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Fort Smith, AR - HDTV - Page 11

post #301 of 3401
The channels you are referring to are what the FCC calls Low Power Television or LPTV and Class A stations. They presented quite a problem for the FCC. One of the main rules of LPTV stations is that they only cover a very small (usually urban) area and that they never interfere with full power stations.
Digital transmits so much farther than analog they were having problems giving them digital channels that would not overlap and interfere with someone else. The original plan was that on the cut off date, they would have to CEASE BROADCASTING!!!!! However the FCC has now changed their mind and the rules. Owners of LPTV's have until May 2006 to apply for a digital license. They must convert on channel in areas where a second channel is not available for simulcasting. In other words digital on means analog off, in order to use the same frequency.
Anytime their proposed signal would interfere with an existing full power station a notice is sent to the full power station, and if they will not accept the interference the license is denied. We have already had such requests for stations in the area, like Muskogee, McAlester, Joplin, Tahlequah, Slegiman, and so on. We will deny any request that will cause interference in our DMA and think long and hard about interference anywhere within our -41db contour. Remember even Eureka Springs is outside our current DMA although that should be changing.
I have not heard a hard deadline for them. In fact they were talking about letting them remain analog after 2-17-2009 for a period of time. One thing for sure, if they are just now able to apply for a license the deadline won't be by the end of this year. A google search of LPTV and Digital will bring up all of this subject anybody would have the stomach to read.
post #302 of 3401
Interesting.

Would LPTV stations have to be on channel 15 to interfere w/ your DTV -41db contour?
post #303 of 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4029engineering View Post

Remember even Eureka Springs is outside our current DMA although that should be changing.

So is Carroll County going to join the Fay/Ft Smith DMA sometime? Any chance next door Boone County would as well?

It would be nice to be in an Arkansas DMA.
post #304 of 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by arxaw View Post

Interesting.

Would LPTV stations have to be on channel 15 to interfere w/ your DTV -41db contour?

No. 14 and 16 would also be considered, but there is a complicated formula used for all that. There is a computer model that considers the terrain and distance, tower height, power, directivity of a typical UHF antenna, and just so many variables that it makes my head hurt. They would be allowed to interfere with, I think 2% (but this is off the top of my head without looking it up. It could be .2% or something else but I know it had a 2 in it) of our viewer households. We had one case in Muskogee involving 40-1 on channel 21 that we wouldn't waver and they lowered their requested power 3% and dropped below the interference level. Usually the transmitter drifts 3% so they won that one.
post #305 of 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkie View Post

So is Carroll County going to join the Fay/Ft Smith DMA sometime? Any chance next door Boone County would as well?

It would be nice to be in an Arkansas DMA.

Actually that is all up to the viewers. When Nielsen does television ratings for a county they determine which stations most of the TV households watch. The county is given to the DMA they watch the most provided it borders the current boundary. The current boundaries have been there since the days when you guys could only pick up VHF stations and the only one in our DMA was channel 5 or 13 and Springfield had more, so there you have it. Right now the Fort Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers DMA was a few households behind Springfield DMA in the February rating period. We have been steadily rising in Carroll County and it is anticipated that we will push out Springfield in the May rating period. There is no guarantee of course. The next period after May won't come until July.

Since Boone doesn't border the current DMA, Carroll or Newton would have to go first and I don't think our stations are big household winners in either Boone or Newton counties and I think I heard that the Little Rock stations hurt by diluting the viewers.

Since I am a technical person and not a sales type who lives and breaths this ratings stuff, this may or may not be totally correct, but it's close. There is more info on nielsenmedia.com.
post #306 of 3401
Quote:


[ch] No. 14 and 16 would also be considered

I thought adjacent channel interference was not an issue with digital.
post #307 of 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by arxaw View Post

I thought adjacent channel interference was not an issue with digital.

Not as bad as NTSC, but it's still an issue. Even with the best of current technology tuners and filters can't be built that will reject an adjacent signal that is too strong. Even worse, with NTSC you would see co-channel or a mixture of both pictures. It looks like another station rolling through the background of the station you are trying to watch. I used to see it a lot with analog cable. With digital, the receiver is unable to tell which bits belong to the station it is trying to receive. The result is in effect digital garbage, which as you know equals an extremely high bit error rate which equals no picture at all.

Edit: Actually on second thought, the strong adjacent would probably keep messing up the 8 QUAM detector which picks out a 1 or 0 at 8 phase positions of the carrier by beating with the other carrier and keeping the tuner from getting a solid lock. Energy outside the channel has to be kept 49 db down but at that point the power spreads into the adjacent channel quickly. The biggest effect would be on receivers getting a weak signal on the channel they were trying to receive. The plot of the area in our case was right on the edge of our -41 db coverage. So if their out of channel energy was greater than our -41 db signal we would be wiped out. If you are an engineer you can do the math on what it comes out to be in power, but it is only going to happen where the receiver is close to the adjacent channel and a good distance away from the desired channel.

It is a lot better. With NTSC it would have been unthinkable to place a channel 22 in Muskogee with channel 21 in Fort Smith at any power level.
post #308 of 3401
Here is what a KFSM engineer sent me today in response to my question last week about them being off the air at times...

"Yes, we have been making some upgrades to our digital transmitter over the
past couple of weeks. Unfortunately, it was necessary at times to go off
the air or remove programming from the signal to accomplish these upgrades.
The upgrades are almost complete, so our signal should return to normal
this week."

post #309 of 3401
4029, am i correct in assuming the local channels that are LPTV include the Fox affilliate and the NBC affiliate? The high power stations are KFSM and 4029 and PBS? So we can expect Fox and NBC to not necessarily switch to digital in the near future?

I gather we then will only have ABC, CBS and PBS broadcast digital and the others have no guarantee of broadcasting digital until after Feb. 17, 2009, and could even end their broadcasting? Will that mean we won't have locals on some networks after 2009?
post #310 of 3401
Has anyone else noticed a problem with KFSM lately? I noticed after seeing that they are upgrading equipment, for the past few nights the HD signal has vertical lines in it, as if I am looking at it through very thin vertical blinds. Has anyone else seen these lines? Before the picture was perfect, now it looks bad.
post #311 of 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmix00 View Post

... So we can expect Fox and NBC to not necessarily switch to digital in the near future?

Per the FCC site, Nexstar owned NBC - KNWA has a Construction permit for full power DT (digital TV) station. An employee of KARK in LR (another Nexstar station) posted on the LR thread that KNWA's transmitter equipment is sitting in a warehouse in LR and should be installed soon.

FOX - KPBI doesn't even have an application submitted for a DT station. If you want FOX-HD, most of NWA qualifies for FOX-HD (WNYW-DT) on DirecTV. It's no charge if you have the HD package.
post #312 of 3401
When I enter my address in the decisionmark page, it says I have grade A hd signal for both NBC and Fox. Does anyone else's address say something different? It used to say I was eligible for CBS, but I receive them without a problem, I just found it interesting that they updated the page to show I received CBS, but didn't update it to reflect that NBC and Fox aren't even broadcasting digital.
post #313 of 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by nj829 View Post

When I enter my address in the decisionmark page, it says I have grade A hd signal for both NBC and Fox. Does anyone else's address say something different?

I'm eligible for everything but ABC. Interestingly, it shows I get grade A from KHBS-DT (I get KHOG-DT) and nothing from Springfield (I get Spgfld KYTV-DT [NBC] at 100% with the antenna aimed the wrong direction!). Not very accurate at all, but that's what they go by.

post #314 of 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmix00 View Post

Has anyone else noticed a problem with KFSM lately? I noticed after seeing that they are upgrading equipment, for the past few nights the HD signal has vertical lines in it, as if I am looking at it through very thin vertical blinds. Has anyone else seen these lines? Before the picture was perfect, now it looks bad.

Noticed the same here during the 6:00 pm news, a corrugated look, really bad. Anybody heard anything from KFSM about it?
post #315 of 3401
NBC is supposed to be a full power station. Their slowness appears to be with their ownership. They are building a full power transmitter east of Springdale but I haven't heard the status of it.

For the guy that made the comment about 5's construction. Sounds like you think a transmitter comes in a box like you would buy from Walmart and just plug in. The truth is they are semi trailer loads of parts and it takes at least two months to put it all together. We had a crew of 6 working 16 hour days 6 days a week and it still took 2 months. They are water cooled so there is a lot of plumbing, electrical regulation and distribution, and then bunches of tuning and measurements. After it is ready to go you have to do a proof of performance which measures every technical aspect of the signal for the FCC before they will grant a change from the construction permit to a license. We were dragging I'll tell you.

FOX, UPN, and the Religous channels in the area are LPTV but I see no reason they cannot convert to DTV. The channels just aren't that crowded around here. I imagine it is just a matter of financing. Fox for example is on in each city by a dozen different low power transmitters in each one. Then they have to have a way of sending the program to each site. As I have already said before, this digital stuff isn't cheap on the broadcasters side. They mostly have built what they have now using used equipment. There is no such thing as used DTV transmitters yet. Everything has to be bought new.
post #316 of 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4029engineering View Post

...There is no such thing as used DTV transmitters yet. Everything has to be bought new.

One would think that LP xmtrs would start appearing on the used market, from stations that started out as LPDTV and are now upgrading to full power xmtrs. There are a lot of them all across the country.

I think you're right about NBC's foot dragging. It is their cheap owners, Nexstar, Inc. It's a shame they own so many stations in the area.
post #317 of 3401
I hate to ask a stupid question, but since Cox's website only seems to give promo pricing and I don't want to call and talk to a rep, does anyone know what the price is on Cox's standard cable? I'm moving to Springdale and am going to get the following:

Standard Cable ????
Digital Tiers 15.00
HD/DVR 14.95
HBO 11.95

Internet 49.95

Hopefully this question is not against the rules. Thanks for any help.
post #318 of 3401
http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/news...B%7D&aid=43847

I live in Central Arkasnas, so I don't usually post in this thread, but I saw this article that I figured you guys would be interested in.
post #319 of 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyF View Post

http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/news...B%7D&aid=43847

I live in Central Arkasnas, so I don't usually post in this thread, but I saw this article that I figured you guys would be interested in.

Thanks for giving us a heads up on that, I hope it happens. I'd love to see a fox full-power station in the area.
post #320 of 3401
I'm ignorant in the FCC world. Would a full power station trump a low power station? Automatically, being able to operate despite the low power station being here first?
post #321 of 3401
Quote:

Thanks RockyF.

So it looks like most of NWA will be getting a full power digital FOX station (see KFTA-DT coverage map).

I wonder how will Ft. Smith get NBC if they lose KFTA? KNWA-DT won't reach that far South (see KNWA-DT coverage map).
post #322 of 3401
Would that KNWA placement allow Ft. Smith area residents to get the distant HD locals from Satellite providers? I'm sure the local advertisers in the River Valley love that descision.


I'm glad to see we'll be getting a new Fox affiliate in the future, and based on that coverage map it should allow NWA and the Ft. Smith area to receive it. Hopefully the new owners can provide better picture and programing quality than we currently receive down here in the 'sticks'
post #323 of 3401
If you can't receive NBC after the change, you should qualify for NBC-HD on satellite.
post #324 of 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimmie View Post

I'm ignorant in the FCC world. Would a full power station trump a low power station? Automatically, being able to operate despite the low power station being here first?

Probably, but that won't be an issue. FOX would dump their contract with an LP in a heartbeat to change to full power. A LP would love to pick up an affiliation with NBC. I also can't imagine that NBC wouldn't be throwing a fit about loosing Fort Smith. I think there is more here than we know about at the moment.

Used DTV transmitters: Everybody I know of is upgrading power by adding a second amplifier cabinet to their first transmitter, or if totally replacing it they are keeping the lower power transmitter as a backup. There could be some out there though.
post #325 of 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4029engineering View Post

...Used DTV transmitters: Everybody I know of is upgrading power by adding a second amplifier cabinet to their first transmitter, or if totally replacing it they are keeping the lower power transmitter as a backup. There could be some out there though.

When I lived in LR, a CE at a station there said that one LR station would have to completely replace their transmitter when forced to go full power. And then there are the stations that chose a different DTV channel in the second or third round of channel elections. Wouldn't they have to replace their transmitters?
post #326 of 3401
There are a few stations who bought a 1KW in a box just to say they were on the air, like ch 24. Those would have to be replaced. It sounds like that may have been the case at that LR station. Anybody transmitting over 10KW sure wouldn't want to scrap everything and start all over. Like I said before, building a high power TV transmitter is not a little job and they aren't cheap.

There is no hard answer to any station will have to do. It depends on what they have. A solid state transmitter like we have for 29-1 can increase power by simply adding cabinets and power amplifier drawers. It is capable of operating on any UHF channel just by reprogramming the computer. We would have to replace the channel mask filter (the thing that allows DTV's to operate so closely on adjacent channels) which is a tuned waveguide to change channels, but that sure would be cheaper than a whole transmitter by about $1.5 million.

Others, most notably higher power transmitters can increase power by adding additional amplifier cabinets. That also gives them redundancy. If a tube in one cabinet fails you can run at half power on the other one until you can get the defective one replaced. With todays technology they can be retuned over several channels depending on the manufacturer. Even if the new channel is out of the designed band they can be converted by changing out the frequency restrictive parts (type of tube, tuning cavities, waveguide) more cheaply than replacing the whole thing.

Changing between UHF and VHF would definitely require a complete replacement from the antenna on down. Otherwise, every case depends on what was bought in the first round.
post #327 of 3401
Perhaps some stations are dragging their feet for the same reasons some consumers are. They may be waiting for equipment to improve and prices to drop.....
post #328 of 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4029engineering View Post

... Right now the Fort Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers DMA was a few households behind Springfield DMA in the February rating period. We have been steadily rising in Carroll County and it is anticipated that we will push out Springfield in the May rating period...

You might mention to the sales dept. that if the NWA stations would mention towns in Carroll, Boone & Newton counties more in the local weather, that might get more people in those counties to watch the NWA stations and change the DMA ratings.

Maybe when all the NWA stations go full power digital, analog goes dark, and viewers switch to OTA digital, viewership will go up even more in those counties.
post #329 of 3401
post #330 of 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by arxaw View Post

You might mention to the sales dept. that if the NWA stations would mention towns in Carroll, Boone & Newton counties more in the local weather, that might get more people in those counties to watch the NWA stations and change the DMA ratings.

Maybe when all the NWA stations go full power digital, analog goes dark, and viewers switch to OTA digital, viewership will go up even more in those counties.


I think your right arxaw. When people realize those channels are available here OTA, they will watch more. I don't know why they won't add Boone County to the weather warning map. That would help as well.

Salser said we are not in the DMA and are a fringe area, so they don't add us. Some of the Springfield stations have both Benton and Washington counties on their maps. KFSM does include Boone County on some of their maps. I believe Lead Hill, Diamond City, and Alpena all get KHOG on their cable systems, so they would benefit from having Boone on the warning map.

Harrison gets all Springfield and ABC, NBC, and CBS from Little Rock.

The problem with gaining viewers would be people around here have been watching the Springfield stations for 50 years........

My signal on KFSM has jumped up into the 80's the past week. Have they increased power?
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