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post #1 of 7879 Old 02-01-2003, 05:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Well the time is growing near. This will most likely be the last update without having high definition broadcasting here in the Lowcountry.

To the particulars:

Channel 2 (DTV 50) - They are having structural problems with the main tower out in Awendaw. Therefore they now have plans to broadcast a lower power high definition signal from the tower adjacent to their facility in Mt. Pleasant. Expected range is only 30 miles. This should be accomplished within the next 30 to 60 days. Full power broadcasts won't be possible until structural work is completed at main tower.

Channel 4 (DTV 34) - Local station personnel Unresponsive. Haven't started work for full power transmissions at tower.
Please send e-mail or call them to inquire about status.

Channel 5 (DTV 47) - Don't know how many of you receive updates from station engineer, but he continues to provide updates and progress. Had a problem with a manufacturers vacuum tube that pushed back on air date to the end of the month or so. Definitely the class of Charleston in regards to communication and desire to bring the community HD. I'll post to this thread when they go on air. Will finalize a date for tour of facility in Awendaw soon as well.

Channel 7 (DTV 49) - Haven't had much conversation with these people but they are piggy backing on Channel 5's tower and equipment. Expect May 1 date will be met.

Channel 24 (DTV 40) - Began low power 480i only transmissions on 11/1/02. Their full power facilities are located with Channel 2 so not sure when full power HD transmissions possible.

Channel 36 (DTV 35) - See Channel 24.

COMCAST - Comcast not planning on getting into HD market until 4th quarter of this year, 1st quarter of next year. But local management is knowledgeable and interested. Corporate is tackling high priority conversions of acquired ATT markets.

If anyone has anything to add, please do so.
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post #2 of 7879 Old 02-03-2003, 03:44 PM
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Thanks for all the updates.... You seem to have good contacts with all the stations.

I will be happy to email channel 4 and show some interest. Can you give me a good email address to use?

Also I emailed Directv regarding adding HDnet Movie channel but they have not responded. Hdnet told me they were very interested but Directv was the hold up and it is currently only out on Charter Cable.

Billy
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post #3 of 7879 Old 02-04-2003, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm going to go ahead and post today's update from the engineer at Channel 5.

"It's that time again. We have some good news this week. The work at the top of the tower is done.

The factory engineer has come and set up all of the processing equipment in our studio building, and it is working. The only thing left to do at the studio end is to get the controls working for the switch that switches between CBS High Definition programming and our upconverted programming (for when CBS is not sending anything). We received the software drivers for that this morning, and I don't expect that to take more than a couple of days. Even if we don't get that working right away, we can switch this manually. It won't look as nice at the switch, but it won't slow down our progress.

The factory engineer for the transmitter end is still on site, and as "at least one more week" of work to do. I am expecting closer to two to three weeks, but he may surprise me.

We have developed one other problem. There is a problem with the microwave path that carries our digital signal from our studio to the transmitter. We don't know what the problem is yet, so we don't know what it will take to fix it, but the factory engineer is supposed to come in tomorrow to work on it. I have hopes that it will be fixed before the transmitter is ready to go on the air.

Thank you all for your continued interest and your patience with us. "


In regards to contacts at Channel 4, check here for e-mail info

Link


Things are looking up for local DTV 47 - maybe even in time for Grammy's.
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post #4 of 7879 Old 02-04-2003, 05:08 PM
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KTrout
Thanks for the inside information at 5 and a synopsis of the other local stations. It looks like we will can soon start complaining about signal strength in the near future. Which, by the way might not be a bad idea to help others determine what to expect in the lowcountry area, once they are transmitting. I will talk with the engineers in the near future and volunteer to test some of their signal strengths.

Keep those updates commmmmmiiiiiiinnnnnnngggggg!!!!!!!!!!
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post #5 of 7879 Old 02-05-2003, 08:03 AM
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I also got the email from Eldon Brown at WCSC and since I had some questions for him I replied, and also told him about the forum here. He wasn't aware of it but says it made for some good reading. It is nice to see that at least one of the stations in Charleston, is both serious and professional when it comes to working with the new technologies.

I am looking forward to WCSC coming up hopefully in time for March Madness and the Masters in HD.

Of course, I now have to make the jump. I was thinking of going to DirectTV (I currently have Knology "Digital" cable) since they seem to have some additional HD programming (HDNet). I have priced some packages from American Satellite that includes a Samsung T160 HD decoder. Anyone have any experience with either this STB and DTV HD.

I too, am looking forward to using this forum to discuss programming, signal strength, etc, and not just waiting.


Andy
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post #6 of 7879 Old 02-05-2003, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Got an e-mail from an engineer at SCETV and they indicated plans to be broadcasting sometime this summer.

AndrewG,
If I were you, I would maybe wait to find out if DirecTV is going to carry ESPN-HD at the end of March before deciding on a satellite provider. Seems like you are a sports fan like myself, and I'd hate to see you sign up for one years service and have DirecTV decide to not carry ESPN-HD until December. Since the Final Four doesn't start until March 20th there's a good chance DirecTV will have announced their intentions by then.

I have a Toshiba DST-3000 so I can't help you out with the Samsung. Perhaps someone else here locally will.
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post #7 of 7879 Old 02-05-2003, 05:53 PM
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I do not have the Samsung information you are requesting. I do have 2 STB's that are (Sony's HD- 100 and 200) and we are currently getting digital signals but not HD. I am currently able to pull in the digital signal of 24 Fox and 36 UPN and on Directv we get the HD signals of HDnet, HBO-HD and SHO-HD. Ktrout is correct in mentioning you might want to wait before signing up for a long term commitment in satellite programming. ESPN-HD is going to be huge when it comes on line. I can't believe that Dish and Directv will not both be on board at the sign-on date but you never know. That way you can get the best system and provider that has the most programming that fits your interest (Sports). Good Luck in your choices!! Don't get antsy in your purchase, when you get the positive info (Programming choices) you need, you can purchase the STB thats fits that profile and get a signal within hours of purchase

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post #8 of 7879 Old 02-06-2003, 05:18 AM - Thread Starter
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The good news continues to roll out of Channel 5 - Eldon indicated that the microwave path problem he brought up in his update has been corrected.

Soon, we will benefiting from their hard work.
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post #9 of 7879 Old 02-14-2003, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Posting message from Eldon regarding Channel 47. We're so close, let's hope FedEx can get through customs and bring that puppy here prior to the Grammy's next Sunday!!

Here's Eldon's update.......

"It's time once again for "good news - bad news".

The good news is that our transmitter / tower / antenna is ready to go. We have been testing our transmitter into a test load for three days now with no problem. Our microwave link between the studio and tower is up to full spped. We were hoping that we would be able to put our HDTV signal on the air this Monday afternoon after our final tests.

Then the bad news hit. The switcher that switches between CBS HDTV and our local upconverted signal has died. Fortunatly it's under warrenty, but we still have to wait for a new one. It was shipped to us from the factory in Canada yesterday. By the time it clears customs, etc. it will likely be late next week before we receive it. Right now, it looks like the earliest we can expect to be on the air is late next week. Unless FedEx delivers quicker than I expect, I think a more likely time frame will be early the following week."

Stay tuned and have a good weekend.
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post #10 of 7879 Old 02-14-2003, 07:30 PM
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Lets keep our fingers crossed and give way to the Fed-Ex truck in your rearview mirror.
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post #11 of 7879 Old 02-16-2003, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Not really an update, but just wanted to let everyone know i posted some pictures of the antenna equipment etc. provided by Eldon on the website....link
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post #12 of 7879 Old 02-18-2003, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Just found out about this yesterday morning, but apparently Channel 5 is doing a short informational series on High Definition coming to the Lowcountry during the 6 O'clock news.....

Just throwing it out there for anyone interested......

Hope that FedEx truck had snowtires on.
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post #13 of 7879 Old 02-18-2003, 06:11 PM
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I got an chance to catch the HDTV segmets hosted by Manual yesterday and today. They were at the Video Warehouse in West Ashley for part of the segment. They are basically announcing HDTV is coming, then getting consumer reaction to the picture quality and summarizing the things that are required to recieve an HD signal such as STB, monitor, antenna, etc.. The aerial shots of Charleston on the bigscreen looked really good with the Yorktown in the background and the sun reflections on the water. They interviewed Eldon tonight and he made general comments about HD. It is a real positive step in getting HD to the lowcountry. I guess I will have to change my tag on the bottom of my signature, since we are now getting what them big city boys have already got
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post #14 of 7879 Old 02-21-2003, 07:22 AM
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With all the excitement and anticipation (at least around my house) for the beginning of HDTV in Charleston, I thought it would be a good time give the local cable companies an inquiry regarding cable-based HDTV. I have written to both Comcast and Knology, I am currently a Knology "digital" cable sub in West Ashley. So far I have heard back from Comcast, a semi- form letter. It stated that they had no planned date for HDTV in my area, and then had a couple of paragraphs on HDTV and why you will want it when it arrives. A slap in the face. So i don't hold out hope. I can't imagine Knology will be providing it either, since Comcast already has HD cable boxes all over the country, and they aren't supporting our small market.

I am waiting for Direct TV to announce ESPN-HD, so I can buy a STB, and sign up, I have heard that DishNetwork has announced that they will definitely be carrying it, I can't imagine that DTV wouldn't because I would guess that HD-sports and ESPN-HD will be the "killer apps" of HDTV. I have seen it in other cities and foot ball was truly amazing in HD.

Andy
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post #15 of 7879 Old 02-21-2003, 11:55 AM
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Well I guess I will go get my STB box now ! Eldon has been also sending me the updates and has been very informative and I appreciate it very much !

Also for you others in the Charleston area what kind of antenna are you people using ? There are just so many different ones I don't know which to get !
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post #16 of 7879 Old 02-21-2003, 02:18 PM
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I just received an update from Eldon, They are having some problems and he has his hands full it sounds like. He is great to keep us informed like this and is working really hard for us! His email to me follows....



I thought we would be up by now, but it was not to be.

We received the new switcher from Canada, but it does not communicate with our controlling computers. We are in the process of engineering an interface for it.

We have developed a leak in our transmission line. For those of you that don't know, this is the oversized coax cable (seven inches in diameter) that carries the signal from the transmitter up the tower to the antenna. We pressurize this line with nitrogen to keep moisture and oxygen out, and we are losing nitrogen. This is an irritant that will not keep us off the air, but once we find the leak, we will have to go off the air for about two days to fix it. I have called a tower crew in to fix it, but don't have their schedule yet. In the meantime, we will just go through a lot of nitrogen.

We had to replace a pump on the transmitter that had a bad seal, but the new one also has a bad seal. This won't slow us down, however as each cooling system has two parallel pumps in case of a failure. We will just run off the standby pump until we can get this pump replaced.

The day before yesterday our remote controls for the digital transmitter died. We cannot legally operate the transmitter without remote controls. We have them back up at the transmitter end, but not at the studio end yet.

The transmitter itself seems to be working fine except for a few times when it shut itself off for no apparent reason. We are thinking now that power bumps from the power company is the culprit, but we will have to put some recording devices on the line to confirm this.

The bottom line is that the biggest hurdle we have to cross right now is repairing the remote controls. Everything else I think we could work around, but we have to have control to turn it on. My best guess at this time is that we will be up and running early next week.

Thanks for your patience with us,

Eldon Brown
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post #17 of 7879 Old 02-21-2003, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Planenut:
Thanks for posting Eldon's update today. He does have his hands full. I have seen the transmission line and finding that leak will be no easy chore. I'm glad they will go ahead and transmit without that being corrected.

JeffD:
I found a bowtie at the Radio Shack in Summerville about a year ago and bought it then. Don't know if there are any left in the area or not. It's my understanding RS quit stocking them, but it might be worth a try. Can't tell you about performance yet as I'm too far away to get Fox's lame low power signal. If you have a simple set of rabbit ears (VHF/UHF) that can pick up Channel 5 OTA, then I would try them first for Channel 47, you might not need anything.

AndrewG:
I've talked on a couple of occasions with the general manager of the Comcast office about HD. He is knowledgeable about HD and recognizes it as a viable product, but has his hands tied by corporate. He indicated that it would probably be this time next year before they would get into the HD market. Corporate is spending its resources right now updating large former AT&T markets (Boston for example) where people there did not even have high speed internet access. It's purely a financial decision that unfortunately cannot be ignored. When you can maybe add at least 500,000 people at $40/month, providing HD set top boxes for the 106th TV market in the nation is not a huge priority. Believe me I want Comcast to get HD as much as the next guy, but I couldn't whine too much after he explained that to me.

Spread the word about HD, we need to make it profitable for these stations.

Hopefully my next post will include a signal strength for Channel 47.
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post #18 of 7879 Old 02-21-2003, 06:01 PM
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JeffD,

I have a channel master 4228 mounted on a 20' pole above my 2 story house (however my steet is in a hole compared to surrounding property). I have a 100 signal from FOX/UPN but they are probably only about 4 miles from my house. Will update strength once Channel 5 is broadcasting.

By the way Wholesale Electric on East bay is the local dealer for Channel master and they got mine from Columbia in 1 day but I had to pay shipping. pole from Home Depot.

Bill
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post #19 of 7879 Old 02-21-2003, 06:06 PM
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Eldon and the Channel 5 crew, appear to be doing everything they can to get us on line by next weekend. That is a refreshing HD experience given the last couple of years with the battles from Capital Hill down to my house.

JeffD:
I am using a round oval sailboat antenna because of the aesthetics in the neigborhood. I am able to pull in the WB and Fox signal. I live W. Ashley.
Drawbacks: Unable to direct your signal reception but I think it will work fine in our area as the majors come on line.

Good Luck -
HDSC
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post #20 of 7879 Old 02-21-2003, 07:42 PM
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Thanks for the help everyone ! I'm also kind of looking for something I can just sit in my attic and hopefully get a signal .

Where is the Fox/UPN tower located ? You think I might have a problem getting a good signal is Goose Creek ? Also I'm getting ready to pick up my HD satellite very soon haven't decided which one yet i'm leaning toward the Sony HD200 .
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post #21 of 7879 Old 02-22-2003, 04:59 AM - Thread Starter
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JeffD:

Fox/UPN are transmitting off of the "tower" adjacent to their station. It's on ARCO Lane Adjacent to 26 (see attached link)


......Fox/UPN Station Location

When they go full power, it will be from WCBD's tower in Awendaw.

I've read really good things about the CM 4228 if you need an antenna. If you want some other suggestions, go to www.antennaweb.org and select it based on your location etc

Good Luck
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post #22 of 7879 Old 02-22-2003, 05:26 AM
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Hope I can get a siginal down here in Beaufort. WSAV (NBC) ch 39 and WTOC (CBS) 15 come in here but both have audio problems. Only one Sav station (ABC) had stereo and now it is catching up with them.
I have a CM 1160A on 36 ft tower and found that a Rat Shack U-75R UHF ant works good on Sav stations 33 miles from here.
Jim

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post #23 of 7879 Old 02-22-2003, 06:30 AM
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JeffD,

I forgot to mention that the CM4228 is directional (I think 30 degrees either side) so depending on your location you may have to rotate it to get different stations...

FOX/UPN is temporarliy transmitting from their location on Arco lane off of montague near I-26.
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post #24 of 7879 Old 02-22-2003, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Link doesn't work, here's gif
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post #25 of 7879 Old 02-22-2003, 01:24 PM
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Again thanks for the help everyone ! Just wondering does anyone have any pics of their antennas ? I looked at antennaweb.org and I must not know how to use it right . Just about all the HD stations show in red for me , it shows I need a medium directional atenna .

Anyone have a link so I can see the CM 4228 ?
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post #26 of 7879 Old 02-22-2003, 02:43 PM
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Here is a link to Channel Master..

http://www.channelmaster.com/pages/u1.htm
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post #27 of 7879 Old 02-23-2003, 04:27 AM - Thread Starter
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JeffD:
I punched in GC's zip and it looks like you did antennaweb exercise correctly. However, antennaweb.org has all signals originating out of Awendaw, which obviously isn't the case right now. I think being in GC you have the same directional issue that planenut has, but I think you will both be OK. Hope so at least.
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post #28 of 7879 Old 02-23-2003, 06:37 PM
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pic of my antenna...
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post #29 of 7879 Old 02-26-2003, 05:04 AM
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Thanks for the pic ! I still am up in arms as to what I want to get ! I did get my HD Sat the other day , ended up getting the Hughes from Best Buy .
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post #30 of 7879 Old 02-26-2003, 01:36 PM
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Yeah!!!

This just in from Eldon Brown, please let those of us not up how things look, Andy

The time is here! We went up with a digital signal at 2:30 PM today. Right
now it is just a test signal. We plan to go to programming at 5 PM going
into our newscast. CBS is not sending any HD programming tonight, but CSI
tomorrow night should look great!

Please let me know how we look. If there are any problems, I would love to
hear about them. We are still having some problems with one of our
amplifiers, and the manufacturer is coming back in next week to work on it,
but we hope to keep this work confined to the daytime so prime time
programming is not interrupted. I will let you know how this goes.

Thank you all for your patience with us.

Eldon
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