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post #691 of 3321 Old 11-16-2006, 07:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Well I got what I figure to be the answer. While I did want to hear it at the same time I didn't.

There is a real problem with congestion in some areas right now as Comcast basically tore apart Adelphia's infrastructure when they set up shop. In doing that they blew away all the traffic shaping Adelphia had configured that was working great.

So they know there are some areas where there's lots of trouble (ex my area) and other areas are just fine. The tech I spoke with yesterday had just left someone's house in Bellefonte and was pulling 20+ Mbps from the Speakeasy speedtest. I'm lucky to get that past 100 kbps during the evening and 4 Mbps in the early morning.

At least it *isn't* me which is the attitude I got from them up until someone admitted to the problem yesterday. Even though it isn't fixed that is a perfectly acceptable answer to me. Now I just have to be patient.
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post #692 of 3321 Old 11-17-2006, 12:24 PM
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Slyken,

First of all, thank you very much for all your hard work trying to make things happen in the HD realm. It is incredibly frustrating trying to find someone knowledgeable amongst these companies.

When did you begin to notice your bandwidth problems? I thought my connection has been lagging as of late, but did not do a BW check until I saw your post. My two tests were disappointing, 1.5kbps followed by a 2.7 both upstream.

This is much slower than normal as I was pulling down a megabyte a sec via my giganews account. I am in the Bellefonte area so I am obviously nowhere close to the 20 Kbps range. Do you think Comcast may be throttling the bandwidth on purpose due to a new bandwidth pricing scheme? Please keep me posted of your findings.

Also, as far as Comcast digital cable, does anyone know if the 5c encryption is being used? If so, what channels (ie just the premiums etc.)? I am interested in perhaps using SageTV via firewire and would love feedback from anyone in the area doing the same.

Thanks,

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post #693 of 3321 Old 11-21-2006, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moltensilver View Post

When did you begin to notice your bandwidth problems? I thought my connection has been lagging as of late, but did not do a BW check until I saw your post. My two tests were disappointing, 1.5kbps followed by a 2.7 both upstream.

Also, as far as Comcast digital cable, does anyone know if the 5c encryption is being used? If so, what channels (ie just the premiums etc.)? I am interested in perhaps using SageTV via firewire and would love feedback from anyone in the area doing the same.

My problems showed up at the same time as the Comcast conversion. Lots of jitter, outrageous latency, and generally very little bandwidth. I haven't heard anything new but I was just out of the county for four days and am working on catching up. Service at my house appears to be the same as the Vonage is still wonky.

As for 5c, I believe when Adelphia was running the show everything except locals were flagged. The MythTV setup I was playing with couldn't do anything with it except record locals and for that a QAM tuner works just as well.

I could try again and report findings but it will be a week or more until I can get it done with the holidays coming.
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post #694 of 3321 Old 11-21-2006, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slykens View Post


As for 5c, I believe when Adelphia was running the show everything except locals were flagged. The MythTV setup I was playing with couldn't do anything with it except record locals and for that a QAM tuner works just as well.

I could try again and report findings but it will be a week or more until I can get it done with the holidays coming.

I don't have Cable TV, but a friend who just got a TV and was waiting for his cableCARD could only scan and find WPSU. WATM and WJAC were not visible 'in the clear' on his set.

Once the cableCARD was configured and activated, everything was visible.

It's unfortunate that they choose to encrypt the basic local channels. I'm sure that's not what the FCC had in mind, especially with the rental fees for the cableCARDs.
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post #695 of 3321 Old 11-22-2006, 03:10 AM
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Quote:


Originally Posted by tinyola

I don't have Cable TV, but a friend who just got a TV and was waiting for his cableCARD could only scan and find WPSU. WATM and WJAC were not visible 'in the clear' on his set.

I just recently (within the last month) had a cable card installed (so I could get ESPN 1/2 in HD, +NFL Network). Before that no cable card. I was able to get WPSX, WJAC (nbc), and WATM - HD in the clear over the cable. NBC was 84.2 and ABC was 113.5 (I think).

I did this by allowing my TV (a 2 yr old Sony, 50" rear projection LCD) do a digital scan of the cable signal. In addition to the above OTA HD stations, it also picked up the various (100+) digital music channels.

Unless Comcast has changed something, those channels should be in clear for the State College COMCAST system.
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post #696 of 3321 Old 11-22-2006, 07:10 AM
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Winkydink you are right WATM (ABC) is at 114.5, WJAC (NBC) at 84.2, and WPSX (PBS) at 111.3 on the digital dial. These channels are free and clear. I am able to receive these on 2 different televisions.
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post #697 of 3321 Old 11-22-2006, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makvet View Post

Winkydink you are right WATM (ABC) is at 114.5, WJAC (NBC) at 84.2, and WPSX (PBS) at 111.3 on the digital dial. These channels are free and clear. I am able to receive these on 2 different televisions.

We'll, I'm glad I was wrong.. Good to know that the nets are still unencrypted.
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post #698 of 3321 Old 11-26-2006, 05:55 PM
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On a couple of occasions I tried to get an answer from Comcast as to why all the NBA games on INHD are blacked out. Despite them trying (I even stayed on the phone talking with a tech for 30 minutes one time), they were never able to give me an answer. They said they are only piping the feed through from INHD unchanged and recommended I contact INHD. So I did. Here was there response (not much better than Comcast's):

---------------------------
Thank you for your note. For the NBA games that are aired on our channel local blackout territories apply in certain areas.

Blackout territories are drawn by the National Basketball Association and their member clubs and are meant to protect the local broadcast rights holder - so that you watch the local broadcast and not the out-of-market provider.

They are not based upon mileage or ticket sales, but sometimes they can be large. They also are not dependent upon whether a team plays at home or away, and they remain in effect even if there is no local coverage of a game.

Thank you.

-------------------------

I just don't see how an LA Lakers - LA Clippers game could be blacked out due to geographic reasons and the game was not broadcast on any other channel in Comcast's lineup.


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post #699 of 3321 Old 11-27-2006, 05:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golferadam View Post

On a couple of occasions I tried to get an answer from Comcast as to why all the NBA games on INHD are blacked out. Despite them trying (I even stayed on the phone talking with a tech for 30 minutes one time), they were never able to give me an answer. They said they are only piping the feed through from INHD unchanged and recommended I contact INHD. So I did. Here was there response (not much better than Comcast's):

---------------------------
Thank you for your note. For the NBA games that are aired on our channel local blackout territories apply in certain areas.

Blackout territories are drawn by the National Basketball Association and their member clubs and are meant to protect the local broadcast rights holder - so that you watch the local broadcast and not the out-of-market provider.

They are not based upon mileage or ticket sales, but sometimes they can be large. They also are not dependent upon whether a team plays at home or away, and they remain in effect even if there is no local coverage of a game.

Thank you.

-------------------------

I just don't see how an LA Lakers - LA Clippers game could be blacked out due to geographic reasons and the game was not broadcast on any other channel in Comcast's lineup.

If this area is designated by the NBA as part of the Cleveland Cavs, NJ Nets, or NY Knicks "home" region, then games other than that team would be blacked out under terms of the NBA's TV deal.
Sucks, doesn't it?
And then there's the NFL Network blackout of Thursday night games . . . *sigh* . . . yet another injustice for sports lovers.

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
- Kurt Vonnegut
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post #700 of 3321 Old 11-27-2006, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA_MainyYak View Post

If this area is designated by the NBA as part of the Cleveland Cavs, NJ Nets, or NY Knicks "home" region, then games other than that team would be blacked out under terms of the NBA's TV deal.
Sucks, doesn't it?
And then there's the NFL Network blackout of Thursday night games . . . *sigh* . . . yet another injustice for sports lovers.

First...I really believe the reason we don't get the NBA games on INHD is because the State College Comcast system does not have the NBA TV channel in its lineup. The NBA games on INHD are the HD feeds of the NBA TV Channel feed, just as the hockey games on INHD are the HD feeds of the Versus Channel games.

I was home a few weeks ago in Lancaster. My parents have Comcast, and I was able to watch an NBA game on INHD. The Lancaster system carries the NBA TV channel. That market certainly would be designated as a Sixers market. I'm sure a Sixers game would be blacked out there. Until the State College market carries the NBA TV channel, I would expect we wouldn't get these games.

Secondly...WHAT BLACKOUT of NFL Netowrk Thursday night games??? I was able to watch this past Thursday night's game just fine on the NFL Network HD channel in State College.
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post #701 of 3321 Old 11-27-2006, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA_MainyYak View Post

If this area is designated by the NBA as part of the Cleveland Cavs, NJ Nets, or NY Knicks "home" region, then games other than that team would be blacked out under terms of the NBA's TV deal.
Sucks, doesn't it?
And then there's the NFL Network blackout of Thursday night games . . . *sigh* . . . yet another injustice for sports lovers.

Then we should have gotten the Cavs games they have been showing the past couple of weeks. I tend to agree with DeanPSUpa about it being tied to the lack of NBA TV. What led me to keep pursuing it was a post in the HDTV Programming forum by a guy stating that he was getting the games on INHD and NBA TV was not in his lineup either. Whatever the case, it sucks because the PQ on ESPNHD's NBA coverage is pretty marginal these days and I bet the INHD broadcast is better.

BTW, I wasn't blacked out on the Thursday Night Football on NFLHD either. It looked great via Comcast, contrary to what most people reported in the HDTV Programming game thread.


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post #702 of 3321 Old 11-29-2006, 07:00 AM
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Has anyone experimented with OTA in the State College area???? If I purchase an
antenna to hook up to my HDTV with a built-tuner what HD channels can
I expect to receive if any via OTA????

Thanks.
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post #703 of 3321 Old 11-29-2006, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountiedog View Post

If I purchase an
antenna to hook up to my HDTV with a built-tuner what HD channels can
I expect to receive if any via OTA????

Depending on location and elevation and with the use of a quality antenna and pre-amp you can receive:

WPSU-DT, WJAC-DT, WTAJ-DT, WATM-DT, and WKBS-DT. Some users also report being able to receive WNEP-DT from the Scranton market with some regularity. Out of those you'll get HD from WPSU, WJAC, and WATM. No news at the moment on WWCP-DT in State College nor when HD will be available from WTAJ.

Can you give a general description of where you live? Someone may be close to you and can provide more information.

You can also check out the service contour listings in the first post on this thread. While they are the FCC's expectations of coverage actual coverage varies to both the positive and negative of the contour.
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post #704 of 3321 Old 11-29-2006, 08:25 AM
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Thanks for the great info. By quality antenna are you referring to
an outside antenna or are folks receiving the channels you listed
with an internal antenna?

I live in the Stonebridge development which is located very close
to Leitzinger Imports and State College Ford.

Thanks again for the info...i am new to the HD scene but find this
forum very interesting.
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post #705 of 3321 Old 11-29-2006, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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You'll need an external antenna but in Stonebridge you may be able to get away with a small Radio Shack yagi and a good Channel Master pre-amp. I don't know what kind of success you might have with an indoor antenna.

Do you have Comcast there? If so you can get an HD receiver for the same cost as a regular digital receiver.
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post #706 of 3321 Old 11-29-2006, 11:00 AM
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Our area was Adelphia but with the Comcast take over I am not sure
what the local cable status is right now. I am currently a dishnetwork
subscriber and am very happy with their service but as your probably
know they don't provide locals in HD. Dishnetwork has an HD DVR receiver
that accepts HD input via OTA.

I haven't made the leap to HD yet but am getting the itch and am just
trying to figure out whether I can get my locals HD via OTA or whether
I should consider going back to cable.
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post #707 of 3321 Old 11-29-2006, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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You can get everything over the air that you could get on cable now as far as broadcast networks go. The only potential chance for change to that is if Comcast picks up FOX in HD by fiber before WWCP transmits it OTA in a fashion that can be received in State College. Today that means NBC, ABC, and PBS in HD over the air and on Comcast. If you're willing to wait until WJAC's digital translator comes online you can likely get away with something really basic without a preamp as far an antenna is concerned, perhaps even an indoor antenna.

If you're happy with Dish Network then there's no reason for you to leave unless you want something Comcast has to offer that Dish+OTA doesn't.

Depending on the orientation of your house you can likely get away with a low profile installation that hardly anyone will notice.

In other news, I exchanged email with Kathy Smith from WTAJ today and was told that the sale to Nexstar will likely close such that they take over January 1. The engineers have the plans laid out but they need someone to pony up the cash and give the order. With any luck Nexstar will do that not long after they take over. I doubt it will be time for the Superbowl, tho.
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post #708 of 3321 Old 11-30-2006, 07:06 AM
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Thanks for all the advice and info. Keep it coming.
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post #709 of 3321 Old 12-04-2006, 12:59 PM
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New poster, here. Thanks for all the information on this site. It's very good stuff that helped me immensely when I purchased an HDTV recently.

Interestingly, the sales rep at Best Buy wouldn't let me purchase an antenna with my TV because he said I wouldn't be able to pick up any HD channels. So I went elsewhere for the antenna and of course, the sales rep is wrong.

Anyway, my question is this: Now that I have this new TV with HD capability, I naturally want to watch the college bowls in HD. What would you say the odds are that our local FOX affiliate will be transmitting HD by the time the BCS bowls air and that CBS will be HD by the time the Super Bowl is on? Am I living a pipe dream or is this an actual possibility?

Thanks!
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post #710 of 3321 Old 12-04-2006, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Blue 06 View Post

New poster, here. Thanks for all the information on this site. It's very good stuff that helped me immensely when I purchased an HDTV recently.

Interestingly, the sales rep at Best Buy wouldn't let me purchase an antenna with my TV because he said I wouldn't be able to pick up any HD channels. So I went elsewhere for the antenna and of course, the sales rep is wrong.

Anyway, my question is this: Now that I have this new TV with HD capability, I naturally want to watch the college bowls in HD. What would you say the odds are that our local FOX affiliate will be transmitting HD by the time the BCS bowls air and that CBS will be HD by the time the Super Bowl is on? Am I living a pipe dream or is this an actual possibility?

Thanks!

You might get Fox in time but CBS is a ways off.
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post #711 of 3321 Old 12-04-2006, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Blue 06 View Post

Anyway, my question is this: Now that I have this new TV with HD capability, I naturally want to watch the college bowls in HD. What would you say the odds are that our local FOX affiliate will be transmitting HD by the time the BCS bowls air and that CBS will be HD by the time the Super Bowl is on? Am I living a pipe dream or is this an actual possibility?

As the Magic Eight Ball would say, OUTLOOK NOT SO GOOD. (I'd be inclined to ask about Exchange next, and maybe Windows after... Sorry for the IT humor)

You don't indicate where you are so I'll assume State College for the moment.

Over the air there is no chance to receive FOX in HD before the bowl games. The only chance we even have to get it on Comcast is for either WWCP to push their HD stream to their transmitter or for Comcast to pick it up via private link to either WWCP or Atlantic Broadband.

As for CBS, I exchanged email with Kathy Smith, GM from WTAJ, last week. She indicated that the new owners will take control on January 1 and that the engineers have the upgrade planned but that they don't know what the new owners' timeframe is to do it. We'd all love to think it will be done before the Superbowl but there's no way to be sure.

If you are in an Atlantic Broadband area served by either the Altoona or Johnstown headends you can get both FOX and CBS (KDKA) in HD today.

If you're somewhere else please provide us with some clues as to where as you may be able to receive another market's station.
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post #712 of 3321 Old 12-05-2006, 06:16 AM
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Big Blue 06 - Where are you located??? What kind of an antenna did you
purchase? I am gathering info for my HD upgrade in the near future. I would
rather just use an indoor antenna but am doubtful I can receive the HD signals
with just an indoor antenna.

Could you please post your equipment specifics and location???

Thanks.
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post #713 of 3321 Old 12-05-2006, 09:27 AM
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This is a more general questions but perhaps someone can point me in the right direction (off this thread if necessary) or shoot it down right away.

I am looking for options for cable HDTV other than renting a set top box from comcast for $8.95 a month.

My first HDTV has a cablecard (which I am using @ $1.75/mo from Comcast), I am thinking of getting a second HDTV for the house. The choices of smaller sets (37 to 40 inches) with a cable card are very limited. If I go with a set with no cablecard then I will need a Set Top Box (STB) to decode the encrypted digit/HD signals.

Comcast charged $8.95/mo to rent the STB (on top of the charge for the HD service). Are there other less costly options. Are there HD/Digital recievers out there that will accept the cable companies cablecard to perform the de-encryption?

I am also thinking about building a "freevo" "Tivo", and use a tuner that does accept a cablecard, but I need to wait for the new VISTA operating system to make that viable.

I don't mind buy the equipment outright and I am not trying to "scam" the cable company. I would rather own than rent, and I am trying to find out if that is even an option.
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post #714 of 3321 Old 12-05-2006, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winkydink View Post

I would rather own than rent, and I am trying to find out if that is even an option.

The first thing I thought of was the Series 3 Tivo HD but that's an $800 device plus Tivo's monthly services.

With just a quick google I don't know that anyone is really selling STBs that accept cablecard other than Tivo. I know the FCC (as of July 2007) is requiring a decoupling of the decoder from the authentication/encryption system but I'm not sure it has filtered down the the consumer market yet. I'm sure somebody is selling something but I'm also going to guess it's going to be in the $300-$500 range at which point you might as well get it built into the TV.
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post #715 of 3321 Old 12-05-2006, 11:35 AM
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slykens - Thanks for the information. I am indeed in State College, so I guess I'll just have to suck it up and wait until next year (hopefully). I'll see if I can get any information out of the Comcast technician on Thursday.

mountiedog - I am located near Lemont, on the side of Mt. Nittany, above First Ave. I bought RCA bunny ears at Sears, which cost about $30. I'm not terribly tech savvy and I'm not at home now, so I don't know the equipment specs other than that. With this cheap indoor antenna, I can pick on digital signals for WATM (HD), WPSU (HD), WWCP, and WTAJ.
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post #716 of 3321 Old 12-06-2006, 08:04 AM
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Thanks for the info Big Blue 06. I am not surprised that you can't pick up
the station out of Johnstown but am happy to hear you get the rest. I currently
have dishnetwork which doesn't offer the locals in HD but it sounds like I would
be able to get all my locals via OTA other than the station from Johnstown.

I wonder if the station in Johnstown would ever put a repeater or satellite
station in the State College area.

Thanks again for the info.....very useful.
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post #717 of 3321 Old 12-06-2006, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountiedog View Post

I wonder if the station in Johnstown would ever put a repeater or satellite station in the State College area.

As mentioned above, WJAC plans for a low power digital translator on channel 42 broadcasting from Pine Grove Mountain, according to FCC records. When that translator will be turned on is unknown at this point. (Merely because WJAC has not been asked)
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post #718 of 3321 Old 12-06-2006, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winkydink View Post

This is a more general questions but perhaps someone can point me in the right direction (off this thread if necessary) or shoot it down right away.

I am looking for options for cable HDTV other than renting a set top box from comcast for $8.95 a month.

My first HDTV has a cablecard (which I am using @ $1.75/mo from Comcast), I am thinking of getting a second HDTV for the house. The choices of smaller sets (37 to 40 inches) with a cable card are very limited. If I go with a set with no cablecard then I will need a Set Top Box (STB) to decode the encrypted digit/HD signals.

Comcast charged $8.95/mo to rent the STB (on top of the charge for the HD service). Are there other less costly options. Are there HD/Digital recievers out there that will accept the cable companies cablecard to perform the de-encryption?

I am also thinking about building a "freevo" "Tivo", and use a tuner that does accept a cablecard, but I need to wait for the new VISTA operating system to make that viable.

I don't mind buy the equipment outright and I am not trying to "scam" the cable company. I would rather own than rent, and I am trying to find out if that is even an option.

When I got into HDTV I was wondering the same things. The options are quite limited. As Slykens mentioned, the Tivo Series 3 would do what you want, but it would take quite a few months @ $8.95 to recoup the overhead cost of the Tivo. They can be had for as low as about $650 now but that is still costly. The other option is the Sony DHG-HDD250 or DHG-HDD500 (see this thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=537711 )

They are DVRs that accept a single cablecard. The Tivo 3 has dual CC support. I don't even think the Sonys are in production anymore, but you might possibly find some on eBay. I think I may have seen one at BestBuy a few months ago. They aren't cheap either. I guess the other option would be a HD receiver w/out recording capability. You can find a list of those in this sticky:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=179095

On a local note, I noticed tonight there is an HDTV movie on the VOD menu for State College Comcast. The movie is "Over the Hedge", one of those computer generated animation flicks with high profile actors doing the voices. The movie is available for $5.95. I had no interest in watching it, but as an HD junkie, of course I bought it just to see if it works. Well it certainly does. Looks great but that is not saying much as most of these animated flicks look great on HDTVs. I wish they would put King Kong on the Cinemax HD On Demand as I haven't watched it yet and don't have the DVR space to record it in HD right now.


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post #719 of 3321 Old 12-07-2006, 10:13 AM
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Picked up another HD DVR yesterday at Comcast and asked the lady when they were expecting to provide Fox in HD.

Her answer was not for the next 6-12 months, something about the transition slowing everything down, blah blah blah.

Not sure if she really has any clue as she had a hard time finding me a box with an HDMI output, so she may not even know what HD means.
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post #720 of 3321 Old 12-08-2006, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slykens View Post

As mentioned above, WJAC plans for a low power digital translator on channel 42 broadcasting from Pine Grove Mountain, according to FCC records. When that translator will be turned on is unknown at this point. (Merely because WJAC has not been asked)

According to the FCC TV Query, the construction permit application for the Channel 42 repeater was accepted for filing on October 26, 2006.

Several other applications showed up in the search as well, a new Ch 12 for Bellefonte by Pathway Community Radio (also accepted for filing), as well as W36BE and W39BE (New York Times Management Services), which I presume are translators for WNEP. Both of them were granted construction permits for flash cut to digital on August 9, 2006.

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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