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post #601 of 3321 Old 09-26-2006, 11:21 AM
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I am getting the same problems with ABC-HD. It get's to a point where I would rather watch blotches of color on the analog feed.
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post #602 of 3321 Old 09-27-2006, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by golferadam View Post

I don't really recall these issues before about a week or so ago.

Actually, I had the exact same problem in the Spring ... wife loves Desperate Housewives / Grey's Anatomy and it didn't matter if it was recorded or live, it had the same pixelation and sound dropping issue as it does now. All the other HD channels are great, including NBC. ABC seemed to be fine over the summer ... is there anybody that we can contact? Or won't that make any difference?

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post #603 of 3321 Old 09-28-2006, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by jaypopsu View Post

Actually, I had the exact same problem in the Spring ... wife loves Desperate Housewives / Grey's Anatomy and it didn't matter if it was recorded or live, it had the same pixelation and sound dropping issue as it does now. All the other HD channels are great, including NBC. ABC seemed to be fine over the summer ... is there anybody that we can contact? Or won't that make any difference?

Yeah, I've noticed more dropouts lately too, though I mostly only watch ABC for college football on Saturdays.

While anyone is at it in contacting them, be sure to ask them to get their audio on the local feeds into phase (and preferably to stop stretching the video too, but that's probably too much to hope for). The reverse surround sound is very annoying. I tried e-mailing them through the contact link but got no response. I guess regular mail is the best bet for reaching them.
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post #604 of 3321 Old 09-29-2006, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

Yeah, I've noticed more dropouts lately too, though I mostly only watch ABC for college football on Saturdays.

While anyone is at it in contacting them, be sure to ask them to get their audio on the local feeds into phase (and preferably to stop stretching the video too, but that's probably too much to hope for). The reverse surround sound is very annoying. I tried e-mailing them through the contact link but got no response. I guess regular mail is the best bet for reaching them.


Try this email addy: engr@fox8tv.com
FOX8 and ABC23 share engineering support staff and the issue you mention regarding picture streching is common to both (even though FOX8 is doing HD only to cable subscribers at this time). They have in the past claimed that they were stretching the picture in response to viewer complaints. SO I guess it is up to us to make our opinion known.
BTW, I agree the audio issue is quite vexing on ABC23.

ÂOne of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us.Â
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post #605 of 3321 Old 09-29-2006, 09:11 PM
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Well, I got a welcome letter from Comcast today, but it was just about Internet and mainly about how they're switching the Adelphia e-mail accounts over.
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post #606 of 3321 Old 09-30-2006, 04:24 AM
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Does anyone else have this problem with Adelphia? WATM HD (723) doesn't appear in the HD lineup when I use the menu to go to the HD listings. It appears just fine if I go through the regular guide. It's not a big deal, but it makes it a bit more convenient to have it appear in the HD listings.
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post #607 of 3321 Old 09-30-2006, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by jef152psu View Post

Does anyone else have this problem with Adelphia? WATM HD (723) doesn't appear in the HD lineup when I use the menu to go to the HD listings. It appears just fine if I go through the regular guide. It's not a big deal, but it makes it a bit more convenient to have it appear in the HD listings.

I just checked, and it's not listed on mine either. Guess I don't use the HD menu that much (I have the channels I like programmed into favorites).
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post #608 of 3321 Old 09-30-2006, 05:15 AM
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Wow, a bunch of dropouts on WATM this morning watching the ABC morning news in HD. I guess I hadn't been watching it that much.
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post #609 of 3321 Old 10-02-2006, 05:38 AM
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I have Atlantic Broadband HD, with the S-A HD8300 DVR. Did anyone else have problems recording shows last Thursday on their HD DVR? I recorded Survivor, CSI, Gray's Anatomy and Letterman, and all four programs (on two different networks) had large chunks missing from the middle of the programs. Each ended up being between 48 and 52 minutes long, with different parts missing.

I got the beginning and end of each show, so it wasn't like the DVR shut off before the program was over. But during the shows, all of a sudden the program would abruptly change scenes, and there would be a couple of minutes missing. It recorded all 30 minutes of Earl OK, but all four of the hour-long programs were corrupted. Shows it recorded on Friday and Saturday were OK.

Does anyone have any explanation?
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post #610 of 3321 Old 10-03-2006, 10:17 AM
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I have Atlantic Broadband here in Hollidaysburg and last Thursday I recorded CSI on the HD DVR box and yes there was 10 minutes missing. Frustrating to say the least.
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post #611 of 3321 Old 10-03-2006, 12:23 PM
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Thanks, kd. I really appreciate you chiming in.

Your post relieves me a bit, as it looks like it was a cable problem and not a problem with my specific DVR. I just know that the hard drive will go kaput when I have a bunch of shows recorded, and my wife will go ballistic if she misses one she likes. She about had a cow since part of Grey's Anatomy was missing. But I also have a Tivo, and it recorded GA in SD on channel 12. All of it was recorded, which eliminates the possibility of a power outage or general cable outage. The problem seems to be something with the HD feed on Thursday. Like I said, it affected four of my recordings on two different networks.
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post #612 of 3321 Old 10-05-2006, 04:57 PM
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Well they switched over to Comcast software on the Moto 6412 today. I haven't noticed any big differences except some icons relocated. If anybody has a chance to go into the diagnostics menu I would be curious to know what version of software it is running. I heard that Comcast was eliminating HDnet with some of the takeovers in some other locations (somewhere in the Carolinas IIRC), but so far so good; it's still there.


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post #613 of 3321 Old 10-05-2006, 06:15 PM
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I no longer have the video breakup/loss of audio problem on WATM HD with adelphia, guess they took care of it.
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post #614 of 3321 Old 10-05-2006, 06:20 PM
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Yep yep. I watched LOST last night with no problems. Excellent.

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post #615 of 3321 Old 10-06-2006, 03:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golferadam View Post

Well they switched over to Comcast software on the Moto 6412 today. I haven't noticed any big differences except some icons relocated. If anybody has a chance to go into the diagnostics menu I would be curious to know what version of software it is running. I heard that Comcast was eliminating HDnet with some of the takeovers in some other locations (somewhere in the Carolinas IIRC), but so far so good; it's still there.

Mine is running software version 71.44-1203 and firmware 12.35, which is what I thought it had before. Still stuck with the mute bug I guess. The only change I noticed was the Comcast logos (and now I'm even seeing Comcast ads).

I'd hate to see HDNet or any other HD station go. It'd be nice if they'd pick up the WWCP Fox 8 HD feed.
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post #616 of 3321 Old 10-06-2006, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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So last night past midnight I went up to bed and flipped through the stations real quick while I waited for my fiance.

All of the broadcast networks were off the air. 6,8, and 10 showed a simple "No Signal" screen and 5 was just plain out.

Not sure what was going on with that. I wonder what they're up to or if they just goofed things up.

As to losing HDnet, I'd be a very unhappy customer unless they saw fit to add the HD channels we're missing now and to work out a deal to get KDKA-HD in here until WTAJ gets up and running.
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post #617 of 3321 Old 10-06-2006, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by slykens View Post

So last night past midnight I went up to bed and flipped through the stations real quick while I waited for my fiance.

All of the broadcast networks were off the air. 6,8, and 10 showed a simple "No Signal" screen and 5 was just plain out.

Not sure what was going on with that. I wonder what they're up to or if they just goofed things up.

As to losing HDnet, I'd be a very unhappy customer unless they saw fit to add the HD channels we're missing now and to work out a deal to get KDKA-HD in here until WTAJ gets up and running.

Yes, I meant to post about that. Had the same experience last night. Was praying that they were secretly working to get us all our locals in high-def


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post #618 of 3321 Old 10-06-2006, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by slykens View Post

So last night past midnight I went up to bed and flipped through the stations real quick while I waited for my fiance.

All of the broadcast networks were off the air. 6,8, and 10 showed a simple "No Signal" screen and 5 was just plain out.

Not sure what was going on with that. I wonder what they're up to or if they just goofed things up.

As to losing HDnet, I'd be a very unhappy customer unless they saw fit to add the HD channels we're missing now and to work out a deal to get KDKA-HD in here until WTAJ gets up and running.


Considering that WTAJ will not grant waivers for out of area (New York) HD satellite coverage, I would be shocked to see them allow Adelphia to broadcast a Pittsburgh CBS station. That being said, I'll be first in line to go back to cable for HD Steelers coverage.
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post #619 of 3321 Old 10-06-2006, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dcbird View Post

Considering that WTAJ will not grant waivers for out of area (New York) HD satellite coverage, I would be shocked to see them allow Adelphia to broadcast a Pittsburgh CBS station. That being said, I'll be first in line to go back to cable for HD Steelers coverage.

As I understand KDKA-DT is on ABB in Altoona and WTAJ hasn't made a *big* issue out of it. I did ask about it and the general gist of the explanation was that since it is on a pay tier that makes it a bit of a different beast than regular programming duplication.

I'm simply hoping the same situation could be replicated here for a few months until WTAJ gets online.

Also, I'm surprised you've had such a problem getting a waiver from WTAJ. I have found them to the most willing to grant a waiver for HD coverage of any station in our area.
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post #620 of 3321 Old 10-06-2006, 06:07 PM
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Also, I'm surprised you've had such a problem getting a waiver from WTAJ. I have found them to the most willing to grant a waiver for HD coverage of any station in our area.

I was surprised too. I exchanged multiple emails with Kathy Smith, and she was polite but adamant that she could not legally grant a waiver.

Here was the bottom line from her last message:

"Yes, the local affiliate has the authority to grant a waiver. However, we must follow the FCC rules the same as your satellite provider. The cutoff for WTAJ in this market, as set by the FCC, is a 72.00 dBu reading. As you can see by the below listed information, your decibel reading is way too high (82.62) for me to approve a DNS."

Through Directv, I received waivers from WJAC and WWCP with no questions asked. I believe Kathy's interpretation of the FCC regulation is incorrect. I believe that the waiver is still at the discretion of the local affiliate. Either way I'm at their mercy. The new station ownership takes over in November.
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post #621 of 3321 Old 10-06-2006, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by dcbird View Post

Through Directv, I received waivers from WJAC and WWCP with no questions asked. I believe Kathy's interpretation of the FCC regulation is incorrect. I believe that the waiver is still at the discretion of the local affiliate. Either way I'm at their mercy. The new station ownership takes over in November.

Actually, that's not overly surprising, since you're 5 or 6 miles closer to their transmitter than most of SC. I've helped several people in the SC area set up OTA DTV and all of them can get WPSU-DT WTAJ-DT and WATM-DT with a reasonable sized external antenna.

It may be that Kathy checked and decided that those of us who asked for waviers and got them were outside WTAJ's acceptable signal contour, so she never mentioned it being a reqirement. The line may be just southwest of SC.
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post #622 of 3321 Old 10-07-2006, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by dcbird View Post

I was surprised too. I exchanged multiple emails with Kathy Smith, and she was polite but adamant that she could not legally grant a waiver.

Here was the bottom line from her last message:

"Yes, the local affiliate has the authority to grant a waiver. However, we must follow the FCC rules the same as your satellite provider. The cutoff for WTAJ in this market, as set by the FCC, is a 72.00 dBu reading. As you can see by the below listed information, your decibel reading is way too high (82.62) for me to approve a DNS."

Through Directv, I received waivers from WJAC and WWCP with no questions asked. I believe Kathy's interpretation of the FCC regulation is incorrect. I believe that the waiver is still at the discretion of the local affiliate. Either way I'm at their mercy. The new station ownership takes over in November.

Are you sure that Kathy knows you are applying for an 'HD' waiver?
Sorry for jumping in here when I don't know the whole story, but I read somewhere that 'HD' waivers were different and since WTAJ is not transmitting 'HD' in any form, they shouldn't and usually don't have a problem with issuing an 'HD' waiver. Unless things have changed with the new ownership

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post #623 of 3321 Old 10-07-2006, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by fhschellenberg View Post

Are you sure that Kathy knows you are applying for an 'HD' waiver?
Sorry for jumping in here when I don't know the whole story, but I read somewhere that 'HD' waivers were different and since WTAJ is not transmitting 'HD' in any form, they shouldn't and usually don't have a problem with issuing an 'HD' waiver. Unless things have changed with the new ownership

No problem at all "jumping in." I really haven't told the whole story on this forum.
Yes, I'm sure I made it clear that it was an HD waiver I was looking for. I believe the subject of my e-mail was "Directv HD Waiver" The new ownership doesn't take over until November. The law is just poorly written--go figure. Don't get me started!

Not to get on a rant here, but. . .

Possibly, Tinyiota is right. I am a few miles closer to Altoona than many in SC, and I do have a very strong DT signal. I have given up on Kathy Smith, though. She is optimistic about the new ownership's commitment to HD, but realistically, we won't see WTAJ-HD until at least February. It's a non-trivial upgrade.

Even with a waiver, I can't get Steelers coverage from Directv anyway. I personally don't care if I see Survivor in high definition.

It has been an extremely frustrating learning process. The law aims to protect the viability of small markets, but small market stations are all being swallowed up by conglomerates anyway. Even in Pittsburgh, Fox affiliate WPGH gets it's news from NBC affiliate WPXI. In this market, WWCP and WATM are owned by the same company. The law doesn't even force local markets to broadcast in HD, only digital SD.

The out of market waiver law does not even consider digital transmissions. The waiver eleigibility is based on the analog coverage area.

Isn't it absurd to re-broadcast all the network HD content to every local affiliate! Directv is wasting most of their available bandwidth just re-broadcast the exact same programing to every podunk market (like Johnstown/Altoona) across the country! Not to mention that local affiliates are wasting HD bandwidth 24 hours a day to show 2 to 3 hours of HD content each day.
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post #624 of 3321 Old 10-07-2006, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by dcbird View Post


Not to get on a rant here, but. . .

Possibly, Tinyiota is right. I am a few miles closer to Altoona than many in SC, and I do have a very strong DT signal. I have given up on Kathy Smith, though. She is optimistic about the new ownership's commitment to HD, but realistically, we won't see WTAJ-HD until at least February. It's a non-trivial upgrade.



The out of market waiver law does not even consider digital transmissions. The waiver eleigibility is based on the analog coverage area.

Isn't it absurd to re-broadcast all the network HD content to every local affiliate! Directv is wasting most of their available bandwidth just re-broadcast the exact same programing to every podunk market (like Johnstown/Altoona) across the country! Not to mention that local affiliates are wasting HD bandwidth 24 hours a day to show 2 to 3 hours of HD content each day.

When I talk to people about this, the explanation I use is this:
The franchise owners own the "rights" to show you ads on Network TV and make money from it. If you get DNS networks, you "violate" those "rights".

Thanks to a powerful NAB lobby, the Federal government is concerned only with protecting the rights of the franchisees to show you those ads. The type or quality of the content is mostly irrelevant, with some exceptions. It even goes farther, because one of the rights the franchisees have is to *not* show you network content in lieu of their own programming, because they choose to. (EG, show halloween parade instead of network programming, etc..) This has been hashed to death elsewhere..

Also, remember that the law only regulates delivery of Analog and Digital OTA TV. While we may assume Digital TV means "HD", the FCC doesn't. A TV station can fulfill it's FCC obligations by covering it's service area with a digital SD signal.

There is a distinction between NTSC and DT waviers, the SHVERA act specifies requirements for digital DNS. As others have said, are you sure Kathy knew you wanted HD?

While on the surface it may seem much simpler to send one (say) US Eastern NBC signal for everyone, don't forget you need to support pre-emption, local ads and a lot of other edge conditions that make it much simpler to just retransmit all the locals separately.
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post #625 of 3321 Old 10-07-2006, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by dcbird View Post

No problem at all "jumping in." I really haven't told the whole story on this forum.
Yes, I'm sure I made it clear that it was an HD waiver I was looking for. I believe the subject of my e-mail was "Directv HD Waiver" The new ownership doesn't take over until November. The law is just poorly written--go figure. Don't get me started!

Not to get on a rant here, but. . .

Possibly, Tinyiota is right. I am a few miles closer to Altoona than many in SC, and I do have a very strong DT signal. I have given up on Kathy Smith, though. She is optimistic about the new ownership's commitment to HD, but realistically, we won't see WTAJ-HD until at least February. It's a non-trivial upgrade.

Even with a waiver, I can't get Steelers coverage from Directv anyway. I personally don't care if I see Survivor in high definition.

It has been an extremely frustrating learning process. The law aims to protect the viability of small markets, but small market stations are all being swallowed up by conglomerates anyway. Even in Pittsburgh, Fox affiliate WPGH gets it's news from NBC affiliate WPXI. In this market, WWCP and WATM are owned by the same company. The law doesn't even force local markets to broadcast in HD, only digital SD.

The out of market waiver law does not even consider digital transmissions. The waiver eleigibility is based on the analog coverage area.

Isn't it absurd to re-broadcast all the network HD content to every local affiliate! Directv is wasting most of their available bandwidth just re-broadcast the exact same programing to every podunk market (like Johnstown/Altoona) across the country! Not to mention that local affiliates are wasting HD bandwidth 24 hours a day to show 2 to 3 hours of HD content each day.

Thanks for your response and I apologize for not getting back sooner. I was occupied with PSU sneaking one out! Anyhow back to my story - I was able to get an HD waiver from WATM - Ch 23 , I believe solely because Ch 23 is not available OTA in Johnstown (and maybe the "hole" is that it's not intended to be for the future) - they didn't give me SD (Ch 86=Yes, Ch 386=No)! I also completely agree with your "absurdity" paragraph.
Cheers!

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post #626 of 3321 Old 10-07-2006, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by fhschellenberg View Post

Thanks for your response and I apologize for not getting back sooner. I was occupied with PSU sneaking one out! Anyhow back to my story - I was able to get an HD waiver from WATM - Ch 23 , I believe solely because Ch 23 is not available OTA in Johnstown (and maybe the "hole" is that it's not intended to be for the future) - they didn't give me SD (Ch 86=Yes, Ch 386=No)! I also completely agree with your "absurdity" paragraph.
Cheers!

Directv interprets the wavier rules as 2 separate things. The 3xx "SD" networks are only allowed for people who qualify for DNS (distant networks) and who are not covered by a DirecTV LiL package. In our case, it doesn't matter if you can get an OTA signal or not, if you want the SD networks, you get the LiL package.

While it's unclear to me if that's really what the law demands, that is DTV's position, and their reps will tell you (correctly or incorrectly) "it's the law". I don't agree, but DTV has the right to do whatever they want. They are not obligated to sell you anything in particular.

DirecTV interprets the HD waviers as a separate beast. They require you to have the SD LiL package for your area, and then you have to pass the distant network requirements of the updated SHVERA act. You can try for a wavier or, you can have a signal strength test.. (Well, you can once the FCC figures out the process. But they keep postponing that..)
The TV stations (like Kathy at WTAJ) have software to estimate signal strength from their transmitter at your location. It's not incredibly accurate, but it's the best they have and considered "good enough" by the FCC. If the software tells her you can receive a signal, then she has no legal reason to give you a wavier.
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post #627 of 3321 Old 10-08-2006, 05:33 AM
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I get both WATM-SD-ABC and WWCP-SD-FOX OTA with a small indoor antenna sitting on top of my entertainment center. I "think" they gave me a waiver for the ABC-HD DNS because WATM has no immediate plans for putting HD in the air. I was refused a waiver for WWCP-HD-FOX because they do have plans for FOX-HD OTA.

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post #628 of 3321 Old 10-08-2006, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by fhschellenberg View Post

I get both WATM-SD-ABC and WWCP-SD-FOX OTA with a small indoor antenna sitting on top of my entertainment center. I "think" they gave me a waiver for the ABC-HD DNS because WATM has no immediate plans for putting HD in the air. I was refused a waiver for WWCP-HD-FOX because they do have plans for FOX-HD OTA.

You might look at the top of the thread for updated information, but WATM has been broadcasting HD OTA since Super Bowl XL. Also, if you get WATM-SD on 23-2, you ought to be getting WATM-HD on 23-1. You might re-apply for the FOX waiver, as I got one in March this year. I got one for NBC as well, but I assume you get a strong OTA signal in Windber.

Incidentally, the PBS and ABC OTA broadcasts are normally excellent quality. I'm using a small indoor antenna. Even the FOX and CBS SD broadcasts are superior to the highly compressed, pixellized garbage that D* delivers from 72.5.

Also, like it or not, I agree with D*'s interpretation of the law. They are not permitted to offer DNS network coverage unless there is no adequate analog signal OR the local broadcaster grants a waiver. The law is the only good reason that D* would not want to deliver the DNS to unserved customers.

I also understand why local affiliates would be hesitant to grant such a waiver. The only local advertising I might see would be during the local news broadcast (if I don't choose to skip the commercials on Tivo). Sorry, but there just isn't enough going on in State College to fill a daily news program. And I can get a more timely and accurate weather forecast on the web. I'm sorry, but local TV affiliates are becoming irrelevant to me.
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post #629 of 3321 Old 10-08-2006, 10:17 AM
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Sorry, I didn't mention that I get my WATM-SD and WWCP-SD from the Laurel Ridge site. WATM-HD is only transmitted OTA from the Wopsy site.

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post #630 of 3321 Old 10-08-2006, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcbird View Post

You might look at the top of the thread for updated information, but WATM has been broadcasting HD OTA since Super Bowl XL. Also, if you get WATM-SD on 23-2, you ought to be getting WATM-HD on 23-1. You might re-apply for the FOX waiver, as I got one in March this year. I got one for NBC as well, but I assume you get a strong OTA signal in Windber.



Also, like it or not, I agree with D*'s interpretation of the law. They are not permitted to offer DNS network coverage unless there is no adequate analog signal OR the local broadcaster grants a waiver. The law is the only good reason that D* would not want to deliver the DNS to unserved customers.

Remember the law and DTV distinguish NTSC (analog) from ATSC (digital) signals.
There is a process for an analog wavier (the 3xx DNS channels) and a process for a digital wavier (the 8x DNS channels). There is no consideration of whether a station is transmitting a SD or HD stream. Just Digital or Analog.

For both analog and digital, the satellite carrier has the option of selling you DNS service if your location either a) meets certain signal strength limits and does not qualify for LiL, or b) the local affiliate grants you a wavier. The local affiliates seem to base their waviers on predicted signal as well. After thinking about it and talking with the PMs at various stations, I doubt they grant -DT waviers just because "they don't broadcast in HD".

If you're bored and into reading the sausage turned out by the Federal Law grinder, Check out section 204 of this link:
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/policy/shveredec2004.doc
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