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Rockford, IL - HDTV - Page 5

post #121 of 1188
WTVO has had a carrier but no signal on both 16-1 and 16-2 today
(12/4, Saturday). What's up?

post #122 of 1188
Just FYI...I emailed WTVO/WQRF's chief engineer. They are rebuilding
WTVO and WQRF's master control, since they merged in December.
WQRF-DT 42 will hopefully go on the air in March, if all goes well.
post #123 of 1188
Thats great news. Considering how long we've waited I'll believe it when I see it.
post #124 of 1188
Would someone please check and verify reception of an OTA guide for WIFR on their analog channel (23-0).

post #125 of 1188
So no HD feed AT ALL for the Superbowl this year??

This should be criminal.
post #126 of 1188
Not unless you live in Chicago. If your in Rockford you should be able to get 47.1 out of Madison with a decent antenna. I am and so are my customers.
post #127 of 1188
Fox 47 came in, kind of.
It was on 11.1 or something like that.

Whether or not the FCC is handing out the non-compliance fines, I still can't believe that WQRF isn't on thin ice with Fox for not having facilities to broadcast an HD feed for their sports and prime time programming.
Fox has spent a fortune getting the 2004 World Series, 2005 Superbowl, and the upcoming 2005 Daytona 500....
AND 24 and OC are two of the highest rated shows on TV...
the fact that ANY market has to watch the inferior feed must make them furious.

Maybe we have to write letters to the owners/decision makers at the companies who advertise on WQRF during the Fox prime time shows and sports events and remind them about the situation.

I'm sure that they will be glad to hear that the upscale consumers in their market who own HDTV systems don't see their ads because there is no local feed and they have to watch a Madison feed (with Madison market ads) that drops and hiccups occasionally because it wasn't intended to reach this far.
post #128 of 1188

All I can say is that they're basically blowing up both stations
and getting all new equipment for master control, and that will
include the HDTV station. They're actually investing a lot
of bucks into the stations, something you have to agree was sorely
needed, albeit it should have been done sooner.

However, they only have a few engineers, and I'm under the impression
that they will do it right. I do know in the past, they kept filing
delay forms for everything from tower delays to you name it, from what
I understand. But, things have turned around, and the application for their
HD signal was quickly turned into a construction permit, and it will
be built out next month, albeit at lower power to start with.

Remember, all Rockford DTV stations are only running at 5.4% to 17%
of what is the highest power they can go at. When they go full blast,
WQRF will be a 1 million watt blowtorch. So, I'll applaud the owners
for speeding things up. All we can do now is watch and wait. The
better news? They'll obviously be using state-of-the-art, and
hopefully more debugged equipment. In case you didn't hear, WFLD-DT
in Chicago had major problems with their Super Bowl broadcast.
The PSIP generator went kerblooey at 4:15 PM, less than 2 hours
before it started. I feel bad for the engineer...
post #129 of 1188
Well I am certainly optimistic about the future of WQRF,
and the fact that they haved moved into the WTVO facility
makes antenna orientation that much easier.

I expected the Rockford stations to be slow to adopt,
and I guess I was pleasantly surprised at WQRF and WREX
for coming on when they did.

I guess my point is that with all of the money Fox has spent
for the biggest of big ticket events, and plenty of HD trucks
to cover those events, that the affiliate stations aren't
being hammered when they move this slowly.

I remember when WQRF started, and it took a lot of stones
to set it up and broadcast when the only content they had
were syndication programming like Tom & Jerry cartoons
and Andy Griffith re-runs...

Sometimes I think that WQRF are still in that mindset even though
they have arguably the top sports network and consistently
some of the highest rated prime time shows each season,
my point is to step it up.
post #130 of 1188
>>I guess my point is that with all of the money Fox has spent
>>for the biggest of big ticket events, and plenty of HD trucks
>>to cover those events, that the affiliate stations aren't
>>being hammered when they move this slowly.

One thing you need to remember, and this is no slam on a city I like,
is that affluent HDTV subscribers aren't as prevalent per capita as
Chicago or New York. The economy has been hammered, and advertising
revenues aren't great. That and it is VERY expensive to set up a DTV
station, much less an HDTV one. Note that a few stations have turned
in their licenses or started up as DTV stations to avoid the conversion

I know, it would have been nice to see the Super Bowl in local HD.
But at least Daytona will be seen, if all goes well, in HD, as well
as all of Fox's hottest shows.

post #131 of 1188
Originally posted by sebenste
...affluent HDTV subscribers aren't as prevalent per capita as
Chicago or New York.

That's definitely true... but HDTV sales in this area have reached significant
numbers, hell even Insight has an HDTV package, and we all know how far
behind they usually are on technology matters.

Also, Rockford has long been a test market for consumer electronics retail,
and retail in general. The Rockford market has been important to the
big retail giants for many reasons.

Our first Best Buy, next to Lino's, was the VERY FIRST Best Buy in the US
that used the warehouse model and didn't have commissioned sales staff.
Also, the Media Play store was the first one ever, and the very first
standalone music/books/videos/magazines superstore for the
Musicland/Sam Goody group (which is now a division of Best Buy) that had
previously operated predominantly in mall stores to that point.

Part of the reason we get the test stores is that the corporate retailers,
resteraunteurs, etc. can operate a single test store to cover the market
and saturate the local media and appear to be a major operation.

The economy has been hammered, and advertising
revenues aren't great. That and it is VERY expensive to set up a DTV
station, much less an HDTV one. Note that a few stations have turned
in their licenses or started up as DTV stations to avoid the conversion

My point here is that they (WQRF) finally have never had a stronger
product to sell from a quality of programming standpoint.

As far as the ad market, there has been a downturn across the nation
since 2000, and markets smaller and more isolated than Rockford have
been way ahead of us in getting DTV broadcasts.

The local and regional auto dealers, mega franchise resteraunts,
retail stores, home centers, department stores, video stores, etc.
are the primary purchasers of local ad time, and they have been
expanding in the Rockford viewing area at a significant rate.

Remember that although we are a fairly small market, the Rockford
viewing area still covers multiple communities like Dekalb/Sycamore, IL;
Freeport, IL; Belvidere, IL; Dixon, IL; Sterling/Rock Falls, IL; Beloit, WI;
Monroe, WI; Janesville, WI and dozens of other small communites in
the region that have developing retail corridors and every time another
Applebee's, Subway, Home Depot, Culver's, Panera Bread, Best Buy, etc.
opens anywhere in the region, it makes Rockford TV ads that much
more of a value to them.

These national and regional advertisers are building brand and creating
"top of mind" awareness for a greater number of locations for the
low Rockford ad rates they paid before they opened the additional locations.

The economic indicators for Rockford that show decline are tied to
manufacturing, and the affected companies, although a tragic loss
to the community, never bought any advertised to speak of.

American TV is a big part of the reason the Madison stations came on so
quickly. At one time in the 90's, they bought more TV ad time than
ANYONE else in the state of Wisconsin, including Fortune 100 companies
like Ford, GM, Burger King, Pizza Hut, etc.

I know, it would have been nice to see the Super Bowl in local HD.
But at least Daytona will be seen, if all goes well, in HD, as well
as all of Fox's hottest shows.

Gilbert [/b]

Someday it will happen, when the corporate ownership of WQRF finally
gets the hint that there ARE people waiting for this.
post #132 of 1188

Good post and you've given me a lot to think about here. Excellent
points about being a test market. Heck, for my sisters here I had
to drive up and buy caffiene-free Diet Dr. Pepper. They sold it
nowhere else for a long time, to test it out.

Points also well taken about manufacturing losses and how they didn't
advertise, and how many new businesses have come in. I'd love
to see how ad revenues with all of the TV stations in town stack
up. Chicago gets them publishes via the Sun Times radio-TV
critic du jour, Robert Feder. If total revenues have consistently
grown over the past 6 years or so, I'll take the shut up pill
and call you right.

On an unrelated note...I wish WIFR would show their "Storm Team"
radar on 23 and WTVO would add a doppler radar display on, say,
17-2. But being a meteorologist, that's just me. :-)
post #133 of 1188
WQRF on digital cable

I have an LG LST-3410 which is an HD PVR device with analog and digital tuners and it's able to receive clear QAM broadcast which is anything un-encrypted on cables digital tier. I receive Madison and Milwaukee HD locals and some on-demand and music channels in the clear. What's interesting is that during a recent re-scan I started receiving Fox 39's broadcasts The broadcasts are SD content and of relatively poor quality with a lot of pixelation and some picture stutter put still watchable. I guess it's only a matter of time till Fox39 DT will be OTA. BTW I have Charter cable service.. Perhaps we will see HD Bears games in my lifetime, at least we get some but I'd like to see them all.
post #134 of 1188

That's interesting. I just turned my ChannelMaster 4228 towards
Rockford (has a CM 7777 preamp on it) and not even a whisper
of a signal. It MIGHT be on at an obnoxiously low power like
WWTO LaSalle is (55 watts ERP) to test equipment, but I think you'd still
need an STA for that, so nix that silly idea. But even at 100
watts, I'd be able to get something from them, I think. Even to raise
the bar above 0. Every now and then an airplane comes by and
42 spikes slightly from WNDU in South Bend, IN, on the same channel.
It's been doing that for 6 months.

Well, the engineer said March he'd have it on with low STA power.
I asked him to not go the 2 kw ERP route that some stations do.
If he goes 50 kw, I'd get it from DeKalb with no problem. 15 kw
with a 1 kw transmitter power output...maybe. We'll keep watching.
post #135 of 1188
Until "late spring". June 1st begins meteorological summer, June 21
begins astronomical summer. No idea why...no details were given,
but this wet winter we had sure prevents tower work. Just a guess.
post #136 of 1188
Thanks for the update
post #137 of 1188
just FYI...
I'm still receiving wqrf on cadtv channel 90-4 as I stated above...
post #138 of 1188
Originally posted by pretzelkid
just FYI...
I'm still receiving wqrf on cadtv channel 90-4 as I stated above...

wqrf-dt is gone from my line up on cadtv as of a couple days ago....
post #139 of 1188
WQRF was probably being upconverted on your system as a test
at the head end. Not surprised it is now off the system.

FWIW...WMKB-LP 25 signed on Saturday northwest of Rochelle.
The signal makes it into DeKalb with snow, but watchable on my
TV. It's carrying the America One network. Owned by KM group,
the same folks who bring you WOCH-LP 28 in Chicago, all
ethnic programming.

Hope they know that WMKB-FM is just 30 miles south of them,
owned by a completely different company!
post #140 of 1188
A little birdie just told me that WQRF-DT's sign-on has been delayed
until mid-summer, and it will be at low power. That's all I know...
post #141 of 1188
A question for everyone:

I am moving to Rockford at the end of this month. My first HDTV is being delivered on move in day(Pioneer PDP-5050HD). I am scheduled to have Insight cable installed(originally was planning on VOOM.....oh well). I'm pretty disappointed in the lack of channels including Fox-HD. My house is 40 years old and has a large antenna on the roof(sorry, don't know any details yet).

Can I reliably pick up FOX, PBS, and others from Chicago or Madison? If so what additional equipment will I need?

Thanks for the help.
post #142 of 1188
I pick up HD from both Rockford (13.1 NBC,17.1ABC,17.2UPN,23.1CBS) and Madison (15.1NBC,21.1&21.2 PBS,27.1ABC,47.1FOX) with my roof top antenna. I have it postioned between Rockford and Madison and I get everything but 3.1 & 3.2 which are CBS Madison and UPN Madison and I can get them if use my rotor and point it farther north. But since I get the same things locally I dont change it much. You would have to live on a higher point, be on the very East side of town or both to get Chicago. I cant get them. You could just point the antenna north for the Madison feeds if your going with cable. Does you TV have an HD tuner built in? If not you will need an HD OTA tuner to get Madison. Bear fans will be happy if our local Fox station goes HD sometime this summer but I wouldnt hold my breath. In what general area are you moving to? I.E. major crossroads. If you have any other HD questions or even about the town you can PM or email me.
post #143 of 1188

Thanks for the reply. I am moving to the area just north of Spring Creek Rd and just south of Forest Hills Country Club. It seems like pretty high ground. My TV will have 2 HD tuners built in. Are you able to pick up Madison with the antenna alone, or do you need a pre-amp?
post #144 of 1188
I can get it without but where I have it pointed it helps to have it for 47.1 Fox.
post #145 of 1188
Anyone have any word on FOX 39? Going digital anytime soon?
post #146 of 1188
Per my post on the previous page, WQRF is expected to sign on
at low power in mid-summer of this year.
post #147 of 1188
Antenna web finally shows an October date for digital/HD for WQRF.
post #148 of 1188
FYI...WIFR-DT is now broadcasting at 53 kw, down from their 100 kw they were
at before. The reason? They are now broadcasting from an antenna 200'
higher, so they had to lower their power. I don't know if they raised their
current antenna, or are diplexing off the one on top of their tower.

BTW, kudos to them for showing most of the rest of the CBS affiliates in Illinois how
it is done. Outside of WBBM being stuck on channel 3, getting screwed by the FCC
on that channel, WIFR has blown away the Quad Cities, Peoria and Champaign
CBS affiliates in both power AND HD. Outside of WBBM, they're the only
small market station at their FCC pre-analog shutdown max power AND
broadcasting in HD in Illinois!!! And, I might add, they monitored the board for problems in the past.
post #149 of 1188
Anything new on WQRF?
post #150 of 1188
Well that explains why i have been loosing signal up here in So Beloit. I get a 71 or 73 percent when before i was getting around 80.
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