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-   -   Erie, PA - HDTV (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/45-local-hdtv-info-reception/389129-erie-pa-hdtv.html)

jtirak 04-08-2004 09:31 PM

Erie, PA HD or lack of it I would like to start a thread for Erie, PA. I may be the only one. I recently convinced the WQLN the PBS station to use their digital 50 channel for the PBS HD feed. Now to get the others on board to at least re-broadcast network HD instead of digital analog. We are behind the times.

New Cable Guy 04-09-2004 06:20 AM

Erie is a small market. I suspect the stations their just dont want to spend the bucks. All the DTV's their are also at low power. Sometimes I can pick up Erie OTA from my location northeast of Toronto. Maybe if you keep bugging them they might go HD. Can you not receive Buffalo stations or Cleveland from Erie?? Thats where all the HD is.

Scooper 04-09-2004 06:31 AM

Echoing new cable guy - not only that, but there is no requirement for the stations to do HDTV, merely doing ATSC (Digital) is enough. And while we are in the early stages of the transition when not very many sets / tuners are out there yet, the stations will do the minimum they have to say they are on the air digitally. TV broadcasting is a business, after all, and the stations want to make money without going broke.

About the best things you can do are be patient (say 4-6 years) or do what you can about getting your HDTV fix from somewhere else besides your local stations (another market if you're close enough with a large enough antenna, or maybe the Canadian DBS option).

gharris 04-09-2004 01:53 PM


I have a sony hd100 and just started to try to hook up an antenna to get whatever might be out there. I am getting no signial for wqln or wicu. Any thoughts? What do I punch in on the remote to pull in the siginal. I am trying 50.1 or 52.1 or similar...Thanks

jtirak 04-09-2004 10:33 PM

To all. I more than most know how small market Erie is. I have been in broadcasting here for 30 years. I am often quoted in the papers on the ratings when they come out. I did get the PBS stations to start. I am not an engineer. Both Cleveland and Buffalo are 100 miles away. What DTV antenna can pick up that? I have a channel master 15 foot running now. It is an older antenna but does well. What antenna out there will let me pick up Cleveland; and Buffalo Digitals a hundred Miles away?

jtirak 04-09-2004 10:36 PM


Originally posted by gharris

I have a sony hd100 and just started to try to hook up an antenna to get whatever might be out there. I am getting no signial for wqln or wicu. Any thoughts? What do I punch in on the remote to pull in the siginal. I am trying 50.1 or 52.1 or similar...Thanks

Several questions:

1. What kind of antenna are you trying to use?
2. Is it on a rotor?
3. Where in the are are you located?

12 is very weak for me as well. And all are broadcasting at low power.

I use a rotor and need to move it to pick up all the digitals. I am just north of I-90 near the zoo.

gharris 04-10-2004 05:06 AM

I tried off an on for over a year for a station to pop on, not knowing it was me or them. After a few more tries of DOING THE SAME THING with the sat hd100 they final came on!

I am using a 6" non rotating radio shack antenna.
I am just south of W 38. and Asbury roads, so I am in an ok location, not as good as yours off I-90.

I am getting 24.1----wjet, 66.1---fox, 50.1----pbs hd.
No wicu channel 52.1.

And yes, the pbs signal is hd and very nice, the others as you know are just there. I will call wicu on Monday to see what they say about their channel 52. Getting the pbs station is very nice. Yea, getting the masters on cbs would be great too.
I still have directv and just dropped adelphia cable. Thus the reason for the antenna and getting the locals.

jtirak 04-10-2004 09:31 AM


Originally posted by gharris
I am just south of W 38. and Asbury roads, so I am in an ok location, not as good as yours off I-90.

I am getting 24.1----wjet, 66.1---fox, 50.1----pbs hd.
No wicu channel 52.1.


I certainly would like to talk to you and compare notes. Perhaps if enough of us got together we could make a difference. It was my direct discussion with WQLN that brought on the PBS HD in the evening. I also recently sent a letter to channel 12 and 35.

My email is gut48@yahoo.com

If you write me, I will give you my local phone number. We need to start something. two is better than one. QLN was suprised I could get their signal because I am in a belly below them. WICU DT is also weak for me. The weakest of the bunch. You may also need to put a rotor on. I would like to get the Cleveland or Buffalo HD's but not sure what we would need antenna wise to accomplish that

Hope to hear from you.

name is Jack

New Cable Guy 04-10-2004 11:05 AM

As the crow flies you guys in Erie are about the same distance that I am from most of the Buffalo transmitters and I receive them without problems except for WNYO-DT which is too low power to get reliably. The only difference might be if they are using directional antennas pointing north towards Buffalo and the fact that most of the signal gets to me across Lake Ontario. Can you guys get anything in Analog from Buffalo? This might be a good indicator of your ability to receive Digital.

jtirak 04-10-2004 06:40 PM

New Cable Guy.

I get Buffalo Analog sometimes although weak. I actually get CTV 31 very well since it is also across the Lake. However, I can't get their digital signal. I also get some of the other stations in Canada very well such as analog 10 in London, 11 in Hamilton, 6 in Toronto but none of those are in digital yet since the last time I looked. Their digital assignments even overlap with some of those in Erie. I am guessing that they will be relative low power to make them not cross over. I try from time to time to check on Cleveland or Buffalo to see if I can get but not a faint indication. Are they full power or also operating at minimal authority?

New Cable Guy 04-10-2004 07:56 PM

I guess the Lake makes a big difference in distance. By the way CTV does not broadcast digitally yet, and neither does CBC. They will soon have transmitters functioning sometime this year on UHF 20 and 40, both transmitting around 40KW. The ch-6 you are referring to is likely Global 6 from Paris, Ontario. Toronto does not have a ch-6, only ch-5 which is CBC.
I dont know about the ERP for stations in Cleveland, they may be low power. Most of the Buffalo's are at half or low power except for CBS and PBS, and UPN, which are full power stations.

jtirak 04-10-2004 09:25 PM


Thanks for the update. Do you have a good idea when CTV and CBC will be converting? Is City TV channel 53 full power?

Southern Spy 04-11-2004 05:51 AM


Originally posted by jtirak

Their digital assignments even overlap with some of those in Erie.

Most of the Cleveland digital channel assignments are the same as London, Ont area analog assignments. The exception, of course, is NBC Cleveland DT which is Ch 2. And you know what a problem Ch2 is in the summer.

There is no mandate for Canadian channels to go digital, so expect most of them to only go HD on their main Toronto area transmitter in order to get national distribution on StarChoice/Expressvu HD services.

New Cable Guy 04-11-2004 07:19 PM

City-DT has a max. ERP of 3000 watts, and right now only at 600 watts. I think their antenna is directional and points more towards north. Who knows, maybe the signal will reach Buffalo. I'm sure CFTO-DT and CBLT-DT will be receivable south of the border when they go live. I'll never understand these duplicate channel assignments so close together. It doesn't make sense. Some of these duplicates will likely revert back to their original frequencies so they can go full power. I know its the Canadian government holding up a lot of these border stations for sure.

jtirak 04-11-2004 07:20 PM

Southern Spy, what is the power of DT53 City TV? I would hope I could get it on a nice skip day. So far only the analog and none of the cleveland or Buffalo stations.

Southern Spy 04-12-2004 07:15 AM


Originally posted by jtirak
Southern Spy, what is the power of DT53 City TV? I would hope I could get it on a nice skip day. So far only the analog and none of the cleveland or Buffalo stations.

I can empathize with your desire for HD reception.

However, even the best UHF antenna setup (Telves or if lucky, you find a used 6' Channel Master or Delhi parabolic in good shape + a Blonder-Tongue UHF preamp); I doubt that you would get reliable reception of out of Erie market digital stations. There is also the chance of signal overload from strong Ch24,35 and 54 analog signals even with the best preamp like the BT.

I would bet you would get many digital signals from Ohio & Michigan on those warm summer eves and zilch when you really want to watch.

As a previous post suggests, if you want reliable reception now; the Canadian solution is about your only option. The least expensive is the Motorola DSR500 (about $500us taxes included) with a basic subscription of about $25/month thru Star Choice. This will get you Detroit HD + some Seattle plus Rogers Sportsnet HD if you add the sports bundle ($5/month)


Link to example of HD programming schedule is found on this page:

jtirak 04-12-2004 06:43 PM

Southern Spy

Thanks a lot for the info. Last night, if I point my antenna to Buffalo I could get a hint of Channel 32 (UPN I think). It just didn't lock in but it tripped the Digital indicator on my Sammy ST 165. I am hoping that as weather conditions improve It might actually lock in and show a picture. I keep trying. I might go with Voom too.

Dale in PA 04-26-2004 01:46 PM

I have also been frustrated by Erie's nearly ignoring digital transmission.
I leave in Meadville, about 26 miles from the broadcast facillities (I assume those buildings on 19 south of I-90 are the broadcast stations).

From Erie, I get 66-1, which MAY help next NFL season & 50-1 which has lot of idgital, but hardly ever any HDTV. WICU DT must have the least range of any station out there, so I get nothing. WJET nothing & who knows when WSEE will start digital telecasts.

Fortunately, I can get NBD & ABC out of Youngstown & ONCE I get KDKA DT from Pittsburgh for a few minutes. CBS was a problem, but I get on DirecTV.

Count me in any organized campaign to get Erie into the 20th century (the 21st is too much to hope for).


Dale in PA 04-26-2004 01:48 PM

Correct the emial address on my last message. It should read:


gharris 04-28-2004 05:47 AM

Dale, I can get wjet on 24.1....Not that there is much to watch, but it is there. I SHOULD be able to get wicu, I will try to move my antenna direction a bit.

jtirak 04-28-2004 11:01 PM


let's keep this alive and organized men.

My email address is www.gut48@yahoo.com. We need to pound the towers down. I have been send Dave Richards of the Times material on this form about HDTV. I want him to do a story on Erie's lack of it. Their Sunday schedule issue doesn't even list the DTV channel. A few letters to the editor or Jeff Pinkski would help. Are you with me Men.? Get your testosterone going. "WE WANT OUR HDTV"

Ex-KGB 06-04-2004 01:37 PM

Well Erie finally has some hdtv......adelphia has hdnet, hdnet movies, and espnhd. I saw the channels in the cable guide and called up and am picking up the box on monday. I hope it is at least on par with the comcast service I had in Pittsburgh. Granted there are no local hd yet, but something is better than nothing.

wavest 06-14-2004 04:16 PM

I also noticed the HD channels listed on the Adelphia digital guide, so I gave them a call and guess what?? Not available in Erie yet.
How is the quality of WJET, WICU, and PBS on their digital over the air signal? I'm thinking about getting the Samsung at Circuit City now on sale for $300.

gharris 06-16-2004 06:46 AM

The picture quality compared to Adelphia Cable is about the same...Good, but a bit fuzzy. I am sure that the ota analog is better than Adelphia. The big exception to this is PBS. 54 is brodcasting (mostly at hight) PBS HD, channel 50.1. True HD, and the pictue is nice and worth the effort here. The other channels are not HD and swtiching "just to get digital locals" dow not get you much. I have Directv and use the antenna to get local channels. I still have adelphia basic cable due to the fact that I have Adelphia powerlink and get the tv cable for free. Oh, btw, keep in mind that the digital siginals do not travel as far at this point either...

Ex-KGB 06-18-2004 04:52 PM

Well finally got the hd box 2 weeks after they said it would be ready. Anyways, there are only 3 channels, but they all look great, especially HDNET. Its about 7 bucks more a month for the box. The new settop box is a Scientific Atlanta 8000 which is also a PVR and it does record HD!!!!... if you pay an additional five bucks more a month for PVR. I have opted to not activate it at this time as I don't watch that much tv that I need the PVR and my cable bill is high enough already so I can't comment on that feature. The box comes with some cheapy component cables. Poo on adelphia for not including an extra digital optical cable either (I just complain bc comcast did include this). Overrall its nice to have some hd in erie.

gharris 06-23-2004 06:01 AM

I watched the PBS HD concert of Fleetwood mac the other night...very nice....came ota. AND it was in 5.1 Sound also.


kdogg 08-23-2004 11:23 AM

Does anyone know when the local Fox, NBC, or ABC stations will start transmitting HD signals? There are many network shows in HD, but the stations aren't capable of transmitting HD signals.

FYI, I contacted our local CBS affiliate about their digital broadcast. The station noted a conflict of frequency signal (Canadian TV company tried to reserve the same frequency) which has caused the release of their digital broadcast.

CPanther95 09-29-2004 08:29 AM

Official Erie, PA thread.

wavest 10-13-2004 11:53 AM

Does anyone have updates on the locals as far as true HD transmissions? How often is WQLN broadcasting 1080i? I currently am getting the three channels from Adelphia, but am considering going OTA for the locals if it is worth the effort.


kdogg 10-14-2004 05:42 AM

None of the local affiliates are retransmitting HD programs. Frankly, I don't think they can afford to for a while. As for WQLN PBSHD, it only has random primetime true HD programming. The rest is a just widescreen SD source, but these other shows still look good. I will admit the OTA local broadcast appear better than through analog cable. Unless it came with a new HDTV set, I wouldn't bother investing in a OTA tuner box.

Can anyone comment on HDTV service from Time Warner (in the City)?

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