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post #271 of 2735 Old 07-17-2007, 11:52 AM
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I just saw the EL Cable commission minutes for the May meeting, and there's an entry indicating that Comcast will be replacing the 550MHz EL & Meridian plant with 860MHz infrastructure. A service interruption is noted.

Anyone have an idea when the project is to take place? Is this a neighborhood-by-neighborhood matter? Any idea how long such a planned service outage should last?

East Lansing (Lansing, MI DMA) A/V enthusiast getting content from xfinity, Netflix, OTA and off the shelf-o'-discs. A 4228 in the attic is almost good enough.
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post #272 of 2735 Old 07-17-2007, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard korsgren View Post

It is perfectly OK to have a variety of programming on a tv station....AS LONG IT DOES NOT TAKE AWAY FROM THE ONE HD PROGRAM YOU ARE SENDING OUT TO THE PUBLIC. Providers such as Directv will be showing over 100 channels of HD programming in the near future and more people will be purchasing HD displays. These people deserve to see the very best HD their sets are capable of. As of now, many providers have cut back on this very best quality. This is not right and should be corrected in the future.

As an HD viewer myself I understand your concerns. As a broadcaster, especially as a broadcaster with a public service mission I'm more conflicted.

We have to consider all of our viewers, not just those with HD sets, although certainly we do have to consider those viewers as well, and yes, you are right... as the price for HD sets gets less, there will be more viewers with HD sets.

You mention the "100s of channels in HD on DirecTV" unfortunately neither DirecTV nor Echostar/Dish network carry -any- local-into-local HD signals in the Lansing market at this time. Further, I've been told that neither DirecTV nor Dish carry -any- public television station in any of the markets for which they provide HD signals from over-the-air stations.

19% of the audience in our DMA receives the WKAR-TV analog signal exclusively over-the-air. Digital television sets have become very inexpensive ($99 can buy a standard-definition 14" set now) The federal "$40 coupon" program for set-top boxes launches next year. I'm thinking (hoping) that we'll still have lots of over-the-air viewers on our digital services after 2/18/09.

We are still planning to continue to offer the HD service. For the next year I expect that it will continue as the PBS|HD channel, which is largely upconverted widescreen and where most of the schedule is repeats.

Just as an aside, the February 2007 Nielsen DMA Household Universe Estimates show in these percentages in the Lansing market (#112)

19.1 broadcast only
80.9 Cable + ADS
56.9 Wired Cable
24.1 Satellite/DBS

Total households is 256,190
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post #273 of 2735 Old 07-18-2007, 07:18 AM
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Pulling a section from Gary's post
Quote:
Originally Posted by garybliev View Post

Just as an aside, the February 2007 Nielsen DMA Household Universe Estimates show in these percentages in the Lansing market (#112)

19.1 broadcast only
80.9 Cable + ADS
56.9 Wired Cable
24.1 Satellite/DBS

Just to pick up on that, it seems that half of WKAR's audience is getting their PBS-HD feed from wired MSOs. This is why I inquired about whether 'KAR might be able to provide a higher bitrate PBS-HD feed to providers like Comcast.

(I have no idea what it would cost to provide such a feed. Gary, out of curiosity, how would a cable provider get your signal if not OTA? Fiber? Microwave? Carrier pigeon?)

I suspect, as Gary does, that there will be more viewers getting a digital OTA feed of WKAR as NTSC is cut off, subsidised converters appear and digital sets continue to drop in price.

Having said that, I suspect that for several years equipment costs alone will continue to mean that the pool of 23.1 viewers is disproportionately paying Comcast, Dish or DirecTV while the 23.2 viewers are disproportionately getting a free OTA feed.

East Lansing (Lansing, MI DMA) A/V enthusiast getting content from xfinity, Netflix, OTA and off the shelf-o'-discs. A 4228 in the attic is almost good enough.
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post #274 of 2735 Old 07-18-2007, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMWinnie View Post

Pulling a section from Gary's postJust to pick up on that, it seems that half of WKAR's audience is getting their PBS-HD feed from wired MSOs. This is why I inquired about whether 'KAR might be able to provide a higher bitrate PBS-HD feed to providers like Comcast.

(I have no idea what it would cost to provide such a feed. Gary, out of curiosity, how would a cable provider get your signal if not OTA? Fiber? Microwave? Carrier pigeon?)

I suspect, as Gary does, that there will be more viewers getting a digital OTA feed of WKAR as NTSC is cut off, subsidised converters appear and digital sets continue to drop in price.

Having said that, I suspect that for several years equipment costs alone will continue to mean that the pool of 23.1 viewers is disproportionately paying Comcast, Dish or DirecTV while the 23.2 viewers are disproportionately getting a free OTA feed.


We have existing fiber between us and Comcast East Lansing/Lansing, and there is some interconnections between Comcast EL/L and other Comast systems.

For a relatively small amount, I guess 5,000 we could convert the output of our multiplexer to QAM to be sent to Comcast via the fiber. But it would be an exact copy of what we are transmitting, with the statistical multiplexing.

If we were to provide Comcast with a fixed bit rate HD and fixed bit rate SD signals, we could need to have additional HD and SD encoders. About 40K for an HD encoder and 20K for each SD encoder. 5K for a multiplexer and 10K for the QAM converters. Call it 100K total.... 50K to do just the HD if we continued to use our existing analog-digital hybrid interconnect for KAR-2, KAR-3, and KAR-4.

Even then, Comcast might not be willing to provide us the spectrum we would need to have multiple digital services. On the local Comcast signal, WKAR occupies 1/2 of a 6mhz (38 mb) QAM channel. Within that 1/2 of a channel, we can have one HD (which is all Comcast has turned on) or the HD + SD + SD + SD. We would need a full QAM channel to have half dedicated to HD and the other half to the 3 SD services.

As to "half of audience via MSOs" I don't know. We have only received notification from Comcast (for some systems), Millennium, and the Coldwater municipal system that they are carrying us. Because we are a public station, we are not offered an opportunity to negotiate for carriage, basically we radiate bits and if a cable system wishes to carry us, they can. It's not even required that they tell us.
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post #275 of 2735 Old 07-19-2007, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garybliev View Post

We have existing fiber between us and Comcast East Lansing/Lansing, and there is some interconnections between Comcast EL/L and other Comast systems.

For a relatively small amount, I guess 5,000 we could convert the output of our multiplexer to QAM to be sent to Comcast via the fiber. But it would be an exact copy of what we are transmitting, with the statistical multiplexing.

If we were to provide Comcast with a fixed bit rate HD and fixed bit rate SD signals, we could need to have additional HD and SD encoders. About 40K for an HD encoder and 20K for each SD encoder. 5K for a multiplexer and 10K for the QAM converters. Call it 100K total.... 50K to do just the HD if we continued to use our existing analog-digital hybrid interconnect for KAR-2, KAR-3, and KAR-4.

Even then, Comcast might not be willing to provide us the spectrum we would need to have multiple digital services. On the local Comcast signal, WKAR occupies 1/2 of a 6mhz (38 mb) QAM channel. Within that 1/2 of a channel, we can have one HD (which is all Comcast has turned on) or the HD + SD + SD + SD. We would need a full QAM channel to have half dedicated to HD and the other half to the 3 SD services.

As to "half of audience via MSOs" I don't know. We have only received notification from Comcast (for some systems), Millennium, and the Coldwater municipal system that they are carrying us. Because we are a public station, we are not offered an opportunity to negotiate for carriage, basically we radiate bits and if a cable system wishes to carry us, they can. It's not even required that they tell us.

Gary,
Thanks for the peek under the hood. I like to think of myself as reasonably well-informed on CATV, telecom and the like, and I'm embarrassed at how rarely I can attach even a rough pricetag in my mind when I read (or make) a suggestion regarding a change in service.

Edit for typo.

East Lansing (Lansing, MI DMA) A/V enthusiast getting content from xfinity, Netflix, OTA and off the shelf-o'-discs. A 4228 in the attic is almost good enough.
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post #276 of 2735 Old 07-19-2007, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMWinnie View Post

Gary,
Thanks for the peak under the hood. I like to think of myself as reasonably well-informed on CATV, telecom and the like, and I'm embarrassed at how rarely I can attach even a rough pricetag in my mind when I read (or make) a suggestion regarding a change in service.

Don't feel embarrassed, there's no way you would know unless we share that information. WKAR has not spent a lot of time informing viewers how much we have spent.... or still need to spend.

Including our first steps into digital in 2000 with a digital production switcher, router, video tape recorders and video server we have spent over 2.6 million dollars.... .thus far. This does not include any HD production equipment. Something freighting: The short useful life of equipment. Of the items we purchased in 2000 we are in process of replacing the video server (we actually have for program material.... interstitial elements move to the server as soon as we get the automation system to work) We have replaced the standard definition digital router with a router capable of SD and HD.

Good news is that items we need are getting less expensive. Bad news is that we need a lot of items. We have major expenses coming up in the immediate future for conversion to channel 40 by 2/18/09. Another 2 million dollars including replacement of our 1953 tower.
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post #277 of 2735 Old 07-19-2007, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garybliev View Post

As an HD viewer myself I understand your concerns. As a broadcaster, especially as a broadcaster with a public service mission I'm more conflicted.

We have to consider all of our viewers, not just those with HD sets, although certainly we do have to consider those viewers as well, and yes, you are right... as the price for HD sets gets less, there will be more viewers with HD sets.

You mention the "100s of channels in HD on DirecTV" unfortunately neither DirecTV nor Echostar/Dish network carry -any- local-into-local HD signals in the Lansing market at this time. Further, I've been told that neither DirecTV nor Dish carry -any- public television station in any of the markets for which they provide HD signals from over-the-air stations.

19% of the audience in our DMA receives the WKAR-TV analog signal exclusively over-the-air. Digital television sets have become very inexpensive ($99 can buy a standard-definition 14" set now) The federal "$40 coupon" program for set-top boxes launches next year. I'm thinking (hoping) that we'll still have lots of over-the-air viewers on our digital services after 2/18/09.

We are still planning to continue to offer the HD service. For the next year I expect that it will continue as the PBS|HD channel, which is largely upconverted widescreen and where most of the schedule is repeats.

Just as an aside, the February 2007 Nielsen DMA Household Universe Estimates show in these percentages in the Lansing market (#112)

19.1 broadcast only
80.9 Cable + ADS
56.9 Wired Cable
24.1 Satellite/DBS

Total households is 256,190



Not '100s of channels of HD' from Directv in near future but 'over 100 channels of HD content. It is just that talk of reducing HD content over Public TV is counter to what the future really will look like. Within 10 years HD in the home will be the norm. Of course, at that point, something much better than our current HD will be on the horizon. Bottom line, all tv stations should be thinking about moving into HD in a big way. Of course, I understand that cost is a major consideration here.
With the commercial tv stations, competition will force all of them, who want to survive, into local HD. Channel 7 in Detroit is a good example of a station leading the way here. HD is definitely here and we must go forward.
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post #278 of 2735 Old 07-20-2007, 05:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard korsgren View Post

Not '100s of channels of HD' from Directv in near future but 'over 100 channels of HD content. It is just that talk of reducing HD content over Public TV is counter to what the future really will look like. Within 10 years HD in the home will be the norm. Of course, at that point, something much better than our current HD will be on the horizon. Bottom line, all tv stations should be thinking about moving into HD in a big way. Of course, I understand that cost is a major consideration here.
With the commercial tv stations, competition will force all of them, who want to survive, into local HD. Channel 7 in Detroit is a good example of a station leading the way here. HD is definitely here and we must go forward.

Channel 7 in Detroit is the flagship of the Scripps Broadcast Group. They have more money that the Beatles.

WKAR is continuing to broadcast in HD, and we are making investments in HD production. Just this week we took delivery of our HD editing system and, expect to have a three or four camera HD production system on line in the next few months.
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post #279 of 2735 Old 07-20-2007, 06:37 AM
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I just moved to Lansing last week and got Comcast HD installed yesterday. Two issues I am having already.
1.) All HD programs are being output in 1080i regardless of source. How do I let it pass through the native resolution?
2.) On some HD stations, the audio mix is wrong. For whatever reason the center channel is being combined and output through the woofer. Incidently this is mostly on what should be 720p stations, with the exception of National Geographic HD and Discovery HD.

I know the problem isnt with my hardware as other HD and SD stations output normally. Has anyone heard of this happening before? How can I go about fixing it?
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post #280 of 2735 Old 07-20-2007, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanMacMan View Post

I just moved to Lansing last week and got Comcast HD installed yesterday. Two issues I am having already.
1.) All HD programs are being output in 1080i regardless of source. How do I let it pass through the native resolution?
2.) On some HD stations, the audio mix is wrong. For whatever reason the center channel is being combined and output through the woofer. Incidently this is mostly on what should be 720p stations, with the exception of National Geographic HD and Discovery HD.

I know the problem isnt with my hardware as other HD and SD stations output normally. Has anyone heard of this happening before? How can I go about fixing it?

1) The Comcast boxes passes either 720p or 1080i as selected from the setup menu. There is no option to pass the native resolution however.

2) I have no clue about the audio, however, National Geographic is a 720p channel.
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post #281 of 2735 Old 07-20-2007, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garybliev View Post


Good news is that items we need are getting less expensive. Bad news is that we need a lot of items. We have major expenses coming up in the immediate future for conversion to channel 40 by 2/18/09. Another 2 million dollars including replacement of our 1953 tower.


Is WKAR-TV still using a tower from the first days of WKAR-TV, before MSU shared channel 10 with the old WILX/WMSB station? For some reason I thought that WKAR-TV built a new (very tall) tower in the early 70's when they moved to channel 23.
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post #282 of 2735 Old 07-20-2007, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wb8tgy View Post

Is WKAR-TV still using a tower from the first days of WKAR-TV, before MSU shared channel 10 with the old WILX/WMSB station? For some reason I thought that WKAR-TV built a new (very tall) tower in the early 70's when they moved to channel 23.

Yes. No.

The tower currently used by WKAR-TV and WKAR-FM was built in 1953. WKAR-TV first went on the air in January, 1954 on channel 60.

Michigan State University built a new tower in the Onondaga area in 1959 that was shared between WMSB-TV and WILX-TV on channel 10. (Since WKAR radio was licensed to East Lansing, the call letters "WKAR" could not be used for a television station licensed to Onondaga)

In 1972 MSU sold it's interest in the channel 10 license and the property (tower, building, transmitter) to WILX and moved back to the UHF band, and back to the -same- tower in Okemos.

More information is available on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WKAR-TV
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post #283 of 2735 Old 07-20-2007, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homcom View Post

1) The Comcast boxes passes either 720p or 1080i as selected from the setup menu. There is no option to pass the native resolution however.

2) I have no clue about the audio, however, National Geographic is a 720p channel.

No option to pass the native resolution? Which genius thought that one up? For one of the very first boxes I could believe it, but for something they're selling/leasing in July of 2007?
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post #284 of 2735 Old 07-20-2007, 10:34 AM
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Gary,

Thanks for the history lesson. I still have a old tube type UHF TV converter in my basement that my parents used to pick up the old WKAR-TV. Things sure have changed over the years, I'm sure there is no microprocessor in that "set top box".

Mark
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post #285 of 2735 Old 07-21-2007, 07:49 AM
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I am watching the Brittish open on channel 41 I t appears to be in 16x9 format but the quality appears to be sd. Channel 53 shows a 4x3 for mat and appears to be sd.

Does this mean that channel 53 has not flipped the hd switch or is Channel 41 showing a 16x9 format stretched?



John
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post #286 of 2735 Old 07-21-2007, 07:58 AM
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It is amazing that the British Open isn't in HD on ABC. TNT broadcast the first two days in glorious high definition. I checked some web sites that are usually quite accurate about sports in HD and the open isn't listed. Can't understand it.
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post #287 of 2735 Old 07-21-2007, 10:12 PM
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From HDSportsGuide.com earlier this week:

In case you were wondering why we are not listing The British Open in our guide, both TNT and ABC will be upconverting the standard definition widescreen feed to HD resolution. It will be 16x9 but it is not true high definition.
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post #288 of 2735 Old 07-22-2007, 08:43 AM
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Where in the setup menu do I go to change the resolution? I have been looking around and can't seem to find any option for this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by homcom View Post

1) The Comcast boxes passes either 720p or 1080i as selected from the setup menu. There is no option to pass the native resolution however.

2) I have no clue about the audio, however, National Geographic is a 720p channel.

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post #289 of 2735 Old 07-22-2007, 08:59 AM
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Assuming you have the Motorola box, you turn the box off and push the menu button, with the TV on. This will give you the set up menu and when you have your settings selected, turn the box back off, and they should be set.

Larry
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post #290 of 2735 Old 07-22-2007, 09:41 AM
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Thanks.

Does anyone know if we get Comcast SportsNet Chicago as part of the Lansing package?

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Assuming you have the Motorola box, you turn the box off and push the menu button, with the TV on. This will give you the set up menu and when you have your settings selected, turn the box back off, and they should be set.

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post #291 of 2735 Old 07-22-2007, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanMacMan View Post

Thanks.

Does anyone know if we get Comcast SportsNet Chicago as part of the Lansing package?

no on getting CSN Chicago. Even if you could get it all of the pro sports would have to be blackedout in Michigan.
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post #292 of 2735 Old 07-23-2007, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garybliev View Post

Channel 7 in Detroit is the flagship of the Scripps Broadcast Group. They have more money that the Beatles.

WKAR is continuing to broadcast in HD, and we are making investments in HD production. Just this week we took delivery of our HD editing system and, expect to have a three or four camera HD production system on line in the next few months.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
WKAR TV seems to be a leader in HD; just hope the station continues at the forefront.
I hear this sad comment, from some public tv quarters about the cutback in HD, and become somewhat worried. Please do continue to be a leader.
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post #293 of 2735 Old 07-25-2007, 03:08 PM
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I live near Celina Ohio and was receiving digital channel 10 from Lansing last night. Can anyone tell me the Kw power of that station or why I am suddenly able to pull it in?
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post #294 of 2735 Old 07-25-2007, 04:02 PM
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Question regarding the Comcast Motorola HD box - does it make a lick of difference what compression level my audio is set to? The tech initially set it to 'Heavy', but I turned it off post hookup.
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post #295 of 2735 Old 07-25-2007, 06:28 PM
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I don't think it applies to the digital audio output, only the analog ones. Assuming you have your audio output going to a receiver, then you would set the audio choices there. Hope this helps.

Larry
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post #296 of 2735 Old 07-26-2007, 07:27 AM
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Mr. Freon,

The FCC web site shows WILX-DT on digital channel 57, running 43.4kW under a "STA", they have a Construction Premit for 500kW, so I'm not sure how much power they really are running.

My guess as to why you were able to get them is because of a weather condition called "Tropospheric Ducting" or also just called "Tropo" by TV-DXers and ham radio operators. This type of band opening is common this time of year when you have calm still weather at night, and a large high pressure system in the area. A web site you may want to check out for possible good band conditions for looking for distant TV stations is:

http://www.dxinfocentre.com/tropo.html
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post #297 of 2735 Old 07-26-2007, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wb8tgy View Post

Mr. Freon,

The FCC web site shows WILX-DT on digital channel 57, running 43.4kW under a "STA", they have a Construction Premit for 500kW, so I'm not sure how much power they really are running.

My guess as to why you were able to get them is because of a weather condition called "Tropospheric Ducting" or also just called "Tropo" by TV-DXers and ham radio operators. This type of band opening is common this time of year when you have calm still weather at night, and a large high pressure system in the area. A web site you may want to check out for possible good band conditions for looking for distant TV stations is:

http://www.dxinfocentre.com/tropo.html

Thanks for the info!!
If you know of any other usefull websites, please let me know.
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post #298 of 2735 Old 07-27-2007, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TTRider View Post

It is amazing that the British Open isn't in HD on ABC. TNT broadcast the first two days in glorious high definition. I checked some web sites that are usually quite accurate about sports in HD and the open isn't listed. Can't understand it.

I called wwmt in K'zoo on Sunday and got the upconvert turned on until the lotto scores took it into SD and I had quit paying attention so i didn't call back to get the playoff turned on in the hd feed.

It's time to give props to WLNS for the HD crawl generator!!!

Now we need WHTV to go HD and Lansing's CW to get a separate transmitter so it isn't a digital sub.
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post #299 of 2735 Old 07-27-2007, 07:07 PM
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I have the Motorola HD box hooked up via a DVI to HDMI cable. Is it possible to adjust the color space on the cable box? It is currently in a limited setting, whereas I need an extended setting.
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post #300 of 2735 Old 07-31-2007, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Food HD on 197 and Home and Garden HD on 198 are live on Comcast.

Watching Giada's Weekend and its very nice, good shots of San Francisco

It's time to give props to WLNS for the HD crawl generator!!!

Now we need WHTV to go HD and Lansing's CW to get a separate transmitter so it isn't a digital sub.
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