HD reception in Jacksonville FL - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-02-2001, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I live in Jacksonville, FL. I have just purchased (2 weeks ago) a new HD tv and the Sony SAT-HD100 receiver to receive off air HD signals along with my Direct TV programming. Jacksonville has two towers broadcasting digital signals 24/7. HD programming is rare but I have confirmed with the station managers that the digital signals are being broadcast (he is receiving them in his home using an RCA HD receiver). I have tried a Terk 42 and 50 inside and outside of my home with no luck.

Jacksonville digital “stations†are 13.1 and 13.2 (NBC and ABC respectively). I am currently trying a Radio Shack outside antenna, the model number escapes me but it has 9 UHF elements and 16 VHF elements. I put the antenna on my roof and pointed it due north at the NBC antenna which is approximately 6 miles from my house. There are no high rise buildings or other obstructions between my house and the tower except for a residential power pole that’s about 100 yards in front of my house, directly (line of sight) with the tower.

I receive the NBC analog station (channel 12) very well - at least subjectively, the picture is rock solid. Both broadcast towers (digital and analog) are right next to each other. The digital signal is non-existent according to the Sony. I have tried auto program and manually selecting 13.1 but I just get a “searching for digital signal†from the receiver. I have talked to Sony tech support and they tried to be helpful but weren’t.

I do not have an amplified signal on the RS antenna. I did on the Terk 50 but it didn’t help. Would the coax cable (about 50 feet) be a problem? I tried switching to a shorter cable but that didn’t help. My next step is to mount the antenna on a 25 foot mast and take that up on the roof and give it a shot.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks

Victor

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post #2 of 5 Old 09-03-2001, 01:19 AM
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Victor-

About how far south of the tower( located at the Southside Blvd. Tower farm area) do you live?

I live about 4 miles due west of the tower and get rock solid DTV signals using a simple piece of wire stuck in the antenna connector of a Panasonic DST-50 tuner. Since I don't watch much local broadcast I have not attempted to put up a better antenna.

FYI- Here's a bit of history regarding the WTLV/WJXX digital signal issue. In it's current state it will not be possible for them to transmit HDTV. Their transmitter simply does not have the bandwidth.

When WJXX first went on the air Most couldn't receive it and it was just a test signal anyway from Brunswick GA. It was owned by a small station owner (Andy) in Brunswick GA.(WBSG) I used to do commercials and a TV show for WBSG about 4 years ago. He bought an ABC option years ago when the current ABC affiliate WJKS channel 17 had it. Channel 17 was foolish enough to give it up thinking they could simply renew as no one would want the ABC contract but never figured a small station owner would speculate on it. When the contract with WJKS was up, Andy (WBSG) exercised his option and JKS lost the affiliate. WJKS shut down their news department and their anchor, Terry Casey was let go. Today, he is still in the area and can be heard as an announcer on some of my TV shows I do as I hire him for this and he does some MC work locally. WJKS was able to pick up the WB affiliate, however and survive the loss after reorganizing. In the meantime Andy of WBSG sold the rights to the affiliate to a large cash rich broadcasting company who built WJXX 25 as our local ABC affiliate. It was the most modern TV Station in Jax with a fully equipped digital facility, it's own helocopter with several remote operated cameras, a tower location with analog and digital capability just south of Orange Park. They also got the WBSG station in the deal and would be simulcasting in Brunswick. Next the owners of WTLV Channel 12, an NBC affiliate came along and bought WJXX and set WTLV up as a duopoly. They would be licensed to serve both networks from one station. It was decided to use the older channel 12 facility and sell off the newer WJXX station equipment and location. Today the building sits empty along JTB & Bowden. They kept only the transmitter and re-channeled it for 13-1 and 13-2, relocated it to the southside tower and aimed it toward Brunswick GA. You see, as part of the sale, they were required to continue coverage in that area so they are sending the digital signal into the old WBSG station for retransmission in analog to that community. AS part of the deal, this transmitter enabled this duopoly to comply with the simulcast conversion law early with limited power. When I spoke to TLV chief engineer, a year ago, he told me they have absolutely no intention right now in adding a second digital transmitter and antenna to split the signals which would enable the bandwidth necessary to offer HDTV. They plan to continue in the present manner until either forced by the FCC to change it or, pressured by competition to offer HDTV. I asked him who that competition would be. He said, probably when WJXT channel 4 begins to offer HDTV then they will follow. He said Channel 4 has always been first and they (channel 12) followed their lead.


WJXT (CBS) has told me they will be dtv ready by May 2002 (the official deadline) and will offer the CBS lineup in HDTV. They told me they will not be patching together a transmitter like 12 did for their two station's signals. It would be done right, but not right away.

The prognosis for HDTV in Jacksonville is simple-
Right now you have DishNetwork for the most volume, with DirecTV close behind. Since you bought a direcTV tuner, I'd suggest you plan to sub to directv for HDTV. Currently they only have two channels but their 199 is soon expanding it's programming options beyond a shared PPV/demo loop.

Having CBS HDTV is about 9 months away, at best and NBC / CBS probably several years out depending on the demand by local citizens. As for PBS- MY prediction here is available via digital cable from the Gainesville station. WJCT is not in a very good position with all it's internal problems. I'd place my bets on them going under before any move to go digital / HDTV. You know they asked the city to take over metro park and pay for the Jazz Festival this year. This is due to the fact they have no money. Offering DTV will only happen for them if one of our local wealthy ante's up for the tab.


I doubt you could get a waiver from channel 4 but if you do, let me know. I haven't even tried.

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[This message has been edited by Don Landis (edited 09-03-2001).]
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-04-2001, 12:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Don -

Its nice to know there is another HDTV enthusiast in Jacksonville. I thought I was the only one. Great reply and history lesson on the Jax scene. Sounds like there's not much point in chasing an HDTV signal here cause there's not one. I live in Royal Lakes which is just south of the Baymeadows/Southside intersection. I'm guessing its about 5 miles from the Tower Farm.

I've got to think that there's a problem with my receiver. Unless the fact that WTLV has its signal pointed toward Brunswick (opposite of me) precludes my getting the signal since I'm south and the sinals headed north?

From everything I've read and all the folks I've talked to I should be receiving 13-1 and 13-2. Like you I don't watch that much local except for golf tournaments on the weekends. I was hoping that I would have another HDTV source to choose from. Guess I'm waiting for CBS and hoping TLV will follow suit. Its great being on the cutting edge http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif.

Thanks again for the reply.

Victor
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-04-2001, 06:42 AM
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Victor-

You may be in the null zone for their beamed directional signal that is 180 degrees from you. Also, last I heard it was low power. Be sure you have your receiver set up as per the instruction manual for local OTA channels and that is about all you can do. FWIW- they only send 480i on each channel and it is exact mirror of the analog channels 25 and 12. The quality is much sharper than what I get from the analog channels on analog cable. ( don't have digital cable here)
If you're like me that what programming is broadcast locally is really not important enough to worry about it. I only watch local stations here when the Jaguars are playing( losing http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif ).



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post #5 of 5 Old 09-04-2001, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Don,

Don't have digital cable either. Relying on MediaOne, excuse me, AT&T Broadband, is a shot in the dark at best but its all I've got right now. So I'll keep fiddling with my OA digital signal/receiver, that's what we love to do anyway, right.

Thanks again for the info!

Victor
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