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Pittsburgh, PA - OTA - Page 13

post #361 of 4529
CMU has cable.

Unless you find an apartment off campus, you're going to have a hell of a time receiving anything at all on CMU's campus. I know a guy over there who gets HD on a modded dual double bowtie Radioshack antenna. He gets CBS and NBC and I believe he has a north-facing window. Don't even try omnidirecitonal, Oakland's buildings and terrain will make it impossible for you to get anything.

If you're high up, you have a much better chance. You will probably only be able to get stuff in the direction your window faces. If you are facing north or west, you'll be able to get CBS, NBC, and probably PBS. If you face south, you MIGHT be able to get ABC (good weather, high floor, and clear line of sight generally required for good reception), and if you face east, say goodbye to HDTV. On the upside, you can pick up MTV 2 for free on analog OTA (I believe it's channel 29)...

I doubt we'll be seeing any HD over campus cable systems anytime soon. Yes, CMU and Pitt have Comcast cable, but it's not normal comcast cable. It's like Pitt has its own facilities serving the dorms, as last I checked, digital cable and many premiums were not available, and many of the channels are actually different. Your best bet is to get an off-campus apartment and hope Comcast comes through with HD sometime this century. But I know that CMU requires all of its freshmen to stay on campus, so you'll be waiting at least a year.

One thing you could try if you really lose your mind is plugging your RF input on your capture card into the building's groundwork, thus using it as a huge multidirectional antenna. DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK. YOU COULD FRY YOUR GEAR AND YOURSELF. I tried it once in Tower B at Pitt and I actually got some very good analog reception, but the ghosting caused by all of the interference was too much for me to lock a digital signal.

Welcome to the incessantly frustrating world of HDTV in college. Between living in an urban area, not owning your property, moving every few months, and always being broke, you'll find that this definitely is NOT the hobby for college students. Luckily, I'm finally moving into a house with a good landlord on South Bouquet and we're going to put up a big rooftop antenna. This is after two years of struggling to get anything in campus housing... free at last!

post #362 of 4529
Might want to try the inexpensive Silver Sensor indoor antenna, which I believe is now marketed under the Zenith name. Some Pittsburghers have reported success using it in difficult reception areas. Even in Oakland, I would think KDKA-DT (CBS) and WPXI-DT (NBC) and WQED-DT (PBS) would be distinct possibilities.

The antenna's so small, it can be moved easily around a room, thus increasing the chances you'll find a spot where it works.
post #363 of 4529
I've tried the Silver Sensor and it definitely does not work as well as my modded dual double bowtie. However, given how difficult it's going to be to find those bowtie antennas at this point, the Silver Sensor will probably be your best bet.

The reception possibilities will depend almost entirely on how high up your room is and which direction your window faces.
post #364 of 4529

Just wanted to update everyone on my HDTV experience. First off thanks to everyone who responded to my questions. It's been a great learning experience.

I ended up going with the Samsung T160 HDTV DirecTV receiver instead of the DTC 100. The person selling me the DTC 100 on E-bay didn't get his shipment in, and cancelled my order. I must say I'm very impressed with the T160. So far I haven't had any problems (that I've noticed) that others have that are posted on the HDTV Equipment forum.

I'm currently using the Zenith Silver Sensor antenna. In my area I've noticed that the SS is very picky about placment including the height of where its placed. After finding a hot spot, I've been able to get WPXI DT, WQED DT, WPGH DT, WB DT, and WQED DT all from the same antenna placement. KDKA I seem to experience quite a bit of dropouts and the unit has to reaquire the signal. The singnal strength fluctuates between 63% & 93% quite often and KDKA seems to give me the most trouble as far as dropping the signal. WQED's HDTV Demo is stunning. I was very impressed. WTAE-DT I can also pick up very well but unfortunately I have to move the antenna direction which knocks out some of my other stations. Currently I have the Zenith SS on my first floor pointing out a window, but the results have been fairly decent. My signal strengths range from %50-100% on the various stations. I just purchased a RS Double Bowtie off of Ebay and I'm hoping I'll be able to get everything in without having to move the antenna to watch WTAE. I'm also thinking about an amp, but I'll wait and see how my results are first.

Thanks again everyone for your help.

PS MrGonk do you have any info about your modified bowtie? I'm curious as to if its something I should try or not. Thanks!

post #365 of 4529
Hey everyone,

Seems I'm not getting an e-mail when there is a post to the thread. I thought the thread was silent all this time. I'm getting a signal from WFMJ-DT, but not enough to lock. Same with WNEO-DT on ch.46.

WTRF-DT is becomming a bit of a joke. They had no audio for a couple weeks. WPCB-DT hasn't had audio either.

I have actually been receiving WTAE-DT off and on. Which is better than not at all. However, now that WTAE-DT is showing up I rarely get a lock on WTOV-DT, go figure.

The CC feature on WQED-DT and WPXI-DT is now on. I have my CC set for solid yellow text on a translucent blue background. Standard CC with the sentence presented at once is much easier to read than the scrolling 'typing as they talk' that WPXI-DT was experimenting with.

Other than that there is nothing else going on down here.

post #366 of 4529
Hey Bryan,

Welcome back... When did WNEO-DT (46) go on the air? I can't even get a blip here, although WNEO 45 comes in just fine. Sorry to hear you can't get WFMJ-DT (20). It is 100 times better than WPXI-DT (48) in picture quality AND they don't put a huge station logo on the screen full time. They also now send all of the program information too.

post #367 of 4529

Cool! I like having the on screen program information. WNEO-46 went on with an STA tests a few weeks ago. I don't have the transmitting information and they are on and off at different times. They are scheduled to be fully up and running by September 1st.

What I have found really interesting is that once the transition is complete peoples viewing habits are going to change. I receive analog stations that I don't receive digitally and I receive digital stations that I don't receive in analog. 75% of the time I receive WDLI-DT Canton, OH. It isn't excatly programming I like to watch, but it is rather interesting to see a TBN station with 4 simulcasts.

I saw your message to me yesterday. Yes, the Winegard antenna I use is a monster. I also run a small FM Non-Commercial Educational station downstairs. Someone came here a few weeks ago saw the huge antenna, 4 satellite dishes of various sizes and thought we were the Cable Company
post #368 of 4529
I have Comcast Digital Cable and on the guide after ch. 592 and before PPV they have HD channels listed, are they available yet in the Pittsburgh area?
post #369 of 4529
Some HD channels are supposedly going to go live on August 15th through Comcast, but judging from the article I read in the Post Gazette this morning, it looks like only local channels are going to have HD, for starters. They are in negotiations with other channels according to the article, so maybe that's why you're seeing those channels out there.

The good news is that Comcast is going to give FREE HD receivers for their customers. (The bad news is that 2 months ago I dumped Comcast for satellite and would have to pay additional for an HD satellite and receiver!)
post #370 of 4529
Nice, I just talked to the director of cable marketing at Armstrong, and he told me their $5 monthly charge is only to cover the cost of the 5100 box, but that in the future they plan to offer all local HD channels "in the clear". I assume this means in 8VSB format so it can be tuned with any receiver. I hope if Comcast can offer the HD receiver for free, Armstrong will do the same. The only problem with cable providers is that their only competitors are satellite, not other cable companies, so they could really care less what other cable co's are doing since I have no choice of cable providers.

They still won't reveal any details of new channels and keep telling me the reason for any delay is so they can offer the "best choice and value in HD". He does seem to know what's up though, since he mentioned Bravo HD.


Discussions regarding HD programming continue every week. More services are launching (In Demand has announced plans for a movie and a general entertainment channel to launch in mid-September, Bravo HD launches in a few days). It is my hope that we will be launching additional HD services shortly. Armstrong has built a state-of-the-art distribution system that has as much capability as any cable operator in the U.S. I know it's difficult to be patient (especially when it comes to football in HD). No satellite provider can offer you Monday Night Football in HD (or the Super Bowl!) like we can. I am confident we will meet and hopefully exceed your expectations soon.
post #371 of 4529
Sorry, Armstrong will be processing to 256 QAM.
post #372 of 4529
Could be, he wasn't clear... I guess newer TV's will have built-in decoders for QAM because of the new plug-and-plug regulation.
post #373 of 4529

Did anyone get a chance to watch WTAE-DT's Monday Night Football broadcast last night? It was my first HDTV NFL game, and I must say I was impressed after the straightened out the initial glitch. Can't wait to see the other games in HDTV.

Does anyone know if this Saturday afternoon's steeler game on KDKA will be broadcast in HDTV? I asked them last week if they were broadcasting the game in HDTV via a comment form on the stations website but haven't received a response. I've read some posts I believe in the Pgh comcast forum discussing that comcast will carry a game in HDTV via KDKA (even though KDKA hasn't signed with comcast yet officially for local HDTV). Hopefully that's true. I'm using a HDTV Samsung D* box with a Zenith SS antenna, and my results have been spectacular since locating the antenna in my attic.
post #374 of 4529
There hasn't been any announcement by CBS yet about HD coverage, but most are assuming they will follow suit with ABC and do at least some games (maybe 1 or 2 each Sunday). I wouldn't get my hopes up for a preseason game.
post #375 of 4529
Ugh. It's definitely going to be tougher to watch a SD broadcast after last nights HD game. Especially since its the Steelers on Saturday. I kind of doubt it will be HDTV as well. Just for the fact that this is a local coverage game. Oh well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Thanks for the input.
post #376 of 4529
Oh, I didn't know it was a local KDKA production. There is no chance of HD if that's the case.
post #377 of 4529
CBS just announced.




Primary Game Each Week of 2003-04 Season To Be Broadcast In Highest Definition Television Format; HD Games Also Will Be Available on DIRECTV's

Exclusive NFL SUNDAY TICKET Package

NEW YORK and El SEGUNDO, CA, August 5, 2003 -- CBS Sports and DIRECTV, Inc. will join to present CBS's primary game each week of the 17-week 2003 NFL ON CBS regular-season schedule in high definition television live on the CBS Television Network. The announcement was made today by Sean McManus, President, CBS Sports and Roxanne Austin, President & COO, DIRECTV, Inc.

THE NFL ON CBS's primary game broadcast in digital television's highest definition format, 1080i, also will be made available to subscribers of DIRECTV's exclusive NFL SUNDAY TICKET package throughout the 17-week regular-season schedule. Both over the air and DIRECTV customers must have appropriate HD-enabled equipment to be able to view the games. The HD games will be regionalized on the CBS Television Network, but on NFL SUNDAY TICKET will be subject to the NFL's hometown blackout rule only when the hometown stadium is not sold out. The designation of the HD game will be determined on a week-to-week basis. These games are being offered as part of a five-year agreement with the National Football League for exclusive rights to NFL SUNDAY TICKET. The agreement between CBS and DIRECTV is for the 2003 regular-season only and will be evaluated for renewal after the 2003 season.

The unified productions for the Standard Definition and HD telecasts will feature the same game announcers, camera angles, replays and graphics. Each HD game also will be broadcast in 5.1 digital dolby surround sound. Coupled with the clarity of 1080 lines of picture resolution, the HD broadcast will bring the stadium experience to the viewers' home.

"There is no better sports property than the NFL to showcase what HDTV can mean for viewers," said McManus. "CBS is the undisputed leader in HDTV programming, and we are proud to partner with DIRECTV in furthering our commitment to something that is making sports programming more enjoyable everyday."

"Avid football fans turn to DIRECTV for the most comprehensive football coverage every Sunday during the regular season, and our agreement with CBS to offer NFL games in HDTV for the first time makes our exclusive NFL SUNDAY TICKET package even more appealing," said Austin. "Only DIRECTV has NFL SUNDAY TICKET and only DIRECTV will offer NFL games in HDTV nationwide. Try as it might, cable just can't match us."

CBS Sports was the first ever to broadcast a professional football game in high definition format on Sunday, November 8, 1998 when the historic broadcast featured the AFC East Division co-leaders, Buffalo Bills against the New York Jets live on the CBS Television Network. The game was the first of four high definition games presented by CBS Sports during the 1998 season. The initial game, which served as a test of CBS's HDTV capabilities, was transmitted in high definition only from WCBS-TV New York. The three subsequent high definition match ups were transmitted nationally to all CBS Owned stations and affiliates with digital capability. The live HDTV telecasts were produced and transmitted independent of the regularly scheduled CBS Sports National Football League coverage that was broadcast on the traditional analog network. CBS also had an agreement with DIRECTV to give these games national distribution in HD.

CBS Sports kicks off its 44th season broadcasting the NFL, highlighted by Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston, on Sunday, Sept. 7 (12:00 Noon) with THE NFL TODAY, the Network's pre-game studio show, followed by a full slate of seven games in Week 1.

This fall, CBS will begin its fifth year of presenting the majority of its primetime lineup in high definition. In June 2001, CBS became the first to broadcast HD in Daytime when it commenced daily weekday HD broadcasts of television's leading daytime drama "The Young and the Restless." CBS is also the leader in HD sports broadcasts. For the last four years, CBS also has produced the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four and Championship Games in HD, as well as The Masters® Golf tournament in HDTV and the U.S. Open Tennis Championships in HDTV. CBS also broadcast the 2001 Super Bowl and all of the 2003 AFC Playoffs in HDTV. Last season CBS concluded its second season of HD broadcasts of the SEC Game of the Week. CBS broadcasts, on average, 25 hours per week of High Definition programming, more than any other broadcast network, and more original HD programming per week than any other network, broadcast or cable or satellite. One hundred and forty-two of CBS's owned and affiliated stations are currently broadcasting in digital, covering approximately 90 percent of the nation and by the end of the year will reach 95 percent.

Last month DIRECTV launched a new high-definition programming package for $10.99 per month that includes ESPN HD, Discovery HD Theater, , HDNet and HDNet Movies. DIRECTV also offers HBO® HDTV and SHOWTIME HDTV® as part of their premium packages, as well as HD PPV movies for $4.99 each. To access HDTV channels, consumers may purchase a DIRECTV-enabled high-definition set-top receiver, and a single 18 x 20- or 18 x 24-inch multi-satellite dish with three LNBs. DIRECTV-enabled HD receivers and triple-LNB satellite dishes are available from authorized DIRECTV retailers nationwide.
post #378 of 4529
I got a call from Comcast today and they are coming out tomorrow August 6th to hook up the HD Cable. I can't wait no more OTA drop outs.
post #379 of 4529
Just set up to have my Comcast HD setup. They are going to install it on Aug 16th. I'm lucky I called when I did they only have a few time slots left. Aug 8 8:30 - 12:00 and 12:00 - 4:00. Aug 16 8:30 -12:00 and 12:-4:00. They are also only offering WTAE (ABC), Showtime, ESPN and WQED (PBS).
HBO is not an option at this time. They said they have no idea when or if it would be offered anytime soon. And there may be another station added later this year, but not sure about it either. And no additional cost for the box. They are also waiving the $49.95 install fee. It looks like I will keep my OTA box for now.
post #380 of 4529
I'm a current Comcast standard cable subscriber who signed up for Digital Cable/HD the other day. It's being installed on Monday 8/11 (but HD channels don't go live until Friday 8/15). Supposed to get free 6 months of Showtime as part of the promotion, which should enable Showtime-HD too.

The rep told me, and I've read elsewhere here, that Comcast will be airing the Sat August 16 7:30 p.m. Steelers-Eagles preseason game from Heinz Field in HD. Apparently a one-time deal. I assume it's on KDKA-DT, but I don't know who is producing this or how they are accomplishing this, but that's what they said. We'll see.

I really hope Comcast comes to some agreement with CBS soon. The Super Bowl is on CBS this year.
post #381 of 4529
Huh?? There will be no preseason CBS HD NFL according to their press release. Where else was that mentioned?
post #382 of 4529

Originally posted by hondo21
The rep told me, and I've read elsewhere here, that Comcast will be airing the Sat August 16 7:30 p.m. Steelers-Eagles preseason game from Heinz Field in HD. Apparently a one-time deal. I assume it's on KDKA-DT, but I don't know who is producing this or how they are accomplishing this, but that's what they said. We'll see.

Let me go way out on a limb here & say it's not gonna happen.
post #383 of 4529
It was on a flyer that Comcast sent out
post #384 of 4529

Originally posted by bdeluca
It was on a flyer that Comcast sent out

Can you post the wording of the flyer? Sometimes things sound like it means one thing when it really doesn't.
post #385 of 4529

Hey Steeler Fans!

On August 16, 2003
Catch the Debut of Steelers Football on Comcast HDTV!


See the Steelers Like You've never seen them before

*Wide screen picture for more realistic viewing of your favorite sports, movies and original programming
*Crystal-clear resolution
*Dolby Digital 5.1 sound (when broadcasted)

Watch the Steelers vs. Eagles
August 16,2003

Call Today!
Get HDTV installed in time for the game!


then its their disclamer
post #386 of 4529
Hmm... looks like it's worded carefully enough to cover their asses when it doesn't actually happen. It never actually says the game itself is being broadcast in HD. However, the real debut of Steelers football is this weekend, so I don't know what they're thinking.
post #387 of 4529
Thanks bdeluca,
Knowing that the game probably isn't in HD let's me read it a different way than intended. It doesn't say the the game is in HD but rather you can watch it on Comcast HDTV. My guess is that a CSR who has good intentions has written a misleading advertisement.
post #388 of 4529
But why would Comcast go to the trouble of showing 1 game on a channel they don't have the permission to broadcast yet? Why do that if it's only an SD broadcast?
post #389 of 4529
It may be that it will be aired in didital but not HD. Witch means a better picture for most people who have Comcast cable
post #390 of 4529
This flyer was written by someone who doesn't know the difference.
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