecting other channels on their system? If it's only the channel 3 signal do they have some other channel that they could switch WBBM=TV with, such as the TV Guide/schedule channel (something that has much lower viewing levels)?
The problem is two fold. If the customer is using a cable box on the old Prime System, the HD channel 3 signal can effectively prevent the subscriber from seeing any cable channels as the boxes on this system are fixed to a channel 3 output. If the subscriber is not using a cable box, the CBS analog channel 2 is on cable channel 3 and the subscriber cannot watch CBS.

Quote:
Is WBBM still working on setting up an alternative transmitter site, which we've been told has been in progress before, or has that plan been dropped and all the hopes are being pegged on AT&T fixing their network?
The alternative site was placed on hold. After our recent meetings with AT&T and seeing firsthand the progress AT&T has made in system upgrades, it was decided to start the testing we are now doing.

Quote:
I guess I'm asking if you can spill the beans on exactly what will happen when, if possible. As you can tell we're a fairly passionate group here and I think if we're told the whole story about what's happening and will happen we can be a bit more understanding as to why we can't receive the OTA network that has the most HDTV content. Thanks - Rick
I recognize the members of AVSforum represent first adopters and just like you, CBS is very intent on resuming OTA HD as soon as possible. I hope I have shared enough information for the members to understand exactly where CBS and AT&T stand at this time.

As we continue to find solutions to our problems, I will continue to share what information I can to the group.

Chuck

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post #96 of 298 Old 06-21-2001, 11:39 AM
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If I'm not mistaken, AT&T has had nearly two years now to fix the problems. So forgive me if I doubt their "sense of urgency". Also, they are generating extra revenue in the meantime (the "new" customers who are subscribing just to get the HD broadcast via cable). I'm guessing if there was some kind of legal recourse it would have been done by now.

Chuck, Thanks for the timely and honest information.
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post #97 of 298 Old 06-21-2001, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by crbaldwin:
If I'm not mistaken, AT&T has had nearly two years now to fix the problems. So forgive me if I doubt their "sense of urgency". Also, they are generating extra revenue in the meantime (the "new" customers who are subscribing just to get the HD broadcast via cable). I'm guessing if there was some kind of legal recourse it would have been done by now.

Chuck, Thanks for the timely and honest information.
The AT&T acquisition of Prime Cable took over one and a half years. They just took control of the system this past January. Within six months they were at a point to start testing.




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post #98 of 298 Old 06-21-2001, 10:57 PM
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I think that in a situation such as this where we the public have entrusted our airwaves to Viacom and AT&T in a guardianship that both of these well meaning entities might need a little outside prodding to settle this issue once and for all with a deadline or the court shall order the transmitter turned on and left on! Is there any legal precedent to make this happen?
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post #99 of 298 Old 06-22-2001, 07:25 PM
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Can someone please explain why the dtv signal which is over the air causes a problem with a hard wire cable system? Or are they trying to send this sigal over the cable also?I work high voltage systems and can't figure out the connection between over the air and a hardwire cable system.
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post #100 of 298 Old 06-25-2001, 08:12 AM
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Chuck or Bob, have you received any further data from AT&T Narrowband on the interferance problem? Was it localized to just one area of their system (easy to fix) or was it bascially all of downtown around the Hancock tower (not easy to fix)???

In a previous reponse you mentioned that part of the problem was that some of the AT&T set top boxes were fixed with a channel 3 output and that was part of the problem. Does this mean that AT&T Narrowband will have to do a truck roll and replace all those boxes before you can try again? If that's the case I guess it's going to be a long time before I can watch WBBM-DT since our AT&T Narrowband cable system will be upgraded about the same time they find a cure for the common cold (guess Libertyville/Mundelein/Grayslake/Wauconda don't rate).

Thanks - Rick
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post #101 of 298 Old 06-25-2001, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DJK:
Can someone please explain why the dtv signal which is over the air causes a problem with a hard wire cable system? Or are they trying to send this sigal over the cable also?I work high voltage systems and can't figure out the connection between over the air and a hardwire cable system.

DJK.

Over the past 4 years AT&T has been purchasing cable systems in the Chicago market. In the immediate downtown area both TCI and Prime Cable systems were acquired by AT&T. Both systems were very old when AT&T bought them. AT&T took possession of Prime Cable in January of this year.

AT&T has been rebuilding the headends and distribution systems with fiber so that there is one cable run from the headend to a finite number of subscribers. They have and are replacing all of the main feeds with fiber which is not affected by RF, which brings me to your first question.

Remember when a hair dryer near a TV would tear up the signal? Well, the old cable systems were very prone to signals penetrating the RF cable transmission lines. To add to that problem, the subscriber was even more prone to interference if an adaptor was used to go from 75 ohm to 300 ohm on the back of the TV set. Also, as the 75 ohm cable deteriorates over time, the first frequencies affected are the lower channel frequencies.

Channel 2 was moved years ago to channel 3 on the downtown cable systems to eliminate the over the air signal interfering with the signal within the cable system (ingress). But where we seem to be having the ingress problems today is between the telephone pole and the TV and more specifically between the cable demark and TV.

CBS HD channel 3 is now causing the same problems with the non-upgraded cable systems that channel 2 caused. Another problem is that the old Prime Cable system cable converter boxes are fixed on channel 3 as their output to the TV set.
So, when the channel 3 HD signal penetrates the cable between the converter box and the TV set, no cable channels are viewable to the subscriber. If the subscriber is not using a converter box, then channel 3 HD wipes out cable channel 3 which happens to be... you guessed it, WBBM-TV channel 2 analog.

I have rambled on here but I hope you have a better understanding of the issues faced tody by CBS and AT&T in the Chicago market.

Chuck

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post #102 of 298 Old 06-25-2001, 09:04 AM
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Chuck,

On behalf of AVS & it's members, a sincere thank you for all your support and information.

Ken H
AVS HDTV Moderator

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post #103 of 298 Old 06-25-2001, 09:21 AM
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Any estimate on when we will be able to watch HD-CBS using an OTA antenna? Would CBS use a different channel besides 3 to quickly launch OTA HD service in the Chicago area??
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post #104 of 298 Old 06-25-2001, 05:48 PM
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Thanks for the explanation Chuck. Hope ya get it working by football season!
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post #105 of 298 Old 06-25-2001, 06:34 PM
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DJK, ismscott and others -

Chuck is doing us a real favor by keeping us up-to-date on the latest efforts to resolve this issue. Many of us are monitoring this thread and hoping for a breakthrough. Let's not sidetrack this thread by asking Chuck questions that have already been discussed on this forum for a year. Please use the search feature and seach on WBBM and you should find all the background you'd like. You can find out all about the problem, why applying for a new channel is not feasible and the various workarounds that have been suggested. Thanks.
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post #106 of 298 Old 06-25-2001, 07:25 PM
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JVOS, we all agree that Chuck and Bob have been helpful in keeping us informed on the progress and sometimes lack of progress that's being made. I know that the channel issue has been discussed before, but I don't ever seen an answer to the question about swapping with an assigned channel that won't be used for a number of months. For example WYCC has been assigned channel 21 for their digital channel and probably will be looking for a turn up as late as they can (close to 5/31/2003). So what can't the FCC authorize a swap of these channel assignments which would allow WBBM-DT to get on the air and hopefullw AT&T Narrowband would get their infrastructure problems resolved by 5/31/2003. If they can't fix them by then would that mean that WBBM-DT would still be silent due to the interferance problem. The biggest problem that I see with this is that WBBM-DT would have to replace their DT transmitting plant to change from VHF to UHF, but maybe they could sell it to WYCC?
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post #107 of 298 Old 06-26-2001, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rad:
JVOS, we all agree that Chuck and Bob have been helpful in keeping us informed on the progress and sometimes lack of progress that's being made. I know that the channel issue has been discussed before, but I don't ever seen an answer to the question about swapping with an assigned channel that won't be used for a number of months. For example WYCC has been assigned channel 21 for their digital channel and probably will be looking for a turn up as late as they can (close to 5/31/2003). So what can't the FCC authorize a swap of these channel assignments which would allow WBBM-DT to get on the air and hopefully AT&T Narrowband would get their infrastructure problems resolved by 5/31/2003. If they can't fix them by then would that mean that WBBM-DT would still be silent due to the interferance problem. The biggest problem that I see with this is that WBBM-DT would have to replace their DT transmitting plant to change from VHF to UHF, but maybe they could sell it to WYCC?

Rad,

CBS negotiated with WYSS for over a year to "borrow" channel 21 until the cable issues could be completely resolved. Unfortunately, every time we sat down at the table with Dr. Watson, the Chancellor, the price tag went up. I cannot get into the details, but the last counter from WYYC was valued at serious 7 digits dollars which could not be justified for a 2 year lease.

As for the FCC's involvement, we were told it was our problem to work out.

Chuck

PS.. There is a scheduled conference call with AT&T this morning and we are planning to resume testing tomorrow at 25% power. I will try and update this later today.


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post #108 of 298 Old 06-26-2001, 07:21 AM
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Chuck, thanks for the answer. Sounds like the Chicago City Colleges were just getting a bit too greedy, you would think they would be happy to get any revenue to help woth expenses. But then again this is Chicago and sometimes logic just doesn't make sense. Good luck with your testing this time, we're keeping our fingers crossed.

Thanks - Rick
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post #109 of 298 Old 06-26-2001, 02:17 PM
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Chuck,

Thanks for the quick reply.. I really do appreciate you keeping us up to date instead of trying to guess on when cbs chicago would go live. It also helps to know that CBS Chicago is doing everything it can to get their programs on the air.. I wish the other stations in town with the HD channels on the air would actually broadcast in an HD format.. Again, THANNK YOU for keeping us up to date!!
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post #110 of 298 Old 06-26-2001, 03:35 PM
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Hi all,

WBBM-HD will be on the air again tomorrow, Tuesday, June 27, starting around 9:00 AM at 1/4 power (700 watts). Once again, we hope to keep the signal up over night..

Chuck

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post #111 of 298 Old 06-27-2001, 11:11 AM
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Hey Everyone,
I was flipping DT channels and CBS is back on at 68% stength
on my signal meter. The picture looks GREAT!!! I hope CBS works out it problems soon. But what they are broadcasting now which is 12:05 Wednesday June 27th looks fantastic. My Zip code is 60077.
Best Regards. Arnie.......
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post #112 of 298 Old 06-27-2001, 11:47 AM
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We're getting a pretty broken up signal here in Hinsdale at 12:46 pm. Price is Right was locking up fairly well this morning. Is Y & R in HD or is this an upconvert?

Using:
Unity Motion HDR-1000a, Winegard antenna on roof through many splits and no amp.

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post #113 of 298 Old 06-27-2001, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Arnier:
Hey Everyone,
I was flipping DT channels and CBS is back on at 68% stength
on my signal meter. The picture looks GREAT!!! I hope CBS works out it problems soon. But what they are broadcasting now which is 12:05 Wednesday June 27th looks fantastic. My Zip code is 60077.
Best Regards. Arnie.......

Arnie,
You witnessed soap opera history... You happened to catch the very first day of the first soap opera, The Young and the Restless, being broadcast in 1080i.
Chuck


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post #114 of 298 Old 06-27-2001, 02:58 PM
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Surprisingly (with transmitter running at 1/4 power) I am getting a 71-73 signal on my Dish 6000 here in Buffalo Grove!

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post #115 of 298 Old 06-27-2001, 06:28 PM
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Out on the southwest corner of Naperville, I am recieving 25 percent.. Seems to be whatever power you are broadcasting at is the same power signal strength I get.. Only wish I decided to move closer to the city.. Cannot wait to start getting the high quality, HD feed from CBS!!!

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post #116 of 298 Old 06-27-2001, 07:24 PM
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8:15 pm, Winnetka, about 17 - 18 miles from downtown Chicago, and WBBM-DT is coming in perfectly! (No signal strength indicator available.) Way to go, guys. Hope it keeps up.
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post #117 of 298 Old 06-27-2001, 07:28 PM
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Nothing out in Mundelein, receiver doesn't even register a blip on the signal strength meter, but I'm getting Milwaukee PBS just fine tonight, too bad nothing in HDTV on PBS.
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post #118 of 298 Old 06-27-2001, 08:20 PM
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9:15p. I tried throughout the day and got blips up to 50% but not enough to lock the signal on my Dish 6000 here in Bartlett. My fingers are crossed for 50% testing tomorrow.
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post #119 of 298 Old 06-27-2001, 08:26 PM
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I wonder if this is an indication of relative strengths of STB OTA reception? FrankS in Buffalo Grove is getting good signal on his Dish STB. I'm also in BG with a Panny TUHDS20, executed a rescan, and bubkas, nothing on 3, or 2-1. Very interesting. I receive all other OTA transmissions in town perfectly.

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post #120 of 298 Old 06-27-2001, 08:31 PM
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Well an update on reception here in Buffalo Grove! STUPID me had my A/B switch set on cable to get the AT&T feed of CBS-HD thus the good signal I was getting. After switching to the OTA feed I got 0, nothing, nada!

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