Chicago, IL - OTA - Page 16 - AVS Forum
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Old 05-16-2007, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebenste View Post

Hi Allik,

I'll kill two birds with one stone here.

First, 66-1 has been fixed. Now, questions...

House, apartment, townhome?

Will the antenna be on the roof, attic, or top of the set?

How far away and what direction are you from the John Hancock tower?

Will assume worst case scenario: apartment, facing away from the buildings.

If the antenna is on the entertainment center, a $10 pair of "rabbit ears" with a "loop" or some type of UHF antenna may work just fine. You can get those at Radio Shack. I'd try that first, actually, IF you can face the Hancock to some degree (IE, you aren't on the southeast side of a building, and the Hancock is northwest of you, unless you are close).

Yes I live in a house, southwest side of Chicago.

root top antenna or the antenna for satellite dish. (I have Directv)

And yes I'm facing the John Hancock tower
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:16 PM
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What happened to tonight's Soundstage (Garbage is on)? I saw it a while ago and thought it looked fine. Now it looks washed out and almost fuzzy.

The only difference is that I'm watching over Comcast now, but I thought they pushed the HD channels out identically to the broadcast stream? And in general, I haven't noticed this issue with other programming.

EDIT- I just looked at it further, and it almost looks like it's upconverted SD!
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALLIK View Post

Yes I live in a house, southwest side of Chicago.

root top antenna or the antenna for satellite dish. (I have Directv)

And yes I'm facing the John Hancock tower

If you're willing to put up a roof antenna, that would be best. I'd recommend
this:

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...000000693-3016

But you might have to get it from another store. Now, here's something that will raise eyebrows here. Before long-time Chicago AVS'ers raise a stink, let me explain.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ab=custRatings

This is the Radio Shack VU-90, for $60 plus accessories. It won't last as long as a Winegard antenna. If you are willing to order online or drive up to Mt. Prospect to get this:

https://www.tselectronic.com/winegard/hd7080.html

It's $72. The latter is the best in terms of quality, no doubt. The first two aren't built as well as the last one; the Winegard should get you almost 30 years of life if installed properly. The first two will go 10 years; the Radio Shack one may be less. The "big brotehr" VU-190 Radio Shack antenna has an annoying habit of getting destroyed within 5 years; this smaller sister antenna does better with a lot fewer elements to break. I would not recommend an antenna on the dish itself; although they make them, they generally perform poorly compared to all the ones listed above.

Any of the three will do what you want for it to do. If you put a rotor on it, you would also get WYIN-DT, "Lakeshore Public Television" in northwest Indiana, if you care to pick it up.

Gilbert
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:59 PM
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Hey, there's nothing wrong with the Radio Shack boom and yaggi. At least, you're not trying to shove those new wacky HDTV antennas. Why are you getting him to point at the Hancock instead of Sears? Did I miss something here....
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Old 05-18-2007, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escopa View Post

Hey, there's nothing wrong with the Radio Shack boom and yaggi. At least, you're not trying to shove those new wacky HDTV antennas. Why are you getting him to point at the Hancock instead of Sears? Did I miss something here....

Hi Escopa,

WBBM-DT is the hardest to get, with its low power and subject to high amounts of interference. Get that station, and the rest is comparably very easy to get.

The VU-190 Radio Shack antenna, their far suburban/rural monster-size model does have a tendency to break within 5 years. Sometimes they go 10 years, but usually with elements broken off. They are very good for attics, though. And they do have a tendency to pick up WBBM-DT out to 40 miles, even in attics, if you have a straight shot to the Hancock.

Gilbert
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Old 05-18-2007, 07:02 PM
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Het Gilbert, I noticed awhile back that the Lowe's by me (Lake in the Hills) stopped carrying the Channel Master stuff. All they had left were a few Stealth's, last few times I was there. They even got rid of all the hardware and masts. Even the little, connection stuff. Just Philips. And even though it's the exact same stuff as the Philips, I don't remember seeing any Zenith anymore, either. Altogether, they probably less than half of what they had before.

Ugh. If I wanted that, I could just go down the block to Menards or Walmart.

Don't know if it's only this store, but I just thought I'd bring it up in case.
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Old 05-18-2007, 08:29 PM
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Anyone else notice that WGN had a noticeably more detailed HD picture than Comcast SportsNet HD for the Sox-Cubs game today? Very surprising, given the past performance of these two carriers. We'll see if it happens again Sunday.

UncD2000
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Het Gilbert, I noticed awhile back that the Lowe's by me (Lake in the Hills) stopped carrying the Channel Master stuff. All they had left were a few Stealth's, last few times I was there. They even got rid of all the hardware and masts. Even the little, connection stuff. Just Philips. And even though it's the exact same stuff as the Philips, I don't remember seeing any Zenith anymore, either. Altogether, they probably less than half of what they had before.

Ugh. If I wanted that, I could just go down the block to Menards or Walmart.

Don't know if it's only this store, but I just thought I'd bring it up in case.

Thanks. Menard's is in the same boat, although they still have everything out in the DeKalb store. I wonder if, after the Daytona 500 and the Super Bowl, if antenna sales plummeted? I find it hard to believe after the news story hit about AntennasDirect that this the case. Head to www.antennasdirect.com and see the story about them that aired on CNBC. They can't keep up!

I do think that it will be harder to find antennas now in the "big box" stores. Specialty shops like Tri-State Electronics and online stores may be the best way to get what you need. I, too, have looked at the store catalogs, and after the Daytona 500, they started pulling their antenna lineups. Which is a shame, since this is when people (cough, cough, Ramm, cough) can go outside and hoist antennas with the onset of late spring.

If this is the case, then Antennas Direct, Tri-State and these specialty antenna shops will get a lot of business. You won't hear them complain.

Gilbert
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Old 05-19-2007, 09:05 AM
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ANyone have trouble With WLS HD Today? Currently the audio is dropping all the time.
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Old 05-19-2007, 09:25 AM
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I get my HD through Comcast, and no issues over the last 10 minutes or so.

Need help with your Motorola DVR? Check the Wikibook: How to use a Motorola DVR
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Old 05-19-2007, 10:18 AM
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Oh Yeah so do I sorry i meant to post this in the comcast thread. i Will repost there
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Old 05-19-2007, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Het Gilbert, I noticed awhile back that the Lowe's by me (Lake in the Hills) stopped carrying the Channel Master stuff. All they had left were a few Stealth's, last few times I was there. They even got rid of all the hardware and masts. Even the little, connection stuff. Just Philips. And even though it's the exact same stuff as the Philips, I don't remember seeing any Zenith anymore, either. Altogether, they probably less than half of what they had before.

Ugh. If I wanted that, I could just go down the block to Menards or Walmart.

Don't know if it's only this store, but I just thought I'd bring it up in case.


Rammitinski, All Lowe's stores are getting rid of Channel Master antenna and accessories. Don't know if they are going to replace with some other brand or just not sell antennas anymore. Just like Home Depot has got rid of RCA antenna and replaced with GE brand antenna and accessories.

-Willie
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Old 05-20-2007, 05:19 AM
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Sorry if this is a stupid question, I'm new. Can a D*TV dish with 5 LNB's be used for OTA HD on the West side of Chicago? The installer said no, but I've read that it can. I get locals on the dish, but would lke OTA as a back up. Thanks.....
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Old 05-20-2007, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPilz402 View Post

Sorry if this is a stupid question, I'm new. Can a D*TV dish with 5 LNB's be used for OTA HD on the West side of Chicago? The installer said no, but I've read that it can. I get locals on the dish, but would lke OTA as a back up. Thanks.....

No, you need to install an over the air antenna to receive OTA signals. Depending on your location you might be able to use an indoor antenna, an outdoor mounted in the attic or mounted on the roof.
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Old 05-20-2007, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swalve View Post

What happened to tonight's Soundstage (Garbage is on)? I saw it a while ago and thought it looked fine. Now it looks washed out and almost fuzzy.

The only difference is that I'm watching over Comcast now, but I thought they pushed the HD channels out identically to the broadcast stream? And in general, I haven't noticed this issue with other programming.

EDIT- I just looked at it further, and it almost looks like it's upconverted SD!

Yep--you'd think WTTW productions would reduce the flashing lights and quick transitions to reduce the bitrate requirements enough to look ok on the local bitstarved broadcast.
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Old 05-21-2007, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwarmstr View Post

Yep--you'd think WTTW productions would reduce the flashing lights and quick transitions to reduce the bitrate requirements enough to look ok on the local bitstarved broadcast.

They probably have to produce it for the other PBS outlets which, unlike WTTW, are not incompetents who are downrezzing the 1080i feed to a bit starved 720p.
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:33 AM
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This is weird. Last week I started noticing dropouts on all WTTW digital stations. We don't watch much TV during the week, but this weekend it was really getting annoying. I didn't time the frequency or duration. This was during the daytime.

So I thought I'd compare it against the worst digital signal, WBBM. Well, WBBM came in crystal clear consistently. I re-aimed my antenna (without the aid of compass) and the WTTW dropouts were still there and WBBM was still crystal clear. I'd think the weaker and lower frequency WBBM signal would be a goner if WTTW wasn't coming in well.

My TV doesn't display signal strength, so I don't have those figures either. I'm 22 miles from downtown, Highland Park/ Deerfield area. I have a "traditional" style RCA brand rooftop antenna, sized for 35 mile range, mounted atop a split-lever house. Moderate tree blockage, typical for 1950's developed suburban neighborhoods. I am using several cheap splitters between the antenna and the TV, but if this was the cause shouldn't WBBM deteriorate also?

So, anybody have any thoughts on my WTTW dropouts? Thanks
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mogator88 View Post

This is weird. Last week I started noticing dropouts on all WTTW digital stations. We don't watch much TV during the week, but this weekend it was really getting annoying. I didn't time the frequency or duration. This was during the daytime.

So I thought I'd compare it against the worst digital signal, WBBM. Well, WBBM came in crystal clear consistently. I re-aimed my antenna (without the aid of compass) and the WTTW dropouts were still there and WBBM was still crystal clear. I'd think the weaker and lower frequency WBBM signal would be a goner if WTTW wasn't coming in well.

My TV doesn't display signal strength, so I don't have those figures either. I'm 22 miles from downtown, Highland Park/ Deerfield area. I have a "traditional" style RCA brand rooftop antenna, sized for 35 mile range, mounted atop a split-lever house. Moderate tree blockage, typical for 1950's developed suburban neighborhoods. I am using several cheap splitters between the antenna and the TV, but if this was the cause shouldn't WBBM deteriorate also?

Mine was fine. The trees budding leaves may be causing multipath for you, confusing your tuner. Or, being on channel 47, your signal may be attenuated enough so that you're seeing problems. Do you have a signal amplifier/preamplifier on your setup? If you are splitting 4 ways or more, you probably need one.

Gilbert
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:16 PM
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Gilbert -

Isn't the UHF signal more affected by that sort of interference (leaves) than the low-VHF one?

(WTTW's been fine out here, too.)
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Gilbert -

Isn't the UHF signal more affected by that sort of interference (leaves) than the low-VHF one?

(WTTW's been fine out here, too.)

Yes it does, I should have been more clear. But, couple that with several splits of the signal, and you have a mess on your hands that hopefully a preamp or amp can cure.

Gilbert
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Old 05-21-2007, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxie1617 View Post

They probably have to produce it for the other PBS outlets which, unlike WTTW, are not incompetents who are downrezzing the 1080i feed to a bit starved 720p.

Believe it or not they actually do tape a chunk of them at WTTW. I don't know the actually percentage but its a good chunk.

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Old 05-21-2007, 02:34 PM
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I believe that.

I was just saying that they have to produce it for sale to the other PBS outlets that don't have problems with their HD transmission.

If the producers of Soundstage had to shoot it so it looked good on WTTW they would be shooting with one fixed camera. (visions of old high school concerts come to mind )
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Old 05-21-2007, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebenste View Post

Yes it does, I should have been more clear. But, couple that with several splits of the signal, and you have a mess on your hands that hopefully a preamp or amp can cure.

I figured I'd have trouble with something when the leaves appeared. Time to clean up the coax runs and get that amp I've thinking about. Thanks for the quick responses!
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxie1617 View Post

I believe that.

I was just saying that they have to produce it for sale to the other PBS outlets that don't have problems with their HD transmission.

If the producers of Soundstage had to shoot it so it looked good on WTTW they would be shooting with one fixed camera. (visions of old high school concerts come to mind )

My impression was that they all were taped at WTTW. I have very little problem with WTTWD when it's working properly. In fact, I can't really tell the difference in casual viewing between 720p and 1080i.

But something bad was happening with that particular airing of Soundstage. Or, something worse than usual was happening- I really don't care for the production on the show. Do we need to do camera cuts every three seconds? I also find that the audio can be overdone- there was another one on recently where the center channel went completely silent when the singer wasn't actually singing. Very artificial sounding. But that's the producer's problem.

Also, I thought HD programming was recorded in something less compressed than the broadcast formats, and then compressed for distribution and broadcast. When WTTW went 720p, I thought I remembered hearing that PBS distributes at 1080p and the stations downconvert as necessary.
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:19 PM
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As far as interference goes, I think every channel is different. Where I am, channels 23-32 have horrible multipath, but some of the others are almost rock solid. Even channel 2.1, which only gives me grief when there is a noisy appliance running in the apartment.
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swalve View Post

Also, I thought HD programming was recorded in something less compressed than the broadcast formats, and then compressed for distribution and broadcast. When WTTW went 720p, I thought I remembered hearing that PBS distributes at 1080p and the stations downconvert as necessary.

I think that was discussed back when WTTW added Create and changed to 720p and that is what I remember also, that everything is distributed at 1080p. Should be in the old thread someplace. WTTW-D is watchable, I'm still ticked off about their change to 720p and how it was implemented. It was really noticable after it happened. Today, I don't know if they have gotten better or my eyes just got used to the broadcast.
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxie1617 View Post

I believe that.

I was just saying that they have to produce it for sale to the other PBS outlets that don't have problems with their HD transmission.

If the producers of Soundstage had to shoot it so it looked good on WTTW they would be shooting with one fixed camera. (visions of old high school concerts come to mind )

If only our high school productions looked that good.

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Old 05-21-2007, 03:58 PM
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OR sounded that good. Makes you realize how much our parents loved us.
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mogator88 View Post

This is weird. Last week I started noticing dropouts on all WTTW digital stations. We don't watch much TV during the week, but this weekend it was really getting annoying. I didn't time the frequency or duration. This was during the daytime.

I've noticed the same in Geneva. All UHF analogs come in strong w/o multipath and I don't have a signal destroying preamp. I watch 11.1 probably more than any other DTV station and have noticed over the past few weeks that they've had occasional dropouts and sometimes the lip sync will go way off then catchup over 10 seconds or so, almost like a stream that has intermittent DARS only this looks like an encoder problem.

Of course you wouldn't have these type of encoder issues if you used Harmonic encoders... (sorry Harris fans)
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Old 05-22-2007, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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In a very interesting twist of events, WBBM-DT has filed a last-minute
request with the FCC to broadcast with high power on channel 12, after analog shutdown in February, 2009! The station has filed a request to run 13.8 kw (13,800 watts) at
1,700' above ground level from Sears Tower. Given the current FCC rules,
this is as high as they could go for now. As analog is shut off, stations
might be allowed to adjust their final DTV power.

As noted on AVS and seen on earlier applications for WXFT/WGBO, channel 12
is wide open for 300 miles except for some interference with WREX-DT in
Rockford, which plans to move to channel 13. And of course, we all know
that the signal would be severely hampered on channel 11.

The FCC has pushed hard over the last 2 years to get as many digital TV
stations off of VHF-LO (channels 2-6) as possible, due to all the
problems with noise and interference from numerous sources. With WBBM-DT
applying at the very last moment, it is noted that the FCC has been
granting applications that go above the .1% interference standard for
extraordinary circumstances such as this. Given WBBM-DT's track record of
being an "early adopter" of DTV technology and going to full power
quickly, and by getting off of VHF-LO with no other reasonable place to
go at this time...my guess is the application is likely to sail through
the FCC without a major hitch.

Although the signal will still be interrupted in thunderstorms and may
be hard to pick up in steel and thick concrete buildings, it will no
longer be susceptible to many forms of interference seen on the VHF-LO
band. As noted by AVS Forum and other users, at 30,000 watts, WMVS-DT,
Milwaukee's PBS station broadcasting on channel 8, can make it out 70+
miles with a much lower antenna than WBBM will have. Because WBBM's
antenna will be so high up, the FCC rules state they cannot broadcast at
that high of a power, or they will broadcast much farther than the FCC
allows. Nevertheless, with 13,800 watts, WBBM's signal in most directions
should easily go 70 miles from Sears Tower with an outdoor antenna, with
the exception of due east, thanks to a station on channel 12 broadcasting
in far northwest Ohio. Otherwise, the station has no interference from
anybody else within 306 miles. The WBBM-DT predicted coverage map attests
to that, as the coverage and request are seen here:

http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6518723075

Thus, the proposed signal will go roughly to Kenosha on the north,
west of DeKalb on the west, just past Kankakee to the south, and to just west of South Bend on the east.

I don't know if WBBM will still use WTTW's space and equipment, but it
makes sense if they would (and make life very easy). And, as a minor
footnote, the WOCK-LD application on channel 12 may still go through,
but full power trumps the "secondary" low power TV service, so they
will be forced to move sometime after February, 2009. But in any case,
if this goes through, pop the champagne corks...in 2009, low-power WBBM is history. And quoting the late Harry Carey...

HO-LEEE COW!!!!

Also, look at this:

http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6518908204

WREX has requested to go high power on channel 13, but says it will work with WBBM to avoid interference; however, WREX claims that by going 12 kw, they won't interfere with WBBM at high power.

But WBBM-DT doesn't like that too much, as it appears to interfere with them a bit:

http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6518912330

Again, a reminder: the channel change is NOT official yet; but it looks good for both WREX-DT and WBBM-DT, both with terrible circumstances currently, to come out winning huge in 2009. Thanks to AVS forum users Afiggett and Nitewatchman for revealing to the world that all of this has now been posted on the FCC's ECFS web site; all this information has come from them (and the FCC, of course). Link to their discoveries and discussion here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...=823166&page=2

Look at the bottom of the page.

Gilbert
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