Little Rock, AR - HDTV - Page 25 - AVS Forum
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post #721 of 12524 Old 08-06-2004, 04:33 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure if the loss of interference protection applies to their current digital channel slot, their analog channel slot, or both. KATV & KARK will likely move their digital channels to their coveted analog VHF channel assignments when forced to turn off analog. That's probably why they purchased cheaper temporary low power UHF DTV equipment

Hopefully, the "digital white area" legislation (see p.5 here) will pass and put even more pressure to upgrade on these cheapo stations.

The most likely "carrot" to get LP digital stations to increase power though, will be multicasting for "OTA cable". The corporations that own these stations won't be able to resist selling their "excess" bandwidth to outfits like USDTV. Never mind what it will do to HDTV picture quality....
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post #722 of 12524 Old 08-06-2004, 06:38 AM
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Originally posted by arxaw
I'm not sure if the loss of interference protection applies to their current digital channel slot, their analog channel slot, or both. KATV & KARK will likely move their digital channels to their coveted analog VHF channel assignments when forced to turn off analog. That's probably why they purchased cheaper temporary low power UHF DTV equipment

Hopefully, the "digital white area" legislation (see p.5 here) will pass and put even more pressure to upgrade on these cheapo stations.

The most likely "carrot" to get LP digital stations to increase power though, will be multicasting for "OTA cable". The corporations that own these stations won't be able to resist selling their "excess" bandwidth to outfits like USDTV. Never mind what it will do to HDTV picture quality....

I believe the loss of interference protection relates to the coverage area, which is neither digital or analog, it's both. It is the territory of broadcast that needs protecting.

Alison Fletcher
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post #723 of 12524 Old 08-06-2004, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
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alison,
So what you're saying is, if KARK-DT doesn't go full power by 7/4/05, they'll lose interference protection for both channels analog 4 & digital 32? If so, this is very good news for people who can't reliably receive KARK-DT. However, this still doesn't address KARK's lack of NBC-HD carriage.
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post #724 of 12524 Old 08-06-2004, 08:00 AM
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Originally posted by arxaw
alison,
So what you're saying is, if KARK-DT doesn't go full power by 7/4/05, they'll lose interference protection for both channels analog 4 & digital 32? If so, this is very good news for people who can't reliably receive KARK-DT. However, this still doesn't address KARK's lack of NBC-HD carriage.

The way I understand it the protection is based on what your ultimate channel number is (frequency) and your ability to broadcast with out interference from others on that same frequency. We enjoy that protection now on the channel that actually makes $$.

I would imaging that unavoidable marketplaceand economic pressures will push the improvements viewers demand. Broadcasting is just like everything else, there needs to be some prospect of earnings before investments are made. This can be a tough business.

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post #725 of 12524 Old 08-06-2004, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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So in KARK's case, that would likely be channel 4?
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post #726 of 12524 Old 08-06-2004, 08:40 AM
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Originally posted by arxaw
So in KARK's case, that would likely be channel 4?

They have protection now on 4 and temporarily on 32. I do not know their future plans for analog shut down. That would be a tough decision, low band V or UHF. I'd go for the prettier picture, if you can afford it. High energy bills and increased maintenance go hand in hand with UHF. Water-cooled tube power is not as much fun as solid state.

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post #727 of 12524 Old 08-06-2004, 08:49 AM
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Hey Alison,

I've noticed that the DirecTV transmission of channel 11 has had significant white noise in the background. When you turn the volume to the point that you can hear what is being said, it sounds like the wind is blowing. I noticed this on the news, Big Brother and the Amazing Race.

Not sure if the problem is on DirecTV's end or at the uplink center. Thought I would let you know.
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post #728 of 12524 Old 08-06-2004, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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If lowband interference on digital 4 is anywhere near as bad as ch 5 digital is (impulse noise and tropo interference every night on KETS-DT), they best stick with 32.
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post #729 of 12524 Old 08-06-2004, 09:17 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Tusk
Hey Alison,

I've noticed that the DirecTV transmission of channel 11 has had significant white noise in the background. When you turn the volume to the point that you can hear what is being said, it sounds like the wind is blowing. I noticed this on the news, Big Brother and the Amazing Race.

Not sure if the problem is on DirecTV's end or at the uplink center. Thought I would let you know.

I had a viewer contact me on that one this week. Sounds like they are crowding in a few too many channels!!!

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post #730 of 12524 Old 08-06-2004, 09:24 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by arxaw
If lowband interference on digital 4 is anywhere near as bad as ch 5 digital is (impulse noise and tropo interference every night on KETS-DT), they best stick with 32.

As much as I don't like big tubes and transmitter plumbing, I think 32 is probably a good bet. Finne has shown it can be a liveable situation. It takes a little more high power RF know-how. I am also seeing KETS ch. 5 coming over the top of their ch. 5 on Comcast cable. Maybe a little ingress occurring. TV is just no fun anymore!!

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post #731 of 12524 Old 08-06-2004, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't see how 5 could ingress into any- well never mind - it is comscat. Seriously, 5 is hard enough to receive with a cut-to-channel antenna aimed at Redfield. Even then, it has horrible dropouts from interference every evening.

BTW, what is on comscat channel 5? I haven't had cable in years......
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post #732 of 12524 Old 08-06-2004, 12:03 PM
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Comcast channel 5 is KARK.
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post #733 of 12524 Old 08-06-2004, 12:11 PM
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Is AETN doing sub- channels? If so which ones.
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post #734 of 12524 Old 08-06-2004, 12:21 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by alisonf
I believe the loss of interference protection relates to the coverage area, which is neither digital or analog, it's both. It is the territory of broadcast that needs protecting.

Alison,

That is the way I understand it.

" The deadlines for replication and maximization are:
July 1, 2005: Station licensees affiliated with the top-four networks in the top 100 markets that receive a tentative digital channel designation in the channel election process on their current digital channel must construct full, authorized facilities. Such licensees that receive a tentative digital channel designation on a channel that is not their current digital channel must serve at least 100% of their analog population coverage.
July 1, 2006: All other commercial station licensees as well as noncommercial licensees that receive a tentative digital channel designation in the channel election process on their current digital channel must construct full, authorized DTV facilities. Such licensees that receive a tentative digital channel designation on a channel that is not their current digital channel must serve at least 80% of their analog population coverage.

/ Dennis
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post #735 of 12524 Old 08-06-2004, 01:26 PM
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What constitutes "analog population coverage?" I mean, what quality of the analog signal qualifies me as covered? I can watch most analog signals until about the time the color sub-carrier is lost (with the exception of heavy multi-path interference). Do viewers with this type of signal qualify as covered?

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post #736 of 12524 Old 08-06-2004, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by phitz
Is AETN doing sub- channels? If so which ones.

Currently, on KETS-DT:
2-1 is the digital equivalent of analog 2 (AETN)
2-2 thru 2-4 are all different PBS network programs from the PBS network feeds.

On my DirecTV box, there is no way to tell what's on any of the sub channels except 2-1, because PSIP info isn't being supplied and no information has been provided to Tribune Media, the company that provides program guide info to DirecTV.

When AETN begins carrying PBS-HD prime time broadcasts this fall, I would assume they will only attempt multicasting during the day. Of course knowing them, they may continue to try and shoehorn in all those compressed sub channels, plus the HD channel. Of course, that won't work.

The whole idea of HD on KETS-DT is ridiculous though, since NO ONE CAN RELIABLY RECEIVE THEIR STUPID 1kW station. What they need to do is move to a channel band suitable for DTV (highband VHF or UHF) and transmit at a power level that people can actually receive.
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post #737 of 12524 Old 08-09-2004, 08:01 AM
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If the four subs are like WYES( an old line "whiteglove" private foundation PBS station) they are : 1-PBS national feed (as seen on Direct tv or dish network) 2-PBS kids 3-PBS national feed delayed 3 hours (westcoast feed) 4-PBS you. WYES does these subs during the day then does HD only at night. There is no analog mirror . The subs map to channel "80" (80-3 80-4 80-5 80-6) The HD channel maps as 11-1. I read in a post that the 80 is something that comes direct from PBS. A second string, Church run PBS station (WLAE. willwoods ministry) is coming on line in a few months. How they will do subs or coordinate with WYES I know not. The La state outfit , WLPB, does three subs : 27-1-analog mirror, 27-3- pbskids during the day and pbs you at night, 27-5 HD channel 24/7. The Miss state outfit, WMAH, has two subs: 1-analog mirror and 2 -HD channel. The HD channel suffers quite a bit from bit starvation: any complex motion causes checkerboarding, the more subs the worse it is! Therefore I expect AETN to continue there passive aggressive ways and run six subs. They will spin into this: Look: six stations where there was once only one! The fact that they are all pixilated is to be ignored.
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post #738 of 12524 Old 08-09-2004, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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AETN is doing 4 sub channels and the first one (2-1) is definitely a digital mirror of the analog channel. The other 3 sub channels 2-2 thru 2-4 are various PBS feeds with not much consistency to them, except that 2-3 & 2-4 are nearly always PBS kids.

Whatever they decide to multicast when they go HD is moot anyway, since no one living more than 10 or so miles from their directional low power antenna can reliably receive them. There is too much impulse noise in the heat of the day and too much tropo interference at night from three nearby high power analog stations blasting on channel 5. All of this interference causes frequent A/V dropouts.

AETN totally botched the Little Rock/Pine Bluff DTV conversion by doing a UHF for VHF-lowband station swap. Their answer to all of this is "we'll be on cable soon".... Well, I don't have cable, and have no desire to subscribe to it just to watch AETN digitally.
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post #739 of 12524 Old 08-09-2004, 02:31 PM
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I am in the process of relocating to Little Rock from California, where I enjoyed all the networks in HD from Cox cable.

Without having to go back and read through the past 37 pages of posts, can someone give me a quick summary of the current status of HD availability in Little Rock? What is the best bet? Does Comcast offer any HD or do I need to go back to a dish and off-air receiver? Which networks are broadcast in HD locally? Will you all be watching the game tonight in HD on ABC?

Any information is greatly appreciated.
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post #740 of 12524 Old 08-09-2004, 03:53 PM
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Speedbump,

Welcome to the Rock!

Here is the current digital lineup on Comcast- LR. You will need to enter a local zip (try 72210) and go thru a couple menus, to get to the digital channel lineup.

http://www.comcast.com/Support/viewCLU.asp?CLUID=10335

Currently ABC, CBS, and UPN are transmitting OTA HD. The local Fox affiliate is all set to begin when Fox starts HD this fall. I look for Comcast to add them to it's digital tier when they start as the policy is not to add the local affiliates until they start to broadcast in HD. Sorry to say that it looks like hell might freeze over before the local NBC affiliate (KARK) will do anything with HD.

All the national networks are broadcasting digitally here but some (NBC, ABC, and PBS) are at extremely low power.

Both Dish and DirecTV have the local station's analog signal available.

You will find most on this forum have gone to OTA for local reception to get the locals digitally, although it can be a bit tricky. If you decide to go that route you will find that the members here in this forum will be more than willing to share their experiences with you and make some good solid recommendations on what has been found to work in this area.

Hope you enjoy Little Rock!!

P.S. You can bet that most of us will be watching the game tonight. For alot of us, will be the first chance to catch some HD football.

/ Dennis
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post #741 of 12524 Old 08-09-2004, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by speedbump
...Without having to go back and read through the past 37 pages of posts, can someone give me a quick summary of the current status of HD availability in Little Rock? What is the best bet? Does Comcast offer any HD or do I need to go back to a dish and off-air receiver? Which networks are broadcast in HD locally? Will you all be watching the game tonight in HD on ABC?

Welcome speedbump. Yes, the game on ABC is in HD here in LR

Currently, here's the OTA digital lineup in LR:
PBS - *very* low power and no HD. Not worth trying to receive. Lowband VHF ch 5.
NBC - *very* low power and no HD. Not worth trying to receive. UHF ch 32.
ABC - low power on a directional antenna aimed at West LR. HD, but no DD 5.1. The ABC affiliate also offers ABC News Now on a second digital sub channel. UHF ch 22.
CBS - 1/2 of full power and HD, but no DD 5.1 Live weather radar on second sub channel. Highband VHF ch 12
FOX - Full power and 720p HD-capable, when FOX goes HD this fall. UHF ch 30.
KVTN - *very* low power digital religious station. UHF ch 24
UPN - Full power and 1080i HD. UHF ch 39

Comscat has some local OTA, but is ridiculously priced, vs DirecTV and an antenna. You have to have their digital and HD tiers, plus rent an HD box. You can get ABC and CBS in HD, plus the usual HD channels comscat offers in other cities. The City of LR charges enormous franchise fees and city, county & state sales taxes on comscat cable service. Service work is done by clueless underpaid subcontractors.

Take your pick, depending on what you want to watch and how much you're willing to pay each month. With the price difference of cable vs satellite, you can pay for the initial cost of a D* HD setup very quickly, especially with all the discounts they're currently offering.

If you're considering satellite service and want high speed internet service, SBC offers very reliable DSL service here. It's $36.99/month for the first year, for 3mbs speed. Slower 1.5 mb service is even cheaper. At the end of your contract, you can re-negotiate your contract and lock in a cheap rate for DSL for another year.
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post #742 of 12524 Old 08-10-2004, 06:43 AM
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Currently ABC, CBS, and UPN are transmitting OTA HD

Welcome Speedbump--
A little value-added info for you when looking for a place to live. In North Little Rock, which incidently is the garden of speedbumps "one on every street", your choices are dictated by your techie needs.

Large chucks of NLR are not served by DSL, but cable is along most of the urban streets. Cox doesn't operate in this county (but it does in adjacent counties) and the city of Maumelle has Charter, so it's Comcast for most people in this county. Your desires for broadband internet could drive your decision on whether cable or dishes.
(Use the SBC/Yahoo DSL query form to see if DSL is available for your potential next-door-neighbor's phone)

They don't carry UPN on Comcast, just to clarify, but I found at my NLR home I can get almost all stations with a simple antenna. A simple no-gain UHF bowtie gives me everyone but PBS (which I understand nobody can get.- Ch 7ABC(actually CH22, but same tower) comes in -- an antenna cut for VHF5-PBS might do it).

You might have to invest in an OTA box (providing you don't have builtin tuner) to get some of the listed digital signals since Comcast is very slow to add channels. UPN has a couple HD programs, but not enough to get the Comcast execs to add them, so if you like certain network programs in HD, there is a possibility you can't get them except via OTA. (If you are using dishes, that's how you'll get them anyhow

No, you can't raise chickens in NLR. I think you can in Little Rock if your coop matches the historical style of your neighborhood and you don't cut down a tree to build it.
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post #743 of 12524 Old 08-10-2004, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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DSL is available in most of Little Rock (YMMV North of the river).

SBC has a special right now for a DSL/Dish bundle. Total cost for both services is $57/mo. Add ~$10 for the HD package.

The older Dish HD receivers had some problems, but I have been told that the newer boxes have had firmware updates to fix the bugs. I would check with other Dish owners....
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post #744 of 12524 Old 08-10-2004, 08:30 AM
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Thanks for all the feedback.

You're right about Comcast pricing. I currently pay about $52/mo for HD service w/ 2 premium channels and high speed internet (this includes a $16 monthly credit for turning in my old D* equipment). Looks like I'll have to pay over $120 for similar features here . And I was expecting a decrease in the cost of living!

Sounds like a dish and DSL are the way to go. I'll be in West Little Rock, hopefully I'll have good luck pulling in OTA locals. Any antenna recommendations?

It seems as if Dish has better equipment prices than D*. Other than lack of NFL ticket, is there an advantage to one or the other?

Thanks again.
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post #745 of 12524 Old 08-10-2004, 09:52 AM
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DirecTV has an HD TiVo for recording OTA and DirecTV based HD programming. Dish had an HD PVR but I don't think the current receiver lineup has one. The HD TiVo can record multiple HD signals at the same time.

By the way the Dish PVR isn't even close in features to the DirecTV w/TiVo receivers.

We put the "K" in Kwality
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post #746 of 12524 Old 08-10-2004, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I have DirecTV. That being said, each service has its advantages. As hbp said, if you're interested in an HD DVR, DirecTV is the way to go, although the hardware is quite expensive. If you want HD/OTA equipment for free (except for OTA antenna), the Dish/SBC/DSL bundle is the cheapest.

The OTA transmitters in central Ark. are mainly in two locations. This can be a hassle, depending on where you live in relation to the towers. CBS-HD, FOX-HD & NBC-SD are all on a hill in West LR. ABC-HD, UPN-HD & PBS-SD are near the small town of Redfield, approx 25 mi or so SE of West LR.

Generally, a small UHF antenna like the CM 4221 will usually work for most of the stations including CBS, which is VHF channel 12. PBS is only 1kW, 25 miles away and suffers from lots of noise & co-channel interference, due to its channel assignment in lowband VHF (ch5). It's not HD either. Reception of PBS requires a lowband antenna and preamp, but it's not worth the expense, IMO.

ABC is 25 miles away and only 10kW (last I heard), so if signal strength's weak, you'll need a good low noise preamp, like the CM 7777.
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post #747 of 12524 Old 08-11-2004, 09:00 AM
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Alison,

Have you guys talked to DirecTv about your white noise problem? I have been watching SD programming off the HD antenna feed because the sound on the DirecTV SD channel is so bad.

I would be worried about all of the people out there who only have the DirecTV feed.

Thanks.
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post #748 of 12524 Old 08-11-2004, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Tusk,
FWIW, WCBS-DT had the same problem a few days ago, but D* fixed the "hissing" audio.....
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post #749 of 12524 Old 08-12-2004, 07:18 AM
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Part of a story from today's Demazette:

Most Arkansans won't see Olympics in HDTV
BY MICHAEL STOREY
ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

OK, sports fans, we know you're drooling for the Athens Olympics on NBC on Friday. The opening ceremonies kick off at 7 p.m. But if you took out a second mortgage to equip the den with a high definition television system, you're out of luck if you hope to watch HDTV Olympics on KARK-TV, Channel 4.

Perry Chester, KARK vice president and general manager, said the number of viewers with HDTV is too low to justify the expense of producing the high-definition signal. "I think at this point, less than 1 percent of our viewer base for the total market has HD," Chester said. "We are doing a digital signal, but there are no plans for this year or even next year to do high definition."

For the record, Chester cited the official company statement on the matter: "Nexstar Broadcasting, the parent company of KARK, has made a decision to broadcast standard definition digital signals until such time as the FCC mandates high definition broadcast or the viewer base supports the additional cost associated with transmitting a high definition signal."

Nexstar, based in Irving, Texas, owns, operates or programs 43 medium-size TV stations. Their affiliations include all the broadcast networks except The WB. Nexstar bought KARK from Morris Multimedia Inc. "We bought the station a year ago," Chester said, "and we've got a lot of things we're trying to do. "We're trying to prioritize our capital investment in the television station, and we're doing the things that will have the biggest impact on the biggest number of people and high definition is not one of those things."

KARK competitors KATV, Channel 7, and KTHV-TV, Channel 11, do offer HD channels on the Comcast digital tier. The service costs an additional $5 per month to rent a converter box.
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post #750 of 12524 Old 08-12-2004, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm glad to see KARK getting some bad press on this. Maybe Nexstar will change its stupid SD-only policy if the "digital/HD white area" law goes into effect.....

The last paragraph should have mentioned that KATV-DT & KTHV-DT (& FOX & UPN) are available for FREE over the air.
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