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Topeka, KS - HDTV

post #1 of 2380
Thread Starter 
Official in that is the first and only one. Anyway, if you are around Topeka, KS, I will try to give updates on the local there.

KTWU: Channel 23 (PBS)- I put them first because they are first rate. I sent an email off inquiring about their pictures on their website of their new tower. I got a very detailed response from the Head Engineer. Nice guy, and here is what he said:
1. New tower is for both analog and digital
2. Tower should be done by September
3. Are shooting for on air digitally for April, 2003
4. Will be broadcasting at 815 kW
5. Will multicast
6. Will mulitcast JUST during the day, and PASS PBS HD at night!!!
7. Will continue to update tower pictures at KTWU Website

Good guys, send them a donation as they can take on for just the digital transition.


KSNT: Channel 28 (NBC)- Nice response from them too. Nice enough to let me know when they get on the air. Here you go:
1. Are shooting to be on the air by end of summer.
2. Will not be full power at first
3. Will broadcast at 1000 watts
4. Will pass NBC HD
5. NBC HD receiver install, so once ready no wait for HD
6. Not sure about Cox re-transmitting the digital signal
7. Said the signal should cover Topeka, but probably will not reach Manhattan


WIBW: Channel 44 (CBS)- No response, but here is what I know from a phone call recently:
1. New facility
2. Will be on at full power
3. Will upconvert everything to 1080i
4. Will pass CBS HD
5. I think waiting on transmitter?
6. Should be fairly soon (September?)


KTKA: Channel 48 (ABC)- The head guy there is pretty good. Exchanged email with him several times. Here is what I know:
1. Most everything is ready, line and antenna in place
2. Will pass ABC HD
3. Everything else will be 480p
4. Will be on at 25 kW
5. I think they are waiting to turn everything on


KTMJ: Channel (unknown) (FOX)- Nice people, but a Low Power station with several towers around. When does low power stations have to be on anyway?? Here are a few things I am fairly sure about:
1. No channel assignment yet
2. All towers will pass digital
3. I believe they will multicast FOX and UPN programming
4. Fox does no HD, so no HD from them


UPN- O wait, we don't have a UPN

WB- Nope, no WB either

If anyone knows anything else, please add to this thread. If I get any updates, I will use this thread.

post #2 of 2380
Thread Starter 
The crazy guy at Radio Shack last night told me WIBW was on the air at very low power. I do not think that is right, so can anyone tell me for sure???
post #3 of 2380

It loolks like KTWU's new towar is the same height of the old one. Do you know why they had to replace it? Rumor has it that FOX will also be using this tower.
post #4 of 2380
Thread Starter 
I am not sure about Fox, but in an email I got from the Chief Engineer Duane Loyd, he said the main reason was the old tower couldn't handle the load of a new DTV antenna and transmission line.

The good news from them is they will be full power at 815 kW. They hope to be on by April of next year. If you want the guys email, I can send you a PM with it. I will go ahead and ask him about the Fox deal, but I am not too sure. They are a Low Power station so I am kinda wondering if they will even go digital. They might just do analog untill they turn that off and then just shut the TV part down. They are owned by they guy that runs the newspaper in Junction City.

Have you heard any other news for Topeka?? Last I talked to WIBW, they were waiting on their antenna, I think. KTKA is sucky low power and I honestly think they are done, but will wait their extension out and try to get another.

Are you the one that works at Best Buy or CC??

post #5 of 2380
Thread Starter 
I just got an email back from Duane Loyd and he confirmed that Fox 43 will have a spot on the KTWU tower, up 550 feet. They said it should be ready by mid September. He also said he has the DTV antenna installed, but might be as late as April. I take that as good news when he says "might be as late as April"

He also send along this picture of the tower crew installing the antenna.

post #6 of 2380
I heard from KSNT today that they should be on with low-power sometime in October.

Also no answer from WIBW.
post #7 of 2380
Thread Starter 
Darn that low power.

I did happen to talk to the engineering department today and he told me they had hoped to be up by now, but the tower crew had delays, thus they had no antenna. He said they are hoping by first of October, but when I asked about full power, he said lower power, whatever that means.

KTKA is lame, and I hope they read this. I honestly think they are done, but will not turn it on. KTWU is the best about telling you what they are doing, probably because they rely on people like us.

It's looking pretty bleak that I will get any of the low powers from Topeka. I am just going to have to hope for good tropo ducting from Wichita.
post #8 of 2380
Hey timmy,

Some of your locals and semi-locals were floating in here tonight.Had NBC Jay Leno in on a DT-36 due west with no channel ID.Is KMCI on the air yet? The DTC-100 showed only 36-1.If not,it had to be KOMU from Jefferson City,Mo.

Thanks for any help,

post #9 of 2380
Thread Starter 
I do believe you were watching KOMU. There is no NBC affiliate on the air in Kansas. Last I heard about KMCI was they would be on about their deadline time.
Let me ask you a question: Some of the stations I want to try to pick up are in Wichita and Kansas City. Wichita stations are about 201-207 degrees at about 115 miles. The KC stations are all at 95 degrees and 107 miles. I am pretty sure no KC, with a pretty tall hill a half mile away in between KC and me, but Wichita might be possible. There are hills, but about 10 miles away. I had thought about the Winegard HD-7084 be OK for me? I can only put it up about 25 feet. Or should I go with one of the foriegn models??
post #10 of 2380
Thread Starter 
This bites:

KTKA is now saying next May or June to be on air.

post #11 of 2380
That is SAD. I guess I won't be watching much ABC programming this fall. I stopped watching their news programs after their ex-sport guy bad mouthed the local hockey team last year. I think things at KTKA went down hill after the Kent Cornish left as station manager.
post #12 of 2380
Thread Starter 
I can understand Fox not having a news show since they are low power, but for KTKA to drop their news was lame. BTW, if you are talking about Jason Lamb, I saw him on NBC 41 out of KC this past weekend.
post #13 of 2380

Thanks for helping me determine which DT-36 I was receiving last night.I'm logging it as KOMU DT-36 @356mi,a new long distance record,for me anyway.On the analog side,I bested my old record with your local KSNT-27 @552mi.Also had KC's 19,29,41,50 and 62 @485mi.

Now,to your situation.I would recommend going with seperate V/U antennas for two reasons.One,they always work better (IMHO) and two,I saw a lot of "seperate" installs when I visited your area this summer.Most were on 30-50ft towers and some were on those unique-looking double pipe swing-up masts(these would be great for experimenting!).The UHF antenna of choice that I noticed the most was the CM 4bay and 8bay.

The only stations that might give you a preamp overload problem looking towards KC would be 27,43, and 49.Any other direction,you could amp the UHF to the hilt.I'd go with the CM7777.It would probably work ok.

Initially,if I were you,I'd put up a UHF antenna of some sort,as high as you can get it,using a preamp,and just see what you can get.And,leave it up for 2-3 weeks,as reception will change from day-to-day,week-to-week,even hour-to-hour,and especially day/nite.

Thanks again for the "aircheck",

post #14 of 2380
so help me out here. if we get an antena and tuner, will we be able to watch march madness in wide screen?
if we are in topeka how much antena will we need?
it seems to me that the purpose of the gov requireing the stations to use brodcast hdtv signals was to bring it to the masses. if you have to put up a 40 foot antena and it costs thousands of bucks they sure failed in bringing it to the masses.

post #15 of 2380
Thread Starter 
Do you have the TV? If so and you are in Topeka, all you would need is a STB, (set top box) that would receive the signal, and perhaps just a pair of rabbit ears, depending on where you are in Topeka. WIBW will more than likely be the first on, and their tower sets about 13 miles west of Topeka, almost due south of St. Marys. KSNT will be second on, their tower is located up near Silver Lake. KTWU will probably be third, with their tower being on the NW side of Topeka. KTKA will be last of the full power stations, stating they will be on next summer. Their tower is about 5-10 miles west of Topeka. I would suggest you try the Radio Shack double bow tie when WIBW goes live. You can also get the STB for around $350 (RCA DTC-100) I think, try looking at open boxes at Best Buy or Circuit City, or if you are into computers, you can get a MYHD card and record, which for me with a 3 year old, and a new baby, is very important.

And yes, by the time march madness rolls around, you most definatly will be watching it in widescreen. Plus you will get to see College Football in HDTV later on this fall.

Let me know if you need more help.

post #16 of 2380
I heard from WIBW today and they said that their transmitter has been installed and now they are waiting for their antenna. Should be on in December.
post #17 of 2380
how much space does it take to record a ballgame in HD? I mean a real ballgame (basketball) at 2 hrs not one of those long slow smallball games hehe!
post #18 of 2380
Thread Starter 

Think about 9 GB per hour. Are you picking anything up there in Topeka??


December??? I talked to them last week and they said by October? Was that the tower crew delay they were talking about?
post #19 of 2380
When will cox be running with HD. will it require a STB or will I be able to use MyHD in the computer? their web site has no specifics on date or cost.

post #20 of 2380
Thread Starter 
I think it will be awhile on Cox. And no, I am 99.99% sure they will use the QAM modulation, meaning you will need one of their boxes like they use for digital cable. the MyHD card will only take the OTA signal, not the QAM.

Have you tried to pick up any KC stations yet??
post #21 of 2380
It was announced at the Topeka AD Federation meeting on Sept. 24th that KSNT (NBC) would begin broadcasting HD on Oct.15th. He also said that it would be half power (low power?). Another comment I heard was that they were paying $300,000 to go online. I wonder if he meant that they have spent $300,000. This information was from a co-worker that was at the meeting.
post #22 of 2380
Thread Starter 
You beat me to it. I just today(like an hour ago) talked to Doug Overla from KSNT and he told me the same thing. I said his roadmap said Oct. 15th. Yes they will be low power, 4kw to be exact. 500 feet up on their existing tower. I asked about coverage and he said they would just barely hit Wamego, which is EAST of here, so I will most likely not get it. Nice guy to talk to, took my name and email and said he would keep me updated. Said they had the antenna, but not the transmitter.

Also in the good news department, I talked with Jeff Groves from WIBW. He said TWO WEEKS. He was really excited about getting the signal up. He said all local will be upconverted, and 4X3 not stretched. If CBS send him HD, he will pass it. He actually told me to call him in a week and a half and I would probably see him testing. I am pumped, as CBS HD college football is only a few week away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #23 of 2380
I just received the following from WIBW!

We will be Broadcasting OTA in HDTV in about 3 weeks. We are currently waiting on the antenna manufacture. All CBS prime time will be Transmitted @ 1080i. Local programing will
be upconverted, but not streched to 1080i due to the picture distortion. I really can't speak for the cable compnys timeline.

Thank you for your intrest, If you don't already know we will be on HDTV channel 44

Jeff Groves

This is much better than Kansas City! KCTV5 in KC said they will not be transmitting in 1080i in the foreseeable future!!!! So much for Big City Stations....

Now I have to figure out how to get the signal from WIBW in Lawrence!
post #24 of 2380
Thread Starter 
Great huh?? Do you know where the WIBW tower is?? If not, it is 20 miles WEST of Topeka. We did not get into actual numbers, but he said I should be fine here in Manhattan. I don't know what that means for Lawrence.

Good luck with it. BTW: Are you pulling in KMBC, KCWE, or KSMO from KC??
post #25 of 2380
I am just not getting my ducks in a row to see what equipment I will need to receive local HD content.

I have been Bugging SunflowerBroadband and they keep promising me that they will have 4-6 channels up by the first of the year. HBO,Showtime, Discovery and locals....

Just told them about WIBW and they said they are talking to them.... they are still debating what equipment they will be using.

If they don't come thru I will be going a Satellite and try to pull it in myself. But did not want to do that until the merger smoke cleared.... ha ha...
post #26 of 2380
Thread Starter 
Do you happen to have an email for Jeff Groves?? He told me last Thursday to give him a call to see if he was testing yet, but I would rather email since I am at work.

post #27 of 2380
This is what I have:

Jeff Groves [jeff@wibw.com]
post #28 of 2380
I live at 13th and Louisiana Street here in Lawrence. I am just using an indoor amp antenna from Wal-Mart RCA ANT1250. I am at the bottom of a three story apartment building, on the side away from KC. I can pick up DT-7 (ABC), DT-31 (UPN) really well. I get DT-18 (PBS) pretty well and if I really try DT-47. I don't get DT-34 (but from what I've read no body does, even when you 2 miles away). I am using MyHD receiver and an old computer.

I am really looking forward to CBS HDTV. Don't get me wrong, ABC is good, but I really like CBS shows much more. I am excited about it, and hope they broadcast soon.
post #29 of 2380
Originally posted by cclaterb

Now I have to figure out how to get the signal from WIBW in Lawrence!

Chris - You shouldn't have any trouble getting WIBW-44 from Lawrence. I'm REALLY going to try hard to get it in western Shawnee. My house is 63 miles due east of the transmitter. I currently have a dedicated UHF yagi (amplified) that I have pointed toward Lawrence for KMCI-38. I'm going to try pointing it due west toward Topeka and see what happens.

Any late word, Timmy, on the on-air date? If our wonderful KCTV insists on low power 480i, I'm not above watching Topeka advertisers and news!

post #30 of 2380
Thread Starter 
I am checking now Brad. I have an email to Jeff to see if they might be on by the end of the week. I will report when I hear.

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