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Portland, ME - HDTV - Page 5

post #121 of 4993
Thread Starter 
Another reason for a bigger antenna is that it will pull in stations at wider angles. The 3 stations are not side by side. Actually, being closer may be a problem as the angle to the various towers increases.
post #122 of 4993
Quote:
Originally posted by sdf777
You need a UHF antenna only antenna.

Certainly today you only need a UHF antenna, but I would advise you consider getting a VHF/UHF combo. When (if?) the WB comes online, that will be broadcast on channel 4 - VHF territory. So, if you purchase a UHF-only today, you could either be upgrading or adding a second antenna in the future. Admittedly, the downside is that UHF-only antennas do so much better with the UHF channels, and today all of our Digital broadcasts are indeed UHF.

I picked up a Radioshack VU-90XR (was on sale for $29.99!) As others on the forum have mentioned, Radioshack has a very liberal return policy. So, if things don't work out, it's a simple drive back to the store. (I returned the Silver Sensor to Best Buy yesterday, for those following my saga. As long as the product is in 'Like New' condition, you can return there for a full refund as well.)

My rotator should arrive today or tomorrow, Channel Master because it's very highly recommended here.

It's mounted in my attic (currently, mounted on a cymbal stand, until the rotator and mast arrive, It's actually a pretty clever solution if I do say so myself), and I'm not sure I would want to go much bigger than this in my attic, when you consider I want to add a rotator. I currently have a 100ft cable run, but will chop off the excess once things are situated, I'm expecting about a 60 feet run when I'm done. Got the cable, connectors and the crimper from Home Depot. I'm more than willing to lend my crimper to anybody that's trying to jump into the HD pool, and wants to get a custom run of cable.

NBC, ABC, and CBS all come in just a little above 50%. This is without any tuning of the antenna, so I'm hoping I can get that number up, once I worry about proper placement. If not, I'll probably have to start looking at the roof.

That's my long winded way of trying to say, pick up a Radio Shack antenna and try it out. Return it if you find it unsatisfactory.
post #123 of 4993
Quote:
Originally posted by redinger
Certainly today you only need a UHF antenna, but I would advise you consider getting a VHF/UHF combo. When (if?) the WB comes online, that will be broadcast on channel 4 - VHF territory.

Actually, this is probably incorrect.

If you take a look at the FCC Filings, WPXT (WB) has requested several changes in the channel assignment -- this is what is holding the construction process up.

THIS LINK has the reason they were given a construction extension last June and again last November.

Basically, they requested their channel assignment be changed from 4 to 36. FCC approval was given, but the Canadian government shot the new assignment down. WPXT then requested channel 43 be assigned to them. As of November of last year, no action had been taken to confirm this channel, and their CP extension was continued (through 6/5/03).

As of February, they were still in "goverment 'red tape' land " (see the email I posted earlier in this thread from Roy Ouellet at WPXT)

I would expect that a further extension will be granted.

There are several legitimate reasons for requesting a channel change, however, I can't help but wonder if they did so only to put off the date they have to purchase equipment for digital transmission. Unfortunately, broadcast equipment is "tuned" for specific channels, so until a final assignment is made, they can't order the transmitter or antenna, hence the CP Extension.


Anyways, it is not at all clear that WPXT will ever be broadcasting on channel 4.

Later,

Joe
post #124 of 4993
Quote:
Originally posted by DrJoe
Anyways, it is not at all clear that WPXT will ever be broadcasting on channel 4.

Harumph. I've looked around at some of the filings, and it certainly doesn't look like this will be decided anytime soon.

With this additional information, it does look like a UHF-only is a good solution after all. Perhaps I'll have to make that return trip to Radio Shack I've been talking about...

Chris
post #125 of 4993
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the FCC requiring all of the broadcasters to go digital so that they can kick them off the VHF range? They want to reallocate the VHF range for other uses right?

And good point sdf777 about the angles...I was relatively close to the towers. Probably why I could only snag WGME..that and I was using a 30 yr old salt encrusted VHF/UHF antenna!
post #126 of 4993
Quote:
Originally posted by jkurlanski
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the FCC requiring all of the broadcasters to go digital so that they can kick them off the VHF range? They want to reallocate the VHF range for other uses right?

OK! I'll correct you! *grin*

As I understand it, when the digital switch is "flipped" and the analog switch is pulled, all channels above 52 will be relocated below 52. The "700 MHz Band", consisting of channels 52-69, will be pulled from service, and auctioned off for cellular phone use.

Go to the FCC website's DTV page for FAQ's on the subject.

If you go to the "FAQ's Page" and then the "More FAQ's" page, you'll find this Q/A:

Quote:
Question: What are the channel assignments for digital television?

Answer: Under the FCC spectrum plan, we have provided most existing broadcasters with access to a 6 MHz channel for digital broadcasting within a core digital TV spectrum, i.e., TV channels 2 to 51. Because of the limited availability of spectrum and the need to accommodate all existing facilities with minimal interference among stations, however, during the transition some broadcasters would be provided DTV channels outside of this core spectrum (channels 52 to 69). These broadcasters would have to move their DTV operations to a channel in the core spectrum when one became available. Broadcasters whose existing NTSC channels were in the core spectrum could move their DTV operations to their NTSC channel at some time in the future. Broadcasters whose DTV transition channel and existing NTSC channel were both outside of the core area could obtain a new DTV channel when channels in the core spectrum are recovered.
After the transition period (2006), the VHF channels (2-13) will remain available for DTV and the analog TV service will end on all channels.

So, channels 2-51 wll be available for TV brodcasts.

If you read carefully, you'll notice the goofy thing is that in some cases (like Fox KTBC in Austin) the digital channel assignment is above channel 52. When the analog switch is pulled, KTBC Fox 7 in Austin will lose digital chanel 56 and revert to the analog (now digital) frequency of 7. KTBC is using this as an excuse to run an extremely low power (and hence cheaper hardware) transmitter.



Later,


Joe
post #127 of 4993
Thread Starter 
I would advise against a VHF/UHF combo antenna. The UHF portion is an "after thought" - marginal at best. An 80" UHF will work far superior to the 10 or 12 inch UHF portion of most combo antennas. You shouldn't need a rotor (unless you're very close to the towers). It's interesting, here we are in a new millenium and we're talking about antennas and rotors - much like our parents dealt with in the 1950's & 60's.
post #128 of 4993
Quote:
Originally posted by sdf777
I would advise against a VHF/UHF combo antenna. The UHF portion is an "after thought" - marginal at best. An 80" UHF will work far superior to the 10 or 12 inch UHF portion of most combo antennas. You shouldn't need a rotor (unless you're very close to the towers). It's interesting, here we are in a new millenium and we're talking about antennas and rotors - much like our parents dealt with in the 1950's & 60's.

The Delhi VHF/UHF antennas have a very good UHF section.
post #129 of 4993
Quote:
Originally posted by DrJoe
OK! I'll correct you! *grin*


Thank you! I knew they were re-allocating to cellular, but I had (wrongly) assumed that since the stations DTV channels were moved into the UHF spectrum, that was where they were going to stay and the VHF was getting sold off.
Time to peruse another FAQ!
post #130 of 4993
Thread Starter 
Now that I've been back for a few days, does anyone else notice that WGME-HD (13-2) loses video & audio for a second or two, 3 to 4 times per hour? It is very irritating.
post #131 of 4993
Drop Craig Clark, the Chief Engineer at WGME, an email describing the problem, and asking if he is aware of it and or can fix it.

As always (and as probably needs not to be said) when emailing engineering staff, try to be respectful, positive, and friendly in the approach you take to describing problems -- we want them to work with us not against us.

Email him at crclark@wgme.sbgnet.com



Joe
post #132 of 4993
Thread Starter 
I have Craig's phone number and we have talked many times last summer and fall. I was looking for some confirmation from other viewers before I contacted him.
post #133 of 4993
sdf glad you mentioned that i had been thinking perhaps it was something to do with my antenna or tuner, but your right don't notice it on any other stations. Better that than no sound. Just found this forum, this is great
post #134 of 4993
Thread Starter 
alann,
Always great to have new members - welcome!
post #135 of 4993
Thread Starter 
Anyone else notice big problems with WGME last night? Signal would cut out every few seconds. Time to email Craig.
post #136 of 4993
Thread Starter 
Craig confirmed his HD encoder is messed up - expects a new one any day.
post #137 of 4993
many thanks steve for clearing that up. Didn't watch last night but tonight everything seems ok. a question for you steve. Last summer when i droped my local cable co. and went ota i also subscribed to expressvu. Untill i found this forum i thought i was about the only one. Got two 3100 receivers, tmn, but not the networks, since i could get them ota. what i want to know is the picture as good on the 6000 as ota? Seems like a lot of money, and i originaly did it because i was being price conscious. Have you had any trouble with the receiver? sending it back would be a pain. This hd thing could get out of hand, i think i need a wife.
post #138 of 4993
Thread Starter 
Craig Clark called me today and said he was loading new software for his encoder. Didn't watch any CBS tonight (no HD). Thurs is CSI & Without a Trace - good test.

Alann,

The 6000 gives you the major networks in HD from east & west coasts. As Portland has no Fox affiliate and the ABC affiliate is saying 2004 for HD, it's a must up here. Having said that, I hardly used it in VA - have all those networks ota there. The HD picture on the 6000 is not quite as good as ota - colors just not as bright - has a hint of being washed out. This is barely noticeable and can only been seen by switching between the same HD broadcast both ota & on expressvu. Hope this helps.
post #139 of 4993
We finally just got a new FOX affiliate, Channel 23 (SD). They started broadcasting within the last few weeks. However, I have heard no news around DTV broadcasting. Their tower is in the same location as the WCBB-DT (17) tower in Sabattus.
post #140 of 4993
I have been trying to glean info on WPFO for the past month.

TitanTV and has added listings for WPFO as of this morning (they were still listing as 23 as WMPX); Zap2It.com has not yet added them.

The FCC has no digital filings for WPFO.

Go to the FCC query site, input WPFO in the call sign window, choose "TV Query (detailed output)", and click on "submit data" to see their filings (you can do the same for the other area stations if you are interested).

My understanding is that because WPFO was not in existence when the FCC was originally giving out digital assignments, it doesn't have to go digital until the analog switch is pulled. At that time the analog transmission will stop and the digital transmission will begin on the same frequency the analog one had been on. We have one station in the Austin area that is in this boat (the UPN affiliate here). It is not clear to me that they could get a digital assignment even if they wanted one.

As of yesterday, I was still not able to find contact info or a website to confirm my understanding. About a month ago, I sent an email to Ray Routhier of the Press Herald asking for contact info for the station/manager -- Ray had done an "intro" article to the station last month, and mentioned the manager is Mitch Lambert. He never returned my email. Yesterday I emailed "askfox" on the Fox website asking for the same information.

It is nice to see they are up, but disappointing we probably won't be seeing Fox Widescreen Football any time soon.


Joe Shovlin
post #141 of 4993
Quote:
Originally posted by DrJoe
As of yesterday, I was still not able to find contact info or a website to confirm my understanding

I haven't been able to find a website either. But you can always call or fax them:
WPFO-TV Channel 23 Portland, ME
233 Oxford Street
Portland, ME 04101
(V)207-828-0023
(F)207-347-7323
post #142 of 4993
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info about the Fox affiliate. With no DT soon, I'll be sticking with the ExpressVu for awhile.
post #143 of 4993
Thread Starter 
New encoder software for WGME did the trick - no dropouts last night (other than an unrelated audio loss during Survicor).
post #144 of 4993
Can't wait till tonight.........we just set up an OTA in our attic...wood shingle roof...

Got 100% signals from WCSH and WGME..

Using a 21 dollar Radio Shack U75-R UHF antenna with a signal booster.

Now if there was just some programming in HDTV.........guess we wait till 8 PM!
post #145 of 4993


Where did everyone go?? I guess all are happy with the current HD offerings.....
I just wish the ABC affiliate would accelerate their target date.
The programming available now is OK, but more will be nice!
post #146 of 4993
Thread Starter 
I'm still here. Didn't seem like much interest in the thread, lately. WGME seems to have resolved their audio problems. With the HD shows in reruns, not much to notice.
post #147 of 4993
Quote:


Originally posted by switherman
Joe,

The Young and The Restless in HDTV, that is great news.... what was I ever going to do without it!

Now if I could only receive WGME DT signal consistently enough to actually watch it (or more importantly, shows like CSI and King of Queens).

Don't forget DISH carries CBS-HD NY or LA, yor choice. The local CBS affiliate won't allow you to subscribe to it, but you can get a waiver if you have another qualifing address or an RV. Be creative.
post #148 of 4993
Thread Starter 
Quote:


Originally posted by Jay Ireland
Don't forget DISH carries CBS-HD NY or LA, yor choice. The local CBS affiliate won't allow you to subscribe to it, but you can get a waiver if you have another qualifing address or an RV. Be creative.

If your going to use a "creative" address for a Dish 6000 just to get CBS-HD, why not use a Bev 6000 (same receiver, different sat company) to get CBS, ABC & NBC in HD from both coasts?
post #149 of 4993
Quote:


Originally posted by sdf777
WGME seems to have resolved their audio problems. With the HD shows in reruns, not much to notice.

Did you check out A Time To Kill last night? I had no idea it was going to be in HD, but I turned on my HD box and got a nice surprise.

The PQ was absolutely stunning. And of course the audio was fixed as you mentioned.
post #150 of 4993
Anyone ever have any luck contacting Time Warner Cable of Maine with regards to HD programming? I saw DrJoe's post about his experience with them in TX, and I recently sent an email to them to find out if they intended to add to their HD Lineup (no response). Figured with the recent annoucements about DirectTV, the heat might be on...then again, maybe not...
Going to be "home" at the end of the month and under contract for a house in Cumberland. So far so good! Now I want my HDTV! I guess I'm going to have to go DirecTV. Just a bummer because I'll need high speed internet too. Hate to have to have TWC for that and Sat for HD.
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