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post #181 of 3306 Old 01-12-2005, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally posted by dalawson
I think it's worth the $3/month increase over regular HDTV service

When did that happen? Last I checked it was an additional $10/mo, which I thought was outrageous.
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post #182 of 3306 Old 01-13-2005, 06:23 AM
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The pricing I got (just a couple days ago) was $3.99 for the National HDTV channels (ESPN, HDNet, HDNet Movies), $3.00 for KXLT/KTTC, and $9.99 for the DVR box/service.

If you spend $4.00 on the Showtime Movie "Tier" with Digital Cable you also then get the Showtime HDTV feed.
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post #183 of 3306 Old 01-13-2005, 01:34 PM
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Sorry, this is a little OT, just don't know where else to put this.

Charter has 2 CBS stations, 2 ABC stations, 2 FOX stations, and 2 PBS stations, and 0 UPN stations. I like to watch UPN shows 'Veronica Mars' and 'Enterprise'. Both are on KIMT but that has got to be the worst of all the locals in regards to signal and both are on so late at night I have to tape them. I can't watch them live. Why does Charter do this? and what can be done to get them to drop one of those stations and add a UPN station. If they drop 3 of the other duplicate networks, perhaps that can give them some more bandwith for HD networks. Well, I think that makes it on-topic after all.
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post #184 of 3306 Old 01-13-2005, 02:13 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Beacon
Charter has 2 CBS stations, 2 ABC stations, 2 FOX stations, and 2 PBS stations, and 0 UPN stations. I like to watch UPN shows 'Veronica Mars' and 'Enterprise'. Both are on KIMT but that has got to be the worst of all the locals in regards to signal and both are on so late at night I have to tape them. I can't watch them live. Why does Charter do this?

Well, first of all, those of us with antennas are watching WFTC out of the Cities just fine. I first bought an antenna because Charter didn't carry WFTC (Timberwolves games, once upon a time, and now Twins games for this upcoming season.) Charter did, for one year, carry WFTC as a UPN affiliate. However, people howled about KMSP because KMSP carried the high-school sports tournaments (football, basketball, hockey.) In spite of the fact that they have to black out KMSP more than they can show it, they needed it for that. (And yes, during the year they had WFTC, they carried KMSP on a "special" basis, but their stupid automated switcher turned off the channel at the assigned time, even though a game involving local teams was on. Fifteen minutes later, they resumed the correct feed, but by then the most exciting overtime finish of the tournament was over.)

It is worthwhile to note that KIMT *is* the Rochester/Austin/Mason City/Albert Lea affiliate. (UPN is co-owned by CBS, but I don't know if that makes a difference.) So even if Charter carried WFTC, my understanding is that they would have to black out UPN programming that KIMT carried with their happy little "Check other channels and/or local listings" message. Maybe those of you who had WFTC during that one year window can answer that one.

I think you'd get a lot of people upset if WCCO or KSTP was dropped. Their local news programs have quite a following down here, and people can be quite vocal about their preferences. There is a bit of a gap in quality of reporting from the #14 market to the #154th.

That said, I think adding KSTC and WFTC would be a great service for Rochester viewers. The unique programming on those channels is worth the price of admission. The blackout messages wouldn't have to be quite so frequent, and sports fans in Rochester would get programming they can't get anywhere else. Oh, and the high-school tournament rights have been sold to KSTC, so the KMSP argument no longer holds water, except the one that justifies WCCO and KSTP.

For what it's worth, KSMQ isn't really a PBS station. They air some PBS programming, but they often forgo programming for cheaper alternatives. KTCA carries national PBS programming, so there's rarely overlap between the two stations. KSMQ has "must-carry" status. KTCA doesn't. If it was inverted, I suspect KSMQ would be dropped.

You can make your complaints to Charter. You could complain to UPN that they don't have a local affiliate here. You could switch to Dish Network (and keep Charter basic, if you wanted) and subscribe to their superstation package, which would get you two or three UPN affiliates (or just pick one for $1 a month.) Otherwise, sit back, shut up, and watch whatever the Charter executives decide to give you.

Cable sucks. I didn't realize how much until I put up an antenna. Better picture, more channels, lower monthly cost. What's not to like?
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post #185 of 3306 Old 01-13-2005, 02:57 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by dfriend
When did that happen? Last I checked it was an additional $10/mo, which I thought was outrageous.

Maybe the salesman I was talking to was pulling my chain, but when I called to add HD service 2 weeks ago I was told that the HD service was $3/month and the HD box was $3.99/month so a total of $6.99/month and if I wanted to jump to the moxi it would be $3/month for the service and $6.99/month for the box, so a total of $9.99/month total. But I remember when the moxi was first released it was $3/month for HD and $9.99/month for the moxi for a total of $12.99. Anyone with a moxi care to clarify this? If it's an extra $6/month, then I guess I'll just have to resort to buying a few extra VHS tapes.
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post #186 of 3306 Old 01-14-2005, 08:01 AM
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While we are on the subject of Charter, my 89.00 "package" just jumped to 122.00!!! Anyone found a decent package including internet or am I destined to go DSL/Sattelite?
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post #187 of 3306 Old 01-14-2005, 08:08 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by govgeek
While we are on the subject of Charter, my 89.00 "package" just jumped to 122.00!!! Anyone found a decent package including internet or am I destined to go DSL/Sattelite?

Unless you're in Goodhue County, odds are good that you'll have to keep Charter Basic unless you want to go the antenna route. No satellite companies currently offer Rochester/Austin/Mason City/Albert Lea locals, and they can't offer the Minneapolis/St.Paul market to you if you're in Olmsted County. So you could keep basic for locals, then bundle in the cable modem, and use DirecTV or Dish (or Voom, until they cease operating) for everything else. There's almost no overlap (WGN and TBN are the only ones I know of) with that combination of services. DirecTV should have LiL here by 2008.

Then again, Dish and DirecTV have both announced plans to increase rates in the next couple of months, but not how much, so you may want to hold off making any decision until their new rate structure is in place.
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post #188 of 3306 Old 01-14-2005, 10:34 AM
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I created my comparison for my situation about the costs of each service. For each service, I required:
1) 1.5 MB Cable Modem Service (I don't qualify for DSL)
2) Network stations (Which nearly offsets the $10 add'l charge for no cable service but cable modem anyway at $14 a month)
3) HDTV Stations
4) PVR/DVR of some kind (without spending $500+)

Based on those demands, the pricing (from each website or Charter sales rep, tax not included), I got:
1) Dish - $110 (including WB/UPN national feeds)
2) Voom - $114 (no DVR yet though)
3) Charter - $115 (including big movie tier for Showtime HDTV)
4) DirecTV - $115

Note this costs are approximate but should be within a couple bucks. Some have higher/lower plans than I put into my quotes. Milage may vary, offer not valid in all states, etc...

You can see the costs are all fairly similar, it depends on what you are looking for.
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post #189 of 3306 Old 01-14-2005, 11:08 AM
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unfortunately they spoiled me, for the last six months I had:

3 mb cable modem
basic+expanded+Showtime
Hi-def channels (all but HBO)
Hi def box
Moxi box

for 89.00 a month.

Of course now that we have a DVR, we'll never live without one, so I may just wait until the superbowl and kill the hi-def+box until something better comes along....
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post #190 of 3306 Old 01-17-2005, 01:33 PM
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Hi guys,

I just recently bought a LG 3510a tuner and connected it up to my Radio Shack UHF only antenna with pre-amp and can get about 60-70% signal
(during the day)strength meter on my tuner on the following stations..

WCCO
KSTP
KMSP
KARE 11
KTCA
WFTC

my questions are...

1. I just installed everything last week and was wondering how much do you think wind and cloudy weather are going to affect my signal. It's been
really nice lately. The antenna is in my attic, which is a new 2 story house on a small hill and I have no trees or houses obstructing the antenna in the northen view?

2. I don't get any program guide information from Kare11, KMSP or KTSP. are they supplying that infomation yet or is there something wrong with my receiver?

-thank you !!
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post #191 of 3306 Old 01-17-2005, 01:52 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by astorvick
I just recently bought a LG 3510a tuner and connected it up to my Radio Shack UHF only antenna with pre-amp and can get about 60-70% signal
(during the day)strength meter on my tuner on the following stations..

1. I just installed everything last week and was wondering how much do you think wind and cloudy weather are going to affect my signal.

2. I don't get any program guide information from Kare11, KMSP or KTSP. are they supplying that infomation yet or is there something wrong with my receiver?

Given that your target is the Twin Cities, that might be a better place to ask these types of questions. But I'll answer them anyway. :-)

1. Wind impacts the signal if a) your antenna moves about or b) trees with leaves are between you and the transmitter. How much will it impact your signal? Who knows?

2. WCCO just added program guide info. KTCA has guide data. Most of the others have nothing.

It sounds like you're getting a good signal. If you want to improve things, you can look into getting a better antenna (and maybe a better amplifier, too.) Radio Shack is somewhere near the bottom of the performance scale. A large (80") UHF-only yagi from Winegard or Channel Master will outperform what you've got, and a step up from them would be the AntennasDirect 91XG. If you get breakup-free reception, though, there's no need to mess with your system. It's just something to keep in mind when spring comes around and trees come into play more.

Snow cover is much more likely to impact your signal in a favorable way. I get my best reception when we've got snow on the ground. Once the snow melts, even if the trees are bare, reception isn't nearly as good.

Good luck!
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post #192 of 3306 Old 01-17-2005, 02:10 PM
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Thanks,

Sorry. This post was supposed to go into OTA Minneapolis, But I had a bad click thing going.

Thanks for the information you've provided, I went and picked up a Radio Shack just see to see if I could get anything. Thank you for the information about other produts. I may look into that once the weather is warmer
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post #193 of 3306 Old 01-18-2005, 08:10 AM
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Any news on whether KXLT will be broadcasting HD over the air by the time the Superbowl is played?
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post #194 of 3306 Old 01-18-2005, 05:10 PM
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jminer1-

I have been tolf Feb 1st for KXLT over the air.
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post #195 of 3306 Old 01-19-2005, 09:23 AM
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That's cutting it pretty close. I'll check back then to see if they were able to meet that date or not.
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post #196 of 3306 Old 01-24-2005, 04:03 PM
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Can anyone with Charter's HDTV service answer this please. If I were to buy an indoor antenna, could I connect it to the Charter HD cable box and use it as an HD tuner for the antenna or would I need to get a separate HD Tuner box?
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post #197 of 3306 Old 01-24-2005, 04:39 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Beacon
Can anyone with Charter's HDTV service answer this please. If I were to buy an indoor antenna, could I connect it to the Charter HD cable box and use it as an HD tuner for the antenna or would I need to get a separate HD Tuner box?

I don't have Charter, but I can tell you that no cable company in the US is renting out boxes that are capable of receiving broadcast signals, just as no satellite company is selling/leasing boxes that are QAM capable.

The Charter box doesn't receive OTA. Period.

Walmart North (and maybe South) has US Digital HD receivers in stock for $200.
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post #198 of 3306 Old 01-24-2005, 07:35 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by sregener

Walmart North (and maybe South) has US Digital HD receivers in stock for $200.

I've seen quite a few "hot deal" websites advertising this US Digital HD receiver. Has anyone purchased it? How big/expensive of an antenna is required to get any stations out of the cities?

If KXLT starts broadcasting over the air, it will be hard to justify keeping charter HD service when the only channels they offer which you can't get over the air are HDNET, HDMOVIES, and the premium channels like HBO and SHO. If I can get all 4 networks in HD with a relatively cheap antenna I think I'll recoup the cost of the HD receiver box pretty soon.
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post #199 of 3306 Old 01-24-2005, 08:12 PM
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I don't know your location/needs for an antenna, but I just asked for a quote from G&S in Byron.

A winegard 8200P with pre-amp and other accessories (including installation, since I'm not a do-it-yourselfer) was roughly $750. It was higher than I expected, but of course my cable bill would be $50 less per month than what I would pay including HD (they have a $79.99 monthly deal right now for 20 months but it doesn't include the HD channels/DVR). So I'd make it up in just over a year.

sregener knows the most about antennas in this forum, so maybe he'd be able to give you some general advice.
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post #200 of 3306 Old 01-25-2005, 05:42 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by dalawson
I've seen quite a few "hot deal" websites advertising this US Digital HD receiver. Has anyone purchased it? How big/expensive of an antenna is required to get any stations out of the cities?

If KXLT starts broadcasting over the air, it will be hard to justify keeping charter HD service when the only channels they offer which you can't get over the air are HDNET, HDMOVIES, and the premium channels like HBO and SHO. If I can get all 4 networks in HD with a relatively cheap antenna I think I'll recoup the cost of the HD receiver box pretty soon.

Do a search on the www.avsforum.com website in the HDTV Hardware section. Many people have purchased these.

As for antenna needs, the answer could be any of these: a) a good, $50 antenna will work great, b) a large antenna on a tower would be required, c) a large antenna on a tower will get you some, but not all stations, or d) no antenna known to man is going to get you those stations. The primary deciding factor is your exact location and the topography between you and your target stations.

Right now, with conditions at their best (snow on the ground, no leaves on trees) I'm not getting 24x7 reliable reception of the Cities. I have a 54' tower and one of the best antennas known to man. On Sunday, I had a friend over to watch the Eagles game in HD. He said, "The picture looks great but I keep having these seizures." The picture would break up and sometimes go blank, mostly because I'm on the flight path to Rochester airport and the planes cause major multipath when they fly right over my house. Otherwise, reception was reliable and problem-free. WCCO broke up exactly twice during the entire game.

In about 17 months, you should be able to get the "big 4" networks OTA with a relatively cheap antenna. But as to whether KAAL-DT will go HD at that point is anyone's guess. KIMT, KTTC and KXLT are all HD capable (with KXLT going live in a week.)

If you PM me your address, I can give you an idea of how good/bad your location is.
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post #201 of 3306 Old 01-25-2005, 05:48 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by mraveling
A winegard 8200P with pre-amp and other accessories (including installation, since I'm not a do-it-yourselfer) was roughly $750.

Only you can decide if the VHF portion of that antenna is worth the extra money. The 8200P is a $200 antenna. The AntennasDirect 91XG is only $92 shipped, and it performs much better on UHF than the 8200P. It also is lighter weight, has a lower wind load, and doesn't look nearly so big. G&S *will* install an antenna you purchase yourself. You could also put your name on a waiting list for a used system from G&S.

I went UHF-only in July, and generally speaking, I haven't regretted it. I knew ABC was going to be a problem for me, and it has been. I get WXOW (19) analog out of La Crosse, but it's pretty snowy. It's good enough on nights when both KSTP-DT and KAAL-DT are breaking up a lot, but I'm looking forward to KAAL-DT going full power.
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post #202 of 3306 Old 01-25-2005, 07:06 AM
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sregener - sounds like your in the Byron area? I'm about 2 blocks from the fire station. If so, is there any chance you can list off what you are picking up for channels? Of course it looks like you have a 54' tower which I'm sure makes a heck of a difference. I have access to a 30'- ish tower and am just evaluating if I should get my feet wet in ota. Also, did you need to get permission to put up your tower? Thanks,
Mike
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post #203 of 3306 Old 01-25-2005, 07:20 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by govgeek
If so, is there any chance you can list off what you are picking up for channels? Of course it looks like you have a 54' tower which I'm sure makes a heck of a difference. I have access to a 30'- ish tower and am just evaluating if I should get my feet wet in ota. Also, did you need to get permission to put up your tower?

I'm in Rochester proper. Most of Byron appears to be about 150-200' taller than my location, which works in your favor. But there also is a hill just north of Byron that you'd probably have to clear to get reliable reception of the Cities.

No permits are required for putting up a tower on your property, at least in Rochester.

My reception varies so much that it's hard to tell you for sure what I'll get at any point in time. Winter is better than summer. Snow on the ground is better than no snow. Heavy thunderstorms block the signal. Daytime is worse than nighttime. It goes on and on.

Generally speaking, I get a watchable signal on these Twin Cities stations at least 3/5 days:
WCCO (CBS) -almost always perfect
KSTP (ABC) - this one often breaks up, even on good days
KMSP (Fox) - this one also breaks up frequently
KARE (NBC) - I watch infrequently, but normally appears stable
KSTC (ind) - usually rock solid

Ones that come and go include WFTC, KMWB (rare, due to 20kw power), KTCI (very, very rare) and KTCA (most frequent of this group.) I've seen KPXM several times, and it has been stable some nights, but this is a long shot at 85+ miles.

I get KTTC, KXLT and KSMQ 24x7, with no breakups or problems. Ever.

KAAL comes in sometimes. You have a better shot at them because you're closer and higher. They're very low power (4.9kw) and their antenna is on the ground, at the base of their tower. You should be aware that all they do is broadcast a digital version of their analog signal.

KIMT almost never comes in. They're medium power (200kw) but they're broadcasting from the roof of their station, which is fairly low.

You can read my detailed story here:
http://www.geocities.com/figbert/ant...irect91xg.html
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post #204 of 3306 Old 01-25-2005, 08:10 AM
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Great info - thanks!
Mike
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post #205 of 3306 Old 01-27-2005, 06:59 PM
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Just decided to check out Fox last night and found that 46_1 and 47_1 are broadcasting in HD. They may have been for a bit, but i just noticed this last night. So they must have been able to get everything going before the Feb. 1st date correct?

>chad
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post #206 of 3306 Old 01-27-2005, 09:33 PM
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Is your local Fox channel broadcasting in HD? If it is, please inform cpanther95 so that he can add it to the list that your market (KXLT I believe is ur station) to the list of affiliates that have fox in hd. Thank you
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post #207 of 3306 Old 01-28-2005, 06:51 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Chadlyt
Just decided to check out Fox last night and found that 46_1 and 47_1 are broadcasting in HD. They may have been for a bit, but i just noticed this last night. So they must have been able to get everything going before the Feb. 1st date correct?

It appears that they are. Unfortunately, my Samsung tuner (T151) is having all sorts of problems - the picture is black&white, and flashes of color appear every so often. It appears my tuner is confused by something in their stream. My Zenith tuner handles their signal flawlessly.
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post #208 of 3306 Old 01-28-2005, 09:40 AM
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odd, my samsung works fine...i think i have the 151 also..cant remeber for sure. havent chatted about that in a while.

>chad
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post #209 of 3306 Old 01-28-2005, 09:52 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Chadlyt
odd, my samsung works fine...i think i have the 151 also..cant remeber for sure. havent chatted about that in a while.

Two questions:

1) Did you update the firmware for PSIP data? I got the firmware upgrade kit about 6 months ago and used it to upgrade the firmware in my receiver.

2) Are you using the analog outputs at all? I use the analog outputs on it exclusively. (I hook it into my ReplayTV so I can time-shift digital television. It isn't true HD, but far better than analog.)

I might try the digital outputs and see if I can narrow the problem down some....

[edited]

Looks like Macrovision (copy protection usually used for videotape.)
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post #210 of 3306 Old 01-30-2005, 06:25 PM
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I was able to check KXLT OTA tonight when Arrested Development was on and it was in HD, amazing since I rarely get a strong enough signal to receive it with my indoor antenna. Looks like they made it in time for the super bowl. I posted a reply in the programming forum so that the list of converted affilliates can now include KXLT since it is available OTA and not just on charter.
AtogMuncher is offline  
Reply Local HDTV Info and Reception

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