Washington, DC / Baltimore, MD - HDTV - Page 184 - AVS Forum
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Local HDTV Info and Reception > Washington, DC / Baltimore, MD - HDTV
dbburns's Avatar dbburns 02:15 PM 10-12-2004
I'm sorry if this question has been asked ad nauseam.

I did a search on "5.1" and saw that WJLA *may* start passing the DD5.1 audio in November. That's good to hear. I e-mailed the Programming Department two weeks ago and the General Manager last week inquiring about their DD5.1 capabilities, and I haven't heard a thing back from either yet. Since my e-mailed question about the same topic eighteen months ago also went unanswered, this tells me that the customer service over at WJLA is lacking (either that, or it's a sore topic with them).

Anyway, does anyone know what the deal is with WRC? I got DD5.1 audio during the Olympics. Supposedly, their HD shows this fall are being broadcast in DD5.1, but my receiver is not detecting this. I e-mailed them about it two weeks ago, and (shocker) I haven't heard back yet. Has anyone heard anyting from them about this subject? (Like I said, sorry if this has been addressed. I did do a search on "5.1".)

I know that most on here will tell me to just point my antenna up to Baltimore (as they always do), but I don't feel like doing that. I get the DC locals strongly, and I don't want to risk decreasing their signals by turning the antenna or have to buy a new antenna just to pick up the same networks in another city.

Thanking in advance for any info,
Dave

f44's Avatar f44 02:22 PM 10-12-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by zebras23
I have on many occasions seen lip sync problems on WETA HD via Comcast Arlington, sometimes almost unwatchable (Yes I have a Sammy DLP, but it has been limited to WETA - a source issue in my belief). Anyway this past Saturday I flipped over to watch Sound Stage w/ Sheryl Crow at 11 p.m. The first strange thing was the image was not centered. I had about 3" of black bar on the left side of the display (no other HD station had this issue). Secondly, the lip sync was gone (easy to detect on music shows).

As soon as Sound Stage ended, the screen went back to normal but - thankfully - the lip sync issue has not returned.

Did anyone else experience this w/ Sound Stage on Saturday and have others noticed any difference with the lip sync issue?

Thanks.
Recently, I have seen the non-centered image on WETA-HD (logo was still in right spot though) thru Comcast Montgomery County on some Soundstage episodes, didn't watch the Sheryl Crow one. Did not notice the sound problem.
LarryC's Avatar LarryC 02:43 PM 10-12-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by sport06
Is anyone in Northern Baltimore County/Carroll County having any luck picking up WHP-DT from Harrisburg? This is the CBS affiliate.
I don't know of anyone around here getting WHP-DT.

Being that it is a VHF broadcast (channel 4) and all other OTA digital in BaWa is UHF, you would probably need a dedicated VHF yagi antenna pointed north, and a pretty big one at that. A really good front-to-back ratio would also be needed to cancel out any signal reflections from WRC analog 4 from DC.

I have friends in Hershey that have trouble getting it, and they're only 15 miles away.

But because I get WUSA-DT and WJZ-DT, I admit that I really haven't tried very hard to get a third CBS station.

Perhaps during the next high tropo forecast someone may try to DX it!
CycloneGT's Avatar CycloneGT 02:47 PM 10-12-2004
Dave,

WJLA-DT will being getting DD5.1 eventually. When, we do not know. Their engineering director posted here that the need part has been approved, so its all budgets and purchasing and installation now. I'm hoping it will be here by the end of the year.

WRC is not broadcasting DD5.1, but neither is WBAL-DT in Baltimore. So repointing your antenna won't help with NBC, just ABC. I've emailed them both and not received a response. WRC still has their ID set to "CH1" for nearly the past year, so their engineers are not on top of everything.

WETA: I've seen the "off center" problem in the past. They tend to correct it (or it fixes itself) once the program has concluded. This is a WETA problem and not Comcast.
jeffthurmont's Avatar jeffthurmont 03:17 PM 10-12-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by sport06
Is anyone in Northern Baltimore County/Carroll County having any luck picking up WHP-DT from Harrisburg? This is the CBS affiliate.

Thanks
Bob in Westminster
Bob, I live in Thurmont and can't get WHP. I do get some of the others like WGAL and WPMT. Whp and their PBS station is on the same frequency as some DC stations. When these DC stations go out on occasion I can get the PA stations. They are both at low power though.
Pyrr's Avatar Pyrr 05:11 PM 10-12-2004
Anything new on Fox HD on D*?

Thanks
f44's Avatar f44 06:19 PM 10-12-2004
WETA-D's sound for the HD show American Family was out-of-sync with the the video today (10/12).
hare555's Avatar hare555 09:33 PM 10-12-2004
After many hours of research on avsforum, I decided to install an OTA antenna to receive OTA high definition. My televsion is Sony LCD rear projection tv that our family purchased about six months ago.

I wanted to receive the major network broadcast in HDTV and I live in Columbia, Maryland (15 miles from Baltimore stations and 20 miles from Washington stations). My options were upgrading to digital cable and then ordering the HDTV package from comcast or were using a satellite service along with an OTA antenna. The digital cable option did not appeal to me because I would have to add marginally entertaining channels to order the HDTV package. I decided on the satellite service along with an OTA antenna. I chose the dish network because they were offering the 811 receiver which has a built-in OTA tuner.

The dish installation went okay. I enjoyed watching any hd programming but wished for more. So, I began to research for an antenna installer. After many readings of this forum, I chose Consumer Antenna to install a ChannelMaster 3018 that I had purchased at a local hardware store.

I talked to Dave over the phone before setting up an appointment. He was very knowledgeable and friendly and answered all of my questions thoroughly. He let me know the estimated cost of the installation and told me he would have to charge me a surcharge because I was not within their service distance. I agreed to this surcharge and made an appointment for an antenna installation with a rotator.

In a few days, Matt and Dave showed up for the installation on time. They made an inspection of the house. Then Matt climbed to the roof to install the mast and the rotator while Dave drilled away a hole for the cable. After about 3 hours, they were finished and we went to check the reception on the tv. However, the antenna was not rotating so Matt had to rewire the cable for the rotator. Soon he was done and the antenna was rotating and I was picking up all the networks from Baltimore and Washington. I am very satisfied with the installation from Consumer Antenna and I believe the cost of the professional installation will be worth it in the future.
hare555's Avatar hare555 09:36 PM 10-12-2004
I have uploaded the pics of my antenna that Consumer Antenna installed.
LL
llogan's Avatar llogan 10:21 PM 10-12-2004
Why'd you get an antenna with VHF? Just curious since you only need the UHF for the OTA HD.

It also looks like they used a J mast...interesting, it's actually the way my UHF antenna is mounted on my roof as well though I don't personally believe it to be the most stable way to mount an antenna.
Mntneer's Avatar Mntneer 10:50 PM 10-12-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by f44
WETA-D's sound for the HD show American Family was out-of-sync with the the video today (10/12).
WETA has sync issues for me 90% of the time. Sometimes its barely noticable, other times it's horrible.
CycloneGT's Avatar CycloneGT 10:58 PM 10-12-2004
In Columbia, he can get away with the smaller UHF portion of a VHF/UHF antenna. Besides VHF analogs can be decent when all else fails.

I have also been seeing the lip sync issues with WETA. I was over at a friends house and it was there on his HDTivo, and I see it as well on my DishNet receiver.

I was going to update the "news" area that D* has added FOX-HD, but it didn't make it the customers. Rumour has it that Dish Network has blocked it until they also get a fair deal. DirectTV and FOX are owned by the same parent company.
zebras23's Avatar zebras23 07:19 AM 10-13-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by Mntneer
WETA has sync issues for me 90% of the time. Sometimes its barely noticable, other times it's horrible.
Do we (by we I mean members of this thread) have a contact for WETA to report this issue or has it already been done and is something they are "working" on resolving?
Scott R. Scherr's Avatar Scott R. Scherr 07:25 AM 10-13-2004
WNUV is now up in HD again as of last night.

Scott
llogan's Avatar llogan 07:32 AM 10-13-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by CycloneGT
I was going to update the "news" area that D* has added FOX-HD, but it didn't make it the customers. Rumour has it that Dish Network has blocked it until they also get a fair deal. DirectTV and FOX are owned by the same parent company.
Ah, that makes sense, was wondering why it didn't pop up yesterday in the guide.
CycloneGT's Avatar CycloneGT 07:47 AM 10-13-2004
There have been numerous contacts for WETA posted over the years. I'm no longer sure which are still valid. I can't expect that they are too busy over there, so I guess we can just try the web page contact info first. Their main phone number is: (703)998-2600

WNUV: I wonder what was going on. I do notice that they still have DD5.1 enabled full time. I wonder if this will be "the way it is" or if they are going to turn it off when The WB goes DD5.1 and there actually will be difference between DD5.1 shows and regular stereo shows.

Llogan, Welcome back BTW. It had been a long time since you'd been around here. :D
net0man's Avatar net0man 07:49 AM 10-13-2004
last nite, I was on the phone with a rep from D*. unfortunately, I was informed that my waivers were declined for ABC, CBS and NBC. FOX is pending. I subscribe Total Choice Plus with local channels and HDTV package. The service provides local channels from DC's TV stations. There is no Balitmore stations to watch on my TV. Below is my grade:

Network Affiliate Channel Status
ABC
WJLA 7 Grade A (strong signal)
WMAR 2 Grade A (strong signal)
CBS
WUSA 9 Grade A (strong signal)
WJZ 13 Grade A (strong signal)
NBC
WBAL 11 Grade A (strong signal)
WRC 4 Grade A (strong signal)
FOX
WBFF 45 Grade A (strong signal)
WTTG 5 Grade A (strong signal)

am I SOL for getting CBS and NBC network feed in HD? :confused:

Tad
CycloneGT's Avatar CycloneGT 08:22 AM 10-13-2004
Yes you are SOL. But at University Park you should be able to get both DC and Balt OTA very easily.
DCviewer's Avatar DCviewer 10:42 AM 10-13-2004
I got a very similar letter faxed to me. Funny thing is that Hank Volpe had told me over the phone that he'd likely grant the waiver. His original position was that if my local affiliate (WRC) didn't care, then he didn't either.

The funniest (and most dumb) quote: "If you choose not to use an antenna, you can, of course, continue to receive all of our programming through your local channel package with your satellite carrier." This is after I explained to him -- and he indicated that he understood -- that D* does not offer WBAL to DC residents as part of the local package.

Now, of course, he doesn't pick up the phone (his number is 410-338-6455, BTW). I imagine that he's getting lots of calls from rightfully annoyed DC and VA residents.

Quote:
Originally posted by llogan
Summary of below: with NBC and CBS now being broadcast in HD over DirecTV, and with dropouts on those channels OTA, figured I'd try and get waivers. Thought NBC would be a breeze since they're O&O in DC but the below will demonstrate that it obviously wasn't...

First and foremost, already been through the DirecTV initiated waiver process, was denied there so thought I'd take a more direct approach and wrote WBAL directly (Have to get approval from them since they are a Grade B for me in both Falls Church and Reston). Just received an email back from WBAL (NBC affiliate in Baltimore). I live in Reston, VA and our local affiliate is WRC. Here's the text of the message:



I'm really hating them right now. My response:
I realize that the tone of my response will probably ensure that I won't get a waiver but it didn't seem like they were going to bend anyway so why not....

I will be requesting a signal strength test as that seems to be the only course of action at this point.

CycloneGT's Avatar CycloneGT 11:06 AM 10-13-2004
Hank is the engineer over at WBAL, He's not the one to decide on waivers, so people should not bother him about this.
billodom's Avatar billodom 11:09 AM 10-13-2004
WETA

I contacted WETA-DT via their website link to complain about the audio sync. This was approximately 2 weeks ago. I heard nothing back. I personally have taken a wait and see approach with them. Compared to MPT-DT, they are definitely second rate. I wonder when/if that will change?

WTTG and WBFF Comparison

I have noticed in comparing Fox 5 with Fox 45 on football and last night's baseball game, the grass/turf has much more artifacts on 45 than 5, the well-noted "grass dancing" effect. I am watching on a 1080i set. Does this have anything to do 45 multicasting? I'm surprised no one has commented on this. It's interesting to me that since WBFF went full power, I have a significantly higher signal on 45 than I have on 5. Incidentally I was very pleased with the sound and PQ on the baseball game on WTTG last night (Tuesday 10/12). If only the camera mounted over the backstop facing the pitcher were HD.

NBC-E Feed on D*

To muddy the waters a bit more on the WNBC feed on D*, here are the results from my location:
ABC WJLA 7 Grade A (strong signal)
WMAR 2 Grade B (moderate signal)
CBS WUSA 9 Grade A (strong signal)
NBC WBAL 11 Grade B (moderate signal)
WRC 4 Grade A (strong signal)
FOX WTTG 5 Grade A (strong signal)
Based on these results, it appears I would need a waiver from WBAL. Not so. I have received WNBC since it was launched a few weeks back. It just popped up automatically. I do have the HD and local channels packages. Based on this, my assumption is that I'll get WNYW once that's launched on D*. I'm surprised that WJZ and WBFF don't show up at all from my location.


Program Guide Info

I wouldn't really be interested in getting the network feeds from D* but since our DC local broadcasters haven't seen fit to put out any PSIP data, I tune them for that info. I prefer to watch WRC over WNBC and WBAL. I get picture blackouts on WNBC. At least I have the few times I have tuned in. I don't think WBAL's picture is quite as good since they started multicasting. Why can't all the broadcasters implement the programming info that WBAL does?

Signal Strength of WJZ

I have a built-in DTC 100 OTA tuner and a Samsung 165 STB. It is curious that the DTC 100 receives WJZ rock solid with no breakups while the 165's reception of WJZ is spotty, random pixellating and dropouts. They're connected to the same antenna by a splitter. Overall the 165 has a stronger tuner than the DTC 100 but oddly in this one case it doesn't hold true. I'm wondering if anyone has a similar experience.
DCviewer's Avatar DCviewer 11:29 AM 10-13-2004
I understand your point. I'm sure he's very busy, and he seemed like a nice enough guy, but I don't agree that people shouldn't "bother him about this."

By signing the letters (and sending the e-mails) that attempt to justify WBAL's silly position, he has made himself the "point man" for HD waiver requests, thereby inviting followup calls, frustrated e-mails, etc.

Perhaps if he's bothered enough, he'll get WBAL to reconsider. I'm not sure if he has that power, but we've all suffered consequences of our bosses' decisions, right?


Quote:
Originally posted by CycloneGT
Hank is the engineer over at WBAL, He's not the one to decide on waivers, so people should not bother him about this.

Peter A Dionne's Avatar Peter A Dionne 11:48 AM 10-13-2004
Last evening while watching NCIS on Channel 9.1 (WUSA-DT) about 15 minutes into the show my Sony Receiver was showing DD5.1 sound. After about another 15 minutes the DD5.1 sound (blue light) was gone. I don't know if it was really 5.1 since I did not notice much coming from the back speaker.

Did anyone else notice this?
Philip Hamm's Avatar Philip Hamm 11:57 AM 10-13-2004
Quote:
They're connected to the same antenna by a splitter.
What kind of splitter? Unless it's powered each branch is getting less signal than a direct connect. Check the splitter, sometimes they say on them what the attenuation is. I have a 3 way splitter that has something like -7/-15/-15.
billodom's Avatar billodom 12:29 PM 10-13-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by Philip Hamm
What kind of splitter?
Thanks for the feedback. A RadioShack special. I don't know the number offhand. I have an in-line amplifier hooked up before the splitter. The loss appears to be minimal. FWIW, before installing the splitter, each respective tuner/STB performed in the same way when tuning WJZ. Rock solid, no dropouts/pixelization with the DTC 100; the opposite with the 165.
CycloneGT's Avatar CycloneGT 12:31 PM 10-13-2004
Well, I received a response from WETA pretty quickly.
Quote:
Thank you for watching WETA and for taking the time to bring this problem
to our attention. Our head engineer is currently investigating the cause
of the problem. We will get back to you as soon as the problem is
identified.

Once again, thank you for watching WETA and for taking the time to write.

Sincerely,

Valerie Bampoe
Audience Services Coordinator
WETA

AntAltMike's Avatar AntAltMike 12:34 PM 10-13-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by billodom
I have an in-line amplifier hooked up before the splitter. The loss appears to be minimal. FWIW, before installing the splitter, each respective tuner/STB performed in the same way when tuning WJZ. Rock solid, no dropouts/pixelization with the DTC 100; the opposite with the 165.
Try eliminating the preamp and connecting the 165 directly to the antenna feed. The preamp might be getting overloaded by the nearby WETA transmitter.
riffjim4069's Avatar riffjim4069 02:02 PM 10-13-2004
I'm near Fredericksburg and receive both the DC and Richmond digitals. I can honestly say the Richmond PBS stations (WCVE-DT, 42, 23.1 and WCVW-DT 44, 44.1) are light years ahead of WETA-DT:

1. Broadcasting at full power
2. DTV antenna is at authorized height
3. Signal is strong and reliable (94-97 signal level 51+ miles)
4. No pixilation
5. No artifacts
6. No lip sync/sound issues
7. No multicasting

I generally watch DC and Baltimore digitals, but I'll flip the A/B switch and watch PBS out of Richmond every time. Isn't WETA-DT in the 8th largest DMA and at the center of the public television universe? I thought WETA-DT was moving to the WUSA-DT/WJLA-DT tower? If so, this may very well resolve 4 or 5 of my issues.
llogan's Avatar llogan 02:14 PM 10-13-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by CycloneGT
Llogan, Welcome back BTW. It had been a long time since you'd been around here. :D
I've been hanging out mostly on the HD Tivo forum :D
The waiver issue is what brought me back in here, came back because I knew I wasn't alone in my quest well I guess, wanted to preach to the choir a bit or at least just complain a little.
CycloneGT's Avatar CycloneGT 03:02 PM 10-13-2004
Like all you guys didn't know that this waiver/Baltimore issue wasn't ever going to raise its ugly head. :D I wonder what will happen when ABC-HD hits the air. I can guarantee that WJLA won't give out any waivers.
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