CBS Chicago to begin OTA May 31 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 298 Old 05-28-2001, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
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In an e-mail from a WBBM broadcast engineer:
Quote:
Just a quick note to let you know that we plan on beginning digital
over-the-air broadcasts on Thursday, May 31. AT&T Cable tells us they've
fixed their infrastructure problems and are ready for us to begin
low-powered broadcasts. We're set to begin sometime Thursday morning
although I'm not sure exactly when. This is also contingent on everything
working properly at the transmitter. (This stuff hasn't been fired up for
almost two years.)

It's doubtful that you will be able to receive our low powered signal as far
out as you are, but stranger things have happened.

Let me know if you are able to see us Thursday. If not, you can keep
watching cable for now. Once we're up to full power you should definitely
be able to watch us over the air.
[This message has been edited by Sigma902 (edited 05-28-2001).]
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post #2 of 298 Old 05-28-2001, 05:30 PM
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Cool! What channel will CBS brodcasting on (My STB's autoscan never works quite right).

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post #3 of 298 Old 05-28-2001, 05:55 PM
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This would be a great surprise if it really does happen since Bob Ross has been saying that they needed a new transmitter site that wouldn't be operational until the fall. Let's hope it happens!
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post #4 of 298 Old 05-28-2001, 06:26 PM
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Sigma902,

Do we know when they will be at full power? I too live in a far south suburb so probably will not get the signal.

Would you post the e-mail addy of the engineer??

Tim
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post #5 of 298 Old 05-28-2001, 07:36 PM
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Awesome news!

WBBM-DT should be on channel 3.




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post #6 of 298 Old 05-28-2001, 10:29 PM
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Knowing how rumors abound on the Internet I am taking a "Wait And See" attitude! To be saying all along that they will be putting up a new transmitter and starting in the fall to out of the blue supposedly saying in less then a week is a bit suspect at best. I hope it turns out to be true for the sake of all the HD viewers in the Chicagoland area! Also curious that a engineer "in the know" would actually be working Memorial weekend!

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post #7 of 298 Old 05-29-2001, 11:19 AM
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I'm extremely hopeful that this is true. I also think it makes more sense than others might think. We've all been suspicious why WBBM hasn't been putting more muscle on AT&T to correct the problem on their end since CBS own's the FCC channel. Also, Bob's comments about the transmitter site have always been vague. So perhaps the behind the scenes dealing were that AT&T would have to compensate WBBM for the new transmitter unless they made their system compatible. Maybe it just turned out that it was more cost effective for AT&T to fix their problem.

Also, don't be so sure valuable employees aren't working on holidays. Most techs are still hourly paid and many look forward to the double time.
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post #8 of 298 Old 05-29-2001, 12:12 PM
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I sent Bob Ross an e-mail, referring to this thread asking what he knew about the situation, here's his respons from this morning:

We are going to try and run a few experiments. This will decide if enough
of the cable system has changed. We are working very closely with ATandT
this time

Bob

Let's hope that things work and and they can fire the transmitter up, I sure would like to see what everone else that can get CBS-DT has been talking about!
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post #9 of 298 Old 05-29-2001, 01:11 PM
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Please see the post above then this update I just got from Bob:

BTW it has moved to a week from today

So June 5th is now the magic day to see if AT&T got their act together. If it works it's still better then waiting until October!
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post #10 of 298 Old 05-29-2001, 04:13 PM
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WooooHooooooo,
Fire it up! I can't wait to see what everyone else has been talking about. Let's just hope everything works out. Now if only we could get Dave in HD. Leno is okay but he's no Dave. I haven't watched Dave(or any CBS)at all since getting HD, the picture is just unbearable to watch.

Great News,
Rick


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post #11 of 298 Old 05-30-2001, 09:31 PM
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I have just confirmed with Bob, WBBM will attempt on-air testing beginning Tuesday, June 5. The testing is being performed with close cooperation from AT&T. This is no guaranty of permanent transmission, it is merely a test. Hopefully, positive results will accelerate the schedule. Stay tuned...

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post #12 of 298 Old 06-01-2001, 06:44 AM
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Did anyone receive WBBM-DT yesterday? Nothing happening here (26 miles out). I did notice some unusual interference (it looked like beat noise) on CH-2 (NTSC) that stopped at about 5 PM, but my Pana TU-HDS-20 didn't notice a thing.

Best Regards,

Alex Hirsbrunner
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post #13 of 298 Old 06-01-2001, 07:16 AM
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If you read all the post in the thread you'll see that Bob Ross at CBS says that the date was changed to next Tuesday, 6/5, for the testing.
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post #14 of 298 Old 06-01-2001, 07:29 AM
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Thanks Rad - I'll wait a week - and read the entire thread next time rather than just scrolling to the bottom looking for reports!

Best Regards,

Alex Hirsbrunner
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post #15 of 298 Old 06-03-2001, 12:24 PM
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I sent an e-mail to Bob Ross asking if he knew of a schedule for Tiesday's testing, the response was:

I do not know what time things
kick off on Tues. There is a full test plan from 35 watts to 2500 watts
(full power). My guess is it will take most of the day. When I know more
ill post it up to AVS.

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post #16 of 298 Old 06-03-2001, 12:59 PM
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Hi all,

Please let me first point out that AT&T has been and continues to be very interested in helping CBS find solutions to the Channel 3 problems that have historically plagued the old Prime Cable system which AT&T's acquired effective January 1 of this year.

The HD transmitter test is scheduled to start at 9AM this Tuesday. AT&T will be have multiple test points throughout the immediate area around the Hancock looking for interference. The power of the transmission will be around 35W.

The goal is to look for interference not only impacting the old Prime Cable system near the Hancock but also other cable services like RCN that support many of the high rise buildings in the downtown area.

If the test goes well on Tuesday, we will plan another test later this week at a higher power and repeat the testing again.

Wish us luck!


Chuck
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post #17 of 298 Old 06-03-2001, 02:39 PM
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I live 4 miles from the Sears tower. I'm using the RCA DTC-100 and a Radio Shack bunny ears antenna. I consistently receive all ota digital broadcasts (abc, nbc, wgn etc.) at 85-90 strength with no dropouts. I will report back on Tuesday if I receive a WBBM-DT signal.

However, even at this proximity I may not see anything if testing is only at 35W and may need to wait until they increase the power.

Ray

[This message has been edited by guptown (edited 06-03-2001).]

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post #18 of 298 Old 06-03-2001, 04:46 PM
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Rick,


It has been a long road. Lets' hope for the best...

Before we shut down the Channel 3 transmitter last time we were running at 35 watts and customer complaint calls were still flooding into Prime Cable and AT&T.

Chuck

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post #19 of 298 Old 06-03-2001, 04:48 PM
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Ray,

If digital holds up to what they say, 35 watts should provide an excellent signal 4 miles away!

Lets us know what you see.

Thanks!

Chuck
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post #20 of 298 Old 06-04-2001, 06:59 PM
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Hi All

Still looks like a 9am start tomorrow

Have fun

Bob

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post #21 of 298 Old 06-04-2001, 07:03 PM
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This is probably a dumb question, but why can't they get a different channel from the FCC if it is causing so many problems. All other digital stations in Chicago are in the UHF channel range. I would prefer not having to purchase a VHF antenna anyway.
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post #22 of 298 Old 06-04-2001, 08:15 PM
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There has been a lot of talk about this. When you change one channel number if I remember correctly it can affect station numbers as far as 250 miles away. Because channels in between need to be changed. There is an article on this in Home Theater Magazine.

Tom

Quote:
Originally posted by lastmacuser:
This is probably a dumb question, but why can't they get a different channel from the FCC if it is causing so many problems. All other digital stations in Chicago are in the UHF channel range. I would prefer not having to purchase a VHF antenna anyway.

Tom


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post #23 of 298 Old 06-05-2001, 10:14 AM
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Kipp,

What channel were you receiving WBBM on? I performed channel search between 9-10 am using both UHF and VHF antennas and did not receive anything. NBC, ABC and FOX were coming in at 80-85 strength. I kept looking for channel 3 or 3-1 but nothing.

Ray
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post #24 of 298 Old 06-05-2001, 09:53 PM
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Hi all,

The HD test lasted a little over 1.5 hours this morning. We are still analyzing the data.

Next tentative testing date is this Friday, 9AM.

We will keep you posted.

Chuck
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post #25 of 298 Old 06-05-2001, 09:59 PM
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Chuck,

thanks for the update. I caught the broadcast and I was getting a 77 signal strength out here in Downers Grove. I did not have any dropouts.

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post #26 of 298 Old 06-06-2001, 05:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by guptown:
Kipp,

What channel were you receiving WBBM on? I performed channel search between 9-10 am using both UHF and VHF antennas and did not receive anything. NBC, ABC and FOX were coming in at 80-85 strength. I kept looking for channel 3 or 3-1 but nothing.

Ray
Ray,
I entered 3 on my dtc-100 and it took me right to 2.1.



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post #27 of 298 Old 06-06-2001, 05:48 AM
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Hi All,

A few more details from the tests yesterday

Power Up @ 9:14am - 50W
9:20am - 200W
9:30am - 600W
9:48am - 1400W
Power down @10:11am

Bob


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post #28 of 298 Old 06-06-2001, 08:28 AM
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Out of curiosity, was there any reported interference with AT&T (or other) cable boxes in the area? Do any members know folks who live near the Hancock Building and experienced trouble with their systems?

I was out of town yesterday, but I'm sure looking forward Friday's test. This is exciting.
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post #29 of 298 Old 06-06-2001, 12:30 PM
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What I don't understand is, how on earth is all this WBBM's problem. They're the licensed, primary user of the spectrum. If AT&T cable has a poorly engineering or maintained, leaky cable plant, well, that's AT&T's problem, and AT&T's problem to fix. Isn't the burden on them "to accept any interference eperienced, and not cause harmful interference to licensed users" (WBBM in this case)?

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post #30 of 298 Old 06-06-2001, 12:46 PM
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I would agree, but WBBM didn't have much of a choice. There are hundreds of thousands of AT&T cable subscribers (which is an unfortunate situation in itself) who were affected by WBBM-DT two years ago.

To leave the transmitter on, while possibly within their rights, just wouldn't have been a neighborly thing for WBBM to do. Unfortunately, those of us who are early DTV adopters are the ones who have paid the price for AT&T's poor infrastructure management.

Let's hope that this situation is resolved soon in a way that is acceptable to everyone; this week's tests seem to be an important step in that direction.
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