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Local HDTV Info and Reception > Columbia, SC - HDTV
kevincoleman's Avatar kevincoleman 09:27 PM 02-05-2003
That is fantastic news! I've really been hoping that TWC would pick up ESPN-HD in time for baseball season.

Been lurking on this thread for awhile now; it's terriffic to have a Columbia-area specific source of HD info. Thanks to everyone for all the great updates.

Kevin

xmitter's Avatar xmitter 10:20 PM 02-05-2003
Originally posted by chummel:

"Thanks for the update. Welcome, and please continue to provide us info on happening at WACH. Do you have anything to do with WIS at all?"


Craig,
I received the wrong part from the transmitter manufacturer this morning so am hopeful for success tomorrow AM - Please excuse the delay.
WACH & WIS have a relationship regarding our 10PM News but have different station ownership.

Rick Sprott
WACH-TV
Kir's Avatar Kir 08:51 PM 02-06-2003
Well, today I moved the antenna to the attic and again just laid it down on the floor for now. Here are the results (testing between 7:30pm and 8:10pm):
1. WOLO-DT on channels 25-1 and 25-2 : signal strength 100%
2. WLTX-DT on channels 19-1 and 19-2: signal strength 77%
3. WRLK-DT on channels 32-3, 35-1, and 35-2: signal strength between 77% and 86%
4. got a peek at WACH-DT on channel 57-1 for a few minutes, then it was gone (probably they were testing something).
5. WIS-DT: nothing. Not sure if they had the digital turned on at all because I was getting a clean picture on analog.

Now the questions:
Is 77% strong enough or I should try to get it higher then that? Also, what about WIS-DT, were they on at that time at all?

PS: Can't test late at night - my baby sleeps

Thank you,
Kirill
kevinivey's Avatar kevinivey 04:52 AM 02-07-2003
The NBA All-Star Game,which airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ,will be available in High Definition on TWC ch. 805. Also airing in HD is the "NBA All-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT" which airs at 8 p.m. on Saturday night.

Source: The State Newspaper 1/7/03


Way to go Time Warner Cable!
bdenman's Avatar bdenman 10:12 AM 02-07-2003
Kir,

I am not sure all signal meters measure the same thing (not all are true "signal strength") so your readings may be fine. I do think you need to hear from other Samsung owners to be sure. Also signals will vary due to a given tower's location; power level, channel number, weather, obstacles (bare tree branches or trees with leaves). So today's findings may not hold true for summer.

I suspect the key is whether or not the receiver locks and holds the signals consistently (long term; not just one or two nights). If yes then your good to go for now. If no, then different antenna positioning (or a different antenna) may be in order. Personally I would lean towards a too big antenna vice one one that might prove marginal later. Being able to tweak the azimuth via a rotator may also help in bringing in the marginal signals.

Re: WACH: given what Rick Sprott said earlier, hopefully FOX 48/57 will be back today.

Re: WIS: I called the station this morning and the spokesperson said the DT signal (NBC 41/10 simulcast of their analog channel) was up and running (full power too). She passed me to engineering where I left a message for John Augustine just to make sure (he has not yet called back). I can only suggest you work on tweaking your antenna positioning to see if you can get their signal.

Bruce
bdenman's Avatar bdenman 11:06 AM 02-07-2003
Kir,
Update on WIS: They are broadcasting DT from 6:30 to midnight most nights. But you may not be able to view their signal. Samsung receivers apparently often have problems with PSIP configurations. WIS is working to tweak their PSIP which may help. As I recall WACH had to do the same thing recently so that Samsung owners could get and view their signal. You might want to touch base with John Augustine WIS engineer on that aspect. The stations ph# 799-1010.

Bruce
Kir's Avatar Kir 11:34 AM 02-07-2003
Bruce,
Thank you very much! You are a great help!
I will keep experimenting. My spirit is up again

Kirill
jsirwin's Avatar jsirwin 04:01 PM 02-07-2003
Kir,
I am getting the WIS Broadcast on my TS160. They don't seem to be sending the PSIP right now as the guide only shows "Regular Programming" and no station identification. I also PM'd you if you would like some additional help.


Jim
Kir's Avatar Kir 06:43 PM 02-07-2003
Jim,
Thank you so much for your offer of help! This thread is so great!

Tell me something, are you getting all local stations in HD? So far I've been able to get only 3/5
Also, how far are you from the antenna field? What are your surroundings, and what kind of readings do you get for the signal strength.
*phew* Not too many questions I hope

Thank you,
Kirill
jsirwin's Avatar jsirwin 07:23 AM 02-08-2003
Kir,

I am in Zip 29229. Below are the details from antenna web and reception:
* yellow WOLO-DT 8 ABC Columbia SC Now Live 125° 100%
* yellow WLTX-DT 17 CBS Columbia SC Now Live 133° 93%
* yellow WRLK-DT 32 PBS Columbia SC Now Live 220° 77-93%
* yellow WIS-DT 41 NBC Columbia SC Now Live 120° 100%
* yellow WACH-DT 48 FOX Columbia SC Now Live 220° 100%

So I am receiving all locals with a strong signal using rabbit ears with a single bowtie clipped to the rabbit ears. I have had some problems with an erratic signal going from 77 to 86 to a lower number at times. I think it is being caused by the weather or less than optimal positioning of the bowtie for that station. I am continuing to tweak and still looking at other antenna options (maybe silver sensor). I have only had that problem with PBS in the current setup. Everything else seems to lock. My house is on the edge of wetlands which means I am in a low lying area. The antenna and TV are on the main floor den, but it has 2 story ceiling so that probably helps. I only have trees in direct line with the stations (pines ect). Give me call and we can talk about your setup.

Jim
Kir's Avatar Kir 11:27 AM 02-09-2003
With the great help of my co-worker, we installed a Channel Master 3016 (thank you for your advice, Bruce!) antenna in the attic. Mounted it using RadioShack Attic Mount 15-882. Then we spent about 2 hrs rotating it in order to get a decent signal.
At the end of the 1st hour we realized that we were getting a reflected signal instead of the real one (damn, hate the errors on antennaweb.org ) because no matter what, we could only get either CBS or FOX, but never both
By the way, it looks like WACH uses 2 different towers for the analog and digital broadcasts - analog picture is totally unwatchable, but digital gives a strong signal. If we turned the antenna to get the best analog on WACH, digital would disappear altogether.
Anyways, here are the results:
WOLO-DT on channels 25-1 and 25-2 - 100%
WLTX-DT on channels 19-1 and 19-2 - 77%-83%
WRLK-DT on channels 32-3, 35-1, and 35-2 - 77%
WIS-DT on channels 41-1 and 41-2 - 68%
WACH-DT on channel 57-1 - 63%

Still have 2 questions:
1. Has anybody noticed how bad WIS-DT on 41-2 was last night? The picture was very blocky (not breaking up though). Same type of picture you would get viewing a .MPG file with a very high compression. 41-1 was OK.
2. Should I get an UHF antenna amplifier? Would it improve the strength of the digital signal?

PS: NASCAR racing in HD last night on FOX was awesome!

Thank you everybody for your great help!
Kirill
bdenman's Avatar bdenman 12:26 PM 02-09-2003
Kirill,

Glad to have been of some assistance. Regarding the WACH signal, 100k Watts also indicates their analog and digital transmissions do come from the same tower. However I believe their old tower (analog only) was NW of Cola so who knows.

Regarding your questions:

1. No (their not on cable yet)
2. I don't know. I still wonder if a bigger antenna might not be needed come summer. Also working out of the attic will also attenuate any signal as well. Ampliers can amplify weak signals but sometimes you need more gain up front first. Last time I checked Lowes (on-line) they did not have the mid-size CM in stock so it might be worth it to first try an pre-amp and see.

re: FOX and HD: remember that according to the ATSC, the 480p widescreen that FOX uses (at best) is just SD (HD is either 720p or 1080i). Also the CEA calls it Enhanced Definition (ED) and FOX calls it high resolution widescreen. Key is it could have been shot in higher resolution. I believe it has been reported that the cameras FOX uses actually capture the images as 480i widescreen and their affiliates then line-double that to 480p (some affiliates do upconvert the 480i to 1080i).

Bruce
Kir's Avatar Kir 01:13 PM 02-09-2003
Hi Bruce,
I just looked up the Channel Master antenna's info, and 3018 only offers 0.7dB gain over 3016 (3016 - 7.7dB in UHF, 3018 - 8.4dB gain in UHF). 3018 does provide a big difference in VHF Low (2.3dB vs. 1.2dB), but I'm OK there. Looking at the design, 3018 has only 1 extra director for UHF, so it seems to be right. As for 3020, it won't fit in the attic
So it looks like for now I'm stuck with 3016.
Amplifiers, anyone?

Oh, by the way, my co-worker was glued to the TV after I treated him with "Collateral Damage" on HBO HD on DirecTV

Thank you,
Kirill
bdenman's Avatar bdenman 02:39 PM 02-09-2003
Hmm; well I did not realise the 3016 and 3018 were that close in UHF gain. Besides Lowes and Radio Shack I don't know anyone who else sells "real" antennas in the Columbia area. Charlotte has Dow Electronics but they are primarily a distributer I think, not a retailer. Some folks also end up with two antennae, one VHF only and a second UHF one (big Yagi or Bowtie).

The 3016 is relatively cheap; the expensive stuff is the rotator and amp. So if you have to go on the roof later with a larger one... oh well. Lowes was selling both CM amps and rotators last I saw. Stark Electronics and Warren Electronics have lots of info on their sites and they sell over the internet/phone if so desired.

Last night had lots of HD to pick from. I checked out the NBA stuff on NBAHD on TWC (the channel come on line in the a.m.) and watched a good bit of The Shawshank Redemption on ABC along with some of The District on CBS and then the very good SD Nature: Alligator and Crocodile show on PBS.

Bruce
bdfox18doe's Avatar bdfox18doe 05:26 PM 02-09-2003
Bruce,
I take it Shawshank had no problem, lip sync or otherwise?
Thanks
bdenman's Avatar bdenman 05:37 PM 02-09-2003
Bob,
No, I did not notice any I can recall but I suspect I may quickly adapt to any if present and if really bothered I would probably surf on...

However be advised tonight that there is no audio (since the beginning), analog or digital, on TWC/Ch 805 viewing with Inspector Gadget. I have checked in a couple of times and nada...

Bruce

addendum: at 7:41 I checked again and found you had switched over to 4:3 that has sound. Take it your the decoder box (or something) is being problematic again.
bdfox18doe's Avatar bdfox18doe 05:51 PM 02-09-2003
We're not sure. Could be ABC, could be the receiver.. we will know for sure at 9pm... if Alias has audio, then it won't be our equipment.
Not all movies have 5.1, and sometimes there will be no audio on the 5.1
feed out of the receiver..
Ted is a big Alias fan and will be watching and let me know..
Always let us know if you see any problem..I can't see WOLO at home
to monitor it the way I do with WCCB..
Let me know...
bdfox18doe's Avatar bdfox18doe 05:56 PM 02-09-2003
I'm looking at WSOC-DT right now, it is 4x3 and not widescreen..
It just went to 16x9..
go figger..
MikeInIrmo's Avatar MikeInIrmo 05:06 AM 02-10-2003
Quote: "Besides Lowes and Radio Shack I don't know anyone who else sells "real" antennas in the Columbia area."

Hesco sells Winegard and Whse. Ind. Electronics sell Channel Master. Both are downtown.

Mike
bdenman's Avatar bdenman 06:20 AM 02-10-2003
Mike,
Great info. Thanks!
Bruce
Scott Burns's Avatar Scott Burns 06:36 AM 02-10-2003
Bruce and others:

If anyone wants to mail order antennas, this website has the best prices and service. I have bought from them many times and would highly recommend.

http://www.consumer-direct.com/detai...vpartno=CM9521

http://www.consumer-direct.com/detai...vpartno=CM4248

http://www.consumer-direct.com/detai...vpartno=PA7777

These are also my recommended rotor, preamp, and outdoor UHF antenna for digital TV after much experimentation.

Scott
chummel's Avatar chummel 11:35 AM 02-10-2003
Scott is right. I bought my CM4248 and pre amp after he made this suggestion a while back. They had very fast shipping as well.
Kir's Avatar Kir 08:52 PM 02-10-2003
I started getting dropouts on WIS and FOX. All it took was a little bit of rain. I guess I need an amplifier. And this is where its getting confusing:
Since I get a 100% signal strength on WOLO (VHF) I'd say I need a UHF only amplifier such as CM 7775. But according to some sources it doesn't pass VHF. But if I get CM 7777 and it adds 23dB gain to VHF, would it overload the receiver input?

Frustrated Kirill
Scott Burns's Avatar Scott Burns 10:09 PM 02-11-2003
You could still use the 7777. Just amplify the UHF signal and combine it with a UNF/VHF splitter afterwards. The 7777 amplifies independantly.

Dropouts also could be multipath instead of signal strength. Since you live in Columbia, I doubt absolute strength is the problem.

Scott
jsirwin's Avatar jsirwin 07:15 AM 02-12-2003
Kir

I was having dropouts on Fox in particular but also occurred on some of the other UHF channels. Rabbit ears with a single bowtie. Stopped by Radio Shack and bought another bowtie. Clipped it to the other rabbit ear and after 20 minutes trying different setups I am getting 100% on all channels and have had no dropouts. I thought the dropouts must be caused by multipath, but if that were the case wouldn't 2 independent bowties in similar but not the same allignment cause multipath to increase? I figured it was worth the $2.97 to try the additional bowtie, and sometimes trial and error can give you the most success.
It seems for my setup I just couldn't find an acceptable half way position for one bowtie antenna.

Jim
Kir's Avatar Kir 08:04 AM 02-12-2003
I'm using Channel Master 3016 antenna. It is highly directional, so I do not think multipath is the problem.
I have ordered CM 7777 amplifier and should get it by weekend. Keeping my hopes high again

Thank you,
Kirill
bdenman's Avatar bdenman 08:12 AM 02-12-2003
Kirill,
You said you had "rain fade" the other night. When the rain stopped was it still windy? Did the problem continue? I am wondering if you are shooting through trees if that is not part of the problem. I believe one solution for than is to relocate the antenna... sideways or higher ... or go with a bigger antenna.

Bruce
Kir's Avatar Kir 09:05 AM 02-12-2003
Hi Bruce,
Looks like it was not a rain fade. I still can't get WIS and WACH reliably. The signal meter jumps up and down.
The rest of the stations give a perfect lock.

Kirill
MikeInIrmo's Avatar MikeInIrmo 03:29 PM 02-12-2003
Kirill,

I just wanted to let you know that I had a your same experience with an antenna similar to the Channel Master 3016 that you have. Mine was from Radio Shack and is currently under my deck collecting dust.

I live in Irmo and my line of sight to the tower farm is through trees in my back yard, 23 miles away. All stations are within 25 degrees so I don't need a rotator. I have the Winegard PR-4400. At first I had it on the roof on a pole and my reception was much better than any other antenna that I have tried. While on the roof I still experienced some signal drops (Multi-path). I moved it into the attic and all is well now. Rain and wind sometimes drop the signal a little but no more multi-path issues. All stations lock at 93 or above.

Good Luck,
Mike
BDavis's Avatar BDavis 07:10 PM 02-22-2003
I just noticed that the TWC Guide has channel 805 on it labeled TWCVC. Anyone have an idea what's in store?

Also, does anyone have an update on the progress with getting Columbia NBC HD and Fox Widescreen on TWC?

Thanks,


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