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post #721 of 3756 Old 08-08-2005, 03:08 PM
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I have to agree with bakerzdosen.

I bought my first HDTV in the spring of 1999, and while OTA HDTV only amounted to a few hours a month (not counting Jay Leno), at least we had it in "little old" SLC when most people around the country didn't even know what it was.

For a long time, other than the Leno set, SLC had the only permanent HDTV studio, and we were also the only city to have a weekly, local HDTV broadcast.

Over the last 6 years, it has only gotten better to the point that one often has to chose between a number of free HDTV programs in Dolby Digital 5.1 on any given night.

SLC is not LA, SF, or NYC, but anyone who has done any traveling around the the rest of the United States knows that we have it pretty good when it comes to free, OTA HDTV.

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post #722 of 3756 Old 08-08-2005, 04:44 PM
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Okay. . . I jumped the gun on blame. I thought that Deep Impact was being shown in HD by CBS. CBS listed it as HD and TitanTV listed it as HD. And the HD insigia was lit on my device. I swear my receiver was showing DD 5.1. So the SD image, I erroneously thought, was a local issue. I apologize for that.

I guess I'm still upset at some of the other times I had guests over and had problems. (I'm still hearing about that football game from last year!) I just hate having guests take the time and effort to come to view an HD event and then be disappointed. Some of my guests have driven up to an hour to come to my place to watch. "Well, I guess we could watch the Deep Imact DVD"

It has happened several times when we were watching LOST. Started in SD and sometimes later switched to HD. Sometimes stayed SD the whole show.

Then I get comments like, "Are you sure there's not something wrong with your projector?"

"So is high definition this unreliable?"

"There seems to be a lot of bugs with HD"

Then, of course, there's the issue of HD content that doesn't LOOK HD. "Gee, that doesn't look a whole lot better than regular TV"

"Are you SURE HDnet Movies is HD, because that image sure has a lot of problems."

Then, I try to explain how they are reducing bitrates to expand bandwidth and that is causing artifacts especially when there is fast motion.

Anyway, I guess we are still several years away from smooth operating HD content. I don't know if my guests think HD is good or not based upon the what they have seen (or haven't seen) at my place.

But I want to acknowledge the efforts of our local stations for doing what they can to provide the content. It actually quite good 80% of the time. Some has been excellent.
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post #723 of 3756 Old 08-08-2005, 10:34 PM
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In regards to the sound problems that I have noticed on channel 2-1. For several months channel 2-1 has been transmitting in dolby digital 5.1 exclusively (at least that is how my sound receiver decodes the signal), in the past several weeks it seems that the center channel (sounds of people talking) has moved from the center channel to the left and right front channel and have become very faint. I have checked my connections several times but the problem continues. I have checked my audio receiver on other channels broadcasting in dolby digital 5.1 and have experienced no problems.

On another note, I was watching pre-season football on channel 4-1 and I noticed the same problem but only during the commercials. Everything during the game sounded fine.

Please respond if anyone has any similar problems.
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post #724 of 3756 Old 08-09-2005, 08:22 AM
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"SLC has VERY decent HD - with the obvious exceptions being KSTU's antenna woes, KUWB's PSIP problems (my personal pet peeve with my t165), and KPNZ's lack of, well, everything digital because of broadcast spectrum limitations (read: USDTV)."

What does USDTV have to do with KPNZ's problems?
KPNZ, as well as KMTW and KUTH, were latecomers. They did not receive any DTV channel assignments, so their only option is to "flashcut" to digital (and lose any analog-only viewers they have). In talking to their engineer, I get the idea that they would love to go digital, if only for the income they could get from USDTV.

As for the LPTV stations, hopefully the FCC will get somewhere on converting all of them soon. I know Trinity is converting their full-powers to DTV, just so they can broadcast their entire channel lineup of religous nets.... I think they originate five.

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post #725 of 3756 Old 08-09-2005, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbartschi View Post

In regards to the sound problems that I have noticed on channel 2-1. For several months channel 2-1 has been transmitting in dolby digital 5.1 exclusively (at least that is how my sound receiver decodes the signal), in the past several weeks it seems that the center channel (sounds of people talking) has moved from the center channel to the left and right front channel and have become very faint.

Have to apologize for that problem.

Since CBS was so quick to jump on the HD bandwagon (they had the most HD content for quite a while) they made all stations buy the equipment ASAP.

Now that the 5.1 Dolby Digital is becoming so common, we have a problem.
Our antiquated HD delay servers can't process the metadata that switches between the 5.1 audio in the program to the 2.0 audio for the commercials, resulting in 5.1 audio dropping out during the program
(took us a while to determine what the problem was, many of you remember the problems back a year ago when CBS started the Metadata switching, popping audio, levels changing all over the place, etc)

Now, CBS won't give us the money to upgrade the servers, so we have to leave the 5.1 carrier turned on to prevent the metadata from switching back and forth and creating audio problems.

CBS has recently created more problems by using metadata in all HD programming,
regardless of whether it's in 5.1 or 2.0 audio.

So, we used to turn on the 5.1 decoding just for 5.1 programs, now we need to leave it on for all programs, resulting in decoders being faked out thinking it is in 5.1 when it really isn't.

I don't have HD at home, but I know my surround decoder has different output levels for 5.1 audio and regular old Dolby Surround.
I'm assuming this is the cause of the low audio in some recievers/decoders.

Rest assured, we are working on a fix or work-around for this problem, maybe CBS will actually let us fix it, without money there isn't a lot we can do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbartschi View Post

On another note, I was watching pre-season football on channel 4-1 and I noticed the same problem but only during the commercials. Everything during the game sounded fine.

The game is in actual 5.1 audio so it sounds fine.
Commercials are only 2.0 audio, so they sound bad.
Sounds like ABC isn't using metadata to switch, so it stays in 5.1 mode the whole time, 2.0 content will have the lower levels.


Jerry
KUTV Chief Master Control Operator.

I don't just watch HD-TV, I make it happen.
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post #726 of 3756 Old 08-09-2005, 03:43 PM
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Jerry and all:
We have been working on some of these types of problems, too.

The local Dolby rep and I are trying to get something going on working out various problems, probably having Dolby Labs come here and work with us.

We probably need to compare notes on how each network is doing surround.

Ken English, Sr. Engineer, KSL-TV.
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post #727 of 3756 Old 08-09-2005, 05:24 PM
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Hello,

I'm new to the HD world, but I'm buying a new TV soon and also want to get a good antenna for OTA HD broadcasts. Did some searching in this forum, but was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for an OTA antenna to put in my attic, to get the best HD reception? I live in Draper, right on the border with Sandy (about 11700 S. and 900 E.) Any help?

Thanks,
Brian
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post #728 of 3756 Old 08-09-2005, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UteBrian View Post

Hello,

I'm new to the HD world, but I'm buying a new TV soon and also want to get a good antenna for OTA HD broadcasts. Did some searching in this forum, but was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for an OTA antenna to put in my attic, to get the best HD reception? I live in Draper, right on the border with Sandy (about 11700 S. and 900 E.) Any help?

Thanks,
Brian

I live in Layton, but I just bought a rooftop antenna from Radio Shack. I'm sure it would work fine in the attic. HDTV is directional, so aiming it correctly is key. The one I bought is this:

http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...t%5Fid=15-2154

It might be a little large for your application, but they have smaller ones. I get good HD signals from all locals up to Layton (about 45 miles from the transmitters).
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post #729 of 3756 Old 08-10-2005, 07:48 AM
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If you ONLY want the digitals, a small outdoor UHF is best. Something like the Squareshooter, or the Antennas Direct DB2 or DB4, mounted on the side of the house, will be comparable in size/looks to a small dish. These would also give OK, but not great, reception on the other UHF channels. Stepping up to a UHF yagi, like the A-D SR15, which is about 2 feet long, would even improve the analogs.

Attic antennas are not great, because the roofing blocks about 90-95% of the signal, leaving very little to compete with the electrical noise and interference inside the house. Of course, in an environment like here in Utah, they often are the best compromise, due to snow, winds, and ice.

If you want the VHF analogs and/or FM radio, you'll need a VHF antenna, or a V+U combo. The VHF and FMs are so strong here in the valley, though, I would suggest going with a smallish VHF in the attic (if you have to) and put a small UHF outside.

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post #730 of 3756 Old 08-10-2005, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

If you ONLY want the digitals, a small outdoor UHF is best. Something like the Squareshooter, or the Antennas Direct DB2 or DB4, mounted on the side of the house, will be comparable in size/looks to a small dish. These would also give OK, but not great, reception on the other UHF channels. Stepping up to a UHF yagi, like the A-D SR15, which is about 2 feet long, would even improve the analogs.

Attic antennas are not great, because the roofing blocks about 90-95% of the signal, leaving very little to compete with the electrical noise and interference inside the house. Of course, in an environment like here in Utah, they often are the best compromise, due to snow, winds, and ice.

If you want the VHF analogs and/or FM radio, you'll need a VHF antenna, or a V+U combo. The VHF and FMs are so strong here in the valley, though, I would suggest going with a smallish VHF in the attic (if you have to) and put a small UHF outside.

Thanks for the help! Yes, I am primarily interested in the digitals. I have dish network for everything else, and probably won't invest in HD on satellite for awhile.

I really do want to put the antenna in the attic, for the reasons Ken mentioned above, as well as the asthetic/wife factor. Does anyone else have a specific recommendation for an attic antenna in my area?
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post #731 of 3756 Old 08-11-2005, 10:10 PM
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Still researching antennas....

Anyone ever tried one of the Radio Shack 15-2160 UHF-only yagi style antennas? Seems like a good, cheap ($25) alternative that may be worth a try. Worse case is I would have to take it back to RS.

I am hesitant to buy an antenna online, especially an expensive one, and deal with the headaches of returning it if it doesn't work out. The squareshooter seems promising, but very expensive.
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post #732 of 3756 Old 08-11-2005, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UteBrian View Post

Anyone ever tried one of the Radio Shack 15-2160 UHF-only yagi style antennas? Seems like a good, cheap ($25) alternative that may be worth a try. Worse case is I would have to take it back to RS.

can't say anything about that particular antenna, but i have a medium-sized, radio shack, outdoor, uhf/vhf combo antenna that i bought from them about 1 1/2 years ago for about $50, i think. it's worked well for me since i bought it. i live in the holladay area, about 21 miles from farnsworth peak. 2 of the vhf elements are bent downward, probably from birds perching on them. it hasn't affected the picture quality, though. overall i'm pretty happy w/ the antenna.
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post #733 of 3756 Old 08-12-2005, 09:23 AM
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My parents have that UHF only outdoor antenna from radio shack. It was on sale for 19.99 when they got it two years ago. It works fine and it is quite small in comparision to one with VHF capabilities.

Buy it.
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post #734 of 3756 Old 08-12-2005, 09:39 AM
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If you can see Farnsworth Peak from your home (e.g., you have a "line-of-sight" to the HDTV antenna), the Radio Shack antenna should be more than adequate.

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post #735 of 3756 Old 08-12-2005, 03:10 PM
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I have trouble receiving UHF because of big trees between the Oquirrahs and me. I can get DTV 2, 4, 5, 7, 11 and (surprisingly) 13 simutaneously, but if I adjust the antenna to receive 14 and 30, I loose channel 2. I have the big Channel Master 4228 antenna and I'm on the east side of Murray, so I'm assuming there's no lack of signal, just multipath distortion. I tried the CM 7777 pre-amp and reception was even worse.

It seems like I read somewhere that the current UHF DTV stations will be allowed to choose to move to their current analog VHF channels at some point. Is this correct?
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post #736 of 3756 Old 08-13-2005, 09:38 AM
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The 4228 is probably too much antenna, unless you have a severe multipath problem....then you would need it's directionality, but you'd need to pad down the level a lot.

The problem is more likely overload of the tuner's front end amplifier. Try a few attenuators, in different values, or get one of the variable attenuators from Radio Shack. I'm on the edge of Murray/Midvale, and get mostly good (key word is "mostly") signals from a Silver Sensor, indoors (behind stucco wire mesh). I have had excellent luck with a very small UHF outdoors.

Now, if the painters EVER finish, I'll put something outside again .

BTW, stations CAN move back to their old channels. But, I hope they won't.
Why make people put up huge VHF antennas again? (I wish the new "HD Radio" had gone on some high VHF channels, or UHF. That would eliminate the need for low-band VHF antennas for FM as well.)

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post #737 of 3756 Old 08-13-2005, 11:45 AM
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Thanks for the reply, Ken. I just tried a variable attenuator and it didn't help. I guess I do have a severe multipath problem: many large trees just west of our house. That's why I'm hoping that DTV will move to VHF. I've always had severe problems even with analog UHF but not with VHF. I've never been able to get clear signals on analog channel 14.

I also have a Silver Sensor and can get every channel (except 13), but not simultaneously. I have to move the antenna around when I change channels - kind of annoying.

I guess the next step is to move the antenna to different spots on the roof, but I'd need some kind of feedback to know where the signal is good. I don't think I want to invest in a signal strength meter. I suspect signal strength is not the problem anyway. And I don't think I want to hire someone to come out and play the same games I've been playing.

If everyone is having as much trouble as I am, then DTV is "not ready for prime time". But, maybe I'm just in a bad location.
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post #738 of 3756 Old 08-13-2005, 03:18 PM
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Trees shouldn't be a problem this close to the transmitters, even on UHF. I'm shooting thru several layers of trees. How is your cabling and connectors?

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post #739 of 3756 Old 08-13-2005, 03:26 PM
 
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FWIW, it's been my experience that the sweet spot could be just inches or feet from your present antenna position.

Peaking in real time is difficult with some signal strengh meters in ones receiver.

Thomas
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post #740 of 3756 Old 08-13-2005, 04:33 PM
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Ken -
I'm assuming that my cabling and connectors are O.K. I have a run of about 25 feet of RG-6 and I think the connectors are alright. I installed a cable TV system on an aircraft carrier (USS Kitty Hawk) when I was in the Navy in the '60's, so I'm pretty sure that I know what I'm doing on that score. And, I get a very strong signal on some channels. Channels 4 and 7 show about 90% on my US Digital / Hisense / Walmart receiver. Channel 16 shows near zero. There are several layers of very tall evergreen and deciduous trees to our immediate west.

Thomas -
I guess I'll have to try moving the antenna some. I have noticed that rotating the thing even slightly makes a big difference, so moving it around on the roof a bit probably would change things substantially.

Thanks for the advice, guys.

Terry
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post #741 of 3756 Old 08-13-2005, 06:17 PM
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Wow, and I thought this thread had gone silent for a bit... I guess I must have missed an email alert.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

What does USDTV have to do with KPNZ's problems?
KPNZ, as well as KMTW and KUTH, were latecomers. They did not receive any DTV channel assignments, so their only option is to "flashcut" to digital (and lose any analog-only viewers they have). In talking to their engineer, I get the idea that they would love to go digital, if only for the income they could get from USDTV.

I know this was a while ago, but to answer the question, if USDTV didn't exist, there would be more broadcast spectrum available. Would that solve KPNZ's problems? Well, in a perfect world, yes. In reality, probably not.

So, feel free to chalk that criticism of USDTV up to me being bitter, not actual facts.
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post #742 of 3756 Old 08-14-2005, 07:40 AM
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One "problem" that I hear from retail personnel is, people buy a STB, take it home, then bring it back saying, "I was already getting those stations". USDTV helps a bit in that respect, since they give the viewer a few more channel choices. Stations can multicast more free channels, too....but they need a big advertiser base to support them, and the station has to go out and sell the ad time themselves.

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post #743 of 3756 Old 08-14-2005, 09:17 AM
 
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I apologize if this is OT

When the ATSC decided to adopt 8VSB for terrestrial broadcast, originally I was a COFDM proponent..It was so robust one could loose the carrier completely for a brief moment and it still recoverd, & we would not even notice a interruption in service.

Although the advances in 8VSB receiver adaptive equalizers has changed my position,
ie> more efficient use of power and bandwidth, as well as stability.

Thomas
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post #744 of 3756 Old 08-14-2005, 09:02 PM
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Ken,

I noticed the disappearance of the "Digital-wide" moniker on the begining of the newscast. I swear I saw a "HDTV" symbol, when I was watching on thursday. Are you guys contimplating a switch from 480 to 1080i?

Michael.
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post #745 of 3756 Old 08-14-2005, 10:48 PM
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kenglish,
Any idea what happened to the Nascar HD feed on Sunday? With about 20 laps to go it switched to SD and did not switch back. I tried calling the direct number into the station that you posted many pages back but no answer. Any comment on this?
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post #746 of 3756 Old 08-15-2005, 05:19 AM
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"I noticed the disappearance of the "Digital-wide" moniker on the begining of the newscast. I swear I saw a "HDTV" symbol, when I was watching on Thursday."

That's a marketing thing. Since we shoot everything in 16:9 and then upconvert it to 1080i, "technically it's in HD". Mostly, I think it's just that "HD" gets more goosebumps than "Digital Wide" ever did. Next time we rebuild the news control room, we'll probably buy HD stuff....probably a couple of years away, still.


The race was a disaster for NBC. They had major thunderstorms roll through NYC near the end of the race, and lost all of their satellite capability. We watched some of it on VIPER....extremely heavy rain and lightning. After they were down for a minute or two, they switched all of the standard network over to Burbank, and NY waited out the storm. HD didn't come back reliably until the last few seconds. Sad thing, the race was sponsored by Sony HDTV. (Probably be some make-goods required on that one.)

On other things here.....we have moved News audio back in to the room. Equipment is all installed. Still finishing up the acoustical work, walls, and cabinetry. The new room is re-shaped for better acoustics.

We are installing new AVID newsroom equipment, to enable better workflow. This will help with the new 4:00 newscast.

We are about to launch NBC WeatherPlus. It will be on OTA 5-3, and Comcast Digital Cable. It will have lots of local presence, not just the national feed.

We have taken delivery of our new HDTV server system, which will enable us to air most all of the NBC HD programming, as well as do some commercials and promos in HD.

One commercial production edit suite is now running with HD capability.

I hear that a big announcement may be coming from NBC soon, concerning a new, old show in HD.

Oh, someone asked if that was me in the Parade telecast. No. The guy they interviewed was Greg James, VP of Engineering and Technology. I got the holiday off.

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post #747 of 3756 Old 08-15-2005, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

We are about to launch NBC WeatherPlus. It will be on OTA 5-3, and Comcast Digital Cable. It will have lots of local presence, not just the national feed.

NNNNOOOOOOOooooooo... Leave the bits on 5-2 where they belong!!!! Ok, HD zealot mode turned off. Or at least turned down.

Quote:
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We have taken delivery of our new HDTV server system, which will enable us to air most all of the NBC HD programming, as well as do some commercials and promos in HD.

I take it this means you can edit out the naughty bits and still air the program in HD so you can keep that one guy and all the rest of us happy?
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post #748 of 3756 Old 08-15-2005, 10:00 AM
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Ken English, Sr. Engineer, KSL-TV.
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post #749 of 3756 Old 08-16-2005, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

I hear that a big announcement may be coming from NBC soon, concerning a new, old show in HD.

There'll be a similiar announcement from CBS forthcoming as well.

They need to try it for a couple weeks to get the kinks out, then there'll be the formal announcment.

Hint: It airs daily, M-F, otherwise No Comment.


Jerry

I don't just watch HD-TV, I make it happen.
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post #750 of 3756 Old 08-16-2005, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huberjgl View Post

There'll be a similiar announcement from CBS forthcoming as well.

They need to try it for a couple weeks to get the kinks out, then there'll be the formal announcment.

Hint: It airs daily, M-F, otherwise No Comment.


Jerry

I'm guessing its Letterman. Not that I don't like Leno, because he has his moments, but all other things being equal - I'm sure I'm like most of us - I watch Leno (and now Conan) just because it looks so much better.

(A FWIW, its supposedly Monday, Aug 29th according to a Letterman show spokesman. Man Google's cool )
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