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Tri-Cities, TN-VA - HDTV

post #1 of 512
Thread Starter 
As of wednesday we now have a HD signal for WJHL CBS on 11.1, and WKPT ABC 27.1. Just want to let every body know the great news.
post #2 of 512
Great timing for you with the superbowl this weekend!
Do you know the location of the ABC station transmitter relative to a town on the map?
I'll try to see if I can tune in as I don't have a dependable HD-ABC station. I'm on a 3300' mountain and have had reception from some amazing distances, if I don't have to go over another mountain (MT Mitchell?)

Barney Evans
Brevard, NC
post #3 of 512
Thread Starter 
The transmitter is atop Bays Mountain in Kingsport, TN.
post #4 of 512
Thanks, but I forgot that FOX out of Charlotte is also 27.1 in my area, so no chance for me.

post #5 of 512

I live in Gate City. I hooked up to HDTV last night (02/24/03). I had some problems with CBS and their audio feed. Did you have the same experience or did you not watch? Why are they on 11.1? Everything I have says they should be on 58.1?
post #6 of 512
What ota antenna are u guys and gals using in Tri Cities to pick up Hd signals. I havent had much luck with the silver sensor since I live in a two story with a big oak in front of the house. I only picked up fox at about a 35% signal and they are broadcasting in 480i. I then took the antenna to the attic and got some weak reception from cbs Wjhl and nbc wcyb. I have bought a large multidirectional antenna from the Shack to try in the attic if i can figure out how to put it together. Thanks to everyone for an awesome forum.
post #7 of 512
I use the bowtie model from Radio Shack. I think it is no longer available. No luck with getting Fox from my location. All the others come in strong.
post #8 of 512
I am in northwest carter county and using the RS 190(no longer available), with channel master rotator, and winegard pre-amp.

As for signal strength:

wjhl - 11.1(was picking it up on 58.1) very poor reception
wcyb - 5.1(was picking up on 28.1) just like it is next door
wkpt - 19.1(was picking up on 27.1) almost as good as wcyb

I have had my antenna as high as approx. 50'. But I get better reception with it now approx. 20' up. I am aiming my antenna at all 3 towers on holston mountain.
post #9 of 512
I'm in Corbin KY picking up WCYB with very few dropouts (101 miles away).
I was actually aiming for WJHL and never really expected WCYB would come in as it supposedly is only at 186kw on the FCC site. What gives?
I can't believe I would pick this up UHF at that power from this distance.

Also, anyone know what power WJHL is currently at? I can't get a signal at all there. I can get a signal from the ABC station (forgot the call letters) but no picture.

post #10 of 512

Originally posted by cpcat
I'm in Corbin KY picking up WCYB with very few dropouts (101 miles away).
I was actually aiming for WJHL and never really expected WCYB would come in as it supposedly is only at 186kw on the FCC site. What gives?
I can't believe I would pick this up UHF at that power from this distance.

Also, anyone know what power WJHL is currently at? I can't get a signal at all there. I can get a signal from the ABC station (forgot the call letters) but no picture.


I think WJHL is at 50 kW, but I'm not sure. I do know that they're on channel 58, which has lots more trouble bending over terrain. WCYB and WKPT on channels 28 and 27 can bend more.

Something else I've noticed about digital TV is that power is not as important anymore. My signal strength on my ABC--52 miles and 17.9 kW--is the same as my CBS--79 miles and 460 kW! I can even just barely pull in Fox from 79 miles away at 2.97 kW!

But why are you going for WJHL? If you're in Kentucky, why not just watch CBS on WYMT-DT on 12 or WKYT-DT on 13? Or are they not in HD?

- Trip
post #11 of 512
I do get WYMT strong. WKYT has a directional antenna (not my way). I'd like to have another option though because WYMT multicasts and also shows local programming sometimes pre-empting
CBS programs. You are correct in that WJHL is at 47kw. Their engineer resonded to me via email and was very helpful. He says full power sometime in 2005. He suggested that the ABC station was still at low power as well.

I benefited today in having two NBC stations. WBIR in Knoxville switched off the HD feed after the race but I was able to continue to watch HD on WCYB for the post game show.

I guess it's also a matter of trying for the fun of it as well.

post #12 of 512
Ok, I live at the foot of Bays Mountain, in Ridgefields. I get 28 and 58 at about 70-90%. I get about 13% for 27 and according to this thread, the tower is just 1-2 miles away. What's wrong? Am I just under the signal?
post #13 of 512
I live in Bristol and get all stations very well except for PBS out of Marion, VA. Is this forum still living?
post #14 of 512
I'm in Corbin, KY. I can get WCYB consistently and WJHL intermittently. It seems lately WJHL has been better but it's probably just the warm weather and intermittent tropo. I've never gotten WKPT digital but can get the analog pretty well. I'm 110 mi. from the Bristol towers (Holston Mt. isnt' it?)

For PBS you should try WETP-DT from Sneedville uhf ch. 41. I can get it consistently here (65 mi away). It's only 5kw but it's omnidirectional and the tower is up there around 3500 ft if I remember correctly.

Also, does anyone in Bristol get the Fox from Greenville? I've gotten it sporadically during tropo (ch. 38 WEMT). They don't seem to be ready for HD as the signal is read by my tuner as SD.

post #15 of 512

I have been getting my DTV for a couple of years now trying severralll antennas. I live approx. 9 miles from the transmitters on Holston and 31 mi from WEMT's transmitter on Viking Mtn. I have looked into getting Sneedville, but have not been successful. I am now using a CM 4221 antenna and getting CYB,KPT,and JHL around 85-90% signal and EMT at 60-65%. In the winter I lose EMT and the others come in at 70-75%. The other day I ordered a Winegard PR-8800 (8 bowtie antenna). I am looking to use a Joinantenna by Channel Master and pull in PBS in addtion to CYB,JHL and KPT.

Also, if you have any problems with Ch. 28 CYB I can pass along questions for you. I work for the station as an account Executive.

What antenna do you use. Corbin is certainly farther than most antennas are rated.

post #16 of 512
I've been through several setups but currently am using Televes DAT 75's horizontally stacked for UHF. My VHF is an Antennacraft Y10 7-13. Here's a pic. The rest of my equipment is listed in my profile. Interestingly, I was able to get WCYB even when I used a CM4228.



ant 3.zip 124.2568359375k . file
post #17 of 512

Thanks for the pics...looks like you have some $$ invested. I tried going outdoors but had problems getting signals after it rained good. So I went to the attic. I have not had a problem since. Just now I want PBS, so I will be trying to combine antennas when my new one arrives.

I read some of your previous posts on your old setup. My hats off to ya. I will try to get sneedville when my wingard Pr-8800 arrives. I will need to research its compass reading.

post #18 of 512
Go to http://www.2150.com/broadcast/default.asp
and put in your coordinates for exact bearings and distances to your stations. Good luck.

post #19 of 512
thanks man...I did this the other day and it is going to be difficult to get any other stations other than Tri-Cities. I am to far from everything else. I would just love to get WDBJ out of Roanoke or BIR out of Knox. How did you stack your previous setup of CMs. I have a CM 4 Bay and am waiting for a 8 Bay that I ordered last week. I could use any help you can give on joining antennas, then to pre-amp, out to downlead, into amp, out to ATSC receiver.
post #20 of 512
I didn't stack the CM 4228, only used one. It's hard to stack because of it's weight. In fact, one 4228 was more stress on my rotor than my current Yagi stack. If you're interested in stacking, I'd go with a Yagi of some type.
Candidates include Televes DAT 75, Triax Unix 100, Antennasdirect XG91 as well as Winegard PR9032, CM 4248.

Horizontal is the way to go if you want to narrow the horizontal beamwidth . Vertical stacking narrows it vertically. The problem with vertical for me was the long lever arm required above the rotor. It just won't hold up over time unless you have a heavy ham rotor or a thrust bearing.

Combining the antennas is easy. You need exactly the same length coax into a wideband combiner(splitter). Zenith actually makes a pretty good one that is sold at Lowe's. I use a stripline combiner from Lindsay Electronics but honestly the performance is only a little better than with the Zenith (about 7 bucks if I remember). Your spacing (horizontally) with Yagis should be b/w 46-58 in. or so. Spacing with vertical stacking is around 40 inches. You play around with the spacing some to see what works best for you. The antennas need to be aimed in exactly the same direction in both horizontal and vertical planes.

What takes some creativity is making the mount. Vertical stacking is easier because you simply mount to a mast. Horizontal involves figuring out a mount that is sturdy and any supports perpendicular to the signal in the horizontal plane need to be non-conductive (i.e. wood or fiberglass). Fiberglass tubing/rods are available from Max Gain Systems in various sizes/lengths.

You probably don't want to hear this, but the first thing I'd do if I were you is go back outside. I'd recc. try a single high gain Yagi first then you can upgrade gradually if you get the itch. If you really want to go with an 8-bay, the CM4228 has better gain across the uhf band than the Winegard 8bay. The Antennasdirect DB8 is supposed to be the best 8 bay out there, but it is at least twice as expensive as the 4228.

Some comparison gain charts on various antennas you might be interested in can be found at


P.S. Commercially made mounts for horizontal stacking are available if you don't want to DIY. One source is http://www.atechfabrication.com/reception_solutions.htm
post #21 of 512
thanks for the links. I will only be pulling one channel with the 8bay. Channel 42 out of Marion,VA. On the chart ch.42 looks good for the Winegard. The reason I picked this model over the CM is the fact that the Winegard is unassembled when it is shipped. This way I can get into the attic before I snap into place the antenna's arms. I also ordered a filter to only let me get ch.42 before I put it into the combiner with the 4 bay pointed in the other direction. I will post my results. That is if I ever get it. My 5 yr old likes to watch a show called Tracks Ahead on PBSHD. Otherwise I would not bother. I am happy getting NBC,CBS,FOX,and ABC.

Are you able to get any WB affliates in HD. They are few and far between. My wife likes a few of their shows and my clients ask me about the shows, so I sometimes I watch the chic flicks they have. WCYB just got bought, so I hope the new owners put money in to our sister station WB4 and buy the HD equipment. The closing is next week. Our on air look for WCYB news should change as well as syndicated programming.

Thanks for the info...
post #22 of 512
I get WB out of Crossville but there's no HD yet. Their CE told me via email that they are looking into it. I'll be interested to see how WCYB does their WB HD if they are multicasting as the bandwidth won't provide for two channels of HD at once.

The CBS in Knoxville is supposed to start multicasting with UPN soon and I think they'll have the same issue.

post #23 of 512
We actually have 28-1&2 for WCYB HD and 28-3 is WB SD 28-4 use to be a doppler radar channel from our weather center at the station, but now it is not being used at all. So that channel we be used along with 28-3 in order to give us the bandwidth. It is all in line, they just need the $$$. Maybe I should sell tons and tons of ads on WB4, then they could afford it. LOL.
post #24 of 512
It will be interesting how the picture quality is affected (hopefully it will still look good). As you know I'm sure, one HD channel without compression takes up the entire bandwitdth at 1080i. It's around 19 mb/s. One HD channel plus one SD channel still looks good because around 17 mb/s is taken up by HD and only about 2mb/s needed for the SD channel. Two HD channels at once would only mean about 9.5 mb/s each and I'm afraid that wouldn't look very good.

KET here in KY multicasts with one HD and two SD channels which would leave about 14mb/s for HD. The drop in PQ is easily noticeable when you compare it to the Tennessee PBS which only multicasts one other channel.

Supposedly, better compression schemes are in the works which will help to free up more bandwidth without sacrificing PQ which should be welcome news to broadcasters and end-users alike.

post #25 of 512
I heard that we would multicast another ch. in order to do NBCHD and WBHD. Sort of like the PBS station out of Marion. They have 5 sub channels under ch. 42. Is this possible. I don't understand it all. I am not an engineer, I just sell the advertising that pays for the equipment.
post #26 of 512
I'm no engineer, either. This stuff has just got me hooked so I've read alot and also learned alot here. AFAIK, there is around 19mb/s bandwidth per channel with the current system. You can divide it up however you want but that's it. Adding more subchannels just makes the pieces of the pie smaller so-to-speak. My local PBS actually has 6 subchannels but they don't often run them all simultaneously.

post #27 of 512
Anybody notice that WJHL is now multicasting with a weather radar channel? Maybe it's been there and I hadn't noticed. I get it only intermittently.
post #28 of 512
I bought my first digital tv and tuner three weeks ago, and have noticed that WJHL has had the weather radar channel on since I first got it set up...I have noticed tonight, though, that WKPT has now started airing ABC News Now on 27-3, instead of their SD version of their ABC network channel.
post #29 of 512
So WKPT has 3 subchannels? I've never seen a picture from WKPT-DT since they're at such low power and directional away from me. I can get their analog signal pretty well, though. WCYB-DT is consistent for me, while WJHL is only intermittent. I think when they all go to full power I'll have no problem.
post #30 of 512
WKPT is multicasting ABC, UPN and now the ABC News service...27-3 has terrible audio...don't know if it is my set or the station. I can pick them up ok in Kingsport most of the time, but with their "micropower" transmitter, I have more trouble keeping the station locked in, no matter where I point my antenna. From where I am, I can get WCYB, WJHL, WEMT and WLFG all better than WKPT. Only wish I could pick up one of the PBS stations, but no luck so far.
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