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Grand Rapids, MI - HDTV - Page 2

post #31 of 8020
Thread Starter 
I only watched part of the WWMT game as I was catching up on my programs on my Tivo (just getting around to Children of Dune for crying out loud!)

Anyway, noticed the no announcers as well but the picture was fantastic. Like others there was a time here and there with pixelization but much better then it has been. I tuned in later to check it out again and the game was over already but the local news was in 5.1! So I figured they must have been working on it during the game.

All I can say is I am all over the Colts game today to check out the video and new 5.1! Good job so far WWMT!
post #32 of 8020
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Joe Shmoe
OOP... one more question (for today )

What are some pro's/con's for going with satellite over OTA w/cable.

I currently have cable but there are no HD channels available for Comcast yet, although I did catch a commercial advertising it coming soon? So I just am using the Antenna for OTA, and switch between the two.

No matter what you do, you'll still need OTA for the broadcast channels.

We shouldn't turn this into a Sat vs. Cable debate, there are better threads for that. But basically choose which one offers the best channel lineup for you along with price and features. I personally have DirecTV, have had it for over 7 years and would never go back to cable. To be honest, Charter around here isn't all that bad with channels for the price. But they have only about half the HD channels that DirecTV or Dish has and the PQ to be honest isn't the greatest.

Anyway, with a DirecTV HD receiver your Sat and OTA channels are all combined into one guide. So I created a "HD only" favorite list and I can surf seemlessly between OTA and Sat and I don't even know the difference. Not sure if cable boxes can do that (I don't think so) but check the box's feature set that Comcast would get you and compare.

Good luck!
post #33 of 8020
Is WXMI broadcasting at 720p? My newest OTA receiver is indicating this, but I thought they were at 480p.
post #34 of 8020
Thanks for the reply Scott, I guess I should have posted it elsewhere.
post #35 of 8020
WWMT is doing the game today in 5.1 I just noticed.
post #36 of 8020
Thread Starter 
Game looks great. Only a couple video breakups so far, mainly when graphics with text are on the screen. 5.1 is coming through great and sounds excellent. CBS does a nice job with the mix putting in the crowd noise and PA system in the rears with annoucers up front.

Good job WWMT getting it done for us.

As for WXMI in 720p, I don't have a way to tell but it is great if it's true. They could be getting their equipment upgraded when Fox goes HD this fall.
post #37 of 8020
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Joe Shmoe
Thanks for the reply Scott, I guess I should have posted it elsewhere.

No problem, I just know how these debates go and it's usually not pretty. There are some threads on the debate over in the programming forum.
post #38 of 8020
WXMI has been broadcasting in 720p for as long as I can remember. Obviously most of the material is only 480p, but the signal is 720p. It looks great! I think WXMI has the cleanest overall digital signal, all things considered. Their SD upconverting is the best, and the news always looks great. Can't wait to see what it looks like with 720p material once FOX starts producing it!

The game on WWMT looks pretty good. There's still a fair amount of motion artifacting, but its less than in the past. Now I need to drag the computer out into the living room and hook it up to the receiver to see how the 5.1 sounds.
post #39 of 8020
Sure would be nice if WWMT could pump up its power. It wont come in for me today, so I have to watch the game on WSBT which isnt a bad thing, other than no 5.1 sound.
post #40 of 8020
Well, I was very impressed with the Tenn-NE game last night, but KC-Indy game today doesn't look so good to me. The picture seems really washed out - maybe it is because the sun seems to really be reflecting off everything and washing out the picture. The Tenn-NE game of course had synthetic lighting. It almost seems to me that the endzone cameras today may be SD? All of the cameras last night appeared to be HD. The 5.1 sound is a nice addition (thank you WWMT). The only problem with the audio is that I hear crackling from the front speakers, which seems to go away during commercials and come back during the game. Anyone else experiencing this? There also seems to be more pixelation, motion artifacts, and audio dropouts today. It would appear to me that WWMT is much better at night. Does that make any sense? My signal level is 100% during the day and 100% at night as well. At least the Super Bowl will be at night - maybe that means everything will be great?
post #41 of 8020
Kirby, how does WSBT HDTV compare to WWMT? Is there less pixelation, motion artifacts, and audio dropouts? I am in the process of installing another antenna to get in WSBT so I have a backup for the Super Bowl.
post #42 of 8020
WSBT is far and away better. But then again, I get WSBT at 97-100% signal (just like WNIT and WNDU). No audio drops, but they dont send 5.1 as far as I can remember. The game today was showing PL2 on my system. WWMT's signal showed 5.1.

As for motion artifacts, I am sure there are some, since they have a sub channel, 22.2 that is UPN. I have not really looked for motion artifacts on WSBT per se, but nothing really sticks out in my mind as being objectionable. I should note, that my antenna is quite big (CM 1162A) with a preamp and amp. I'll try and look for motion artifacts and report back.

Oh another thing, WSBT does not stretch 4:3 material into a 16:9 frame like WWMT does. Some may like this, some may not. I prefer it so I can watch in the proper aspect ratio. WSBT still broadcasts the 4:3 material in a 16:9 frame, its just got the vertical bars. So a bit of tweaking must be done to get it to stretch if you want that (tell your receiver that you have a 4:3 set, then stretch).
post #43 of 8020
Bummer, FOX 17.1 isn't coming in for me tonight unlike last night, when it was awesome.

Anyone else have this problem?
post #44 of 8020
93% signal here.
post #45 of 8020
Quote:
Originally posted by Joe Shmoe
Bummer, FOX 17.1 isn't coming in for me tonight unlike last night, when it was awesome.

Anyone else have this problem?

Yeah, I'm getting weak to no signal.
post #46 of 8020
Thread Starter 
Had a lot of drop outs on WXMI during the second half. Weird.
post #47 of 8020
Thread Starter 
Been emailing back and forth with Jim at WWMT for a few days. I gave him the link to this thread. He said he used to come out here once in a while but hasn't had time with all their upgrades lately. He said he'd try to stop out here again now and then and that I could post what he said to keep us up to date.

Dolby Digital 5.1 is in and running as we have already seen. The equipment is supposed to switch between 5.1 and 2.0 automatically, depending on what the network is sending down but it's not working all the time (thus the no announcers on the Sat game and audio messed up during Cold Case last night). They are working on correcting the issue.

As for video dropouts, I brought up the fact that we though there wasn't full bandwidth given to 3-1 and we were right. I'll just quote him here:

Quote:
Yes we are devoting 14 MB to HD and 3.5 MB to the SD. Obviously during sporting events that is not always enough. 1080 I is very demanding as you know.
........
We are hoping to be able to convince Dish/Direct and cable systems to start down converting our 3-1 to a 4x3 format and then we could drop the 3-2 service but that takes money and time to accomplish.

So basically yes, the HD channel doesn't have all the bandwidth and they use 3-2 to deliver their signal to DirecTV, Dish, and the local cable companies which gives them a clean signal. So I'm guessing that what we have now is about as good as it will get for a while.

I think WOTV doesn't have this issue because they are in 720p (less bandwidth hog) and their only sub-channel is the radar station which takes up basically nothing.

I've always wondered why WOOD doesn't always seem the most crisp and they are probably using the same ratio (or worse) for bandwidth since they have 8-2 for UPN and 8-3 for radar.

WXMI has no subchannels and I would guess we'll get some excellent HD out of them come fall.

Anyway, just wanted to report the latest from WWMT. I think we are a go for 5.1 during the SB (assuming CBS sends it), WWMT is ready to pass it on to us.

Oh, and let WWMT know via email that you enjoyed the 5.1 and improved audio and video overall. Let's let all our stations know in fact that we HD viewers are out there and we watch their local channels and their ads.
post #48 of 8020
So is 17.5Mbit the max they can push out? I thought it was 19Mbit? If it is, does that mean they are using a whole 1.5Mbit for EC (do OTA's do that?)? If not, maybe they can bump up 3-1 a bit more?
post #49 of 8020
bonscott87 - Thank you for this information. Things make a lot more sense now. I was told a month ago when I asked that question that the subchannel was only taking up 1mb or so. But that explains a lot if it is taking up 3.5mb and there is another unaccounted for 2mb. This is another reason I like 720p better because it is easier for stations to get the full bandwidth on hd. I am glad Fox is going to 720p. This way if WXMI ever adds a subchannel we won't have to complain about it! Yes, this finally makes sense that I can have a 100% signal and still get some pixelation and artifacts. I tried to get WSBT digital in today, but no luck. WSBT (CBS south bend) analog signal comes in watchable, but not clear. Guess I am stuck with WWMT for the SuperBowl. Thanks again WWMT for continuing to upgrade your HDTV (5.1 audio) and trying to get to the point where you can offer full bandwidth to HDTV.
post #50 of 8020
Quote:
Originally posted by bonscott87
WWMT sez:

Yes we are devoting 14 MB to HD and 3.5 MB to the SD. Obviously during sporting events that is not always enough. 1080 I is very demanding as you know.
........
We are hoping to be able to convince Dish/Direct and cable systems to start down converting our 3-1 to a 4x3 format and then we could drop the 3-2 service but that takes money and time to accomplish.

This is awesome news. Not only are they aware of the problem, they're trying to fix it!!

Still, I wonder why they're not using the full 19.4 Mbps? I'm going to email Jim at WWMT and see what he says about it, and also let him know how nice 5.1 is.

Quote:
Originally posted by digiclone
Yes, this finally makes sense that I can have a 100% signal and still get some pixelation and artifacts.

You've got it. The motion artifacting (pixelization) is from inadequate bitrate inside that 100% signal. It could also be from poor encoding hardware, as some MPEG2 encoders deal with limited bitrate a lot better than others. Maybe garbage is a bit harsh a term , but it's simply "garbage in, garbage out."
post #51 of 8020
So, did anyone else hear the crackling noise on the 5.1 for last Sunday's game on WWMT? I would assume others heard it too since I don't have this problem with any other stations or any other 5.1 sound.
Also, the crackling seemed to go away during commercials - maybe the 5.1 went off during commercials?
post #52 of 8020
Thread Starter 
During the Colts game? Got to say I didn't notice it but then I didn't watch the whole game either as I got sucked into the movie Chain Reaction on HBO-HD during part of the game.
post #53 of 8020
I didn't notice any crackling, either. Then again, I didn't have the volume up very loud. It sounded pretty clear to me, except when they mixed in the ref or player mics, which were a bit scratchy.
post #54 of 8020
I have had an outdoor antenna Royal 17 installed by Stadium Electronics in August last year and it cost me approx $250 including installation.

Yesterday I called them them and asked me if they could help me as I was not getting WGVU-DT and they said that they could help me. They gave me a verbal estimate of appox $40 plus labor (approx 1/2 to 1 hour) and that they would either realign the existing anntenna or put an additional arm.

Dave was the guy who showed up and he tried aligning the antenna as well as putting a pre-amplifier on the antenna and an amplifier in the house, but was not successful. He then messed up with my wiring of my home theater. I asked him what he was upto and he did not explain what he was doing.

Finally I asked him what he was upto to and he mentioned that he would have to relocate my antenna from the top of my garage to the top of my house and it would cost me approx $350 with no guarantee that that I would get WGVU-DT as well as the existing stations that I was getting.

I finally showed him the door and had to pay approx $175 for the labor (all the time he wasted messing with my home theater) and clean-up after he left.

So if you plan on using their services, beware and make sure that you have an estimate in writing of the work to be done. Needless to say, I would not recommend them to anyone. FYI their name and address is as follows;

Stadium Electronics & Video
3514 Plainfield Ave Ne
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Tel: (616)-365-1847
post #55 of 8020
Wow....OUCH! Thanks for the update!
post #56 of 8020
Thread Starter 
Wow, Jim at WWMT is really going to town to tweak their HD signals. I think we are being heard and they are listening!

Here is the latest update that he wanted me to pass along. And I quote...
Quote:


Jim at WWMT sez:

...we have increased the bandwidth used by the primary channel to 14.5 MB and reduced the second service down to 3. MB. I tried to go to 15 on the main and leave the second service at 3.5 but immediately noticed an increase in pixelations on the HD service.

Some one in your group emailed me wondering what we are doing with the 2 MB left over of the 19.39 total stream available. The above bandwidth is for the video portion only approximately 1 MB is devoted to the two audio services. The HD takes around .7 MB depending on surround sound demands and the rest is the stereo audio for the second service. The PSIP data (which is the program guide/tuning information) takes a portion which leaves very little bandwidth left.

I hope this clarifies how we are using the data stream and the demands that each type of data requires. Our monitoring equipment usually indicates less than .5 MB of empty data packets are available overall.

Thanks for your interest and let me know if you see an improvement with the change we made.

My next chance to watch CBS will probably be CSI on Thursday or most likely the football game this weekend so we'll see if it helps some. Every little bit helps and another .5 MB for the HD channel is certainly quite a bit considering. So in reality WWMT is setup bandwidth wise like pretty much any other station out there other then the subchannel but then I'd hazard to guess a good majority of digital stations out there have at least one subchannel. I'm glad this is getting done before the SuperBowl. Personally I've let CBS corporate in New York know the great job WWMT and Jim have been doing. Any little encouragement helps.
post #57 of 8020
Yikes dude that really blows. I had a similar experience with a local satellite TV installed guy. He came to my house after I complained that my antenna wasn't working properly but there wasn't any damage. The antenna was originally installed by my dad. My dad and I brainstormed but couldn't figure out why it stopped getting a good signal. So this guy comes out and checks every connect and even put on new ends EXCEPT the antenna itself on the roof! I asked him twice whether or not he was going to check the antenna connections. He said something like "nah your dad seems like a competant guy I am sure it is fine." So he didn't really do jack $hit but he didn't forget to charge me $75!! Being on a fixed income that really hurt. If he would of fixed the problem that would of been one thing but he didn't. A couple days later my dad for the heck of it bought one of those antenna coupler deals and replaced the one on the antenna and guess what? Wammo! It worked fine then. There is a saying you get what you pay for. Well I have a new saying "you pay for what you DON'T get"....
post #58 of 8020
(I posted this earlier, thanks Scott for pointing out this W Michigan Thread)

Hello All,

Does anyone have HD OTA experience in the Grand Haven/Spring Lake area? I would really like to take advantage of the D* $99 HD offer. However, I am concerned about HD OTA reception. Pretty sure I can get ABC, NBC etc... CBS is the one I am concerned about. Anyone out there have any luck?

Charter is out of HD boxes, expecting new ones in Feb. I have had Charter before and Ch 1-78 are analog and look like dung on my Sammy HD. D* SD looks much better.

I would like to keep D* and use OTA HD.... am I asking too much considering where I live?
post #59 of 8020
Scott... that's great news, I thought that channel 3 was coming in better.
Jim probably doesn't need a ton of email but I am sure you have told or will tell that we all appreciate it!
post #60 of 8020
Quote:


Some one in your group emailed me wondering what we are doing with the 2 MB left over of the 19.39 total stream available. The above bandwidth is for the video portion only approximately 1 MB is devoted to the two audio services.

Ah ha... that was my inquiry. I didn't realize the audio portion of the transport stream wasn't being included in that figure.

I'm liking this extra half megabit of bandwidth for the HD channel... way to go, Jim! I can't wait to see what sort of difference this will make on CSI and football this weekend.
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