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Birmingham, AL - HDTV - Page 150

post #4471 of 4653
I am paying for expanded basic. Should I be getting ESPNHD and ESPN2HD ??
I would subscribe to a reasonable HD package if there was a way to use my TV's QAM tuner without a set top box. I totally detest set top boxes of any ilk. If I have to have one I'll look at satellite services carefully.
post #4472 of 4653
Quote:
Originally Posted by whizbang75 View Post

I am paying for expanded basic. Should I be getting ESPNHD and ESPN2HD ??
I would subscribe to a reasonable HD package if there was a way to use my TV's QAM tuner without a set top box. I totally detest set top boxes of any ilk. If I have to have one I'll look at satellite services carefully.

Yes you should, but since Charter is worried about your neighbor with basic cable watching ESPNHD on his 13" CRT you can't get the channels you're paying for without a STB.
post #4473 of 4653
I thought the whole deal with putting QAM tuners in new televisions was to help eliminate the need for proprietary cable boxes... or am I thinking of a cablecard?
post #4474 of 4653
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post

I thought the whole deal with putting QAM tuners in new televisions was to help eliminate the need for proprietary cable boxes... or am I thinking of a cablecard?

You are thinking of cablecard, QAM is still analog signal.
post #4475 of 4653
I just stopped by an Authorized Charter Retailer to look at their cable box so I can compare to the satellite receivers.
The girl out front didn't know what a set top box was and went to the back to ask a "tech". She came back and asked where I got that term.
That's when I left without further conversation.
post #4476 of 4653
Oh man, if only Brighthouse had espn3 I could finally cancel cable and just go OTA + this:

Microsoft signed a deal with ESPN to bring ESPN to the Xbox. You get 3500 live sporting events, with most in HD.
post #4477 of 4653
Quote:
Originally Posted by whizbang75 View Post

This morning's Bham News has a notice from Brighthouse that frequencies are changing for HD channels, including ESPN and ESPN2, for customers WITHOUT SET TOP BOXES who use QAM tuners.
Why Brighthouse but not Charter ?

Whoa, from what I understood these were not in the clear. Does anyone know the new frequencies? I don't get the paper and can't find it on al.com. Are they in the clear?
post #4478 of 4653
OOPS! May be my bad.
Dug in the garbage and the paper I found does not mention ESPN. Not the notice I was looking for so I may have mis-remembered.
This notice lists all the local channels for customers with digital-ready TVs and QAM tuners but without cable boxes.
Back to the drawing board.
post #4479 of 4653
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaddix View Post

Yes I have a box for now for the World Cup, but it won't be too long.
My costs ended up actually being lower for me with the box(-$5), so now Charter has the cost overhead of maintaining this CPE as well as receiving less money from the customer(and even less once Dish gets out here). A double whammy against Charter, because "customers shouldn't get free channels".

I'm confused. Are you saying that people who aren't paying for a service should get it for free?
post #4480 of 4653
Quote:
Originally Posted by whizbang75 View Post

I would subscribe to a reasonable HD package if there was a way to use my TV's QAM tuner without a set top box.

There is. It is called Cable Card.

As long as your TV supports Cable Card, you can get encrypted HD programming from cable providers. There is no set-top needed. Although you will have to pay a rental fee for the Cable Card.
post #4481 of 4653
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaddix View Post

You are thinking of cablecard, QAM is still analog signal.

The QAM modulation scheme used by cable providers is digital.

I'll include the URL to a Wikipedia article on QAM in my next post. (I haven't passed the tree post minimum yet, so I can't include links.)
post #4482 of 4653
post #4483 of 4653
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJR_ View Post

There is. It is called Cable Card.

As long as your TV supports Cable Card, you can get encrypted HD programming from cable providers. There is no set-top needed. Although you will have to pay a rental fee for the Cable Card.

Perhaps things have gotten better but on Brighthouse getting the cablecard properly working was a nightmare for me, so much so that I ended up canceling and just going to analog. It went out constantly and the resolution every time from support was a truck roll (requiring me to leave work) and almost every single time the issue was at the head end. And since I've left they have gone to SDV requiring a tuning adapter in addition to the cable card(I still know someone who has it and deals with the headaches).

Supposedly Charter is much much better (and no SDV).
post #4484 of 4653
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJR_ View Post

I'm confused. Are you saying that people who aren't paying for a service should get it for free?

Reread what I wrote. If people who are paying for services won't get them unless a negligible amount of people who aren't paying get them for free, then yes those people should get them for free.
Dwight Schrute described Charter's position the best when he said "Better a thousand innocent men are locked up than one guilty man roam free."

You aren't Umatter2Charter are you?
post #4485 of 4653
Tracked down that Bham news, for those interested starting July 14th the new QAM channels for Brighthouse will be:

WPXH ION HD 80-1
WTTO-HD 80-2
FOX HD 81-1
WCFT HD 81-2
WABM-HD 82-1
WIAT-HD 82-2
PBS HD 83-1
WVTM HD (NBC) 83-2
WUOA-HD 85-1
post #4486 of 4653
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaddix View Post

Reread what I wrote. If people who are paying for services won't get them unless a negligible amount of people who aren't paying get them for free, then yes those people should get them for free.

But we don't know if expanded basic subscribers were ever supposed to get ESPN HD & ESPN 2 HD unencrypted in the first place. The carriage agreement between Charter and ESPN is private.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaddix View Post

You aren't Umatter2Charter are you?

No, I'm a Charter cable subscriber in Calera, AL.
post #4487 of 4653
Quote:
Originally Posted by digduggler View Post

Supposedly Charter is much much better...

I doubt it.
post #4488 of 4653
Brighthouse QAM have moved today (although curiously ABC did not for me)
post #4489 of 4653
Would some one else with Charter cable please look and see if your Speed HD is working? Mines been out all day.
post #4490 of 4653
I'm able to get some of the Birmingham locals from my house in Wetumpka with a Winegard HD8200. (only at night and early morning) My strongest signals are Fox 6, 68-1 and 13-1. However, last night I got Fox 6 on 6-1 and 50-1. I know the frequency is 50 and the virtual is 6-1 but it showed up on both channels. Did something change to Fox 6? Are they now airing on two channels?

Also, the Winegard has a 100 mile range and is rated for channels 2-69 but I can't get ABC 33/40, ION or WUOA. Are those lower power or harder to get signals?

Thanks!
post #4491 of 4653
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtrippe View Post

I'm able to get some of the Birmingham locals from my house in Wetumpka with a Winegard HD8200. (only at night and early morning) My strongest signals are Fox 6, 68-1 and 13-1. However, last night I got Fox 6 on 6-1 and 50-1. I know the frequency is 50 and the virtual is 6-1 but it showed up on both channels. Did something change to Fox 6? Are they now airing on two channels?

Also, the Winegard has a 100 mile range and is rated for channels 2-69 but I can't get ABC 33/40, ION or WUOA. Are those lower power or harder to get signals?

Thanks!

I have the same antenna (and a Channel Master 7777 preamp) on a tower with a rotor...the ABC 33 transmitter is not on Red Mountain, but is more towards Tuscaloosa (as is WUOA), and the ABC 40 transmitter is in the Anniston/Oxford area.

If you can't rotor to those directions it's unlikely you will be able to receive them..
post #4492 of 4653
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtrippe View Post

I'm able to get some of the Birmingham locals from my house in Wetumpka with a Winegard HD8200. (only at night and early morning) My strongest signals are Fox 6, 68-1 and 13-1. However, last night I got Fox 6 on 6-1 and 50-1. I know the frequency is 50 and the virtual is 6-1 but it showed up on both channels. Did something change to Fox 6? Are they now airing on two channels?

Also, the Winegard has a 100 mile range and is rated for channels 2-69 but I can't get ABC 33/40, ION or WUOA. Are those lower power or harder to get signals?

Thanks!

The VHF low channels are notoriously hard to get, which may explain your lack of WUOA on RF channel 6. They're broadcasting from Red Mountain, though, like some of the other major TV stations.

ABC 33/40's two transmitter sites are well out of the immediate area. The Tuscaloosa site switched from RF 5 to RF 33 to get off VHF low due to reception issues. But being so far out of the area I doubt you'll ever see anything from it (I live in central Mississippi and have gotten it on skip, though, so anything is possible.) The east Alabama transmitter site is in St Clair County on RF 9.

The ION affiliate, WPXH, broadcasts on RF channel 45 from a site near Oneonta, up around Highland Lake. Their coverage area barely reaches Columbiana, so it's definitely a long shot from Wetumpka.

As for Fox 6 showing up on two channels, my TV (a Sony) is bad about doing that on weak stations. Sometimes it will fail to map it to the correct virtual channel at all.
post #4493 of 4653
Anyone heard anything on ABC 33/40 doing local news in hd???

Any plans for WTTO 21 showing syndicated programs in hd??
post #4494 of 4653
Thanks for the responses. I may try a rotor. I can get ABC and WUOA on rre occassions. Tonight the rest of the signals are really booming though. Fox 6 is around 90% and the rest are upper 70's. The antenna is in the attic so I bet I could get much better results outside.
post #4495 of 4653
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaddix View Post

You are thinking of cablecard, QAM is still analog signal.

?

QAM is digital modulation.
post #4496 of 4653
Traditionally, 33 HD has always been a holy grail of sorts for me in that I could not register any signal at all regardless of tuners tried. When they boosted their VHF signal after the initial conversion date, I was finally able to receive & watch the channels but with some sporadic tiling.

I anxiously awaited their switch to UHF assuming that I would easily get that signal given my recent experience with the boosted VHF signal and the perception that UHF is preferable for long distances.

However since they switched to UHF, I've been unable to get any signal at all. I suspect I'm getting interference from CBS and WABM given that those broadcasts are on 30.1 and 36.1 and that I'm very near Red Mtn with the Tuscaloosa towers only 30 degrees apart directionally.

Meanwhile, I can get ABC 40's VHF signal if I rotate my UHF 8-bay towards that direction but I then get some tiling / instability on the Red Mtn broadcasts.

I've given up on ABC. It really doesn't have anything worthwhile to watch anyway.
post #4497 of 4653
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmo View Post

Traditionally, 33 HD has always been a holy grail of sorts for me in that I could not register any signal at all regardless of tuners tried. When they boosted their VHF signal after the initial conversion date, I was finally able to receive & watch the channels but with some sporadic tiling.

I anxiously awaited their switch to UHF assuming that I would easily get that signal given my recent experience with the boosted VHF signal and the perception that UHF is preferable for long distances.

However since they switched to UHF, I've been unable to get any signal at all. I suspect I'm getting interference from CBS and WABM given that those broadcasts are on 30.1 and 36.1 and that I'm very near Red Mtn with the Tuscaloosa towers only 30 degrees apart directionally.

Meanwhile, I can get ABC 40's VHF signal if I rotate my UHF 8-bay towards that direction but I then get some tiling / instability on the Red Mtn broadcasts.

I've given up on ABC. It really doesn't have anything worthwhile to watch anyway.

VHF frequencies will travel much further and bend better over mountains and other obstacles than UHF frequencies...the lower the frequency the better the reception, if transmitter power is about the same. You do need a good VHF/UHF combination antenna...UHF-only antennas will not provide a strong signal from VHF channels.

Back in the early days of broadcast TV even the lower channel VHF frequencies were coveted by all TV stations....Channel 2 would reach much farther than channel 13... then along came UHF...channels 14 and up will not reach as far as any VHF channel, give equal amounts of power. VHF will also "skip" better than UHF.
post #4498 of 4653
It's probably all contracting publicity, but ESPN's agreement with Brighthouse ends on Sept 2nd and they still haven't worked out a deal. It's possible Brighthouse won't have ESPN for the beginning of football season If they lose ESPN for any extended period of time I will cancel in a heartbeat.
post #4499 of 4653
I saw this in the Huntsville thread so I thought I'd repost it here. APT is reporting that they are going to upgrade their facilities so they can record and playback HD programming.

This means more HD for us and hopefully an end to the sometimes weirdly distorted pictures we've had to put up with in the past. Yay!
post #4500 of 4653
Sweet! Thanks for the update. Sometime watching their programming is painful.
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