Grand Rapids, MI - HDTV - Page 233 - AVS Forum
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post #6961 of 8046 Old 12-30-2009, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by orbitrob View Post

could somebody please post the current QAM channel lineup... or post a link where I can find it..??...thankx.. Rob

http://www.silicondust.com/hdhomerun/channels_us
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post #6962 of 8046 Old 12-30-2009, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by millerbrad View Post

the current QAM channel lineup...http://www.silicondust.com/hdhomerun/channels_us

thankx... R
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post #6963 of 8046 Old 12-30-2009, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Kamakzie View Post

How could they pull this off? A yearly TV Tax? LAME!

No, the networks will simply require their affiliates to surrender their FCC licenses and become satellite/cable only stations. If you want to watch anything other than PBS or independent stations you'll have to subscribe to cable or satellite. Each network will want about $5.00 per month per subscriber just like ESPN so everyone's cable/satellite bill will jump up another $20 per month.

If enough people cancel cable and satellite the networks will claim the loss of subscribers is due to internet piracy. Congress will declare them too big to fail and funnel the money to them via special new taxes on all recordable media, computer hard drives, and internet connections.
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post #6964 of 8046 Old 12-30-2009, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by eyager View Post

No, the networks will simply require their affiliates to surrender their FCC licenses and become satellite/cable only stations. If you want to watch anything other than PBS or independent stations you'll have to subscribe to cable or satellite. Each network will want about $5.00 per month per subscriber just like ESPN so everyone's cable/satellite bill will jump up another $20 per month.

If enough people cancel cable and satellite the networks will claim the loss of subscribers is due to internet piracy. Congress will declare them too big to fail and funnel the money to them via special new taxes on all recordable media, computer hard drives, and internet connections.

The part that burns me the most is commercials. The idea of pay television was supposed to be a model of paying to watch because there were little to no commercials. For the amount of commercials we see now, they should be paying us for our time!! Personally, I would rather have more ala carte picking instead of packaged tiers. Then when the $5 a month is dished out, the market would truely determine who is watching your programming. For each $5 you don't get, you'll know that your network isn't even getting into those homes.
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post #6965 of 8046 Old 12-30-2009, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by eyager View Post

No, the networks will simply require their affiliates to surrender their FCC licenses and become satellite/cable only stations. If you want to watch anything other than PBS or independent stations you'll have to subscribe to cable or satellite. Each network will want about $5.00 per month per subscriber just like ESPN so everyone's cable/satellite bill will jump up another $20 per month.

If enough people cancel cable and satellite the networks will claim the loss of subscribers is due to internet piracy. Congress will declare them too big to fail and funnel the money to them via special new taxes on all recordable media, computer hard drives, and internet connections.

There will be outrage if OTA goes away, so they are going to strip OTA down to a couple of transmitters per market and put networks on digital subchannels in standard def. That will be the start. Stations that own multiple network affiliates can shut down transmitters to save money and cram everything on subchannels. HD content for networks will only be available by subscription, and that content will be fed via fiber optic uplinks to the subscription services. The FCC will get to auction off the opened up spectrum to the highest bidder, and the average Joe gets the shaft.

Enjoy it while you can! Cancel your subscriptions now and enjoy HD OTA because it will be gone someday.
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post #6966 of 8046 Old 12-31-2009, 05:57 AM
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I usually don't get involved in philosophical discussion on this board; however there are events starting to unfold that threaten the very existence of free OTA television and eventually my paycheck.

Scottmo2020: What you describe is what the FCC is about to propose. A centrally located transmitter will provide SD signals for all stations in the area on one frequency as a "lifeline" service representing the only free OTA broadcasting. All HD content will go to pay services.

The erosion of free OTA started many years ago when the FCC took channels 70-83 away. This shortage limited the growth of alternative networks, because there were no channels left in many markets. The next erosion was taking back channels 52-69. These channels are being auctioned off to companies like Qualcom for the purpose of pay OTA mobile TV.

This last and probably final blow; to auction off broadcast frequencies in favor of broadband, is the current thinking going around the FCC. For years the FCC has felt the spectrum should be used for mobile communications only. Any signal reaching a stationary receiver was inefficient use of the spectrum.

There are currently 50% of the "big four" stations in this area in bankruptcy. This alone should let you know, something is wrong. What is wrong is the public's willingness to pay your cable company $6.00 ( $4.00 wholesale cost + $2.00 profit) for ESPN without the choice of ala carte. ESPN takes their $4.00 and outbids your free OTA broadcaster for sporting and entertainment programs. Remember when WXSP carried the Tigers, Redwings and the Pistons? Why does ESPN that receives less than 1/3 the viewing of any of the big four stations deserve $4.00 a subscriber and the broadcast stations get $.25. You might use the argument that broadcasters get a license to provide free programming. This model or argument is no longer valid. For years the cable company disconnected the antenna to make OTA viewing impossible, and stole our signal without compensation then turned around and used this money to outbid us for the best of our future programming.

What Fox Network is doing is the only model that will keep free OTA broadcasting alive. Broadcast stations are currently trying to survive for their very existence, (yes it is truly that bad). Fox is currently asking TWC for $1.00 a subscriber. The usual reaction is "I hope they fail because it will raise my rates”. No it will not. Cable makes choices like all the rest of businesses. If they incur new costs of $4.00 a sub for the "big four" stations, they can simply eliminate channels that receive very little viewership and eliminate an equivalent amount of programming cost. Cable and satellite could also offer you ala carte programming and let the subscriber choose who is worth paying for. The "big four" stations accumulatively receive 60%-70% of cable viewing; broadcasters are very willing to compete in an ala carte arena.

.

Mike L.
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post #6967 of 8046 Old 12-31-2009, 07:02 AM
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I only have Comcast's useless $14/month analog plan (locals, TBS, WGN, and a couple others). And this is only because the cable + Internet discount makes it cheaper than Internet alone. Since I really only watch the locals, I consider myself an OTA viewer.

The fact that TV8 is chiming in here worries me. I saw a commercial telling me to call my politicians and tell them not to kill OTA.

This all sounds very real, and my only comfort us that it'll take 5-10yrs for this to happen. Minimum.
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post #6968 of 8046 Old 12-31-2009, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm actually canceling all pay TV service and building a HTPC and going OTA, Netflix and Internet streaming only. I am so tired of paying $80-100 a month for just 5 channels or so I can't get OTA. It would definately suck if OTA goes away.

Scott
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post #6969 of 8046 Old 12-31-2009, 07:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terryfoster View Post

Remind me, did someone order U-verse and then proceed to cancel the TV portion to avoid the installation fee?

Yep, I did it over the summer and I believe you still can. Basically by getting TV service installed you get free installation. You only have to keep the TV service for 30 days, after that there is no commitment. This is only worth it if you can get the typical $200-250 in rebates. Then you only need to keep the TV service long enough for the rebates to process (or 30 days, whichever is longer). For me I ended up keeping TV service for 40 days for all my rebates to process.

Then you just give them a call, cancel, they'll send you something in the mail which you will take down with your DVR to the UPS Store and they will take care of shipping it back for free.

Scott
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post #6970 of 8046 Old 01-02-2010, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by TV8 View Post

...What is wrong is the public's willingness to pay your cable company $6.00 ( $4.00 wholesale cost + $2.00 profit) for ESPN without the choice of ala carte. ESPN takes their $4.00 and outbids your free OTA broadcaster for sporting and entertainment programs. Remember when WXSP carried the Tigers, Redwings and the Pistons? Why does ESPN that receives less than 1/3 the viewing of any of the big four stations deserve $4.00 a subscriber and the broadcast stations get $.25. You might use the argument that broadcasters get a license to provide free programming. This model or argument is no longer valid. For years the cable company disconnected the antenna to make OTA viewing impossible, and stole our signal without compensation then turned around and used this money to outbid us for the best of our future programming....

.

Mike,

You hit the nail on the head. Watching the Rose Bowl, not only were ALL the microphones ESPN, they also kept putting their logo in the upper left side of the screen while the ABC network logo was in the lower right. It's obvious ESPN outbids everyone then filters it to a broadcast network. How is it the cable money is allowed to filter to the FCC licensed network?

I grew up in NJ. Professional baseball, basketball and hockey were always on OTA TV. That all changed in the 1980's when the cable channels that started to show these teams touted, "it will cost you $5 a month for our channel, but the games will not have commercials.". After getting so many subscribers and making it impossible for the locals to compete, they started to insert the commercials. It's been downhill from there.

What we need is ala carte pricing instead of tiers, and a set of rules of how much commercial time you can have per hour per monthly subscriber $ (ie: the more $ per subscriber the LESS commercial time per hour).
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post #6971 of 8046 Old 01-02-2010, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by bonscott87 View Post

I'm actually canceling all pay TV service and building a HTPC and going OTA, Netflix and Internet streaming only. I am so tired of paying $80-100 a month for just 5 channels or so I can't get OTA. It would definately suck if OTA goes away.

I did the same exact thing. Take a look at Sage TV. It is worth the money and their HD extenders make it so easy. The plugins are great too. There is one that streams Hulu, Netflix, etc via the Playon software right to your TV.

I am going to enjoy OTA while it lasts. I expect it will be around for awhile yet. When they do consolidate, I hope they pick a high power UHF station. I don't know how you guys in West Michigan deal with all of the VHF digital! Here in MO in my area we have 1 VHF and it is unwatchable most of the time due to impulse noise or some atmospheric condition. I grew up in Holland and have a lot of family there.

Like another poster said, what is to prevent the big 4 networks from going direct to the subscription services and uplinking to them, cutting out the local broadcast stations all together? Leave PBS transmitting for "emergency" purposes, and the big 4 send everything to subscription services. Local TV, news, etc as we know it could be gone!
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post #6972 of 8046 Old 01-02-2010, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jimst View Post

We may end up feeding a CW HD via fiber to Charter who can pass it on to Comcast but that leaves out Direct TV and OTA viewers.

...quoting a post from 2008.

I'm curious what ever happened to WWMT's plans to offer CW in HD? Their current "squish-o-vision" solution on the 480i subchannel is really awful. It's particularly bad with 4:3 content, which gets smashed down into a distorted block in the center of the screen.

Even if they're unable to air two 1080i feeds on the same channel, wouldn't it be possible to air it in 16:9 480i or 480p, kind of like WOOD's 8.3 weather subchannel?

Even if they're bankrupt, I wonder if this change would even cost them anything? Wouldn't it just involve making some changes on the encoders?

I guess I'd ask the same question about WXSP (are they able to broadcast in SD 16:9?)
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post #6973 of 8046 Old 01-02-2010, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Dominic26 View Post

You hit the nail on the head. Watching the Rose Bowl, not only were ALL the microphones ESPN, they also kept putting their logo in the upper left side of the screen while the ABC network logo was in the lower right. It's obvious ESPN outbids everyone then filters it to a broadcast network. How is it the cable money is allowed to filter to the FCC licensed network?

ESPN is owned by ABC. All ABC, ESPN and ESPN 2 sports programming is branded ESPN.

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Originally Posted by millerbrad View Post

I guess I'd ask the same question about WXSP (are they able to broadcast in SD 16:9?)

Perhaps.
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post #6974 of 8046 Old 01-03-2010, 09:11 AM
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Any word on the street when WWMT will be switching to HD for their news broadcasts?
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post #6975 of 8046 Old 01-03-2010, 11:13 AM
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Any word on the street when WWMT will be switching to HD for their news broadcasts?

Wouldn't count on it anytime soon. I think their parent company is in bankruptcy right?
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post #6976 of 8046 Old 01-06-2010, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by TV8 View Post

For years the FCC has felt the spectrum should be used for mobile communications only. Any signal reaching a stationary receiver was inefficient use of the spectrum.

What they are missing is the fact that the signal isn't reaching "a" stationary receiver. It is reaching hundreds of thousands stationary receivers. That improves the efficiency.

Quote:
You might use the argument that broadcasters get a license to provide free programming. This model or argument is no longer valid. For years the cable company disconnected the antenna to make OTA viewing impossible, and stole our signal without compensation then turned around and used this money to outbid us for the best of our future programming.

There are laws in place that REQUIRE cable companies to restore your signal via their service, with a certain number of local broadcast channels made available based on the number of channels in the cable system. Satellite systems are under different rules that REQUIRE every full power station in a market to be carried. In both cases, if the station want their signal to be restored to those homes where the OTA was cut all they have to do is file under "must carry".

The problem occurs when stations view OTA reception as stealing their signals. I steal the signals of my local TV stations with an OTA antenna. I'm not paying my local stations for reception so I must be a thief.

Instead of viewing cable and satellite as the enemy perhaps they should be seen as partners who help stations get their signals into home. Instead of charging the cable system $1 per customer why not pay the cable system $1 per customer they deliver the signal to? They are providing stations a service. (Federal law prohibits stations paying cable/satellite providers, so let's just call it even - required "must carry" of all stations with HD equality - if one station is carried in HD all stations must be carried in HD, or SD if no HD available. With no money changing hands. The lifeline "broadcast only" level of services would remain required for cable and become required for satellite.)

Cable started as CATV ... some company helping out a community by providing a common antenna that delivered local broadcasters to their home. Instead of everyone in town paying an antenna installer for a private antenna people shared the cost. Unfortunately broadcasters saw that as CATV systems making money "reselling their signal", when all they were doing were selling access to a common antenna. Asking for a piece of each cable/satellite subscription is like asking Radio Shack to pay stations $20 per station every time an antenna is sold.

Quote:
If they incur new costs of $4.00 a sub for the "big four" stations, they can simply eliminate channels that receive very little viewership and eliminate an equivalent amount of programming cost.

That will go over well ... Sorry, LOGO is being dropped because your local station is demanding more money. Lifetime is no longer available because we have to pay local broadcasters more.

While in a local sense broadcaster want to compete with cable don't forget who owns the networks. Complain all you want about the prices that ESPN charges for their suite of channels (more expensive for one channel than all channels via the closest thing we have to a la carte - business bulk rates). But don't forget that ESPN is owned by the same folks as the ABC network. Kinda hard to miss when you're watching ESPN on ABC for NASCAR. NBC Universal is more than just a broadcast network ... and CBS/Viacom is in the mix too.

YOUR CONTENT PROVIDERS ... the people that your station is paying network affiliation fees to ... are the ones who are feeding the cable channels. Does your network want to see their cable channels cut so you can make more money off of your rebroadcast of their product? Disney, Universal and Viacom don't want a la carte. They would rather have a dozen channels to serve the varied interests of their audience than the one feed via OTA. They are still making money via the affiliate system, but the day that system dies they will just move their content direct to cable/satellite. And probably make more money.

As noted above, I'd prefer a 100% must-carry non-cash system. It isn't the way that the industry evolved. Changing it will take a sea change of the mindset that cable is stealing broadcasters signals instead of helping broadcasters reach viewers.

I want to see OTA survive ... and thrive ... I don't see it doing so when stations are hoarding their signal.
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post #6977 of 8046 Old 01-06-2010, 04:32 PM
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Some of my friends and i were wondering if when everything is hd and all tv comes from cable or satellite, All the ota stations that went into the cable or satellite programing will commercials still be allowed ? If so would the people that have the money to buy cable or satellite programing be given a discount on those programs , because of the commercials ?

Just a few thoughts. And also what would be the fcc's content veiwing of the commercials ?
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post #6978 of 8046 Old 01-07-2010, 05:23 AM
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No.
All media is now or soon will be dual revenue stream. This includes DVDs, VOD, movie theatres, newspapers, web sites with any value, magazines, kindle books, you name it. The cost of production and distribution of any worthwhile media has exceeded what advertisers can pay for. Video and other media are moving to a dual revenue stream model just like magazines and newspapers before them. Get used to a subscription or a pay per view on almost any media you use or want along with the advertising. This includes sites like Hulu, Boxee, Justin.TV, and podcasts. Its just a matter of time as to when.

Mike L.
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post #6979 of 8046 Old 01-07-2010, 09:41 AM
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I am not able to receive any of the new digital broadcast channels here in downtown grand rapids, because of the new buildings that have been built. I am debating if i should pay comcast $15.00 for the locals or just dump tv altogether.

A lot of my friends are in the same boat. Some get 2 or 3 some don't get any stations.

And if you folks think the us economy is going to go back where it was 5 years ago well good luck to you.

It is really a sad state of affairs when the most powerful country in the world cannot even get tv to it's citizens
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post #6980 of 8046 Old 01-07-2010, 04:50 PM
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It isn't so much a production cost problem that killed the networks as has been a product quality problem. The vertical integration of the media companies the late 90's killed off the independent producers of scripted television, so networks could keep the entire pie should a show become smash hit. On the other hand it kept them holding the entire bag and to eat all the costs should a show bomb. The result is the networks played it safe and decided to produce largely cheap crap reality shows in the early 00's and quality scripted shows created before vertical integration reached their natural end leaving no worthy successors. The viewers eyeballs scattered and saw no reason to come back. Cable isn't immune to it either, which is part of the reason the History Channel no longer has much to do with history and there is nothing to learn on the Learning Channel.

Networks got themselves into this mess with their greed to begin with. Extorting additional money off the viewers by killing OTA and raising cable rates isn't going to fix it.
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post #6981 of 8046 Old 01-12-2010, 04:08 PM
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It looks like WWMT finally got their act together with syndicated shows in HD. Wheel of Fortune and (I'm assuming) Jeopardy are in HD tonight.
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post #6982 of 8046 Old 01-12-2010, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Goadfish View Post

It looks like WWMT finally got their act together with syndicated shows in HD. Wheel of Fortune and (I'm assuming) Jeopardy are in HD tonight.

Surprising, considering their bankruptcy status.

Might mean that HD (or at least widescreen) news isn't far behind, as that's the same pattern we saw with WXMI and WOOD.
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post #6983 of 8046 Old 01-12-2010, 05:31 PM
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Jeopardy was also in HD.
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post #6984 of 8046 Old 01-12-2010, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Now if they can just fix the constant audio and video hiccups that have been going on for many years I'd be happy.

Scott
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post #6985 of 8046 Old 01-16-2010, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Goadfish View Post

It looks like WWMT finally got their act together with syndicated shows in HD. Wheel of Fortune and (I'm assuming) Jeopardy are in HD tonight.

Hard to believe they did it out of the kindness of their hearts or spare change rattling around in their pockets. I'm guessing the syndication company has something in the contact to force the issue.
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post #6986 of 8046 Old 01-16-2010, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Goadfish View Post
It looks like WWMT finally got their act together with syndicated shows in HD. Wheel of Fortune and (I'm assuming) Jeopardy are in HD tonight.

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Originally Posted by Kib View Post

Hard to believe they did it out of the kindness of their hearts or spare change rattling around in their pockets. I'm guessing the syndication company has something in the contact to force the issue.

Or maybe it was just the funding finally came through for HD servers......
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post #6987 of 8046 Old 01-17-2010, 05:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gassy56 View Post

Or maybe it was just the funding finally came through for HD servers......

LOL, could be. Or just that now that their HD signal is the only one they have they finally have to pay attention to it and where they lack in this area is now a big bullseye that finally everyone can see.

I hope you do understand the animosity toward WWMT. It's been fostered over 10 yrs of not caring a lick about their HD signal or their customers that watch HD. Not the fault of the engineers mind you, but management and just the way the station has been run for years.

Scott
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post #6988 of 8046 Old 01-20-2010, 08:09 PM
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I know I have asked this before, but email sent to WXMI has gone unanswered as in the past. As anyone heard anything or know if WXMI's translator in Hesperia (sp) has switched to digital? I know Tribune is in bankruptcy.
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post #6989 of 8046 Old 01-21-2010, 04:26 AM
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Hi all. Anyone else experiencing audio dropouts and pixelation with TNT HD on Comcast in Grand Rapids? I experience occasional dropouts on other HD channels but for the last few days TNT HD has been unwatchable.
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post #6990 of 8046 Old 01-21-2010, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cire2282 View Post

I know I have asked this before, but email sent to WXMI has gone unanswered as in the past. As anyone heard anything or know if WXMI's translator in Hesperia (sp) has switched to digital? I know Tribune is in bankruptcy.

It is not converted and my understanding is there are no present plans to do so. Their Construction permit expires in 2012.

Mike L.
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