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Local HDTV Info and Reception > San Francisco, CA - OTA
keithhr's Avatar keithhr 06:17 PM 12-21-2004
Frank_S
here's a copy of a letter I received from the area fcc compliance guy from ABC today:

Thanks Keith,



Whoever wrote the yahoo information has a pretty good grasp of how the system works. The change at KGO, and others who use Harris equipment, will be limited to some coding written long before A53C. I believe the issue at KGO should be resolved today. I gave them some information that should help with a temporary solution. KGO should receive a new PSIP generator in the next few days. This will be used to ingest program information so when you hit the guide button titles and format would be displayed. The generator also provides channel names and program values for decoders. Here again some decoders will use this some will not. The FCC has mandated stations populate the tables but many decoders will not display it even if it's transmitted. As you said it's an evolving technology and a small change (PID's) ripples through the system and causes problems. Thanks for your help and fell free to call of Email if you have a question.

problem fixed

Otto Pylot's Avatar Otto Pylot 08:16 PM 12-21-2004
Everything is fine here, as it has always been. Maybe some STB's are having difficulties handling whatever the network are doing. Again, I have not had any of the problems that others are seeing. Most curious.
Plasmacat's Avatar Plasmacat 10:36 PM 12-21-2004
Tonight I started getting KGO back on 7-1 and 7-2. It is no longer on 24-3 and 24-4. My Panny plasma tuner found the channels automatically (antenna - indoor rabbit ears). I am in Richmond in the East Bay.
keithhr's Avatar keithhr 01:22 AM 12-22-2004
KGO, or ABC had to re-work their signal and were very professional in doing so since most people get their programing on cable or satellite and the ota population is a drop in the bucket. We must give them kudos for promptly dealing with the problem at hand. Some tuners require more specific info than others so once again, kudos to KGO and their technicians for promptly taking care of this for the viewers of the bay area
nutz4hd's Avatar nutz4hd 07:27 AM 12-22-2004
Quote:


Originally posted by keithhr
KGO, or ABC had to re-work their signal and were very professional in doing so since most people get their programing on cable or satellite and the ota population is a drop in the bucket. We must give them kudos for promptly dealing with the problem at hand. Some tuners require more specific info than others so once again, kudos to KGO and their technicians for promptly taking care of this for the viewers of the bay area

I agree that KGO engineering appears to have responded fairly promptly, once the problem was pointed out. And I appreciate that.

But the above seems to imply OTA viewers are 'second class' because there are fewer (data?) and seems accepting of this status.

I respectfully disagree, since without a license to serve OTA viewers, they wouldn't be on sat or cable. At the end of the day, their ability to serve the OTA community is what justifies that license.

License to serve a geographical area is what drives affiliate status, and exclusive rights to rebroadcast network IP and block others from rebroadcasting that IP in an area, hence the presence of OTA channels on sat and cable.

Do we have specific technical details on what was causing the problems, and what fixed it?

T'anks,
--nutz4hd
carl033's Avatar carl033 11:29 AM 12-22-2004
Quote:


Originally posted by nutz4hd
I agree that KGO engineering appears to have responded fairly promptly, once the problem was pointed out. And I appreciate that.

But the above seems to imply OTA viewers are 'second class' because there are fewer (data?) and seems accepting of this status.

I respectfully disagree, since without a license to serve OTA viewers, they wouldn't be on sat or cable. At the end of the day, their ability to serve the OTA community is what justifies that license.

License to serve a geographical area is what drives affiliate status, and exclusive rights to rebroadcast network IP and block others from rebroadcasting that IP in an area, hence the presence of OTA channels on sat and cable.

Do we have specific technical details on what was causing the problems, and what fixed it?

T'anks,
--nutz4hd

Don't be too hard on the KGO folks. This whole DTV transition is a layered exercise and highly dependent on a multitude of hardware between the program origination point and you the viewer. You peel one layer back and get another surprise. DTV OTA viewership is very important to all stations in the Bay Area.
Before retiring, I sold microwave to the TV stations and was there in 1998 when OTA DTV broadcasting began. We weren't sure that our subsystems would work at all, let alone work well. Since then, there have been lots of problems (big and little), and the broadcasters are to be commended for their attention and innovative efforts to overcome them. For their millions of dollars putting on DTV, their return on investment is nearly zero!
Kudos to them!

Carl
Frank_S's Avatar Frank_S 11:37 AM 12-22-2004
Keith, thanks so much for keeping us informed. I now receive KGO HD again, thank you very much!

I recalled that I did indeed speak with an engineer several times about 4 years ago when NYPD Blue was the only HD program they ran at the time. There was an audio problem in the 5.1 bitstream that caused a clicking or pop every few seconds that would drive me nuts. THey acknowledged there was a problem but I'm not sure to this day if they ever fixed it.
I gave up and just listened to the audio through my TV speakers.

Has anyone experienced a problem with the 5.1 audio signal in the past during ABC HD programming? Thanks to KGO for addressing and fixing the problem. I only hope it stays fixed for a long time to come.


Quote:


Originally posted by keithhr
Frank_S
here's a copy of a letter I received from the area fcc compliance guy from ABC today:

Thanks Keith,



Whoever wrote the yahoo information has a pretty good grasp of how the system works. The change at KGO, and others who use Harris equipment, will be limited to some coding written long before A53C. I believe the issue at KGO should be resolved today. I gave them some information that should help with a temporary solution. KGO should receive a new PSIP generator in the next few days. This will be used to ingest program information so when you hit the guide button titles and format would be displayed. The generator also provides channel names and program values for decoders. Here again some decoders will use this some will not. The FCC has mandated stations populate the tables but many decoders will not display it even if it's transmitted. As you said it's an evolving technology and a small change (PID's) ripples through the system and causes problems. Thanks for your help and fell free to call of Email if you have a question.

problem fixed


greeno's Avatar greeno 11:51 AM 12-22-2004
That clicking sound has been fixed for some time now. Maybe more than 1 yr.

Best,
jeff
keithhr's Avatar keithhr 02:09 PM 12-22-2004
Frank_S,
your welcome, I spent most of Monday on the phone and e:mailing different people.
Nutz4HD, before you get too hard on these guys, since most receivers were getting the signal , they could have shined us on and pretended like the problem was on our end, they could have done that, but they didn't. I cut and pasted some of the comments here and e:mailed them and they were very diligent in trying to sort out what was going on. They could have ignored us, or you could have called them and demanded that they get it right.
nutz4hd's Avatar nutz4hd 02:36 PM 12-22-2004
Quote:


Originally posted by keithhr
Nutz4HD, before you get too hard on these guys, since most receivers were getting the signal , they could have shined us on and pretended like the problem was on our end, they could have done that, but they didn't. I cut and pasted some of the comments here and e:mailed them and they were very diligent in trying to sort out what was going on. They could have ignored us, or you could have called them and demanded that they get it right.

Keithhr,

I didn't mean it to come across that way. Had I not found the thead here, where it appeared to be getting coordinated, I would have called them. It wouldn't be the first time, I still might have KPIX on my speed dial.

I *do* appreciate their effort and the fact that they fixed this problem. I also appreciate those that noticed this first, and coordinated the info exchange with KGO.

I was just objecting to (what I perceived) as a characterization that OTA viewers should be any less a priority (for an Broadcast station) than their sat or cable viewers. AFAIK, no major network has any affiliates that don't have a license to broadcast OTA. OTA viewers are their primary reason for existing, as a broadcast entity.

(Again, I'm not implying any station *is* displaying such an attitude, I'm just concerned that we don't *expect* such attitudes as OTA viewers.)

T'anks!
--nutz4hd
keithhr's Avatar keithhr 02:51 PM 12-22-2004
you are correct, but they were more than helpful, I couldn't imagine them being any more earnest in trying to resolve this. Lucky us to be in an area where professionalism abounds. I saw that after a week, nothing was getting done and very few people were commenting on having the problems that Frank and I were having so I figured that if I contacted them and got through to the right people all would be resolved, I got a couple of lame disinterested people who didn't call back nor were they even available to take a call in person.
Jack Fraser was most helpful in coordinating the right people being brought into the mix and he should get full credit, and he has.
Plasmacat's Avatar Plasmacat 09:57 AM 12-23-2004
Last night I was watching Lost on 7-1 and it went to SD about 5 minutes before the end of the 2nd episode. But what really angered me was ABC put this horrible huge logo in the bottom right cornerat the same time it went to SD.
Does anyone know who to write to to complain about this. I have a new plasma and I don't want that obnoxious logo on my TV.
junglyboy's Avatar junglyboy 11:51 AM 12-23-2004
i read the whole thread and just wondering if anyone has found the CM-4228 recently and where and how much? I checked out the fry's in sunnyvale and san jose (brokaw rd) and they don't have any--just the terk brand. Hometech has it but for for $85. i liked to see if there is anything cheaper.

i am using the silver sensor in san jose (near alum rock and king) and can get NBC, UPN, WB -- but not the other big networks.
onay32's Avatar onay32 12:00 PM 12-23-2004
I got mine at Fremont Fry's for $50. They had one more left on Tues 12/21. You should also check Schad Electronics in San Jose.

The CM 4228 is a beast and well worth the price. I was having problems receiving my OTA channels via VOOM. They initially gave me a smaller Winegard antenna. After they installed the CM 4228 everything is coming in strong to four receivers. The antenna is pointed at Sutro and I'm picking up FOX, KRON, CBS, ABC, NBC, UPN, WB, etc.

Very happy Voom customer after switching from Comcast! Good luck junglyboy I hope you find it!
junglyboy's Avatar junglyboy 12:13 PM 12-23-2004
thanks....but by the time i get to fremont it will be gone -- do you by chance have the part number frys listed as? i tried CM-4228 and channel master and they couldn't find it in there computers. i tried to get them to search all the frys to see which has it.

i heard Schad Electronics you can't return stuff--i a bit worried if it still doesn't work out for me then i'm stuck with it.
kgidley's Avatar kgidley 12:41 PM 12-23-2004
Here's the SKU# at Fry's: 3755326

I bought mine at the Sunnyvale Fry's in Nov., they had several on the shelf.

You might also try Solid Signal ($48.99 + shipping): http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...=&PROD=ANC4228
Hemi's Avatar Hemi 12:55 PM 12-23-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by Hemi
GregF,

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I have checked out AntennaWeb but since my situation is somewhat unique (being literally on the side of San Bruno Mountain) I'm not sure just how relevant the findings are. I'm sure that there is someone one lives near me and has either been able to get a signal or not. I could always go with Comcast but I would rather not and I already have DirecTV.

Although I am one of the highest houses in the development, there is no possible way an antenna will see Sutro directly. I might be able to get a bounce off of Sign Hill (you know "South San Francisco, The Industrial City") but I think that even it is too short to see over San Bruno Mountain.

It looks like I'll have to wait until I get the HD DirecTiVo next year and plug in an antenna and see what I get.

Dan

Sorry if this info is a repeat - I searched and couldn't find any.

UPDATE:

Last week I bit the bullet and had DirecTV install an HD setup with an RCA DTC210 receiver and a Winegard OTA antenna (mounted on a mast at the top of my roof). The net result is...

I can get exactly one OTA channel - no surprise it's KNTV from San Jose. All of the stations broadcasting from Sutro are NA.

Just for the record, my house is located on the side of San Bruno Mountain facing south toward Oyster Point and SFO. Brisbane is on the other side of the mountain.

Since I'm no fan of Comcast (too much of a TiVohaulic) - it looks like I'll be waiting a long time for DirecTV to launch those new satellites and offer local HDTV channels

Dan
Keenan's Avatar Keenan 01:02 PM 12-23-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by Hemi

Since I'm no fan of Comcast (too much of a TiVohaulic) - it looks like I'll be waiting a long time for DirecTV to launch those new satellites and offer local HDTV channels

Dan

As a point of reference, Comcast has HD DVRs in the bay area now, about $10 a month...
hongcho's Avatar hongcho 03:46 PM 12-23-2004
> it looks like I'll be waiting a long time for DirecTV to launch those new satellites and offer local HDTV channels

"long time" would be till mid-2005. It is long, indeed.

Hong.
Hemi's Avatar Hemi 11:08 AM 12-24-2004
Quote:


Originally posted by keenan
As a point of reference, Comcast has HD DVRs in the bay area now, about $10 a month...

keenan,

Yes they do have DVRs but they are certainly not TiVos. TiVo to me is the best implementation of a DVR available and since I've had one (or two) for several years, it would be a big step backward to get the Comcast DVR. I might consider Comcast when (or if) TiVo unveils a CableCARD capable DVR that is High Def.

Hong,

Mid 2005 for the launch (barring any delays), but it will take a while for positioning and testing before they are ready for use and then it will depend on DirecTV's roll-out schedule.

Happy Holidays

Dan
skids's Avatar skids 12:20 PM 12-24-2004
Email Chris Rempel and see what he has in stock, he is in San Mateo and ususally has lots of Winguard and Channel Master in stock plus all the accessories like joiners and preamps. His websiteis here .
eugenile's Avatar eugenile 10:07 PM 12-29-2004
damn it this is frustrating..

i hear directv finally offers FOX HD.. so i call and say im not eligible

thats some BS..

i am in the East Side of San Jose.. I had an indoor amplified antenna and I was able to get NBC-HD and probably 2 or 3 other Digital channels.. but NONE of the other major HD channels (WB, FOX, etc)

this is really starting to get annoying.. I got out of comcast in hopes to get better HD programming, but if i can't even get my damn local channels in HD it makes me feel bad for the switch since they offer all the local channels in HD..

should I try a roof antenna? if so which one will gaurantee should pick up all those other channels, quite frankly its pissing me off.. the whole DNS **** with DTV..

cliffnotes: i need an antenna that will get ALL the major HD OTA channels.. (east side san jose).. which would you guys suggest and where to purchase
skids's Avatar skids 12:55 AM 12-30-2004
Goto Schad's and buy the Channel master 4228 or email Chris (see above) for a quote. It isn't D*'s fault you can't get KTVU. They are denying waivers to all households in their DMA regardless of weather you can receive it or not. You can probably pull it in OTA with a high gain outdoor antennae.

I am unclear what the business strategy is to deny an alternative source of a signal to folks who cannot receive the signal by other means than satellite, but hey, it's not my business. US Air didn't learn from it's two bankrupcies, so let's not expect KTVU to either.

KCRA from Sacramento is similarly denying waivers to folks out in Livermore who can't get any HD NBC OTA due to the mountains. They are screwed since they are in overlapping markets and need two waivers (KNTV is very cool about it) It is perfectly legal under the new satellite bill for them to be spoilsports.

Lots more details about this on yahoo group shown above.

In the big Comcast vs. D* question, after trailing in service for a long time, Comcast now has more SF HD locals for the moment by 2 and yes HD-DVR but the pendulum will swing back in about 6 months when their new satellites are live and they are offering $200 credit a HD-Tivo you purchase and will soon probably offer it for rental as well. A small price to pay to avoid ever needing to deal with Comcast's very poor telephone service and installer crews (IMHO). D*'s service has been great and easy to use so far for me and I got everything installed on first trip. Meanwhile after 5 trips to Foster City, my mom's Comcast service is still barely functional. She still can't get KRON to watch the news at 5pm. This with SD cable.

The new trick is the super secret internet cable infrastructure upgrades that mean her neighborhood has no cable internet all day, then when I call, they say Oh yeah, we are doing scheduled service in your area: I asked if I could find out a schedule and they said, No we don't make it available to customers, just call if you have no service and see if the recorded message includes your area Well I did , and the recorder is broken. The lady apologized, said she worked out of Denver and couldn't help me any further. This went on for weeks before Xmas (no online shopping or travel arrangements for her) and still is on now. I asked for a service credit for the month, they gave her 3 days, $4.10. Apparently I should have complained daily to prove I had no service to earn 1 month of credit.

Okay, so now do you remember why you dumped Comcast service?
davahad's Avatar davahad 01:09 AM 12-30-2004
Here's my OTA Antenna experience and perhaps it will help others.

Location: San Jose on Campbell Ave. between Leigh and Meridian.

Equipment used: ChannelMaster 4228 w/ 7775 Amplifier and HD Tivo Receiver.

Mount: Chimney mount with 10 foot pole.

Signal Strength on Network Channels:
ABC 80-84
CBS 40-65 gets some dropouts
NBC 0
UPN 80-85
FOX 88-90
WB 60-65 gets some dropouts

I tried rotating the attenna and was able to get CBS in the 75 range, but it lowered ABC, FOX and UPN dramatically, so I optimized for ABC, UPN, FOX & WB as I get CBS and NBC HD via DTV.

Has anyone in the San Jose area been able to get all of the above channels without an antenna rotator?
sef's Avatar sef 10:21 AM 12-30-2004
I am in a near location (Branham & Meridian), and using a dumb antenna I got at Radio Shack, I can get the HD signals for KTVU, KRON, KPIX, KGO, KNTV, KBWB, KOFY, and KQED.

This is a round antenna with a pair of wings out to the side. I bought the Channel Master 4228 at Fry's, but haven't hooked it up yet.

When KNTV moves their broadcast location, I may have troubles.
carl033's Avatar carl033 12:39 PM 12-30-2004
Quote:


Originally posted by sef
I am in a near location (Branham & Meridian), and using a dumb antenna I got at Radio Shack, I can get the HD signals for KTVU, KRON, KPIX, KGO, KNTV, KBWB, KOFY, and KQED.

This is a round antenna with a pair of wings out to the side. I bought the Channel Master 4228 at Fry's, but haven't hooked it up yet.

When KNTV moves their broadcast location, I may have troubles.

KNTV plans on being up from San Bruno Mtn. this spring. However, it is unclear whether they will move their flea-power Ch 12 DTV transmitter from Loma Prieta. You might try looking at 48-2 from Mt. Allison. It carries NBC, but I can't say whether it's HD. 48-1 is Telemundo, and they are always SD. so it would seem to me that they could put NBC on in HD if they wanted to. Best to check with the KNTV engineering department for the straight scoop.
btwyx's Avatar btwyx 01:00 PM 12-30-2004
Quote:


Originally posted by carl033
48-2 from Mt. Allison. It carries NBC, but I can't say whether it's HD.

It looks like HD to me.
junglyboy's Avatar junglyboy 11:47 PM 12-30-2004
i couldn't find a Channel Master 4228, so i went with a channel master 3018 ($34.99 at Frys)--installed in the attic and was able to get all the local HD channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, WB, UPN, etc)...

for reference I am on the east side of San Jose...near Alum Rock & King!
GregF's Avatar GregF 12:40 AM 12-31-2004
48-2 is HD.
GregF's Avatar GregF 12:43 AM 12-31-2004
Schad also has a special antenna for pulling in KNTV. I don't remember the actual name for it but if you ask for "that channel 12 antenna" they'll know what you mean. You can integrate this smaller rooftop antenna into your existing setup. One downside, I'm pretty sure Schad's policy is no refunds, no exchanges.
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