Pittsburgh, PA - OTA - Page 16 - AVS Forum
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Old 08-22-2003, 09:33 AM
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Nope, Sinclair has no plans to pass the network feeds on WPGH or WCWB. Maybe by the time Fox goes 720p they will feel like doing it. See this thread for more info.
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Old 08-22-2003, 10:38 AM
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Thanks for the Thread. Not happy about what I've read so far. Oh well, I have the NFL ST so I'll only watch WPGH when absolutely necessary.
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Old 08-28-2003, 02:27 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by jaquestati
speaking of hd football is there any glimmer of hope that WTAE will turn thier signal back up to where it was like a year ago? the first 6 months i had hdtv wtae came in fine now i get almost no signal at all..... none...... with mnf coming up i'm starting to panic...

what the heck are they playing at????

I haven't been on here in a while but now that football season is upon us I tried tuning in WTAE digital to get the preseason MNF game in HD and, as usual...NO SIGNAL was the message my Sammy TS160 spewed forth.

I'm mad...

WTAE has long claimed they can't do anything because they're not licensed by the FCC to boost power. Bullsh*t I say...

Several months ago I contacted their consumer reporter and asked her to do a story of complaint on her on station. She tried to discuss the matter with me but since she knew absolutely nothing about HD it was a waste of both our time.

Yesterday, I noticed in the P-G a reporter had a television article called "Tuned In". I sent him a detailed email about this issue of NO power from WTAE. Surprisingly, I have yet to hear back from him.

C'mon folks...the only way to get WTAE off their unresponsive butts is to complain...so won't some of you PLEASE join with me and complain to any and all media?

Thanks...
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Old 08-28-2003, 03:02 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by jaquestati
again nobody seems to reply when i ask this.... but is wtae ever going to go back up to signal power that they had most all of last year?

the first 6 months or so i had hd (like july to february this past year) wtae was great got high signal with the silver sensor if i put the antenna in the right spot...

for the past 6 months or so i am lucky to get a 4 or 5 signal and definately no picture... its driving me nuts with mnf coming up

has anyone heard anything about why they lowered thier signal so much?? and if its permanent....?

Friend...

You keep referring to WTAE having greater power a year ago. They never had squat to begin with!! If they reduced power from a year ago, trust me...they would be down to ZERO.

Unless you live on top of a hill/mountain outside of their tower or unless you live right next door to them...you WILL NOT get their signal. And to the few of you that do regardless...great...I'm happy for you but what about the thousands of us that don't?

Read my post above...start complaining folks...NOW before another NFL and MNF season goes by again.
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Old 08-28-2003, 03:07 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Mark Vidonic
No joke....trees affect the signal...i can get WTAE when there are leaves on the trees, but no signal when there are not.

Yeah, and, if I'm lucky...I can get their signal when it's winter (low clouds that drive the signal downward) or when it thundering out (same reason) or when the stars are perfectly aligned (ok, that last one's stretching it but you get my point)

Actually, my point is that if WTAE put out the power of KDKA or even WPXI we wouldn't be having this discussion. They're too freakin' cheap to do what they need to do and, in my humble opinion, are taking what they perceive to be a short term benefit route. I believe they feel HD and the federal mandate by '06 will go the way of the federally mandated metric system that never happened.

They are wrong and anyone that buys there saying: "Sorry, FCC rules prevent us from pumping up the power" is incredibly gullible.

Start complainin' folks...
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Old 08-30-2003, 11:07 PM
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Hey guys, here is the skinny from someone (me), that is now connected to the limited HD programming provided by Comcast in the Pittsburgh area now. I live in the Irwin area, and Greensburg is my most immediate Comcast outlet. You CAN get WTAE "HD programs" on Comcast!!! It is cable channel 780. Major problem is that 99.9% of the programs are in 4:3 format. I have a new Panasonic plasma, and that, as most of you know is not good for the TV burn-in problems. There was ONE pleasant surprise: the Monday night football game was in full widescreen 16:9!!!!!!!!!!!! The picture was beautiful!!!!!! I figured that WTAE was NOT able to screw up the broadcast signal. Secondary problem is the audio. It is VERY low when you tune to the station (cable channel 780). You have to really crank up the volumn on your tuner or a/v receiver.

ESPNHD, WQEDHD, ShowtimeHD and the HBOHD ALL come in really well. Have NO complaints there. Comcast is promising to continually add more HD channels. I truly believe that they are trying to do this!!! With AT&T Digital Cable a while back ago, they were doing nothing to enhance our viewing pleasure. My personal opinion!!!!!!!!

Tom
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Old 08-31-2003, 07:17 AM
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Here is a link to the Pgh Comcast thread for members who need more info.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=283087
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Old 09-01-2003, 12:57 PM
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Need help with Pittsburgh reception. I live in kittanning, about 50 miles northeast of Pittsburgh with a Sony 200 receiver, outdoor anttena with rotor and a mast mounted amp. My reception has been very good on all digital channels for almost a year now, yes even wtae-dt as being the weakest with only a few dropouts. Here's my problem: a storm came through here last week and ever since my reception has been lousy with all the digital channels much weaker with wtae-dt and wpxi-dt just showing a blip on my signal meter and not locking in at all. Even kdka-dt is much weaker. I checked the antenna and amp and both seem to be okay after the storm. I even tried moving the antenna up and down some with no luck. Any input would be much appreciated.
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Old 09-01-2003, 05:28 PM
 
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You didn't mention your analog reception. How's it?
Quote:


Originally posted by gmc9512
Need help with Pittsburgh reception. I live in kittanning, about 50 miles northeast of Pittsburgh with a Sony 200 receiver, outdoor anttena with rotor and a mast mounted amp. My reception has been very good on all digital channels for almost a year now, yes even wtae-dt as being the weakest with only a few dropouts. Here's my problem: a storm came through here last week and ever since my reception has been lousy with all the digital channels much weaker with wtae-dt and wpxi-dt just showing a blip on my signal meter and not locking in at all. Even kdka-dt is much weaker. I checked the antenna and amp and both seem to be okay after the storm. I even tried moving the antenna up and down some with no luck. Any input would be much appreciated.

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Old 09-01-2003, 05:32 PM
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TV21CHIEF,

My analog reception is also worse after the storm.
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Old 09-01-2003, 05:57 PM
 
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If you had a lot of lightening, I would have to say that it got into your antenna system. I'm assuming you used a ladder to raise the antenna and didn't climb up a tree branch that was leaning against your house. While you think your preamp may be OK, it might be partially blown or the cable or interconnecting equipment damaged (splitters and A/B switches and stuff). If so, you're lucky it didn't blow out the front ends of you equipment. I'd bypass everything I could and try to get my hands on another preamp. Good luck.
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Old 09-02-2003, 02:18 PM
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TV21CHIEF,

Thanks for your input. I disconnected a splitter that I had splitting the antenna signal to my fm receiver and I did gain some signal strength back, but still not what I had before. I will trace everything back to the antenna. I actually thought that my dss receiver did get fried the night of the storm as the standby light on the front display went off after a power surge and I tried several attempts at rebooting until I finally unplugged it for several hours and then it came back on.
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Old 09-02-2003, 04:44 PM
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Dave Wittmann, Armstrong's director of programming, had this to say in response to my latest email nag

Quote:


The good news is we plan to launch ESPN HD ASAP, hopefully Thursday or Friday of this week. We're working through details now. College and NFL football never looked better!

No word on any other channel though, I would expect to see InHD and Bravo though since I believe they don't want a subscription fee.
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Old 09-04-2003, 03:36 PM
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WOOHOO Armstrong now has ESPN-HD on channel 185, and it's included in the $5/mo HD package!
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Old 09-04-2003, 05:08 PM
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Quick summary:

I live in Pittsburgh, PA. I bought a RCA 36" HDTV last year when I bought a new house. At the time, I got Direct TV, but didn't want to shell out the extra bucks for an HDTV reciever.

With football season coming up, I decided to explore my options for getting HDTV equipped before the start of the season. I called Direct TV and the best they could offer me was a $125 credit towards the purchase of a HD reciever. About the same time Comcast (which is new to my area after buying AT&T), was offering a free Motorola 5100 Hd reciever and a $400 dish buyback deal.

Sounds great right?

So I signed up with Comcast and was originally scheduled to have them come out last Saturday between 8 and 12. No one ever showed up. I called at 1 and was told someone was on their way. I called at 2. I called at 3. Finally around 5pm I was told that there was a computer glitch and that they'd have to reschedule.

So. . . .

I reschedule for Yesterday (Weds, 9/3). The Comcast contractor (not a real comcast employee) shows up to set me up. When he's setting up the HD box, he tells me that he set it at 480i and that it's almost the same as 1080i. Yeah right. So everything is working good for 20 minutes or so until he leaves. I set the pic to 1080i and everything is great, for about 5 minutes.

The HD box starts going crazy, shutting itself off and then turning back on. I call comcast right away and I'm told this is normal because the box is downloading firmware. I check the firmware and it's the latest version (2.5). The box continued to shut itself off every 10 seconds or so, and when it was on, I realized that the analog channels have a terrible picture compared to my old Direct TV.

So I shut the damn box off and let it go until today hoping that it was a download issue, even though I was almost positive this wasn't the case. Today I had the same problem, and one of the regular digital boxes was going crazy as well. So I call Comcast again and request to speak to a manager. This person knew nothing about the 5100 or HD programing. Finally he tells me to drive to the comcast office and swap boxes. I'm happy with this because I have 20 people coming over tonight expecting to see a HD football game! I show up at the office and I'm told they don't have any HD boxes!!

I have a service appt for tomorrow, but if I get the same tech show up I'm pretty sure it will be a useless visit.

Do yourselves a favor and stay away from comcast.

I called Direct TV today and told them I want my D*sh back! ! ! They can't have someone here for 2 more weeks, but they're going to install a new oval dish and 2 regular recievers. They'll then waive all of the installation charges and the cost of the dish and recievers once I buy a hd reciever for $399.

It will be the best $399 I ever spent!!

Screw comcast
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Old 09-05-2003, 07:43 AM
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Some of you may have read of my recent rantings about WTAE and their non-power digital station.

Anyhow, as previously noted, I contacted Rob Owens, the P-G Television reporter. He contacted WTAE and he sent me an email saying:

"Finally got a response. WTAE was waiting a long time on an FCC approval to boost power. That finally happened and then they ordered the equipment. They expect to boost power by early next year once the equipment is installed."

Check me on this one folks but seems to me we've heard that one before...yes? I could be wrong here and, if so, apologize to WTAE yet I still think it stinks that they've taken this long to have proper power.

Comments?
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Old 09-05-2003, 07:57 AM
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I live in Springdale and while I can get 25, 38, 42, 43, and 48 perfectly with a Radio Shack double-bowtie antenna, 51 (WTAE) behaves strangely. It will swing between no signal and into the 70s and back again and just keep doing that, it just won't stabilize. Since it seems that I can get a signal since it does jump up so high and actually can be watched for maybe 5 seconds at a time, does anyone have any suggestions for what I can do to make it stable? I suppose I could put up an outdoor antenna and point it that way but is there anything I could try with the antenna I have?

Thanks for your help, I would really love to be able to watch Monday Night Football in HD. I tried watching the game last night, but it's just impossible and a creul joke on me to see flashes of that beautiful picture and then have to go back to SD on DirecTV to actually watch the game.
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Old 09-05-2003, 08:30 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Blitzburgh
"Finally got a response. WTAE was waiting a long time on an FCC approval to boost power. That finally happened and then they ordered the equipment. They expect to boost power by early next year once the equipment is installed."

This is what I understood the situation to be after talking to Kurt Hoss at WTAE a few times. He also indicated that they are building a completely new studio. Regardless, we all have a right to be concerned (pissed) at the current situation. WTAE's digital signal can best be described as ghost like...some days it's here, someday's it's over there. Very frustrating to say the least.
Quote:


Originally posted by rollins215
does anyone have any suggestions for what I can do to make it stable?.

The only suggestions I have are get a bigger antenna & get it up as high as you can. Surprisingly, attics offer a decent alternative.
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Old 09-05-2003, 08:36 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by agtiny
WOOHOO Armstrong now has ESPN-HD on channel 185, and it's included in the $5/mo HD package!

When I lived in Cranberry, I was an Armstrong customer way before HD. IMO they are one of the better (not perfect) cable operators I have dealt with. Congratulations!
Would you mind posting the current HD line-up for Armstrong?
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Old 09-05-2003, 08:53 AM
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I agree. They have impressed me so far, although their website could use some updating, and they are missing some great channels I used to get on DirecTV, such as IFC. However, they do have the extra HBO channels DirecTV doesn't have (Zone and Comedy).

HD channels:
102 - KDKA-DT
104 - WTAE-DT
111 - WPXI-DT
113 - WQED-DT
185 - ESPN-HD
190 - SHO-HD
199 - HBO-HD
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Old 09-05-2003, 09:33 AM
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The US Open on CBS is on right now in HD. The DD5.1 is finally fixed...announcers coming from the center with tennis balls & crowd noise all around you. Check it out, it gave me chills.
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Old 09-05-2003, 01:34 PM
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agtiny -- when did armstrong get espn-hd? they sound quite well fortified with channels. and here i am happy to be getting half that from comcast. but then again, if inhd is nearly as cool as it seems, it'll beef up their offerings a bit for sure. and from what i hear a cbs deal is not too far off. ::sigh::


dan

"There's a... big machine in the sky... Some sort of... electric snake. It's headed right for us..."
"Shoot it."
"Not yet. I want to study its habits."
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Old 09-05-2003, 02:08 PM
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They just turned on ESPN yesterday. I expect we'll see INHD as well since they're free.
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Old 09-11-2003, 04:14 PM
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I posted this as a stand alone separate thread yet if some of you are like me, you oft times go directly to this thread. All of which to say is that in today's P-G, under "Multimedia Answers", it had a Q & A on HD coming through on cable vs. that of the dish. It was informative to me and am passing it along here.


Multimedia Answers: All HDTV not equal among cable providers

Thursday, September 11, 2003

By Don Lindich

Q: I am hearing that a DirecTV HDTV signal is far superior to a HDTV signal from my cable company. Is this true? My cable company is now offering HDTV through its digital service but I understand that this is sometimes a very soft signal. Garbage in and garbage out really has never reached such levels because I know that a bad signal on a great HDTV is only magnified like never before. Can you help? What do you know about this?


-- Mike Freer, Columbus, Ohio

A: The quality of the HDTV signal transmitted over cable systems is wholly dependent on the particular cable company. The quality of the signal will vary depending on the capacity of its system and its philosophy when it comes to image quality and signal transmission. Cable companies have capacity limitations over their cable systems, and an HDTV signal transmitted at full quality takes up a lot of available space. There have been reports that some cable companies offering "HDTV" service are not transmitting HDTV channels at full quality in order to conserve this space for additional pay-per-view offerings, video-on-demand and other similar channels and services.

Digital television signals are composed of millions of digital bits transmitted every second. The more bits, the better the picture. To be considered true HDTV, the signal must be at least 19.4 million bits per second. I recently spoke with a technician installing new capabilities for one of the country's largest cable providers. I asked him what bit rate it was using for HDTV, and he told me it was 10 million bits per second. While such a picture may look good compared with a regular digital channel, it is still well below what a full-quality HDTV signal should be.

A few months ago I received a question similar to yours regarding HDTV via cable. I contacted three cable companies and asked the bit rate being used for their "HDTV." All three said they would get back to me. None of them ever did.

In terms of personal experience, I recently visited a friend who is getting HDTV via cable. She has a Mitsubishi HDTV similar to the one I own. The PBS HDTV demo channel did not have nearly the clarity, vibrancy or visual impact I experience with my Mitsubishi HDTV receiving the same channel via an antenna. While she thought her picture was very good, I imagine she will be disappointed with it when she sees the same channel on my television.

Again, cable companies differ. If image quality is of prime concern to you, I would recommend you stick with HDTV via satellite or via an antenna over-the-air as it is a safe bet. If you would like to give HDTV via cable a try, call and ask a technician what bit rate the company is using for HDTV transmissions. If its HDTV is being broadcast at 19 million bits per second (Mb/s) or greater, you should have picture quality that rivals satellite and over-the-air HDTV transmissions.
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Old 09-11-2003, 05:05 PM
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Yes, I read that this morning and it caused me a lot of reflection. I had been with Dish for 2 years and suffered through the whole thing with little HD to watch. Sure, I had CBS because the fates smiled down upon me, but it was not enough to make me happy. I subscribed to HBO HD for a year, but that did not help much for I paid an extra $13 and watched movies I had already seen. A subscription to Discovery for a year was even less satisfying. Even though the picture was spectacular, it was not the content I wanted to watch.

That was my situation as D* started a HD package that Dish was in no hurry to match. It was very frustrating and when I saw an opportunity to "jump ship" to Comcast it proved irresistible. They bought back the Dish equipment for $400 in credits (more than I paid) and I sold my 6000 for $250 (more than the cost of a new one with the one year plan just offered.) So what did I gain and what did I lose?

Well, I gained WTAE a local along with WQED another local with National ties. But more than that, I firmly believe that I will soon have WPXI and KDKA as my other locals. That in itself is something very, very desirable. Something that Dish will not match in the future unless new tech changes everything. Maybe, my picture will not be equal to another, but have you seen the content passed along during prime time? Just how would you ever tell that it is not the best that it could be? I refer to it as "Sitcom HD." And yes, it was like that on Dish's CBS also. Only the sports and CSI were special.

So what does all this rambling mean. It means that all is relative to what content do you want, can you compare it something better while you are watching it, and hey, it really is only TV.
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Old 09-11-2003, 05:24 PM
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That article is pretty unfortunate. Cable currently has a nice bandwidth advantage over satellite, and judging from all the D* compression posts over the last few months, I'm glad I'm with cable now and don't have to worry about them recompressing the channels. Of course the real reason I'm with cable is the local channels.
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Old 09-12-2003, 04:51 AM
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The degraded DirecTV HD signal is much improved as of late. There is not much to complain about to be honest. Most observers who are able to watch both or even all feeds (Cable, DirecTV, Dish) report no noticeable difference in quality. There is always the exception to this but for the most part it's all good. The author seems to have an agenda.
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Old 09-13-2003, 12:09 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by agtiny
They just turned on ESPN yesterday. I expect we'll see INHD as well since they're free.

Anyone asked Armstrong if they will be carrying INHD?

There are two channels designated "To Be Announced," but they're in the movies tier, not in the HDTV tier.
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Old 09-13-2003, 12:15 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by arobinson
Anyone asked Armstrong if they will be carrying INHD?

There are two channels designated "To Be Announced," but they're in the movies tier, not in the HDTV tier.

I've asked several times. One of the first emails he sent to me when I asked about ESPN and Discovery, he pointed out other channels like INHD and Bravo. I inferred from this he meant they were more likely to be added. The last email I got he only mentioned ESPN though. I will probably email again next week after both INHD channels are live.
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Old 09-14-2003, 10:30 AM
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The WTAE FCC wait is BS they have had a Construction Permit to upgrade to 1000Kw since 4/23/02. One of the problems with early stations like WTAE (they were awarded their original permit in 1998) was that although lower power would cover the city of license with the necessary signal level on paper maps, it really wasn't known what the signal would do in real world situations. Gambling on that lower power would work several of these early stations applied for lower power and it didn't work. They were licensed and stuck with the lower power, and needed to apply for an upgrade. However, it has been over a year since the FCC granted WTAE a Construction Permit to upgrade it's power. So the waiting on the FCC is pure BS. It is more like waiting to get enough money.

So I don't confuse anybody. The lower power stations applied for wasn't an STA (Special Temporary Authority). The early stations applied for the power that they thought would work.

The data from these early stations have actually helped later stations apply for necessary power levels.

One thing to remember is that all this is still experimental. It is still not known if DTV on Ch.2-6 is feasable. Stations operating DTV on those channels will submit information to the FCC on how well DTV on these channels work. So far DTV on those channels are showing problems with electrical noise.

We still don't know the necessary real world power levels for LPTV and Translator stations. The FCC is proposing power levels of 300 watts VHF and 15Kw UHF. BTW WCWB's STA was for 20Kw and I could receive the STA here in Wheeling. So LPTVs on UHF will probably be able to increase their coverage areas.

Also remember that this is a transition period, and we all need to be patient. Once the transition is complete then we can complain all we want. Just getting these stations on the air is an accomplishment. There are also many things that haven't come into play yet such as on channel booster stations for problem reception areas.

Now a question Is anyone receiving audio on 50-WPCB? I haven't received audio on their station for about a month.

Some info:

After WTOV put up their new tower and left the DTV operation on a piece of the old tower I can no longer receive them. WTRF is experimenting with their signal again. Good thing is I receive them all the time now. Bad thing is they have stopped HD broadcasts, convert analog to SD, and compress the signal so much that the digiatl artifacting is so bad to make it unwatchable. Rumor has it that WTRF's owners will multicast a West Virginia News Channel on their digital stations.
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