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post #91 of 3392 Old 08-30-2004, 04:16 PM
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sregener, I saw the break up on KXLT on more than one occasion, this is the kind of garbled mess that only happens on the digital channels so I am almost certain the regular channel was alright, but cannot say I checked both at the time the problem happened. When KTTC has problems I usually can try the digital OTA to see if it is purely the channel or the connection that is provided to charter but KXLT is too weak for me to pick up OTA(there have been times when OTA for KTTC has worked but the cable channel is gone, charter confirmed that they have some separate link to provide them with the channel that is different than just picking it up OTA, that is how I found out that all the breakups I was seeing on KTTC was not a signal strength problem OTA because the same breakups happened on cable).
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post #92 of 3392 Old 08-31-2004, 08:30 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by AtogMuncher
I saw the break up on KXLT on more than one occasion, this is the kind of garbled mess that only happens on the digital channels so I am almost certain the regular channel was alright, but cannot say I checked both at the time the problem happened.

Well, most programming is now distributed in a digital format to the affiliates, and I've seen cases where analog reception showed obvious MPEG artifacts as a result. With Fox going to a new distribution method to accomodate HD, it's not impossible for there to be hardware incompatibilities on the receiving end.

FWIW, I watched digital Fox47 the other night and saw some minor artifacting, something I haven't seen before, on "The Simpsons." But local news appeared perfect.
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post #93 of 3392 Old 09-08-2004, 11:57 AM
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I'm right next to most of you guys (Byron, MN). What should I do for Vikings? Will ota broadcast the fox hd signal, or does that suffer from the same hardware upgrades needed for the charter signal? (Assuming I can pull in kxlt with an ota receiver and antenna - which I'd need to buy). I would imagine that some if not most of you, have charter HD with the intention of watching the Vikes in HD - if anyone has a contact email we can beg/plead/bitch to please post it.
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post #94 of 3392 Old 09-08-2004, 01:44 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by govgeek
I'm right next to most of you guys (Byron, MN). What should I do for Vikings? Will ota broadcast the fox hd signal, or does that suffer from the same hardware upgrades needed for the charter signal? (Assuming I can pull in kxlt with an ota receiver and antenna - which I'd need to buy). I would imagine that some if not most of you, have charter HD with the intention of watching the Vikes in HD - if anyone has a contact email we can beg/plead/bitch to please post it.

KXLT, the Rochester Fox affiliate, has to purchase and install a microwave link between their broadcasting facility and their broadcasting tower, separated by a distance of some 15-20 miles. Until they have that microwave link, there will be *NO* HD from KXLT.

KMSP, the Minneapolis/St.Paul Fox affliate, is ready-to-go with HD equipment installed, tested, and verified. I get it rarely during the day, but often after the sun sets. (Doesn't do any good for Vikings football, now, does it?) If your location is above-average in elevation, you might have a shot at KMSP. If not, you're sunk because Charter cannot show KMSP-HD.

At this point, KXLT has already done more than many other affiliates have. They put up a broadcast signal at a respectable power at a respectable antenna height. I think you'd get their digital signal just fine, but that's all it is right now - a digital version of their analog broadcast. The costs associated with setting up a HD station are not minimal, KXLT was recently sold/purchased, and our market is small enough that making a profit is an accomplishment in and of itself. Paying the millions of dollars a full HD build-out requires is not insignificant.

If you go to KTTC's web page, you can send feedback to the engineering department from there. It goes to the same guy KXLT's engineering emails would go to. But try to be respectful. The people making the decisions are usually far removed from public email addresses. I'm sure the engineers would love to put KXLT-HD on the air yesterday.
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post #95 of 3392 Old 09-08-2004, 02:31 PM
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Any objection to making this the "Official" thread for the Rochester, MN DMA (Rochester, MN-Mason City, IA-Austin, MN )? I'll re-title, but if this isn't accurate, PM me and I'll correct.
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post #96 of 3392 Old 09-08-2004, 02:40 PM
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I fired an email off to the engineer, asking him to pass along our frustrations to anyone he thinks may help the cause. The thing that really bugs me the most about this, is that I and probably most of you, bought the HD package with the understanding that the channels on the HD Tier, would at least, at some time or another actually Display HD, to do otherwise would seem to be false advertising. Just my little vent there, but hopefully they will continue to keep us in the know about when this is going to change while we continue to beta test this new service.
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post #97 of 3392 Old 09-08-2004, 10:37 PM
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I am glad to see new people posting in this thread for the greater SE Minnesota area.

I am posting an update of my observations on the Charter channels for KXLT and KTTC.

I have seen on a couple more occasions where KXLT has audio but a totally broken up picture (and there regular analogue channel is fine).

Now for the strangeness that is KTTC. I watched Crossing Jordan this weekend and Father of the pride on Tuesday without any noticeable problems, but tried watching Law and Order SUV and there were bad breakups. Also watched Hawaii tonight and it had some problems but not as bad as L&O. I think that a lot of the problems are related to audio, when its just a screen with dialog things seem fine, but as an example on L&O their 'Da Da' sound effect seems to cause things to break up and then tonight on Hawaii during the 'action' sequences with raised audio levels there were break ups.

Anyway just a theory, wondering what observations others have had. It still pisses me off every time Charter or KTTC tries to brag about KTTC being in HD in their self promotional ads, but its obvious that nobody on either side knows of these problems or they would stop pushing it. Seems like there should be a case of 'false' advertising when there is such inconsistent behavior for the channel. Now it looks like KXLT has caught KTTC's bug with their problems too.
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post #98 of 3392 Old 09-09-2004, 08:59 AM
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I'm wondering if this HD problem were all seeing is common in all the markets? I've not not taken the time to scan other threads.

I see problems just about every time I attempt to watch anything from KTTC in HD. I give Charter props for getting us 'HD content' somewhat early considering were a small market for them, but really it's more of like a beta test than selling an actual product.

If they offered HD as a free trial while they work out the bugs, well, nothing wrong with that. But to see them brag about how their HD is 5x the quality.....they leave out that it only works 1/5 the time!

Now that primetime shows start new, if i see any breakups I'll call and demand someone come out to the house to fix it.

I'll even record it on their Moxi to they can't blame Tivo or something stupid for being the problem!

Maybe after a couple visits they will realize that $3 monthly fee is not making them any profit compared to $50 visits!
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post #99 of 3392 Old 09-09-2004, 10:26 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Drizzt88
I'm wondering if this HD problem were all seeing is common in all the markets? I've not not taken the time to scan other threads.

Well, if by "common" you mean that all markets are having to deal with this, the answer is no. I receive three markets, Rochester-Austin-MasonCity-AlbertLea, EauClaire-LaCrosse, and Minneapolis-StPaul, and *only* KTTC seems to have this kind of persistent problem. Of course, some other stations in other markets seem to have problems, too. WFTC still can't remap to channel 29, their upconverted signal has had audio delays in the neighborhood of 2-3 seconds compared to the video, and they use circular polarization which effectively reduces their signal level by 8db. WEUX/WLAX (Fox) still isn't on the air *at all* and they probably won't be for a long time. KMWB (WB) in Minneapolis is running at 20kw directionally biased towards downtown so people who live in northern and western suburbs are struggling to get the signal from 10 miles away.

No, nothing is perfect yet for most people in most markets. But the number of problem stations seems to be higher in Rochester. KTTC has a lot of problems due to multicasting and encoding, KXLT is just an analog upconvert, KAAL is an upconvert at minimal power and antenna height and KIMT is HD, but their antenna "height" is a joke. KSMQ is multicasting SD. KYIN isn't even on the air. That makes exactly zero stations without problems with 6 stations in the area.

Of course, we'll ignore the Trinity Broadcasting and 3ABN "translators" in Rochester, since translators don't need to be broadcasting digitally until 2006.
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post #100 of 3392 Old 09-10-2004, 06:15 AM
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I am moving to the Rochester area within 3 months or so and have been following this informative thread for some time. I currently live in Cleveland and previously lived in Rochester NY (can't seem to get a Rochester out of my life!). Both these markets had some growing pains but the problems were almost solely timing (coming to the market too slowly). Once the HD option was up it was extremely rare to have any picture issues. No station "sold" HD with the blocking, etc., issues I have seen on this thread. Rochester Mn. is a small market and there are undoubtedly fewer HD customers but this performance is really depressing. I have gotten used to a broad offering of HD quality and hope what the market is giving you improves dramatically.

On the cable side I know customers can often get some mileage from bringing political pressure to bear. Is there a state rep in the area that can be induced to go HD? Joking, but letters from pol's can really have an impact. Good luck, be on your side shortly.

I am actually looking at some houses that are at high elevations (relatively) given the advice in this forum.
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post #101 of 3392 Old 09-10-2004, 07:09 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by panjj
I am actually looking at some houses that are at high elevations (relatively) given the advice in this forum.

Based on my informal surveys, the development west of Circle Drive off 7th St NW is a pretty good location - especially in the newer houses. The elevation is really good there. Another great spot is just north of 55th Street NW - KTTC has their radar ball up there. Although there aren't many houses, and the ones there are are spendy, there's a huge hill just east of Broadway on 37th Street. From the top of that, you look *down* on the KTTC radar ball by a good 100-200'.

Outside of town, ValleyHigh road (county 4) rises quickly to the west. I have a friend out that way who gets perfect reception of the Twin Cities.

If I had it all to do over again, and television reception was a priority, I'd probably live in Pine Island rather than Rochester. Cable there is in the Minneapolis market, which means you can get all the Twin Cities stations with cable or DirecTV and Dish. (I have no idea what their cable HD offerings look like.) It's also about 12 miles closer, putting it on the edge of theoretical "normal" reception. Still, being up high is an advantage there as well. Goodhue county also has dramatically lower taxes than Olmsted.
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post #102 of 3392 Old 09-12-2004, 06:36 PM
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After seeing NFL game highlights on ESPN HD for Fox HD coverage it is just depressing knowing what we could be watching if KXLT converted to HD. Here's hoping they get converted sometime before the end of the year.
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post #103 of 3392 Old 09-13-2004, 07:27 AM
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I had to watch the game on channel 8 - the "hi def" channel looked worse - to soft. It's a shame we only have one game on espn this year....
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post #104 of 3392 Old 09-13-2004, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by AtogMuncher
After seeing NFL game highlights on ESPN HD for Fox HD coverage it is just depressing knowing what we could be watching if KXLT converted to HD. Here's hoping they get converted sometime before the end of the year.

I watched the first 3 quarters on KXLT-DT. Not much in the way of "problems" like KTTC-DT has, but there were some moment of "flickering" where horizontal hold seemed jumpy. I don't know if that was KXLT's feed or their digital one, however. There was some artifacting of players in motion from time to time, but I generally preferred the sharper edges, even with reduced color contrast, of -DT to the analog version.

I switched in the 4th quarter to KMSP-HD, which was starting to come in reliably at around 6PM. It still had reception breakups and other reception issues, but was a better overall experience than KXLT's. I can only hold my breath and wait for KXLT to get their HD equipment set up.

But before you get too excited, check out this comparison of ABC-HD and Fox-HD. (Note: Both are 720p):
http://www.davesbox.net:70/hd_football_pics/week1.html

WCCO had the Raiders-Steelers game in HD and, in spite of 1080i being supposedly inferior to 720p for high-motion scenes, looked by far the best of any of the HD for the weekend. Whatever CBS is doing, they're doing it right. The rest are playing catch-up.
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post #105 of 3392 Old 09-22-2004, 08:39 AM
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received email back from engineer if anyone is interested:

Michael,


Currently KXLT is not broadcasting high definition. The reason is that the encoder is located at the transmitter and needs to be moved to the studio. But before this can happen, a digital microwave needs to installed between the studio and the transmitter site. Also FOX network needs to install the high definition receiving equipment at the studio. The digital microwave is being delayed due to possible ownership changes at KXLT. With saying this, I am still working with FOX network to get the HD equipment at the studio so at least we can feed the high definition signal via fiber to the Charter Cable headend. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at 507-288-4444.


Thank you,

Tim Morgan, KTTC-KXLT Director of Engineering
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post #106 of 3392 Old 09-22-2004, 08:48 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by govgeek
The digital microwave is being delayed due to possible ownership changes at KXLT.

*sigh* I was afraid of this.

The buyers haven't exactly been proactive with their HD investments in other markets, either.
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post #107 of 3392 Old 09-22-2004, 03:14 PM
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I was planning on posting another rant about KTTC, but now I see that KXLT might be doing something to provide HD to Charter, that would be great for me as that is how I get it, sad for those who have OTA reception.

Anyway, rather than rant I will just post my observations of HD on KTTC last night.

Watched Father of the Pride, was in HD first half of the show then when they went to commercial break it came back non-HD. This happened last week also but I assumed it was caused by the weather alert interruption. I now know that wasn't the only problem. during the first commercial break the show started to come back but then cut to a loop of local commercials, I think they had the wrong segment blocked for the show to show the local commercials, this is now why I think when it finally broke back in it wasn't in HD, whatever they use to get HD probably was passed so the HD switch wasn't thrown.

Then I watch L&O SVU, It started out great and even the first L&O 'da da' in the opening credits didn't cause any breakups, which shocked me since they always did before, so silly me thought maybe KTTC fixed something. Well the first half of the show was pretty good, a few minor hiccups, but nothing detracting from the show. Just before the midpoint commercial break everything fell apart, major breakups and even black screen of death.
Obviously something went wrong and it eventually switched over to SD feed, but I don't understand how they can have major issues like this.

I want to watch L&O tonight but I have a feeling that it won't be an enjoyable experience.

Also, Joey was not in HD last week like it was supposed to, not sure if that was KTTC or the network.

There was a day last week that I know Charter had issues with all the HD channels with little digital stutters, hiccups but nothing nearly as bad as what happens on KTTC. It hasn't happened since so they obviously corrected whatever was happening.

If anyone has any other experiences to share with KTTC or charter HD service, please do, I don't like feeling I am the only one who notices these things.
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post #108 of 3392 Old 09-23-2004, 08:52 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by AtogMuncher
If anyone has any other experiences to share with KTTC or charter HD service, please do, I don't like feeling I am the only one who notices these things.

I usually watch KTTC for one of two things: local news or Leno. I watched more during the Olympics, but it will be two years before I do that again. :-)

KTTC-DT has major encoding problems. A relatively action-free event like a simple studio newscast shouldn't be laden with artifacts and "chirping" audio, but theirs is. It's part of the reason why I watch KARE-DT whenever I actually want to watch an NBC program. I could live with the slightly higher compression on KTTC, but I can't live with the major macroblocking and audio errors that hurt my ears at moderate volume.

My results are strictly OTA. KTTC's signal (and KXLT's for that matter) are always somewhere in the "Good" range on my Zenith meter. I strongly suspect, based on the perfection of KXLT analog, line-of-sight to the transmitter, though I haven't verified that Assissi isn't in the way.
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post #109 of 3392 Old 09-23-2004, 03:01 PM
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A day after finding the boards, I have finally read most of the posts to his Rochester thread and it makes me feel very good about HDTV charter is offering in Mankato so far. We get KMSP (fox) KARE (nbc) out of Minneapolis. KEYC (cbs) is the local Mankato affilate and they have some upgrading to do. (no 5.1 sound but pretty good HD PQ) There is some pixelating on football games that may be their fault or it could be CBS in general. The NFL on Fox is in 720p and 5.1 and is FANTASTIC. I know that may be rubbing it in to you in Roch but I thought I had it bad in that we don't have an ABC HD channel in Mankato so I'm not getting HD Monday night Football. We also have HDNET and HDMovies, ESPN SHO and HBO. I have the Motorolla 5100 DCT but tomorrow am going to get MOXI which I am skeptical of however, I really want to record some football on Sunday as I will miss it otherwise.
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post #110 of 3392 Old 09-24-2004, 08:27 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Creditmaster
There is some pixelating on football games that may be their fault or it could be CBS in general. The NFL on Fox is in 720p and 5.1 and is FANTASTIC.

Your experience is exactly the opposite of the rest of the country WRT HD picture quality. CBS-HD looks like a million bucks and Fox-HD football looks really bad. Look for "dancing grass" the next time you watch a game - from the sideline view, it really looks like the field is in constant motion.
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post #111 of 3392 Old 09-27-2004, 06:32 AM
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Watched yesterday's Vikings game in full (sans commercials.) There were at least two video blackouts - points where the screen blanked and then reappeared. This is not a reception problem, but a transmission/encoding problem. Quite annoying.

The Green Bay/Indianpolis game looked better (on KMSP-HD) than most Fox HD broadcasts (probably because they only had two late games to distribute) but there was still very visible evidence that bandwidth was somewhat restricted.
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post #112 of 3392 Old 09-27-2004, 07:08 AM
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Is charter's channel 782 KTTC-DT - NBC out for everone? I haven't been able to get the channel to come up for the last couple of days.
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post #113 of 3392 Old 09-27-2004, 10:42 AM
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Yeah, its been out since Friday night between 8-9PM. Usually someone has to call charter to tell them its out and then they rattle the cages at KTTC to fix it but since I was able to pull it in OTA I didn't bother calling. Thought someone would have called by last night but it was still out when I wanted to watch Crossing Jordan, luckily I could get it OTA again, but its frustrating that we have to call them to get it fixed, that means they don't have any kind of monitoring to know when its not working.

Also, when you call them about it you have to badger them into calling someone because they will say its KTTC's falt, but I then say that I am paying charter for the reception so they should know who to call to get it fixed.
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post #114 of 3392 Old 10-09-2004, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
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FWIW, I was at a friends house the other day and checked Charter's channel allocation. I noticed they finally put FOX and NBC on the same QAM, which should have freed up some bandwidth. But it didn't look like they changed any of the other channels around, so HBO, SHO, and ESPN are still sharing. There wasn't any HD on ESPN at the time but my friend says ESPN still looks pretty bad.

HDNet looked better than last time I saw it though... no breakups and much less macroblocking. We also happened to be A/Bing against D* HD and I thought they looked pretty similar. I was expecting D* to look worse after all the complaining about PQ I read here, but it looked pretty good to me.
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post #115 of 3392 Old 10-18-2004, 02:30 PM
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Well I watched the Vike's last night on ESPN on the one HDTV game we get to see here this season (on charter). It was so nice, yet such a teaser...sigh. Not so sure it's been worth the 10+ dollars a month to watch one important game to me (and to oogle some bikini clads on 770).
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post #116 of 3392 Old 10-21-2004, 03:54 PM
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I am also in Rochester. I use Charter only for locals and DirecTV for the rest of my viewing. It would be nice to get the networks off OTA but that would require a tower and antenna which are out of the question right now (I in a lower elevation with large trees between me and the Cities). Right now I have the basic cable split, one run into my TiVo and another into my coax on the HDTV. I get Fox and NBC on channels C1.1 and C1.3. I really don't want to get anything more from Charter than absolutely necessary. I pay enough for TV as is! Does anyone know if I can get a cablecard from them? I called about HDTV and the person on the other end was not very helpful. Didn't know what a cablecard was. Also said I needed to subscribe to digital cable first to get the HDTV package. Too much money. While I am totally blown away with the picture when watching DVDs I am very dissapointed in the lack of HDTV options and channels. I would like to have the HD DirecTV PVR but that's a bit out of my budget right now. Well got long winded here, my main question was about the cablecard....and if I really need to subscribe to digital cable to get the HDTV package. Anyone know?
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post #117 of 3392 Old 10-21-2004, 06:06 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by DaBears!
I am also in Rochester. I use Charter only for locals and DirecTV for the rest of my viewing. It would be nice to get the networks off OTA but that would require a tower and antenna which are out of the question right now (I in a lower elevation with large trees between me and the Cities). [...]Well got long winded here, my main question was about the cablecard....and if I really need to subscribe to digital cable to get the HDTV package. Anyone know?

Do you really need stations from the cities? Most areas in town get acceptable analog signals from KIMT, KAAL, with KXLT and KTTC being perfect. I'm "below grade" and got KSMQ-DT, KXLT-DT and KTTC-DT just fine from my rooftop.

I bought a used tower a year ago, and even with professional installation, it's only going to take four more years of basic cable to "pay it off."

Charter does seem to demand digital before they'll permit HD. That will probably change after the analog shutdown, but that could be decades here in the 152nd largest media market in the country.
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post #118 of 3392 Old 10-21-2004, 08:08 PM
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Originally posted by sregener
Do you really need stations from the cities? Most areas in town get acceptable analog signals from KIMT, KAAL, with KXLT and KTTC being perfect. I'm "below grade" and got KSMQ-DT, KXLT-DT and KTTC-DT just fine from my rooftop.

Not really. I would just like to get HD networks, where they come doesn't matter for the most part.
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post #119 of 3392 Old 10-22-2004, 09:13 AM
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Originally posted by DaBears!
Not really. I would just like to get HD networks, where they come doesn't matter for the most part.

If that's the case, I'd strongly recommend putting an antenna on your roof. You'll get KAAL-DT and KIMT-DT in HD at the same time as Charter will. Best guess is by July 1, 2006 because if they're not up by then, the most they can get is a 6-month extension based on being nearly complete with their digital buildout.

In the meantime, you'd get KTTC in HD. KXLT digital isn't a big deal right now, though if your analog reception is less than perfect, the digital signal might look a little better. KSMQ digital isn't a big deal, either, unless you really want to watch PBS "U". You'd also get reasonably good signals from analog KAAL and KIMT (mine were better than what Charter put out.) And you'd save yourself the $15 a month Charter charges for local channels.

Who knows, you might be in a "pocket" for the cities, and you might be able to watch other things like KSTC's Timberwolves games, Twins games, and Gopher basketball games. I got a watchable signal from them from my rooftop in the winter. You might also get digitals from the Cities on nights when the atmosphere is really helping things. I was able to get WCCO-DT fairly regularly at night in the winter from my roof. (It's almost perfect on calm days from the tower.)

I used a Winegard HD7084P for my rooftop install, and went to an HD8200P when I went to the tower. The 8200P is a great performer, and I'd recommend it to you. Even with a preamp (you'll want one if you want a shot at the Cities), a rotor (you'll need one because KAAL and KTTC are separated by a good 45 degrees) and the installation hardware, you'll pay yourself back in two years from basic cable. All the while watching some pristine digital signals, and anything on NBC that's in HD. (And maybe Fox, too, if the new owners open up the purse strings a little.)
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post #120 of 3392 Old 10-22-2004, 12:07 PM
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Was checking out KTTC-DT on Charter 782 last night and they were not doing the stretch for SD programming, anyone know if this is a permanent change or if it was just a glitch.

I checked out at 7PM last night to see if Joey was in HD this week (it wasn't and hasn't since the pilot episode) but noticed that there were black bars instead of the 'stretch'.

Not that I want to jinx things, but the last couple weeks KTTC has been working for everything I have tried to watch in HD (even Law & Order). I don't know if that means they have fixed something or if its just a stretch of luck, I am hoping that they fixed what was going on and that it doesn't resurface.

I am disappointed that nothing has happened with KXLT-DT for HD support, based on the thread in the HD programming forum I don't think that even if KXLT decided to upgrade that FOX would be able to come and do anything until next year based on people posting that their stations aren't scheduled until January.

Guess that means no HD NFL this year and probably not even the Super Bowl.
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