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Pittsburgh, PA - OTA - Page 9

post #241 of 4529
Okay now I figured it out. The tower is about 3 miles from Elizabeth. This is effectively close enough to cause some areas near the tower to be outside the Vertical Plane of the transmitted signal (it is possible to be right under a tower and not receive the station), also I found some areas, though not as high as the transmitting antenna (the digital antenna is 200 feet lower on the tower than the analog) will effectively block the signal if near enough to them. Several of these are in the Blane Hill area. It appears you are experiencing a combination of both.

WTAE does have a Construction Permit to change their pattern so you may have better luck when they finish construction.
post #242 of 4529
Blaine Hill is about a mile from my house, away from the tower. If WTAE ups their signal strength is there a chance I can get it, or should I be looking for an ABC tower farther away?
post #243 of 4529
You could try CH.36 which is the DTV channel for WYTV the ABC station in Youngstown, they are currently on the air. From your location you would point a little west of the 2,11,22,53 cluster. But your about as far away as me from Youngstown and 36 just has a small blip.

There could be a chance you will get WTAE when they up their strength.

Hey, has anyone noticed that WPCB has better picture quality than the syndicated programming on WCWB and WPGH? Also there is no sound! My STB says that language choices are German and Spanish? There isn't much on WPCB I want to watch, but when there is nothing else on I'll watch a cooking or outdoor show on the station.

Any news on WQEX? I wish QED would just sell the thing get what they can from it instead of waiting for more money that it will never sell for.
post #244 of 4529
Greetings all,

I have not noticed the no sound problem on DTV50 (WPCB). What I have noticed though is the sound is way out of sync. I guess that they still could be in a testing stage. Waiting for my CM4228 and 7777 amplifier to see if I can pull in the Youngstown or Stubenville stations here in Wexford. Should be here this week. I will reply with my results.

Great forum,

post #245 of 4529
I get no audio on 50 at all with my HD-200. Odd...
post #246 of 4529
Mark, that is indeed odd. I checked again this morning and I do have audio, although it's still out of sync. My system is an RCA F38310 HDTV with built in DirecTV.

post #247 of 4529

Originally posted by c_perrone
Greetings all,

I have not noticed the no sound problem on DTV50 (WPCB). What I have noticed though is the sound is way out of sync. I guess that they still could be in a testing stage. Waiting for my CM4228 and 7777 amplifier to see if I can pull in the Youngstown or Stubenville stations here in Wexford. Should be here this week. I will reply with my results.

Great forum,


Hi Clint...I have the same, exact antenna and preamp here in Cranberry. I was always getting KDKA (like everyone else), then WPXI thanks to Greg C. fixing what another company screwed up on my antenna, and I was also getting WTAE with some semblance of regularity but not nearly as reliable as the previous two stations. I was also getting 53...seldom was I getting WQED but then, I didn't much care.

Now I'm unable to pull in WTAE at all...no surprise. I think the management of WTAE should get their collective heads out of their...well, sand. I even went so far as to call their "complaint" on air person to complain about them. That person, whose name I've forgotten, knew NOTHING about HD and tried to tell me I didn't know what I was talking about. As I realized I was dealing with ignorance, coupled with a busy life, I abandoned the cause though I still think it a good route to take. Any company, including the media, reacts to publicity...particularly of the unfavorable variety.

Ya think?

PS Good luck with your set up...
post #248 of 4529
Last night the audio on WPCB did appear. The problem with WTAE is that they are licensed with lower wattage and transmit at location away from eveyone else. Complaints aren't going to help as they already have a construction permit to go to 1000Kw (this is the maximum allowable power). It takes time to build these things. Transmitters aren't mass produced and when you order one you have to wait till the manufacturer gets to yours.

c_perrone, good luck on trying to receive WTOV. They are using a half butterfly patern with the two lobes going North-West and South-West and their antenna is only 100 ft off the ground. WTOV is by far the worst digital station I have seen. The picture is usually fuzzy, the on screen bug is so huge it makes all other station bugs look tiny, and their HDTV transmissions are just awful. THe other night I thought I would watch Jay Leno on WTOV instead of WPXI. The WTOV signal actually had ghosting (the colors were out of sinc) a perfect transparent red to the right and a transparent blue to the left of the main image.

WTRF isn't too bad, although they stretch the image to fit 16:9 and it doesn't look right unless you squeeze the picture they are similar to WTAE in that they don't have an anoying 24/7 bug.

BTW since I installed an FM trap before the pre-amp everything comes in nicely. I have now added WTOV & WTRF along with KDKA, WPXI, WQED, WCWB, and WPGH (those 5 I was already getting), WPCB now comes in most of the time and WTAE comes in occasionally. Now in the future if I can get constant signal on WPCB, WTAE, and WNPA (whenever they get on the air) I'll drop my DBS service. 11 stations (when WQEX is sold) and a couple of them multicasting will be plenty for me.

Is anyone in PA able to receive WTOV-DT or WTRF-DT?
post #249 of 4529
Hi all,

From what I have been reading in the forum, it appears that (especially in the north hills of Pittsburgh) that just few miles in any direction can have a great impact on the reception of WTAE. I would assume that I am on the
outer edge of WTAE's signal as I have really had no problem with reception here in Wexford. The signal is not great, but it always seems to be watchable without major interruptions. When I first received my HDTV I purchased a small Terk indoor antenna at the recommendation of the salesman at Best Buy. I took everything home the same day and a few hours later I was watching every local Pittsburgh DT station, although WTAE was at a signal strengh of about 35 with some dropouts.

After finding this forum and reading I purchased a Radio Shack 2160 antenna and their $50 preamp. So here are some results after six months or so of playing around with this...

Terk Indoor antenna:
Station Signal
WTAE-DT 30-35 if positioned just right with dropouts
WCWB-DT 45-50 with pixelation
WPCB-DT was not on the air at this time

Radio Shack 2160 placed on my dresser in bedroom next to TV pointed in the general direction of Pittsburgh:
Station Signal W/O preamp Signal W preamp
KDKA-DT 85 85
WTAE-DT 40-45 50-60
WPXI-DT 85 85
WQED-DT 85 85
WCWB-DT 45-50 with pixelation 50-55
WPCB-DT 50-60 55-60
WPGH-DT 85 85

I also took the 2160 out on the deck of my townhouse and with a little bit a playing around I was able to get WTAE-DT up to about 70 on the signal meter with preamp installed. Also, not a blip from any other DT station with in 60 miles or so of Wexford. So, since this appears to be a very addictive hobby... I decided to get the Channel Master 4228 and a 7777 preamp just to play around. Although I really don't know what it's going to get me that I don't already receive, it should be fun trying.

I'll post back with more results later

Thanks again to all for this great forum,

post #250 of 4529
I spoke to Paul Byers at WQED this morning. He told me they have applied for an extension for WQEX from the FCC. He also told me that WQED-38 is currently at around 250KW. He is hopeful that he will be able to tweak the power to attain 350-400KW later this summer. Full power of 712KW will not be reached for 1-2 years due to money constraints.

He also mentioned that they may have to insert multi-casting soon to satisfy FCC mandate. He is fully aware that nobody wants this but may be obligated to do so.
post #251 of 4529
I never understood why we need 2 PBS stations, especially with multicasting! If I was was a WQED paying member I would be a bit concerned about them spending that money on an unnecessary weaker channel.

I checked in on channel 50 this morning and it's there but too low to receive (26-28). I don't really care though, since who wants to watch fundamentalist Christian programming.

We're moving in a few weeks, so I'm switching from DirecTV+OTA to Armstrong cable HD. I shouldn't have to worry about reception problems any more.
post #252 of 4529
Kent, the WQEX extension was granted. The application basically said that there were problems when they tried to run both analogs and both digitals at the same time. When all four stations were on the analog 16 picture and power would really mess up. I got the same information from WQED yesterday. That it would be 1-2 years before they go to their maximum facilities, but going from 50Kw to 250Kw and going to 350-400Kw this summer is actually a very good achievment. Since PBS has has experimented with and achieved excellent results multicasting a 1080i with a 480i with no noticable degradition I'm not going to be too concerned when WQED multicasts.

agtiny, you know if WQED would have just sold WQEX instead of holding out for more money they wouldn't be paying to upgrade WQEX. The value of WQEX is falling everyday. WQED should have taken the 17mil from Shooting Star instead of whining because it wasn't the 20mil they wanted. After rejecting Shooting Star, WQEX was listed for sale on the open market. It has been listed for way too long. Today the station is worth 12mil, and since it went on the open market WQED has received 4 offers and rejected them all. Basically WQED has went through anyone even remotely interested in buying WQEX and now no one wants it.

BTW I really liked WQEX for the 10 years it was actually on with it's own programming.
post #253 of 4529
Is anyone having minor problems with CBS? I'm watching CSI and it stutters occasionally. The picture will freeze along with the sound for a second. The signal strength stays at a constant %70-%80. It only happens in prime time and once or twice an hour I lose the signal for about 5 seconds before it comes back. It's quite annoying.
post #254 of 4529
I really hope WQED doesn't start multicasting anytime soon. Some of PBS's HD stuff is already riddled with pixellation during motion, I'd hate to see what happens when they shave 2-3 mbps off of the 19.3.

Does anybody have any idea when WTAE might have their new equipment up and running and broadcasting at full power? I didn't even expect it to begin THIS soon...

Also, do you think maybe we should see if we can't convince the KDKA guys to make the station bug a momentary thing instead of it constantly being there?
post #255 of 4529
I don't see any pixelation on WQED. Technically they already are multicasting. 13-4, 13-5, and 13-6 already show up and even sending a blank channel takes up some bandwidth. WQED will have no problem multicasting a 1080i and a 480i at the same time, if that is what they wish to do.

Not long ago everyone said you couldn't multicast more than 4 channels without degrading the video. Today a station can multicast 6 channels without degrading the video. Not long ago everyone said you couldn't multicast while running 1080i. Today a station can transmit 1080i and a standard 480i without noticably degrading the picture.
post #256 of 4529
Previous conversations w/Paul Byers indicated that they would not include the HD loop as part of the multi-cast. Most likely it would be multi-casting during the day & HD loop at night.
post #257 of 4529
Thank's Kent. That's what I thought they would do, but they could do other things with the signal if they wished.

What WQED could do is not sell WQEX and run the HDTV loop (or whatever HDTV channel PBS puts on in the future) there, give back the analog ch.16 to the FCC (they won't have to simulcast what is on the analog channel since there isn't one), and multicast on WQED.
post #258 of 4529
Just wanted to post my CM4228 results as a follow up to my previous message.

Antenna mounted roughly 25' above deck with CM7777 amplifier.

I was able to increase the signal for WTAE-DT to 75 and WCWB-DT to 65.
All other Pittsburgh station were fine before and remained somewhat the same.

I was surprised to find 2 new DT stations in the process:
WJAC-DT in Johnstown, signal strength about 35 with dropouts.
WWCP-DT in Johnstown, signal strength about 55 with a steady picture.

I scaned for about two hours and found no other digital channels available. It was rather windy over the weekend and since this was just a test I basically just hoisted the antenna up 25' and it was swaying from side to side a little. So, I may have found more.

On the analog side I was really surprised with the results.
WFMJ-21 Youngstown, perfect reception.
WKBN-27 Youngstown, perfect reception.
WYTV-33 Youngstown, somewhat snowy, but very watchable.
????-45 (PBS), I believe in Ohio somewhere, perfect reception.

Thanks again for your time.

post #259 of 4529

Originally posted by c_perrone
????-45 (PBS), I believe in Ohio somewhere, perfect reception.

That would be:

WNEO-45(PBS) Alliance OH it transmits about 15 miles north of Steubenville. It is easily receivable here in the Northern Panhandle and carried on cable. IMHO it is a nice alternative to WQED for those that can receive it. It's DTV channel will be 46.

I was actually pulling in a little bit of signal from 36-WYTV-DT and a DTV 15 from Cleveland the other day, but it wasn't enough to get a lock.
post #260 of 4529
Has anyone else noticed that WCWB and WPGH are off the air this evening? At first I thought it was the antenna, but the signal strength of the other stations are where they usually are.
post #261 of 4529

I just noticed that also. WPGH and WCWB are at zero..

post #262 of 4529
I wonder if they are installing new equiptment (most functions on the STBs are unavailable with WPGH and WCWB). WPGH is licensed at maximum facilities, but WCWB is at a low power STA, perhaps WCWB is going to go to full power.

I hope it isn't something major. IE: they burnt up the transmitter.
post #263 of 4529
Maybe they are installing HD/widescreen equipment. ha ha
post #264 of 4529
what's the word on the possibility of wpgh going widescreen?

also, is it possible to broadcast 480i digitally? i thought the minimum would be 480p.

also, any news on comcast rolling out hd in pittsburgh? it'd be pretty sweet if they concocted a comcast sportsnet for pittsburgh, but then again, they'd have to wrestle just about every contract away from fox. one can dream, though.
post #265 of 4529
MrGonk, yes 480i can be broadcast digitally. This is how PAX is able to multicast 6 channels instead of 4.

I don't know what the word on WPGH is, but they better get back up soon! There will be an increasing amount of viewers like myself that become OTA Digital Only (decide to drop Cable or DBS) and loosing 2 out of 7 channels for this length of time will piss them off.
post #266 of 4529
I'm just jumping into HD this month and am in the process of converting my DirecTV setup. I live in New Castle and am wondering if it's worth trying to acquire OTA HD broadcasts. New Castle is sort of a no mans land between the 'Burgh and Ytown. I remember years ago as a kid my folks had a giant rooftop antenna w/rotor that pulled in Pittsburgh stations fairly well and Youngstown stations perfectly. Then came cable followed by DirectTV. Needless to say, I haven't fiddled with OTA for a long time. Should I expect more or less the same experience in acquiring HD broadcasts? Anyone out there have any experience with this location? Any antenna/preamp recommendations? I'll be running an HD200. Any and all feedback is welcome. Thanks.
post #267 of 4529
generally what really kills ota reception for hd signals is the ghosting caused by reflections. 8vsb is actually very good at fringe area reception--what little signal you need for perfect digital reception would equate to almost unwatchable analog ota. if you've got an antenna big enough on your roof and you're not surrounded by a lot of tall buildings, you should be golden for reception from both youngstown and pittsburgh. you're actually in a really good position, because you can get abc-hd from youngstown (a station that's very hard to get in pittsburgh). you just need a big, high-gain (as many elements as possible) antenna. directional would be best. radio shack has a couple of 100"+ uhf-only antennas that are supposed to work magic for hd. or, if you really want to max out your potential, you could get an 8-bay bowtie antenna from channelmaster. it's supposed to pick up at upwards of 65 miles and it's got extremely high gain and direcitonality. good luck
post #268 of 4529
Thread Starter 
I tuned in CSI Miami on KDKA this evening and got prolific audio dropouts. This doesn't seem to be getting any better. Anyone else having similar trouble?
post #269 of 4529
No audio problems here during CSI. I'm glad they went back to DD2.0 finally.
post #270 of 4529
Thread Starter 
Hmmm. Are you still OTA or are you on Armstrong now? This may be a continuing problem with my HD200.
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