The Official WFSB Hartford Complaint Thread - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 01-11-2004, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
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CBS's affiliate in one of the country's most important DMA's has sucked for years with promise after promise broken. Here's your chance to speak out!

Rant on!
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Old 01-12-2004, 05:50 AM
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:confused: What exactly are we complaing about?
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Old 01-12-2004, 06:41 AM
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They have been great lately,I've been dealing with them for a longtime,and they have made some improvement.Yesterdays game by the way looked great!!! My signal has gone up to 100,but I know it's not so for others so I just wish they would get this power thing settled and then many more satisfied hd veiwers there would be!!!!From what they started with to now it's been alot of improvement,trust me I was frustrated many many times,now some of the newer or so called soon to be stations have taken over in that department!!! Jim
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Old 01-12-2004, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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What are we complaining about??? Obviously, you must be in spitting distance of the transmitter or get it on cable because that's the only way to receive the channel!
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Old 01-12-2004, 08:45 AM
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Lucky for me :D The Pats in HD looked great. I still feel ABC/ESPN broadcasts better.
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Old 01-12-2004, 10:10 AM
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I'm in Prospect,with a radio shack uhf/vhf antenna mounted on my back porch not even higher than the roof,as I mentioned before it's a tough one to get but with much experimenting and some time you can get it,when I started out I was very frustrated,just kept trying and reading antenna advise on this forum mainly and have made great strides in receiving wfsb and others,just when you think you've tried it all you find out another way to try and I have a 100 for a signal now!!! Jim
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Old 01-12-2004, 11:07 AM
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Still can't get here. Can get NYC but not Hartford. Wish they would get the signal to full power.
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Old 01-12-2004, 11:11 AM
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As I said in another thread, I think WFSB has come a long way in the last 10 days. I watched Cold Case last night OTA HDTV with my little Radio Shack powered antenna mounted inside. The picture was great, only two little dropouts in the hour and the sound was great too, very unlike the situatin two weeks ago, when my antenna couldn't lock onto the signal.
BY the way I'm in Glastonbury.

Dorran
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Old 01-14-2004, 07:23 AM
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I spoke too soon about WFSB's improvement in reception. NCIS was totally unwatchable last night. The picture, yes the whole picture, dropped out about every thirty seconds. No amount of antenna tuning did any good.

They must be adjusting the power up and down depending on the program, the expected audience, or the day of the week. This really demonstrates their disregard for the viewer. Channel 8, you're great.

Dorran
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Old 01-14-2004, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dorran
They must be adjusting the power up and down depending on the program, the expected audience, or the day of the week. This really demonstrates their disregard for the viewer. Channel 8, you're great.

Dorran
Adjusting the power per program or day is absolutely ridiculous and untrue. No TV station would put any time or effort into such a scheme. The variations you are seeing in reception are due entirely to weather and atmospheric conditions. There's also the chance that the antenna does not have a heater unit and thus will lose radiated power if coated with ice. The low power being transmitted on UHF is not the best situation.

As for channel 8... they have benefited by being able to clear zoning for a new tower years ago and being on VHF channel 10 which does not have the tree-induced multi-path problems UHF channels do, especially in windy conditions. For other reasons, I bristle that the comment that channel 8 is great. :^p

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Old 01-14-2004, 07:10 PM
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I get a 100 signal 40 miles from the transmitter. Either their pattern is directional to the north (I doubt it) or you people with problems must have a lot of mutipath which is a killer.
Jim
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Old 01-15-2004, 03:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by JVanderwalker
I get a 100 signal 40 miles from the transmitter. Either their pattern is directional to the north (I doubt it) or you people with problems must have a lot of mutipath which is a killer.
Jim
Jim, Which receiver do you have? I do not think I have ever received a 100 on my DTC-100 RCA... the highest OTA has been maybe 95.

I live 9 miles from the transmitter and can see the tower if I did not have trees to the east, at 650 ft elevation and can only get 85 max. If the wind is above 30 MPH the digital signal is unwatchable thanks to the tall trees behind my house, especially if the wind is variable in speed. I might be able to correct some of this if I had a good and large directional UHF antenna, but it is not practical for some time, therefore with the StealthTenna I am more vulnerable to multipath effects.

Getting 100 in East Hampton is impressive. You have a few factors in your favor --- you're on the south slope of Mt Tom, which can also act as a reflector... plus you must have a good directional antenna with preamp.

When I lived in Southington I could only (barely) get channels 22 and 40 if I turned my rotator to the SOUTHEAST... (nothing from north)... because West Peak in Meriden acted as a UHF reflector. Now at my location in Bristol I get both analog 22 and 40 with some snow but very stable and watchable. I can only get WWLF-DT if I move the antenna around and really try... but just at threshold. Same for WGBY-DT. NOTHING for WGGB-DT.

OTOH, WHPX New London analog 26 and digital 34 boom in no problems.... about 75 on the meter. Go figure. I'm 44 miles from the transmitter. I'd love to see the coverage map for WHPX just to see why I can receive it so well.

---DDA

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Old 01-15-2004, 07:44 AM
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Here's a coverage map for WHPX, New London CT.

BTW - maps can be found on www.ardman.net

Andy
LL
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Old 01-15-2004, 09:03 AM
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"Adjusting the power per program or day is absolutely ridiculous and untrue. No TV station would put any time or effort into such a scheme. The variations you are seeing in reception are due entirely to weather and atmospheric conditions. There's also the chance that the antenna does not have a heater unit and thus will lose radiated power if coated with ice. The low power being transmitted on UHF is not the best situation."

The name of this thread Is "WFSB sucks" and I'm not the only one complaining. Your theory of ice on the antenna is way off since mine is attic mounted. I don't believe that atmospheric conditions alone can make a picture great one night and non-existent the next. Please search this forum for "WFSB". You'll find that there is a lot of frustration out there.

Dorran
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Old 01-15-2004, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Just dug up this reply to an inquiry regarding their switch to full power I made to Victor Zarilli back on Dec 1, 2003:

Quote:
We are currently in the construction phase of our full power DTV build out. Unfortunately we had setback obtaining our building permit with the town. That was our delay. We still have our sights set on later this month, early next month.

Stay Tuned!

Victor Zarrilli
Chief Engineer
WFSB TV-3 "Eyewitness News"
860-728-3333
victor.zarrilli@wfsb.com
Well... it's no longer late December or early January is it???
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Old 01-15-2004, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dorran

The name of this thread Is "WFSB sucks" and I'm not the only one complaining. Your theory of ice on the antenna is way off since mine is attic mounted. I don't believe that atmospheric conditions alone can make a picture great one night and non-existent the next. Please search this forum for "WFSB". You'll find that there is a lot of frustration out there.
I understand there is frustration, it is to be expected given WFSB is running on very low power. However, it is absolutely true that weather conditions can make make the picture great one night and gone the next, especially at UHF. This is a digital signal we are talking about... there is such a thing a threshold where if the signal is above the threshold it is perfect, and below, it is gone. If this were an analog signal, one night you would have more "snow" or noise one day and noticably better the next. The difference is you can SEE a marginal analog picture. With digital, it is perfect, or it is not there. Right at the threshold level you can get dropouts and pixelization as the signal dips above and below threshold. I guarantee you that nobody is adjusting the signal strengh up and down at the station.

As to the ice on the antenna, I was referring to ice on the *transmitting* antenna, not the receiving antenna. A week or so ago when we had freezing rain in the area I could not pick up WFSB-DT at ALL, so I concluded there is no heating unit on the transmitting antenna. This makes sense if it is a temporary set-up. My antenna is also indoors.

---DDA

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Old 01-15-2004, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bfogelstrom
Just dug up this reply to an inquiry regarding their switch to full power I made to Victor Zarilli back on Dec 1, 2003:



Well... it's no longer late December or early January is it???
Victor is a good guy. My educated guess on the delay (aside from building permits) are 1) Resources redirected to put the Springfield station WSHM on the air by Jan 1 (using 33-2 as the Studio-TX link) and 2) The inclement weather. You can't get riggers up on the tower in this cold and wind. The weather is deadly for that kind of work.

---DDA

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Old 01-15-2004, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Andy238
Here's a coverage map for WHPX, New London CT.

BTW - maps can be found on www.ardman.net :)

Andy
Thanks for the link, Andy! According to the map, I'm outiside the Grade B contour for WHPX, but I'm receiving it like I am in Grade A... must be a unique topographic feature or the advantage of being on the eastern slope of a very high hill (or both) :)

---DDA

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Old 01-15-2004, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dda
According to the map, I'm outiside the Grade B contour for WHPX, but I'm receiving it like I am in Grade A...
I just checked out the maps on the link.. the analog WHPX coverage area is further than the digital one. Taking the analog map, I'm just outside of Grade A which would make sense. My elevation would enhance reception to Grade A level easily. Thanks for that great link!

---DDA

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Old 01-15-2004, 12:20 PM
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Hey, no problem. There is a lot of good info at that site.

I still don't get it though. Ok, you're outside of Grade B signal coverage for DT but your still getting great reception? I wonder why they have different coverage maps for DT and analog then. Does the analog signal have some affect on the DT signal? I thought they needed separate transmitters.

Andy
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Old 01-15-2004, 12:49 PM
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I've gotta believe that atmospheric conditions are certainly at play, though I sure wish they'd finish the damn tower. I was getting King of Queens a couple weeks ago over my OTA antenna with a solid 70% signal, but tried to get football on Sunday and got the 'ole 45/50/0 45/50/0 signal. This has been the case for two freakin' years!

Guess HD Superbowl will be via my ExpressVu receiver. How sad that I need to get Superbowl from a Canadian provider. WFSB does suck.
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Old 01-15-2004, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Andy238
Hey, no problem. There is a lot of good info at that site.

I still don't get it though. Ok, you're outside of Grade B signal coverage for DT but your still getting great reception? I wonder why they have different coverage maps for DT and analog then. Does the analog signal have some affect on the DT signal? I thought they needed separate transmitters.

Andy
I just checked WHPX-DT, the signal quality number is bouncing around tonight thanks to the windy conditions and the trees, but it is coming in around 75 peak, but I am losing the signal often. Analog is coming in great. There are different maps for DT and analog because firstly they are on different channels (26 vs 34 in this case) and as you go higher in the UHF you need more power to go as far. Secondly, DT contours are calculated on a different standard due to that threshold effect which does not affect analog stations. Usually the Grade B contour for analog is much further away from the Grade A contour than for digital. This is because you can still watch a snowy analog picture, but you will lose the digital entirely.

The other thing about those maps on that site is that is the "theoretical" average contour. Check out the attached map for WRC-DT that takes into account topography and land use and you will see that the real-world contours are not so circular.
LL

---DDA

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Old 01-15-2004, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by dda
Victor is a good guy. My educated guess on the delay (aside from building permits) are 1) Resources redirected to put the Springfield station WSHM on the air by Jan 1 (using 33-2 as the Studio-TX link) and 2) The inclement weather. You can't get riggers up on the tower in this cold and wind. The weather is deadly for that kind of work.
Nice guy is not the issue. After all this time, there should be no reason whatsover for not getting the job done on time (if there really was a timetable). Truth is, the tower work should have been done long ago - BEFORE the bad weather set in. This is a poorly run project; plain and simple.

Will complaining help? Of course not! WFSB just doesn't care about the OTA HD market. They are on the Comcast systems in CT so there is no longer any urgency to get the transmitter to full power (as if there was any urgency ever!) Forget about the SuperBowl - maybe we'll get full power for the Masters!
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Old 01-15-2004, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by pokey
I've gotta believe that atmospheric conditions are certainly at play, though I sure wish they'd finish the damn tower. I was getting King of Queens a couple weeks ago over my OTA antenna with a solid 70% signal, but tried to get football on Sunday and got the 'ole 45/50/0 45/50/0 signal. This has been the case for two freakin' years!

Guess HD Superbowl will be via my ExpressVu receiver. How sad that I need to get Superbowl from a Canadian provider. WFSB does suck.
Oh, you only say WFSB sucks because the Superbowl happens to be on CBS this year! :D

Seriously though, when WFSB does go full power you should have no trouble receiving it, since they will be running with the highest ERP of any of the Hartford digital stations, 1 Megawatt. Good things come to those who wait.

BTW, everyone is knocking WFSB for having a low power temporary transmitter (20kw) but at least they ARE on the air. WVIT, WTIC, and CPTV are still not on the air.

---DDA

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Old 01-15-2004, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bfogelstrom
Nice guy is not the issue. After all this time, there should be no reason whatsover for not getting the job done on time (if there really was a timetable). Truth is, the tower work should have been done long ago - BEFORE the bad weather set in. This is a poorly run project; plain and simple.

Will complaining help? Of course not! WFSB just doesn't care about the OTA HD market. They are on the Comcast systems in CT so there is no longer any urgency to get the transmitter to full power (as if there was any urgency ever!) Forget about the SuperBowl - maybe we'll get full power for the Masters!
Victor inherited the DTV situation from the previous Chief Engineer and Station Manager who only got the DT signal up because they would have been fined by the FCC otherwise. Those managers (who are no longer with WFSB) were convinced that there was "nobody out there" watching digital TV and proudly bragged that they put up a station that "can't be received more than 3 miles away" to avoid FCC fees.

Things have changed there but it does take time to do what should have been done before. The station suffered much neglect in many areas under the previous management. The weather also does not help and neither, unfortunately, does the plan to put on the Springfield station. And, yes, with coverage on cable there is less of a push to get the tower upgraded.

---DDA

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Old 01-15-2004, 07:47 PM
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DDA,
Sorry for the late answer. You are right I do have a high gain antenna. It is a CM 4251 7' parabolic antenna. However with my back-up all channel Winegard I can get a 40 signal on WFSB-DT. I am using a Hughes E86 D* receiver. I wish I could get WTNH-DT since ABC here is owned by Sinclair which does not believe in HD.
Jim
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Old 01-15-2004, 11:56 PM
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By some freak of nature (not tropo ducting either) ever since the Patriots game we've received 3.1 day and night out here in Goshen (MASS). The only other time I've pulled in WFSB DTV-33 is when there has been excellent tropospheric ducting (and maybe a few days last winter when we had a LOT of snow/ice cover.)

Back to bitching...

Isn't WFSB owned by Meredith "We don't do HDTV" broadcasting? Their commitment to HDTV is only surpassed by maybe Sinclair? If the previous management of WFSB hadn't put up a DTV transmitter before the station was sold I don't think any of us would be watching CBS in 1080i.

The real issue I have with WFSB is that because of their new low power station for the Springfield/Holyoke market that I can't receive OTA, replayTV or whoever supplies their channel listings have decided to remove channel #3 out of the guide.
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Old 01-16-2004, 02:35 AM
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[quote]Originally posted by JasonAndreas
[b] Isn't WFSB owned by Meredith "We don't do HDTV" broadcasting? Their commitment to HDTV is only surpassed by maybe Sinclair? If the previous management of WFSB hadn't put up a DTV transmitter before the station was sold I don't think any of us would be watching CBS in 1080i.

The manamgement changes I was referring to happened during Meredith's ownership, not as a result of a sale. The temporary DTV transmitter was put up during Meredith's ownership.

That said, it does seem that HD/DTV broadcasting is not a high priority at the corporate level. My theory is that the only reason HDTV is on WFSB is because CBS provides the equipment either free or at a highly subsidized cost to the local station. Unfortunately getting the new Springfield station on the air is now their top priority

Any corporate attitude on DTV was eclipsed by the previous local management which was, thankfully if very slowly, changed during the past year.

---DDA

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Old 01-16-2004, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Nice guy is not the issue. After all this time, there should be no reason whatsover for not getting the job done on time (if there really was a timetable). Truth is, the tower work should have been done long ago - BEFORE the bad weather set in. This is a poorly run project; plain and simple.
I don't know how any of us can say "The tower work should have been done long ago" unless we know everything going on behind the scenes. Anyone here an expert on this type of construction, tower reinforcment etc? Station ownership (Merideth) also has to figure into the equation. he's still waiting for funding for a $15K part for the DD 5.1 conversion, so you can see he has other factors to deal with. To blast Victor who has been in his position a little more than a year is wrong.

Quote:
Victor inherited the DTV situation from the previous Chief Engineer and Station Manager who only got the DT signal up because they would have been fined by the FCC otherwise. Those managers (who are no longer with WFSB) were convinced that there was "nobody out there" watching digital TV and proudly bragged that they put up a station that "can't be received more than 3 miles away" to avoid FCC fees.
100% correct. Do a long term search on "Al Bova" who was the previous station manager. I communicated with him over a year ago in regards to some of his comments in a Hartford Courant article. His comments in the article were downright false and baseless. He was obviously a guy who was watching his bottom line.

Quote:
Wll complaining help? Of course not! WFSB just doesn't care about the OTA HD market.
Whining sure won't, and "Unofficial WFSB Sucks Threads" can't possibly do any good. As far as not caring, that's just an unfounded statement. In my conversations with Victor, he asked, "Which groups are you in? I would be interested in getting into them to see what is going on."

After I sent an email regarding the audio dropouts during the Colts-Broncos game, I received a reply from him stating the cause of the trouble (equipment problem). That's expected, (or is it). The following day I received an email from him that said "I was wondering how your WFSB-DT audio was last night? We made some modifications to our audio stream. We are still working on it. It would be nice to hear from outside viewers."

WFSB is a hell of a lot more responsive than some of the other Hartford local stations, and I think they've made more progress in the last six months than in the previous 2 years.
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Old 01-16-2004, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Arbee - you would be talking out of the other side of your mouth if you weren't able to get WFSB. It's a joke that a CBS affiliate, in this market, can't get it done.
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