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post #61 of 13819 Old 01-24-2007, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markbulla View Post

Yep - I have video and audio on 11-1, and 11-2. I'm still showing errors on their PSIP, so they may (should) still be working on it, but currently it's working on my Samsung receiver.

Mark

Hi folks,

I'm fairly new to this whole thing. I got my HDTV last month. Tonight, I'm not getting anything from WBAL-DT. My signal meter shows strong signal, but "weak signal or channel not available" keeps popping up.

I watched NBC on WRC instead, but I just want to make sure it's them and not me. I'm receiving all my other Washington and Baltimore stations as usual.

Thanks.
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post #62 of 13819 Old 01-24-2007, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bornyank1 View Post

According to Antenna Web, I'm about 2-4 miles from them...at least 9 of them are very, very close. I get 0 signal strength for every one of those channels you suggested. If the problem is an overly strong signal, would that still result in 0 signal strength? I looked for attenuators on Radioshack's site and nothing came up...is there another name for them? If it's just a splitter, I have one or two lying around...should I just connect them and use 2-3 coax cables to get the signal into the TV? Also have a couple feed-thru connectors.

I think someone in Georgetown had problems with overload a while back. In this case attenuators might be the solution (although multipath reflections could be the issue too.) I use a splitter for attenuation. A 2-way splitter will drop 3 or 4 dB, a 4-way about 7.5 dB. But any unused taps should be terminated to avoid reflections on the coax. I terminated extra taps on the FM receiver, a DVD recorder and an old TV in another room. (Or you could go buy another 50" plasma as a terminator.)
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post #63 of 13819 Old 01-24-2007, 06:59 PM
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I hooked up two splitters and 2 feed-through connectors...had coaxial cable all over the place. I picked up channel 22 briefly, that was the only improvement. Where can I get attenuators? Don't see 'em on Radioshack's site.
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post #64 of 13819 Old 01-24-2007, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by robertforsyth View Post

We had a major networking/viri issue today that is keeping me busy. It will launch tomorrow.

I was hoping the test pattern was it! I'd even settle for a webcam of the WJLA lobby... or the nearest Starbucks... maybe even Jiffy Lube bay #3.
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post #65 of 13819 Old 01-24-2007, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bornyank1 View Post

According to Antenna Web, I'm about 2-4 miles from them...at least 9 of them are very, very close. I get 0 signal strength for every one of those channels you suggested. If the problem is an overly strong signal, would that still result in 0 signal strength? I looked for attenuators on Radioshack's site and nothing came up...is there another name for them?

I would not read too much into the zero signal strength. The TV has both an analog NTSC and digital ATSC tuner and it is probably defaulting to the analog tuner when you enter a "unscanned" channel number. I can enter the actual digital channel for a station not picked up during a scan in my Samsung SIR-T451 ATSC receiver, but the Samsung has only a digital tuner, no analog. So it uses the digital tuner when I enter a channel number. OTOH, my Sony HDD250 DVR has NTSC and ATSC tuners. It can only add digital channels using a channel scan.

You may be getting an overloaded signal, but the problem is most likely your building. If it is a steel frame and concrete building, you may be in a dead zone for picking up the station signals coming in from the NW on the eastern side. You should try some experiments with different antenna locations. Can you add a 25' RG-6 cable and move the antenna to a different spot. Or move the TV temporarily to a room on the western or northern side and try to get the DC stations from there. The purpose is to confirm that you can get the local stations with your set up, not that you have to keep it in another dorm room.

Another alternative is get a simple NON-AMPLIFIED UHF loop antenna and stick that in the window. The GE Optima is an amplified antenna and amplified antennas are a bad idea when you are only 3 or 4 miles from 1000 KW transmitters. The Silver Sensor may be too directional to pick up the reflected signals. A UHF loop has a very broad pickup beam pattern (see http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/Loop.html).
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post #66 of 13819 Old 01-24-2007, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bornyank1 View Post

According to Antenna Web, I'm about 2-4 miles from them...at least 9 of them are very, very close. I get 0 signal strength for every one of those channels you suggested. If the problem is an overly strong signal, would that still result in 0 signal strength?

On some tuners, yes. Those things in general are wonky and not based on any specific science.

By the way, after looking at a map of the area, I didn't know that the campus was so close to the towers. Yeah, you probably have overload, especially if you can get in analog channels 26 and 32 with the Silver Sensor in just fine. But you could have a weak signla no matter what. To find out, see if you can pick up analog channels 26 and 32 in fine. If you can't, then you probably have a weak signal issue with the digital stations. But, if those come in fine, then you have an overload and perhaps multipath-based issue, though it would be good to work on the overload-based one first.

Regardless, at that sort of distance, with a Silver Sensor, an attenuator probably won't pad the signal enough to bring in any overloaded Big 4 stations. Also, in 2009, the local CBS and ABC affiliates will be moving to the VHF band, and the Silver Sensor isn't designed for that band. I suggest going to a RadioShack and picking up a 15-1838 antenna for $15, and when you get home, don't plug in the amplifier! From personal experience, you don't need it at that distance, as even without the amp plugged in, it's a fine antenna for short-range reception of both VHF and UHF channels.

Good luck.
_____________

Thanks for the update, Mr. Forsyth. I'm glad gravity didn't cause any air to bend into the equipment and break it.
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post #67 of 13819 Old 01-24-2007, 08:34 PM
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Thanks, markbulla, for the info about 2-3. I'll slightly reflect that in a general (and I think final for now) update to my OTA station list tomorrow, where I'll also update 7-3's final identity.

The other questions I had weren't clearly-worded, so I'll clarify them and allow anybody to answer:

1. Is the order of the MPT subchannels correct (for example, is MPT Select on channel xx-3)? If not, what is the correct order?
2. Are people watching WMPB/Baltimore or WFPT/Frederick getting some of their HD programming in DD5.1, or is it all stereo like WETA? I know that WMPT/Annapolis viewers can get DD5.1 if the program supports it (Great Performances?).

By the way, just for the record, because I'll remove the "guess" area of the list after it goes online: I'm locking in my guess of a sports theme for 7-3.
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post #68 of 13819 Old 01-24-2007, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Bornyank1 should try a paper clip for an antenna and see how that does. Seriously.

To clarify bornyank1's situation, he isn't getting 6 channels, he is getting two. The 26.X channels are being broadcast on channel 27 from his south, and his 50.x channels are being broadcast on channel 51 from the tower that looks like the Eiffel tower on the corner of Georgia Ave and Peabody, to his east.

Channels 20, 26 and 32 analog come from the River Road tower, which is surely to his Northwest. The network digital transmitters are to his north, so his 20/26/32 analog performance tells us virtually nothing regarding his prospects of getting the digital commercial transmissions from his north.

An analog tuner will generally handle input signals up to about 35dBmV or even 40dBmV, but I don't have reliable information on what the maximum input is for digital tuners. It will actually vary a good deal depending on the tuner design. Bornyank should be able to get something on 34, 35, 36, 39 and 48 by moving his antenna around, regardless of what he has for reflections and signal levels. (If you want to introduce 20 to 25dB of attenuation cheap. then connect the antenna to one output of a two way splitter, and the TV to the other input. it won't be as flat across the channel as an attenuator pad will, but flatness is not as critical with ATSC channels as it is with NTSC.
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post #69 of 13819 Old 01-24-2007, 09:08 PM
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I really appreciate all the thought you guys are putting into this problem, let me try to sum up what you seem to all be saying.

Right now I have the antenna hooked up to my TV with 3 coax cables...1 from the antenna into a splitter, one from the splitter to a feed-through connector, and one from the connector to the TV. Is that as much drain as an attenuator would be? I can go to Radioshack if they have them there (again, I don't see it on the website) and pick one up if it would be more effective than this 3-coax-cable setup I have right now. Maybe I need even more signal drain if the problem is overloading.

Someone suggested I get a simple loop antenna. Do you mean something like this?
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...entPage=search

I could pick one of those up if I go to Radioshack to get the attenuator. The TV is pretty large, and it's hooked up to a million things, so I don't know if I can carry it to someone else's room on the other side of the building to see if it works. I'll see what I can pick up of the analog stations. Thanks.
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post #70 of 13819 Old 01-24-2007, 09:20 PM
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Yeah, thats a cheap loop antenna. May be exactly what you need.

Going to sign up for Dish Network? PM me for a ClubDish referral number that will give you a $50 credit on your first bill.
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post #71 of 13819 Old 01-24-2007, 09:31 PM
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OK, if you don't think I should get that antenna, speak now, or forever hold your peace.

Also, can anyone find an attenuator on the site? There isn't a Radioshack right near me, and I don't have a car...might just order it online, and it would be nice to get everything together. Thanks.
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post #72 of 13819 Old 01-24-2007, 09:39 PM
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On second thought, I might get this stuff from Amazon, since they have plenty of attenuators. How about these antennae:

http://www.amazon.com/RCA-ANT120-Ind...&s=electronics

http://www.amazon.com/RCA-ANT115-Ind...&s=electronics

http://www.amazon.com/Magnavox-MANT-...&s=electronics

Which of those would you go for? Also, they have a large selection of attenuators...what dB should I use?
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post #73 of 13819 Old 01-25-2007, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post

Channels 20, 26 and 32 analog come from the River Road tower, which is surely to his Northwest. The network digital transmitters are to his north, so his 20/26/32 analog performance tells us virtually nothing regarding his prospects of getting the digital commercial transmissions from his north.

Good point. Of course, if he can still get 32 and 26-analog, then it still means that he has an overload issue. It's if he can't get them, then the matter's irrelevant.

That said, I just remembered that there's an analog station more proper to test with: WFDC channel 14 broadcasting from WRC-DC's tower, which is the westernmost tower that the Big 4 digitals broadcast from.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bornyank1 View Post

Right now I have the antenna hooked up to my TV with 3 coax cables...1 from the antenna into a splitter, one from the splitter to a feed-through connector, and one from the connector to the TV. Is that as much drain as an attenuator would be?

You might want to double-check that all those components are working properly, as one of those components may be internally broken. Try a direct cable connection from the Silver Sensor to the TV and see if that corrects anything. Do the testing of analog 14 while you're at it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bornyank1 View Post

Someone suggested I get a simple loop antenna. Do you mean something like this?
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...entPage=search

Something like that, but not that exact antenna. One of the antenna's specs concerns me:

Quote:
36" 300-ohm flat lead wire

What's the big deal with that? 300-ohm wire is highly unshielded cable, and is very susceptible to multipath. In analog, this causes ghosting. In digital, this can cause a lack of any picture.

At my house, there's a 50-year-old (or older?) 300-ohm setup to two TVs. With the basement TV, I can significantly affect how much an analog UHF channel is ghosting by simply moving the cable by as little as four inches. This is in a basement at over double the distance between your dorm and the towers. The point is, you're going to want the best of the best: quad-shielded RG-6 cable. RadioShack sells that stuff under the "Gold Series" moniker. It's a tad expensive, but well worth it.

The 15-1838 I mentioned earlier has a connector that accepts RG-6 and RG-59 cable (they share the same connector). If I remember correctly, the antenna comes with a short bit of RG-59 cable, and if it's RG-59, it's not as good as RG-6.

Another good thing about the 15-1838: Unlike many other cheap antennas, there's no cable that's permanently fixed to the antenna; you can always upgrade to more robust cable. The cable usually on these things aren't too shielded or that long.

By the way, for maximum reception with any antenna, have it by a window, and have enough cable length to get to the TV with the antenna there.
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post #74 of 13819 Old 01-25-2007, 02:35 AM
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I don't know if this has been posted yet, I have FIOS TV and they just sent me a letter to let me know about some channel realignment effective 2/20/2007.

They will add CSN HD and it looks like more. ESPN, ESPN2, NFL HD were 811,812, and 814 respectively. Next month they will be moved up to the upper 820s along with newly to be added CSN HD(really happy now I will get to see the Wizards and Caps in HD). It will be great if somehow MASN starts going HD before the season starts, because now they have both Nats and Orioles.

Not sure, but it looks like FIOS guys are making some room for more channels to be added(I heard about them adding some VOOM channels but no confirmations), or it could be that they are just being pain in the behind.
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post #75 of 13819 Old 01-25-2007, 02:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howie14 View Post

Hi folks,

I'm fairly new to this whole thing. I got my HDTV last month. Tonight, I'm not getting anything from WBAL-DT. My signal meter shows strong signal, but "weak signal or channel not available" keeps popping up.

Thanks.

WBAL-DT is having PSIP issues, and it's causing my Windows Vista box to do the same thing. Media Center maps 59-1 in the EPG to channel 1111, but it still wants a PSIP of 11-1 or it gives "No TV Signal" In true Microsoft fashion, there's no way to override this. WatchHDTV will manually tune 59-1 and get video, but I can't do much with it.

Try tuning your set to 59-1, or rescan and see if it adds 59-1. That should be WBAL-DT

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post #76 of 13819 Old 01-25-2007, 02:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVJunkyMonkey View Post

I don't know if this has been posted yet, I have FIOS TV and they just sent me a letter to let me know about some channel realignment effective 2/20/2007.

They will add CSN HD and it looks like more. ESPN, ESPN2, NFL HD were 811,812, and 814 respectively. Next month they will be moved up to the upper 820s along with newly to be added CSN HD(really happy now I will get to see the Wizards and Caps in HD). It will be great if somehow MASN starts going HD before the season starts, because now they have both Nats and Orioles.

Not sure, but it looks like FIOS guys are making some room for more channels to be added(I heard about them adding some VOOM channels but no confirmations), or it could be that they are just being pain in the behind.


i posted about this last week...but the real question is whether howard and ann arundel counties will lose access to the dc hd channels...they are not listed on the lineup sheet that accompanied the letter (only the baltimore hd channels are)...but i've called three different fios numbers and each tells me that there is no plan to remove the dc hd channels...of course, they have no explanation as to why those channels are no longer listed on the lineup sheet.

i guess we'll see on 2/20.
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post #77 of 13819 Old 01-25-2007, 04:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcCoyote View Post

WBAL-DT is having PSIP issues, and it's causing my Windows Vista box to do the same thing. Media Center maps 59-1 in the EPG to channel 1111, but it still wants a PSIP of 11-1 or it gives "No TV Signal" In true Microsoft fashion, there's no way to override this. WatchHDTV will manually tune 59-1 and get video, but I can't do much with it.

Try tuning your set to 59-1, or rescan and see if it adds 59-1. That should be WBAL-DT

Thanks. I tried both suggestions. Manually entering 59-1 redirects to 11-1 and scanning didn't produce a 59-1.

I guess I'll be watching WRC for the immediate future.
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post #78 of 13819 Old 01-25-2007, 05:09 AM
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I've got sound on both 11-1 and 11-2 as of 6:30 AM this morning. It looks like WBAL got the PSIP problem worked out.
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post #79 of 13819 Old 01-25-2007, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bornyank1 View Post

OK, if you don't think I should get that antenna, speak now, or forever hold your peace.

Also, can anyone find an attenuator on the site? There isn't a Radioshack right near me, and I don't have a car...might just order it online, and it would be nice to get everything together. Thanks.

Don't get that antenna. It has a flat lead rather than a coaxial. Flat leads can pick up all kinds of crap that will lead to errors.
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post #80 of 13819 Old 01-25-2007, 06:50 AM
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I've got the Samsung HDTV tuner and was considering gettting the Comcast Basic (non-digital) package here in DC.

I was wondering, aside from the local stations, what other HD stations can I get QAM (ie can I get "Comcast Sports Net HD", "ESPN HD", or any others)?

Please let me know (especially ESPN HD).

Thanks
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post #81 of 13819 Old 01-25-2007, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by zman8 View Post

I've got the Samsung HDTV tuner and was considering gettting the Comcast Basic (non-digital) package here in DC.

I was wondering, aside from the local stations, what other HD stations can I get QAM (ie can I get "Comcast Sports Net HD", "ESPN HD", or any others)?

Please let me know (especially ESPN HD).

Thanks

Whatever they don't encrypt. It's hit or miss and changes a lot. Just do a rescan every week to see if anything pops up.

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post #82 of 13819 Old 01-25-2007, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeInNVa View Post

Whatever they don't encrypt. It's hit or miss and changes a lot. Just do a rescan every week to see if anything pops up.

I am aware of this, but I was hoping that perhaps another forum member who uses the DC Comcast could more specifically answer my question.
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post #83 of 13819 Old 01-25-2007, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

I've got sound on both 11-1 and 11-2 as of 6:30 AM this morning. It looks like WBAL got the PSIP problem worked out.

Ugh. I was still looking at black screen as of 7:30 or so this morning.

I'm going to hope they are still tweaking something my tuner doesn't like instead of panicking about the problem.
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post #84 of 13819 Old 01-25-2007, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bornyank1 View Post

OK, if you don't think I should get that antenna, speak now, or forever hold your peace.

Also, can anyone find an attenuator on the site? There isn't a Radioshack right near me, and I don't have a car...might just order it online, and it would be nice to get everything together. Thanks.

You should try ANTALTMIKE's suggestion of a paper clip as an antenna. I tested this on my OnAir USB tuner, and observe signal levels from 4 to 28db on different OTA channels. Signal levels below 18 db are not useful, but if you really have overload the paper clip antenna should work as a test.

Good luck
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post #85 of 13819 Old 01-25-2007, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knnirs View Post

You should try ANTALTMIKE's suggestion of a paper clip as an antenna. I tested this on my OnAir USB tuner, and observe signal levels from 4 to 28db on different OTA channels. Signal levels below 18 db are not useful, but if you really have overload the paper clip antenna should work as a test.

Good luck

Should I just wrap it around the prong of the coax cable?
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post #86 of 13819 Old 01-25-2007, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by howie14 View Post

Ugh. I was still looking at black screen as of 7:30 or so this morning.

I'm going to hope they are still tweaking something my tuner doesn't like instead of panicking about the problem.

The bad PSIP info may have messed up the channel settings. If entering channel 59 or 59.1 does not work, you may need to do a rescan in case the receiver is now messed up on where to tune to WBAL-DT.
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post #87 of 13819 Old 01-25-2007, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knnirs View Post

You ....I tested this on my OnAir USB tuner, and observe signal levels from 4 to 28db on different OTA channels. Signal levels below 18 db are not useful, but if you really have overload the paper clip antenna should work as a test.

I believe you mean that your self test indicated "signal to noise ratios" (SNR) of 4 to 28dB.
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post #88 of 13819 Old 01-25-2007, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmsjr View Post

I was hoping the test pattern was it! I'd even settle for a webcam of the WJLA lobby... or the nearest Starbucks... maybe even Jiffy Lube bay #3.

After all this hype it better be something good.
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post #89 of 13819 Old 01-25-2007, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by ArcCoyote View Post

WBAL-DT is having PSIP issues, and it's causing my Windows Vista box to do the same thing. Media Center maps 59-1 in the EPG to channel 1111, but it still wants a PSIP of 11-1 or it gives "No TV Signal" In true Microsoft fashion, there's no way to override this. WatchHDTV will manually tune 59-1 and get video, but I can't do much with it.

Try tuning your set to 59-1, or rescan and see if it adds 59-1. That should be WBAL-DT

My Samsung T451 receiver doesn't have any issues with 11-1 and 11-2. Shows up to date guide info for both channels. My USDTV receiver OTOH says 'No program information available.'

Quote:
Originally Posted by SJKurtzke View Post

So, it's Wednesday....what's on 7.3?

(Less importantly) What channel number is it for FiOS?

I'm guessing it's some kind of ABC News Now/NewsChannel 8 hybrid.

So, now it's Thursday and what's on 7.3? A Test pattern, wow!!!

HD DVD = 102
BD = 45
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post #90 of 13819 Old 01-25-2007, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by davidwb View Post

i posted about this last week...but the real question is whether howard and ann arundel counties will lose access to the dc hd channels...they are not listed on the lineup sheet that accompanied the letter (only the baltimore hd channels are)...but i've called three different fios numbers and each tells me that there is no plan to remove the dc hd channels...of course, they have no explanation as to why those channels are no longer listed on the lineup sheet.

i guess we'll see on 2/20.


Well, I know this, those customer service reps don't know squat. Just 2 days before I received the letter to tell me about CSN HD, I actually called them and asked them how come we are not getting that channel. She told me because Comcast won't give it to them, and after calling and email Comcast and talking to them again, the second rep told me he doesn't know why.

Also I wouldn't trust that sheet, mine says that we will be getting the CSN Philadelphia. I am sure we are getting the DC CSN, so don't worry about the sheet. Don't bother calling them either, the reps don't know much at all, they need to get ones that specialize in FIOS TV only and actually have an idea of what they are telling their customers.
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