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Sacramento, CA - OTA - Page 208

post #6211 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Hess View Post

To the best of my knowledge, there are no translators owned by any of the Sacramento stations. KMAX sold one a few years ago. Some of the Sacramento stations are relayed by translators up in Lake County, I believe, but these are owned by private groups.

Bob

Thanks for the info.
post #6212 of 10016
For Sacramento signals, is Suisun City a bad place for reception? Between old town and Walnut Grove, there's a series of waterways and land. Could this be the cause?
post #6213 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltaguy View Post

For Sacramento signals, is Suisun City a bad place for reception? Between old town and Walnut Grove, there's a series of waterways and land. Could this be the cause?

According to some very expensive propagation software I use, Suisun City should be in pretty good shape to see the Walnut Grove signals. If you have PRECISE coordinates for your location, I can take a detailed look.

Bob
post #6214 of 10016
Thanks for the reply Bob. I don't have my friend's precise coordinates. He's between Main and the railroad tracks. I urged him to try the Zenith 900 converter with his outdoor antenna at 25ft. He gets all digital stations from S.F. and San Jose with this antenna. I viewed them personally, but didn't pay attention to Sac stations. He reports no signal for 3.1 and at least one other Sac digital station. I figured, even if he had an edge somehow, that he'd have to be getting everything from Walnut Grove as it is much closer than the Bay Area towers where he's getting stations with 1 and 2 edges.
post #6215 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Hess 01-18-08 View Post

We have not even touched it but I'll look into it. I do know that the new encoder dynamically allocates bandwidth.... hopefully in a week or two, someone from Harris will out here to certify and verify the installation. Thanks for pointing this out

Three months later and you still have video at 13Mbps...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Hess 02-12-08 View Post

...your comment will be discussed. Our feeling is that the dynamic allocation of bandwidth is doing just it is supposed to do...

What is it supposed to be doing? Slighting us out of picture quality while saving KOVR what exactly? Electricity? Money? Bandwidth for... nothing?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Hess 02-12-08 View Post

...We will get you the official answer...

My official answer: KOVR is just not eye-popping HD anymore. It is basically HD-Lite as far as I'm concerned. Using dynamic bandwidth for no good reason is retarted and insane. And setting the top limit at 14Mbps when there's three more Mbps sitting there doing nothing is a crime against every HD viewer.
post #6216 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post

Would it be possible to alert us in advance of when that is going to happen? I have a very good idea of the typical amount of multipath I see on analog 10 and I'd like to see how that translates into S/N ratio on my Sony. I haven't had an opportunity to make a direct comparison like that before. Chuck

That would be fun to check out. They'll most likely do it at 3 in the morning, but I'd stay up to watch.

For those into catching distant stations, I had a very interesting experience last night shortly after midnight. Normally I only get KMAX-DT out of Sacramento, but last night I was tuning around and I found KVIE-DT on 55.3, 55.4 and 55.5 and KTXL-DT on 55.3. What's going on here? The signals got better and better and KVIE-DT became 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3 once the PSIP info was detected. KTXL didn't quite make it to become 40.1, but it was still watchable on 55.3.

I got a copy of my channel list and started checking the other Sacramento/Stockton channels and guess what? I got several of them! Signals were strong enough to get pictures for the first time from KCRA 35.1* and 35.2*, KTNC 42.1, KQCA 46.1* and KTFK 62.3*. The ones marked with an * were not strong enough for the set to pick up the PSIP info, but the pictures were mostly solid. The signals were good for over an hour before they started to fade away. After it was over, all I could receive was KMAX, like normal.

Using the readings on my Sony XBR4, I've found that a SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio) of 15 or better is enough to produce a picture, but I need about 17 to 18 for the PSIP info to register. KOVR on 25.1 and KXTV on 61.1 were both about 13 to 14... just not quite enough for me to get a picture. KMAX was up to an SNR of 23 at one point... normally it's about 19.

What I don't understand is why KVIE, KTXL and KTFK were showing up on .3 and above, rather than on .1. Can anyone explain this phenomenon?

I turned the 4228 south-southeast to see if the Monterey-Salinas stations were coming in during this period, but I didn't even get a lock. My signals from the stations on the hills above Fremont (14, 36, 48 and 54) were all about normal level. Looks like it was just a nice signal boost for stations to the east-northeast last night.

Did you happen to be tuning around last night, Calaveras, and see any stronger than usual signals up your way?

Larry
SF
post #6217 of 10016
The PSIP standard calls for video streams to begin on the address 0x0031, the second on 0x0041, etc. and so when a tuner receives a weak signal, it starts by looking there.

My Zenith at home used to show me Fox on 17-3 and CW on 17-4 rather regularly.

- Trip
post #6218 of 10016
Does anyone know when Univision and Telefutura will begin showing HD programs?
post #6219 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Kenney View Post

Did you happen to be tuning around last night, Calaveras, and see any stronger than usual signals up your way?

I checked yesterday afternoon and everything seemed to be quite nominal. In fact that's pretty much how it's been the last two months here. I've had few dropouts on the Sacramento stations and few ducts enhancing distant stations.

I just checked all the stations and I have a little enhancement to Salinas right now. KION-DT and KSMS analog are stronger than normal and KQET is coming in which it frequently doesn't. Of course it has to compete with KQCA analog. Other than that conditions seem to be nominal. All Walnut Grove signals are typical.

I'd being willing to set my alarm on the night that KXTV runs a digital test on channel 10.

Chuck
post #6220 of 10016
I will try to post here to let you know when they are going to do it. You may end up with some issues with your receivers because the PSIP information will indicate that the station is broadcasting on channel 61 which will also be the case. A year or two ago I thought KVIE-DT was off the air for days but later discovered that some recevers got them just fine. I looked at their PSIP information and discovered that they had the carrier frequency for the wrong channel in their PSIP. Obviously some receivers were looking at the channel frequency information and some were not. A call to them fixed the problem.
post #6221 of 10016
I believe that was the problem in Suisun. All Sac digitals now added. Sac, S.F., and San Jose, that's quite a few channels.
post #6222 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post

The PSIP standard calls for video streams to begin on the address 0x0031, the second on 0x0041, etc. and so when a tuner receives a weak signal, it starts by looking there.

My Zenith at home used to show me Fox on 17-3 and CW on 17-4 rather regularly.

- Trip

Thanks, Trip! I'll have to check out the -3 sub-channels more frequently!

Larry
SF
post #6223 of 10016
Big high pressure building up. That can mean fading. Just want to let you guys know in advance. The worst fades are generally on the first and last days of the weather event.

We are awaiting delivery of the cable necessary to locate a microwave receiver at the 1700 foot level of our tower. The dish is installed. Installation of the cable will probably take a week. This will probably all come together in a few weeks.

By the way, we and CBS have been working independently on our commercial loudness issues. Big difference, I think. More improvement coming.

We have also been working on the installation of a second frame sync and MPEG encoder used to feed our backup server. This as another way to add redundancy to our delayed prime time feed.

Hammer, no one at our place, including the manufacturer's engineer, sees what you are seeing. Frankly, when I watched the NCAA playoffs, I thought they were stunning in HD.

Bob
post #6224 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post

The PSIP standard calls for video streams to begin on the address 0x0031, the second on 0x0041, etc. and so when a tuner receives a weak signal, it starts by looking there.

My Zenith at home used to show me Fox on 17-3 and CW on 17-4 rather regularly.

On the advice of a PM from a friend, I'm going to correct something I said in error in this post...

It's not the PSIP standard, but rather it's an FCC standard that dictates that the first video stream appears at 0x0031. It's not required to show up there and can start at a higher number, but the FCC asks that stations leave 0x0021 and 0x0011 free for other purposes.

It's also possible for a station to have a 0x0031 address show as "Program 1" (and thus you would see 55-1 and not 55-3 regardless of the video address) although the vast majority of stations I have seen do not do this.

- Trip
post #6225 of 10016
Rory,

I see "The Mole" is coming back June 2nd. Very cool. Not going to be HD, correct?

S~
post #6226 of 10016
The start of Ghost Whisperer was missing the center channel audio. This has happened before, is this a different switch that needs to be flicked when HD programming starts?
post #6227 of 10016
Can anyone tell me why when I use my OTA antenna to watch the local channels using dish networks vip622 unit I only receive certain channels? I get real strong signals on channels 3, 10, 19, 31, 29, and 58. (in the 70's) But I get zero's and no picture when trying to watch 6, 13, and 40. I thought they all used the same tower down in Walnut Grove? I live in the natomas area and use a OTA antenna besides my dish antenna.
post #6228 of 10016
What's the best city around Sacramento to be in for best OTA reception? If I was to move into the area with an HD-Tivo and Silver Sensor antenna, where's the best place to set up to get the most channels? I'm not sure what the optimal distance from the transmitter is or what place would be best suited to pick up as much as possible, but Im thinking some of the experts here have a pretty good idea.
post #6229 of 10016
Well, I'm in Tracy, about 40 miles south of the Walnut Grove transmitters, and get all the channels using a Silver Sensor indoors. Gotta love being in a flat area - not to mention the fact that there isn't a building over 3 stories in the entire city!
post #6230 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobar View Post

Can anyone tell me why when I use my OTA antenna to watch the local channels using dish networks vip622 unit I only receive certain channels? I get real strong signals on channels 3, 10, 19, 31, 29, and 58. (in the 70's) But I get zero's and no picture when trying to watch 6, 13, and 40. I thought they all used the same tower down in Walnut Grove? I live in the natomas area and use a OTA antenna besides my dish antenna.

Unplug your TV/Tuner, do a channel search/scan and see if that takes care of the problem. If you can see the others, you should be seeing 6, 13 and 40. Might also want to look at the actual RF channel. CBS13 is channel 25.

Bob
post #6231 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlrowley View Post

Well, I'm in Tracy, about 40 miles south of the Walnut Grove transmitters, and get all the channels using a Silver Sensor indoors. Gotta love being in a flat area - not to mention the fact that there isn't a building over 3 stories in the entire city!

Yup, I do use the TERK HDTVS outdoor antenna (repackaged Winegard) and I get all channels in the 90-100 SS. Channel 6 can get pretty low (in the 60s) at times, but hardly.

(Hi tlrowley! )
post #6232 of 10016
I've seen a couple of comments here about the Silver Sensor indoor antenna, and have found very positive reviews on various web sites. But I have this question--looking at pictures of it, it seems to be designed strictly for UHF frequencies. Its an LPA design, but the biggest elements look far too small for high-band VHF, where some of our local channels will wind up post Feb '09. Specifically, KVIE is going from 53 to 9 and KXTV is going from 61 to 10. The ads and reviews of the Silver Sensor describe it as a top choice for HDTV, but what about those VHF channels? As a possible test, are there any Silver Sensor owners out there who are getting good signals on the current 10 and 13 analog channels?
post #6233 of 10016
The Silver Sensor is UHF only as you surmise. However, the VHF signals are easier to pick up and what I do is use a splitter reversed to make a combiner. I attach the silver sensor to one input and a regular FM radio wire/loop dipole antenna thing to the other for VHF. Works like a charm. The VHF digital is especially easy to receive.

You are bringing up a point that many people have missed and especially in the media. I've seen a half-dozen shows about the digital transition and listened to KGO hosts on the radio discussing the topic with experts -- and none of them mentioned that some of the stations will abandon their temporary UHF frequency and broadcast in digital on their former analog VHF frequency.

If you enter your zip code at www.antennaweb.org it will give you an idea of what kind of antenna you need and their readout take into account that some stations will revert to VHF next February.
post #6234 of 10016
I wouldn't say that I get "good" signals on the 10/13 analog, but I do get a reasonably strong signal. It's very static-y and snowy-y, but I suspect there's enough signal there to lock into a digital signal.

I don't however get anything at all on 9 - am I going to be in trouble for KVIE?
post #6235 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlrowley View Post

I wouldn't say that I get "good" signals on the 10/13 analog, but I do get a reasonably strong signal. It's very static-y and snowy-y, but I suspect there's enough signal there to lock into a digital signal.

If analog 10 and 13 are snowy then this doesn't bode well for getting KXTV-DT when it reverts to channel 10 after the transition. You'll probably need a VHF antenna.

Quote:
I don't however get anything at all on 9 - am I going to be in trouble for KVIE?

Analog 9 is KQED in San Francisco so it's not a surprise that you're not receiving it. KVIE-DT will be on channel 9 after the transition.

Chuck
post #6236 of 10016
Thanks to all for the indoor antenna info, testing, etc. One more question re the "Silver Sensor." When I Google that name, besides the familiar open-element LPA design sold by Zenith and others, I also get a very different model. See it at...

http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?Inv..._sku=PHDTV3-DT

This thing does have dipole elements for VHF, and (it seems) an LPA inside the enclosed case for UHF. Plus an adjustable 10 DB amp. And it's also called "The Silver Sensor."

Does anyone have any experience with this one? Any thoughts or recommendations? I'm still shopping for a good indoor antenna for my mom's retirement home quarters. She's on the north side of Lodi, so the path to Walnut Grove is pretty good.
post #6237 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post

If analog 10 and 13 are snowy then this doesn't bode well for getting KXTV-DT when it reverts to channel 10 after the transition. You'll probably need a VHF antenna.



Analog 9 is KQED in San Francisco so it's not a surprise that you're not receiving it. KVIE-DT will be on channel 9 after the transition.

Chuck

Uh, oh, thanks for the warning, Chuck. Do you know if the the transition will be a hard cut-off, or will there be an overlap period so we can confirm we need to add equipment?
post #6238 of 10016
I have 2 Silver Sensors in use presently, about 30 miles from Walnut Grove. One is pretty much unstoppable. The other is still being moved to find the right spot. I'm on my fourth location near a window. This spot seems to be correct, but these things take time. Lodi is a bit more than 20 miles from Walnut Grove, so I'd give the non amplified Silver Sensor a try first. If your Mom has a west-facing window where it could be deployed, I'd bet it would be quite sufficient. Not to say that multipath stops a Silver Sensor, both of mine face multipath issues. I can get 10 & 13 analog with them as well, a grainy picture rather than snowy.
post #6239 of 10016
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlrowley View Post

Uh, oh, thanks for the warning, Chuck. Do you know if the the transition will be a hard cut-off, or will there be an overlap period so we can confirm we need to add equipment?

I'm pretty sure it's a hard cut-off. You won't know until next Feb. if you are able to receive KVIE-9 until that time, and won't be able to get KVIE-53 after.
post #6240 of 10016
If one goes to the KVIE website, they have a link about the DTV transition. It features a picture of the non-amplified Silver Sensor. That's right, a UHF antenna for a channel destined to be VHF. I'm guessing it's gonna work. Take my analog set with rabbit ears, the ch. 10 and 13 signal is grainy with the Silver Sensor, but it is far superior to what the rabbit ears were bringing down for 5 of the 7 Sacto channels I've been viewing reliably, albeit poorly, for years. Naturally, 10 and 13 have always been best.
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