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post #4651 of 4670 Old 08-21-2013, 01:15 PM
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Thanks Trip, I'll update my website accordingly.

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post #4652 of 4670 Old 03-18-2014, 03:38 PM
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Very quiet thread for Birmingham, but I thought I'd try to post something.

Anyone know whether Bright House will add Epix TV? I know that Time Warner added it today and the two have negotiated together in the past. Anyone heard anything?

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post #4653 of 4670 Old 03-28-2014, 02:25 PM
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From this morning's Birmingham News:

New Bright House channels:

On or after April 1, 2014:

Starz Comedy HD East - Premium Channel 1736
Starz Edge HD East - Premium Channel 1732
Starz in Black HD East - Premium Channel 1733
Starz Kids & Family HD East - Premium Channel 1734
Starz Cinema HD East - Premium Channel 1735

On or after May 7, 2014

EPIX - 655 & 1655
Epix 2 - 656 & 1656
Epix Drive-In - 657 & 1657

There are also discussions of changes to SDV. The ad was on page A10.

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post #4654 of 4670 Old 05-30-2014, 12:38 PM
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Sinclair Giving Up 3 Stations To Appease FCC
The three stations — WCIV Charleston and WCFT-WJSU Birmingham — are now owned by Allbritton Communications, which Sinclair is buying, and were to be operated by sidecar companies. But those plans were dashed when the FCC earlier this year cracked down on the use of JSAs and SSAs. Today's action, Sinclair said, is designed to win speedy approval of the Allbritton deal.

The article says Sinclair can't find a buyer for ABC 33/40 and will simply turn in the licenses for WCFT and WJSU, which will go dark. The ABC affiliation will be transferred to WABM channel 68 and run on a subchannel along side My Network TV. This is madness. Sinclair claims that WABM has "better technical facilities" than the current 33/40 network, which is crazy.

One thing that is not explained is the fate of the city's "official" ABC affiliation, WBMA-LD, the low power digital channel broadcasting from atop Red Mountain. I suppose it, being part of the Allbritton group that they couldn't sell, will be discontinued as well? The city will be losing three viable signals. It also means picture quality compromise on WABM, if they try to squeeze both MyNT and ABC in HD together on the same stick. It can be done, but it won't look good at all.
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post #4655 of 4670 Old 05-30-2014, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post

The article says Sinclair can't find a buyer for ABC 33/40

Wrong. Sinclair clearly stated in their filing they couldn't find a buyer for WABM. No shock that nobody wants to operate a stand-alone My Network TV affiliate that would come with a license and nothing else. If ABC33/40 had been put up for sale, I'm sure they'd have found a buyer.
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and will simply turn in the licenses for WCFT and WJSU, which will go dark. The ABC affiliation will be transferred to WABM channel 68 and run on a subchannel along side My Network TV. This is madness.

If approved.
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Sinclair claims that WABM has "better technical facilities" than the current 33/40 network, which is crazy..

WABM is centrally located with all the other network-affiliated stations in the market. WCFT and WJSU are not. By that standard, WABM is absolutely a better technical facility.

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post #4656 of 4670 Old 05-30-2014, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post

Wrong. Sinclair clearly stated in their filing they couldn't find a buyer for WABM. No shock that nobody wants to operate a stand-alone My Network TV affiliate that would come with a license and nothing else. If ABC33/40 had been put up for sale, I'm sure they'd have found a buyer.

Sorry, that's the way the linked article read to me. You're right, it was WABM they wanted to sell. That was clarified in another article I read after I posted this.

I would think a standalone network affiliate in a medium sized market would be a good buy for a moderately sized broadcasting company. Of which there are sadly few left because Sinclair seems to have bought them all. rolleyes.gif

I'm just bristling at the idea of MyNT and ABC in HD together on the same multiplex. There's no way that can look good, especially if they try to carry over the ABC 33/40 weather/radar subchannel. Trip, you probably have seen some channels with two HDs on one transmitter. Do they look as bad together as some people say?

One other piece of this puzzle is WDBB. It's practically a Birmingham station thanks to the tall tower it's on in Tuscaloosa. Right now it's just a repeater for WTTO and wasting energy. Make it the home of My Network TV and let ABC sit alone on 68. Sinclair doesn't seem to be doing much else with it.
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post #4657 of 4670 Old 05-30-2014, 03:02 PM
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WCBI runs CBS and CW multiplex. CBS looks somewhere between good and great. The CW looks good. Plus they run MNT in SD.
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post #4658 of 4670 Old 05-30-2014, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by mcrutland View Post

WCBI runs CBS and CW multiplex. CBS looks somewhere between good and great. The CW looks good. Plus they run MNT in SD.

Hmm… Don't both CBS and CW use 1080i? That's less throughput than a 1080i and a 720p together, or two 720p channels together, I think.
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post #4659 of 4670 Old 05-30-2014, 04:23 PM
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Yes. WCBI uses 1080i for CBS, 480i for MNT, and 720p for CW. Not ideal, but its good to have CW in HD. This should have been done back when WCBI aired SEC TV games. That way we could have not had the problem of preempted SEC CBS games.
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post #4660 of 4670 Old 05-31-2014, 07:16 AM
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CW provides its CW+ affiliates in smaller markets with a 720p feed, rather than 1080i.

- Trip

N4MJC

Comments are my own and not that of the FCC (my employer) or anyone else.

RabbitEars

"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand..." - Rush "Witch Hunt"

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post #4661 of 4670 Old 06-30-2014, 06:43 AM
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Can't pick up WBRC, Channel 6

When my HDTV was connected to standard rabbit ears, I received channels 6, 21, 42, and 68. Yesterday I attached the HDTV to a large antenna in my attic, and now I receive channels 10, 13, 21, 23, 42, and 68... but channel 6 has disappeared. What happened? I live in north Shelby County, and the antenna is currently pointed due West. Do I need to adjust the direction to receive channel 6? Or is there some other reason the larger antenna doesn't receive the channel?
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post #4662 of 4670 Old 06-30-2014, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by dakedo View Post
When my HDTV was connected to standard rabbit ears, I received channels 6, 21, 42, and 68. Yesterday I attached the HDTV to a large antenna in my attic, and now I receive channels 10, 13, 21, 23, 42, and 68... but channel 6 has disappeared. What happened? I live in north Shelby County, and the antenna is currently pointed due West. Do I need to adjust the direction to receive channel 6? Or is there some other reason the larger antenna doesn't receive the channel?
dakedo it sounds like you're just in a little tiny dead spot for WBRC. If you can, try moving the antenna a few inches in either direction and see if the missing channel pops back in. It's been my experience with rabbit ears and attic antennas that two or three inches in either direction can be the different between getting some channels and not getting anything at all.
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post #4663 of 4670 Old 07-01-2014, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
dakedo it sounds like you're just in a little tiny dead spot for WBRC. If you can, try moving the antenna a few inches in either direction and see if the missing channel pops back in. It's been my experience with rabbit ears and attic antennas that two or three inches in either direction can be the different between getting some channels and not getting anything at all.
Yes, Tom, I discovered that yesterday. I was picking up 15 channels when the antenna was pointed due West, but that quickly dropped to 11 when I pointed the antenna Northwest. Unfortunately, no matter what direction I pointed the antenna, I never could pick up channel 6.
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post #4664 of 4670 Old 07-03-2014, 11:31 AM
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I'm hearing that getTV has replaced ZUUS Country on WTTO and WDBB. Have they moved the country channel to WABM?
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post #4665 of 4670 Old 07-25-2014, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
Quote:Originally Posted by Trip in VA 

Wrong. Sinclair clearly stated in their filing they couldn't find a buyer for WABM. No shock that nobody wants to operate a stand-alone My Network TV affiliate that would come with a license and nothing else. If ABC33/40 had been put up for sale, I'm sure they'd have found a buyer.


Sorry, that's the way the linked article read to me. You're right, it was WABM they wanted to sell. That was clarified in another article I read after I posted this.

I would think a standalone network affiliate in a medium sized market would be a good buy for a moderately sized broadcasting company. Of which there are sadly few left because Sinclair seems to have bought them all.

I'm just bristling at the idea of MyNT and ABC in HD together on the same multiplex. There's no way that can look good, especially if they try to carry over the ABC 33/40 weather/radar subchannel. Trip, you probably have seen some channels with two HDs on one transmitter. Do they look as bad together as some people say?

One other piece of this puzzle is WDBB. It's practically a Birmingham station thanks to the tall tower it's on in Tuscaloosa. Right now it's just a repeater for WTTO and wasting energy. Make it the home of My Network TV and let ABC sit alone on 68. Sinclair doesn't seem to be doing much else with it.
Channel 68 and 21 both only make financial sense when you own both of them. MyTV and CW don't have nearly the profitability that a ABC, Fox, CBS, or NBC station has. There's effectively nothing to channel 68 besides its tower and license. The programming is all run out of WTTO's facilities, so you wouldn't get a full TV station if you bought 68.

And I'm sure 68 is a better setup than 33/40. Since they all just recently went digital, the transmitters and associated equipment at each tower is essentially brand new. However, by going with 68-only, they can eliminate whatever infrastructure they've been using to get the signal out to Tuscaloosa and Jacksonville, along with the low-power station in Birmingham. I'm sure the studios in Hoover will stay where they are, and I'd say it's a good chance they'll move 21/68 operations out there (or, maybe if Sinclair actually cares, they might invest in a new studio and operations center and combine everything in a brand new facility)

I am very concerned about how much they are going to cram into the digital multicast. Currently, 33/40 has the main ABC feed, TNN/Heartland, and their weather loop. Now we're going to get an HD feed of MyTV and the country music channel crammed in there? I suspect they may drop the weather loop and maybe even move TNN/Heartland to 21.

Reusing WDBB/17 wouldn't be an option because they only have that as a translator under a grandfathered agreement. Any changes would require eliminating the grandfathering of that agreement, and then Sinclair would be over the limit and would have to get rid of another station.

I get the station ownership rules, but Sinclair is getting to control the same amount of content. The only "concession" they made was that they're having to cram it into two ATSC channels instead of three (counting ABC 33/40 as one for all intents and purposes). For 99% of people in Birmingham, it will look no different since the same number of channels in the same places will remain on their cable and satellite systems.

As far as picture quality, maybe, just maybe the cable and satellite companies will get a direct feed, before they're run through the ATSC encoders, so that the picture quality is raw and uncompressed.

I also am curious what this means for 33/40. I suspect there will be major changes there, primarily I bet James Spann is now a free agent. Right after this deal was announced his weather blog went from "ABC 33/40 WX blog" to "Alabama WX Weather Blog" removing all mentions of 33/40. Sinclair is going to want to squeeze as much cost out of these as possible, and I suspect Spann could get "Scott Richards'd" and price himself out of a job with Sinclair.

Last edited by mixduptransistor; 07-25-2014 at 10:54 AM.
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post #4666 of 4670 Old 07-27-2014, 02:27 PM
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ABC 33/40's chief meteorologist James Spann has commented on his Google+ page about the changes he expects, which should be few as far as viewers are concerned. One interesting note is he believes ABC will be on both WABM and WDBB, to help with west Alabama coverage.
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post #4667 of 4670 Old 08-01-2014, 11:36 AM
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ABC 33/40 OTA Picture Quality / Multicasting

I can't believe how poor the PQ is from ABC 33/40. They are giving too much bandwidth to the multicasted channels especially 40-3. We are forced to watch football locally. The quality would be better via WatchESPN on the AppleTV. I have tried watching it on a 65" Samsung 4k, 65" 7150 Samsung, and 50" Samsung 4k. Colors are washed out and soft picture / artifacting as well because of the compression. Calls / emails to engineering and station manager have gone un returned. I have been watching since they went live OTA and have the holes in my attic to prove it.

Maybe I can watch via Watch ABC app on AppleTV if they enable it. I watch all the other ABC shows on AppleTV because quality is so much better.

Bearmur, if you still are on here, can you look into this?

EDIT - now of course the live button on the ABC app on Apple TV is missing. Watched it the other night.

Last edited by bhambrad; 08-01-2014 at 03:34 PM.
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post #4668 of 4670 Old 08-02-2014, 10:29 AM
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Sorry, you all are on your own. I retired with Allbritton on July 31. We were not sure what Sinclair will do. We do have fiber feeds to major cable carriers and directv. If Sinclair moves the studio that may change. The Sinclair plans were not know by abc3340 engineers. The only thing we knew was word on the street, and that changed daily.
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post #4669 of 4670 Old 08-02-2014, 10:44 AM
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Sorry, you all are on your own. I retired with Allbritton on July 31. We were not sure what Sinclair will do. We do have fiber feeds to major cable carriers and directv. If Sinclair moves the studio that may change. The Sinclair plans were not know by abc3340 engineers. The only thing we knew was word on the street, and that changed daily.
Best of luck to you!
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