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post #721 of 4131 Old 10-06-2006, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerdog View Post

Here's a strange problem: with optical audio from HDTV's tuner to receiver, I only get sound on the digital channels. I think it's consistent, too: Digital/HD station = sound; analog = silent.

Would the TV's tuner only send audio from digital sources? Or...what?

I helped my in-laws get their (non-HD) digital cable-box hooked up to their HT receiver awhile back, and noticed it had the same behavior: no audio over digital output when tuned to an analog station. Fortunately, I discovered that their receiver "played nice" when you had both L/R analog as well as digital audio plugged into the same input (e.g. the TV input). It would use the digital audio whenever it was present, but it would "default" to the analog audio when there was no digital audio.

Don't know if this is typical, or only something you'll find in high-end equipment (their HT receiver is a very pricey Yamaha). Give it a try and tell us what you discover.
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post #722 of 4131 Old 10-06-2006, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerdog View Post

What HD station numbers can we try to get from Canada (English lang.)?

The only English station right now is CBMT-DT (CBC). Broadcasts on channel 20 and re-maps as 6.1.

As for the multicasting issue, I heard rumours that some of the Burlington stations plan on multicasting a 480i SD version of their channel. For me, that would be a total waste of bandwidth, since any ATSC tuner is able to downres an HD feed and chop off the sides for 4:3 sets! They will certainly hear from me if this is the case!
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post #723 of 4131 Old 10-06-2006, 09:03 AM
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Tom, you mean RCA plugs for the analog? How retro!

Fox, auto tune didn't find 20. But I've got the two PBS stations, so I'm happy.
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post #724 of 4131 Old 10-06-2006, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
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After asking about multitasking ans the fact that with only 2 streams, WETK is really compressed, here is his answer:

In keeping with our "Whare the News comes first" policy AND the research we
have done showing that weather is the post important thing our viewers care
about...we will be adding a full time weather channel shortly after the DTV
main channel gets on the air.
As for the siganl degradation...the human eye cant see the difference until
a station gets to 2 or 3 program streams. If we were to got to the full 6
program streams a digital signal can carry then the quality of all of them
would be about equal to the old analog signal. We dont plan to ever do
that!
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post #725 of 4131 Old 10-06-2006, 10:30 AM
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Well, I guess I'd be OK with the weather channel as long as they keep it at a low bitrate. Radar maps and weather graphics aren't very hi-res anyway, so I don't think viewers will care if they keep it under 2Mbps.
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post #726 of 4131 Old 10-06-2006, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yipikyer View Post

As for the siganl degradation...the human eye cant see the difference

I hate gross generalizations like that. The right answer is "As for signal degradation...most people typically don't see the difference". The human eye has nothing to do with it. It's a "perception" thing which is a higher function of the brain. There are plenty of people out there that can see the difference.
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post #727 of 4131 Old 10-06-2006, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I just hope that after all that wait, we won't be deceived!!!
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post #728 of 4131 Old 10-06-2006, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yipikyer View Post

WPTZ: As for the siganl degradation...the human eye cant see the difference until a station gets to 2 or 3 program streams. If we were to got to the full 6 program streams a digital signal can carry then the quality of all of them
would be about equal to the old analog signal. We dont plan to ever do
that!

"The human eye can't see the difference" ? What a ridiculous answer... The local cable company here in Sherbrooke broadcast NBCHD from Buffalo. This channel had 2 sub-channels before but they remove one and the video bitrate for the HD went from 12 to 14.5 Mbps, just before the Olympic Winter Game. The difference was stunning...

By the way, the common rule for a 8VSB broadcast is 6 SD channels or 1 HD. (1 SD is about 3 Mbps, 1 HD is about 18 Mbps). Not 1 HD and some SD. I think they bend the rule a little bit here. With only 6 SD channel, the quality would have been equal to analogic broadcasting or better.

The 6 for 1 rule came with the beginning of the digital cable. At this time, 1 analog channel of 6 Mhz could be replace with a QAM256 digital stream at 38.8 Mbps. The mpeg2 encoders were not as smart as today's and they were able to put 6 SD channels of 5-6 Mbps each. The quality was really good. With time, they lowered the quality, bit by bit, to 8 to 1, 10 to 1, 12 to 1 channel ratio in one QAM. Yes, the encoder are better and faster but the quality is also lower. 8 or 10 SD should be the limit but for the average client, 12 to 1 is OK.

OTA, they can't put that amount of data in a 6 Mhz stream. So 8VSB modulation is use and can transport up to 19.4 Mbps, exactly the half of a the digital cable QAM. If the cable company put 12 SD channels in 38.8 Mbps, the OTA stream can take about 6 SD, but for HD, a good cable company will only put 2 HD in one QAM. So, with the same reasoning, 1 HD would have been the best solution. 1 HD + 1 SD is OK but the quality will be a bit lower.

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post #729 of 4131 Old 10-06-2006, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Got a mail from WETK and they told me that they are at 15 mbps
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post #730 of 4131 Old 10-06-2006, 05:38 PM
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I know this is unrelated but you all seem like smart people so I figure there's no hurt in asking...Is there a way to connect a DVR box to a computer to transfer recorded programs to my hard drive?
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post #731 of 4131 Old 10-06-2006, 07:11 PM
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I'm looking for an attic antenna. Our attic is finished but I could hide an antenna in the kneewall storage areas. Is there one you guys would recommend? I was looking at a DB2 for its size but it is only UHF. Do I need a VHF? Any thoughts? Thanks, Roger
edit: I live in St. Albans
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post #732 of 4131 Old 10-06-2006, 08:18 PM
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Yes, you need VHF to get ABC on channel 13. I would wait though to see if channel 13's signal will come in anyway with your UHF antenna, since they can sometimes pick up high-VHF if the signal is strong enough.
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post #733 of 4131 Old 10-07-2006, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yipikyer View Post

Got a mail from WETK and they told me that they are at 15 mbps

I confirm. I've got a few minutes of clear signal this morning and they changed a few thing.

A few days ago, the maximum bitrate limit for the SD channel was 15 Mbps, now, it's only 4 Mbps. The limit for the HD is 19.392 Mbps as before. This number is not equal to the real bitrate but it's a good indication of the priority of the channels in the stream.

So, this morning, the effective bitrate for VPT-HD was around 15 to 15.5 Mbps. The bitrate for the VPT-DT1 was around 2.5 to 3 Mbps. Nice change.

I just wonder what they will do with more than one sub-channel active at the same time...

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post #734 of 4131 Old 10-07-2006, 04:07 PM
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The signal of WETK seems to be weaker right now. It's cutting in and out on my indoor antenna setup.

Anyone else notice a change?
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post #735 of 4131 Old 10-08-2006, 10:58 AM
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So will the indoor zenith super sensor pick up all the hd chnls. Does it cover ufh and Vhf or do I need to get two antenna's?

Tia
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post #736 of 4131 Old 10-08-2006, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lancejustice View Post

So will the indoor zenith super sensor pick up all the hd chnls. Does it cover ufh and Vhf or do I need to get two antenna's?

Technically it's UHF-only. However, it picks up channel 3 (VHF) analog just fine due to my proximity to Mt. Mansfield. By contrast, channel 5 (VHF) analog, which is located in Plattsburgh, doesn't come in at all while channel 57 (UHF) analog, which is located even further away than channel 5, comes in great, as does channel 38 (channel 57's digital counterpart).

When the time comes, I'm reasonably confident it'll pick up channel 13, WVNY's chosen channel for HDTV broadcast. All the other HDTV stations from Mansfield will be UHF, so I'm not at all worried about them.
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post #737 of 4131 Old 10-08-2006, 02:01 PM
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That's good. Wvny? Is that ABC? My biggest concerns are cbs and fox, but I would like to be able to get all of them. Also, once they are up and running, is it possible dish network will be offering them as well, like they do with the analog broadcast or will it be ota only?
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post #738 of 4131 Old 10-08-2006, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lancejustice View Post

That's good. Wvny? Is that ABC? My biggest concerns are cbs and fox, but I would like to be able to get all of them. Also, once they are up and running, is it possible dish network will be offering them as well, like they do with the analog broadcast or will it be ota only?

WVNY is the Burlington ABC affiliate. However, the same company that owns WVNY also owns WFFF, the Fox affiliate, so I'd expect the timelines for both stations to be similar.

The FCC requires OTA broadcasters to cease broadcasting in SD in just a few years. I don't know if this requirement applies to satellite and/or cable TV providers. If I had to guess, given the size of our market, I'd say Dish and DirecTV won't be carrying our locals in HD until they absolutely have to.

Oh yeah, one more thing about channel 13...

They're going to be broadcasting HD at considerably less power than channel 3 "test case", so it's possible that WVNY will be difficult to pull in with a UHF-only antenna, despite our close proximity to the transmitter. There's just no way to know until they go on-air and you give it a try.
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post #739 of 4131 Old 10-08-2006, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vttom View Post

WVNY is the Burlington ABC affiliate. However, the same company that owns WVNY also owns WFFF, the Fox affiliate, so I'd expect the timelines for both stations to be similar.

The FCC requires OTA broadcasters to cease broadcasting in SD in just a few years. I don't know if this requirement applies to satellite and/or cable TV providers. If I had to guess, given the size of our market, I'd say Dish and DirecTV won't be carrying our locals in HD until they absolutely have to.

Oh yeah, one more thing about channel 13...

They're going to be broadcasting HD at considerably less power than channel 3, so it's possible that WVNY will be difficult to pull in with a UHF-only antenna, despite our close proximity to the transmitter. There's just no way to know until they go on-air and you give it a try.

I agree that we shouldn't expect the sats to carry our locals any time soon but wouldn't it be easy for them since the networks are broadcasting from the same location. Of course this is not knowing whats involved!
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post #740 of 4131 Old 10-09-2006, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by rogerpl View Post

I agree that we shouldn't expect the sats to carry our locals any time soon but wouldn't it be easy for them since the networks are broadcasting from the same location. Of course this is not knowing whats involved!

One of the stations said it depended on when the satellite companies "build the uplink facilities".

Dish Network had originally included the Burlington DMA stations in a list of 50 DMAs they had hoped to have HD LiLs for by the end of this year. Now they seem to have recanted. I say "seem" because one rarely gets a straight answer out of Dish Network and when they "float" a possibility of something happening, it's not unusual to have it vaporize.

Direct TV on the other hand doesn't seem to have much of anything planned for HD until sometime in '07 and if their track record for analog LiLs in Vermont is any indication, they may not even have our digital locals before analog gets shut off.

So I guess bottom line is "who knows"?

If signal reception of the PBS digital station just launched from Mt. Mansfield is any indication of what we can expect from the commercial stations, it looks like there will be a significant portion of the DMA that may not receive the networks.

IMO Stations should NOT be allowed to claim viewers that can't get their signal. All stations care about is advertising revenue and their rates are usually based on the amount of viewers they have. Therefore it doesn't really matter to the station if you can receive their signal or not as long as you're included in their viewer base.

Based on that, there seems little incentive to have their signal carried by satellite unless satellite is willing to pay for it. If on the other hand, stations were only allowed to claim viewers that actually receive their signal, the whole situations changes and they'd probably be falling all over each other trying to get their signal carried.

There's also the issue of whether Dish Network will loose their license to carry any distants and whether that will prevent them from offering digital (HD) distants.

IMO when these stations are all up and at full power, anyone that still can't receive them OTA should call their congress reps. There needs to be alternate options for viewers to receive digital network signals when the local stations can't or won't get the signal to them.

A moral wrong is not a civil right
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post #741 of 4131 Old 10-09-2006, 09:48 AM
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FWIW, I seem to recall that there is an appeals process WRT to getting waivers from local stations. If you're unable to get a usable picture from a specific network affiliate, and they've rejected your waiver to allow you to get that programming from a distant local over satellite, then you do have further options - vis a vis a waiver appeal.

However, I don't have a clue as to the process involved. I don't know if you go through the local affiliate, the satellite provider, or the FCC.

IMHO, all locals have adopted the practice of denying all waiver requests, banking on the fact that most people will not go through the trouble of appealing.
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post #742 of 4131 Old 10-09-2006, 10:38 AM
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OK,

According to antennaweb I have the following data:

yellow - uhf WFFF-DT 43 FOX BURLINGTON VT TBD 97° 13.7 43
yellow - uhf WCAX-DT 7.3 CBS BURLINGTON VT TBD 97° 13.6 53
yellow - uhf WETK-DT 33.1 PBS BURLINGTON VT TBD 97° 13.7 32
yellow - vhf WVNY-DT 13 ABC BURLINGTON VT 12-06 97° 13.6 13

So, I only need a basic antenna without preamp? Anyone have a recommendation? How are the Terk bar types? I can mount it under my eaves.
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post #743 of 4131 Old 10-09-2006, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vttom View Post

FWIW, I seem to recall that there is an appeals process WRT to getting waivers from local stations. If you're unable to get a usable picture from a specific network affiliate, and they've rejected your waiver to allow you to get that programming from a distant local over satellite, then you do have further options - vis a vis a waiver appeal.

However, I don't have a clue as to the process involved. I don't know if you go through the local affiliate, the satellite provider, or the FCC.

IMHO, all locals have adopted the practice of denying all waiver requests, banking on the fact that most people will not go through the trouble of appealing.

The trouble is most of the laws and rules were set up for analog tv signals and are only recently being updated or looked at in terms of digital signals.

It used to be that applying for a waiver was not even needed if one was predicted to be "unserved" by the adopted signal prediction method (Longley-Rice).

If one was not predicted as "unserved" by that method, yet knew they couldn't get the signal, they could "appeal" by demanding a signal test for which the station had to pay if it was confirmed there wasn't a Grade "B" or better signal with a stationary roof top antenna.

When the Dec '04 legislation passed "SHVERA", congress gave the FCC a year to investigate whether additional or alternate methods were needed for determining if people could receive a decent digital signal.

The FCC as it usually does, waited almost the full time and then sent a "report" to congress saying (among other things) that the exist L-R prediction method used for analog was basically fine for determining digital signal reception too.

The problem is the FCC says (they say it was part of the law that congress wrote) that if your satellite company offeres analog locals in your DMA, then signal tests can no longer be demanded.

The FCC is also on record as stating that "whether a person's satellite company offers analog locals or not has nothing do do with their eligibility for distant digitals. In fact. The law states that if your satellite company offers HD distants and also provides analog locals, the customer MUST subscribe to those analog locals in order to receive the digital distants.

So to put this in perspective (at least as I understand it):

In order to be eligible for digital distants it has to be determined that you are "unserved" for OTA analogs.

The method to determine that is the same old existing prediction method use for analog for years.

If that method is wrong (as if often was for analog and would even more likely be for digital), you apparently no longer have those same signal test options. IMO it was the threat of having to pay for individual signal tests that kept stations reasonable about granting waivers and this is the reason many no longer do.

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post #744 of 4131 Old 10-09-2006, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkulikow View Post

OK,

According to antennaweb I have the following data:

yellow - uhf WFFF-DT 43 FOX BURLINGTON VT TBD 97° 13.7 43
yellow - uhf WCAX-DT 7.3 CBS BURLINGTON VT TBD 97° 13.6 53
yellow - uhf WETK-DT 33.1 PBS BURLINGTON VT TBD 97° 13.7 32
yellow - vhf WVNY-DT 13 ABC BURLINGTON VT 12-06 97° 13.6 13

So, I only need a basic antenna without preamp? Anyone have a recommendation? How are the Terk bar types? I can mount it under my eaves.

As I've posted before, the antennaweb web site is not very reliable in our area. I would not spend money on an antenna system based solely on their data. The best thing is to wait until these stations are at full power and then have a professional check your location with a signal meter and take it from there.

A moral wrong is not a civil right
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post #745 of 4131 Old 10-09-2006, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkulikow View Post

OK,

According to antennaweb I have the following data:

yellow - uhf WFFF-DT 43 FOX BURLINGTON VT TBD 97° 13.7 43
yellow - uhf WCAX-DT 7.3 CBS BURLINGTON VT TBD 97° 13.6 53
yellow - uhf WETK-DT 33.1 PBS BURLINGTON VT TBD 97° 13.7 32
yellow - vhf WVNY-DT 13 ABC BURLINGTON VT 12-06 97° 13.6 13

So, I only need a basic antenna without preamp? Anyone have a recommendation? How are the Terk bar types? I can mount it under my eaves.

Huh, you must live in or near Essex town because I get almost the exact same bearing and distance numbers for my address.

That's good because, as I've reported before, I get excellent reception using the Zenith Silver Sensor, which is an unamplified, UHF-only, indoor antenna. I put it on top of my entertainment unit pointing straight at Mt. Mansfield (through an exterior wall). I get signal strength in the high 90's.

The CircuitCity in Williston had several of them on the shelf last week. I paid $25.
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post #746 of 4131 Old 10-09-2006, 02:01 PM
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I've been emailing back and forth about HD, and I mentioned reading on another forum here that some PBS stations are cutting back on their HD programming because it costs so much more. The answer I got is that VPT is spending "several hundred thousand" on HD programming, but it's committed to HD for "the season." Which I found a little discouraging. One season and then we'll see...

I know VPT operates on a shoestring. I don't know if Mountain Lakes does but I'd bet most or all PBS stations are hurting for money. If so, HD may be a bit like splurging on a trinket when you can't afford food.

What's your guess for the long-term future of PBS HD in a market like ours?
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post #747 of 4131 Old 10-09-2006, 08:02 PM
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Well, at least we have two PBS stations in the market, so we can be reasonably confident that at least one will keep the HD feed.
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post #748 of 4131 Old 10-10-2006, 03:59 AM
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Maybe PBS will lower the pricing if they see stations bailing out.
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post #749 of 4131 Old 10-10-2006, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vttom View Post

Huh, you must live in or near Essex town because I get almost the exact same bearing and distance numbers for my address.

That's good because, as I've reported before, I get excellent reception using the Zenith Silver Sensor, which is an unamplified, UHF-only, indoor antenna. I put it on top of my entertainment unit pointing straight at Mt. Mansfield (through an exterior wall). I get signal strength in the high 90's.

The CircuitCity in Williston had several of them on the shelf last week. I paid $25.

Yep,

I am in Essex Jct. near Susie Wilson Road. I am heading to CC today at lunch to grab an antenna.

- Kuli
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post #750 of 4131 Old 10-10-2006, 07:27 AM
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Are we still on for the 12th? Or am I being overly optimistic? I've got the Champagne Chillin' ....
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