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post #181 of 5003 Old 06-25-2003, 09:57 AM
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keep us updated darey! we've also got to keep the pressure on for ESPN-HD (the Pats-Giants pre-season game on 8/7 will be in HD!) and to upgrade from the SAHD3100 box!
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post #182 of 5003 Old 06-25-2003, 06:35 PM
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Got an answer on the locals. Laurie is Quoted - "Not yet... I'll let you know. We are hoping next week the Discovery will be added. (don't hold me to it!)."

Laurie

I would love to keep the pressure on for ESPN HD for the Pats - Giants, but I know it is out of the local companies hands. Pressure has to go to Corporate. I'm very anxious for ESPN HD, especially now that D* has it available next week for their folks. I keep asking about upgrades to the SA3100HD Box each time I go and pay my bill, but no good answers yet.
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post #183 of 5003 Old 06-26-2003, 07:21 AM
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Question - what is the importance of the SA3100HD upgrade? What features/functions are missing or needed? Thanks.
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post #184 of 5003 Old 06-26-2003, 07:32 AM
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I think she mis-spoke... I think she meant the replacement for the 3100HD, not the "upgrade".

The 3100HD is a second generation set top HD receiver (it replaced the 2100HD).

Scientific Atlanta has produced (and Time Warner is testing them in limited markets) the 3250HD PDF SPECS as a "second and a half" generation. The 4200HD PDF SPECS is their "third generation" box.


The big feature of the 3250HD/4200HD is that it has a user selectable scan rate output -- you can choose to watch 1080i broadcasts in 1080i, 720p in 720p, 480p in 480p, 480i in 480i.


Later

Joe


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post #185 of 5003 Old 06-26-2003, 12:28 PM
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Thanks for the info! DrJoe, just noticed that your location changed. Hope your move went well and welcome to Maine. Today must feel alot like being back in Texas (hope I remembered this correctly!).
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post #186 of 5003 Old 06-26-2003, 06:23 PM
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Welcome to DrJoe. Great to have you up here in the Grand State of Maine.

Well, TWC has turned on channel 550 and labeled it HDISC. Even though it is still dark, it's a ray of hope for something new for us TWC customers. Hopefully there will be programming in a couple of days. I also notice on another TW site, in Kansas City (I think) that they are providing a free preview of IN Demand HD from 1 July thru 15 July. I wonder if something like that will be coming our way soon. Bring on the HD!!!
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post #187 of 5003 Old 06-30-2003, 09:27 AM
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Thanks for the "welcomes", folks. Maine is a very pretty state, if only it will warm up! Started to feel like home last week (had been hitting the hundreds regularly for about a month when we left!), but it seems to have cooled off a bit.

I've updated my Maine DTV Summary; haven't found a place to post it on the web yet. It isn't FULLY updated, but I thought I would post it now. One of the additions was to ask the stations with analog VHF what their intentions are for post-analog service -- if they were going to relocate their DTV broadcast down the the opened VHF channel. Both WCBB PBS out of Augusta and WGME CBS are planning to do so. I haven't gotten responses from NBC or ABC yet, but Craig Clark of WGME CBS tells me that they are. When I get notice from the respective stations, I'll update them.

I don't have any info on the New Hampshire stations outside of FCC listings and TitanTV -- folks in southern Cumberland County and York County may be able to pull them in.

Here is the list:

The Central and Southern Maine DTV Summary

Abbreviations:

ERP = effective radiated power
STA = special temporary authority

Where I give two numbers for ERP, the first is the special temporary authority (usually a lower power than); the second in parentheses is the full rating

Where I have two channel assignments, the assignment in parenthesis is either a requested change in DTV assignment or the channel the station will revert to when analog goes away. I have not bothered to check the future status of stations with both analog and digital channel assignments in the UHF. I don't (can't) gauarantee that noted channel assignment changes will be made, however, this is what station employees have told me.

Comments by the listed contacts are in quotes plus italics; my comments are in regular text.

I'm adding to the list the stations in Bangor (I'm told they may be receivable in Lewiston, where I am moving to) from Jay Ireland's Bangor Post:

Portland Area Stations:

WPME-DT UPN 28 ERP 215 kW NOT YET LIVE
WPXT-DT WB 4 (43) ERP 10 kW NOT YET LIVE
Roy Oulette roy.ouellet@pgtv.com
unknown position

Our frequencies and power levels did not pass Canadian Coordination so we do not have construction permits for either station. I'm not sure when we will be able to put a digital carrier on the air. We have now entered goverment "red tape" land with the proviso of cross-border relations.(2/03)

WPXT-DT has requested their channel allocation be changed from 4 to 43. Because the request has not been granted or denied (it has to work through both Canadian and US red tape) they were granted a construction permit extension. The hardware required to transmit a signal is channel-dependent, so until they are assigned a channel, they cannot purchase the hardware to transmit.

WPME-DT has apparently requested that their ERP be increased from 215 kW to 1000 kW. As far as I know, the request has not yet been acted on. I'm not sure why this would hold them up, the delay in operation may be due to something else.

WGME-DT CBS 38 (13) 500 kW ERP STA (1000 kW ERP) LIVE
Craig Clark crclark@wgme.sbgnet.com
Chief Engineer

WGME-DT is broadcasting on two subchannels.
38-1 is CBS Simulcast Analog, live 24/7
38-2 is the CBS Network High Definition Channel, live from 12:00PM to 12:30AM

When the analog switch is turned off by the FCC, WGME-DT will be relocated from UHF 38 to VHF 13.

WMTW-DT ABC 46 (8) 501 kW ERP STA (1000 kW ERP) LIVE
Amy Picucci wmtwviewerlink@wmtw.com
Program Coordinator
Jack Conner jconner@wmtm.com
Director of Engineering

Regarding the date WMTW will be able to pass network HD through to
our viewers, it is not set in stone at this time. Most likely, it will be later
this year or early next year." (Jack Conner, 7/03)

When the analog switch is turned off by the FCC, WMTW-DT will be relocated from UHF 46 to VHF 8.

WCSH-DT NBC 44 500 kW ERP STA (1000 kW ERP) LIVE
Mike Marshall mike.marshall@wcsh6.com
Programming and Promotion Manager
Dave Mundee dave.mundee@wcsh6.com
Chief Engineer

On-air 12:00 PM to 12:35 AM, passing high definition feed when available
Still need confirmation of DTV relocation to channel 6.

WCBB-DT PBS (Augusta) 17 (10) 27.9 kW ERP LIVE
WMEA-DT PBS (Biddeford) 45 50 kW ERP LIVE
Dave Roy droy@mpbc.org
Director of Telecommunications, Maine Public Broadcasting

The content of all Maine DTV PBS stations is identical.

Maine PBS broadcasts on 4 subchannels.
Subchannel 1 is Maine PBS, a simulcast of analog Maine PBS. It is off-air between 1:00AM and 6:00AM.
Subchannel 2 is Maine PBS You, an educational channel.
Subchannel 3 is Maine PBS Kids, childrens' programming.
Subchannel 4 is Maine PBS Plus, national PBS programs.

Currently Maine PBS does not have any HD programming on as next to nothing is available. Next fall there will be more and it will air in the regular Maine PBS schedule on subchannel 1. PBS plans to have HD programming every night during prime time starting fall of 2005.

When the analog switch is turned off by the FCC, WCBB-DT will be relocated from UHF 17 to VHF 10.

WPFO-TV FOX 23 No digital assignment

WPFO-TV went live after DTV assignments were made. When analog broadcasting goes away, WPFO will begin broadcasting in DTV on its formerly analog station.

WENH-DT PBS (Durham, NH) 57 589kW ERP Live

WENH-DT apparently carries the PBS demo signal (TitanTV.com)

WPXG-DT PAX (Concord, NH) 33 100kW ERP Not Yet Live

WPXG is a satellite of WBPX in Boston. They have filed a number of extension requests because WBPX is trying to move its analog broadcast from 68 to its digital assignment of 32. Apparently they are worried about the 700 MHz band being cleared for auction prior to the analog switch off. It isn't clear what stage WPXG is in, however, the unreliable TitanTV says they are scheduled for August 5. This may simply be when the latest CP Extension runs out.

Cable Television:

Adelphia Cable (Androscoggin County, Parts of York County) does not carry High Definition at this time.

Time Warner Digital Cable (Most of Cumberland County, Parts of York County) carries HD Showtime and HBO (East and West), and DiscoveryHD. They have all four of Maine PBS' subchannels, but it isn't clear to me whether they are from an analog or digital source (they are not labled as HDTV in the channel lineup, and do not seem to require an HD STB). iN DEMAND HD PPV is expected to soon follow.

Bangor Area Stations:

WVII-DT (ABC) 4 0.84kW ERP STA (532kW ERP) LIVE
Simulcast Analog
Contact: engrabc6@wvii.com

WABI-DT (CBS) 19 34kW ERP STA (363kW ERP) LIVE
Simulcast Analog
Contact: shilz@wabi.com

WLBZ-DT (NBC) 25 500kW ERP STA (1000kW ERP) LIVE
HDTV
Contact: lgilbert@wlbz.com

WMEB-DT (PBS) 9 15kW ERP LIVE
HD/SDTV Multicast Analog
Contact: droy@mpbc.org

Jay's comments:
"It is important to note that ABC and CBS are not currently capable of passing their respective networks HDTV programming to the local market due to the economics of acquiring the necessary hardware.

I have emailed all the local stations and have not found much enthusiasm with HDTV technical correspondence, replies are more of a customer service response not a genuine interest in HDTV."



Additions, subtractions, corrections and updates to DrJoe on the AVS Forum or dr_joe_@hotmail.com

Updated 7/7/03


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post #188 of 5003 Old 07-02-2003, 06:09 PM
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Good Evening - Just a note to let the TWC Customers that Discovery HD is now being broadcast on Channel 550. It is an outstanding picture and I know I will enjoy watching it. Also, after e-mailing Laurie, I found out that TWC is presently testing the SA3250HD Cable boxes and as soon as the testing is over, they will be available to customers. Enjoying HD!!
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post #189 of 5003 Old 07-03-2003, 07:50 AM
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I noticed, based on the pdf specs that Dr. Joe posted above, that some versions of the SA3250HD have a DVI port and others do not. Any indications on which version we will see here in Maine?
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post #190 of 5003 Old 07-03-2003, 07:57 AM
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meander - No indication at this time which one will be available, but if I find out, I will post for sure.
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post #191 of 5003 Old 07-03-2003, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Update - I have Adelphia here in Kennebunkport (serves Kennebunk, too).

Steve
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post #192 of 5003 Old 07-08-2003, 06:05 AM
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Thanks; I hadn't realized TW's coverage of Southern Maine was so spotty. I noted the coverage was not complete in the cable TV section.

I also added contacts for WCSH and WMTW, and updated the "schedule" WMTW is working on to provide HD (as before, late 2003, or early 2004). I actually traded emails with the station engineer this time (apparently Amy couldn't answer my question regarding post-analog channel assignents -- sometimes it pays to ask tough questions).

I traded emails for the first time with someone at WCSH, the programming director. He wasn't able to answer my question regarding post-analog channel assignments, and the Chief Engineer was on vacation -- so hopefully he will get back to me. I expect that WCSH will be reverting their DTV transmission to channel 6 -- as I understand it there are significant operational savings by broadcasting in the VHF over the UHF.

As far as the New Hampshire stations I have listed, can anyone in Southern Maine (Portland, York County) pull in WENH-DT? At what signal strength? Has anyone corresponded with station personell at WPXG? Does anyone know if TitanTV's Aug 8th date is more than smoke?

Later

Joe


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post #193 of 5003 Old 07-08-2003, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Before WMTW came on the air, I tried to get the ABC affiliate in Manchester, NH (about 60 miles) and was unsuccessful. Before all the Portland affiliates came on the air, I pointed my antenna to Boston (90 miles) and could get them on some nights (when atmospheric conditions right).

Steve
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post #194 of 5003 Old 07-08-2003, 01:09 PM
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This is my take on the situation:


TitanTV, although generally unreliable, lists only channels it thinks you should be able to pick up. It says that Portland residents should be able to pick up WNEH out of Durham, NH, which is broadcasting at 589kW. Durham is just over the Maine border, about 5 miles from Kittery. This channel proabably is receivable in Southern Maine, although you might have to look for it.

I'm not sure anyone will be able to pull in WPXG out of Concord, which will be rated for 100 kW when/if it goes live in early August. It is a bit further away than Durham.

The other DT stations in the Manchester area include WNEU-DT (Tel) at 80kW from Merrimack, WNDS-DT (Ind) at 96kW from Derry, and WMUR-DT at 537kW from Manchester. Of these, I would expect Mainers to have a long shot to receive WMUR and not see a peep out of the others.

Boston stations may be the right distance for atmospheric bounce -- basically, you can pull in distant stations if the atmospheric conditions cause the signal to bounce off the atmosphere. I used to be able to pull in very nice reception of Houston stations in Austin when the weather was just right. This could be what you are seeing when you pull in Boston stations.

Later


Joe


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post #195 of 5003 Old 07-08-2003, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't have a rotor, so WNEH is not practical. What network affiliate is it?

Steve
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post #196 of 5003 Old 07-17-2003, 10:09 AM
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I found this on the Portland Press Herald website today:

Quote:
Does TV confuse you? Are you unable to find what's on? Do you wonder what the differnet between HDTV and Digital TV is? Do you feel there are two many channels? For a story he's doing on the ever-changing technology of television, Reporter Ray Routhier would like to hear people's biggest TV-related questions and concerns. Please contact Ray at rrouthier@pressherald.com and include your phone number.

Maybe some of us should reply to him.


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post #197 of 5003 Old 07-17-2003, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the heads up. I just did. On another note, has anyone else been have a weak or fluctuating signal on 6-1 or 13-2? They have been a problem for me of late.

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post #198 of 5003 Old 07-17-2003, 03:47 PM
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Both signals were good last night for me. Actually 13-2 was better than usual!

Any new news on TW carrying local DTV? (I know that if there was news it would be posted here, but inquiring minds what to know...)
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post #199 of 5003 Old 07-17-2003, 06:39 PM
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switherman - I talked to Laurie a day or so ago about an e-mail I received from INHD. There seems to be a free preview from the 15th til the 20th, but not here in Maine. At the same time I asked about the locals. Her answer was that she would have to e-mail her source and get back to me. I haven't heard from her. I told her, football season wasn't far away and that CBS was going to being doing more and more in HD this year. Wish I had more news.
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post #200 of 5003 Old 07-23-2003, 01:35 PM
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Hey gang. Officially in state now and working my way towards closing this Friday. I'm at my decision point about DirectTV vs. TWC so I sent Laurie an email to see if there were any updates regarding the locals or ESPN. She said they were in active negotiations with CBS (WGME) and NBC (WCSH), but not abc since they aren't HD capable yet. No timeline, but they are talking. Negotiations were on going regarding ESPN-HD.
One last thing she wrote that I found interesting was "I can say that we are committed to get the HD on much sooner than we had original intended." I think the surprise addition of Discovery somewhat speaks to that.
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post #201 of 5003 Old 07-27-2003, 04:55 PM
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Hi all,

I just discovered this forum the other day in my efforts to find out about HD offerings in Maine. I live in Yarmouth and currently have TW cable, but with the DVR, so I don't have any HD through them. However, I was interested in trying to pick up CBS and NBC in HD OTA (the DVR cable box can't decode the HD signal), so I'm trying to decide whether to switch to digital cable without the DVR. In any case, I just wanted to introduce myself to all the other southern maine members.
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post #202 of 5003 Old 07-28-2003, 03:21 AM
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It doesn't matter if you switch to digital cable without the DVR -- digital cable boxes, even high definition digital cable boxes, don't tune OTA signals -- only signals from the cable company.

1) You need two things: a high definition television, which I assume you have, with at least a component input;

2) An HD source -- which may or may not include an ATSC (OTA digital TV) tuner. Some HDTV's have them internal -- most "HDTV Ready" sets do not. Those that do not require a "set top box" or STB to tune OTA digital.

There are basically three STB's available --

1) An HD DBS tuner -- this will tune Dishnetwork or DirecTV + OTA ATSC
2) A stand-alone ATSC tuner
3) An HD capable digital cable box -- this does NOT include an OTA ATSC tuner.

Time Warner is not transmitting the ATSC locals over their cable system at this time, so you will not be able to obtain them with a digital box. In the near future they probably will.



Joe


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post #203 of 5003 Old 07-28-2003, 04:46 AM
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I realize that the TW boxes do not include an OTA tuner; what I was hoping to do though was buy an RCA antenna from Best Buy that can daisy-chain itself between the wall outlet and the cable box and get the signals for the networks from that. I believe this is what you were saying as option 3. In any case, I discovered on Scientific Atlanta's website last night that a HD DVR box is supposed to come out this fall; hopefully TW Maine will be offering it soon after that.
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post #204 of 5003 Old 07-28-2003, 05:53 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by zkolkin
I realize that the TW boxes do not include an OTA tuner; what I was hoping to do though was buy an RCA antenna from Best Buy that can daisy-chain itself between the wall outlet and the cable box and get the signals for the networks from that. I believe this is what you were saying as option 3. In any case, I discovered on Scientific Atlanta's website last night that a HD DVR box is supposed to come out this fall; hopefully TW Maine will be offering it soon after that.

Unless your HDTV has an internal ATSC tuner, you can't receive digital locals OTA.

You shouldn't get anything by daisy chaining an antenna with the cable box -- the cable box does not have an OTA tuner. If you hooked the antenna up in parallel (rather than series), i.e. the antenna to the RF input on your TV, and the cable box to one of the video inputs on it, then you would be able to tune OTA analog signals.

By option three, I meant that you request an HD digital cable box from Time Warner, and then wait until they decide to provide digital locals. Until they do, the only HD you can get with it includes HBO-HD and Showtime-HD (if you subscribe to HBO and/or Showtime), and Discovery-HD.

In some markets, Time Warner is already providing digital locals, and if you read previous entries in this thread, in this market they say they hope to add some soon. Until they do you are SOL as far as digital locals go.

To get OTA digitals, you need an antenna plus an ATSC tuner -- which if it isn't included in your HDTV, you can only get with a stand-alone STB or a HD DBS receiver. Neither the Sci. At. nor the Motorola HD digital cable boxes have ATSC tuners -- so you only get digital locals if the cable system provides them over cable.

Do you have a link to a schedule/specifications for the Scientific Atlanta HD PVR? In correspondence with a Scientific Atlanta vice president this spring, I was told that there was no time frame for deploying an HD PVR, and that in any case the first Sci. At. HD PVR would only record in standard definition (i.e. would downconvert HD to SD to record it). In the specifications you might be able to find out if it (unlike any Sci. At. HD cable box so far) has an OTA ATSC tuner -- I expect it doesn't.

Later,

Joe


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post #205 of 5003 Old 07-28-2003, 02:38 PM
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I understand the problem now- thanks for such a detailed reply. As for the HD DVR, this is the first entry on the FAQ for the Explorer 8000 box on SA's site:

Q: When will the Explorer 8000 for HDTV be available?
A: The ExplorerHD High Definition Home Entertainment Server will be available to cable operators in October-November timeframe this year (2003). To find out when the Explorer 8000HD will be available in your area, please contact your cable company.

I emailed Laurie Russell and asked her if she knew anything about when this box would be coming to TW Maine specifically and she replied today saying she was expecting it in the 4th quarter of the year.
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post #206 of 5003 Old 07-30-2003, 08:59 AM
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Not much of an update, but I just recieved this response from Laurie:

Hi Mike,
We are still in negotiations for the local and Espn HD, no date has been issued. The new boxes are in testing, they should be released by SA in a few weeks, which means about a month before availability. That's all for now.
Nice hearing from you.
Laurie

A month from now sounds better that 4th quarter.....
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post #207 of 5003 Old 07-31-2003, 02:49 PM
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Sent a note to Amy P. at WMTW, here is the response. Not much new news but nice to have an update...

Dear Scott;

I am sorry to admit we don't have good news for you regarding HDTV on WMTW. We are still hopeful it may happen late this fall or early winter; there are many equipment upgrades necessary in order for us to pass through network HDTV.

Thank you for watching our channel 46 digital picture and please be patient
with us as we move forward into the world of HDTV!

Sincerely,

Amy Picucci
Program Coordinator
ABC 8 WMTW
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post #208 of 5003 Old 07-31-2003, 07:33 PM
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I'm still hoping to see my Pats in HD at some point this year. It looks like WMTW (ABC) isn't going to cooperate with Monday Night Football this season, and until TWC comes through, CBS or ESPN won't be a reality either!
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post #209 of 5003 Old 08-08-2003, 09:08 PM
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I'm trying to hook up my old rooftop antenna (it's gotta be from the 60's, at least) into my Hughes Directv HD box. I am getting the list of channels when i scan, but no signal at all from any of them. Am I doing something wrong, ro is the antenna just too ancient to pull stuff in? I am in Gardiner, so I could be too far away from the station towers....

Great forum, btw! Just got my HDTV a few weeks ago and am hungry for information!
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post #210 of 5003 Old 08-09-2003, 05:52 AM
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Try using Antennaweb.org to help you get an idea of what stations you can pull in and the direction. You also may wish to confirm that your antenna can do UHF (answer is most likely yes) as all the current DTV channels are in the UHF range. Plus if signal strength is a problem, a signal booster can help.
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