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Pittsburgh, PA - OTA

post #1 of 4529
Thread Starter 
Since starting this thread four years ago, things have changed a bit. I unfortunately don't live in the 'Burgh anymore (thanks U.S. Airways), but someone who does has thoughtfully provided a new update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benji15301 View Post

As far as WYTV, I believe they're up and running at full power 24 hrs. although I cannot receive their signal here in Washington County. All Youngstown stations are up and running but I can only receive WKBN-DT's signal. WFMJ's signal is blocked here by a stupid idiotic low power signal on analog channel 20 by WBGN-TV. WKBN-DT is multicasting with a FOX feed on 27-2. Picture quatlity on 27-1 is good, but 27-2 is mediocre.

WQED-DT is only operating on channel 13-1 as a full time full service HD outlet. I denote no simulcasting here. WQED-DT has awesome PQ.

KDKA-DT and WPXI-DT are operating full time with full power with HD programming. WPXI-DT is multicasting with NBC's Weather Plus (worthless to me, I'd rather see a full time doppler radar) on 11-2. Both are utilizing Dolby 5.1 technology. Both got great picture quality although the audio on 2-1 (KDKA-DT) is too loud.

WPGH-DT is up and running 24/7 with a multicast. 53-1 is HD and 53-2 is SD. 53-1 has great PQ.

WTAE-DT is up and running 24/7 with full power. I have absolutely no problem receiving thier signal here in Washington County (South Strabane Twp.). Thier PQ on HD broadcasts is 720P and is great. Their PQ on all other (upconverted 420) broadcasts leaves a lot to be desired. Very smeary looking. I have been quite disappointed with thier non-HD quality for a long time, but it doesn't look like they're going to do anything to correct it.


WCWB-DT is also up and running full time. As with WPGH-DT, their PQ on HD broadcasts is great. WCWB-DT is multicasting a music channel (I believe "The Tube") on 22-2.


WNPA (analog channel 19) is STILL waiting for FCC approval to go digital. Their allocation on channel 49 is used by a low-power outlet in Indiana County and the owner of that station is single-handedly blocking their firing up digitally. They've also asked the FCC for permission to use channel 30 but thus far to no avail.

Hope this helps.


There are some new developments here in the 'Burgh, and I thought it might be nice to have one spot to gather everything together.

The Good:
WYTV, the ABC affiliate in Youngstown, is on the air. For everyone on the North side of town who can't get WTAE (and that includes just about everyone), this is awesome news. They're not yet on 24/7, but they've been lighting up the transmitter when ABC has HDTV programming. I've been able to pull it in using my less that perfect attic antenna setup, so a good percentage of us should now get ABC in HDTV and DD 5.1. Can you say Super Bowl?

Also, WQED is playing with their setup. As noted in another thread, they've been multicasting on 13.3, 13.4, 13.5. and 13.6 during the day. The plan is to use the full datastream for PBS HD programming. The demo loop appears to be history already.

KDKA and WPXI continue to put out quality, high-power signals. KDKA should be DD 5.1 sometime next year.

The Bad:
WPGH-DT is up and running of course, but at 480i. No HDTV here anytime soon.

The Ugly:
WTAE is at flea power, and will stay that way for years. Now that I can get WYTV, I really don't care.

WCWB (WB22) is also at flea power. Another Sinclair-owned station pushing the digital transition.

WNPA (UPN19) is currently awaiting FCC approval on a proposal to change the original DTV channel allocation and move the transmitter closer to the city. The application has been at the FCC for a year and a half, but they haven't yet heard anything. Once a construction permit is granted, it will take several months worth of work to get up and running, but Viacom has budgeted the money to make it happen.
post #2 of 4529
I spoke to Kurt Hoss at WTAE the other day. He maintains they are at "full" power..."max" power some time next year. I can pick up this signal with effort.

Great job on the post!
post #3 of 4529
Current Pittsburgh HDTV Status link:

http://www.broadcast.net/~sbe20/HDTV...dtvstatus.html
post #4 of 4529
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure what he meant by "full" power, but a number of web sites currently peg them at 145 kw. Suffice it to say that nobody further than about 20 miles from the transmitter can get a reliable signal. I do hope they up the power next year, but the last time I talked to anyone there I was told it would be 2 or 3 years before that happened. We'll see.
post #5 of 4529
Thread Starter 
I edited the original post to include some updated info on UPN 19 and KDKA.
post #6 of 4529
WTAE's original construction permit called for a 1000kw station but they were issued a license for 145kw, it is not even a temporary, so that must be all they need to satisfy the fcc's formula for coverage.
post #7 of 4529
Thread Starter 
That's always puzzled me. How can a 145 kw signal satisfy the FCC's coverage requirements? It just doesn't make any sense. I was resigned to no ABC HD until cable came along, but the Youngstown station has changed everything.

Free OTA digital TV rocks...
post #8 of 4529
Their tower is in Elizabeth which adds to the mystery. There are more people in other states picking up 51 than here in PGH???
post #9 of 4529
Thread Starter 
Quote:


Originally posted by kaa1954
There are more people in other states picking up 51 than here in PGH???

I don't know if I'd go that far, but where I live, WTAE-DT might as well be on Mars.
post #10 of 4529
Dave,

QED is still broadcasting their HiDef Demo loop. I rather enjoy the broadcast, very relaxing..
post #11 of 4529
Thread Starter 
I noticed that it was back on yesterday. I'll have to give Paul Byers a call this week and see if there's a schedule yet. I actually think they're doing the right thing with multicasting if they do it during the day when there's no HD content.
post #12 of 4529
Hey Dave,

I don't live to far from you with hilly terrain also. I'm useing a 10 year old radio shack roof top antenna and I get a good signal from 51. Set top box is Sony hd 200. Do you have a rotor ? I also have a amplifier on the antenna. This improved my signal at least 25%

Colin
post #13 of 4529
Thread Starter 
My antenna is in the attic, so there's no chance for me on WTAE. I haven't heard of anyone in my neck of the woods that's picking it up, but you're just a tad further south and it looks like that's all it takes.
post #14 of 4529
As for WTAE...I realize some of you that follow this Forum know of my many problems won't believe it but...thanks to Greg...I was able to get WTAE no problemo...full time...UNTIL about a week ago. Now nothing...not even a flicker...

Any explanation? I figured with the leaves about off, my signal strength would only get better.

And Dave...as for WYTV...are you saying their Ch. 36 will ONLY come on when the ABC network is broadcasting in HD?
post #15 of 4529
FWIW,

I live in Morgantown, WV and receive all of the above with RatShack Double Bowtie. I do have an unobstructed view of the 'Burgh and channels 25 and 51 are pegged on the myHD card. Channel 42,43 and 38 are weaker, but acceptable even during the day.

I would recommend that you try moving your antennas around. I found that a move of a few inches makes a big difference in signal strength. To get all the channels with the small antenna, it takes a friend and a six-pack for adjustment.

Jim

post #16 of 4529
When I lived in Allison Park (north hills), I was able to get ABC/NBC/CBS pretty reliably - I forget the signal strengths. This was with a Radio Shack Double bowtie sitting on my front porch.

I moved to Coraopolis, and I can get all the channels pretty well with the Double Bowtie sitting on my back porch. I do have some troubles getting both WB and ABC (or maybe it was NBC, I forget which) at the same time, so for now I'm getting ABC, but if I turn the antenna a bit I can get WB, just nothing worth watching on there since, like Fox, its 480i.

QED sometimes gives me problems. Sometimes I get a nice healthy signal, othertimes I get a lot of fadeouts. ABC/CBS/NBC/Fox are all rock-solid though.
post #17 of 4529
Thread Starter 
Quote:


Originally posted by Blitzburgh
And Dave...as for WYTV...are you saying their Ch. 36 will ONLY come on when the ABC network is broadcasting in HD?

That was the case during the testing phase, but now they're up 24/7.
The only network I can't get now is WB, but since Sinclair owns that station it will probably be awhile before they pass the HD programming or turn up the power, so I'm not really missing anything.

Sorry about WTAE, Blitz. Do you have a rotator? Maybe you'd have a shot at WYTV.
post #18 of 4529
Dave...I have the Panny TUHDS20 receiver...as such, I am clueless as to what my signal strength is since it has no such meter.

Anyhow...it was odd concerning WYTV in that when I first tried tuning it in, all I got was message at the bottom saying: Channel Not Available

As of about a week ago, I get alot of snow...like you would from an analog signal. I didn't, and still don't, understand why.

Which is why I had asked you the question as I was thinking perhaps when ABC was broadcasting in HD it might "kick in" a picture. From your explanation that this channel is now on 24/7, it would appear this will not be the case.

I was hoping WYTV would work for me here in Cranberry since WTAE is so unreliable. I had even started the topic on this channel in Youngstown about a month ago as I had spoke with their engineer.

Anyhow...could you even fathom a guess as to why Ch. 36 is coming in like an anolog channel? I'm clueless...
post #19 of 4529
Thread Starter 
Blitz,
There is a PBS station (WGPT) in Oakland, MD that is the likely culprit. Unfortunately, it looks like that station is too far away for reception but close enough to cause interference. Do you have a rotor so you can point your antenna at Youngstown? You probably won't have any chance of getting WYTV unless you can.
post #20 of 4529
Dave...I don't have a rotar. Any idea how much one would cost? Is this something that I could use from the inside to turn the antenna? What type/brand name/model of rotar would you recommend?

My antenna is a CM Yagi...
post #21 of 4529
Thread Starter 
Blitz,
You'll need either a rotor or another antenna pointed at Youngstown. Rotors are mounted outside on the mast, and you can get one that's remote controlled. Channelmaster.com should give you some ideas, and they seem to be quite popular. Since I'm using an attic setup and don't have room to rotate the antenna I have pointed at Pittsburgh, I pointed a second antenna at Youngstown and bought a $29 remote controlled A/B switch from Rat Shack to switch between the two.

Before you spend another dime on hardware, take your current antenna and point it toward Youngstown to see if you get WYTV. Then you can decide whether to spring on a rotor.
post #22 of 4529
So which is better...to have two antenna's on the roof or a single rotar? I can make the obvious assumption here but have learned to stop doing that when it comes to HD...LOL!
post #23 of 4529
Thread Starter 
Pros and cons...

Rotor pros: A single line of coax, no signal gain degradation from splitters or A/B boxes, and generally a cleaner, stronger signal.

Cons: you have to wait while the rotor turns the antenna to tune a station in a different direction.


Separate antenna pros: instant channel tuning

Cons: combining two antennas can be either very simple or a big pain in the arse. Sometimes a $5 splitter/combiner is all you need, and sometimes you need a Channelmaster Jointenna that's specifically tuned to the one channel you're trying to pick up (36 in your case.) I was not able to use a generic combiner; when I tried that I lost WQED. Check out this thread to see what you might be getting into with the separate antenna option.

I'd personally go with the rotor.
post #24 of 4529
One of the cons of a rotor is that you need to run a control line from the rotor to the control pannel in your theater. Another con is if you plan to add another HDTV in your home, you run into fights on who can use the antenna this time for reception.
post #25 of 4529
Thread Starter 
I guess it really all depends on your particular situation and preferences. For me, the separate antenna option was really the only option. Blitz could probably go one way just as easily as the other, particularly since 36 in Youngstown is likely the only station he'll need in that direction.
post #26 of 4529
hey did anyone loose wpgh digital recently?
post #27 of 4529
burghman: I can still get 43 at 88 strength.
post #28 of 4529
Thread Starter 
Still good here.
post #29 of 4529
I am in the Salem area and am jumping head first into HDTV. Will be getting a 36xbr800 and the hd-100 tuner. What type of antenna will I need to just get them main 3 (abc, cbs, nbc)? Can I get away with a nice indoor antenna? I'm in an apartment and don't really feel like paying for an antenna that I can't really bring with me when I do leave. I live on the first floor of a 2-story home with pretty-much nothing big and obstructive anywhere near the house. ANY help would be greatly appreciated in this. I don't wanna buy the wrong antenna and want to get this setup as fast as possible so the significant other doesn't have any ammo if you know what I mean......
post #30 of 4529
Quote:


Originally posted by debennett2
I am in the Salem area and am jumping head first into HDTV. Will be getting a 36xbr800 and the hd-100 tuner. What type of antenna will I need to just get them main 3 (abc, cbs, nbc)? Can I get away with a nice indoor antenna? I'm in an apartment and don't really feel like paying for an antenna that I can't really bring with me when I do leave. I live on the first floor of a 2-story home with pretty-much nothing big and obstructive anywhere near the house. ANY help would be greatly appreciated in this. I don't wanna buy the wrong antenna and want to get this setup as fast as possible so the significant other doesn't have any ammo if you know what I mean......

DeBennett2...go to www.titantv.com and click on antenna selector. It's not the "end all" answer but will give you a good start. Good luck...
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