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Las Vegas, NV - HDTV - Page 9

post #241 of 9173
Does anyone know how to "update" the firmware in the 3100HD? I called Cox tech support and they were clueless. I explained that some people have the 3100HD and they get the current channel and time when the guide button is pressed. I spoke with the Assistant Tech Manager who knew nothing about it.

Go figure...

Toby
post #242 of 9173
Have you tried unplugging the box then plugging it back in. I had to do this for it to work. If you want I can forward the email I got from Cox saying they upgraded all of the firmware in the 3100HD boxes last Friday.
post #243 of 9173
Please forward it to: maldoman@lvcm.com

Thanks!

Toby
post #244 of 9173
I was browsing through the junk mail that comes in the cable bill and noticed that COX is listing NBC Channel 733 and FOX Channel 734.
The lineup is supposed to change March 1st, but I wonder if those two stations will be live at that time cause it only says "coming soon". We saw earlier that NBC was going to offer their HD feed via fiber before it goes OTA, but FOX already has a tower up.
Since FOX is also now going to be displayed via cable, I wonder how good the OTA signal is (somebody talk)? Are they doing the 480p widscreen, or is it just an upconverted and zoomed 4x3 like ABC when they are not in HD mode?

vegggas
post #245 of 9173
Quote:


Originally posted by lvthunder
Have you tried unplugging the box then plugging it back in. I had to do this for it to work. If you want I can forward the email I got from Cox saying they upgraded all of the firmware in the 3100HD boxes last Friday.

Typical reboot and redownload for SA boxes is to remove power, push and hold the power button, restore power, watch display to repeat once and release. Then wait about 2 minutes while it gets the data while you watch the explorer screen.
I don't think all the hubs are upgraded yet. I know my hub is being upgraded next month, and I still have the old guide starting at channel 1. I have reset all of my different boxes; Explorer 2000, 2100, and 3100 and nothing new yet on any of them.

vegggas
post #246 of 9173
On the digital station it is just a 480i 4X3 image. I wrote Fox and they said that the equipment they needed to buy to do the Fox Widescreen is not currently in there budget.
post #247 of 9173
I wonder if they will be doing the same as NBC and just passing the national widescreen feed to COX? That would be easier to budget than full facilities. It's unusual for COX to list something in their lineup without a plan, so I guess we will wait and see again...

vegggas
post #248 of 9173
What kind different equipment is needed to send 480p OTA (when they are already broadcasting 480i) versus sending it fiber to Cox?
post #249 of 9173
They need to recieve the national feed in it's native format and send that out via fiber. That part is easy. Low power, just requires a capable decoder and a passthrough to COX (in basic terms) which they should already have.
To Broadcast OTA with high power is harder. They have to have the above equipment plus the progressive mixing equipment. Everything down the line has to be able to handle the higher frequencies- meaning a complete upgrade to the entire signal path. Then they have to transmit the entire signal in it's new and separate form, from the station to the tower (NBC's problem too). I think most have to pull a new fiber line for digital transmission, wheras with analog, they can usually modulate over the air to the tower and then demodulate at the tower itself. They may be doing this with the 480i signal just to have a "digitial" station per the FCC request or piggy-backing the current analog transmitter by adding a digital transmitter to the existing signal.

vegggas
post #250 of 9173
You would think if they are going to do digital they wouldn't buy anything that wouldn't be able to handle 480p. In fact if I were in there place I would want something that could handle 1080i and/or 720p so that when Fox switches (which I think they will eventually) they will be ready for it.
post #251 of 9173
I don't think you are following what I was trying to say.
1) I am guessing that they are transmitting a digital signal only to appease FCC guidlines.
2) That digital signal is probably being derived from their current analog feed, right at the tower.
3) This would mean broadcasting the exact same signal and format on an analog carrier and also on a digital carrier at the end of the line.
4) To broadcast a DIFFERENT signal or RESOULTION requires a completely NEW path from the point of:
..a) Download off sat in higher original resolution (not upscaled) from national feed and retain digital format. (requires digital reciever with digital outputs - Most likely completely different that previous, non-upgradeable analog reciever)
..b) Mixing the digital signal with local comercials in the higer resolution in digital format. (requires a bunch of new digital processing equipment - locals will be converted to digital [upscaled] to continue processing in a completely digital format - also, many possible A/D and D/A conversions.
..c) Send entire digital stream to tower via private low power transmitter; this would have to be a whole new system. Requires digital transmitter and reciever pair with OTA or Fiber capabilities. Fiber requires a new line pull and equipment. OTA needs FCC approval within allocated frequencies that are not standard public use.
..d) High power Digital transmitter. Requires transmitter capable of sending out a digital stream. Probably not much difference in type for different resolutions, only output power and range.

What they may have done, to save money, is keep everything analog, including their recieving, mixing and broadcasting systems. There would be no upgrade until the end of the line where they would take the same analog 480i feed at the last transmitter, and put that same exact signal onto a digital carrier.
Does that make more sense? If the above is true, then an OTA 480i signal would satisfy FCC guidlines, but save potentially millions on equipment, engineering and installation costs.
To forgo the entire line path upgrade and give the Higher Def signal to COX, would only require step "a" for recieving equipment only.
We have already noted that NBC has all of the right equipment for HD, but they just CAN'T get that signal to the tower within a reasonable time for a reasonable cost.
Essentially, TV stations are having to build an entire second TV station for true HD OTA transmission
The choice to choose a higher resolution is already mandated by the national feed that they get sent to them.

vegggas
post #252 of 9173
Yes that makes more sense, but if that is true I think they are a bunch of cheap-o's. If they are not willing to give me the signal the FCC is trying to get the networks to provide I will be forced to find another way to watch FOX. It's a shame because they are one of the only stations I get OTA.
post #253 of 9173
The FCC's main goal is to free up the analog spectrum used by television stations and upgrade from 1940's broadcast technology. They do not require stations to go to HiDef at all, only that they choose to broadcast digitally and eventually cease high power analog broadcasts.
The networks and stations will decide wether or not to go Hidef. It will probably be based on consumer bias if their signal looks less clear on their channel than the others. Because of regional station coverage, though, we are forced to watch a monoply created by the networks. If I want to watch a new episode of CSI, I MUST watch CBS, which thankfully is in HD. If I want to watch (insert FOX show here) I am forced to watch it a lower resolution, because there is no competition.
By the way, if they do provide a feed to COX rather than OTA, that's one more benefit for having local cable... ;-) [had to say it!]

vegggas
post #254 of 9173
If the main goal of the FCC is to make everyone go digital why did they set guidlines for the networks to have (I forgot how many hours per week) of enhanced programing. They specifically didn't say HD they just wanted the networks to show something better than NTSC. It probibly goes back to the goal of the FCC to make eveyone go digital but I think now that most of the networks have some kind of signal that is superior they should make the same type of guidlines to the local affiliates. If I were Fox (or any other network) and had my affiliates just skating by with the bare minimum I would be mad because I've spent all kinds of money to make the broadcast better. One way the FCC can make the transition happen faster is to allow networks to place there HD (or 480p in Fox's case) on satallite and if your local affiliate doesn't pass the networks digital signal allow the sat companies to let you buy it from them. All of us in this forum have done our part and bought the equipment now the local affiliates need to do there part and implament the networks digital signal. Now I'm not talking about stations that have a plan to pass the network feed like NBC but I am talking about Fox and WB who have NO plans to do this.
post #255 of 9173
Quote:


most of the networks have some kind of signal that is superior they should make the same type of guidlines to the local affiliates. If I were Fox (or any other network) and had my affiliates just skating by with the bare minimum I would be mad because I've spent all kinds of money to make the broadcast better

Local affiliates go through numerous changes. WB, Fox and others have changed ownership and affiliation multple times here in the valley. They only act as a business that liscence the networks info. Think of a fast food franchise, some are Corporate owned and have strict guidlines and full support of the parent company for larger fees- these look all the same. The independants carry the basic name and look of the corporate company, but operate by themselves for lesser fees and have less support. These stations BUY the programming they think locals would like to see so that advertisers can BUY commercial space - at the same time, the networks insist on locals carrying national comercials for their advertisers as well. Lots of legal stuff...
Quote:


One way the FCC can make the transition happen faster is to allow networks to place there HD (or 480p in Fox's case) on satallite and if your local affiliate doesn't pass the networks digital signal allow the sat companies to let you buy it from them.

Technically they do! All network feeds are passed via sattelite. BUD users can usually pick up the network feeds that are not scrambled (some get those too) if they move their dish to those private sats. Digital sat providers have the problem with not enough bandwidth for that many channels and as with local channels, liscening - more legal stuff.
Quote:


All of us in this forum have done our part and bought the equipment now the local affiliates need to do there part and implament the networks digital signal.

We, the minority, have done our part. The local affiliates are also doing their part, but they have a timeline to adhere to. The big networks are under scutiny from the FCC to go digital and HD, but local independants are not. NBC's operating budget for one month may be larger than FOX's for an entire year, yet the equipment prices remain the same. NBC could absorb the cost faster than FOX could even request a loan to make an upgrade plan. Also, besides mid level independants like FOX, WB and UPN, there are a total of 27 TV broadcasters in the Las Vegas market, but the low power stations do not have to upgrade until much later. UPN falls into the low power category that doesn't have to upgrade.
Quote:


Now I'm not talking about stations that have a plan to pass the network feed like NBC but I am talking about Fox and WB who have NO plans to do this.

Are we sure that FOX and WB are NOT planning on passing the signal? COX has FOX in their new HD lineup, and they could easily pass their sat feed just like NBC to local viewers. What about other local digital stations, like KBLR, KINC, and KFBT? They are digital, but not broadcasting HD, but they are not required to do so either.
Until there is even more programming available to all stations, we will be in a void of HD programming. Local affiliates can help if they begin transmitting what they recieve as HD, but until it reaches "x" amount of viewers for "x" amount of hours, there is no benefit in doing this. Just seeing upconverted material is NOT what we want, especially since most source material is shot on video (except for CBS who mostly uses 35mm) and looks like crap anyway. The easiest and most cost effective way to get a new HD signal out to the local masses is through local cable infrastructure, but that depends on agreements between the stations and the cable operators.
I've become very longwinded again...
thanks for bringing up those points
vegggas
post #256 of 9173
I have emailed Fox and got this response.

Right now we are not passing it. We need to purchase a new encoder, video switcher, and other equipment to pass the 480p wide screen. It will cost about another $350,000 to do this. We are trying to put this in the budget for this year. Our initial investment, of $1.8 million, just put our digital signal on the air and met the FCC mandate. It is a big chunk of changer to do it all at one time.....

Jack Smith

As I have reread this I changed my mind about Fox as long as they are trying to put it in the budget. They are not completely off the hook because have had several years to plan this out.

This is the email I got from the WB.

The WB 'network' offers HDTV programming on a select few shows. While
there are no current shows being offered in this market (on the part of
the KVWB) in HDTV, we continue to look at future possibilities. Right
now, KVWB is operating at reduced power awaiting completion of the high
power transmission facility. After that project is complete, and DTV is
further recognized in the Las Vegas market, we will be looking closely
at the increased capitalization needs for HDTV and other advanced offerings.

Stay tuned to the station for upcoming announcements. (I will bcc this
to the station management, and they may elect to further this
communication.)

"Mr. DTV"

So I think they have no plans pass the HD feed.

What I would like to hear from these guys are one of the following responses.

The equipment is on backorder. or
We will be buying the equipment within

What I find unacceptable is the following.
We have no plans to offer this.
There are not enough people in the valley to warrent it.

Maybe I just don't know why FOX, NBC, and WB are so much more behind CBS in this regard. I would think that at least FOX and NBC would be at a level playing field with CBS. It wasn't until a few years ago that CBS had anything on that I wanted to watch anyways. As for the easiest way to get the HD signal out to the masses is cable, then I think they need to deregulate cable so that if I get pissed at the cable company I can switch to another provider. Since at the current time with current technology and current laws the sat companies will never be able to give us local HD feeds.
post #257 of 9173
lvthunder, Great work in getting info from the stations!
CBS is way ahead of the HD game because most of their original content is recorded on 35mm film, which is an easy upconvert to HD. They have also been pushing ahead in going HD for many years (started in 99) based on that fact..
NBC would have had HD in Las Vegas much sooner except that their Primary market in New York was destroyed during 9/11. Since Las Vegas is not in the top 50 markets and already had equipment, everything was sent from here to NY to replace that market.
FOX and WB are not primary networks. They have a smaller market share and command less revenue than the "Big 3" so they have less money to purchase equipment. Since the "Big 3" have direct fiber to the COX MTC, maybe FOX does not have this in place, and relies on antenna reception to rebroadcast their signal on cable. This would explain why they can't just pass the signal to COX, whereas NBC can.
WB, being low power right now, does not have to meet the same requirements that everyone else does. Their mandate has some of the least specific and longest deadline requirements since they broadcast over a smaller area. Reading their email, I don't get the impression they are not going HD, just not right now. They are slowly working on getting the facilities to do it.
As far as de-regulating cable, you have the ability to get cable service from several providers in Las Vegas. The problem is, just like you see with all the telephone providers, their service (my opinion) is not up to par to the bigger companies. If you get pissed at COX, you do have alternatives. If you hate Sprint, you do have alternatives. The sat companies are another provider, but they CAN'T provide the highbandwidth needed for every market's HD channels. If you just got the network feeds (off sat), you would eventually put the local independant station out of business, because nobody would be watching. It's a catch-22 situation.
COX is the ONLY current provider (including sat) out of many in Las Vegas that can deliver the HD content from the local channels. Unless the sat companies launch new sattelites and offer more bandwidth or even higher compression ratios, they will NEVER be able to offer local HD channels.
Speaking tech here with assumptions: If sat could deliver the top 50 markets for the top 7 channels (ABC,NBC,CBS,PBS,FOX,WB,UPN,) that would be 350 HD channels. One HD channel takes up the space of about 8 SD digital channels, so you would need the same space as 2800 (2000 for only 5 locals) standard channels to bring in the top 50 markets top 7 stations. That's like 3 times as much bandwidth as they currently have just to get local HD in the top 50 markets of which Las Vegas is ranked 51. That just isn't going to happen anytime soon.

vegggas
post #258 of 9173
Quote:


Originally posted by vegggas
The sat companies are another provider, but they CAN'T provide the highbandwidth needed for every market's HD channels. If you just got the network feeds (off sat), you would eventually put the local independant station out of business, because nobody would be watching. It's a catch-22 situation.
COX is the ONLY current provider (including sat) out of many in Las Vegas that can deliver the HD content from the local channels. Unless the sat companies launch new sattelites and offer more bandwidth or even higher compression ratios, they will NEVER be able to offer local HD channels.

Agreed, the only way that HD locals will ever come about via satellite is through the Ka band. But thats 5-10 years away. But it might take that long just for locals to switch over! But this is exactly why satellite companies are integrating 8VSB tuners into their receivers so that there isnt a pressing need for them to put HD lcoals on satellite. That way, all they need to do is have the big 4 in HD for distant networks (8 channels for east and west feeds).

Right now, Sat companies are in the lurch for HD in general. I think Dish network is going to try and go for mass-HD with their 211 STB, and HD channels on satellites where you dont have to install extra dishes. But theres a limit, they'll only end up with about 10-14 channels at most before they run out of room.
post #259 of 9173
What are my other choices to Cox. I have not heard of any. I know Boulder City has 2 companies but I thought it was you either got one or the other, not both. As for getting sat companies to offer network HD feeds. I don't mean for just everyone. I just mean for the people can't get the HD station. For me since I can't get CBS or ABC with an attic mount antenna (still got to try moving it around some more, but I'm not hopeful) as I live too close to Black Mountain that the mountain blocks the antennas in Seven Hills. So if I get mad at Cox and decide to cancel I can't get HD from them as much as I would like to. As for the sat companies, at least for the time being I think they could somehow get the network HD feed then when it's not in primetime or during local commercial the STB would switch to the SD version. I don't think this is an impossible idea.
post #260 of 9173
Quote:


What are my other choices to Cox. I have not heard of any.

Open up the yellowpages under Television-Cable, Catv & Satellite. Several providers are listed, although I no longer see some of the wireless companies there used to be when I moved out here.
Quote:


. As for getting sat companies to offer network HD feeds. I don't mean for just everyone. I just mean for the people can't get the HD station.

It doesn't matter how many people actually get to view the channels, they still must be carried and take up the bandwidth. It could be 1 person or millions, either way the bandwidth is always in use.
Quote:


As for the sat companies, at least for the time being I think they could somehow get the network HD feed then when it's not in primetime or during local commercial the STB would switch to the SD version. I don't think this is an impossible idea.

If the sat companies deliver an HD channel, they must keep that bandwidth in use forever. They can't "free up" the unused bandwidth during broadcast of SD content or commercials. Also the STB has nothing to do with how much bandwidth the sat is using. If you wanted it to somehow switch to SD during a commercial, the entire bandwidth is still in use. If an interstate is built for heavy 5:00PM traffic, it doesn't turn into a dirt road when nobody is using it; once built, it remains as a full use freeway reguardless of the number of users (or data) going down it.
If they (sat) only put in the big 4 networks as doormat suggests, they will have a total of 8 channels of HD (E & W feeds). This doesn't seem like much, but the sat providers are integrating 8VSB tuners so that they will NOT have to carry these channels and the extra bandwidth they take up. Instead they could take that bandwidth and use it for ESPN-HD, Cinemax-HD, HD-PPV, BRAVO-HD, and others thay you could NEVER get with an antenna.
The sat providers will never provide local HD channels. It is up to the end-user or homeowner to acquire those HD channels from their local sources, either through 8VSB, cable or other means.
They may someday provide national network HD feeds, but it's not a priority at this time and the networks are against this, because it eliminates the affiliates local revenue and in return, their revenue. The sat companies would have to pay an arm and a leg to make up for those losses, and potentially pass that on to the customers via an extra monthly charge.

vegggas
post #261 of 9173
What I meant was that everyone would be watching lets say HDCSI. CSI comes on at exactly the same time here as it does in all of the west coast. What I was saying is everyone would get the HD channel and when the commericals or local content is on the channel gets remaped to the local SD stations on the spot beams. We would get routed to the Las Vegas commercials and LA would get the LA ones. That is what I was saying about the STB.
post #262 of 9173
Impossible. You cant code receivers to switch like that. Ive discussed this with guys who know way more than me about STBs, and they say its really not possbile, not with the current hardware. Its a good idea but not quite fesiblle. Not now at least..
post #263 of 9173
Not just impossible from the stb point, but also impossible from the point that the sats could never carry all the locals from every market available and the HD feeds too.
Since I dropped sat a while back before locals were available, how many local markets are currently available now? Top 50? Top 100? Top 200?
Las Vegas is ranked 51st, so if locals are available here, then theoretically it could be the top 100 markets.

vegggas
post #264 of 9173
I think the sat companies will eventually come up with something. It maybe 5-10 years away but I think they will come up with something.
post #265 of 9173
Did anyone have problems with there box yesterday. I came home to watch Alias and the picture said this box is not authorized. So after 20 minutes on hold with Cox (good thing I came home a little early) they turned it back on. Something must of happened because now the guide is back to the way it used to be with the guide staring 2 hours ahead and on channel 1, but also when ABC flips between the standard stuff and the network stuff the screen goes blank for a couple of seconds than pops up again.
post #266 of 9173
lvthunder,
I still have not heard of anyone getting the guide to start at the current channel and current time (can anyone else out there confirm?). If not, maybe they set your box up as a test account oustide of the normal download parameters, and it eventually timed out. Test boxes are for specific purposes and last for specific short times only.
I guess you kept the box longer than the 30 day trial afterall.

As far as the sats coming up with something in 5-10 years, analog broadcast should be gone by then, freeing up even more bandwidth for cable. Take away 80 analog stations, give back 160 full HD in the same space

vegggas
post #267 of 9173
vegggas
my onscreen guide is still the same ol thing too....
jb
post #268 of 9173
No I'm keeping the box for the 3 months until the special I'm on is over. Then I will evaluate it again. It will be a hard decision if they force me to get Digital Cable. I think I should be able to get HD without having to get Digital Cable since there are exactly 0 channels on SD digital cable that I want. I am willing to get expanded basic because I know they put a filter on the line for basic cable.
post #269 of 9173
Quote:


Originally posted by vegggas
As far as the sats coming up with something in 5-10 years, analog broadcast should be gone by then, freeing up even more bandwidth for cable. Take away 80 analog stations, give back 160 full HD in the same space

Yea, satellite needs to get on Ka band development ASAP. I'm sure that some cable channels wont go HD until 2010-2015. They'll sit at 480i/p for a long while until HD equipmennt comes down in price. So it will be a while.

BTW: Anyone have recomendations on indoor, top-of-the-tv antennas to pick up HD? I was looking at some directional antennas. Just got a sweet deal on a Mits WS-55511 from Ultimate. $2700 with no payments/interest til 05, need an VHF/UHF antenna to pick up CBS so I can watch the final four in HD with 5.1 surround (that is if KLAS passes 5.1).
post #270 of 9173
Quote:


Originally posted by vegggas
Since I dropped sat a while back before locals were available, how many local markets are currently available now? Top 50? Top 100? Top 200?

http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/LocalChannelsAction.do

http://www.dishnetwork.com/content/p...ls/index.shtml

About 50-60 each. There are only 215 DMAs to carry, so technically, if the merger went through, all locals would have been carried by 2005 or so. (There is still one more satellite to launch, D7S which should add 20 more cities to D*s offering).
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