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Dallas, TX - HDTV - Page 208

post #6211 of 7246
Quote:
Originally Posted by re_nelson View Post

Thanks, I'll now put my tinfoil beanie propeller cap away. My notion that KPFW was still after KTXA had moved was a stretch. You're close enough in to have detected it if it had still be on.

Just to wrap this up, does your television's signal diagnostic measurement screen distinguish between signal strength and signal quality (typically SNR) or is it represented on a single scale?

Aye, when they were both on the same RF for a day or two a few months ago, I lost KTXA. I just have a signal meter that goes from 0-100, nothing fancy. It's a cheap Dynex in the bedroom but it gets the job done. I had the same meter\\menus on a Phillips plasma. My Vizio in the living room has no signal meter
post #6212 of 7246
Well, in my experience, Bob's signal quality measurements are right on. We had some decent tropo yesterday, and I was getting every channel *except* the new TXA. PBS is probably my second weakest channel, and even it was coming in sometimes... But I still haven't gotten a single lock on 29 since it came on the air. It's even worse than the old signal on 18 was.

I wonder if there is anything they can do. Pretty disappointing for me.
post #6213 of 7246
Quote:


Well, in my experience, Bob's signal quality measurements are right on.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words and my posting of a few weeks back won't catch the eye of new visitors to this forum, I'll illustrate with two signal strength/signal quality graphs made with TSReader (fed by a HD Homerun tuner). I've done these measurements with two very different UHF antennas (AD's 91XG and Clearstream C2) and the results are the same.

Channel 29 is KTXA and Channel 32 is KDAF, both of which are using top-mounted transmitting antennas on the Richland South tower on Tar Road at the Ellis/Dallas County line. KDAF's is a rather boring flat line showing 100% for both raw signal strength and 100% for signal quality. In this case, a flat line is good (unlike with a hospital monitor).

Contrast KDAF's chart with the obvious difference for KTXA's new facility (new as of 21 JAN 2011) showing the fluctuating signal quality.

In the real world of a consumer television, I do get KTXA just fine. There *may* be some ATSC tuners that don't handle a varying signal quality well and perhaps can't decode the bitstream. The Secore SLM-1456 can properly decode KTXA but it does show a high BER (bit error rate).
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post #6214 of 7246
What a dramatic difference.

Any idea if this is something they may correct? Or will it work well enough for most people that they won't care to?
post #6215 of 7246
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChocoLab View Post

Well, in my experience, Bob's signal quality measurements are right on. We had some decent tropo yesterday, and I was getting every channel *except* the new TXA. PBS is probably my second weakest channel, and even it was coming in sometimes... But I still haven't gotten a single lock on 29 since it came on the air. It's even worse than the old signal on 18 was.

I wonder if there is anything they can do. Pretty disappointing for me.

I think there must be an equipment problem somewhere. Otherwise, I don't understand why this is happening. The only conceivable source of interference I can find is KRBC in Abilene! But a reasonably directional receiving antenna should easily reject that.

The change was supposed to extend their range; instead, it seems to have reduced it! Is anyone receiving KTXA better now than they were before the switch?
post #6216 of 7246
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChocoLab View Post

What a dramatic difference [KDAF vs. KTXA signal charts]. Any idea if this is something they may correct? Or will it work well enough for most people that they won't care to?

The authoritative answer to that is way above my pay grade and my knowledge level. I did RF on radio years ago with tube transmitters and know zilch about DTV exciters and transmitters.

Since engineers don't frequent this forum, perhaps Trip may have some thoughts. He has the nearly the same receiving gear and measurement tools that I do and might be able to shed more light on TSReader signal charts from his location(s) in Virginia.

It's possible that KTXA's signal chart showing a steady power level but varying signal quality is the norm and KDAF is the outlier. That being said, the only other full power stations here in D/FW that look anything like KTXA's are KFWD and KERA.
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post #6217 of 7246
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

The change was supposed to extend their range; instead, it seems to have reduced it! Is anyone receiving KTXA better now than they were before the switch?

In complete contradiction to the signal charts and Sencore values I've mentioned in other posts, count me as one that gets KTXA better since they lit up the new facility when using consumer-grade equipment as opposed to looking at the numbers on test gear.

Instead of my elaborate attic antenna setup, connecting a pair of Radio Shack $12.00 rabbit ears (with a UHF loop) to a low-end Sylvania LC195SLX television with a crude signal meter shows this:

KTXA-RF 18: 82-84 (small fluctuations over several minutes)
KTXA-RF 29: invariant 97 (full scale for that signal indicator)

Graphs, charts and dB measurements are one thing but, at least for me at my location, in the real world, the new KTXA facility was a winner.
post #6218 of 7246
Quote:
Originally Posted by re_nelson View Post
In complete contradiction to the signal charts and Sencore values I've mentioned in other posts, count me as one that gets KTXA better since they lit up the new facility when using consumer-grade equipment as opposed to looking at the numbers on test gear.

Instead of my elaborate attic antenna setup, connecting a pair of Radio Shack $12.00 rabbit ears (with a UHF loop) to a low-end Sylvania LC195SLX television with a crude signal meter shows this:

KTXA-RF 18: 82-84 (small fluctuations over several minutes)
KTXA-RF 29: invariant 97 (full scale for that signal indicator)

Graphs, charts and dB measurements are one thing but, at least for me at my location, in the real world, the new KTXA facility was a winner.
On my Philco converter box it reads slightly lower than RF 18 did (the picture is perfect, though). I assumed that was due to the lower SQ since at my home KTXA had plenty of power even before the switch. Perhaps the lower SQ only shows up if you have a very strong signal (in which case you don't care) or a very weak one.

If so, that's good news for viewers in KTXA's fringe. But ironically, it's bad news for folks like ChocoLab. KTXA is unlikely to investigate the SQ issue unless several viewers lost a watchable signal after the switch.

In that case, his only option would be to max out his receiving antenna. HDTVPrimer.com says Winegard's 8-bay antenna is one of the best in the lower half of the UHF band, including channel 29 (although it performs less well above channel 40), and it sells for under $50. That might be worth a try, but it's still a long shot unless he lives well SE of Wichita Falls.
post #6219 of 7246
Thanks, JHB... I actually have owned a WG 8800 for many years now, and after trying almost every top antenna out there, I still recommend it to people. Like you say, it's one of the few that doesn't max out at the highest, now obsolete upper UHF ranges. (Right now it's actually not in use because a yagi takes up less mast space, but I'll probably be using it again once I rearrange some things.)

The bad thing is, the other day ahead of this strong cold front we had good enough tropo for me to get pretty much every other channel, and 29 still wouldn't come in for even a minute. I could see a signal on my tuner's meter, but it never crossed over that threshold to let me get a lock. And this was true both where I usually do my DXing and at home where a Hoverman antenna in the attic works surprisingly well in getting the DFW stations during tropo episodes.

This is a real bummer for me, as last year I was able to get several Friday Night Rangers games in HD directly from TXA -- we have a local that shows those games, but only in lousy, poorly-formatted SD -- and if things don't change I may not get any this year.

BTW, I do see some differences in signal strength depending on which antenna I use, but no matter which one I use, the strongest are KTVT (via 19) and 68 (42), with 27 (36) and 5 (41) fairly strong as well. KERA (14) has always been the weakest for me, and now TXA (29) brings up the rear. Just shows how important that signal quality is.
post #6220 of 7246
Quote:
Originally Posted by re_nelson View Post
The authoritative answer to that is way above my pay grade and my knowledge level. I did RF on radio years ago with tube transmitters and know zilch about DTV exciters and transmitters.

Since engineers don't frequent this forum, perhaps Trip may have some thoughts. He has the nearly the same receiving gear and measurement tools that I do and might be able to shed more light on TSReader signal charts from his location(s) in Virginia.

It's possible that KTXA's signal chart showing a steady power level but varying signal quality is the norm and KDAF is the outlier. That being said, the only other full power stations here in D/FW that look anything like KTXA's are KFWD and KERA.
I've been thinking on this for a few days and I finally may have thought of something it could be.

Many modern exciters have auto-correction in them to basically do the calibration on the SNR automatically all the time. Now if that isn't working correctly for some reason, it can have some type of negative impact on the SNR.

One station I know of had to turn their auto-correction off and manually correct because the exciter predated an adjacent channel that went on the air and the filtering wasn't sharp enough to chop it out. The auto-correction would see the adjacent channel and try to adjust the signal to compensate for it, thus dragging the SNR into the dirt.

Not saying that's what's happening here, but for it to be cycling up and down the way it is, it certainly seems possible.

- Trip
post #6221 of 7246
Not sure what's happening here, Ch 5's signal (RF-41) is way down 54 or so. It is comparable to low power K31GL 31.4! Ch 4 (RF-35) is 93-98. Weird. Maybe Comcast reduced power to save electricity?
post #6222 of 7246
We had a lot of power cutbacks today, & I noticed that at least one FM station went off the air completely (91.7 KKXT), so I shouldn't be surprised if other broadcasters had reduced output. No rolling blackouts in my corner of Fort Worth, thankfully, but some people did get them.
post #6223 of 7246
Quote:
Originally Posted by ed_in_tx View Post

Not sure what's happening here, Ch 5's signal (RF-41) is way down 54 or so. It is comparable to low power K31GL 31.4! Ch 4 (RF-35) is 93-98. Weird. Maybe Comcast reduced power to save electricity?

One of the blackouts took out our xmitter even though there is UPS and generator it got through and took out the 5 xmitter. 39 on the same power source was fine.
post #6224 of 7246
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizsop View Post

One of the blackouts took out our xmitter even though there is UPS and generator it got through and took out the 5 xmitter. 39 on the same power source was fine.

Very interesting and much thanks for an answer! Good luck with the repairs.



I had 5 15 min outages here in Farmers Branch, about 2 hours apart. First one uneventful, but afterward my two UPS backups (computer and AV system) didn't have time to get recharged until the next outage.

Since this had never happened here before even in '89 when it got down to -1°F a lot colder than yesterday, this is not normal and hard to plan ahead for.
post #6225 of 7246
After the 39 tower fall in 1996 (that took out BOTH grid feeds from TXU to the Cedar Hill sites and the FM band was VERY quiet that afternoon), a lot of radio stations finally installed gen sets, etc (some of the TV stations had them already; those that didnt added them ASAP)...the stations that hadnt before thought with two feeds into Cedar Hill, power would never be out...One stuck feed switch and BOTH TXU feeds being dead changed a lot of minds....A station maintained gen set and xfer switch is easily fixed during maintenance...rather than depending on the power company to do it (which they wont until it fails..they dont test major switches because of problems it could cause on the grid and to customers). At Cowboy tower, KEGL and CBS owned KVIL and KLUV all had new gensets...KEGL had a 250KW Onan and the CBS stations had Kohlers put in...Also all three stations have redundant transmitters...so unless something fails in the feedline(s) or combiner (like it did when KHKS signed on at Cowboy in 2000 and took all the stations there off the air because of a 9in line burn through), the stations are pretty well protected....(Aux sites are also a necessity ) Even LP22 at Cowboy was affected by the burn through...the soot from the Teflon burn was EVERYWHERE and clogged filters, fans, etc....ALL stations at Cowboy had to go off the air that night..except PAX's UHF which was at the opposite end of the building from the combiner room for the FMs..22's transmitter was in the FM combiner room...it was covered with soot...fan bearings, switches, etc. dont like that stuff!
post #6226 of 7246
FS Southwest+ HD is now available on FiOS channel 577, just in time for tomorrow's Stars game in Calgary at 8:30CT.
post #6227 of 7246
Just to update, FWIW... More decent tropo at times the last few days, and still no TXA. Even when the also-weak KERA is fine, I can't get a single lock on TXA.

So it looks like no Rangers or Mavs in HD for me this year. Very disappointing considering this was supposedly an upgrade.
post #6228 of 7246
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChocoLab View Post

Just to update, FWIW... More decent tropo at times the last few days, and still no TXA. Even when the also-weak KERA is fine, I can't get a single lock on TXA.

That is odd since KTXA 21's signal level is right in-between Ch 5's and Ch 33's, 5 being about 5-7 counts lower than 21, and 33 being about 5-7 counts higher than 21. Do you receive KXAS 5 reliably?
post #6229 of 7246
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChocoLab View Post

Just to update, FWIW... More decent tropo at times the last few days, and still no TXA. Even when the also-weak KERA is fine, I can't get a single lock on TXA.

That's astonishing and clearly you know your stuff since I believe it's you over on the Canadian Digital Home forum where some very technically savvy congregate.

Let's look at this from the broadcast tower location aspect. How's your reception for the other two stations atop the Richland South candelabra:

KDAF/33 (32)
KSTR/49 (48)

If you get both of those regularly, in theory KTXA should come in as well since all three operate with a megawatt from the same height and azimuth for your location.

The only other possibility is QRM from KRBC in Abilene. Do you get a whiff of anything from that market?
post #6230 of 7246
Appreciate the replies, fellas...

Well, I just now went out and checked... Right now, Friday at about 11:15 am, we have quite strong tropo and I'm almost pegged out on every DFW channel (minus maybe some of the low-powered ones), including KDAF and KSTR.

Which reminds me of something I should have considered: We have an adjacent local on RF-28, and maybe that's the problem. However, right now conditions are favorable enough that I'm getting KUVN, which is also adjacent to a local on RF-22. I rarely get this channel, FWIW. How strong is KUVN for you guys? It looks as strong as most of the others, like KXAS (which I do get pretty often -- really like Universal Sports!) -- on the FCC map.

I hadn't thought this would be a problem with modern digital tuners, but it almost has to be. Maybe I'll try screening in my yagi to better reject signals from the rear.

Thanks again, guys. I'm obviously not even supposed to get TXA, but I'd thought that if it was a problem for me, it could also be for others on the actual fringes who should get it all the time. Could be adjacent channel interference, though. Still a bummer if that's what it is!
post #6231 of 7246
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizsop View Post

One of the blackouts took out our xmitter even though there is UPS and generator it got through and took out the 5 xmitter. 39 on the same power source was fine.

Looks like KXAS is finally back to full power. Congrats!
post #6232 of 7246
Quote:
Originally Posted by re_nelson View Post

Thanks, I'll now put my tinfoil beanie propeller cap away. My notion that KPFW was still after KTXA had moved was a stretch. You're close enough in to have detected it if it had still be on.

Just to wrap this up, does your television's signal diagnostic measurement screen distinguish between signal strength and signal quality (typically SNR) or is it represented on a single scale?

My Toshiba TV has a basic 0-100 scale and also an "advanced" screen that shows SNR. The SNR I show for KTXA is 28 dB. For comparison, the SNR for KERA is 25 dB, and KTVT is 30 dB.

Those small differences show up as bigger differences on the basic scale: KTXA is 90, KERA is 72, and KTVT is 97. Unfortunately there's no "raw power" reading, but I'd expect all three to be roughly similar.

So KTXA's SQ issues do seem to make a difference, but not a huge one. It doesn't seem to explain ChocoLab's inability to lock.

I didn't consider the possibility of ACI before, but when you're on the margin every little thing could make the difference. In addition to his local channel on RF 28, the FCC query also shows a LP analog station in Wichita Falls on RF 30. I don't know if K30DJ is active, but here in DFW we have KMPX, also on RF 30.

Maybe it's the combination of all these factors rather than one single dominant factor.
post #6233 of 7246
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

Looks like KXAS is finally back to full power. Congrats!

True....
post #6234 of 7246
These were listed in todays legal notice

KLEG is being dropped from 21 and 398 and Azteca programming can still be seen on KAZD 19/446.

KDAF Antenna TV is being added to channel 419

Fox Deportes will be available in the digital basic tier (will still be available on mas canales tier)

also vod links are being moved around
post #6235 of 7246
Hi everyone!

Sorry about the long delay in my posts (I have, however, left posts in places like Denver, Albuquerque, and Oklahoma City); I have been quite busy with things but I just wanted to share some information with you!

- KAZD 55 (formerly KLDT) will be adding a 55-3 subchannel on March 11th, and oddly enough, it's in English! The new channel will be called Biz Television, and it primarily airs business-related programming, plus yet another DW news show, Made in Germany (you can see the DW Journal and DW European Journal on KERA World 13-2). The target markets are small business owners and entrepreneurs. Being someone who holds a business degree, and already enjoys the news programming on PBS and World, this channel sounds exciting!

More info on this channel: http://www.biztelevision.com/, http://www.rbr.com/tv-cable/biz-tvs-...to-rep-dr.html

- Like the last message implied, Antenna TV will be coming to those who have Time Warner Cable. (I don't care for 21st century cable programming at all; I have a family who is still [indefinitely] stuck on cable but they do have two digital-equipped TVs.) Still no word on This TV returning to TWC customers yet though.

Now to the sort-of off-topic stuff (sorry):

- MeTV had its first non-Weigel debut a few days ago, on FOX affiliate WCCB in Charlotte, NC. Just for kicks, I contacted the general manager at KFWD (a good starting point for inquiring about MeTV, IMO) if they could possibly add MeTV to their digital signal. They said they haven't considered it yet; they are still thinking about other programming options for their station. (Votes, anyone?)

- The ABC O&Os (including the one down in Houston) just severed their ties with AccuWeather and replaced their x-3 channel with a letterbox, SD simulcast of the Live Well Network (which WFAA has in SD 16x9). That being said, do you think maybe another major station group will ink a deal with AccuWeather to fill in voids (and possibly make a long-anticipated entry into DFW)? I know NBC is in the midst of rolling out "Nonstop" and they still have Universal Sports, and CBS doesn't allow subchannels on their O&Os (unless management were to cave in and abandon that practice to remain competitive); could FOX be the one (so they can put their splicer to good use)?

Let me know what you think. If I was inaccurate, problematic, etc. I do apologize in advance, but I haven't been here in quite some time.

Thank you!
post #6236 of 7246
- MeTV had its first non-Weigel debut a few days ago, on FOX affiliate WCCB in Charlotte, NC. Just for kicks, I contacted the general manager at KFWD (a good starting point for inquiring about MeTV, IMO) if they could possibly add MeTV to their digital signal. They said they haven't considered it yet; they are still thinking about other programming options for their station. (Votes, anyone?)

I vote someone picks up MeTV soon.
post #6237 of 7246
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtv_junkie87 View Post

... I contacted the general manager at KFWD (a good starting point for inquiring about MeTV, IMO) if they could possibly add MeTV to their digital signal. They said they haven't considered it yet; they are still thinking about other programming options for their station. (Votes, anyone?)

Sounds good to me. I suspect stations get very few viewer requests re: subchannel programming, so when you do contact them it probably counts for a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtv_junkie87 View Post

- The ABC O&Os (including the one down in Houston) just severed their ties with AccuWeather and replaced their x-3 channel with a letterbox, SD simulcast of the Live Well Network (which WFAA has in SD 16x9). That being said, do you think maybe another major station group will ink a deal with AccuWeather to fill in voids (and possibly make a long-anticipated entry into DFW)? I know NBC is in the midst of rolling out "Nonstop" and they still have Universal Sports, and CBS doesn't allow subchannels on their O&Os (unless management were to cave in and abandon that practice to remain competitive); could FOX be the one (so they can put their splicer to good use)?

Trip & I had a long discussion about subchannels on the D/FW Fox-owned stations (KDFW/4 and KDFI/27). The consensus was that while a weather subchannel was possible (and I'd like to see one), it seems more likely that Fox will use the bandwidth for mobile DTV offerings. The splicer provides just enough bandwidth for two mobile DTV broadcasts, so one station could offer simulcasts of the main channels' programming while the other offered a couple of subscription offerings, such as Fox's business and news/talk cable channels.

But an independent like KFWD could easily add weather on a .3 subchannel. KFWD airs little if any sports, and weather is pretty low-bandwidth, so adding it shouldn't noticeably hurt PQ on the HD channel.

Incidentally, KXAS/5 got some complaints when they ran a crawl on the 5.2 weather announcing the change to DFW NonStop. I suspect NBC will force the change on us eventually - and the aging WeatherPlus equipment won't last forever - but it seems like they've put off the change at least for now.
post #6238 of 7246
KFWD should go back to 480i on .1 and then load up with the rest of the subchannels we don't get here. There's no reason for broadcasting in 1080i in the first place when their entire HD "capability" is tacking an upconverter onto the end of the SD plant. I doubt they would add a weather channel to compete with themselves though.
post #6239 of 7246
Is anyone else on the forum running Windows Media Center DVR experiencing an issue with NO DATA AVAILABLE for schedule information on THIS TV (33.3)? Started about a week ago on all my WMC DVR OTA units. I have reset channels, re-scanned channels and updated guide information with no success. Only channel in the guide with this issue. Thanks in advance for any input / suggestions.
post #6240 of 7246
Just checked my TVGOS listings (on my DTVPal DVR) and ThisTV listings stop at 7 pm tonight. Other channels have listings for a week out.
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