WHNT-DT Channel 59 (CBS) Huntsville, Alabama Testing!!! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 59 Old 04-09-2002, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Just got this E-mail from WHNT-DT engineer Brian Covington:

Quote:
hello you are receiving this email because you inquired about our (whnt tv dtv ch 59) hd tv signal. We are now testing on ch59. There are two stores in our area right now receiving the signal tweeter audio and video in front of target on university drive and palm audio and video on university drive. I anticipate the list growing. You are also welcome to drop by the station to look at the signal in our control room, we just need to make sure you tell me before you arrive. I welcome you to visit www.cbs.com for the complete hdtv broadcst schedule. At this time we will pass the HDTV signals from CBS and upconvert our analog to HDTV so there will be a picture on the screen. Understand this there may be times when we sit in black or miss commercial breaks. Our control room is computer controlled and the hdtv feed is having to be manually controlled untill we get some computers programmed.

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post #2 of 59 Old 04-09-2002, 01:38 PM
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ROCK AND ROLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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post #3 of 59 Old 04-09-2002, 03:30 PM
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Any idea what their broadcasting power is currently at?

With the tropo forecast being what it is the next 36-48 hrs, if their power is up enough there's a shot I could even DX that station! I've gotten their analog once before when the conditions were less favorable.
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post #4 of 59 Old 04-09-2002, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Don't know but I'm going to ask Brian tomorrow when I E-mail him the results of my test viewing tonight. I'll post his response here...

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post #5 of 59 Old 04-10-2002, 07:28 AM
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Did a digital channel search last night (around 7:30 PM) and got nothing. Just wondering if they took it down or what? It could be that I live about 9 miles from the station and was using a sandard set of rabbit ears. Any info into this would be greatly appreciated.
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post #6 of 59 Old 04-10-2002, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wolfie
[b]Did a digital channel search last night (around 7:30 PM) and got nothing. Just wondering if they took it down or what? It could be that I live about 9 miles from the station and was using a sandard set of rabbit ears. Any info into this would be greatly appreciated.
I don't think standard rabbit ears are going to do the trick for you (those are for VHF primarily). Run over to Radio Shack and get yourself the double bowtie UHF indoor antenna (costs about $17). I was able to easily lock WHNT's signal from 6:30-10:30 last night using that antenna. I did experience some freeze-framing/pixelation (especially during "The Guardian" between 8:20 and 9 PM) but for the most part the video/audio was excellent. I was getting signal strengths ~60 most of the night. There's a thread in the HDTV Hardware section concerning modifications to the double bowtie that make it even more sensitive.

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post #7 of 59 Old 04-10-2002, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RickD_99


I don't think standard rabbit ears are going to do the trick for you (those are for VHF primarily). Run over to Radio Shack and get yourself the double bowtie UHF indoor antenna (costs about $17). I was able to easily lock WHNT's signal from 6:30-10:30 last night using that antenna. I did experience some freeze-framing/pixelation (especially during "The Guardian" between 8:20 and 9 PM) but for the most part the video/audio was excellent. I was getting signal strengths ~60 most of the night. There's a thread in the HDTV Hardware section concerning modifications to the double bowtie that make it even more sensitive.
Thanx Rick. I'll try your suggestion today. Aint it cool to be able to watch all those overpaid golfers at the Masters in anything more than 480I. BTW, how far do you reside from the station. As I said before, I am about 9 miles away.
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post #8 of 59 Old 04-10-2002, 10:15 AM
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Thanks for the info...maybe I'll be able to see CSI in HD tomorrow!!!
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post #9 of 59 Old 04-10-2002, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wolfie
Thanx Rick. I'll try your suggestion today. Aint it cool to be able to watch all those overpaid golfers at the Masters in anything more than 480I. BTW, how far do you reside from the station. As I said before, I am about 9 miles away.
I'm about the same distance from the station you are, but I'm wondering if perhaps their digital transmitter is located elsewhere (Monte Sano perhaps???). I asked Brian that question in an E-mail this morning and I'll post his response here once I receive it.

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post #10 of 59 Old 04-10-2002, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are Brian's answers to a few questions I posed to him earlier this morning:
Quote:

a) What power are you currently transmitting your digital signal at?

b) Does your station plan on doing multicasting in the future?

c) Where exactly is your digital transmitter located?

d) I noticed that your upconverted analog programming is presented in a
14x9 box-will that


a. 50 percent power
b. right now we plan on testing from approx 10:30 am till 10:35 pm.
c. 960 monte sano blvd
d. we may strech the upconverted stuff slightly but if we do it cuts off the
bottom portion of programming.

brian covington
whnt engineering
I won't comment on his answer to question (b) except to say that if the rest of his cohorts don't know what multicasting is either then I consider that a good thing (no potential degrading of the HDTV signal because of simultaneous multicasting!) :)

I'm trying to get a clarification from him regarding what wattage level they are currently sending the signal out at.

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post #11 of 59 Old 04-10-2002, 01:02 PM
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Another of their engineers sent me this a while back. I'm not sure what they will be datacasting (or how to receive it). I do hope they will multicast for next years NCAA tourney. I was not aware that multicasting takes away from the HD transmission.

Quote:
Mark we plan to be on-air with HDTV by May 1 2002. We will be broadcasting
HDTV/DTV and Datacasting at the same time. The Data will not take away from the
HDTV or DTV signal. If we started today most of the HDTV content is in prime
time programming and sports events.
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post #12 of 59 Old 04-10-2002, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's Brian's response to my question on WHNT's DTV signal power:

Quote:
we are running just less then 1/2 power and that is 450 thousand watts. there is a guy right up the road from you who put an antenna in his attic and he is having no problems.
So at full power it looks like they will be doing 1 million watts...

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post #13 of 59 Old 04-10-2002, 06:14 PM
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WooHoo...

I've got signal. I was getting 85-91% before the sun went down. Now it is cosistently 95-99% (Dish 6000 receiver). I have a radio shack antenna mounted in my attic. I am out in Harvest, AL (Anderson Hills area).

CSI party tomorrow!!!:D

Hopefully ABC and FOX will be up by May 1. NBC is speculating June...

Finally some return on my investment!
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post #14 of 59 Old 04-10-2002, 06:32 PM
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There was just a teaser for tonight's news that there was going to be a story on HDTV...FYI



update....view the story and the video of the report here
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post #15 of 59 Old 04-11-2002, 07:43 AM
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This is great news -- I'll run by and pick up an antenna today. I had heard that ABC in Huntsville is delaying until 2003. Anybody else have other info??
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post #16 of 59 Old 04-11-2002, 09:52 AM
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Just got the last Dbl Bowtie antenna everybody is raving about that Radio Shack makes at the Madison Square R.S. Am going to modify it tonight and see how it works. Again, thanx for the info Rick. It came in handy. Oh, BTW, since their tower is on Monte Sano, then I am approx. 12 miles away. However, 3 more miles should not make that much of a difference.
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post #17 of 59 Old 04-11-2002, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wolfie
Am going to modify it tonight and see how it works. Again, thanx for the info Rick. It came in handy.
You're welcome Wolfie...I'm going to modify my antenna as well this weekend and see how it works.

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post #18 of 59 Old 04-11-2002, 11:28 AM
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Hey -- just picked up the antenna at the Radio Shack on Madison Blvd. I connected it to my HD100 and can get a signal. But it's being weird -- 100 signal for a few seconds, then zero. Then back to 100 again. Over and over and over. Is this an antenna issue, a set-top box issue, or what? Could electrical interference be an issue? I've got it sitting on top of my components right now but was thinking of running a longer cable and mounting the antenna out in the garage or up in the attic. Any ideas?
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post #19 of 59 Old 04-11-2002, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Darin Austin Johnson
Hey -- just picked up the antenna at the Radio Shack on Madison Blvd. I connected it to my HD100 and can get a signal. But it's being weird -- 100 signal for a few seconds, then zero. Then back to 100 again. Over and over and over. Is this an antenna issue, a set-top box issue, or what? Could electrical interference be an issue? I've got it sitting on top of my components right now but was thinking of running a longer cable and mounting the antenna out in the garage or up in the attic. Any ideas?
Sorry about the problem, Darin. It could be, since they're still in test mode, that they are experimenting. Hope it's not your box, cause that's what I have. Just a thought, but I think everyone from the rocket city who has HD and uses this forum ought to get together and start a HDTV club. We could, first of all, meet each other personally, discuss how we can, as a group, better the format and get the word out to the non-believing naysayers who are negative in every way to HDTV. Most folks who are against it have never see the "true picture" (sorry for the bad pun). Just a thought.:rolleyes:
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post #20 of 59 Old 04-11-2002, 01:34 PM
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Wolfie -- good idea about the club. I just recently moved here from Philadelphia where we had 6 digital stations. Unfortunately I have only recently upgraded to HD (wasn't in a position to take advantage of it there!). I'm psyched to hear of someone local who has an HD100 because I haven't met ANYONE in this area who is even remotely into HT. What kind of set-up do you have?

I was at CES in January and was *this* close to getting a Zenith box and ditching my Sony, because I needed VGA output and the Sony has issues with that part of its anatomy. I was able to snag a Component-to-VGA converter from the Key Digital booth for half price.

Also, who did your satellite install??
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post #21 of 59 Old 04-11-2002, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
But it's being weird -- 100 signal for a few seconds, then zero. Then back to 100 again.
I get that too on 59-1 but not 59-2. Should go away on 59-1 once there is some HD content on. In fact, the Masters should be on as we speak. I wish I could leave work early!


Also here is some bad info from WAAY
Quote:
Our current plans are to be able to broadcast HDTV signal by early 2003. The
implementation may be sooner due to our competition's rollout, but I haven't
been told anything about it. I will keep your name along with the many other
HDTV viewers and keep you informed as we progress towards the future of
television!
Thanks,
WAAY-TV Programming
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post #22 of 59 Old 04-11-2002, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
The implementation may be sooner due to our competition's rollout
Email programming@waaytv.com to inquire about HDTV and to be added to the list of HDTV viewers. Sounds like they may expedite their implementation.
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post #23 of 59 Old 04-12-2002, 06:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Darin Austin Johnson
Wolfie -- good idea about the club. I just recently moved here from Philadelphia where we had 6 digital stations. Unfortunately I have only recently upgraded to HD (wasn't in a position to take advantage of it there!). I'm psyched to hear of someone local who has an HD100 because I haven't met ANYONE in this area who is even remotely into HT. What kind of set-up do you have?

I was at CES in January and was *this* close to getting a Zenith box and ditching my Sony, because I needed VGA output and the Sony has issues with that part of its anatomy. I was able to snag a Component-to-VGA converter from the Key Digital booth for half price.

Also, who did your satellite install??
Well, Darin, I have my Radio Shack double bowtie antenna modified for 75 ohm connection and tweeked for optimal reception of WHNT-HD. I have one word for the results. IN-FREAKING-CREDIBLE! Watched CSI last night and was glued to the picture-and it was a repeat! I plan on watching only the final round of the Masters, simply because the A-Day game (Alabama's spring football tune-up) is Saturday. My only dilemma is that "Band Of Brothers" on HBO-HD is on at the same time that "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Becker" (my two favorite sitcoms) on Monday nights. What to choose, what to choose. Mercy me.

To answer your satellite question, three people...me, myself, and I. I was experienced in this matter because I had originally done my first install when DirecTV satellite first became popular back in the 90's (ancient history, I know). BTW, this is my second Sony unit. The first one crapped out on me after only 30 days. Luckily, I bought it at Tweeters so no problems on the return. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Also, did you get your signal problems corrected. I found out that exact placement of the antenna is crucial.

Anybody out there want to e-mail me about the club or any other matter, my address is andrewjriley@hotmail.com I won't promise you I'll have the answer, but I'll try.
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post #24 of 59 Old 04-12-2002, 08:21 AM
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After reading about their HD transmission yesterday I went after work and got a Radio Shack's Double Bowtie UHF antenna but ended up not needing it. (I was able to get the reception with a $34.00 Magnabox UHF-VHF antenna with gain from Walmart).
I did experience periods of Video and Audio dropouts but most of the time my Sony's KDP57XBR2 signal meter indicated a signal strenght in the ninety something percent neighborhood.
I hope CBS increased their HD programming and WHNT buys HD cameras for their normal news coverage.
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post #25 of 59 Old 04-12-2002, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by jorgitog1
I hope CBS increased their HD programming and WHNT buys HD cameras for their normal news coverage.
I think it's unlikely that WHNT will be doing HD local news anytime soon as the costs of converting their studio cameras and remote cameras to HD would be astronomical. I think it's nothing short of miraculous that a station in a marginal viewer numbers area like Huntsville can afford the several million dollars to buy the DTV equipment in the first place!

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post #26 of 59 Old 04-13-2002, 06:01 AM
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Thanks for all who have posted to this tread for the great information in recent days concerning CH59. I have also been receiving the signal and I am thrilled about having CBS HD programming.

I sent an email to the WAAY and WAFF to inquire about their status. I received a quick response from both with the following information.

WAFF replied with.
Quote:
"WAFF recently filed an HDTV extention, so we proably aren't going to be up until late summer."
WAAY replied with the following.
Quote:
"Yes, ABC is producing a good percentage of their prime time programming in HDTV. However, we will not be delivering a signal until sometime early 2003. I eagerly await its implementation since ABC has so much to offer in the format. Most primetime shows and theatrical movies are being sent via ABC in HDTV format, yet we are unable to pass them on at this time. I will add you to my list of HDTV inquirees and keep you informed of the future of
television!"
Thanks,
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post #27 of 59 Old 04-13-2002, 04:26 PM
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Digital Stations in AL:

Mobile - 1
Montgomery - 1
Spaceville - 1
B'ham - 0 Urgg!!!

Time for a few four letter words!!!!!!

Congrats Huntsville!!!

(HDTV Fustrated) Dave
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post #28 of 59 Old 04-14-2002, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
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To those of you in the Rocket City using the Radio Shack double bowtie antenna I can confirm that the modification to that antenna described in this thread has resulted in an improvement of signal strength from 82 to 94 at my location here. I've got the antenna sitting on the top shelf of a closet next to my HDTV setup. Elevation and proper direction to the tower seem to be important when using this antenna. Having this ugly antenna hidden away in a closet is an additional bonus to say the least! ;)

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post #29 of 59 Old 04-15-2002, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RickD_99
To those of you in the Rocket City using the Radio Shack double bowtie antenna I can confirm that the modification to that antenna described in this thread has resulted in an improvement of signal strength from 82 to 94 at my location here. I've got the antenna sitting on the top shelf of a closet next to my HDTV setup. Elevation and proper direction to the tower seem to be important when using this antenna. Having this ugly antenna hidden away in a closet is an additional bonus to say the least! ;)
Hey Rick. I've got mine hidden behind the primary couch in my home theater room (I can have a home theater room because I have no kids). this makes it a perfect position, cosmetically, and picks up the signal totally with no drop-outs. Plus, I have no amplification to the bow-tie, so it is pure signal. Pretty good for a $28.00 investment. Positioning is crutial, though, since the slightest movement will lose the signal. Remember, it is digital so it is either yes signal or no signal.
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post #30 of 59 Old 04-15-2002, 09:33 AM
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Another double-bow-tie success story -- I rotated mine towards the East and now can pick up WHNT with no drop-outs. Watched about 15 minutes of that Supreme Court show the other night before I couldn't stomach anymore of it. (How many times can you watch the justices walk back and forth between their chambers and court room, talking about the current case?? Geez.) But the picture was great!

P.S., The guys at Radio Shack on Madison Blvd. had no clue you could use that antenna to pick up digital signals.
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