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post #1 of 7120 Old 10-18-2003, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought it was time to try and start an all-imcompassing Connecticut HDTV thread. The main purpose is to let people know what's available and help each other with information on choosing how to best receive HD.

The following is the status of Digital OTA broadcasting as of October 18, 2003 according to antennaweb.org

WTXX-DT 12 WB Waterbury CT Now Live
WTIC-DT 31 FOX Hartford CT Nov 1 2003
WEDH-DT 32 PBS Hartford CT Awaiting FCC Permit
WFSB-DT 33 CBS Hartford CT Now Live
WVIT-DT 35 NBC New Britain CT Dec 15 2003
WUVN-DT 46 SAH Hartford CT Now Live
WEDY-DT 6 PBS New Haven CT Testing
WTNH-DT 10 ABC New Haven CT Now Live
WHPX-DT 34 PAX New London CT Now Live
WCTX-DT 39 UPN New Haven CT Now Live
WSAH-DT 42 SAH Bridgeport CT Awaiting FCC Permit
WWLP-DT 11 NBC Springfield MA Now Live
WEDN-DT 45 PBS Norwich CT Now Live
WGBY-DT 58 PBS Springfield MA Now Live


Of the Big 4 networks, it seems that CT viewer's only HD bright spot is ABC and WTNH DT. They broadcast a strong HD signal that most people have no trouble getting. For CBS, WFSB DT has been broadcasting for a while, but they are broadcasting at low power. For those who do receive the signal, many report that the sound is very low. The latest from WFSB seems to be that they are hoping to be at full power by the end of the year. I have one thing to say to WFSB, The Superbowl is Feb 1st. There will be plenty of very upset viewers if they are not full power for the Superbowl. No FOX or NBC yet. All I know about those two are the target dates listed above.

Keep in mind, In many areas of the country, Digital stations are only broadcast in UHF, but here in CT, some stations are VHF. WTXX 12, WTNH 10, WEDY 6, and out of MA, WWLP 11. So for us we need a combination UHF/VHF antenna.

It seems that most of the stations are/will be broadcasting from two tower clusters. Could someone please post where the station transmitters are?

Could people please post your experience with OTA signals? If we could post where your live, Receiver Model, antenna brand and model, then channel and signal strength, that would be great.

I am just getting started. I have only tried indoor antennas so far with not much luck. My results so far:

Cromwell, CT
DTC100 receiver:
Simple Rabbit Ears: received only WTNH DT with a signal strength of around 65. Monday Night Football in HD is awesome!
Silver Sensor UHF antenna- Nothing

I know CT cable companies are starting to carry some HD channels too. If people could add who their cable company is and what channels they receive, that would be great.

Many of you know more than me on this subject so please correct anything I have wrong, and add anything that you think is important. I'm hoping that this thread can provide one stop HD information for all of us. Thanks.
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post #2 of 7120 Old 10-19-2003, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jake14mw
It seems that most of the stations are/will be broadcasting from two tower clusters. Could someone please post where the station transmitters are?

Map of transmitters:
LL
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post #3 of 7120 Old 10-19-2003, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Andy,

That's a great map! I wonder why antennaweb has WTIC DT as 317 degrees from me and and the others you have listed from that same spot at 316?
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post #4 of 7120 Old 10-20-2003, 05:15 AM
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The wind?
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post #5 of 7120 Old 10-20-2003, 08:56 AM
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Glad to finally see this thread. I'm in Farmington very close to the Rattlesnake Mountain complex. This is what I pick up for DTV/HD with my Hughes E-86 and my attic mounted Winegard PR-7015 combination VHF/UHF antenna (with ChannelMaster 9251A remote contolled rotor). No amplification at all. Sub channels included where applicable.

WFSB-DT Hartford (CBS) 33-1 (SD upconvert) and 33-3 (HD) - Signal Strength 100% (Channels remap to 3-1 and 3-3 respectively)

==

WTNH New Haven (ABC) 10-1 HD, 10-2 (Doppler Radar) 10-3 (Sports Ticker) - Signal Strength 93-100% (Channels remap to 8-1, 8-2 and 8-3 respectively)

==

WTXX Waterbury (WB) 12-1 (HD when applicable) - Signal Strength 100% (Transmits from Farmington, CT) (Channel remaps to 20-1)

==

WCTX New Haven (UPN) 39-1 (SD upconvert) - Signal Strength 44-65% (Channel remaps to 59-1)

==

WWLP Springfield (NBC) 11-1 (SD upconvert) and 11-3 (HD) - Signal Strength 37-58% (Channels remap to 22-1 and 22-3 respectively)

==
WGGB Springfield (ABC) 55-1 (SD upconvert) Signal strength 37-51% (Channel remaps to 40-1)

==

WGBY Springfield (PBS) 58-1 (HD), 58-2 PBS Kids Upconvert, 58-3 PBS West Upconvert and 58-4 PBSYou Upconvert - Signal Strength 27-44% (Channels remap to 57-1, 57-2, 57-3 and 57-4 respectively)

WGBY runs the PBS demo during primetime. During the day it runs an upconvert of analog 57 but without audio. They are installing equipment to remedy that. WGBY was very spotty over the summer.

==

WUVN-DT 46 (Univision) has also gone live from Hartford, but I have only checked signal strength (100%) I do not know about programming but thought it was worth mentioning. (Channel remaps to 18-1)

==

Ralph
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post #6 of 7120 Old 10-21-2003, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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As mentioned in another thread, antennaweb.org says that WTIC-DT is scheduled to go live on Nov 1st, anybody heard anything?

The main reason though for this post is to see if there is any place locally that sells Channelmaster UHF antennas that allows returns? I guess allowing returns is probably a rare thing with antennas right? I am trying to get an antenna to try in the attic.

The catch is that my attic is made from trusses so there is no way I could put up a big combination antenna. I guess Radio Shack lets you return antennas, but I don't think any decent antenna that they have would fit in my attic. Maybe a small Yagi might fit? It seems that one of those ChannelMaster 4 bay Bowtie type antennas might work best but I don't know who sells them locally. Will trusses interfere with the signal? Thanks.
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post #7 of 7120 Old 10-21-2003, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jake14mw

The main reason though for this post is to see if there is any place locally that sells Channelmaster UHF antennas that allows returns? I guess allowing returns is probably a rare thing with antennas right? I am trying to get an antenna to try in the attic.

According to the channel master website, Lowe's sells them as does Signal Electronic Supply in West Hartford. signalelectronics.com

shizno
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post #8 of 7120 Old 10-22-2003, 07:19 AM
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The Fox date is wrong, we'll be lucky to have them up by the end of the year.
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post #9 of 7120 Old 10-22-2003, 08:47 AM
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I have been emailing WCTX about their plans to pass Enterprise and Jake 2.0 in HD but I never received a response. I sent an email to a contact at WTNH (WCTX's LIN sister station) and received this reply today:

"At this time we are unable to pass true HD. We are currently in the process of completing the project that will enable us to pass true High Def."


I think every DT station that is not on-line is in this same process.
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post #10 of 7120 Old 10-22-2003, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Shizno,

Thanks for the info, I tried Signal Electronics but was kind of turned off by the guy that helped me. I also checked Lowes website, and it looks like they only have the big UHF/VHF combo antennas that I can't try in the attic. Since Radio Shack allows returns, I was thinking of trying a yagi style 150-2160 UHF only. I hope to use a good UHF antenna coupled with a small, cheap, simple VHF one.

I'm sure most people in CT have the same antenna issues as me. Distance from the towers is not the problem but terrain blockage is. I think there are a number of hills between me and the towers that will cause me problems. I thought I would get a weak signal from a Silver Sensor temporarily placed outside, but I got nothing with it. My goal is to get a decent signal from WFSB-DT while they are at low power. That way, I figure that when it goes full power and when WTIC and WVIT go on-line, I should be all set.

Right now, choices that I'm looking at include a ChannelMaster 3010 Stealthtenna (I am skeptical about that design), a ChannealMaster Bow-tie style 3021 (Also called 4221), and the Radio Shack one listed above. Anyone have any suggestions?

Hey Such, can you share any more information with us on how you know about the Fox date being wrong?
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post #11 of 7120 Old 10-22-2003, 09:51 AM
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The date is December. Got it first hand from the CTO of Tribune Broadcasting this morning. They will be passing 480P day 1, and will pass 720P in September when Fox flips their switch nationally.
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post #12 of 7120 Old 10-22-2003, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jake14mw
[b]Shizno,


Right now, choices that I'm looking at include a ChannelMaster 3010 Stealthtenna (I am skeptical about that design),

This is the antenna I use currently, roof mounted on a two story cape in Manchester.

I get:

WFSB (CBS) at about 90%
WTNH(ABC) at about 85%
WWLP (NBC) at about 65%
WTXX (WB) at about 95%
WGBY (PBS)at about 35-50%
Don't know about the others.

I can't seem to get WGGB out of Springfield so it may have to do with the antenna direction, haven't really investigated as I get most everything I currently need. That and the roof is a bit steep...

shizno

edit: I use no amplifier, although I have been thinking of trying one out.
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post #13 of 7120 Old 10-22-2003, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jake14mw
Shizno,

Thanks for the info, I tried Signal Electronics but was kind of turned off by the guy that helped me. I also checked Lowes website, and it looks like they only have the big UHF/VHF combo antennas that I can't try in the attic. Since Radio Shack allows returns, I was thinking of trying a yagi style 150-2160 UHF only. I hope to use a good UHF antenna coupled with a small, cheap, simple VHF one.

I'm sure most people in CT have the same antenna issues as me. Distance from the towers is not the problem but terrain blockage is. I think there are a number of hills between me and the towers that will cause me problems. I thought I would get a weak signal from a Silver Sensor temporarily placed outside, but I got nothing with it. My goal is to get a decent signal from WFSB-DT while they are at low power. That way, I figure that when it goes full power and when WTIC and WVIT go on-line, I should be all set.

Right now, choices that I'm looking at include a ChannelMaster 3010 Stealthtenna (I am skeptical about that design), a ChannealMaster Bow-tie style 3021 (Also called 4221), and the Radio Shack one listed above. Anyone have any suggestions?

Hey Such, can you share any more information with us on how you know about the Fox date being wrong?

I am in the same situation as you in that I have a truss roof structure in my attic and for that reason I'm looking at the CM 4221 - 8 bay bow tie antenna. Same issue, no one sells it locally that will allow a return that I've found. BUT, I did find the CM 4 bay bow tie listed in a catalog at a True Value hardware store. The sales rep stated that it was a standard product for them (not special order) and therefore I could return it. At the time, I was still interested in the 8 bay feeling I would need the added gain living 30-40 miles from Hartford. Alas, the 8 bay was a special order and not returnable. Go figure? You might want to try your local T.V. store if the 4-bay will work for you. They had the 4-bay listed as a CM 3021 I think.

Chris

Edit 1: 8-bay is CM4228; 4-bay is CM 4221/ CM 3021 per Solid Signal.

Chris
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post #14 of 7120 Old 10-23-2003, 05:38 AM
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Well, according to that map (nice, BTW) I can get PBS and PAX without too much difficulty. The others will be tough though. I tried a radio shack indoor and didn't get boo.

Thinking I might give the outdoor thing a shot, but the wife would have a cow if she had to turn a knob to dial in the channel.

Decisions, decisions, decisions. I just want a stinking waiver from CBS and ABC locals which I know I'll never get.

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post #15 of 7120 Old 10-23-2003, 05:54 AM
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For whatever it is worth, I am in Milford, CT and use a CM 4224 (on roof) and a CM 7777 amp and a rotator. During the summer I would have difficulty getting FOX and CBS from NYC, but now I am able to get them most of the time rannging from 35-70 on the meter. I can always get WTNH over 90 and PBS from Bridgeport around 90 and PBS from Long Island will be over 70. I cant even get WFSB to be a blip on the radar here in Milford. I am anxiously waiting for the CT channels to get going from Rattlesnake mountain so that I can utilize both fronts depending on the weather for each day!!! Also, forgot to mention I am using a RCA DTC100.
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post #16 of 7120 Old 10-23-2003, 06:42 AM
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Quote:


Thinking I might give the outdoor thing a shot, but the wife would have a cow if she had to turn a knob to dial in the channel.

I have a remote control rotor that can be controlled with my universal remote. Type in the channel # and the antenna turns and you don't even have to get up from the couch!

Very wife friendly
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post #17 of 7120 Old 10-23-2003, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by CHDinCT
I am in the same situation as you in that I have a truss roof structure in my attic and for that reason I'm looking at the CM 4221 - 8 bay bow tie antenna. Same issue, no one sells it locally that will allow a return that I've found. BUT, I did find the CM 4 bay bow tie listed in a catalog at a True Value hardware store. The sales rep stated that it was a standard product for them (not special order) and therefore I could return it. At the time, I was still interested in the 8 bay feeling I would need the added gain living 30-40 miles from Hartford. Alas, the 8 bay was a special order and not returnable. Go figure? You might want to try your local T.V. store if the 4-bay will work for you. They had the 4-bay listed as a CM 3021 I think.

Chris

Edit 1: 8-bay is CM4228; 4-bay is CM 4221/ CM 3021 per Solid Signal.

Chris,

Thanks for that info, I will definitely check out some True Value stores. By the way folks, I called Signal Electronics back yesterday to get a price on the 4221, and the guy that helped me this time was very helpful. He was a real nice guy who really sounded like he knew what he was talking about.
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post #18 of 7120 Old 10-23-2003, 07:22 PM
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I bought my antennas in Wooster, MA (40 minutes from Hartford) Good salesman and everything is in stock. I will look up the name of the place, can't recall it right now, and post it when I return from a family vacation. Very happy to see this thread. I will post my OTA reception, channels, strength, antennas, receiver etc. when I return.

We are all in this together.

Ed
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post #19 of 7120 Old 10-24-2003, 04:45 AM
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I'm in Norwalk and using a DTC-100 along with the $22 Radio Shack outdoor UHF antenna (U-75R) mounted on the eave of a 2-story cape. My back yard faces west-southwest and is surrounded by large pine and maple trees. This is nice for privacy, but it's the worst possible scenario for satellite and NYC OTA reception.

Originally I could get WTNH no problem, and NY CBS and FOX would come in but frequently drop out. So I added a ChannelMaster 7777 amp and now I can pick up NY CBS and FOX without dropouts. It's nice because where I am, WTNH and WCBS are almost 180° from eachother. I can keep my antenna pointed towards the Empire State Building, and pick up CBS & FOX, and still get a good signal for ABC (WTNH). However I cannot get anything for the UPN station in New Haven (WCTX), no matter where I point the antenna. Not even a blip! Is this a power issue? If so how much power are they putting out? I think the 4 watts on my CB radio is more powerful!

Regarding cable- here in lower Fairfield County Cablevision is the only choice. If you have the iO service, you can request an HD box (it's free but requires a service call), and get CBS HD and PBS HD with any package, but no other networks yet. People with Cablevision in New York are able to get the NY FOX widescreen, but I read elsewhere it may be because there is not sufficient bandwidth on the uplink from NY to CT. Who knows if this is true. I also understand there are some FCC rules that say the cable companies have to provide the HD locals on the same basic tier as the analog channels. Cablevision wants to charge $10 extra for the "iO service" in order to get these channels. It seems a little fishy to me, I don't even know if you can order the old service anymore. I've always been jerked around by cablevision which is why I have satellite.
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post #20 of 7120 Old 10-24-2003, 02:44 PM
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As the "somewhat official" thread for HDTV in CT, I have not seen any reference to COX cable and their HD capabilities. I live in Enfield, and HD is available with basic channels (ESPNHD, DiscHD, HBO, SHO and INHD soon). Does anyone out there have the COX HD installed yet? Any info on when we might get broadcast channels - NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX etc.? Seems like Comcast is way ahead of COX in HD content - unfortunate for us with COX! Any info on COX HD would be appreciated. I have not invested in my HDTV yet waiting for more HD content, but I have this money burning a hole in my pocket, just waiting to be spent! Thanks, BOB
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post #21 of 7120 Old 10-24-2003, 08:10 PM
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I live in West Haven, CT and I use a Channel Master 3019 OTA. I pull in WTNH-DT (ABC), WCTXX-DT (UPN), WTXX-DT (WB) at about 90%. No problem with those channels what so ever. I just recently made an alignment adjustment to my antenna and now I can pull in WFSB-DT (CBS)at about 60%. However the audio is very low, as others have stated. Earlier in this thread someone stated that WUVN recently went live (18-1), however I can not pull this channel in, (it doesn't even show up in my channel list) despite being able to pull in the normal signal from Hartford without any problem. I look forward to future programming from NBC (WVIT) and PBS (WEDH from Hartford & WEDY from New Haven). I know that WVIT won't be available until 2004, does anyone know when the PBS stations will go live.
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post #22 of 7120 Old 10-26-2003, 09:54 AM
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I live in Tolland. I have a Radio Shack deep fringe VU-190 combo VHF/UHF antenna. I also have a Radio Shack mast mounted 30 db amplifier. I am using a Hughes E-86 hD box. Here is what I am getting for signal strength:

WTNH ch 10 - 79%
WTTX ch 13 - 100%
WEDN ch 45 - 100%
WFSB ch 33 - 15%

I don't have a rotor but I am fortunate that WFSB,WTIC,WTXX,WVIT,WCTX,and WTNH are within about 20 degrees of each other.

I can get WTNH good with only a few dropouts. WTXX has virtually no dropouts. Eventhough I can see the signal for WFSB, I cannot get a picture.

One thing that I have noticed is that the E-86 HD box often gets confused when switching between directv and OTA. The picture and audio have many dropouts. The best way for me to cure this is to switch to analog OTA reception and then to digital OTA. Has anyone else noticed a similar problem. Maybe it is due to the heat of the E-86 although the directv hd channels never show any dropout.

Regarding WEDH (pbs), it looks like they are still waiting approval from the FCC before beginning transmitting.
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post #23 of 7120 Old 10-26-2003, 09:57 AM
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I just thought of one more thing. I don't seem to get any dropouts on WEDN. Since that is the only UHF station that I receive, I wonder if the E-86 has a problem with VHF reception.
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post #24 of 7120 Old 10-27-2003, 03:59 PM
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gerryger,

what directional are you pointing at to get the WB out of Waterbury??? I cannot find it to save my life. I dont know what the recent directional is as I have not checked antennaweb but since you are getting it, I wonder if you would not mind sharing that info since we are probably just as far from it as I am just a couple of exits away from you in Milford along the shoreline!!!
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post #25 of 7120 Old 10-28-2003, 02:54 AM
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I've had little luck with the Radio Shack combo antenna's (including the VU-190), eventually returned it and got seperate Wineguard VHF & UFH antannas. Been perfect since I did that, plus you can point them in different directions if needed.

Live in Avon and get WWLP/NBC out of Springfield, WFSB/CBS from Avon MT, WTXX/WB off Rattlesnake, and ABC out of New Haven. All with 90+% signal strength.

Have the antenna's in my attic and use a Channel Master 7777 preamp.
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post #26 of 7120 Old 10-28-2003, 07:47 AM
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Quote:


what directional are you pointing at to get the WB out of Waterbury??? I cannot find it to save my life. I dont know what the recent directional is as I have not checked antennaweb but since you are getting it, I wonder if you would not mind sharing that info since we are probably just as far from it as I am just a couple of exits away from you in Milford along the shoreline!!!

Check Such's post. Although WTXX/WB is listed as Waterbury, their transmitter is on Rattlesnake Mt. in Farmington. The transmitter is side mounted, pointed toward Waterbury. They are only outputting 25% of full power so it my not be a directional issue for you.

There is a large antenna array being constructed on the mountain which will house the antennae for WTXX-DT, WTIC-DT, WVIT-DT and WEDH-DT but I have not heard about the status in a long time. I drive by Rattlesnake every day but I have not seen anything visually changing but that doesn't mean there isn't anything happening.

Ralph
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post #27 of 7120 Old 10-28-2003, 09:14 AM
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I have first hand information that Fox's digital broadcasts will start ~Dec 1st. So I'm hopeful that means others will also be up around that time (given the tower will be built out at that point).
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post #28 of 7120 Old 10-28-2003, 03:31 PM
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so is there an antenna structure up on rattlesnake yet???? Can a physical structure be seen??? If so, hopefully they are just finishing off the connection end of it.....anybody have any real solid info????
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post #29 of 7120 Old 10-28-2003, 07:31 PM
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so is there an antenna structure up on rattlesnake yet???? Can a physical structure be seen???

Right now there are two large analog structures that you can see from miles around. I saw what looked like a third very small one last week when approaching the complex from Bristol. I had never seen that one before.

The owner of the complex is an AVS member (achase) but I haven't seen a post from him in a while. He explained that the largest analog structure would be reinforced and a candelabra type antenna array would be affixed to it. That would be for WTIC-DT, WEDH-DT and WTXX-DT. I'm probably simplifying the hell out of it, but that's what I interpreted from various posts from achase. This info seems consistent with what I have heard from WTIC in past emails which I think is good news.

The smaller of the two structures I believe is WVITs analog structure. I drive by these things twice a day but have not seen any visible changes. Could all be low level work at this point. WVIT going live OTA is just hindered by the antenna issue. Their equipment is up and running and they have a dedicated uplink to Comcast and are broadcasting 1080i to Comcast HD subscribers. Doesn't that just boil your blood?

All correspondence with the stations seems to point that things are progressing toward a November launch for WVIT and December launch for WTIC as Such reported. I have emailed WEDH repeatedly but have no word from them.

Last but not least, we need WFSB-DT at full power with 5.1 sound, and that rounds out my Christmas list.
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post #30 of 7120 Old 10-30-2003, 08:53 AM
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Ugh, just moved to Mystic from Raleigh. I'm sorely disapointed in the HD content here . In Raleigh I had a TON of local broadcast stations, and Time Warner actually had a decent HD lineup (everything I wanted except ESPN). Comcast is giving me NBC, ESPN, Showtime, HBO, PBS, and a couple weird ones. ESPN has all sorts of problems coming in, NBC often flips between HD and digital right in the middle of a show, and the rest have some weird volume issues. It's driving me batty . And of course my local reception here is terrible. I guess I was a little too spoiled. I'm hoping Comcast expands their lineup soon. It baffles me that they don't at least have the big 3 networks' HD lineup.

-MP

Someday maybe I'll actually WATCH my projector...
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