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Local HDTV Info and Reception

Lee Wood's Avatar Lee Wood
12:36 AM Liked: 13
post #31 of 8755
09-12-2002 | Posts: 1,097
Joined: Oct 1999

Originally posted by dan76
Does anyone know if captioning is possible in any of the Portland channels. Lee had mentioned that KOIN 6-2 is sending this out but I can't seem to pick this up on my Mitsubishi TV. It has capabilities of CC1-4 and Text1-4. I've tried the all briefly but nothing comes up. Any ideas.


KOIN does provide captioning on all services, however the Mitsubishi receiver (like the one in our lobby) does not support DTV captions, only analog TV captions.
R11's Avatar R11
09:26 AM Liked: 66
post #32 of 8755
09-12-2002 | Posts: 4,967
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Lee you're a virtual font of knowledge. Thanks for the KPTV history lesson! Looks like their independant days started just about the time my memory goes back to around 4 or so. Had totally forgotten about their brief stint with Fox before you mentioned it. Thanks again.

Marissadad's Avatar Marissadad
02:12 PM Liked: 10
post #33 of 8755
09-12-2002 | Posts: 3,174
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Lee, this post from the HDTV programming forum is stating that WB is showing Family Affair in HD. Do you know if/when Portland's WB will be on the air and if/when they will do HD?

foelker's Avatar foelker
10:28 PM Liked: 10
post #34 of 8755
09-12-2002 | Posts: 79
Joined: Jan 2001

Regarding the problems last weekend, I think the reason you didn't see any problems on your station receivers was that they did an automatic reset and then returned to normal. This was the behavior exhibited on my DST-3000. If I hadn't been watching tennis full-time I would have missed the reset. It would freeze for about 10 seconds, reset, reload the guide, and return to normal operation. I saw it about 5-6 times but it could have been more when I wasn't watching.

Just a thought.

Lee Wood's Avatar Lee Wood
10:29 PM Liked: 13
post #35 of 8755
09-12-2002 | Posts: 1,097
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KWBP is STILL waiting for the FCC to grant their Construction Permit application to locate the DTV transmitter at the Sylvan Site in Portland rather than their analog site at High Camp northeast of Salem. At last report they did not plan to have HDTV capability at sign-on, but I think that was before the WB announced they were getting on the HDTV bandwagon. The TV engineering managers will be getting together for lunch shortly and I'll try to remember to ask.
Dean Prestholt's Avatar Dean Prestholt
08:45 AM Liked: 10
post #36 of 8755
09-13-2002 | Posts: 325
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At the end of last month I had posted this thread . Since this is now the "Nearly Official Portland, OR DTV Thread" I thought I would post further developments here. I have since had additional correspondence with Pat Shearer. Below was my response to his last email from the previous post and his response.

"Hi Pat,

Have you seen this, http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/020821/cgw027_1.html,
about the WB's plans for HD this season? With this announcement
do you think that might speed up the HD upgrade at KWBP?

With 3 of the 5 major networks in the Portland area broadcasting
in HD it seams that KWBP would want to get on board before it gets
left too far behind.

I know that HD is a major incentive for me to tune in. I used to not
watch much, if any, CBS programming for example, until they started
broadcasting in HD. I decided to take a look once I got my HD setup.
Now I'm glad I did. Turns out they have quite a few shows that I
enjoy watching.

When the major three networks, I don't count FauX, they don't broadcast
real HD, went online they had quite a few problems. Actually they're still
having some problems, so it's obviously a bit tricky to get right.
If KWBP wants to catch up and run with the rest they need to get
started ASAP. In my humble opinion of course.

I'm sure the decision is not up to you but to the owner of KWBP.
Maybe if enough people were to write into the station it might speed
things up?

Do you have an email address that I could direct people to? I think
there are many more people than you might think out there now with HD
capability. And with more support from our local stations there would
undoubtedly be many more.

Thanks for your time to read this Pat and for your responses.

Anxiously awaiting Hi Definition!


His Response,


Let me try to clear this all up for you. First of all, we don't even have a
construction permit to build our DTV transmitter facility. Once that permit
is obtained, it will take about 4 months to get the equipment delivered and
installed to enable us to broadcast in digital on channel 33. The last that
I heard was that the FCC hadn't even looked at our application yet as they
are so far behind due to budget cutbacks. We have no control over that
process and therefore we just have to wait.

Although the WB network has finally made a decision about how they will
deliver HD programming to the affiliates, KWBP will not have any way to
carry that signal to our transmitter site for broadcast. Even if we could
get the HD signal to our transmitter site, we would have to have a digital
encoder capable of converting that signal into the proper format for the
transmitter to broadcast. Our corporate (ACME Television) people have made
the decision to save considerable money by initially just upconverting our
existing analog signal(standard definition) for digital broadcasting.

Until such time as our master control room is converted from analog to
digital, we would have no way to switch local commercials into the digital
signals coming from the network. Therefore, we have to continue converting
the network digital signals into analog to go through our master control.
The end result is that the analog output of our master control room will
then be fed into a converter where it will become digital for broadcasting.
As you know, the insertion of local commercials is essential because that is
the only source of revenue for a television station.

Before you ask, I'll address a concern you might have. That would be the
question of how the conversion of the WB network signal into analog for our
master control and the subsequent conversion back to digital will affect
image quality. As you can guess, any conversion will somewhat degrade the
picture quality. However, if you were to go to an actual transmitter site
and make a direct comparison of the picture displayed on a high quality
studio monitor as it is being fed into the transmitter to one coming out of
the transmitter displayed on a consumer television set, you would see a
significant difference. By taking that same input signal through a digital
conversion and then broadcasting through a transmitter and decoding in a
consumer digital television set, the quality will surpasses the analog
television's by a large margin. I have personally seen such a comparison and
the digital television picture is significantly better.

Of course, the limitation then becomes the raw resolution of the picture.
Standard definition - in digital or analog, is limited to about 480 lines of
actual picture whereas a true HD picture is 1080 lines. By having more
lines, the perceived quality will be much better with a true HD picture.
Until KWBP converts the master control room to all digital, we will have no
way of passing a true HD signal through to our transmitter. Converting the
master control room will cost about $400,000. Add to that the new microwave
system, satellite receivers and other equipment for the transmitter and it
could easily come to somewhere around $700,000. Our new transmitter will be
almost $800,000 and we have already spent just under two million on
construction at the Sylvan site for the building, tower and antenna system.

Aside from the capital outlay for equipment, there is the operating cost of
the new transmitter. The electricity alone will be about $96,000 per year
and full power UHF transmitters require plenty of maintenance. Our new
digital transmitter will be almost identical to our existing anaolg
transmitter. From experience with the analog one, I can tell you that we
will be spending roughly $30,000 per year for repair parts and expendible

All of this expense is to provide "free" TV to viewers like yourself. I hope
you now see that this is a huge investment that we will be making and we
will certainly do so as our revenue allows. However, as a small and growing
company, some compromises had to made along the way and it will take time to
get this all accomplished. By the way, ACME Television owns 10 stations
throughout the country with 8 of them in smaller, less profitable markets
than Portland. They all have to invest similar funds into building digital
facilities so it is a challenge for our company to fund this type of

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope I have answered your
questions. I do hope that when we get our digital transmitter on the air,
you will sample the programming and let me know what you think of the
quality of the picture.


So, the good news is, they do plan on HD, but the bad news it doesn't appear that it will be any time this TV season. Not to mention the fact that the FCC is being very lame in approving the permit to build their tower.
BarryO's Avatar BarryO
10:50 AM Liked: 11
post #37 of 8755
09-13-2002 | Posts: 1,386
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In other words, they're investing $2.8 million in a digital transmitter for which there is almost no incentive for anyone to watch (as it just carries SD content already available elsewhere), rather than spending $3.5 million on a transmitter with HD content, which is unavailable from any other source.
Marissadad's Avatar Marissadad
11:39 AM Liked: 10
post #38 of 8755
09-13-2002 | Posts: 3,174
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Good news, I just received a reply from Pat at WB & they just received their construction permit on Wednesday & is good for 1 year. They are awaiting corporate response on when to go ahead.
Dean Prestholt's Avatar Dean Prestholt
02:00 PM Liked: 10
post #39 of 8755
09-13-2002 | Posts: 325
Joined: Jul 2001
That is good news. I bet it was because I called the FCC lame in my last post that they finally got it together!

Good point Barry, $3.5 mil isn't much more in the scheme of things. Although Pat did say that ACME owns 10 stations around the country so that measly $700k now becomes $7 mil. Quite a bit more but it would still be nice if it could be done right the first time. It seems to me that it might also cost more to upgrade later than if they were to do it now all at once. That's how it usually works with most things.

At least now we are starting to head toward the right direction.
mpenwell's Avatar mpenwell
01:44 PM Liked: 10
post #40 of 8755
09-16-2002 | Posts: 21
Joined: Sep 2002
Sorry if I missed this, but does anyone know when KATU (2, ABC) DTV 43 is scheduled to be back up and running?
R11's Avatar R11
02:48 PM Liked: 66
post #41 of 8755
09-16-2002 | Posts: 4,967
Joined: Dec 2001
I believe it was up last night when I flipped by.

Lee Wood's Avatar Lee Wood
03:17 PM Liked: 13
post #42 of 8755
09-16-2002 | Posts: 1,097
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I just checked, KATU-DT is on the air right now.
mpenwell's Avatar mpenwell
03:40 PM Liked: 10
post #43 of 8755
09-16-2002 | Posts: 21
Joined: Sep 2002
Great, thanks for the update. Maybe my signal was just too weak. I will check again tonight.

Marissadad's Avatar Marissadad
01:44 PM Liked: 10
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09-19-2002 | Posts: 3,174
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Lee, any news on when KPTV (FOX) will be going back to their 480p "high resolution" widescreen mode? I hope prior to 24's premier.

Moorebid's Avatar Moorebid
10:04 PM Liked: 10
post #45 of 8755
09-20-2002 | Posts: 577
Joined: May 2001

Originally posted by Marissadad
Lee, any news on when KPTV (FOX) will be going back to their 480p "high resolution" widescreen mode? I hope prior to 24's premier.

Interesting that you pose the question "when" before anyone had stated that they aren't already! *grin* Sure enough, tonight's premiere of Firefly is being shown in a 16:9 letterboxed presentation within a 4:3 frame what's worse, my signal with KPTV is atrocious, completely unable to receive a reliable signal no matter where I aim my RS double bow-tie... KPDX, on the other hand, still comes through loud and clear. *shrug*

And I was hoping it would be prior to the premiere of John Doe *double shrug*


PS. Now that John Doe has started, it's just 4:3, no letterbox... of course, the "Available in FOX Widescreen" logo was still displayed, taunting us with our now-inability to receive it.
BarryO's Avatar BarryO
10:51 PM Liked: 11
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09-20-2002 | Posts: 1,386
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I've lost track -- who owns KPTV now? If it's Meridith, the days of Fox Widescreen in Portland may be over.
Lee Wood's Avatar Lee Wood
12:25 AM Liked: 13
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09-21-2002 | Posts: 1,097
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KPTV is now owned by Meredith (along with KPDX) and it is the same Meredith that did 'Fox Widescreen' on KPDX thanks to the efforts of Ed Williams. They will likely get there. The problem is in integrating two very different technical plants into one facility.
BarryO's Avatar BarryO
01:00 AM Liked: 11
post #48 of 8755
09-21-2002 | Posts: 1,386
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OK, with Meredith owning the CBS affiliate in PHX (the one that refuses to carry CBS HD), I thought things didn't seem promising. 'sounds like Ed may have "begged forgiveness" rather than "asked permission"? (an old saying about the corporate world). Hopefully, KPTV folks will be able to pull off the same trick.

Fox widescreen ain't HD, but I was still pleasantly surprised the first time I turned on KPDX-DT and saw DVD-quality video filling up the whole screen. It's interesting how my brain has gotten calibrated to different levels of PQ. I was momentarily startled, since it looked like I was watching a DVD, but I knew I hadn't put one on the player.
Lee Wood's Avatar Lee Wood
03:53 PM Liked: 13
post #49 of 8755
09-21-2002 | Posts: 1,097
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Actually, passing 'Fox Widescreen' is not a big problem. It is distributed as a 480i 4:3 anamorphic image (16:9 squished horizontally into a 4:3 frame). Every standard definition DTV encoder has a setting for aspect ratio where you tell it if the incoming signal is 4:3 or 16:9. If you say it is 4:3 it tells the decoder to pass it through as 4:3 frame. If you tell the encoder it is 16:9 it tells the decoder to stretch it out to fill a 16:9 frame. So there is no additional cost to the station to pass 'Fox Widescreen'. Since it is 480i it is even switched by the normal video switching equipment.

The bigger problem is what to do with all of the rest of the progamming and local breaks. You need an 'aspect ratio converter' (ARC) to feed the local progamming into so that it comes out as an anamorphic image with blank sidepanels. You also need a way to bridge Closed Caption data around this processing so that captions are not lost. Finally, you need the switching logic to know that if on Fox to use the Widescreen Feed and if local to carry the normal program passed through the ARC. There is some added expense (~$25k) here, but it is nowhere near that of passing full HDTV (~$200k).
Lee Wood's Avatar Lee Wood
04:06 PM Liked: 13
post #50 of 8755
09-21-2002 | Posts: 1,097
Joined: Oct 1999
Now you folks can help me...

First Question...
KOIN passes captions on both 6-1 and 6-2. What models of tuners and receivers are you using and can you see the captions? What models don't provide the captions?

Second Question...
KOIN provides a full PSIP Electronic Program Guide, including detailed program descriptions, that lists the programming on the analog channel and all three digital services. What models of tuners and receivers are you using and can you see the Guide information including the program details? What models don't provide guide data. Remember, if you are using a DirecTV tuner with the Advanced Program Guide (APG), the guide information is coming from DirecTV and NOT from the PSIP Guide data. If you see Guide data for the Weather Cameras on 6-3 then you can be sure it is from the PSIP guide data.

Third Question...
KOIN passes Spanish (Bold and Beautiful) and Descriptive Video (JAG, CSI, Sunday Movies) audio services on a separate audio service on 6-2 when they are available. (We will soon be adding this to 6-1 since it is an FCC requirement that it be carried.) What models of tuners and receivers are you using and can you hear the second audio service? What models don't provide the access to the service?

In Summary...
Tuner/Receiver Model:
Closed Captions: Yes / No
Guide Data: Yes / No
Second Audio: Yes / No

Your responses will be a great help to me in answering viewer questions that pertain to these functions.

Thanks, Lee
Marissadad's Avatar Marissadad
09:59 AM Liked: 10
post #51 of 8755
09-22-2002 | Posts: 3,174
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Lee, I have a Dish 6000 and it is a big fat NO on all accounts. Rumor has it that the 6000 has ceased production due to the captioning requirement, but you know how rumor mills go. On the bright side, currently shipping 6000's are including the new 8psk (not 8vsb OTA) module at no additional charge.
BarryO's Avatar BarryO
04:01 PM Liked: 11
post #52 of 8755
09-23-2002 | Posts: 1,386
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The only thing I was unsure of w.r.t. the 6000 was the second audio. But I enabled spanish in the "Alternate Audio" part of the menu, but last night's movie on 6-2 was still in english.

I'm getting a Samsung T150 this week; I'll let you know what it does.
foelker's Avatar foelker
10:15 AM Liked: 10
post #53 of 8755
09-24-2002 | Posts: 79
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FYI - The third segment (9:30-9:45) of CSI Miami last night was 4x3 upconvert.
I believe you have a DST-3000 but for the record I get the PSIP but no SAP or CC

dan76's Avatar dan76
07:26 PM Liked: 10
post #54 of 8755
09-27-2002 | Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2002
Are you still having problems configuring the system for KOIN 6-1 and 6-2. I'm experiencing the same things as other have had in the past with 2 second hiccups lasting about 3-4 time an hour. Any news on this?

RRobinson's Avatar RRobinson
11:02 PM Liked: 10
post #55 of 8755
09-28-2002 | Posts: 40
Joined: Dec 2001
I get CC on Hughes HIRD-E86 for koin 6-1,6-2
Just get KOIN-DT Regular on all koin hd channels 6-1,6-2,6-3
Have to wait for spanish to come on.
tbird man's Avatar tbird man
12:13 AM Liked: 10
post #56 of 8755
09-29-2002 | Posts: 38
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I just picked up an Sony Directv STB HD200 and I am receiving great digital picture strength in Tigard with rabbit ears. I'm on Bull Mountain and received a lot of ghosting on the analog signal but he digital signal is strong with no dropouts.

On some stations I receive the digital signal on their major channel like 2.1(ABC) but for CBS the receiver scans and list 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3. The guide indicates no signal for these channels, but if you push the button for signal strength it shows good. I find the CBS programming on 40.1, 40.2 with the weather cam on 40.3.

I'm not sure whats going on with these major and minor digital channels and if the HD200 STB is affecting how these stations are listed.
RRobinson's Avatar RRobinson
05:22 PM Liked: 10
post #57 of 8755
09-30-2002 | Posts: 40
Joined: Dec 2001
When will Att have hdtv on there cable?
michael goldman's Avatar michael goldman
12:28 PM Liked: 10
post #58 of 8755
10-01-2002 | Posts: 502
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Third man, did you get the Sony 200 locally or on line

tbird man's Avatar tbird man
09:26 PM Liked: 10
post #59 of 8755
10-01-2002 | Posts: 38
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I got online at Video and Audio Center in Santa Monica, CA. I would of bought it local, but couldn't wait since I just had to have it:-) No one had it local. I just bought a 65SWX20B at Video Only. Now I've run out of optical inputs and need to decide whether to ditch my AVR3200 for a new receiver or get a optical mux.
Dave Waymire's Avatar Dave Waymire
12:07 AM Liked: 10
post #60 of 8755
10-04-2002 | Posts: 60
Joined: Feb 2000
Lee, I am still having problems on 6-1 with the picture freezing for maybe 2-3 seconds, then disappearing, and then the audio comes back for a second or two before the picture reappears. This seems to happen about every15 minutes or so. I don't believe I am losing the signal because my tuner (Samsung SIRT150) still shows that it has a strong signal while all this is going on. I don't seem to have this problem with the other Portland stations. Is this a incompatibility issue with my tuner and your signal? It gets a little frustrating during say CSI, especially when you miss some important dialogue. Any help is appreciated

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