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post #571 of 10080 Old 03-14-2003, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally posted by tritchie
I had a Diredtv technician over yesterday to install a new HD dish. He told me that he had word for the upper ranks (don't ask me who that would be) that Directv is going to broadcast local channels in the Columbia market in June. I asked when that would be made public, he said probably June. Anyone who can confirm this same info? I don't want to spend half a day putting up an antenna on my roof for HD locals for 3 months.

This document filed with the FCC by DirecTV explains why DirecTV cannot do HD locals. They also menton that they will increasing their local market's SD service to about 61 in June and by December to 100. So perhaps the Columbia market will be included in there somewhere. The document says "Indeed, if satellite Full ATSC Must carry is ordered, DIRECTV would be able to offer local channel service to "only one average-sized city in the United States.

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post #572 of 10080 Old 03-14-2003, 07:13 AM
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So... nobody with the info about WACH (FOX) OTA yet?


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post #573 of 10080 Old 03-14-2003, 08:01 AM
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Last night I picked up 17-1/17-2 from down in Beaufort, also had 25-1/25-2 one night this week.
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post #574 of 10080 Old 03-14-2003, 08:22 AM
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The TWC guy is coming today to install a "digital cable" box that should be the 3200HD. If not, Roy Rushing said to call him and he'll drop a 3200HD by my house (which Roy seems to prefer doing it anyway so he can be sure it's set up right). I want to be sure I'm ready when I get home to await the installer today.

Will the installer put a splitter after the line gets to the place where the TV is located? As I understand it, I'll want the cable feeding into the 3200HD box, into my TV's antenna input (so that I can tune the analog channels with the TV tuner) and I'll also want it to my VCR. Will they expect me to daisy-chain everything together or use an external splitter?

The reason I ask is that if I need to supply my own splitter I want to have it there today and make sure there's plenty of signal strength with the splitter in place. I've noticed that my broadcast-tier channels seem weaker passing through the VCR and then to the TV than when I put the cable straight on the TV. That indicates that there's marginal signal strength, right?
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post #575 of 10080 Old 03-14-2003, 08:23 AM
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sorry 19-1/19-2

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post #576 of 10080 Old 03-14-2003, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Brent,

It is my understanding that TWCSC prefers to install the HD3100HD so they can make sure it gets a good signal (HD requires a better signal than plain old cable). TWC's techs have a signal analyzer unit that will allow them to verify signal quality including both the high and low ends of the frequency bands. Thats good. So far they have not charged for this though it can be a bit inconvenient (can't just pick up the box yourself and go). If Roy were to come out that would be good. Here in Sumter we have Steve who is very good too.

The cable drop supporting your HDTV display should be "home run" to the house's cable box and not be split (actually all cable drops should be home run; no splitters; no barrel connectors). If the signal is good enough you may be able to split before the SA3100HD for say PIP or VCR purposes. If not, then either another home run cable is required or an amplifier added to the system. Here TWC installed an amp as we have 5 tv drops (4 in use). (RR cable drop too but that is a separate split at the house box). A 1gHz splitter (or better) is required); I would think the TWC tech could provide one for you so I would definitely tell the tech what you need to do.

Any splitters or devices in the signal path reduce signal strength and/or degrade the signal. A two-way splitter alone cuts the signal strength in half. So a marginal signal definitely won't work as you will have lots of dropouts in your video/audio. So definitely get them to help you with the splitting!

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post #577 of 10080 Old 03-14-2003, 10:06 AM
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That sounds a lot like what I thought the situation would be. I'm concerned that the guy coming today will declare the 15-year-old feed into the house "good enough" and then Roy will have to make some improvements when he comes.

The segment of the wire from where it's grounded as it first arrives at the house to where it comes through the wall is crummy. There's a beat-up looking length of coax from the grounding block to near where it enters the house, then the previous installer also cut the coax and grounded it to the satellite download grounding block and then I have it interrupted by feeding it through the coax-protection jack of my surge protector. The previous guy also accidentally cut my sateliite downlead in the process although I had multiple bright-yellow labels saying "SATELLITE" on that wire and multiple bright-orange labels saying "TWC" on the previously-existing (from the last owners) cable end and had told him "Don't mess with the satellite wires with the yellow label".

I'm going to remove the pass through the surge protector before they arrive and also take my VCR out of the chain. They'll be starting from the wire that comes through the wall plugging straight into my TV's antenna jack. I have 2-way and 3-way splitters from Radio Shack labelled something like "1.6GHz" so they can use those or their own to arrange it however they think best. That's the best I can do, I'll just have to be patient even if it takes another visit or two to get it all working well.
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post #578 of 10080 Old 03-14-2003, 05:46 PM
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Do any of the Columbia TWC subscribers have Roy Rushing's phone number handy? I left it on my notepad at work today. I have "digital cable" but need to call him to get a HDTV box.
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post #579 of 10080 Old 03-14-2003, 05:57 PM
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Kir,

Wach was broadcasting back in January on 48.2. I have no idea if this is still correct. It was a strong signal like the rest. There was a Wach engineer that was posting awhile back,but he hasn't been heard from lately. Hope this helps.
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post #580 of 10080 Old 03-14-2003, 06:46 PM
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I got in touch with Roy. He's coming Monday to switch the boxes for me.

In the mean while, the analog channels look much better once they removed the trap on the pole that they use to implement the "broadcast tier". Either it wasn't working right or it was introducing a lot of loss into the line. The higher-numbered channels (say 40 and up) aren't that great but things like WACH on channel 6 are very good quality now.
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post #581 of 10080 Old 03-14-2003, 08:34 PM
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Brent -

Did you say that Roy is coming over to install a HD3200 reciever??? I thought TWC was giving our HD3100 recievers. Did you mistype this or are they offering new recievers now? What are the benefits to this new reciever???

Thanks
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post #582 of 10080 Old 03-15-2003, 04:11 AM
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I spoke briefly to him a few days ago when I set up the installation. He said the regular contractor that did the install would just have a model 2100 digital STB and that afterward Roy would bring me a "3200HD" and set it up. For all I know, that may have been a slip of the tongue and he meant "3100HD" and I didn't follow up on it. I guess I'll be able to tell you more on Monday...
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post #583 of 10080 Old 03-15-2003, 07:42 AM
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SA3100HD is the box used exclusively by TWC in Columbia for their HD carriage. The 2100 is like you said is their digital stb. They also have a NTSC SA8000pvr hard drive stb for those with time and patience.
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post #584 of 10080 Old 03-15-2003, 02:37 PM
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Brent -

Hopefully he meant HD4200 that's a newer receiver that's supposed to have better aspect ratio control than the current one TWC is using.
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post #585 of 10080 Old 03-15-2003, 03:23 PM
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I doubt it is the SA4200HD. Cablevision up north is I think the first to use them. I hope I'm wrong but I don't see TWC switching anytime soon,due to the cost. This is their second HD box in less than two years. I for one hope for the SA8000HD pvr. This would be very cool! Also if you TWC guys have extra time e-mail WIS about their lack of carriage on TWC. Here is the link:

http://www.wistv.com/Global/category...=2467&nav=1zcG
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post #586 of 10080 Old 03-15-2003, 06:55 PM
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OK, it looks like WACH was really having some problems, not me

Final results:
CBS - 93%
ABC, PBS, NBC - all 100%
FOX - 93%

A month of trying, lots of money spent, but the results are great!
Thank you everyone for your support and advices.
My special gratitude goes to Barry C. - if you ever see this post - thank you! for spending pretty much every weekend for a month helping me with the antenna!

Kirill
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post #587 of 10080 Old 03-16-2003, 02:44 PM
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Does anyone have any info on WACH? I was hoping to see SOME of the race today.
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post #588 of 10080 Old 03-17-2003, 10:12 AM
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We (WLTX-DT) will be testing the three digital channels for the rest of the week starting today at noon. Please post any problems you might see. Thanks in advance for your help.
Dan Stalnaker
Chief Engineer
WLTX

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post #589 of 10080 Old 03-17-2003, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Dan,

Can you explain further what you are doing? Is WLTX planning to further reduce the bitrate used for HD? Since I am one of your cable users I have no way to see your test signals. Also; your HDTV signals last night were essentially unwatchable via TWC last night (choppy audio). Presume that was a TWC problem (again).

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post #590 of 10080 Old 03-17-2003, 10:56 AM
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We are planning on airing up to three different basketball games at a time. The bit rate of the HD has been reduced by 4Meg to make room for the new SD channel. I watched the HD off and on last night ota and noticed no problems. During our test today, I noticed the radar updating in segments. I presume that TWC had it setup that way to reserve more data for the HD channel. When it is all tested, you should see the three games on 810,811 and 812 on TWC and 19-1, 19-2, and 19-3 OTA. I really do recommend putting up an antenna to use as a reference signal when reporting problems.
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post #591 of 10080 Old 03-17-2003, 11:11 AM
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Quote:


The bit rate of the HD has been reduced by 4Meg to make room for the new SD channel

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post #592 of 10080 Old 03-17-2003, 11:15 AM
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Well, I now have HDTV via cable. Roy just came by and swapped in my 3100HD box. For the moment, HBO and Showtime are turned on until they get around to turning them off since I don't subscribe. Cast Away looks and sounds (DD5.1) very nice and for what it's worth the soap opera on WLTX is visually stunning (can't say as much about the content, though).

It's going to be tempting to turn on the Showtime subscription for a month just to play around with. Of course I did that with Dish Network and it took me a year to get around to turning it off. Right now the channel 811 is some sort of syndicated programming rather than radar, I assume that's what Dan is referring to although there's nothing on 812.
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post #593 of 10080 Old 03-17-2003, 11:19 AM
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Quote:


The bit rate of the HD has been reduced by 4Meg to make room for the new SD channe

I'm sure this is the way of the future in all media. Satellite looked great at first but they gradually turned up the compression until it looks terrible at times. When the technology makes available a tradeoff between "more stuff" and "higher-quality stuff", the media providers aren't likely to set the compromise point where people like AVS subscribers would like. The "more stuff" means reaching "more viewers" and "more advertisers" whereas the market for high-quality is much more diffuse and harder to register on the bottom line.
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post #594 of 10080 Old 03-17-2003, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Dan,

Thanks for the update.

Regarding TWC; I figured it was a TWC problem but due to feeling lousy last night I deigned to call them then (and cannot get through today). But your soap was on at 12:30 and the audio appeard to be okay then. I guess TWC reset their box this morning. I think someone that works at TWC in the higher echelons needs to get a HDTV and actually watch the stuff they send out.

And your right regarding having an ATSC receiver setup but unfortunately that is a rather costly approach and one that gets away from ease of use that other family members expect (requires switcher units for video and audio).

Regarding bitrate management, I wonder if your HD won't suffer. FWIW, I feel WRLK-DT's HD suffers significantly by having two SD services. Last I heard their HD bitrate was about 12.6mbs but that might have increased some as Hap got his encoder tweaked last year. Check out the aerial shots (Crete, Italy) and or the footgall game... lots of motion artifacts.

Will definitely check it out your three service arrangement if/when we get see it on TWC here.

Bruce

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post #595 of 10080 Old 03-17-2003, 11:32 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Dan'sHiPix
I really do recommend putting up an antenna to use as a reference signal when reporting problems.
Dan

Amen. So do we.

Bob

The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent those of ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, MeTv, or AntennaTv; my employer; or its parent company.
Nor my wife for that matter!
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post #596 of 10080 Old 03-17-2003, 11:35 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Brent Hutto
Satellite looked great at first but they gradually turned up the compression until it looks terrible at times..

used to be when we saw video that looked like that, we thought the heads
in the tape machine had gone bad, now it's normal..

Bob

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post #597 of 10080 Old 03-17-2003, 12:04 PM
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We are not planning on leaving WLTX-DT in three channel mode. Only for special events like the NCAA tourney. Our thoughts were people would like to see specific games during the tourney, so we will give them the most chioces we can. After the tourney is over, we will go back to 19-1 and 19-2.
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post #598 of 10080 Old 03-17-2003, 01:10 PM
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Dan,

Hopefully, you'll take all of our comments in this forum as "feedback" rather than "complaints". For my part, I'm somewhat surprised (favorably, that is) at how the local HDTV rollout is progressing and it's a treat to have some of the finer members of Columbia-area broadcast geekdom here exchanging information with local representitives of the home-theater-geek community.
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post #599 of 10080 Old 03-17-2003, 04:13 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Dan'sHiPix
We are planning on airing up to three different basketball games at a time. The bit rate of the HD has been reduced by 4Meg to make room for the new SD channel. I watched the HD off and on last night ota and noticed no problems. During our test today, I noticed the radar updating in segments. I presume that TWC had it setup that way to reserve more data for the HD channel. When it is all tested, you should see the three games on 810,811 and 812 on TWC and 19-1, 19-2, and 19-3 OTA. I really do recommend putting up an antenna to use as a reference signal when reporting problems.
Dan

And spend $419.00 to receive it with that antenna.
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post #600 of 10080 Old 03-17-2003, 04:22 PM
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When I got home from work, WLTX-DT and its radar channel were off the air for some reason. I surfed over to HBO-HDTV and they were playing Cast Away in real widescreen, real HD with real DD5.1 sound. I just happen to have the DVD of that on the shelf so I caught the DVD up to the HBO feed and watched 45 minutes of the movie switching back and forth.

The HDTV picture was probably more detailed than the 480p picture from my DVD player. I say probably because there's a difference in black level between the 3100HD and my RP82. It must be that the 3100HD is set up to output black at 7.5 IRE instead of 0 IRE. So I had to also toggle back and forth between calibration memories on my TV.

However, with details in the background of a scene that are in focus by the movie camera, there's more information in the 1080i image. I think I may have seen some interlacing artifacts on the horizon of some ocean shots in HDTV that weren't there on the 480p source but it was at the limit of visibility.

On another note, the pictures on that demo loop that ETV is running are fabulous. There's a shot of fireworks that's better than anything I've ever seen on a screen before. Amazing.

I went ahead and did a subscription to HBO and Showtime. It's only $5.00 each per month as part of that Dish tradein program. What the heck...
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