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post #10051 of 10077 Old 06-02-2014, 05:59 AM
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Are you watching via antenna, cable or satellite?

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post #10052 of 10077 Old 06-02-2014, 09:47 AM
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Moved to Sacramento thread

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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post #10053 of 10077 Old 06-04-2014, 08:10 PM
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KEXT 23 has finally fixed itself, great picture (no more snow).

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post #10054 of 10077 Old 06-06-2014, 01:06 PM
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I'm getting a very clear picture on KEXT-CA (Analog RF 27) as well. This morning, I was surprised when I picked up a great signal on the 6 channel mux from KBTV-CD 8.1 to 8.6 and I got KMSX-LD (CTVN) 51.1 (RF 42) at the same signal level. This was at 0600, of course.... the reception was good for about 2 hours. I am about 100 miles from the KBTV tower, and nowhere within the contour range of these stations.

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post #10055 of 10077 Old 06-08-2014, 11:18 AM
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Hi. I live up in El Dorado Hills and am working on Sacramento area channel reception.

I have an HBU44 and an LNA-200 amp. I was able to pull in all the channels I wanted just laying it out in the hallway of the upstairs. I mounted it in the attic (just hanging from some twine) and ran about 20' of coax to a splitter into my HD Homerun ATSC tuners. Everything works great except for the ABC channel 10. It shows (on my hdhomerun app) signal level of 94%, a drifting 75-80 signal quality and 100% symbol rate, then about once every minute or so the signal quality and symbol rate will drop to 35% or even all the way to zero and the reception glitches and then it comes right back up to full levels. What is odd is that I'm getting another VHF-HI channel (6 PBS, on broadcast channel 9) that is just a couple of degrees difference in pointing and about the same broadcast strength solid with no problems at all. I fiddled with location and pointing and where I have it now I've got the best signal quality for all the stations including 10.

All the UHF come in fine, 85-98% quality. Depending on the time of day I get between 45 and 83 stations including some (barely) from the San Francisco area.

Almost seems like something is periodically interfering with this one particular station. I don't have anything grounded and I thought it might be noise in the coax, so I might try doing that today. Since its in the attic, I don't think I need to ground the antenna itself. I noticed the balun that came with the antenna has very thin stranded wire, could an upgrade there do me any good? I tried it without the amp, with no splitter and with 4 different splitters from 1:2 and 1:3. Same results. Any other ideas?

Here's the tv fool report for my address http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de1c6a567bfd4c2

The problem channel is KXTV ABC channel 10, which also broadcasts on channel 10. Just seems very strange to me that I'd get PBS 6 on adjacent channel 9 so well. Any ideas would be most appreciated.

Edit: Just to give an idea of what my reception situation looks like, its flat as a pancake for 35 miles, then the signal hits the sierra foothills and there are three good size hills in the way with a highway through them, two to the south of the highway and one to the north. I live behind the last hill which is to the north of the highway and west of me and its smack in the way of the signal. Its a couple of hundred feet higher than my house and extends about 1/4 mile to the south and for many miles to the north. So I'm getting these signals bounced and/or wrapped around at least a couple of obstructions or I'm getting it bounced along the highway cut through those hills, which I'm only a few hundred yards from. I also have a neighbors row of tall evergreens adjacent to my property and about 25' south of where the antenna is located, but those aren't directly in the signal path. I'm not sure if the tv fool elevation thing measures the altitude of my property from the street or from where the house is located, but my house is steeply uphill from the road, and the antenna is about 50' up from the road in front of my house, and about 25 feet from the ground level of the house. I could gain a few feet and lose the roof as an obstruction by roof mounting, but we have very high winds periodically throughout the year and I'd have to run a LOT of coax to get from the two prime roof mount locations down into the house.
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post #10056 of 10077 Old 06-08-2014, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoop View Post

Hi. I live up in El Dorado Hills and am working on Sacramento area channel reception.
The problem channel is KXTV ABC channel 10.

I would troubleshoot by checking nearby electrical items that may be causing the problem. Such as air conditioners cycling on / off, Fire smoke detectors, alarms, computers, lights, etc.
Including checking everything on the same electrical circuit that your amplifier plugged in to.
I notice if an attic antenna is within 10 to 15 feet of a problem source .... it is more noticeable.
Usually outdoor antennas placed outdoors avoid this.

The only solution is to try to troubleshoot the problem, or move the antenna to a better location.

I .. (and others)... also notice the KVIE signal is bulletproof.... Can't find a forum comment that KXTV is solid and KVIE is not.
Good Luck in the 120*F degrees attic eek.gif
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post #10057 of 10077 Old 06-08-2014, 02:02 PM
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Also, check with an AM Radio, tuned to one end of the band or the other, and see if you hear anything that pops or crackles at the same time the picture drops out.

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post #10058 of 10077 Old 06-09-2014, 01:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 888CALLFCC View Post


I .. (and others)... also notice the KVIE signal is bulletproof.... Can't find a forum comment that KXTV is solid and KVIE is not.
Good Luck in the 120*F degrees attic eek.gif
Ben
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O.k., here is that comment. For me, using Mohu leafs, KXTV is absolutely bulletproof.

You might think that being in Morada, so close to Walnut Grove, they'd all be bulletproof. Nope (I'm looking at you Channel 58!)

However, KXTV is the one station that never breaks up in bad weather. Enough wind and eventually all the other stations will stutter. Trees blow in the wind, you know.

When I was using actual rabbit ears, I do remember that KXTV would not come in unless I significantly shortened the dipoles, then it was rock solid. Finding a length that worked for both KVIE and KXTV simultaneously was challenging, I'll admit. Switching to the Mohu leaf solved the problem.
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post #10059 of 10077 Old 06-09-2014, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoop View Post

The problem channel is KXTV ABC channel 10, which also broadcasts on channel 10. Just seems very strange to me that I'd get PBS 6 on adjacent channel 9 so well. Any ideas would be most appreciated.

I agree that this sounds like some sort of interference to 10. You may be forced to move the antenna to a different location. Try looking around your house for anything that comes on every minute. Kill the power to everything in the house except the TV and preamp to see if it's coming from your house. Your TV Fool report shows 2 edge to Walnut Grove. Consider yourself lucky if you receive everything on UHF 100%. Atmospheric conditions frequently wreak havoc on 2 edge paths.

Chuck

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post #10060 of 10077 Old 06-09-2014, 07:31 PM
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Thanks for the comments. As I noted in the edit there isn't much that could cause interference in the room and I tried two different electrical circuits. I was up to my ears in really long RG6, extension cords and ethernet cables for a whole day. I've actually had it go 15-20 minutes at a pop without a glitch and then glitch every 15-20 seconds. No a/c, fans, tv's or other stuff turned on or cycling. I went to using a tablet to read the levels. Wifi router is about the only emitting device I can think of in the house.

Its really weird since everything else coming from the same direction (UHF and VHF) comes in really good, over 90%. One UHF station (I think it was 25) only gives me about 87 but the rest are really good. The only thing that seems to change with time of day or weather (its been 44 to 105 here this past week) is the # of channels the tuner can see. I go from ~45 on a hot day in the middle of the day to 83 one evening just at sunset on a cooler day. I even pulled in KPIX from San Francisco once and it was perfectly watchable with no glitches for about 2 hours. I also get KSBW at nearly 50% quality, and thats 130+ miles away.

I know the tvfool says 2edge on a lot of stations but if I change the height of the antenna by 5' most go to LOS or 1edge. I'm not sure what elevation tvfool uses...base of where the house is or the elevation at the street. If its at the street, then the antenna is about 40' up from there. Steep lot.

My attic is pretty small, and half of it drops off 20'. I could move the antenna about 3-4 feet in one direction or the other, but I already tried it in the usable space and rotated it about 20-25 degrees to find the sweet spot where I was getting the best signal on channel 10. House is all chicken wire stucco with heavy gutters and where I have the antenna located now avoids all of the side walls and gutters. I'm just shooting through a layer of plywood and shingle.

What I have noticed is that the signal quality drifts back and forth by quite a bit on this channel but doesn't move more than a point or two on the others. In doing some reading that suggests I'm getting a multipath signal on 10 and the older silicondust tuners are allegedly not that great at handling serious multipath. Since I'm getting the signal from behind a large hill and there are two others in the way, and a lot of traffic peaking all three hills that's where my suspicions lay. That the tuner in my super cheap Element tv gets it without any drops tells me I need a different tuner or an antenna that handles VHF-Hi multipath better. I had been thinking of using a DB4/8 and a clearstream 5, but all the experts I talked to told me that given all the terrain/trees/moving vehicles (oh, and there are a set of high tension powerlines about 1/2 mile away smack in the way) that a big YAGI was the only thing that'd pull everything in, and that it almost certainly had to be outside. I actually got all the UHF channels on one of those cheesy "lava" amplified antennas, but zero VHF.

Fortunately its cruddy ABC that I'm not getting. They only have 2 shows I watch and both are on Hulu. And I can watch it live split off to the tv's tuner instead of the silicondust/WMC setup if absolutely necessary. Wish there was an external network tuner alternative to silicondust, but I'm not really seeing any.

Other thing of note is I'm amazed by how widely varying splitters are. I have a bag full of them from ones the cable company and directv use, a monster 2GHz, some cheapo unlabeled ones and an RCA. The RCA VH48 3 way was the best, beating all the 2 way's. I was surprised to find that the beefy looking directv 2 way was among the worst, the monster 3 way not much better, and the ones the cable company used were horrible.

I wish my attic was 120 degrees. Its 105 outside today. When I was up in there at 9am the other day it was well over 100.

I'll try the AM radio thing if I can find one, and I can try turning off some breakers but again, not much plugged in or turned on except for major appliances, the network gear I need to test it (and that's two stories down from the antenna and tuners) and a couple of tv's.
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post #10061 of 10077 Old 06-09-2014, 09:57 PM
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TV Fool is not perfectly accurate and it's hard to say exactly the elevation it's using if you have steeply inclined property. Try entering your Lat/Lon to a tenth second from Google Earth for greater accuracy. It's not unusual for people in the valley to get better and more distant reception at night. Temperature inversions are at play here and they are common over the valley. You may never figure out why 10 is a problem without a spectrum analyzer to look at the signal. An outdoor antenna would likely solve the problem. KSBW may be the most widely seen station in northern California. Its antenna is around 3500' and it's full power on an omni on VHF.

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post #10062 of 10077 Old 06-09-2014, 10:31 PM
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I had a set where KXTV was much more reliable than KVIE. Since replacing the tv, KVIE is now much more reliable. I haven't changed the antenna. Here's another interesting observation with the new set and interference. I watched a hockey game on KCRA in the last week. There were no dropouts occurring. Later, a laptop computer caused KCRA to immediately freeze. At the same time, KVIE was just fine.

In El Dorado co., the interference might not be caused on the property. Neighbors with devices can potentially cause problems.
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post #10063 of 10077 Old 06-28-2014, 08:15 AM
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Reception Info: This morning I noticed that my SAC antennas had been moved a few degrees by the strong winds yesterday. I did a scan out of curiosity and found that I was receiving KHSL 12-1 and 12-2 from their transmitter in Red Bluff (Cohasset), a straight line distance of 187.5 miles. My signal strength was 88% (91XG with Winegard LNA-200, on tuner IVIEW 3500STBII). Transmitter is at 39.957861, -121.715 on Google Earth.
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post #10064 of 10077 Old 06-29-2014, 08:44 AM
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Thank You

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Kenney View Post
Nice DX, Ftateche!

Larry
Larry, it is nice to get a reply from such a respected member of this forum. I have this type of tropospheric propagation reception often, lasting an hour or more, especially during extreme temperature inversions around Sacramento to Stockton, which could be affected by the strong morning delta breeze.
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post #10065 of 10077 Old 06-29-2014, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftateche View Post
Larry, it is nice to get a reply from such a respected member of this forum. I have this type of tropospheric propagation reception often, lasting an hour or more, especially during extreme temperature inversions around Sacramento to Stockton, which could be affected by the strong morning delta breeze.
The RF has to go somewhere and this shows what's good for one can be bad for another. Saturday morning was terrible here. KCRA and KVIE were barely holding in and everything else from Walnut Grove was out. Nothing from Sutro either. The only good path was Salinas. Sunday morning was less bad.

Chuck
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post #10066 of 10077 Old 06-30-2014, 08:38 AM
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My Normal SAC Reception for Comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
The RF has to go somewhere and this shows what's good for one can be bad for another. Saturday morning was terrible here. KCRA and KVIE were barely holding in and everything else from Walnut Grove was out. Nothing from Sutro either. The only good path was Salinas. Sunday morning was less bad.

Chuck
Chuck, thank you for the reply. You are essentially 60 miles due north from my location, and nearly the same distance from the Sutro Tower. I usually don't have any problems with Walnut Grove, but a few others can be weak. This morning (0745) I did not get any DX but I was able to get the 6 channel mux on KBTV 8.1-8.6 (I am 70 miles south of the edge of the service contour map). The SAC channels this morning and the signal strength on my tuner's info were:

KCRA 96%
KVIE 100%
KBTV 72%
KXTV 100%
KOVR 100%
KBSV 80%
KSPX (ION) and KCSO (TLMD) 80%
KMAX 68%
KTXL 100%
KTNC 100%
KQCA 100%
KTFK (.1/.3) 96%

91XG with Y10-7-13, winegard LNA-200, iview 3500STBII

Bill
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post #10067 of 10077 Old 06-30-2014, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftateche View Post
This morning (0745) I did not get any DX but I was able to get the 6 channel mux on KBTV 8.1-8.6

Exactly the opposite for me this morning. Sutro had the best signals I have ever seen; KBCW and KQED SNR 31 dB, KPIX SNR 28 dB and KOFY SNR 26 dB. Too bad it's not like that all the time.

Chuck

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post #10068 of 10077 Old 06-30-2014, 03:54 PM
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Looks like I need to get up earlier in the morning. LOL

Do you guys seem to get the best distant reception in the early morning, or were these recent reports just seen in the morning by happenstance?

Is there a time of the day when you've found DX is best? I haven't found any here. Seems like I can get better reception or terrible reception just about any time.

Larry

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post #10069 of 10077 Old 06-30-2014, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Kenney View Post
Looks like I need to get up earlier in the morning. LOL

Do you guys seem to get the best distant reception in the early morning, or were these recent reports just seen in the morning by happenstance?

Is there a time of the day when you've found DX is best? I haven't found any here. Seems like I can get better reception or terrible reception just about any time.

Larry
I am not a licensed HAM radio operator, but I have been playing with radio, shortwave, vhf/uhf radio, and TV reception my entire life. The tropospheric propagation periods that we tend to see the most "chances" for TV DX happen either during dusk (as the earth cools), or at dawn (as the earth warms). I find better DX chances in the morning, when the temperature inversions are generally more stable due to calm and defined layers of air before they warm up and mix due to rising thermals. So, the most favorable times for me are from sunset until about 3 hours after sunset and again from just before sunrise until about 2 hours after sunrise. I am always happy to see the "surprise" DX station show up occasionally during an early morning scan.

Bill
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post #10070 of 10077 Old 07-01-2014, 12:43 AM
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Thanks for the info, Bill. Sunrise, at least now, is too early for me, but I'll do more checking around sunset time.

My best DX is KCVU, channel 30 (RF20) from Paradise, transmitter at about 155 miles, and KNVN, channel 24, from Chico, which transmits from the hills east of Red Bluff, at about 175 miles. Both of those stations were received around 10 pm. KCVU was brief, but KNVN was in for a good hour and a half with a solid signal.

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post #10071 of 10077 Old 07-01-2014, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Kenney View Post
Thanks for the info, Bill. Sunrise, at least now, is too early for me, but I'll do more checking around sunset time.

My best DX is KCVU, channel 30 (RF20) from Paradise, transmitter at about 155 miles, and KNVN, channel 24, from Chico, which transmits from the hills east of Red Bluff, at about 175 miles. Both of those stations were received around 10 pm. KCVU was brief, but KNVN was in for a good hour and a half with a solid signal.

Larry
Very good, Larry. Actually, you are in a perfect location for DX conditions, which can be active during the night as well as the peak periods. If you look up William Hepburn's Tropospheric Ducting Forecasts for the western north american region, you will see the entire California coastline has a lot of the right skip conditions (and up to nearly 200 miles inland) for DX. (Mr. Hepburn does not allow posting of his maps on any other website, so I respect that). I think it is DXINFOCENTER on a google search. When analog TV was the rule, DX reception was obvious since you did not have to scan for it to show up as you do now. Now digital dx is like hidden treasure - if you don't look for it, you won't find it....

I think my "record" DX TV reception happened when I was about 12 years old in central Alabama, when I got a perfect test pattern from WGBH TV in Boston, a distance of 1064 miles.

Bill
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post #10072 of 10077 Old 07-01-2014, 04:30 PM
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1064 miles is a good haul, Bill!

When I lived in Chicago, and before that in New Hampshire, we had lots of fun watching for distant stations, from 200 to 300, even 400 miles away at times. When I came out here I was surprised at the lack of any distant stations coming in. It sure would be great if we got to see more DX, but it is so limited here.

Of course, living here in San Francisco in the shadow of Sutro Tower I was at a big disadvantage with all that RF on 2, 4, 5, 7 and 9 just 3/4 mile away. Now that the low VHF signals have disappeared from Sutro, there's stlll nothing coming through. LOL

Chuck, up in the Sierra foothills, has received a few stations this year on channel 2, so some DX is possible.

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post #10073 of 10077 Old 07-01-2014, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Kenney View Post
1064 miles is a good haul, Bill!

When I lived in Chicago, and before that in New Hampshire, we had lots of fun watching for distant stations, from 200 to 300, even 400 miles away at times. When I came out here I was surprised at the lack of any distant stations coming in. It sure would be great if we got to see more DX, but it is so limited here.

Of course, living here in San Francisco in the shadow of Sutro Tower I was at a big disadvantage with all that RF on 2, 4, 5, 7 and 9 just 3/4 mile away. Now that the low VHF signals have disappeared from Sutro, there's stlll nothing coming through. LOL

Chuck, up in the Sierra foothills, has received a few stations this year on channel 2, so some DX is possible.

Larry
I can just imagine that the first TV DX was received when a ham operator hooked his retuned vhf dipole antenna up to his 13 inch black and white 50s TV in place of the rabbit ears (using 300 ohm ladder line, of course). Back then we only had the three major networks and maybe an educational channel or two. The lower vhf frequencies for channels 2 to 6 would have enabled more skip to happen with ideal conditions since the spectrum was not saturated in many remote areas and TV coverage markets were probably larger with fewer FCC restrictions. Today there seems to be no breathing space for new stations.

I do remember that it was routine to get TV stations from 150 to 200 miles away in the early 60s.
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post #10074 of 10077 Old Yesterday, 10:38 AM
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The New KEZT

This is what I found on KEZT this morning during the brief time I could decode it. (So much interference from analog KMUV.)

23.1 Ei - HD 1080i
23.2 UniMas - HD 1080i
23.2 Bounce TV - SD 480i

Samples attached.

Chuck
Attached Images
File Type: jpg KEZT-23.1.jpg (149.7 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg KEZT-23.2.jpg (128.3 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg KEZT-23.3.jpg (118.5 KB, 11 views)

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post #10075 of 10077 Old Yesterday, 06:46 PM
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Thanks for the update, Chuck.

Larry

My complete SF Bay Area DTV Station Lists: http://www.choisser.com/sfonair.html
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post #10076 of 10077 Old Yesterday, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Kenney View Post
Thanks for the update, Chuck.

Larry
It's back in this evening and I see it's exactly the same programming as is on KUVS and KTFK which are all the same as KDTV except KDTV has getTV instead of Bounce. KEXT is the 4th station in the group out here. Maybe they'll get around to converting it to digital.

Chuck

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