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post #361 of 13856 Old 02-10-2007, 05:52 PM
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The WETA website program schedule for channels 26.1, 26.3, and 26.4 is riddled with errors in the listings it shows. Also, no listings are shown for 26.2 at all or for 26.1 outside of the HD broadcast hours at night. The website listings are not consistent with what shows up in program listings for DirecTV HD-Tivo program guide, which is somewhat more accurate, but not too accurate either.

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post #362 of 13856 Old 02-10-2007, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericlhyman View Post

I am also in Silver Spring. WETA digital broadcasts are flaky, even with a good rooftop antenna (a 4-bay or 8-bay bowtie type is best). I can only get them consistently at night from late fall to early spring. During this period, I can sometimes get them irregularly during the day without too much dropout.

WETA has been somewhat flaky from my house, which is at a similar distance to you. However, I've gotten it so that I can get consistent reception of it with my indoor antenna. I think the digital antenna they use could be old, and not refined enough vs. newer ones. WETA was one of the pioneers in local DT broadcasting...

Fortunately, they should move to a new tower in Tenleytown pretty soon, so you shouldn't have issues then. In the meantime you can try for WMPT 22-1 from Annapolis.
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post #363 of 13856 Old 02-11-2007, 05:50 AM
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JDH,

Simply solution, but most likely not what you are looking for. If you are looking for the HD subchannel, just pick up an MPT station. I live way out in Haymarket, and I got a CM 4228 just to get MPT, as WETA's HD feed is sub-optimal due to the amount of bandwidth the allot. The HD feeds are the exact same programming, but MPT only does HD from 4 pm -sometime early in the morning, whereas WETA is 24/7. I sacrifice the 10 hrs a day of HD from MPT in order to get a better pic and sound from MPT.

But...I understand your frustration with not being able to get WETA. Not being able to get something I should would drive me crazy, even if I don't watch it. Such is the life for us HD junkies.

Jim

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Originally Posted by J-D-H View Post

Two days ago we bought a Sony KDL-32S20L1 32" LCD TV set. Setup has been uneventful but for one glaring problem -- we absolutely cannot pick up WETA's digital channels over the air.

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post #364 of 13856 Old 02-11-2007, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henry296 View Post

A quick follow-up. I tried to watch my recording of ER from WBAL and it was unwatchable with audio drops and tons of blocking. I assume this wasn't a national issue, since it would've been on the Programming forum. Was it WBAL issue? Or is it possibly a bad sector on my DVR?

I DVR'd ER off of WBAL-DT on Thursday night and had no problems. I receive the station off air on my DirecTV HR20.
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post #365 of 13856 Old 02-11-2007, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericlhyman View Post

I am also in Silver Spring. WETA digital broadcasts are flaky, even with a good rooftop antenna (a 4-bay or 8-bay bowtie type is best). I can only get them consistently at night from late fall to early spring. During this period, I can sometimes get them irregularly during the day without too much dropout.

The WETA website program schedule for channels 26.1, 26.3, and 26.4 is riddled with errors in the listings it shows. Also, no listings are shown for 26.2 at all or for 26.1 outside of the HD broadcast hours at night. The website listings are not consistent with what shows up in program listings for DirecTV HD-Tivo program guide, which is somewhat more accurate, but not too accurate either.

WETA has a detailed coverage map on their website. Maybe it's half science and half their advertising department' wishful thinking, but the Four Corners area of Silver Spring is ~very~ close to the center of their coverage areas. Heck, they show both their digital and analog TV, as well as their FM radio footprint extending all the way to Baltimore city, and meanwhile my set's tuner won't even lock on them from this short distance.

Any ideas on WETA's problem? If they're low in power, maybe I should consider getting a better antenna to combat that? If it's reflections, a higher gain antenna would fight that too. But what really, really bothers me about all this is that the analog ch 26 signal is flawless here. No ghosts, good signal, low noise, etc., so I figured the digital signal ought to be comparable -- not so.

Getting back to my TV set, maybe Sony tuners are known to be insensitive or finicky in operation? I haven't read this anywhere, but if the Sony tuners have a limited range of acceptable signals (insensitivity combined with poor overload performance), that would be a deadly combination. If this is the case, I can return this set and exchange it for something else. Any idea if there's a certain brand whose digital tuners are known to be well done?

On the program guides and published schedules, as someone once said, "I feel your pain" . My wife and I do a lot of time shift recording, and it drives us nuts how frequently inaccurate the various guides seem to be (not just WETA). If you haven't already done so, check out the Titan TV website. They have a TV Guide-like grid you can access, and it seems more accurate than many others.
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post #366 of 13856 Old 02-11-2007, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemikeb View Post

WETA has been somewhat flaky from my house, which is at a similar distance to you. However, I've gotten it so that I can get consistent reception of it with my indoor antenna. I think the digital antenna they use could be old, and not refined enough vs. newer ones. WETA was one of the pioneers in local DT broadcasting...

Fortunately, they should move to a new tower in Tenleytown pretty soon, so you shouldn't have issues then. In the meantime you can try for WMPT 22-1 from Annapolis.

Ch 22 and ch 26 often have different shows at different times, so we really would like to have access to both digital stations (as we do now for their analog feeds).

Chan 22 comes in here like gangbusters. If the antenna is pointed at them (due East), they are flawless. But they even come in almost as well (slight breakup, occasional digital pixelization) off the side or back of the antenna when it is pointed SSW to aim at the DC stations. Under this latter circumstance with the antenna not aiming at them, the ~analog~ ch 22 signal looks like a total mess -- tremendous ghosting, low signal, sound dropping in and out -- completely unwatchable. Yet you flip over to their digital signal and it's amazing that it's as good as it is (again, assuming the analog signal is representative of the digital one).

So it's mostly these ch 22 performance tests which make me suspicious of this set's tuner and the trouble it's having with WETA. How can it lock on to digital ch 22 when it's apparently so rotten a signal (35 miles off the back of the antenna, etc.), yet it can't even see nearby WETA (6-10 miles) with a beam antenna pointed right at them? I don't get it. Is this somehow an apples-oranges comparison?

Let me ask ask the same question I just posed in another reply. Do Sony ATSC tuners have a bad reputation? Are they good, bad, average, or what? If they are on the poor side (at least the one in this model set), and if some other brand is more well thought of, I would think very seriously of returning this set in exchange of that better brand.

Bottom line: I have to sort out -- is this TV set broken or substandard in design, is it WETA, is it our specific location and, whichever, is there a fix?! Boy oh boy, I just love these exercises which sometimes seem like crystal ball gazing.....
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post #367 of 13856 Old 02-11-2007, 08:33 AM
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Hi Jim-

We currently watch the three main PBS stations in our area (analog ch.s 22, 26, and 32). Certainly their programming overlaps, but they also frequently broadcast different shows. Okay, maybe we're spoiled , but since ch 32 seems not to broadcast digitally, we just dropped from 3 stations to one by shifting to digital reception.

Of course we'll live with that if it's the only choice, but the question is whether there's a fix for this WETA problem. I'd hate to lose their station (how many subchannels do they have -- isn't it 4 or 5? That's a bunch....).


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Originally Posted by jimrobinette View Post

JDH,

Simply solution, but most likely not what you are looking for. If you are looking for the HD subchannel, just pick up an MPT station. I live way out in Haymarket, and I got a CM 4228 just to get MPT, as WETA's HD feed is sub-optimal due to the amount of bandwidth the allot. The HD feeds are the exact same programming, but MPT only does HD from 4 pm -sometime early in the morning, whereas WETA is 24/7. I sacrifice the 10 hrs a day of HD from MPT in order to get a better pic and sound from MPT.

But...I understand your frustration with not being able to get WETA. Not being able to get something I should would drive me crazy, even if I don't watch it. Such is the life for us HD junkies.

Jim

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post #368 of 13856 Old 02-11-2007, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemikeb View Post

WETA has been somewhat flaky from my house, which is at a similar distance to you. However, I've gotten it so that I can get consistent reception of it with my indoor antenna. I think the digital antenna they use could be old, and not refined enough vs. newer ones. WETA was one of the pioneers in local DT broadcasting...

Fortunately, they should move to a new tower in Tenleytown pretty soon, so you shouldn't have issues then. In the meantime you can try for WMPT 22-1 from Annapolis.

Sorry, I forgot to ask in my original reply.... If we are roughly the same distance from WETA, and you can get them via an indoor antenna (what? just a loop or bowtie?), does it make any sense that my roof top beam cannot give this tuner a signal it likes for this one channel when this setup works for ~every~ single other station within 30-35 miles of here? We're not in a hole. WETA analog TV is perfect. I'm just amazed by all this and find it hyper curious ! Yet it seems so odd to envision a TV tuner which has a block against only one station yet sees all the others (maybe it dislikes PBS pledge week!).
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post #369 of 13856 Old 02-11-2007, 11:03 AM
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TV Sports
Here comes ACC HD
By Mark Washburn Charlotte Observer

Raycom/Lincoln Financial will announce next week that ACC basketball is going high definition.For the first time, the ACC tournament -- which begins March 8 -- will be broadcast in HD on the syndicated network.

Although the penetration of high-definition sets is still relatively low, those who get the broadcasts are growing increasingly vocal. They want their ACC in HD.

But technical problems have kept the network from switching to high def.

Ken Haines, Raycom's president, says affiliates aren't set up to receive syndicated programming in HD. They get their network programs in HD, but aren't set up to receive feeds from other sources.

Of the 35 stations that get ACC basketball from Raycom/Lincoln Financial, about a third will be equipped to receive the HD feed by tournament time. That includes WBTV (Channel 3) in Charlotte as well as other major markets, including Greensboro and Raleigh.

"We're looking at adding some regular-season games next year," says Haines. "I don't know how far away we are from doing all the games in HD."

Costs are part of the problem. While it is more expensive to do HD games -- cameras, a high-def studio truck and other equipment must be added -- there is no increase in ad revenues.

"It costs a lot more to produce in HD than standard definition. We haven't found anyone willing to pay more to be broadcast in HD," Haines says.
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post #370 of 13856 Old 02-11-2007, 12:13 PM
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J-D-H,

Something that you might want to know about WETA-DT: They broadcast from a tower in Arlington that is about 70 meters lower above average terrain vs. stations like WUSA and WRC. Only the WETA analog tower is in the height and location range of the Big 4. Also, WETA-DT broadcasts at 75,000 watts vs. 813,000 for WRC and 1,000,000 for WJLA. So maybe downtown Silver Spring buildings block the WETA-DT signal or something.

Remember, WETA should move in the future to the WJLA tower...
_________________

Watching WJLA-DT (and analog) OTA, it looks like the game has a red cast. All other stations look fine, like the b-ball was on WUSA. Maybe it was the ABC feed, but it wouldn't hurt to check up on things.
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post #371 of 13856 Old 02-11-2007, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericlhyman View Post

The WETA website program schedule for channels 26.1, 26.3, and 26.4 is riddled with errors in the listings it shows. Also, no listings are shown for 26.2 at all or for 26.1 outside of the HD broadcast hours at night. The website listings are not consistent with what shows up in program listings for DirecTV HD-Tivo program guide, which is somewhat more accurate, but not too accurate either.

How do you get listings for your TV? I have a Samsung DLP and all that it shows in programing guide is "Local Programing".
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post #372 of 13856 Old 02-11-2007, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-D-H View Post

We live in Silver Spring MD, close to Wash DC. Antennaweb says we are 6 mi NNE of the River Rd tower and 11 mi NNE of their other tower (Arlington?). Our antenna is a medium-high gain Channel Master VHF/UHF (11 ft boom) on a chimney approx 30' above ground. We're not in a hole (310 ft elevation). The antenna feeds an RF amplifier (a Channel Master model with a high overload point). As we swing the rotator, we get noise free and ghost free reception of all the main analog channels in DC, Baltimore, and Annapolis. Analog ch. 26 comes in perfectly (strong and no ghosts), yet digital ch.s 26.1 to 26.4 are just not there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J-D-H View Post

Sorry, I forgot to ask in my original reply.... If we are roughly the same distance from WETA, and you can get them via an indoor antenna (what? just a loop or bowtie?), does it make any sense that my roof top beam cannot give this tuner a signal it likes for this one channel when this setup works for ~every~ single other station within 30-35 miles of here? We're not in a hole. WETA analog TV is perfect. I'm just amazed by all this and find it hyper curious ! Yet it seems so odd to envision a TV tuner which has a block against only one station yet sees all the others (maybe it dislikes PBS pledge week!).

Which specific Channel Master antenna do you have? If I follow this, you don't get WETA-DT at all, even if you rotate the antenna towards Arlington and do a scan, correct? Depends on how your tuner works, but do you get anything if you enter channel 27 (the actual broadcast channel for the digital signal for WETA-DT)?

The Sony HD TVs have been reported to have good ATSC tuners. Given the Sony -Samsung collaboration on the LCD plant, it is likely that the Sony uses the same chipset as in Samsung ATSC tuner STBs. So you should be ok on the ATSC tuner.

For starters, I wonder if your Channel master is too directional for your location. In Silver Spring, Baltimore is in close to the opposite direction. With the right antenna, you should be able to aim the front of the antenna at Baltimore and pick up the DC stations in the backlobe without having to use a rotator most of the time.

I can get WETA-DT along with the rest of the DC and the Baltimore stations (and other stations in the region) from out here in Sterling with a Channel Master 4221 4 Bay bowtie UHF antenna without a rotator. The 4221 4 Bay is multi-directional with a broad pickup pattern to the front, but can also pick stations from the backside. I get WWPX-DT Pax/i 60 (DT=12) station way out in Martinsburg at 46 miles with my CM 4221 aimed in the other direction just south of Baltimore.

If you can't get WETA-DT at all from where you are, you may be blocked by the terrain, the city between you and the not that high a broadcast tower. If WETA-DT is still at Arlington, then the station is only at 75 kW, which would normally put you withing range, is not that powerful a signal for UHF. The FCC database for WETA is at http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/tvq?call=WETA if you want to look at the locations and tower heights. There is a lack of information over when WETA-DT will move it's digital broadcasting to the same DC area as the other DC towers. But I may be wrong and they already have. Maybe I should break out the very directional Radio Shack U-75R and find out where WETA-DT is broadcasting from just to be sure.
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post #373 of 13856 Old 02-11-2007, 12:55 PM
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Baltimore City Comcast has chanced their local ota broadcast list...

NBC dissapeared (was at 92-11) now is abc.

91-13 cbs
91-67 mpt
91-167 mpt
91-267 mpt kids
91-367 mpt select
91-467 mpt learner
92-2 abc? gone!
92-11 abc hd (was nbc)
92-15 abc weather
126-2 fox hd
105-3 CW hd

Anyone know where NBC went? Please append this list if you are in the baltimore city area.

Thanks
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post #374 of 13856 Old 02-11-2007, 01:56 PM
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On WJLA (DT only) during the Cavs game. It looks like the colors are fainter than usual -- like there's not enough red. Odd contrast there between the two games.

EDIT: By "DT only" means I only looked at DT that time. Sorry if I unnecessarily wasted anybody's time.
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post #375 of 13856 Old 02-11-2007, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afiggatt View Post

Which specific Channel Master antenna do you have? If I follow this, you don't get WETA-DT at all, even if you rotate the antenna towards Arlington and do a scan, correct? Depends on how your tuner works, but do you get anything if you enter channel 27 (the actual broadcast channel for the digital signal for WETA-DT)?

The Sony HD TVs have been reported to have good ATSC tuners. Given the Sony -Samsung collaboration on the LCD plant, it is likely that the Sony uses the same chipset as in Samsung ATSC tuner STBs. So you should be ok on the ATSC tuner.

For starters, I wonder if your Channel master is too directional for your location. In Silver Spring, Baltimore is in close to the opposite direction. With the right antenna, you should be able to aim the front of the antenna at Baltimore and pick up the DC stations in the backlobe without having to use a rotator most of the time.

I can get WETA-DT along with the rest of the DC and the Baltimore stations (and other stations in the region) from out here in Sterling with a Channel Master 4221 4 Bay bowtie UHF antenna without a rotator. The 4221 4 Bay is multi-directional with a broad pickup pattern to the front, but can also pick stations from the backside. I get WWPX-DT Pax/i 60 (DT=12) station way out in Martinsburg at 46 miles with my CM 4221 aimed in the other direction just south of Baltimore.

If you can't get WETA-DT at all from where you are, you may be blocked by the terrain, the city between you and the not that high a broadcast tower. If WETA-DT is still at Arlington, then the station is only at 75 kW, which would normally put you withing range, is not that powerful a signal for UHF. The FCC database for WETA is at http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/tvq?call=WETA if you want to look at the locations and tower heights. There is a lack of information over when WETA-DT will move it's digital broadcasting to the same DC area as the other DC towers. But I may be wrong and they already have. Maybe I should break out the very directional Radio Shack U-75R and find out where WETA-DT is broadcasting from just to be sure.

I normally watch WETA through my Comcast Basic cable with a QAM digital tuner,but the recent comments led me to try my indoor loop antenna. The digital OTA signal for WETA 26 is not as strong as that of MPT 22, but no problem obtaining a good signal tonight .
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post #376 of 13856 Old 02-11-2007, 04:46 PM
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Okay.

MY POINT was that Comcast didn't bother to even check if anyone else was having a problem, they just KNEE-JERK said they would send someone out. THAT is bad triage.

AND, no one has said that they DON'T HAVE the problem either so your "analysis" and assumption is bad.

BTW, I DID ask the company to check on it. Their reaction was to want to send a repairman out rather than EVEN CHECKING IF THEY HAVE ANY OTHER CALLS ON THE ISSUE.

THAT was the point.

But of course it was lost in your arrogant answer to a question I didn't ask. Now, if you don't live in Howard County, your information is useless to me.

And, to Joe, I have no idea if more than one person called in. Neither did they. They didn't bother to check!

Why is this nuance missing on you guys. If they get ZERO calls, then it might be on my end. If they don't check how do they know?

A GOOD customer service organization checks to see if there is a pattern, doesn't ASSUME that you need a service call.

But go ahead and defend Comcrap. They want to send someone out if the wind changes direction.

And I guess you know how they run things there? Or how they run their Com Center? You come here asking for help, and when someone tells you what MIGHT be the problem, you go off on them.
It doesn't matter what they did to fix it, someone weighed in on what the problem might be, and you went off on them. There was no reason for that. If you are looking for a specific answer, please spell it out in the question, otherwise, accept what possible answers might come your way.

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post #377 of 13856 Old 02-11-2007, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carltonrice View Post

I DVR'd ER off of WBAL-DT on Thursday night and had no problems. I receive the station off air on my DirecTV HR20.

Thanks for the info. Did anyone else record on Baltimore County Comcast?

I just tried to watch Friday Night Lights and Law and Order from this week and they were exactly the same.. unwatchable. My recording of CSI seems fine from CBS.
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post #378 of 13856 Old 02-11-2007, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zebras23 View Post

TV Sports
Here comes ACC HD
By Mark Washburn Charlotte Observer

Raycom/Lincoln Financial will announce next week that ACC basketball is going high definition.For the first time, the ACC tournament -- which begins March 8 -- will be broadcast in HD on the syndicated network.

Although the penetration of high-definition sets is still relatively low, those who get the broadcasts are growing increasingly vocal. They want their ACC in HD.

But technical problems have kept the network from switching to high def.

Ken Haines, Raycom's president, says affiliates aren't set up to receive syndicated programming in HD. They get their network programs in HD, but aren't set up to receive feeds from other sources.

Of the 35 stations that get ACC basketball from Raycom/Lincoln Financial, about a third will be equipped to receive the HD feed by tournament time. That includes WBTV (Channel 3) in Charlotte as well as other major markets, including Greensboro and Raleigh.

"We're looking at adding some regular-season games next year," says Haines. "I don't know how far away we are from doing all the games in HD."

Costs are part of the problem. While it is more expensive to do HD games -- cameras, a high-def studio truck and other equipment must be added -- there is no increase in ad revenues.

"It costs a lot more to produce in HD than standard definition. We haven't found anyone willing to pay more to be broadcast in HD," Haines says.

Nice find! Now does anyone have any idea if WDCA 20 is one of the stations that can receive syndicated HD content? I'm also curious to know what providers around here actually carry Ch. 20 in HD?

- Ahsan
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post #379 of 13856 Old 02-12-2007, 02:49 AM
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Looks like Frederick's Adelphia/Comcast has added new channels and removed the hdnet channels. Just check my guide and now i'm on NGC HD


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post #380 of 13856 Old 02-12-2007, 06:08 AM
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Comcast was supposed to add TNT-HD and CSN-HD to the Frederick lineup as well.

Going to sign up for Dish Network?
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post #381 of 13856 Old 02-12-2007, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahsan View Post

Nice find! Now does anyone have any idea if WDCA 20 is one of the stations that can receive syndicated HD content? I'm also curious to know what providers around here actually carry Ch. 20 in HD?

Its always been pretty hard to get HD information out of Ch 20. Good luck.

I think that FiOS has WDCA-DT, maybe even DirectTV does too.

Going to sign up for Dish Network?
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post #382 of 13856 Old 02-12-2007, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by CycloneGT View Post

I think that FiOS has WDCA-DT, maybe even DirectTV does too.

Verizon FiosTV does carry WDCA-DT MNT 20 on the HD local set at channel 805. But the regional cable coverage for WDCA-DT 20 in HD is very sparse as far I know. Checking the cable line-ups for some of the local cable systems: Comcast in Reston - nope. Cox cable for Fairfax county - nope. RCN cable for MD and DC - nope.

Does Comcast carry WDCA-DT on it's HD tier anywhere in the DC area? Besides Verizon, are there ANY cable systems in the greater DC area that have WDCA-DT on their HD tier?

The poor cable carriage says something about how much Fox cares about the My Network startup. My Network may have 2 hours of cheesy soap operas / telenovels every night, but they are in good looking HD. (My Network will be cutting back on the soaps with new programming starting up in March, IIRC). But here you have Fox owned WDCA-DT which did finally go full power last summer, but only because the FCC made them. At least they are in HD. Then you have the Fox owned WUTB-DT 24 in Baltimore still broadcasting at a mere 550 watts and in SD only.

Based on their history, the odds have to be against WDCA-DT 20 showing any of the ACC tournament in HD. But if they do and you are a hoops fan, OTA is the only way to get it for most HD TV owners in the DC area.
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post #383 of 13856 Old 02-12-2007, 09:19 AM
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Hi Mike-

Earlier today I found some of the things you just mentioned re WETA on the FCC website. It wasn't obvious whether the data were current, but they listed WETA's analog station as 2290 kw ERP, the digital as 75 kw ERP (but later on the same page as 90 kw ERP). Even using the higher number, I was amazed to see how tiny the digital power was in comparison to the analog counterpart.

The ERP ratio of 2290/90 is about 25 to 1. And even if the two towers were identical, Arlington is twice the distance from me as the analog tower, so another 4 to 1 loss for the range doubling. Overall, a 100 to 1 difference, or a 20dB power loss . Then throw in those Silver Spring buildings and the digital tower's poor elevation.... It sounds like you've nailed the problem -- I'm getting a very sinking feeling about whether there's a cure.

Do you have any idea whether another mfgr's tuner might be able to cope with this magnitude of a signal level problem any better than my existing Sony tuner does? In reading downloaded manuals last night, I noticed that some Samsung sets have a low noise amplifier the user can switch on and off on a per station basis. That would help, but would it be enough?

You mentioned WETA's antenna site may be moving. Something like that was said here yesterday, but a Tenleytown tower was mentioned. Is that the same as the WJLA tower you referenced? I ask because while trying to confirm the earlier Tenleytown tower comment, I kept finding articles about a lawsuit resulting in a half finished tower being torn down. I hope this and the WJLA tower are completely different subjects.

Thanks for your helpful comments....

John





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Originally Posted by mikemikeb View Post

J-D-H,

Something that you might want to know about WETA-DT: They broadcast from a tower in Arlington that is about 70 meters lower above average terrain vs. stations like WUSA and WRC. Only the WETA analog tower is in the height and location range of the Big 4. Also, WETA-DT broadcasts at 75,000 watts vs. 813,000 for WRC and 1,000,000 for WJLA. So maybe downtown Silver Spring buildings block the WETA-DT signal or something.

Remember, WETA should move in the future to the WJLA tower...
_________________

Watching WJLA-DT (and analog) OTA, it looks like the game has a red cast. All other stations look fine, like the b-ball was on WUSA. Maybe it was the ABC feed, but it wouldn't hurt to check up on things.

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post #384 of 13856 Old 02-12-2007, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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J-D-H's problem isn't signal strength, nor is it signal differential. It is multipath. WETA is on a short tower, Its signals bounce all around. He'll have to get lucky with an antenna positioned such that develops some usable gain on the desired signal line while rejecting what might be the next strongest but undesired multipath signals of which there will be several. There is no scientific way to do this. You buy a few cheap antennas, you try lots of different positions. Don't spend much money trying to buy a solution for this situation unless you have money to burn.

As has been said many times in this thread, WETA digital is moving from Arlington to Wisconsin Ave. If you can't reliably get it now, you might as well wait.
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post #385 of 13856 Old 02-12-2007, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by afiggatt View Post

Which specific Channel Master antenna do you have? If I follow this, you don't get WETA-DT at all, even if you rotate the antenna towards Arlington and do a scan, correct? Depends on how your tuner works, but do you get anything if you enter channel 27 (the actual broadcast channel for the digital signal for WETA-DT)?

The Sony HD TVs have been reported to have good ATSC tuners. Given the Sony -Samsung collaboration on the LCD plant, it is likely that the Sony uses the same chipset as in Samsung ATSC tuner STBs. So you should be ok on the ATSC tuner.

For starters, I wonder if your Channel master is too directional for your location. In Silver Spring, Baltimore is in close to the opposite direction. With the right antenna, you should be able to aim the front of the antenna at Baltimore and pick up the DC stations in the backlobe without having to use a rotator most of the time.

I can get WETA-DT along with the rest of the DC and the Baltimore stations (and other stations in the region) from out here in Sterling with a Channel Master 4221 4 Bay bowtie UHF antenna without a rotator. The 4221 4 Bay is multi-directional with a broad pickup pattern to the front, but can also pick stations from the backside. I get WWPX-DT Pax/i 60 (DT=12) station way out in Martinsburg at 46 miles with my CM 4221 aimed in the other direction just south of Baltimore.

If you can't get WETA-DT at all from where you are, you may be blocked by the terrain, the city between you and the not that high a broadcast tower. If WETA-DT is still at Arlington, then the station is only at 75 kW, which would normally put you withing range, is not that powerful a signal for UHF. The FCC database for WETA is at http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/tvq?call=WETA if you want to look at the locations and tower heights. There is a lack of information over when WETA-DT will move it's digital broadcasting to the same DC area as the other DC towers. But I may be wrong and they already have. Maybe I should break out the very directional Radio Shack U-75R and find out where WETA-DT is broadcasting from just to be sure.

I've visited the FCC database but, frankly, got confused about what I was reading re WETA. There were three antenna entries for them, not two. Maybe two of the listings were on the same tower -- not sure. From the lat and long data, they have at least two towers, but it wasn't clear to me if the digital site is in Arlington. If it is, you might have a line of sight to it, and maybe I do not.

Sorry, but I can't quote a model number for my antenna since the documentation is long gone. All I know is that it's a combo VHF/UHF log periodic with a boom length of 11-12 feet. Channel Master called it a "fringe" or "deep fringe" (like that's a lot of help ), but judging by what we've seen over time with analog station reception, it seems to be a decent array.

Right... I cannot get the digital WETA no matter what. Just as you said, it so happens that two days ago I experimentally tried pointing the ant toward Balt and found we could get every VHF and UHF digital station up there while still maintaining perfect reception of all the DC area stations off the back of the antenna (but not WETA). Then we tried moving the antenna slightly east of Balt and found we could also receive digital Ch 22 in Annapolis perfectly along with all the rest. When analog ends on 2009, that compromise antenna bearing is so convenient, like you suggested, we may never need to use the rotator again.

In all the above, WETA is always impossible to get. I've tried auto-program scans and rescans so many times, the menu key on the TV's remote is in danger of wearing out. Instead of auto-program, I've tried entering via the numeric keypad every channel number in and around 26.1. No matter whether 26.1, 26.2, 26.3, etc., 27.x, etc., the tuner never finds WETA.

While doing this last night, I decided to keep looking higher in frequency. WETA never appeared, but when I got up to 34.1, the tuner locked onto what appeared to be a simultaneous UHF broadcast of VHF CBS channel 9.1. According to the TV set's diagnostics, this signal at 34.1 was super loud. After spending a lot of time on the internet I could not verify if CBS is actually transmitting on that UHF channel, but I'm suspicious that they are not. So once again, I'm wondering if this tuner is somehow defective.

Here's another symptom... I wondered why all the auto-scans had never picked up this 34.1 station, so I tried auto-programming several more times. The tuner ~never~ finds 34.1, but if I manually enter 34.1 via the keypad, it is always reliably there, almost pinning the scale on the signal strength diagnostic screen. Whether this station is real or some kind of overload product, I'd have thought that the tuner should find it during an auto-scan.

Getting back to the antenna, I've tried pointing it to every bearing, with and without a relatively low noise/high overload point Chan Master preamp, with and without a 4:1 splitter (6-7 dB loss), and even tried an inside bow tie as well as a loop. The other stations can be received in most of these tests, but never WETA. Still suspecting a tuner that's fouled up in some odd way, we even tried an auto-programming scan in Cable mode, but of course this was a waste of time. But now I find this powerful station at 34.1 and can't seem to verify if it's "real" or not.

Thanks for the info about the Sony ands Samsung tuners having much in common. That's good to know. However one thing they seem not to share is a user-electable low noise RF amplifier that's part of some Samsung DTV sets. I couldn't find any technical specs on this amp, but the fact that it might help my situation has me wondering about returning this Sony and instead getting a Samsung.

Prior to this odd channel 34.1 discovery, I was starting to accept that this is probably a low signal problem without a fix. We are up high (305 ft), but maybe we are co-level with downtown Silver Spring and the buildings there are blocking the wee little signal that WETA seems to be sending out. But the ch 34.1 thing gives me pause about there being no fix. As does the fact that a Samsung set with the LNA just might make the difference.

If you have any more thoughts/advice on all this, I'd sure appreciate hearing it! Thanks....
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post #386 of 13856 Old 02-12-2007, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by knnirs View Post

I normally watch WETA through my Comcast Basic cable with a QAM digital tuner,but the recent comments led me to try my indoor loop antenna. The digital OTA signal for WETA 26 is not as strong as that of MPT 22, but no problem obtaining a good signal tonight .

If you're in Beltsville, your location may make the difference. I'm not sure how to confirm it, but I may be looking into a wall of buildings in downtown Silver Spring, a few miles south of me. I thought we were looking over those buildings, but maybe not. Even if this is so, I wish I knew how to determine how far we are below an acceptable situation. If we are within a few dB of reception, a slightly better tuner might do the trick. If 20 dB below the edge for WETA, we'll just have to forget it (unless a tower move is in the works).
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post #387 of 13856 Old 02-12-2007, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post

J-D-H's problem isn't signal strength, nor is it signal differential. It is multipath. WETA is on a short tower, Its signals bounce all around. He'll have to get lucky with an antenna positioned such that develops some usable gain on the desired signal line while rejecting what might be the next strongest but undesired multipath signals of which there will be several. There is no scientific way to do this. You buy a few cheap antennas, you try lots of different positions. Don't spend much money trying to buy a solution for this situation unless you have money to burn.

As has been said many times in this thread, WETA digital is moving from Arlington to Wisconsin Ave. If you can't reliably get it now, you might as well wait.

I have no way to measure it, but I bet you are correct. And if those buildings in Silver Spring are in fact a co-level screen between us and WETA, I assume that would make matters even worse resulting in a multipath mess. I had originally assumed otherwise based on the complete lack of ghosting on the analog WETA signal here (it's strong and clean), but that was before finding out via this forum about the digital antenna's location and other analog/digital differences.

Regarding the WETA digital antenna move, I've tried to find out more about this, but my search strings haven't gotten me very far. Based on the original reference made here about Tenleytown, I found a lot of data on a lawsuit causing a half-built tower to be torn down, but no specific info regarding WETA's plans.
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post #388 of 13856 Old 02-12-2007, 12:27 PM
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To all....

After loading the Google Earth program, just now I was finally able to explore this area while watching the indicated elevation. It turns out that downtown Silver Spring has a base elevation of 335 ft, while our house is a few miles north of them at an elevation of 305 ft. So looking south, we're 30 feet below the roadway elevation at the intersection of Georgia Ave and Colesville Rd -- an over the horizon situation (and that does not even take into account the downtown buildings).

Evidently the antennas for all the other TV stations in that direction are high enough and/or their signals strong enough so as not to be a problem here, but WETA may be a lost cause for the time being. If and when WETA digital actually moves, I hope it'll be way higher and closer than it is now.

Oh well.... luckily WETA isn't the only PBS station in the area!
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post #389 of 13856 Old 02-12-2007, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by J-D-H View Post

While doing this last night, I decided to keep looking higher in frequency. WETA never appeared, but when I got up to 34.1, the tuner locked onto what appeared to be a simultaneous UHF broadcast of VHF CBS channel 9.1. According to the TV set's diagnostics, this signal at 34.1 was super loud. After spending a lot of time on the internet I could not verify if CBS is actually transmitting on that UHF channel, but I'm suspicious that they are not. So once again, I'm wondering if this tuner is somehow defective.

Here's another symptom... I wondered why all the auto-scans had never picked up this 34.1 station, so I tried auto-programming several more times. The tuner ~never~ finds 34.1, but if I manually enter 34.1 via the keypad, it is always reliably there, almost pinning the scale on the signal strength diagnostic screen. Whether this station is real or some kind of overload product, I'd have thought that the tuner should find it during an auto-scan.

There is nothing wrong, channel 34.1 is the digital simulcast channel for WUSA 9. All the digital broadcasts are done on other channels from the analog channels that you know the station as. They can not broadcast on the same channel as the analog signal as they would severely interfere with each others. ATSC provides a header field, called the PSIP, which tells the receiver to display channels 9.1, 9.2 for the channel 34 broadcast. WTTG-DT Fox 5 is broadcasting on UHF 36, for example. Look at the first post in this thread. The column of numbers in orange are the current digital broadcast channel for the station.

Digital broadcast provides for automatic channel remapping. The actual digital broadcast channel is useful to know when selecting an antenna. It can also help when a station messes up it's PSIP information and the digital station can only be found at it's actual broadcast channel. This happened recently with WBAL-DT 11 in Baltimore. Tune to channel 11.1 and the receiver switched to displaying channel 59.1 and in the case of my Samsung SIR-T451, wiped out the entry mapping it to channel 11. To get the station, I had to enter channel 59.

In February, 2009 when the analog shutdown occurs, we will get a reshuffling of the digital broadcast channels. The upper VHF (7 to 13) DC stations 7 & 9 and the Baltimore stations 11 & 13 will switch their digital broadcast to their current analog channels. You may have seen the recent posts discussing what power levels they will use when then do this. The low VHF (2 to 6) stations, 2, 4, and 5 have elected to avoid low VHF for digital broadcast as many large city stations have elected to do across the US and will stay at UHF. However, WMAR-DT 2 will move from ch 52 to ch 38. 2009 will be the year of the great broadcast channel reshuffle dance. So we will have no local stations at low VHF after 2009 unless a low power start-up applies for one of the unused low VHF channels.
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post #390 of 13856 Old 02-12-2007, 04:31 PM
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Comcast was supposed to add TNT-HD and CSN-HD to the Frederick lineup as well.


Yah it's there,
21 - CN8
770 - TNT-HD
771 - VS HS
778 - NGC-HD

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