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post #1 of 6141 Old 09-30-2004, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is a summary of what is available in the greater Houston area for HDTV:

Over-the-Air
The main antenna farm is located in the southern part of town (near Sugarland/Missouri City), about 14 miles Southwest of downtown. I personally use an attic-mounted Channel Master 4-bay bowtie antenna connected to a Channel Master 7777 pre-amp and have no problems with reception (note: you do lose some sensitivity by using an attic mount) from deep inside the loop.

Update: With the help of Bob Chase, I found that my original set-up was overdriving my HD Tivo. As a result, I am now only using the CM4221 in my attic.


Station Offerings: (last update 7/9/06)
  • Call Sign (Network, Network HD Standard) - Analog Channel, Digital channel
    Sub-channel details

  • KPRC (NBC, 1080i) - Analog: 2, Digital: 35
    Contact: Edgar Zavala (AVS UserID: kprcdt) - dtv@kprc.com
    2-1 - HDTV (1080i)
    2-2 - NBC WeatherPlus(tm) (480i) <-- A weather forecast with audio overlay from main channel, and some video
    2-3 - Weather radar (480i)
    2-4 - SD Simulcast
  • KUHT (PBS, 1080i) - Analog: 8, Digital: 9 (VHF, 8.7kW)
    8-1 - HDTV (1080i)
    8-2 - SDTV simulcast (480i)
  • KHOU (CBS, 1080i) - Analog: 11, Digital: 31
    11-1 - HDTV (1080i)
    11-2 - Weather radar (480i)
  • KTRK (ABC O&O, 720p) - Analog: 13, Digital: 32
    Contact: Chuck Primrose (AVS UserID: CAPHouston) - Charles.A.Primrose@abc.com
    13-1 - HDTV (720p)
    13-2 - News/Special Interest (480i)
    13-3 - Weather radar (480i) (the lightning tracker is cool!)
  • KETH (TBN, ???) - Analog: 14, Digital: 24
    14-1 - SDTV (480i) simulcast of Trinity Broadcasting from analog channel
    14-2 - SDTV (480i) The Church Channel
    14-3 - SDTV (480i) JCTV
    14-4 - SDTV (480i) TBN Enlace USA
  • KTXH (Independent) - Analog: 20, Digital: 19
    20-1 - HDTV (1080i)
  • KLTJ (Daystar, ???) - Analog: 22, Digital: 23 (Galveston) DT License: Construction Permit
  • KRIV (FOX O&O, 720p) - Analog: 26, Digital: 27
    26-1 - HDTV (720p)
  • KHCW ("The CW" O&O, 1080i) - Analog: 39, Digital: 38
    Contact: Bob Chase (AVS UserID: bobchase) - bchase@tribune.com
    39-1 - HDTV (1080i)
    39-2 - SDTV (480i) The Tube Music Network
  • KXLN (Univision O&O, ???) - Analog: 45, Digital: 46
    45-1 - SDTV (480i)
  • KTMD (Telemundo O&O, ???) - Analog: 47, Digital: 48
    47-2 - EDTV (480p)
  • KPXB (PAX, ???) - Analog: 49, Digital: 5 (Low VHF, 9.5kW)
    49-1 - ??? (???)
    49-2 - ??? (???)
    49-3 - ??? (???)
    49-4 - ??? (???)
  • KNWS (Independent, n/a) - Analog: 51, Digital: 52
  • KTBU (Independent, n/a) - Analog: 55, Digital: 42
    55-1 - ???? (????)
  • KAZH (Azteca, ???) - Analog: 57, Digital: 41
    57-1 - SDTV (480i)
  • KZJL (Independent, n/a) - Analog: 61, Digital: 44
    61-1 - SDTV (480i)
  • KFTH (Telefutura, ??) - Analog: 67, Digital: 36
    67-1 - SDTV (480i)(???)
Note (1): Not all sub-channels are active at the same time, especially for stations which generally simulcast in both SD and HD.
Note (2): Since an ATSC digital channel is 19.2 Mbps, the stations which simulcast/multicast in 1080i will more than likely have worse signal quality than those that are multicasting with 720p due to lower compression ratios.



Information about addresses, license contacts, etc., can be found here, or via the FCC.
Here is an old thread that has some contact information (telephone numbers), and some good suggestions on how to contact people at the stations themselves when you want to report an issue.


CATV Options
  • The Houston Time Warner Cable thread is here
  • No other threads identified - if any Phonoscope, et al., subscribers start a thread, please let me know so that I can update the list

Antenna Recommendations
The place to start when contemplating adding an OTA antenna is www.antennaweb.org. After you plug in your address, the site will tell you both what class of antenna (e.g., red, violet, blue) you need and what direction you should aim it to get which signals. Since Houston has a joint "antenna farm" on the south side of town, this makes aiming a breeze for virtually all stations (e.g., the majority of antenna are on bearings between 202 and 205 degrees from my houst just outside of downtown).

Antennae that are popular:
  • 4-bay and 8-bay "bowtie" - these UHF-only designs seem to provide great performance in a relatively compact footprint and are also relatively inexpensive (e.g., the Channel Master 4221/3021 can be had from AVS sponsor Solid Signal for under $40 shipped). They also seem to work reasonably well with "high VHF" (e.g., KUHT) signals, as well.
  • Silver Sensor - This design is about the best simple antenna one will find. It is small and very sensitive, though highly directional. When it has been coupled with a high quality pre-amp, it is about as good of an indoor antenna as one will find. Unfortunately, this antenna (sold originally by Zenith) has been discontinued, so eBay or Sears (on closeout) are your best bets for finding one. iTech (a manufacturer of HD tuner cards for PCs) bundles a Silver Sensor with its AccessDTV product (or at least did when this author owned one). Other manufacturers seem to be using the Silver Sensor design, so there may be versions available under alternate names (cf.).
  • Square Shooter - This antenna is relatively expensive (~$100+), but is effective. Its performance has been compared to a Silver Sensor with an amplifier, and it is one of the few antenna to generally get postive aesthetic comments.
  • Terk - the Bose of antenna design. However, Terk antennae are generally available locally, whereas other manufacturers' products are special-order only. One model, the HDTVi, is reported to be similar in design to the Silver Sensor, but with the addition of VHF elements. It is also reported to be competitively priced with the Silver Sensor.
  • In progress - last updated: 5/11/05

If you have any corrections, additions or questions - please let me know!

Later,
Bill
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post #2 of 6141 Old 09-30-2004, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow, number 2000.

Time Warner Cable
QAM-encoded channels currently reside in two blocks: 79 - 94, and 100 - 116. TWC seems to encrypt almost their entire channel range, so folks looking to use a "clear QAM" tuner should probably save their money. However, if you've had better success, please let me know. Thanks!
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post #3 of 6141 Old 10-01-2004, 10:36 AM
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Noticed last night that channel 11 has added 2 sub-channels. I did not see if there was any degradation of HD due to the fact that they aired no HD last night. I hope not . CBS has the best HD signal OTA.
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post #4 of 6141 Old 10-01-2004, 02:44 PM
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WJG--
Where in Spring are you?
I recentlly moved to Spring, cant get TWC, and have to have Sat. What antenna do you use to pick up the OTA signals?
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post #5 of 6141 Old 10-01-2004, 03:54 PM
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Anybody having problems with audio from KHWB during HD broadcasts? I've never had a problem in the past but since I started tuning in for the new fall season none of the HD shows have audio. Audio is fine during SD broacasts and I have no problem with other stations, but as soon as KHWB flips the switch to HD I lose audio.
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post #6 of 6141 Old 10-02-2004, 01:38 PM
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bump... can anybody verify whether they get audio for WB hidef programming from KHWB over-the-air?
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post #7 of 6141 Old 10-02-2004, 02:23 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by wjg
Noticed last night that channel 11 has added 2 sub-channels. I did not see if there was any degradation of HD due to the fact that they aired no HD last night. I hope not . CBS has the best HD signal OTA.

I am watching LSU vs. GA right now and there is a lot of macro blocking when there is motion with closeups where one color like the red jerseys dominate the the screen. I am not sure if this is local or not but I hope its not a result of the new multicasting on KHOU-DT.
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post #8 of 6141 Old 10-02-2004, 04:28 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by JeffU
I am watching LSU vs. GA right now and there is a lot of macro blocking when there is motion with closeups where one color like the red jerseys dominate the the screen. I am not sure if this is local or not but I hope its not a result of the new multicasting on KHOU-DT.

Jeff,

I think you hit the nail on the head. Last night Joan of Arcadia looked like a bad Godzilla movie with awful lip sync problems. and I also noticed it during the Ga-LSU game today during the commercials. The game was the worst offering I have ever seen on channel 11. It was like watching through the proverbial " Screen Door" . There is no doubt in my mind it is caused by the sub-channels. Does anyone have an email address for ch 11 ?? Maybe a phone # to an engineer ?? When this was happening on ABC 13, it took a while to get it fixed.
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post #9 of 6141 Old 10-02-2004, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Click the link above in the first post for information on addresses and telephone numbers. In the linked page, you will find a link to the FCC registration info. There may be contact info for the chief engineer buried in the registration info (haven't really mucked around in there).

Later,
Bill
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post #10 of 6141 Old 10-02-2004, 07:58 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Ursa
Click the link above in the first post for information on addresses and telephone numbers. In the linked page, you will find a link to the FCC registration info. There may be contact info for the chief engineer buried in the registration info (haven't really mucked around in there).

Later,
Bill

Bill,

Good suggestion. They have a direct link called " 11 Listens ". I suggest that everyone email them and complain. I really like all the football and most of the prime time shows on Cbs. It would be a shame to have to watch them all through a screen door for the rest of the season.


Bill
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post #11 of 6141 Old 10-03-2004, 02:06 PM
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Checked all these this afternoon...

KPXB (PAX) analog channel is on 49. Digital on 5 offers 4 subchannels:
49-1, 49-2, 49-3, and 49-4. I can only receive them at night. I suspect they are very low power.

KHOU is the CBS affiliate, not ABC. CBS network standard is 1080i. Channel 31-1 is 1080i.

KTRK is the ABC affiliate, with 720p as the network standard. 32-1 is 720p. 32-2 broadcasts ABC News Now much of the time.

KTXH digital subchannel is 19-1, not -2. I doubt it is 1080p.

KETH analog channel is 14. There are 4 subchannels on digital channel 24: 14-1, 14-2, 14-3, and 14-4. This is another station I can only receive at night.

KRIV digital subchannel is 26-1.

KHWB digital subchannels are 39-1 and 39-2.

KXLN digital subchannels are 45-1 (SD) and 45-2 (no data transmitted)

KTMD analog channel is 47. The digital subchannel is 48-1.

KNWS digital station is supposed to be on 52, according to the station engineer, but I have never received it.

KAZH digital subchannel is 57-1.


Not listed:
KFTH (Telefutura, ??) - Analog: 67, Digital: 36
67-1 - SDTV (480i)
67-2 - no data transmitted.
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post #12 of 6141 Old 10-03-2004, 05:25 PM
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Rumors and innuendos:

KTBU (Ind.) - Analog 55, rumored for digital 42

KLTJ (Daystar) - Analog 22, rumored for digital 23
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post #13 of 6141 Old 10-03-2004, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Frank - Thanks for double-checking. Also, check my taxonomy. You seem to be checking for digitals where there should not be any. I did make a couple of the edits tonight. Realistically, my Sasem tuner is not the most accurate when it comes to info (good picture, though), so my stuff was suspect. I guess that's why I sold it. Some thoughts:
  • KRIV-DT cannot be on 26 (it's the analog channel). The FCC lists them at 27, and they ought to have three sub-channels (only one when I went past them - a football game. I'll stick with my tuner's results on the prime channel on this one. Also, maybe they feed the cable guys differently than everyone else? Are the local MSOs pulling Fox from analog, rather than digital?
  • I don't think KTXH is in 1080p either, but that's what my tuner showed.
  • KHWB is on 38, not 39 (39 is the analog station). It should be 38-1 and 38-2, but again, my tuner is suspect. Also, two 1080i broadcasts should be a complete waste of bandwidth...
  • KXLN-DT is registered to channel 46 (45 is the analog). I don't really watch this one, so if someone else can check, I'd appreciate it.
  • Good catch on KTMD.
  • KNWS is lsited at 77kW. Not really much of a signal, there.
  • Thanks for KFTH. I didn't pick them up on my gear.

I'll continue cleaning the list later.

Later,
Bill
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post #14 of 6141 Old 10-04-2004, 01:40 PM
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Bill,

The actual frequency the digital channel broadcasts on (the digital channel) and the numbers assigned to the "digital subchannels" do not necessarily have any relationship. The digital subchannels are just labels, with NO bearing on the frequency used.

The intent was that the digital subchannel labels would match the channel number of the analog station, since most broadcasters felt they have a great deal of "brand equity" in their analog channel numbers. (How many times have you heard "Channel 11 News" in the Houston market?)

ATSC receivers are supposed to be able to take the digital subchannel numbers and associate those with the correct analog channel.

[Local stations have been known to mess up their subchannel numbers as well. Several local stations started out transmitting a subchannel number that matched the frequency their digital station was on, not their analog one.]

Barring typos, the digital subchannel numbers I gave in Sunday's posting were correct as transmitted at the time I checked on Sunday.

I don't understand your comment: "You seem to be checking for digitals where there should not be any."

KRIV-DT transmits on channel 27. The digital subchannel number is 26-1.

KHWB-DT transmits on channel 38. The digital subchannel numbers are 39-1 and 39-2.

KXLN-DT does transmit on 46. Their subchannel numbers are 45-1 and 45-2 (as they should be...)

With that, I note that the subchannel numbers for 2, 8, 11, and 13 are also incorrect.

KPXB digital is 5. KPXB analog is 49. IIRC, their analog transmitter is located in Montgomery County.
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post #15 of 6141 Old 10-04-2004, 10:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Frank - I guess my tuner is very different then. It shows merely the sub-channels themselves, not any kind of PSIP-type data for the subchannel (I get a drop-down box since it is PC-based). For simplicity's sake (for those of us with more basic tuners), I'd rather keep the list at the physical level than at the branding level (you'll notice that per your suggestion, my entire list would be incorrect...).

btw, which tuner are you using?

Later,
Bill
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post #16 of 6141 Old 10-05-2004, 07:27 AM
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Quote:


[*]KHWB is on 38, not 39 (39 is the analog station). It should be 38-1 and 38-2, but again, my tuner is suspect. Also, two 1080i broadcasts should be a complete waste of bandwidth...

KHWB doesn't send two 1081i broadcasts because there is only one stream sent from KHWB. In the PSIP table, 39.2 tells your tuner to use the second audio program (SAP) instead of the normal audio program. Basically it swaps the audio for you. Friends, Raymond, and other some other shows have Spanish on the analog SAP channel and on 39.2. Most of the time, 39.2 is actually mono English. Or as they say in the movies "No bandwith was actually harmed in the making of this program"

We are experiencing some Technical Difficulties.
Please standby while we reboot our TV station...
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post #17 of 6141 Old 10-05-2004, 11:18 AM
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Sugar Land, TX - HDTV

I am trying to figure out what antenna to use to catch OTA HDTV signals at my house in Sugar Land. Antenna will go in attic of 2 story house. Tall trees (30'+) around the house.

I am trying to decide between a DB2 or DB4 from antennadirect.

Here's are the stations that I am interested in:
* red - uhf KZJL-DT 44 SAH HOUSTON TX 100° 10.5 44
* red - uhf KTXH-DT 19.1 UPN HOUSTON TX 99° 9.9 19
* red - uhf KRIV-DT 26.1 FOX HOUSTON TX 93° 10.7 27
* red - vhf KUHT-DT 8.1 PBS HOUSTON TX 93° 10.7 9
* red - uhf KNWS-DT 51.1 IND KATY TX 99° 10.4 52
* red - uhf KTRK-DT 13.1 ABC HOUSTON TX 93° 10.7 32
* red - uhf KHOU-DT 11.1 CBS HOUSTON TX 99° 10.4 31
* red - uhf KHWB-DT 39.1 WB HOUSTON TX 96° 10.4 38
* red - uhf KPRC-DT 2.1 NBC HOUSTON TX 96° 10.4 35

Any sugggestions?

Also, if I go with a UHF only antenna like the DB2 or DB4, would I be able to receive KUHT (frequency assignment 9)?
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post #18 of 6141 Old 10-05-2004, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ursa
Frank - I guess my tuner is very different then. It shows merely the sub-channels themselves, not any kind of PSIP-type data for the subchannel (I get a drop-down box since it is PC-based).

Bill, The major channel number (the "2" part of "2-1", for example) is encoded in the one of the most basic of the control tables required by the ATSC standard, the Virtual Channel Table.

The ATSC publication PSIP Implementation Guidelines for Broadcasters [http://www.atsc.org/standards/a_69.pdf ] states that the broadcaster should set the major channel number to the same value as the NTSC (analog) channel assignment, if such a paired NTSC channel exists.

For receivers, it states: the DTV receiver does not automatically use the physical channel number of an active channel to identify the channel. Instead, the receiver looks at the major channel assignment in the channel�s VCT and utilizes that number as the major channel number for the station.

Quote:
For simplicity's sake (for those of us with more basic tuners), I'd rather keep the list at the physical level than at the branding level (you'll notice that per your suggestion, my entire list would be incorrect...).

That is your prerogative. I would argue it is technically incorrect, but it is your list.

Quote:
btw, which tuner are you using?

Later,
Bill

The Samsung SIR-T165.


Just as an example, I think KPRC should look like this:
  • KPRC (NBC, 1080i) - Analog: 2, Digital: 35
    2-1 - HDTV (1080i)
    2-2 - SDTV simulcast (480i) <-- Frequently shows a weather forecast with audio overlay from main channel
    2-3 - Weather radar (480i)
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post #19 of 6141 Old 10-05-2004, 01:03 PM
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I live about 4 miles west and a bit south of the towers in Missouri City. No problem with any channel except ABC-KTRK. I've had the problem with a low signal which won't stayed locked in. It has been going on for over a year. I've tried a few different antennas and two different HDTV tuners - same result. Occaisionally, it will lock in and stay for awhile - but not last two Monday Night Football games. Any ideas?
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post #20 of 6141 Old 10-05-2004, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Frank - actually I'll go with the group on this. I just know that on the PC end of things (where I am), proper PSIP implementations are few and far between (the only ones I have not tried are the HiPix and MyHD versions). If it's not too confusing to see the virtual mapping, I'll edit the lead post.

The group's thoughts? (I created this post to be useful to the community - I'm pretty stuck/set with my own hardware...).

Minja - a good 4-bay bowtie or better antenna will be fine for KUHT within reason. The "high VHF" channels can generally be received fairly easily by the good quality UHF designs. Of course, if some channels go back to their original VHF channel assignments once the dual broadcast transition period is over, then we'll all need to buy better VHF antennae to continue getting KPRC.

Later,
Bill
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post #21 of 6141 Old 10-06-2004, 09:29 AM
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Erm. Long time listener first time caller here ...

Hi Bill (and thanks for creating the "Houston HDTV Offerings" list, very nice)

Must agree with FrankV re: list the ATSC/PSIP standard "virtual" channel numbers instead. Just as AntennaWeb.org does, and also as many (most?) late-model TVs do, too: e.g. tuning and using my Sony KD-34XBR960 (for which the "real" channel number is irrelevant/useless).

For PC folks (or others not using a PSIP-compliant setup), surely the (physical) Digital: number noted after Analog: should suffice? The only refinement to FrankV's suggestion I might suggest is to use decimal points and not hyphens:
  • KPRC (NBC, 1080i) - Analog: 2, Digital: 35
    2.1 - HDTV (1080i)
    2.2 - SDTV simulcast (480i) <-- Frequently shows a weather forecast with audio overlay from main channel
    2.3 - Weather radar (480i)

Incidentally, I use a set-top Terk HDTVi VHF/UHF passive antenna (their version of the Silver Sensor, like a Gemini ZHDTV1 plus rabbit ears) and have NO reception problems from way outside the East Loop (north of I-10 at the city limit). Perfect.
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post #22 of 6141 Old 10-06-2004, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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The motion has been made and seconded. All those in favor? (It's a pain to do it, so I'm not going to re-do it if folks don't like the new format...)

Later,
Bill
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post #23 of 6141 Old 10-06-2004, 04:48 PM
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I'm in favor. Thanks for your efforts. It seems like FrankV's format offers enough information for everyone and avoids possible confusion.

John
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post #24 of 6141 Old 10-06-2004, 06:09 PM
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Got reception on digital 24 tonight. This is KETH-DT. The subchannels are

14-1 - SDTV (480i) simulcast of Trinity Broadcasting from analog channel
14-2 - SDTV (480i) The Church Channel http://www.churchchannel.org/
14-3 - SDTV (480i) JCTV http://www.jc-tv.net/
14-4 - SDTV (480i) TBN Enlace USA http://www.tbnenlaceusa.tv/

All of these are channels operated by Trinity Broadcasting...



As to the nomenclature of representing minor channels, I see the "14-1" type of style much more often than the "14.1" style. TitanTV.com uses "-1", and antennaweb.org uses ".1". I believe the accepted form in the industry is the "-1" style. My preference would be to stick to what other people are using.
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post #25 of 6141 Old 10-07-2004, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Alright, the main post has been updated. Let me know if there are any typos, errors or omissions. Otherwise, I'll pull the "in progress" label off the list.

Thanks for the input guys!

Later,
Bill
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post #26 of 6141 Old 10-07-2004, 09:10 AM
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Nice summary Ursa.
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post #27 of 6141 Old 10-07-2004, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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post #28 of 6141 Old 10-07-2004, 02:20 PM
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I'm hoping this isn't in the wrong discussion group, but I just bought a new
Mitsu 52725 52 inch DLP and I need to get an OTA antenna.
I have Dish and would like to get the locals in HD. I live in Pearland in a new single story house without any obstructions. Would an attic mounted Square Shooter (with or without preamp?) be adequate in that location?
If so, would I receive all of the stations pointing it toward Sugarland?
In other words, do I need some kind of rotator?
Another question, can you split that signal to two different locations?
I am going to get a projector as the next 'project' and will be running HD to that box as well.
I did do searches regarding this but answers that are Houston specific would be nice.

Thanks!

'That sure is a nice record player you got there...'
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post #29 of 6141 Old 10-07-2004, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
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If you live in Pearland, then you may not need an amp/preamp. However, the SquareShooter is too much money for an attic mount (the main advantage of it is its aesthetics...). I would recommend a 4-bay bowtie (~$20 - $30) for an attic mount (oddly enough, what I have...).

Would you receive all of the stations just pointing at Sugarland? No. Some transmitters are not located in the antenna farm, but whether that matters to you or not is up to you.

(I'll add info to the master list as folks identify which ones aren't in the main farm.)

You can split the signal, but you lose signal strength and introduce noise every time you do so.

A front projector is a marvelous thing to have. Check the appropriate fora for info on that aspect of HT.

Later,
Bill
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post #30 of 6141 Old 10-08-2004, 06:35 AM
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Bill,

Thanks for all your hard work to make this listing. I, for one, really appreciate your efforts!

A few comments:

on KTXH: this station does not broadcast the correct major channel number, so in this case, the digital channels actually are 19-1. I have never seem 19-2 (or 20-2, either...)

on KRIV: I have never seen 26-2 or 26-3. 26-1 is received fine.

on KPXB: The NTSC (analog) transmitter for KPXB is located in Mont. Co., (IIRC near Splendora), but the digital transmitter is supposed to be in Missouri City, with the vast majority of the others. I may not have been clear enough in my earlier comments about this.

on KZJL: like KTXH-DT, this station incorrectly uses their digital transmitter channel as their major channel number, so it is 44-1.
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