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post #3001 of 6142 Old 12-29-2006, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by cnickersonjr View Post

Yeah. I got 8.0 clear, but still no 8.1! And as far as obstructions, I don't think I have any! My tv is on a stand with my midsize tower speakers to the left and right of that. My antenna is on the window seal about 3 feet from my TV. I'll post some pics Wednesday. I can remember getting 8.1 downstairs, I would think upstairs would be easier? I have had Dishnetwork for a while, got rid of it for budget reasons.

Thanks for the responses! That's why I go to AVS Forum for anything technology related!

Well I finally got 8.1 showing on my TV. Here's how:

I was in the attic unhooking my switch from Dishnetwork, since I'm canceling my service. They want you to mail the switch back to them. They send you boxes. So I plugged all my wires from the sat switch and plugged them into my Timewarner splitter, because I'm thinking about going back to Time Warner. So I left my antenna cable plugged into my TV's uhf/vhf input, then I plugged the cable from the Time Warner splitter into the cable input of my TV. Did a channel scan, and tuned to 8.1 and we have picture! Signal strength was about 76. So not sure why I have it now, cause I didn't move my antenna. But I'm happy, I now have all my local HD feeds available on my TV. Thanks to everyone who tried to help me with this issue.
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post #3002 of 6142 Old 12-29-2006, 02:15 PM
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Well I just unhooked the cable from my timewarner splitter and I still have 8.1. Maybe it was just my lucky day?
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post #3003 of 6142 Old 12-29-2006, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by kprcdt View Post

Just turned off 2.3 and 2.4. We'll see how that goes. 15.7 for HD and 3.2 for WxPlus for now...

Also checked the encoder settings as recommended to address NFL issue, and everything is where it was supposed to be...

EZ

I watched 30 Rock last night & the first half of Las Vegas tonight. There is definite improvement. The ultimate test will football. Can't wait! Your efforts to help solve this are really appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!!

The PAY TV industry does not hold the patent on poor customer relations, but Comcast in particular has succeeded in making an art form of it.

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post #3004 of 6142 Old 12-29-2006, 08:05 PM
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Thanks, and good job, Mr. Zavala. 15.7 mbps HD + 3.2 mbps SD (video) seems to be a good start.

I suggest testing 16.4 mbps HD + 2.5 mbps Wx+ during football and other major events.
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post #3005 of 6142 Old 12-30-2006, 08:34 AM
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I saw some interesting data earlier this week from one of the FCC's web sites, which if I understand correctly, indicate several Houston TV channel assignments will be moving around as the analog signals are turned off in 2009.

http://www.fcc.gov/dtv/
See Appendix B for the October 20th post.

I think most notably for the Houston market was the implication that KPRC will be abandoning low band VHF channel 2 and operate exclusively on UHF channel 35 (where their digital already is located today). Has this already been discussed? If so I guess I missed it.

I understand the reasoning (low-band vhf subject to interference). So how will this impact their signal coverage area?

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post #3006 of 6142 Old 12-30-2006, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Cap'n Preshoot View Post

I understand the reasoning (low-band vhf subject to interference). So how will this impact their signal coverage area?

Its much easier to get a signal off CH35 UHF. The low frequency VHF signals are pretty hard to get a reliable signal.
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post #3007 of 6142 Old 12-30-2006, 09:15 AM
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Is the Channel master 4228 without any amplification decent for attic installation in Sugar Land? I'm about 10-12 miles from most of the antennas. I don't care if I lose low band VHF. I'm more concerned about getting the main HDTV stations. I'll just use satellite for PBS if 8 doesn't come in... thats the only odd VFH Digital station.

I know thats a pretty high gain antenna for so close but I do have a 2 story house next door, there is a radient barrier in the attic and about 35ft coax to the TV.
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post #3008 of 6142 Old 12-30-2006, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by ewitte View Post

Its much easier to get a signal off CH35 UHF. The low frequency VHF signals are pretty hard to get a reliable signal.

Well, certainly 1 megawatt (erp) ought to spin their electric meter nicely
What's the power output at the flange?

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post #3009 of 6142 Old 12-30-2006, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by ewitte View Post

Is the Channel master 4228 without any amplification decent for attic installation in Sugar Land? I'm about 10-12 miles from most of the antennas. I don't care if I lose low band VHF. I'm more concerned about getting the main HDTV stations. I'll just use satellite for PBS if 8 doesn't come in... thats the only odd VFH Digital station.

The 4228 (8-bay co-phased array) is probably overkill from Sugar Land, but should work fine provided you have no radiant barrier or zinc-impregnated shingles. If you have a radiant barrier then the antenna goes outside, period.

You say you're not concerned about PBS (8) but what about CBS (11) and ABC (13)? Per the FCC FNPRM and channel assignments their digital is moving back to VHF.

I'm not sure it's wise to commit to only a UHF antenna.

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post #3010 of 6142 Old 12-30-2006, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by ewitte View Post

Is the Channel master 4228 without any amplification decent for attic installation in Sugar Land? I'm about 10-12 miles from most of the antennas. I don't care if I lose low band VHF. I'm more concerned about getting the main HDTV stations. I'll just use satellite for PBS if 8 doesn't come in... thats the only odd VFH Digital station.

That's true now but it won't be the case in 2009... CBS (KHOU) and ABC (KTRK) will both move back to VHF!

I personally use separate VHF and UHF antennas, each with their own pre-amp, and combine them with a low-loss UHF/VHF combiner. Works great.

In Sugar Land you should be fine with a small UHF/VHF combo antenna.

Of course in Sugar Land the 4228 will probably pick up VHF anyway!
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post #3011 of 6142 Old 12-30-2006, 10:10 AM
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Ok yes I have a radient barrier. I need to go back up there and see if there are any gaps. Or I might just put a small unextended set of rabbit ears on top of the TV if it works and just look into what would give the best performance in the future.

BTW the majority of the stations on antennaweb say yellow for antenna selection even for the vhf selections. So I will probably just try the rabbit ears and see how things go.
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post #3012 of 6142 Old 12-30-2006, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Bicster View Post

That's true now but it won't be the case in 2009... CBS (KHOU) and ABC (KTRK) will both move back to VHF!

Thats odd. Are they at least going higher frequency? Channels 2-11 seem a lot harder to pick up looking at most of the antenna specs. I really don't want a 110" section no matter where I put it, especially if it were on the roof.
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post #3013 of 6142 Old 12-30-2006, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by ewitte View Post

Thats odd. Are they at least going higher frequency? Channels 2-11 seem a lot harder to pick up looking at most of the antenna specs. I really don't want a 110" section no matter where I put it, especially if it were on the roof.

As far as the radiant barrier goes, forget it. Install a small omnidirectional antenna outside.

KHOU, KTRK, and KUHT will broadcast digital TV in 2009 on the same channels they are using for analog today.
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post #3014 of 6142 Old 12-30-2006, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewitte View Post

Thats odd. Are they at least going higher frequency? Channels 2-11 seem a lot harder to pick up looking at most of the antenna specs. I really don't want a 110" section no matter where I put it, especially if it were on the roof.

Did you mean higher power?
No.

According to the FCC document, Channel 35 (KPRC) will become one of the 'superpower' stations in town, along with KHCW and a couple others, each running at 1 million watts (1 megawatt)

Ch. 11 will be running at 17,000 watts,
Ch 13 will be running 22,200 watts
Ch 26 will be running 234,000 watts

All numbers are expressed in effective radiated power (ERP).
ERP is the output power of the transmitter, minus the feedline loss, multiplied by the gain of the antenna.

I haven't heard what size coax (transmission line) they're using tho at that power level and antenna height I wouldn't be surprised if it's nitrogen-pressurized 6-1/8" dia. rigid copper (abt $80 a foot).

Perhaps someone with the true scoop will give us the details.

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post #3015 of 6142 Old 12-30-2006, 04:50 PM
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Cap'n P,

You won't see a difference in KPRC reception after the 2009 analog sign-off. KPRC was the 1st of the 'superpower' stations in town. They signed 2.1 on with a megawatt ERP and with a full omni-directional antenna, at that. We (then KHWB) signed on at a megawatt a year or so later because our 1st antenna was dropped during installation.

The transmission line we (KPRC & KHCW) used is 8-3/16" line, chosen for both power handling and better transmission efficiency (less loss). The KHCW TPO (transmitter power output) is 47.2 kilowatts and the transmitter is about 25% efficient. That's 200 kW used for every 50 kW output which makes the electric bill for both KHCW transmitters about $33,000 per month.

The UHF electric bill alone is enough to make a station apply for a VHF allocation alone. In KTRK's situation, they got crippled with a lousy DTV antenna radiation pattern AND were awarded less than full power by the FCC. KHOU also was awarded less then full power but at least had a decent antenna pattern. It's no surprise that they are going back to their fully omni-directional antennas, while saving tens of thousands of dollars a month on the electric bill. The conversion of their solid-state analog transmitters over to DTV is rather straight forward, so they won't have to purchase another million dollar baby either.

Bob Chase
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KHCW-TV

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post #3016 of 6142 Old 12-30-2006, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicster View Post

As far as the radiant barrier goes, forget it. Install a small omnidirectional antenna outside.

KHOU, KTRK, and KUHT will broadcast digital TV in 2009 on the same channels they are using for analog today.

Bicster & ewitte,

Omni-directional antennas are very poor performing DTV antennas. If you want a relatively small UHF/VHf antenna, look around for a channel master 3016. (Picture attached.) While not as good for UHF as the 4228 it performs well, both in the attic and outside. Unlike the CM4228, it is designed for VHF reception.
LL

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post #3017 of 6142 Old 12-30-2006, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bobchase View Post

The transmission line we (KPRC & KHCW) used is 8-3/16" line, chosen for both power handling and better transmission efficiency (less loss).

Thanks for info. Nice. I've seen smaller sewer pipe Pressurized copper I presume. (?)

Your 1st antenna getting dropped had to be a heartbreaker, but fortunate if that's all that was damaged. Back in the late '60s we saw a brand new 1380-footer (WICD) come down in an ice storm. It was still under construction at the time but nearly finished. Gin pole was on top all set to hoist the CH. 15 antenna. The tower collapse destroyed the xmtr shack as well. Some theorized it was engineered to survive the 14" radial ice but the weight of the gin pole + ice is what brought it down

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post #3018 of 6142 Old 12-30-2006, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Cap'n Preshoot View Post

Did you mean higher power?
No.

According to the FCC document, Channel 35 (KPRC) will become one of the 'superpower' stations in town, along with KHCW and a couple others, each running at 1 million watts (1 megawatt)

No frequency. If you look at the charts usually 2-11 (I can't recall if its which unit of hz it is, kilo, mega, etc) is pretty hard to pick up. Although I guess if they are pouring a ton of electricity into putting out the signal it would help.
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post #3019 of 6142 Old 12-30-2006, 06:38 PM
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Does it have to be on top of the house? Wouldn't the 4228 perform well at ground level in the backyard being so close? It wouldn't be too hard to just shove it in a corner back there.
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post #3020 of 6142 Old 12-30-2006, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ewitte View Post

No frequency. If you look at the charts usually 2-11 (I can't recall if its which unit of hz it is, kilo, mega, etc) is pretty hard to pick up. Although I guess if they are pouring a ton of electricity into putting out the signal it would help.

Not sure I understand the question. The frequency is the FCC assigned frequency, i.e., Ch. 2 is assigned 54~60 Mhz. Within this range the video is 1.25 Mhz above the bottom edge, or in this case at 55.25 Mhz, the color signal is at 58.83 Mhz and the audio is at 59.75 Mhz. The audio is FM, both the video and color is AM.

The PAY TV industry does not hold the patent on poor customer relations, but Comcast in particular has succeeded in making an art form of it.

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post #3021 of 6142 Old 12-30-2006, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ewitte View Post

Does it have to be on top of the house? Wouldn't the 4228 perform well at ground level in the backyard being so close? It wouldn't be too hard to just shove it in a corner back there.

The object is to have your antenna away from man made and natural obstructions that block the signal. Setting it in the yard invites problems with multipath (reflections) which will drive a digital signal nuts.

I fail to understand this modern-day affinity with putting up an antenna. 30~40 years ago everyone had roof and chimney mounted antennas and the more affluent among us even had 60' towers. Recent FCC legislation now on the books bars homeowner's associations from promulgating rules and deed restrictions that restrict TV antennas.

The PAY TV industry does not hold the patent on poor customer relations, but Comcast in particular has succeeded in making an art form of it.

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post #3022 of 6142 Old 12-30-2006, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bobchase View Post

If you want a relatively small UHF/VHf antenna, look around for a channel master 3016. ... While not as good for UHF as the 4228 it performs well, both in the attic and outside. Unlike the CM4228, it is designed for VHF reception.

And since all the major stations in Houston broadcast from the same area, it should be easy to pick them all up with the antenna fixed in one direction.

For all you lurkers/non-account holders, here's a rehosted version of Mr. Chase's pic:

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post #3023 of 6142 Old 12-30-2006, 08:04 PM
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Hi guys,

I live in the NW part of Houston in Cypress...Jones Road and Grant Road area (close to Willowbrook). Can someone please recommend some good indoor antennas to receive OTA HD? Looking for something that can sit either near or on top of the TV .... I have seen lots of good reviews about the Zenith ZHDTV1 in CNET reviews and also other places...not sure if anybody in Houston has tried that out? Or if anyone in NW Houston has had good success with some other brand, please let me know...thanks

HDNewbie
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post #3024 of 6142 Old 12-30-2006, 09:33 PM
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The ZHDTV1 is good if you don't want to receive PBS-HD now, or KTRK/ABC or KHOU/CBS after 2008. If that doesn't apply, go to the nearest RadioShack store and get a 15-1868 antenna for $21. It's mighty stylish for an indoor antenna and it'll get you the aforementioned channels now and in the future (oh and PAX/"i"-DT, too ).

Regardless of the antenna you get, you'll have a more stable signal if you place it by a window facing the transmitters, which in your case is generally to the south.

Edited to add: If you get a VHF/UHF combo antenna, like the 15-1868, you should adjust the diploes to reduce ghosting for channels 11 and 13. That'll help ensure a digital lock when KHOU-HD and KTRK-HD move to those channels.
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post #3025 of 6142 Old 12-31-2006, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Preshoot View Post

Not sure I understand the question. The frequency is the FCC assigned frequency, i.e., Ch. 2 is assigned 54~60 Mhz. Within this range the video is 1.25 Mhz above the bottom edge, or in this case at 55.25 Mhz, the color signal is at 58.83 Mhz and the audio is at 59.75 Mhz. The audio is FM, both the video and color is AM.

Why does antennaweb say Channel 2 has a frequency assignment of 2 while 2.1 had a frequency assignment of 35?
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post #3026 of 6142 Old 12-31-2006, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Preshoot View Post

I fail to understand this modern-day affinity with putting up an antenna. 30~40 years ago everyone had roof and chimney mounted antennas and the more affluent among us even had 60' towers. Recent FCC legislation now on the books bars homeowner's associations from promulgating rules and deed restrictions that restrict TV antennas.

Aesthetic has something to do with it but there is also the cost of having someone install it. With the ladder I have I couldn't even figure out how to get on the roof to put up chrismas lights... at least without it crushing the gutter.

Although since I'm wanting to go dish I could try to talk the guy into putting the antenna up as well and slide him some money.

Also I was thinking maybe putting a pole like that picture in the backyard. It would have a decent line of sight. But there is a power line that would be about 20ft or so above it. I'm not really concerned with perfect and don't care anything about the analog stations really.
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post #3027 of 6142 Old 12-31-2006, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ewitte View Post

Although since I'm wanting to go dish I could try to talk the guy into putting the antenna up as well and slide him some money.

That may be a good plan. However, sat installers are frequently on a quota system where they're expected to perform a certain number of installs per day. I don't know about Dish Network (E*) but for the DirecTV (D*) installers their daily quota is 4. I'm not suggesting that the guy won't do it, just that he may have to come back on his day off.

The PAY TV industry does not hold the patent on poor customer relations, but Comcast in particular has succeeded in making an art form of it.

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post #3028 of 6142 Old 12-31-2006, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewitte View Post

Why does antennaweb say Channel 2 has a frequency assignment of 2 while 2.1 had a frequency assignment of 35?

Because that's where it is.

The "2.1" is simply a marker transmitted with the digital signal to tell your TV tuner where to map it on the dial. This channel mapping feature is one of the magical things that digital can do. The simple fact is channel 35 (596~602 Mhz) bears no relationship to channel 2 at all, but your tuner or receiver is being tricked into thinking that it is directly related and so therefore the tuner maps it together with channel 2.

The next question before us then is what will KPRC do once analog channel 2 (the real channel 2) goes away? Will the digital marker change? Will they change all their station advertising? Will it still be "Local 2" or will it become "Local 35" ?

We'll find out in 13 months (Feb 17, 2009) if not before.

The PAY TV industry does not hold the patent on poor customer relations, but Comcast in particular has succeeded in making an art form of it.

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post #3029 of 6142 Old 12-31-2006, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemikeb View Post

The ZHDTV1 is good if you don't want to receive PBS-HD now, or KTRK/ABC or KHOU/CBS after 2008. If that doesn't apply, go to the nearest RadioShack store and get a 15-1868 antenna for $21. It's mighty stylish for an indoor antenna and it'll get you the aforementioned channels now and in the future (oh and PAX/"i"-DT, too ).


Thanks Mike...Why does the ZHDTV1 have that limitation? Just wondering if there is a technical spec that I can use as a reference while evaluating different brands....
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post #3030 of 6142 Old 12-31-2006, 02:53 PM
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The ZHDTV1 is a UHF only antenna. Ch-8.1/8.2 are on VHF and if things go as they are currently planned, 13 and 11 will move back to VHF frequencies when the analog signals disappear in early 2009. Until that time, however, you'll do OK with the Z...except for ch-8.

A slightly better choice might be the TERK indoor HDTV antenna as it is similar to the "Z", but has a pair of rabbit ears folded into it's vertical support...which can be opened to get ch-8 digital. I use a TERK as a backup to my TWC, and it works pretty well. However, I am in the southwest, with a good line of sight to the antenna farm.
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Reply Local HDTV Info and Reception

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