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Charlotte, NC - OTA - Page 166

post #4951 of 7652
Regardless of your political affiliations, the DNC coverage should bring an interesting dynamic to the local news coverage in the next few weeks. I'm guessing it may be a major undertaking for all stations involved in covering this major national event from Charlotte.
post #4952 of 7652
Quote:
Originally Posted by evan237 View Post

...
Regarding WBTV, I am assuming they still need to replace one of their tubes as their signal levels tend to fluctuate at weird times. My signal level is back down with them but my tuners still lock the picture with no pixelations or drops. It seems they have had a difficult time getting this issue resolved. And it's interesting that an in-market viewer (such as blackcat6) was having issues with them the other day, when he is much closer to their tower versus myself. Hopefully, they will return to full power soon.

WBTV has been pretty much unwatchable for me over the last few days. I can't really figure out what is going on as the signal locks at 100% then all of a sudden it pixelates, but it is an odd looking smearing effect, and the audio turns to buzzing. It never drops so I have to reset the tuner to get it to clear up. Since all the other stations I'm receiving, including WUNE 70 miles from here, are fine, I'm guessing the station still has issues. I like to watch the CBS news at 6:30 so it sucks. tongue.gif
post #4953 of 7652
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post

So why do these cable/sat services go to the trouble of downconverting a better HD signal to an inferior SD version? Just because the station is SV or out of market? Looks like they would want to give their subscribers the best picture quality without needlessly downgrading it.

It is bandwidth - to make sure everythign fits on the satellite (which has to hold signals for many, many, many markets), it does what it needs to - the resource isn't infinite, it is very finite. So they do what they do. Same is slightly true for cable, but it really doesn't hold the same water - they don't need to hold every market, but their bandwidth is not infinite either.
post #4954 of 7652
That isn't totally true for satellite. The markets are all there on spot beams... if the spot beam holding a SV spills over into an adjacent market they can offer that channel. If not, they can't. For DirecTV our market (Greenville/New Bern) is 100% HD, there are no SD copies of the channels here uplinked. If they made a SD version it would take extra bandwidth.
post #4955 of 7652
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackcat6 View Post

WBTV has been pretty much unwatchable for me over the last few days. I can't really figure out what is going on as the signal locks at 100% then all of a sudden it pixelates, but it is an odd looking smearing effect, and the audio turns to buzzing. It never drops so I have to reset the tuner to get it to clear up. Since all the other stations I'm receiving, including WUNE 70 miles from here, are fine, I'm guessing the station still has issues. I like to watch the CBS news at 6:30 so it sucks. tongue.gif

I would have to be a very local issue. With an indoor antenna, I'm getting WBTV fine, from 53 miles away.. Actually, it sounds like the tuner is being over driven by a very strong signal. Unscrew your antenna from the TV, then stick a straightened paper clip into the center connector of the antenna terminal of the TV, and see what you get. No joke.
post #4956 of 7652
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackcat6 View Post

WBTV has been pretty much unwatchable for me over the last few days. I like to watch the CBS news at 6:30 so it sucks. tongue.gif

I guess you haven't tried calling over there and asking for someone in Tv Engineering ? 704-374-3500
post #4957 of 7652
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndThenScottSays View Post

That isn't totally true for satellite. The markets are all there on spot beams... if the spot beam holding a SV spills over into an adjacent market they can offer that channel. If not, they can't. For DirecTV our market (Greenville/New Bern) is 100% HD, there are no SD copies of the channels here uplinked. If they made a SD version it would take extra bandwidth.

Why waste bandwidth on ANY SD? I know it would require upgrades, but if the 101 satellite was switched to having HD, surely that would reduce the number of people who would need new equipment. I am no expert so sorry if that is just ridiculously outlandish, but wasting time creating an otherwise non-existent version of a channel seems like a waste of money and time.
post #4958 of 7652
Quote:
Originally Posted by difuse View Post

Actually, it sounds like the tuner is being over driven by a very strong signal. .....
No, it's not being overdriven.
post #4959 of 7652
Which 101 satellite..? there are 3 that Direct TV uses= 4S,8, and 9S.
post #4960 of 7652
Quote:
Originally Posted by ejb1980 View Post

Why waste bandwidth on ANY SD? I know it would require upgrades, but if the 101 satellite was switched to having HD, surely that would reduce the number of people who would need new equipment. I am no expert so sorry if that is just ridiculously outlandish, but wasting time creating an otherwise non-existent version of a channel seems like a waste of money and time.

Agree smile.gif
post #4961 of 7652
Quote:
Originally Posted by ybsane View Post

Which 101 satellite..? there are 3 that Direct TV uses= 4S,8, and 9S.
Probably more important to focus on the # of available transponders at the 101 satellite orbital slot than the physical hardware used to provide them.
post #4962 of 7652
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdfox18doe View Post

I guess you haven't tried calling over there and asking for someone in Tv Engineering ? 704-374-3500
I had not really thought about it given what was posted here about their transmitter situation.
post #4963 of 7652
However I would not necessarily "assume" that information as accurate unless someone who actually works there tells you that. smile.gif
I have not seen nor talked with the guys over there lately as I normally do. While I am aware of some of what is going on over there in Dallas, it's
not my place to speak for them.
Edited by bdfox18doe - 8/18/12 at 5:25am
post #4964 of 7652
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdfox18doe View Post

However I would not necessarily "assume" that information as accurate unless someone who actually works there tells you that. smile.gif
I have not seen nor talked with the guys over there lately as I normally do. While I am aware of some of what is going on over there in Dallas, it's
not my place to speak for them.

A couple of us on here have been told (directly) by one of the engineers at WBTV a few months ago that one of their tubes has been down. So it hasn't just been hearsay. But I don't know the current status. Perhaps, Blackcat6 might want to call the station, as you suggested.
post #4965 of 7652
I am currently receiving WBTV at 100% signal strength here in GVL SC. But I was indeed told by their engineer a month or so ago that they were down one tube and they were having a difficult time getting it replaced. Whatever that means. So they may not yet be back to full power. Don't know. But, if you are having reception problems in Huntersville,, it sounds like some type of localized interference, or multipath or overloading your tuner somehow. Just speculating here. Perhaps adjust your antenna, or check your connections.
post #4966 of 7652
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post

. But I was indeed told by their engineer a month or so ago that they were down one tube and they were having a difficult time getting it replaced. Whatever that means. .

I am aware of that (and a bit more) but it boils down to money. We had to replace the 3 tubes at WCCB for the same reason..(and 5 more WAKA & WBBJ) costing us almost $1M total. Here is the tube we took out of service..Be glad to give you one if you want. However.. they are not the same tube WBTv uses.

http://www.thalesgroup.com/Portfolio/Security/CS_IOTs_for_Broadcast/
post #4967 of 7652
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdfox18doe View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post

. But I was indeed told by their engineer a month or so ago that they were down one tube and they were having a difficult time getting it replaced. Whatever that means. .

I am aware of that (and a bit more) but it boils down to money. We had to replace the 3 tubes at WCCB for the same reason..(and 5 more WAKA & WBBJ) costing us almost $1M total. Here is the tube we took out of service..Be glad to give you one if you want. However.. they are not the same tube WBTv uses.

http://www.thalesgroup.com/Portfolio/Security/CS_IOTs_for_Broadcast/

Got two E2V 2130's. One is four years old, the other six. Got our fingers crossed.
post #4968 of 7652
I hear ya...WFXB is running on old E2v's...D2's a bit aged and weak but still keeps on trucking...
post #4969 of 7652
My tubes were all new last year. Hope we should get 40 to 60 K hours on them.
post #4970 of 7652
Are these tubes used one at a time, or are they used together to increase power?
post #4971 of 7652
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackcat6 View Post

Are these tubes used one at a time, or are they used together to increase power?

They are combined ..in WCCB's case..3 of them to make a transmitter output power of 53.7kw. We can put two or even 1 tube on individually if needed for maintenance.
post #4972 of 7652
^Thanks for the info about the tube.

I tried to watch the news on WBTV again tonight and it went from great picture to unwatchable back to good picture. So I wrote a small batch program to query the status from my HDHomerun to see if it was the signal. This is what I saw. Sample is every 2 seconds.

ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=92 seq=100 bps=19394080 pps=825
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=91 seq=100 bps=19394080 pps=825
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=94 seq=100 bps=19394080 pps=819
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=91 seq=100 bps=19394080 pps=819
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=96 seq=100 bps=19394080 pps=820
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=95 seq=100 bps=19394080 pps=820
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=95 seq=100 bps=19394080 pps=812
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=93 seq=100 bps=19395584 pps=1033
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=93 seq=100 bps=19395584 pps=1033
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=95 seq=100 bps=19394080 pps=1232
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=95 seq=100 bps=19394080 pps=1232
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=95 seq=100 bps=19394080 pps=1369
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=94 seq=100 bps=19394080 pps=1369
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=95 seq=100 bps=19394080 pps=1346
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=96 seq=100 bps=19394080 pps=1346
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=94 seq=100 bps=19394080 pps=1298
ch=none lock=none ss=0 snq=0 seq=0 bps=0 pps=0 <<<<eek.gif
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=95 seq=100 bps=19395584 pps=1291
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=38 seq=0 bps=19394080 pps=179
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=36 seq=0 bps=19394080 pps=193
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=43 seq=0 bps=15312224 pps=204
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=52 seq=0 bps=19394080 pps=259
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=34 seq=0 bps=19394080 pps=246
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=37 seq=0 bps=19397088 pps=169
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=none ss=100 snq=0 seq=0 bps=19397088 pps=169
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=35 seq=0 bps=12247072 pps=105
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=43 seq=0 bps=19394080 pps=184
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=37 seq=0 bps=19394080 pps=184
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=37 seq=0 bps=19394080 pps=238
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=37 seq=0 bps=19394080 pps=238
ch=8vsb:527000000 lock=8vsb ss=100 snq=36 seq=0 bps=19394080 pps=260


It does fine, then periodically signal to noise ratio drops way down and symbol error quality goes to zero. It seems to last for a while then jumps back to good again. It's probably periodic but I didn't try to figure it out. Interestingly it reports 100% signal strength during the entire time. Can any of you explain this? I'd appreciate it.
post #4973 of 7652
Is the HDHR the only OTA tuner you have? Have you checked the wall wart to see if it is bad? Mine was doing the same thing and the power supply filter cap in the wall wart was bad..I called silicon dust and they sent me another one. look closely at the wall wart for a small bump on the end, or pop it open with a screw driver (carefully so you do not impale yourself) and looked for a puffed up filter cap..

WBTV is fine here for me on my HDHR and my Wegener Commercial Demod.. WBTv_Demod.png 99k .png file
Edited by bdfox18doe - 8/20/12 at 5:09pm
post #4974 of 7652
Hmm. That's good information to know. What I'm seeing does suggests that it's not a random reception problem but rather some sort of equipment problem. If I was betting some money I'd go with that 50 cent sweatshop made wall wart over the expensive equipment that WBTV is using. I never throw those wall warts & bricks away so I've got a box full of them and can probably find another to temporary replace it while I do an examination.
post #4975 of 7652
Here's a now-historical question that I've long had. Is (or was) there a technical reason that cable systems in metropolitan areas near station transmitter sites (typically analog VHF) could not carry stations like WBTV or WSOC on the same cable channel number as their OTA? Most outlying cable systems (30 miles or more) away from the transmitters carry the channels on the same channel number as OTA. Was there the risk of ghosting or other interference on the cable channel because of the close proximity (too much RF) to the transmitting towers? If such cable channel placement was intentional, this would now be a moot point for Charlotte-metro cable systems, correct? I suppose this method would still have to be used for cable systems near WSPA or WLOS since they still broadcast on channels 7 and 13?

Eric
post #4976 of 7652
Quote:
Originally Posted by eacalhoun View Post

Here's a now-historical question that I've long had. Is (or was) there a technical reason that cable systems in metropolitan areas near station transmitter sites (typically analog VHF) could not carry stations like WBTV or WSOC on the same cable channel number as their OTA? Most outlying cable systems (30 miles or more) away from the transmitters carry the channels on the same channel number as OTA. Was there the risk of ghosting or other interference on the cable channel because of the close proximity (too much RF) to the transmitting towers? If such cable channel placement was intentional, this would now be a moot point for Charlotte-metro cable systems, correct? I suppose this method would still have to be used for cable systems near WSPA or WLOS since they still broadcast on channels 7 and 13?
Eric

I am aware of one large metropolitan cable system which would not place a likely viewed, or good revenue producing service on channel 11 or below, as there was a good assortment of broadcasting stations between 2 and 11. Close to the transmitters there would be bleeding on to the cable. Not all subscribers were affected, but many were. All the local stations were on channels above the VHF broadcast band. I cannot say what real motivations have been involved, but this example seemed pretty straight forward. There may have been a number of issues I'm not aware of. In this case, the cable system seems to have elected to put all its "dogs". on the lower channels. Viewers often told me they never watched anything below channel 15 or 16.
post #4977 of 7652
Quote:
Originally Posted by eacalhoun View Post

Here's a now-historical question that I've long had. Is (or was) there a technical reason that cable systems in metropolitan areas near station transmitter sites (typically analog VHF) could not carry stations like WBTV or WSOC on the same cable channel number as their OTA? Most outlying cable systems (30 miles or more) away from the transmitters carry the channels on the same channel number as OTA. Was there the risk of ghosting or other interference on the cable channel because of the close proximity (too much RF) to the transmitting towers? If such cable channel placement was intentional, this would now be a moot point for Charlotte-metro cable systems, correct? I suppose this method would still have to be used for cable systems near WSPA or WLOS since they still broadcast on channels 7 and 13?
Eric

Having been the chief engineer of a cable system in metro NYC, where most of the local broadcasters were VHF (2,4,5,7,9,11 & 13) and virtually all cable systems carried them on-channel, I can say unequivocally that it can be done and, IMO, made for a better cable system. Phase-locking the modulator or heterodyne processor outputs to the OTA frequency will take care of co-channel, leaving the infamous "ghost and bar" service complaint if/when there was an issue. Once an "on-channel" cable system got themselves ahead of the curve, they ended up with a much tighter and better maintained cable system because of it. Not running them on-channel was essentially a crutch for systems unwilling or unable to maintain the system properly. In some cases, broadcasters requested to not be carried on-channel in anticipation of ingress issues. Other times they asked to be moved, justifiably, because a particular cable operator could not get ingress issues squared away in a reasonable amount of time.

Some systems that were on the bleeding edge of system bandwidth for their time, such as the Vision Cable Mecklenburg County system (450MHz downstream in 1982, when many systems had not yet hit 300MHz), avoided on-channel carriage because they used HRC frequency assignments to reduce the visibility of CTB distortion. HRC frequency plans phase-locked channel outputs to a comb generator that placed carriers at precise 6.0000 or 6.0003 MHz increments, making it impossible to phase lock to the OTA frequency.

I do know that systems that ran VHF broadcasters on-channel had a much easier time complying when the FCC imposed stricter signal leakage standards. I also suspect that most most modern 2-way cable system would have a much easier time carrying VHF broadcasters on-channel, because the same ingress that can cause the ghost and bar issues will also wreak havoc with upstream communications. My cable system in NJ had over 300 miles of two-way cable plant in the early '80s (used for impulse pay-per-view, Dow Jones News retrieval and alarm monitoring), without the benefit of fiber to segment the return system into smaller chunks coming back to the headend. That would not have been possible in that day and age if that system had not historically carried all of the broadcasters on-channel.

As you noted, digital has rendered it mostly moot now, and the channel assignments currently used are historical rather than technical. That said... although I generally like the themed channel lineup TWC currently has deployed state-wide, I cannot figure from whose butt they pulled the current OTA channel assignments from. With absolutely no restrictions while creating a channel lineup from scratch, it's inexcusable in my opinion that the channel assignments did not reflect their OTA (virtual) channel in some manner (e.g., WBTV should have been 1103 instead of 1105, WCCB should have been 1118 instead of 1125, etc.) What they have now matches nothing... not OTA and not traditional cable assignments.

Incidentally, the big ingress/egress issue for cable systems at the moment is 4G cell phone service operating in the 700MHz band (and maybe 600MHz in the future if the carriers get their way). Cable plant leaks can both cause interference to 4G service as well as allow 4G service to interfere with cable signals.
Edited by jcalabria - 8/22/12 at 3:10pm
post #4978 of 7652
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcalabria View Post

Incidentally, the big ingress/egress issue for cable systems at the moment is 4G cell phone service operating in the 700MHz band (and maybe 600MHz in the future if the carriers get their way). Cable plant leaks can both cause interference to 4G service as well as allow 4G service to interfere with cable signals.

And...WTVI-DT on OTA Channel 11 gets into TWC's analog carriage of WCCB on ch-11 in certain areas..sometime thru ingress, other times thru poor tv tuner shielding..
post #4979 of 7652
As you noted, digital has rendered it mostly moot now, and the channel assignments currently used are historical rather than technical. That said... although I generally like the themed channel lineup TWC currently has deployed state-wide, I cannot figure from whose butt they pulled the current OTA channel assignments from. With absolutely no restrictions while creating a channel lineup from scratch, it's inexcusable in my opinion that the channel assignments did not reflect their OTA (virtual) channel in some manner (e.g., WBTV should have been 1103 instead of 1105, WCCB should have been 1118 instead of 1125, etc.) What they have now matches nothing... not OTA and not traditional cable assignments.

I think it has to do with a stations network. CBS is 1105 here and is 1105 in Raliegh even though CBS is not channel 3 OTA there. I'm guessing I could tune 1105 anywhere and get CBS.
post #4980 of 7652
In the analog cable days the only way to block a home from getting channels they were not paying for was to put a filter (trap) at the street to remove the unpaid channels. Often the filters removed a range of channels (frequencies). Local channels were grouped together in the 22 and under channels. Channel 36 had to be "moved" to a lower number like 6. But if the channel was already in use then a seemingly random numer as used.
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