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Portland, ME - HDTV - Page 3

post #61 of 4993
Quote:
Originally posted by DrJoe

WGME-DT CBS
38 1000 kW ERP OTA STA 500 kW ERP
Craig Clark (Chief Engineer)
[i]We provide a grade A signal into Portland. Our coverage is 65+ miles in all directions.
We are a CBS affiliate. We pass the full 1080i HD feeds from CBS.

I assume that the chief engineer knows what he is doing. The CBS website is apparently wrong.
http://www.cbs.com/info/hdtv/

They say that this station is standard def only. Click on the Maine map and you will see an asterisk. The legend says:

* Denotes stations that currently broadcast in Standard Definition.
post #62 of 4993
Ron,
I remember well into the 70's when I was Chief of WTOS on Sugarloaf and did the same thing on radio once in a while on ski/maintenance weekends.
I also remember that Jack Paar was one of the owners,(of WMTW that is).
GT
post #63 of 4993
Thread Starter 
Haven't checked this thread which I started for some time since I'm at my winter home in VA until late April. Sorry to hear that WMTW is not doing HD anytime in 2003. Guess I'll be relying of my ExpressVu for ABC. Overall the NBC & CBS were doing a fairly good job. I did call both stations many times to tell the MCO (Master Control Operator) to either turn on the Digital transmitter or flip the HD switch. Hopefully, it has improved. As for Marty from Mt Wash - he gave his last report from there last fall when he retired.
post #64 of 4993
Quote:
Originally posted by Bogney Baux
I assume that the chief engineer knows what he is doing. The CBS website is apparently wrong.
http://www.cbs.com/info/hdtv/

They say that this station is standard def only. Click on the Maine map and you will see an asterisk. The legend says:

* Denotes stations that currently broadcast in Standard Definition.

I would think he knows what they are doing; besides, this was confirmed on page two of this thread on 5/10/02 when sdf777 said "WGME did sucessfully send out CSI and Raymond in HD tonight! Only a couple of glitches during 2 commercials - otherwise great picture and sound. I did have to re-add channel 38 (WGME-DTV). It did not map to 13-1 as before but came up 38-1 and 38-2. 38-1 is analog and 38-2 HD."

The map on the CBS site doesn't even link my present local CBS affiliate, KEYE out of Austin, Texas, let alone the fact that KEYE is broadcasting in HD.


Joe
post #65 of 4993
Thread Starter 
I've emailed the GM at WMTW to see why he won't pass HD from ABC. Why spend 95% and not get the HD bang for the buck with the last 5%. Like spending money 40 years ago for new equipment and not transmitting color.
post #66 of 4993
It is probably just a cost thing -- it is still a significant additional cost, in the 50's to 100's of $k's.

Does anyone know what is up with the supposed Fox afiliate? Is it really going to turn to FOX this quarter? Does anyone have any contacts at the station? My guess is they won't be going digital until 2006, but it would be nice to find out otherwise.



Joe
post #67 of 4993
Thread Starter 
No reply from WMTW. Not sure why the Fox affiliate jumped ship a year or so ago (for UPN or WB?) Anyway, with Joe Millionaire & Am Idol, they've missed out on some highly rated shows.
post #68 of 4993
Quote:
Originally posted by sdf777
No reply from WMTW. Not sure why the Fox affiliate jumped ship a year or so ago (for UPN or WB?) Anyway, with Joe Millionaire & Am Idol, they've missed out on some highly rated shows.

Well, I'm not so interested in why the previous Fox station jumped ship -- I'm more interested on when the PAX station, WPMX-TV, becomes WPFO-TV, and picks up Fox. It is supposed to happen in the "first quarter 2003". Like I said, I am not aware of any DTV filings by the station by either the old or new call letters.



Joe
post #69 of 4993
i am going to be moving to limington, maine march 1st. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what antenna I will need to pick up the portland stations?

Thanks!!
Mark
post #70 of 4993
Can any one tell me exactly what to do to start getting HDTV.
John
post #71 of 4993
First, you have to buy a high definition television, and if it doesn't have an internal tuner (most don't) you need to get a set top receiver.

The set top receiver could be stand alone for "over the air" (OTA) digital reception (you will need an antenna), or it could be a dual OTA/DBS receiver (Dishnetwork or DirecTV). If you get a dual OTA/DBS receiver you may need a special satellite dish. You could also sign up for Time Warner digital cable, and request one of their high definition cable boxes (but the high definition digital cable box doesn't tune OTA signals).

Programming that is high definition is limited in Portland.

Over the air you can get high definition programming (when available from the networks -- usually only a few hours per week) from CBS, PBS, and NBC. ABC will go high def some time in 2004, Fox will go "enhanced def" in 2006 -- if a fox station exists at that time, and WB and UPN will go high def some time between now and 2006 depending upon station finances and government red tape.

Over DBS, depending on the service (Dish or DirecTV) you will be able to get a few specialty channels: on DirecTV you can get HDNet, HD PPV, HBO, Showtime, and when it becomes active, NBA-HD. On Dishnetwork, you can get HBO, Showtime, Discovery-HD, CBS-HD (if you can get a waiver from the local CBS affiliate), HD PPV, and NBA-HD.

Over Time Warner Digital cable you can get HBO and Showtime HD east and west, and soon will get PBS-HD. Other local digital feeds may follow.

Several new HD channels are slated to go"live" in 2003, including the National Geographic Channel, Cinemax HD, ESPN HD, and three HDNet sister channels. The satellite services and digital cable may or may not add them when they golive.

Most of these channels (specifically HBO, Showtime and the local digital stations) only carry high definition programming for a small percentage of the day.

Seethe AVS Programming Summary for details on all of the channels.

For the above material (an HDTV, a tuner, and satellite or cable service, and an antenna), you are probably going to have to shell out several thousand dollars. A cheaper way to go might be to get a PC with an HD tuner card and an antenna, but the screen size will be limited to the size of your computer monitor.

Hope this helps,

Joe
post #72 of 4993
Quote:


Can any one tell me exactly what to do to start getting HDTV.


A good place to get a decent setup would be Sears, they are very active in the roll out of HDTV, consistently available across the country and extremely fair prices. The sales person expertise and knowledge varies, but are decent, they may not be up to date on the expansion modules.

Their Mitsubishi Platinum line of sets are good bang for the buck (a step up from the Mits Gold models at Best Buy) , matched up with a DISH HD6000 and the HD enhancement "8PSK" and HD off air "8VSB" modules will provide a decent selection of HD programming dependant on the off air offerings in your local area. DISH will be releasing a HD PVR soon also. Keep in mind too that just because a local station is broadcasting Digital TV (DTV) they may not yet be capable of passing on the network HD programming and upconverting of their analog signal.

Another thing to keep in mind too is that a HDTV will do great justice to DVD's, an option may be to get an HDTV ready set with a DVD player if don't already have one, then migrate to a receiver at a later date.

I would suggest visiting Sears and some other local retailers, get some ideas and ask questions, then come home to AVS Forum to air out your questions and concerns.


Hoping to see another HDTV'er soon
Regards

Jay
post #73 of 4993
well, I just got my myhd card today and installed it. I don't have an antenna yet but I am able to pick up channel 44-1 and 44-2 with a piece of wire! Is anything in HD on 44? Will I be able to tell the difference on my pc? Do I have to config anything in myhd software to watch hd programming. I am in Limington, right after standish and am going to find a real antenna to try and get more channels. Does anyone have any suggestions, antennaweb says to get a small multi-directional so I'll try that and if it doesn't work I'll get a bigger antenna. Now all I have to do is save up enough for the front projector and I'll be good to go!!

Mark
post #74 of 4993
Hey SW45, just thought I would say hello to my fellow hometheater neighbor. where abouts do you live in Limington? I live on the Deerpond store side of Limington right off of rt117. Just accross the Waterboro town line.
post #75 of 4993
sw45, sorry I forgot to answer you question. I have a medium/small sized multi dir powered antenna IN MY BASEMENT home-theater and I get a 75-85 strength signal. Because we live out in the sticks (we are about 10 miles from all the towers for channel 6, 8, and 13) we are able to use such an inexpensive/small antenna to pick up the HD signal with great results.

Short answer, go to Radio Shack and start with the small multi dir powered antenna and see how that works.

Hope that helps.
post #76 of 4993
FYI - I was doing a little research for my folks in Falmouth and noticed that UPN (WPME), WPMX (IND) and WPMX (PAX) are now slated to begin digital broadcasting on May 1st, 2003.
post #77 of 4993
Quote:


Originally posted by jkurlanski
FYI - I was doing a little research for my folks in Falmouth and noticed that UPN (WPME), WPMX (IND) and WPMX (PAX) are now slated to begin digital broadcasting on May 1st, 2003.

Where did you notice this?

If it was Titan TV or a like service, I wouldn't trust it. I've found (and many others can confirm) that their live dates are very inaccurate -- they mostly rely on the artificial dates in FCC filings.

Recently, I have received these messages from the stations you mention:

WPME-DT UPN and WPXT-DT WB are owned by the same company. I sent them an email asking about their prospects for digital broadcast. Roy Oulette (unknown position) responded on 2/7/2003:
Quote:


Our frequencies and power levels did not pass Canadian Coordination so we do not have construction permits for either station. I'm not sure when we will be able to put a digital carrier on the air. We have now entered goverment "red tape" land with the proviso of cross-border relations.

I suspect if they were really going live on 5/1, he would have known on 2/7, and told me so.

WMPX has not filed for a digital frequency (go to http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/audio/tvq.html enter WMPX for the call sign, choose output "TV Query", and search), and with the "transition" it is supposedly going through (apparently WMPX has already dropped the PAX affiliation, and is supposedly going to become WPFO-TV affiliated with Fox in the "first quarter 2003") everything is up in the air anyhow. You will notice that the channel Titan TV says WPMX-DT is going live on is also the analog channel -- which means that this is NOT going to happen, at least until analog goes away in 2006 or later.

Sorry to say, I don't think we will see any of these channels "DT" any time soon.


Joe
post #78 of 4993
It was Titan. I was relying on your original email/post but gave it a whirl on Titan to see what came up. You're right too...they're not always very reliable but it seemed to be "new news", which, of course, can be wrong news!
Will be heading that way in a couple weeks. My folks just picked up an HDTV, but the only HD they get is via Time Warner (HBO and SHO) so I promised I'd bring up my OTA STB to see what could be had from their location. Will let you know how I fare.
post #79 of 4993
well, I finally got my sony hs10 and finished assembling my htpc. I am using a myhd card connected to vga port on pj for ota, a radeon 9000 connected w/dvi to pj for dvd and pc use, and my xbox is connected using component cables.

Now, the dvd looks excellent, powerstrip was easy to setup, the xbox looks great but i can't seem to get myhd card to work right? What shows around here are in high def and are they on 1 or 2 subchannel. I pick up 38,44,and 46 no problem but I can switch between analog ota and digital HD ota and not notice much difference so something must be wrong? Hmmm, well I give up for now, time for bed (haven't slept for 2 days since the pj arrived).

Thanks for any help!
sw45
post #80 of 4993
Quote:


Originally posted by sw45
I pick up 38,44,and 46 no problem but I can switch between analog ota and digital HD ota and not notice much difference so something must be wrong?


Probably nothing is wrong.

Most material that is broadcast digitally is upconverted NTSC -- i.e. they take the regular analog feed, upconvert it to high definition (still 4:3), and transmit it digitally. If the station/network does a good job, it will be sharper than the analog feed, and the color may be a bit better, otherwise it is identical. Generally "local" material (the local news, syndicated material, and the like) is upconverted at the local studio, while network shows (news, reality, and non-HD drams/sitcoms) are upconverted by the network.

As I understand it, the only stations broadcasting in true HD in the portland area are WGME-DT CBS 38, WCSH-DT NBC 44, and WCBB-DT PBS 17/WMEA-DT PBS 45 --- but programming on even these channels is limited. CBS probably has the most HD programming -- you should get the NCAA tournament games on Sat and Mon in HD, and the Masters golf tournament. Pretty much all CBS evening dramas and sitcoms are in HD -- but not news or reality shows, they are upconverted NTSC. NBC has the second most -- several of their sitcoms and dramas are in HD, as is Leno. They have some special sporting events (the winter olympics, the Triple Crown) in HD. PBS has a few specials now and then in HD.

Major digital channels are usually "xx-1". If a station multicasts (like PBS does), then either all the channels are standard definition -or- "xx-1" is in HD and "XX-2" and "XX-3" are in standard definition. Multicasting is generally a bad thing because it takes bandwidth from the major HD channel. Here in Austin, NBC broadcasts HD on their major channel, and has standard definition weather and doppler radar on the second and third subchannels. During the Winter Olympics they dropped the standard definition subchannels to allocate the full bandwidth for the HD channel -- and the result was breathtaking. PBS in Maine may do something similar when they have HD available.

To find out what programming is scheduled in HD, go to www.titantv.com and look at the digital listings for your address. If a show is in HD, it is generally labled as such.

Please realize some of my info could be wrong -- I am not yet in the Portland area (my wife and I head to Lewiston next weekend to look for houses -- hopefully there won't be any snow on the ground!) -- I am going by what the local station engineers have told me by email, and some of that info could be wrong.

take care,

Joe
post #81 of 4993
I'm reposting this from Page 2 of the thread:

this is the info I have been able to find out about DTV in Maine. Any additions or corrections would be appreciated -- it looks like I am relocating this summer.

Where someone at the station replied to me I listed their name and title (if known), and italicized what they told me.

ERP = effective radiated power
OTA = over the air
STA = special temporary authority
Where I give two numbers for ERP, the first is the special temporary authority (usually a lower power than) the second in parentheses is the full rating

WPME-DT UPN 28 ERP 215 kW not OTA
WPXT-DT WB 4 ERP 10 kW not OTA

Roy Oulette (unknown position)

Our frequencies and power levels did not pass Canadian Coordination so we do not have construction permits for either station. I'm not sure when we will be able to put a digital carrier on the air. We have now entered goverment "red tape" land with the proviso of cross-border relations.(2/03)


WGME-DT CBS 38 500 kW ERP STA (1000 kW ERP) OTA

38-1 Simulcast Analog
38-2 High Definition Channel

Craig Clark (Chief Engineer)

38-2 is active from 12:00PM to 12:30AM


WMTW-DT ABC 46 501 kW ERP STA (1000 kW ERP) OTA

Amy Picucci (Program Coordinator)

Programming on WMTW-DT channel 46 is currently a digital simulcast of the ABC 8 WMTW analog signal from 8-11 pm Monday through Saturday and 7-11 pm on Sundays. These hours will increase in April 2003 to 12 noon to 12 midnight, seven days a week.

We anticipate providing HDTV (High Definition Digital, 720p) pass through of ABC network programs sometime in 2004. (2/03)


WCSH-DT NBC 44 500 kW ERP STA (1000 kW ERP) OTA

No Response

From Titan TV, On air 24/7, passing high definition feed when available

WCBB-DT PBS 17 27.9 kW ERP OTA

Response from Dave Roy "Audience Services" concerning the ERP and identical content of WCBB-DT and WMEA-DT.

From Titan TV, the main channel is off air between 1:00 AM and 6:00 AM while the three subchannels are 24/7.WCBB and WMEA both occasionally offer high definition shows during prime time.

WMEA-DT (PBS) 45 50 kW ERP OTA

All other comments are the same as WCBB-DT.

WPMX-TV formerly PAX to be WPFO-TV (Fox) Not OTA -- No digital assignment

To be FOX some time this year (First Quarter? But First Quarter is over!)

Cable Television:

Adelphia Cable does not carry High Definition at this time.

Time Warner Digital Cable carries HD Showtime and HBO (East and West). They currently plan to carry Maine Public Broadcasting when they launch and are evaluating the Discovery Channel and other High Definition offerings.


I'm adding to the list the stations in Bangor (I'm told they may be receivable in Lewiston, where I am moving to) from Jay Ireland's Bangor Post:

Bangor ME

WVII-DT (ABC) 14 1.84kW ERP STA (532kW ERP) OTA
Simulcast Analog
Contact: engrabc6@wvii.com

WABI-DT (CBS) 19 234kW ERP STA (363kW ERP) OTA
Simulcast Analog
shilz@wabi.com

WLBZ-DT (NBC) 25 500kW ERP STA (1000kW ERP) OTA
HDTV
lgilbert@wlbz.com

WMEB-DT (PBS) 9 15kW ERP OTA
HD/SDTV Multicast Analog

Jay's comments: "It is important to note that ABC and CBS are not currently capable of passing their respective networks HDTV programming to the local market due to the economics of acquiring the necessary hardware.

I have emailed all the local stations and have not found much enthusiasm
with HDTV technical correspondence, replies are more of a reply as a customer service response not a genuine interest in HDTV."

I also note that WVII is using a microwave oven to transmit their signal, so it isn't likely to be picked up far from Bangor.

Does anyone have any updated information to add to the above list?


Joe
post #82 of 4993
Great list. Thanks Doc!
I just found out that I definitely will be moving (back) to Maine this summer - Portland area. When I was visiting my folks a couple weeks back in Falmouth, and I was only able to pull in CBS and NBC after great difficulty with aligning an old roof top antenna. After re-reading your post its possible that ABC just wasn't broadcasting when I scanned for channels.
One thing that threw me and is worth noting: CBS is operating two sub-channels: 13-1 and 13-2, and its 13-2 thats the HD feed. 13-1 is SD only.

Extra Credit question: I'm not sure if I want to go with Time Warner or Direct TV or Dish. I'm a little disappointed with Time Warner only offering HBO and Showtime. I'm a bit spoiled here in Philly with Comcast Sportsnet-HD, and the passthru of NBC, ABC, and PBS. They also have HBO/SHO-HD. Any thoughts on that?
post #83 of 4993
Thread Starter 
I'll be back in Maine for the summer at the end of the month. It's disappointing that WMTW (ABC) is DT but not HD - Monday night football is in HD this fall. WGME (CBS) & WCSH (NBC) were both pretty reliable with their HD programming last fall. Maybe if enough people email the WMTW general manager, he'll push the HD date up.
post #84 of 4993
so basically what your post just said is that only CBS actually broadcasts hd material, the others aren't on a regular basis yet. That'd explain why the ncaa basketball game looked so incredible while other shows on other channels that were supposed HD didn't look too special. Hmm, now if only I could get a good signal on 38, 44 and 46 come in great but I can't get 38 to stay on a constant signal strength?

Damn, I wish I adelphia had HD since the directv HD receivers are 700 bucks for 3 channels??? Oh well, I'll just have to play xbox games all day!
post #85 of 4993
Quote:


Originally posted by jkurlanski
Great list.

Thanks

Quote:


One thing that threw me and is worth noting: CBS is operating two sub-channels: 13-1 and 13-2, and its 13-2 thats the HD feed. 13-1 is SD only.

I see! That explains why Titan TV doesn't show anything on 13-1 as HD. I will drop them a note and see if they can add listings for 13-2.

Quote:


Extra Credit question: I'm not sure if I want to go with Time Warner or Direct TV or Dish. I'm a little disappointed with Time Warner only offering HBO and Showtime. I'm a bit spoiled here in Philly with Comcast Sportsnet-HD, and the passthru of NBC, ABC, and PBS. They also have HBO/SHO-HD. Any thoughts on that?

Well, with Time Warner you also can subscribe to cable broadband.

You might hold off and see if anyone adds ESPN-HD -- maybe it will happen before you move.

There isn't a "killer app" for any of the choices -- DirecTV has HDNet, which is nice; Dish has CBS (which you can get OTA) and Discovery-HD, and Time Warner has cable broadband. They all have HBO/Show-HD. Seems fairly even to me. In Lewiston, there is no HD cable, so I'll go DirecTV (my set, an F38310, has an internal DirecTV HD receiver).

I'm coming up this weekend with my wife for a house hunting forray. Hopefully the snow will be gone!

BTW, sw45, that isn't what he said:

CBS broadcasts HD on subchannel 2, but is "live" afternoons and evenings and when there are HD specials; NBC broadcasts full time and in HD when available from the network; and PBS broadcasts full time and in HD when available. Of the three sources, there is more HD on CBS than NBC, and more on NBC than PBS.


Later


Joe
post #86 of 4993
I just got a reply from TitanTV -- they said they will add 13-2 as of tomorrow.

As a newcomer to the area, is there a Southern Maine "HD Community"? How many folks are there with home theater setups? Are there any local gatherings?

A little about me:

I'm a semiconductor research scientist who was recently "acquired" by Fairchild. They are relocating me from Austin, TX, where I have lived the last 5 years (and 8 of the last 10). I'm originally from Cleveland -- and am excited about the prospect of catching the Indians against the Red Sox in Boston. My wife is from Central Texas, and she is generally amused at my A/V hobby (she thinks I am a nit-picker when it comes to video quality).

I have an RCA F38310 directview 38' 16:9 CRT, with an internal DTC100 ATSC/NTSC/DirecTV tuner. I have a Panasonic RP91 progressive scan DVD player, and a Curtis DVD-1030 Apex clone interlaced player for Region 2 PAL discs, a Kenwood CD425M cd jukebox, a JVC HR-S9800U s-vhs VCR, a Kenwood VR407 DD 5.1/DTS A/V receiver, a ReplayTV 3100 (upgraded 3020), and an X-Box with high definition video pack. In Austin, I use a powered radioshack indoor antenna, however when I get to Lewiston, I expect to install a roof antenna (if there isn't one up already).

We are looking at houses in Auburn/Lewiston, Poland, and Lisbon/Lisbon Falls (I specified a 45 minute drive to the Portland airport for my daily commute; I just asked my agent to expand that to 60 minutes to get some more houses to look at). My wife's 13 year old daughter, and our newborn daughter, will both be living with us.

Nice to "meet" you all,


Joe
post #87 of 4993
I think you may have alienated yourself with that Indians talk. Atleast you didn't say you were a Yankees fan.
post #88 of 4993
Quote:


Originally posted by jkurlanski
I think you may have alienated yourself with that Indians talk.

I was born Alienated....

Indians.... Browns.... Cavs.....

"Curse of the Bambino"? Bah Humbug!


*grin*


Damned Yankees.



Joe
post #89 of 4993
I'm in South Portland and don't have the set up for OTA reception, so I have communicating with TWC here in Portland, especially asking questions about the Masters this week. That was followed by questions concerning the locals going up on cable and this is the reply that I received from TW.

Regarding our carriage of the new ESPN High Definition Channel and other HD product. Time Warner Cable of Maine is currently communicating with all the local broadcasters to find out their plans to carry high definition
programming in sufficient quantity to make it feasible to carry the signals.
As they are able to carry 12 hours or more of true High Def we would consider making the signals available to our customers as we can come to an agreement with each network. We also carry events in High Definition as they are available to us such as the NBA all-star game and the upcoming Masters Golf Tournament. With respect to ESPN it is my understanding that our corporate programming folks are currently talking with ESPN to procure rights to carry the signal and we will be letting everyone know if and when that happens. As I am sure your aware at the moment there is precious little programming available in HDTV format, as you pointed out HBO and Showtime cannot find enough programming at this time to fill an entire day. This is changing and as time goes by there will be many more hours of HD available to programmers and Time Warner is committed to making it available to our customers. Thank you for letting us know of your interest in ESPN, it helps sometimes to get things moving along a faster track.

Michael Clark
Engineering Director
Time Warner Cable of Maine
post #90 of 4993
Quote:


Originally posted by darey1
I'm in South Portland and don't have the set up for OTA reception, so I have communicating with TWC here in Portland, especially asking questions about the Masters this week. That was followed by questions concerning the locals going up on cable and this is the reply that I received from TW.


Who did you email at TWC? I've sent a couple of emails to their customer service address asking about HD programming and have never received a response.
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