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San Antonio, TX - HDTV - Page 6

post #151 of 4342

Originally posted by Deltoid
Well........ still no KENSD on my Hughes 86. I guess it is safe to say I have not seen 5-1 or any of its other forms in 2 weeks now...... Still have a good signal stength and the program info, but no picture. How's it lookin' everywhere else (all 10-or-less of us who watch this stuff!)?

Deltoid and others, today I think we restored your DTV - but I'll need you to let me know one way or another. We made a subtle change to our PSIP again that should have enabled all the Hughes-style chipset receivers/STB's. Unfortunately, even though we're pretty sure the code is correct, and it works on a Hughes receiver in Quincy, Illinois, I can't verify it here without your help.

Happy viewing. Tonight is JAG/The Guardian?Judging Amy on the HD side. I hope all is well for you, Wizard, KyleB and all the others!
post #152 of 4342

Got home from work today, and checked. Everything is working great here with my Hughes STB. Thanks for your support and help.

post #153 of 4342
I'm in Fair Oaks with a Dish 6000 and have kept the KSAT signal...just can't get a good lock. I'm getting WOAI (004-01) at 85 - 90 and have a rock solid lock. KSAT (012-01) runs 45 - 50 and rarely gets a lock.

Aren't the two transmitters close...if not on the same tower...and at roughly the same power? I'm running a large UHF on the roof along with a good line amp.

Any ideas why there is so much of a difference?

post #154 of 4342

WOAI, KENS, and KSAT all broadcast from an "antenna farm" near Calaveras Lake. Tower heights are practically identical. The biggest variable between the stations is transmission power.

I certainly appreciate the feedback that is offered in this forum. It's a learning process for us all!

post #155 of 4342
I am about to buy a RCA F3810. I currently have TW cable. In reading all the previous post I have come to the conclusion that I need is a good UHF antenna, a hunk of cable, mountings etc and I should be able to start watching and listening (5.1?) to HDTV. I live in Live Oak and should have a straight shot at the Elmendorf antenna farm. Good guidance is urgently reqested!
post #156 of 4342

Mine is working as well, thank you for your help.
post #157 of 4342

I'm a TWC customer and enjoy KENS-HD on channel 155. I have the 3100HD digital cable box. The US Open tennis and SEC football are fantastic. But, I have a continuing problem with dropouts during your prime time programing. TWC confirmed my signal strength is good and they replaced the box, but the dropouts continue. Sometimes they are very obnoxious and at other times nearly non-existent. What is really strange is I get no dropouts on 380, HBO-HD. Once again, only during prime time. TWC tells me they aren't getting complaints from other customers but I'm not sure how reliable that is.

Any comment? If they can't fix it I'll be forced to get an outdoor antenna and a HD Receiver.
post #158 of 4342
I was wrong about getting 5.1 sound..no output from the 38310. Is or will any 5.1 DD in the SAT area? IS the 38310 the best/quickest way into HDTV?
post #159 of 4342
Anybody in SanAntonio want to watch HDTV or help me out? One million plus people and no one reads this ?????
post #160 of 4342

The F38310 will pass dolby digital 5.1 through its optical digital audio output. You'll need a dolby digital ready audio/video receiver with surround speakers and a powered subwoofer to really enjoy it.

Unfortunately, most of the HDTV you get over the air is only going to be DD 2.0. The only OTA audio that was 5.1, that I can think of, was the Olympics back in Feb. on NBC. (Disclaimer -- in Austin we only have 4 DTV channels, only two of which, NBC and CBS, are capable of broadcasting HD.)

DirecTV channels will have DD 5.1 where available (on digital cable, I get DD 5.1 for some -- not all, even on the Showtime and HBO High Definition channels -- movies on Showtime, HBO, and Encore).

You might want to check out the "directview CRT" forum for more info on the F38310.

Take care,

post #161 of 4342

Originally posted by paulbehnke
I am about to buy a RCA F3810. I currently have TW cable. In reading all the previous post I have come to the conclusion that I need is a good UHF antenna, a hunk of cable, mountings etc and I should be able to start watching and listening (5.1?) to HDTV. I live in Live Oak and should have a straight shot at the Elmendorf antenna farm. Good guidance is urgently reqested!


From Live Oak to the TV towers down near Elmendorf should be about 30 miles. You will point your antenna almost straight south to get most of these channels. Try www.antennaweb.org or www.titantv.com for a map of where the local broadcast channels are.

The receiver in the RCA F3810 is an internal version of the old RCA DTC-100. This was one of the first HDTV receivers, but it has been consistently one of the highest quality receivers out there. You should not have too much trouble with reception at your range. I live a little north of Lackland AFB, just west of 410 and Potranco. I've been able to get perfectly acceptable reception of all of the local stations with just an indoor Radioshack double bowtie antenna. Radioshack discontinued this model, but it's worth looking around for it on close out. Otherwise, Channelmaster makes a clone of this same antenna and Circuit City carries the Zenith version of the Silver Sensor UHF antenna. Either of these alternatives should offer excellent, low hassle indoor reception.

If you really want to do things right, you can't go wrong with too much antenna. I have a Channelmaster 4248 yagi and Channelmaster preamp mounted on my chimney. It gives me more signal strength than the indoor antenna, but the picture quality is identical. I am this close to getting acceptable reception of Austin's WB station. With your closer proximity to Austin, you may be able to get a couple of the Austin stations with an outdoor antenna and a rotator. You may not, due to a small ridge around San Marcos.

The local Sinclair owned Fox and WB stations are supposed to go on air with pretty low power and only 480i sometime next month. PBS is slated to go on air with modest power on VHF channel 8 on May 1st, 2003. I don't know whether you'll need an outdoor VHF antenna or if you'll be able to get by with rabbit ears once KLRN goes on the air.

Don't know whether you have cable or satellite, but both have HDTV to offer. Assuming you have Time Warner Cable of San Antonio, TWC offers HBO HD, Showtime HD and KENS-DT. You can get the HDTV box for free if you're a digital cable customer, so that might be worth pursuing. Likewise, the RCA F3810 has a built in HDTV DirecTV receiver, so you could go with DirecTV for HBO HD, Showtime HD and the always popular HDnet from Mark Cuban. With either option, you could still use your HD receiver and over the air antenna to get all of the local stations.

Hope this helped you out. If you have any more questions, just ask.

post #162 of 4342
DrJoe & JimboG Thanks a lot! You'all have given me enoufg info to keep me busy for months...didn't see the little Toslink output...lucky I 3 inputs but it willcost$ to get a 10ft cable...major problem just now is that I had to return the set to CC for screwed up aspect ratios via component input, Not sure if I wantit or switch to a Sony 40XBR 800. Will find out today
post #163 of 4342
HI All, According to TitanTV.com Fox and WB are supposed to come on line in San Antonio on 1 Nov 2002. Anyone seeing anything yet or have any knowledge of when they will begin to broadcast DTV.
post #164 of 4342
They will go on-air at low power in November. They will both be 480i This is what Sinclair sent me on Oct. 22:

Both KABB and KRRT are scheduled to be "on-the-air" with DTV in November. The biggest current obstacle is available installation man-power form the trained and skilled staff of our suppliers. The initial "on-the-air" powers will be ~6-7kW. This lower power is required while the full power construction continues. The efforts underway at this time are strictly "FCC "compliance" in nature, and do not represent the final configuration. Unfortunately, because of the FCC mandate to be on at this time, we had no recourse but to offer a low power solution. While this is not optimal, it is NOT the end of the line for this market.

We will be upconverting our studio quality video/audio and converting to digital in a simple and FCC compliant way. It will take some time for the additional work to progress, and we hope to offer a better estimate of the full power schedule after the current flurry of activity settles down. This work is going on at a large number of our stations across the country. The investment and product acquisition for the FOX Widescreen product (and other network enhanced offerings for KRRT) will come at some point in the future, but is not the present priority. The priority is the build out the high power facilities, and then work on network specific quality enhancements.

Edit 11/14: I have since found out that "dtv@sbgi.net ", the sender of the email, is the same Mark A. Aitken, Director, Advanced Technology, Sinclair Broadcast Group, who is "MisterDTV" here on the AVS Forum -- who mentions the words "high definition" later in this thread. It wasn't clear to me who "dtv@sbgi.net" was when I received the email.

post #165 of 4342

From Joe's contact at Sinclair
This work is going on at a large number of our stations across the country. The investment and product acquisition for the FOX Widescreen product (and other network enhanced offerings for KRRT) will come at some point in the future, but is not the present priority. The priority is the build out the high power facilities, and then work on network specific quality enhancements.

"Network enhanced offerings for KRRT"? Why not call a spade a spade? What they're trying to hint at is the fact that the WB offers HD programming. I can't understand why Mark cannot bring himself to utter the words high definition.

I managed to pick up KRRT-DT this evening. It is in a completely different direction from all of the other digital stations in San Antonio. It seems to be fairly low power, but I was able to get a lock on the signal and have had only moderate dropouts. Since they're still playing around setting everything up, I hold out hope that things will get better. The picture quality looks a little better than KRRT over Dish network. Knowing how heavily Dish compresses the San Antonio locals, one would hope for more of an improvement even for 480i. It looks like they're converting a composite analog signal to SDTV instead of 601 digital NTSC to SDTV.

Has anyone in the San Antonio area been able to receive KABB-DT? I get occasional flickers of signal, so I know they're trying to transmit something. It seems like the signal stays mainly at zero but will jump up to 50-something percent for a fraction of a second. I think the problem may be that they're running channel 30 as an N+1 channel from analog channel 29. Because the power for KABB analog is a couple orders of magnitude greater than KABB-DT it seems like the digital channel is getting overwhelmed. It's possible that a strong signal or out of channel noise from KABB-TV is overwhelming my Channelmaster 7777 preamp. I can't get the faintest whiff out of KABB-DT when I don't use my preamp. Has anyone been able to lock onto channel 30???


P.S. Everyone needs to call Pax and UPN and ask them when they plan to join the party. They're only 6 months late for the deadline for all full power commercial stations nationwide to get on the air. Even Sinclair is joining in!
post #166 of 4342
UMM.... By UPN I assume you mean KBEJ out of Fredericksburg...

They aren't joining the party.... They never applied for a digital CP....

They are planning on broadcasting in analog until analog goes away at which time they will switch to digital.

post #167 of 4342
JIMBOG....Can you tell if they are broadcasting 24 hours a day or just prime time like KSAT?
post #168 of 4342

Originally posted by sandy1202
JIMBOG....Can you tell if they are broadcasting 24 hours a day or just prime time like KSAT?


Dunno, I'll go take a look. I'll report my results in a little bit.

post #169 of 4342
As of 3:00 PM this afternoon, KABB-DT is still trying to transmit something. Unfortunately the signal strength is rapidly fluctuating from 0 to a high of maybe 58 on my Dish 6000. I know stations are required to provide coverage to their city of license. KRRT-DT is going all the way from Kerrville to my house. Sure there are occasional breakups, but they may go away as the station's engineers tweak things.

In the case of KABB-DT, I just can't get a lock on their signal. When a station has to provide digital coverage of their city of license, does that mean the entire city? I can imagine that someone on the south side or near city hall may be able to get a signal lock while someone on the west side of town but still within city limits may not be able to get a lock. Does anyone have a spectrum analyzer to see whether out of channel noise from KABB analog channel 29 is hosing the digital station? I wonder whether anyone will actually succeed in getting this channel, or if it is going to be like KTBC in Austin.

post #170 of 4342

Isn't KABB going to just be 480i for the foreseeable future anyway?


I'm at Culebra 1.5 miles outside 410 but I haven't tried picking it up yet. I need to get my antenna on a mast.
post #171 of 4342

Yes, KABB-DT and KRRT-DT are going to just be 480i for the immediate future. In another thread a local Sinclair engineer in Raleigh, NC said that SBGI is going to standardize on one set of components for HD and then deploy it group-wide. While this may take longer, it may allow them to automate most signal switching and avoid many of the problems that have plagued other DTV stations. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. If we're still wondering when Sinclair will show HDTV 10 or 12 months from now, I may not be so happy.

In the meantime, I'm interested in seeing if I can get a reliable signal from KABB. Hopefully it will look better than the heavily compressed NTSC signal from Dish network.

post #172 of 4342
If you have a UHF antenna (and I'm sure you do) and you're anywhere in San Antonio then 29 should come in very well and give you a good picture. I'm not sure the digital channel will be any better.

post #173 of 4342

I guess it's kind of like fishing; I know there's a DTV signal out there on channel 30, I'm just trying to catch it. If KABB-DT is anything like KRRT-DT, the picture quality may not be much improved compared to analog. On KRRT-DT yesterday afternoon I observed a rolling horizontal bar, probably due to AC hum. This was also visible on analog channel 35, so it looks like this bit of analog noise is in KRRT's plant before they encode the signal to ATSC. It also looks like they're just upconverting the composite signal to SDTV. Definitely not as clean or as colorful of a signal as SDTV on the local ABC, NBC and CBS stations. It does seem to be an improvement over KRRT on Dish Network.

I think I may have found a couple problems on channel 30. I tuned in channel 30 with an NTSC receiver and used my antenna rotator to turn the full 360° in the local area. At one point I was clearly able to see visible interference from KHCE, the TBN station on channel 23. This would seem like a classic case of UHF N+7 channel interference. Likewise I was able to hear the audio subcarrier from K31EX, the local over the air Home Shopping Network station. It seems odd that having K31EX one channel off doesn't keep me from getting DTV channel 32 but may keep me from getting DTV channel 30. I don't think having a strong signal on channel 29 and a moderately strong signal on analog channel 32 helps me any when I'm trying to lock onto channel 31. Hopefully this won't still be a problem when KABB-DT increases power in the future.

All in all, it seems like there's some junk out there that is making it that much harder to pick up KABB-DT's admittedly weak signal. I don't know whether I'm getting reflections in my RG-6 cable or perhaps if one or more of the local stations is causing trouble for my Channelmaster 7777 preamp. I can't get so much as a peep out of KABB-DT without the preamp. I would really be interested in looking at a spectrum analyzer to see whether K31EX is sending their audio signal out of band or if any of the other local stations are sending spurious noise that is hosing KABB-DT. I know "spurious noise" is kind of a dirty word to the FCC, so let's just say "unintended impairment" of channel 30. Anyone out there have the expertise and the technical resources to see just what's going on in the range of channels 29-32? Any station engineers or ham radio/antenna/home theater geeks willing to take a crack a suggesting a better way to lock onto KABB-DT? Any success stories yet from people who've been able to lock onto KABB-DT?


P.S. I've got a Dish 6000 receiver with 8VSB module and 8PSK module and a Channelmaster 4248 and Channelmaster 7777 preamp mounted on my chimney. I'm in Heritage, just west of IH-410 and Potranco. I'm getting a strong 80ish% signal on KRRT-DT and >95% signal on all of the other local (H)DTV stations.
post #174 of 4342
Just an update for the Knoxville HD thread. Fox is broadcasting an HD signal in Knoxville on Channel 34. So that leaves CBS (Jan 1 2003 est) and PBS and Knoxville will be full HD OTA. Here are the High Definition OTA channel lineup for the Knoxville area:

Channel Station

17 PBS Not transmitting yet? Date??
23 PAX No clue why I get an HD signal?
26 ABC Active during primetime
30 CBS Not transmitting yet. 1/1/03start
31 NBC Active during Primetime
34 Fox Active as of NOV 2002

Anyone else has any updates please post em..

post #175 of 4342
Are these Stations broadcasting at full power? Should I be able to recieve any of them in Crossville. Some 55 miles away...
post #176 of 4342
Boy h boy, I go out of town for a while and look at all the neat stuff now happening!

1. Realthogue - Thanks for bringing KENS back from the dead for us Hughes E-86 folks. Once again enjoying the digital experience from your station (man, does CSI rock or what?!).

2. JimboG - since I have an extraordinary amount of free time on my hands these days, I shall attempt to lock on to the mysterious Channel 30 and/or 29 from my place out in Cibolo. My ChannelMaster on the roof is pointed in just about the right spot, so I'll let you know if it can pick up anything. I doubt it, since you say the power output is fairly low, but I'll give it a try just the same.

3. Can hardly wait for December - three more HDNet stations (allegedly) from HDNet / DirecTV!!

post #177 of 4342
I just noticed today that the first section of their new antenna is up. Since the beam of the tower appears to be considerably wider than the other tower that went up recently I guess it's going to be much taller. That will be good for you guys who live a distance away.

I think but I'm not sure that WBIR-DT and WATE-DT are broadcasting at reduced power temporarily. I seem to have no difficulty getting a good picture. Although I am only 7 miles away we've never been able to get a good picture with analog reception due to severe multipath distortion.
post #178 of 4342

Originally posted by JimboG
I can't understand why Mark cannot bring himself to utter the words high definition.

"High Definition" There, I said it. Happy now?
post #179 of 4342
Can some one help me understand something? I live in Maryville and have a large VHF/UHF RS antenna on my chimney in the back of the house. I have a good line of sight to the north. Now the question. I get WATE-DT at 100 % strength on my E86 digital receiver. But, I get WBIR-DT at 18 to at best 41% with constant breakup of picture. It was my understanding the WATE-DT and WBIR-DT were on the same tower. What is the deal? How can I have the antenna point at the tower and not get both at 100%. I cannot get a stable picture on any DT station except WATE. I am very confused.
post #180 of 4342

Originally posted by MisterDTV
"High Definition" There, I said it. Happy now?

Reasonably happy. I'll be even happier to see HD from WB and 480p widescreen from Fox. I know there are a lot of issues to iron out between local commercial insertion, upconvertors, digital microwave gear for the STL, possible 601 upgrades the local plant infrastructure, etc etc etc. Take the time to get it right, just don't take too much time.

Deltoid, have you or any other consumers in the San Antonio area been able to receive KABB-DT? I've been able to get KRRT-DT just fine, but I'm missing out on either sync lock or EQ lock with KABB-DT. The guys at the KABB studio have been able to get it all right. The engineers at KENS 5's studio downtown have also reported reception of KABB-DT. I'm just out of luck on the west side of town.

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