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Quincy, IL - HDTV

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Since there is no thread for Quincy, IL, I thought I would try starting one and see if there's any interest. Quincy is my hometown, and while I don't live there anymore, my parents do, and when I'm back home I often end up tinkering with their TV.

OTA: So far, we've been able to pick up WGEM, KHQA, and WQEC OTA fairly well, to give us NBC, CBS, and PBS in HD. I haven't had any luck in picking up a digital signal from KTVO in Kirksville, but it appears that their UHF transmission power is fairly low, with a directional antenna that doesn't propagate much signal towards Quincy.

Cable: We've also been able to pick up WGEM, KHQA, and WQEC via unencrypted QAM on Comcast. As I far as I can tell, Comcast currently does not offer any other local or any National channels in HD. If anyone has more info on their plans for the future, it would be good to know.

So go ahead and say hi if you're in the Quincy area, and post if you have any updates/corrections to the info above.
post #2 of 35
I am from palmyra, so that puts me in the Quincy/Hannibal Area. With my DTV box, I can pick up the three WGEM channels (NBC, CGEM/FOX, CW), 2 KHQA channels (CBS, KTVO/ABC), 3 channels on WQEC (all PBS), and WTJR Religous Channel.

Now Yesterday, I did a channel scan and picked up 29 channels. Channels from the Quad Cities and Springfield, IL. They all worked early in the morning, but at 5 when i got home, none of them worked. Tonight, i have 3 channels from columbia, mo.

I dont understand how these signals make it here, then are gone in an instant, but that is my experience so far.
post #3 of 35
It's called "tropospheric ducting." Very fun phenomenon if you're into it like I am.

- Trip
post #4 of 35
Ah, tropo! Like lightning bugs and high humidity, it's one of the marvels of Midwest living I gave up when I moved to southern Colorado. Plus living in a TV shadowed valley (Canon City) I had to admit defeat and get Dish.

Trip, you've got a pretty informative web site...good job.

And nyelton, thanks for starting this thread. I started the Kirksville-Ottumwa thread (a/k/a "the rant on KTVO" thread!) just a few days ago. Please check it out if you haven't already.

Finally, what do you all think about merging the Kirksville-Ottumwa thread with this one? Just because the current Barrington cross-ownership problem (more on this in the K-O thread) appears to be blocking a long-needed merger of these markets doesn't mean we couldn't merge them here....
post #5 of 35
Has /anybody/ been able to pick up KTVO in HD yet? Personally I hate comcast and always will.. unless I can get some more HD channels (without getting their "box")

Desperate housewives comes back tonight and I'd rather not watch it in stretch mode

post #6 of 35
Need to ask what town you're in.

Meanwhile, check the Kirksville-Ottumwa thread (thread merger anyone?) for more on KTVO. (hint...I'm not optimistic..)
post #7 of 35
post #8 of 35
I live in Quincy and have Comcast. Channel 3 KTVO ABC has the worst picture quality. it is no better OTA on 7.2. I would like to know why WGEM don't broadcast FOX in HD. I know they can because they did it for the Super Bowl.
post #9 of 35
Originally Posted by Boss252 View Post

I live in Quincy and have Comcast. Channel 3 KTVO ABC has the worst picture quality. it is no better OTA on 7.2. I would like to know why WGEM don't broadcast FOX in HD. I know they can because they did it for the Super Bowl.

It'd be really tricky to shoehorn two HD feeds into a broadcast channel, and you probably wouldn't like the results. It's tricky enough to balance an HD and an SD or two. Perhaps if they had a dedicated digital/HD version of CGEM they could feed it to cable in HD without screwing up NBC too much. But if they actually broadcast the Super Bowl on Fox in HD I suspect they cut NBC back to SD because they figured whatever NBC was showing at the time either a) wasn't in HD, or b) wasn't worth HD. Unfortunately that's not always going to be the case.
post #10 of 35
I can understand that, but you would think the quality of the picture would be better. It looks good over cable but the digital OTA not so much.
post #11 of 35
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Boss252 View Post

I can understand that, but you would think the quality of the picture would be better. It looks good over cable but the digital OTA not so much.

Are you speaking of CGEM? Are you comparing the OTA version to the analog version on comcast? If that's the case, one way to think about it is that analog CGEM on cable has an entire channel dedicated to it. And even though analog is a less efficient way to transmit a television broadcast, it's still pretty good quality for SD. Contrast that with the OTA situation, where you still have only one channel, but now you're trying to fit an HD nbc subchannel plus an SD fox subchannel plus an SD cw subchannel all on that one real channel. Digital commpression is what makes that possible, but there's a finite amount of "space" on the one channel, so if more space is allocated to one of the three subchannels to improve its quality, you have to reduce the quality of another subchannel by an equal amount.
post #12 of 35
Well, it looks like another Fox DT could be available after 2-17-09 in the northwestern part of the market, though I don't know what its HD status or plan is since they are low-power DT right now.

The FCC database now lists Ottumwa-based KYOU's application for a post-transition power boost as "granted."

They'll be able to put out 360 kW at 1,181 ft. (354.4m) on Channel 15 after 2-17-09 from its current location near Richland, IA.

If you live in Lee, Van Buren or Des Moines counties in Iowa, there's a chance you may be able to get it, but its outer contour area appears to hug the Mississippi River and Missouri state line, and it stops a wee bit short of Keokuk.

Application: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws....ility_id=53820

Technical exhibit: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/prod/cdbs/f...ibit_id=650478
post #13 of 35
ever notice that a thread like Quincy that has probably a higher per capita # of bdcst tech professionals than anywhere else has a really low participation rate here?
post #14 of 35
Originally Posted by dline View Post

Updated information about a neighboring market:

FCC records released late Friday indicate KHQA will continue analog while WGEM should be able to shut it off Feb. 17.

Interesting development, and one I didn't foresee. I thought these stations wouldn't come to some agreement. KHQA's statement about their delay is silent about any formal agreement with WGEM.

I'm guessing if there was such an agreement, the two stations figured it was less trouble for one of them to just stay with regular analog than for it to do the "nightlight" provision, and the several other provisions like the walk-in center, etc. Also, I don't know if either station was running high power on their UHF DTV channels, certainly not KHQA. So..no incentive to shed a big power bill.

Still wonder if Barrington and Quincy Newspapers will arrange a split of the stations between the Kirksville and Quincy mkts...if not, KHQA and WGEM risk losing their ABC and FOX SD subchannels to future LPTVs that will run those nets in HD.

edit: whoops, forgot about Quincy Newspapers owning the full, grandfathered monty: AM FM TV paper and I wrote that in a prev. post. So, WGEM will probably lose FOX to an LPTV or perhaps KYOU (are they still an LMA partner with KTVO, if so, that would have to end) KHQA could still spin off KTVO and have it LMA'd back to them
post #15 of 35
Well, I was disappointed to find that I can't receive wgem once they dropped to vhf. According to their coverage map, I'm right on the fringe living in the far eastern edge of Adair county. But it's a no go. DTV KHQA comes in great 100% of the time on UHF, but now I'm worried about what will happen when they drop to VHF. I'm using a Winegard YA-1713 for vhf (which pulled in the analog 10 just fine), an Antennas Direct 91-XG for UHF, a mast mounted channel master Titan 2 cm-7778 preamplifier, and a rotor. Incidentally, channel 3 comes in almost from any direction with the 91-XG. Only occasionally do I need to swing it around to point toward Lancaster. Once in a while I can get FOX 15 on their Fairfield full power transmitter (on 14), but normally I'll just watch it on the channel 34 retransmitter in Kirksville. When the 91-XG is pointed toward Quincy for KHQA, I can get 34 on the backside. That 91-XG is a beast, but boy does it pull channels in.
post #16 of 35
Sorry, haven't been here for awhile...from remarks of engineers on other threads (see Cedar Rapids Waterloo among others, also look up remarks from poster "foxeng" VHF-hi stations may have to bump up the power considerably. Losing GEM isn't a surprise. In Lincoln NE, KUON on ch 12 had to file for emergency authority to increase pwr to 75 kw.

Meanwhile, any thoughts about stacking a 2nd YA-1713? )i'm thinking that's a gamble...)
post #17 of 35
dline's comments in the Cedar Rapids thread basically gives me an excuse to post here again.

Bankrupt Equity Media, former owner of RTN, is putting its stations up for auction this thursday. Among which will likely be the CP for Quincy's channel 23, W23DP.

Speculation time: It would seem that a likely bidder would be Columbia's ABC affiliate KMIZ. Also, Springfield's ABC station WICS. According to the Broadcasting & Cable article linked in dline's link above, I'm guessing that bids for channel 23 will be on the lower end of the scale, say $50k-$100k. If a decent tower site could be rented, and the power upped to LPTV max of 15 kW digital, channel 23 would make a nice satellite for either KMIZ or WICS without spending much cabbage. The long-time "white area" for ABC will finally be filled. (Sorry, digital sub-channels such as ABC on 7.2 and Fox on 10.2 don't count in my book.)
post #18 of 35
An IPTV translator note:

K28JD Fort Madison has been approved for a digital flash-cut, which they will need to complete by July 8, 2012. The station relays KIIN Iowa City from a transmitter roughly halfway between Donnellson and downtown Fort Madison. Maximum ERP will be 15kW.

Applications remain pending for two other KIIN translators. IPTV wants to flash-cut K44AB Keokuk and move K54AF Keosauqua to core channel 24 for digital broadcast.
post #19 of 35
UPDATE: KIIN translator K44AB Keokuk's flash-cut request has been granted. IPTV now has until July 9, 2012 to complete the project.

They'll be allotted 6.65 kW from what appears to be about 2-3 miles northwest of downtown Keokuk. Its range "could" reach as far south as Canton, MO.

The Keosauqua translator request remains "accepted for filing."
post #20 of 35
I currently have a Channel Master 3016 in my attic (two story, vinyl siding, no trees) and for a day or so I was picking up Moline's WQAD. From Palmyra, Quincy's towers and the Quad Cities' towers line up almost perfect. Although it's not picking up WQAD right now, I was hoping if I could find it again with a higher gain antenna. I've seen several DIY UHF's that I'd like to try out.

My LCD TV has two tuners and I was even thinking of going for some St. Louis stations if they would come in. It would be nice for one antenna/tuner in the attic for Quincy and the other for St. Louis so I can get more Cardinal games!

I have a long run of cheap RG6 coax that runs from the attic, to the basement, and back up to the first floor. Would an amp help out my situation? Is that an issue?

How many of you in the Quincy/Hannibal area pickup St. Louis / Quad Cities stations?

BTW, don't you think the upgrade to 7.2 (ABC) is great?! Now for WGEM to get rid of the CW and upgrade Fox to 720p.
post #21 of 35
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post #22 of 35
I live here quincy and since buying led lcd hdtv I use the free HD channels abc, cbs, nbc etc. I have regular cable, coming from wall to the tv. I notice those HD channels don't always look so clear. like when a football game camera moves fast or screen changes from one image to another it looks grainy for a second. If the camera sits on a picture it looks so so. Is this normal coming from a source like this?

i always wonder why comcast is so slow to get more HD in there channel line up here. You'd think a big corporation like comcast would have already updated here. My brother lives in springfield IL. I pretty sure they get alot more modern equipment and channels.

I hope Comcast gets on the ball they come here and raise prices constanly especially at first. They base it on Chicago or something they said. Big town verses smaller lower living cost town. :/ A Dish starting look better for around here and free HD to boot.
post #23 of 35
You can get more HD channels if you have digital cable. I wouldn't count of them ever adding anymore hd channels than local channels to standard cable. It would be nice if they did. They just want you to pay more for digital.
post #24 of 35
The HD on cable, satellite, or FIOS will never look as good as the OTA signal. They water down the bitrate, just like a bartender waters down drinks, in order to squeeze in more channels.
Many cable head-ends use an antenna to get the local OTAs, then mux them in with the national channels the get from satellites.
post #25 of 35
Not necessarily. In Quincy, five major networks are carried on two stations (CBS and ABC on one and NBC, FOX, and CW on another). In that case, the stations could supply a better-quality signal to cable/satellite providers than is carried over the air.
post #26 of 35
Bumping this thread up for a thought, which I'm not sure is feasible now due to the Illinois state budget morass, but also considering how Network Knowledge (who owns WQEC Quincy and WMEC Macomb as well as WSEC Jacksonville/Springfield) is in debt and cannot afford to upgrade its Springfield channel 8 analog translator to digital.

Here's my thought:

If WQEC, per the 41 dBu service contour maps through the FCC's page, is now able to get such a signal knocking on the door of Macomb, what would be the point of Network Knowledge continuing to own WMEC?

If the state had a better budget situation, while considering that WIU now owns WQPT in the Quad Cities, what about this idea: Network Knowledge selling WMEC to WIU and make channel 22 (DT 21) a repeater of WQPT. To me that seems like it would make more sense if the state ever got out of its budget morass--not to mention a WIU-owned PBS station in WIU's home city--and be kind of like an "addition by subtraction" for part of the Quincy market since WQPT airs MHzW as their subchannel rather than repeating Create or World from WQEC (some of which is aired by KQIN in the Quad Cities). What do you think?
post #27 of 35
WQPT is broke. It's not happening for that reason alone.

Even if that wasn't the case, then they'd be competing with WQPT for pledge dollars.

- Trip
post #28 of 35
WTVP has been having financial problems as well. I wonder if it, WQPT, and WSEC/WQEC/WMEC would fare better as a merged operation.
post #29 of 35
Originally Posted by Neil Griffin View Post

WTVP has been having financial problems as well. I wonder if it, WQPT, and WSEC/WQEC/WMEC would fare better as a merged operation.

I agree entirely--this should have happened years ago pre-Convocom days (with WTVP being the flagship station). Maybe even--and this is a big IF--throw WILL Urbana into the mix too with the state budget problems hampering finances at the U of I--as long as one of the "network's" studios remains in Chambana (I saw on WICS's news tonight that the U of I was considering dropping their aviation program).

Or another idea--WTVP and WQPT become a merged regional network, while WMEC and WQEC split off from Network Knowledge (which will cease to exist under this scenario) and become repeaters of WTVP for a western/west central Illinois PBS network. Then WSEC becomes a repeater of WILL (so the Comcast basic cable carriage issue of WILL being the "primary" PBS station and WSEC relegated to digital despite remaining on cable channel 8 is no longer an issue).

But I don't think either of these scenarios will happen anytime soon even with the state budget morass.
post #30 of 35
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post

WQPT is broke. It's not happening for that reason alone.

Even if that wasn't the case, then they'd be competing with WQPT for pledge dollars.

- Trip

And both WMEC and WQPT are also competing with Iowa Public Television for pledge dollars too--especially now that IPTV repeater KQIN now has a tranny on the ILLINOIS side of the Mississippi (near Orion, IL with most other QC station transmitters).
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