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Billings, MT - HDTV - Page 2

post #31 of 89
I was wondering if anyone had any insight on this; I have a DirecTV HD DVR with a digital tuner; I can get locals by hooking my antenna up to the tuner in the DVR. I just installed a Winegard HD 7694P High Definition VHF/UHF HDHD769 Series Antenna in my attic; I live in the Heights. I pointed it at 99 degrees to get the Fox digital signal, and I was able to get it. I can see it as 4-1 on my TV's digital tuner, however when I do a guide search using my zip code with the DVR, it lists Fox as 22-1, and I get no signal on it. I'm getting the runaround from DirecTV, they just keep telling me how to search for channels but have no answer as to why it is not listed as 4-1. Any thoughts?
post #32 of 89
Has anyone used antenna web dot org? If so how accurate do you find it to be with what you are actually receiving? It shows I would have two in the yellow, one in the red.
post #33 of 89
I used it to align my antenna, and it worked great. The FOX station is at a different heading than all the other local stations, but I found that the other stations were strong enought to still come in at between 90-100 percent when I aligned my antenna for FOX>
post #34 of 89
bump...

keep posting billings folks
post #35 of 89
I am in Powell, WY and have Bresnan cable. ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox all come out of Billings (actually Fox comes out of Hardin as mentioned before) but none of them are on Bresnan's HD channels. Does Bresnan in Billings have these channels in HD yet? If so, would you suspect that I could call Bresnan's local office here in Powell and request them to add them to their lineup?

I should add that there are no digital OTA signals here yet (tried myself and confirmed via antennaweb.org). Park county has until 2012 to upgrade to digital OTA, unlike 2/09 as it is everywhere else.
post #36 of 89
Currently bresnan carries FOX, CBS, NBC in HD. The local ABC affiliate does not yet transmit in HD (could hardly stand to watch the NBA finals - come on ABC), therefore bresnan doesn't carry it in HD.
post #37 of 89
I talked with a Bresnan CSR on their live chat and they basically said that yes, the HD channels are in Billings which are the same stations we get here in Powell in SD. However, they have to have contracts to carry the HD channels, which is a separate contract from the SD channels. So I am basically out of luck for now, until Bresnan can get those contracts signed for the HD channels with the local affiliates in Billings to send them to us in Powell.

What is funny about this is that in Bresnan's press release for Powell dated January 3rd, 2007 it says:
Quote:


Similarly, commercial broadcasters in some areas have also begun transmitting HD programming and Bresnan looks forward to providing these services to its digital customers in Powell as they become available.

They are and have been available for some time, now hurry up and get them to us
post #38 of 89
I found out what is really going on by talking to the station manager of ABC and FOX in Billings. From what I gather, the locals are sent to the Powell headend via microwave. The microwave link just doesn't have the capability to carry the local's in HD and to upgrade it would cost Bresnan a lot of money.
post #39 of 89
I have a question about a HD setup in Billings. I am moving there in Aug. I've been doing quite a bit of research on how to get everything set up, but I'm hoping someone here can help me fill in the gaps. I made a similar post in the HD Technical forum.

Here is what I would like to do:

First I would like to hook up Direct TV to 2 tvs - a Panasonic plasma and an older 27" Phillips. Because Direct TV doesn't have local channels in Billings, I will also need to get an OTA antenna (I'm assuming either an attic one or a roof one would be best).

For the Panasonic, I would like to be able to record in HD, so my plan is to just get Direct TV's dual tuner DVR. I understand that Direct TV's DVR does not have a ATSC tuner, which presents a problem for connecting the OTA antenna. However, it appears that Direct TV is offering a product called the AM-21, which will allow me to also record local HD channels received over the air on Direct TV's DVR. My only real question about this setup is how to install the OTA antenna. Is this something Direct TV will do for me or do I need to do it myself? I'm not adverse to trying to do it myself, but I'll be honest. I have no idea how to install a rooftop or attic antenna and then run the cable into my basement.

For the Phillips (which will be in a bedroom), I'm not all that concerned about HD. I do, however, have a lifetime subscription to a Series 2 single tuner Tivo that I would like to continue to use. What I would like to do is have Direct TV on this tv as well, but use my Tivo to record. I assume that this would not be a huge problem. I could just get a Direct TV receiver (instead of a DVR) and hook up the Tivo like I would to a cable box and use a serial or IR connection to change channels. Does anyone know if this would work? My bigger concern is again the fact that Direct TV does not have the local channels in Billings. Is there a way that I can connect the tv, Direct TV receiver, OTA antenna, and Tivo so that Tivo will be able to record both the Direct TV channels and the OTA local channels? (Again, HD isn't really an issue and a Series 2 won't record in HD anyway).

I'm hoping that maybe someone else from Billings will have had a similar experience and can help me out. I would really appreciate it. It seems that those of us in Montana have some unique challenges since Bresnan's selection of HD channels sucks compared to Direct TV, but Direct TV doesn't offer the locals.

Mike
post #40 of 89
Bresnan, in Billings, has FOX-HD on channel 704, I believe. CBS & NBC are on the HD channels as well. Those 3 signals feed directly out of each TV station on Bresnan’s own cable, on sub-channels. ABC-HD isn’t on it yet because their equipment isn’t in yet. They report that they should be on Bresnan Cable sometime in September.

To the Cody/Powell area, the ABC & FOX signals are now sent by microwave, but Bresnan has nothing to with it. Another company (Corban) handles the microwave straight out of the studio locations. The report is that when ABC & FOX go on air with their HD transmitters, 1megawatt ERP, around Thanksgiving time, it may very well be possible for the Powell Cable folks to take those HD signals directly ‘off-air’.

Rural areas fed by translators are not under the FCC DTV deadline. Translators, for the most part, will still be broadcasting on the analog channels. There’s one ($1,000 per) Government program available to assist rural entities with their DTV translator build-outs. There are also plans for a follow up $10,000 program for each licensed translator, but nothing has come out officially on it.
post #41 of 89
For what it is worth, I get KSVI (6.1) on my antenna located in the attic. I am near 56th and Hesper so by all rights, I shouldn't pick up KSVI, but it comes in fine. I get an occasional artifact, but nothing too bad. 2.1, 2.2, 8.1 and 8.2 all come in fine as well. I'll be damned if anything resembling KHMT comes in though. I've applied for waivers for years and to no avail. I've got such a horible signal on both the main tower and the repeater that it is almost unbearable on any screen larger than 19". They deny the waivers saying their signal meets FCC minimums and therefore they can block the national feed. I've told them to bring their signal meter to my house and verify that, but they have never come.

I've got another waiver request in for a national HD FOX feed, but I'm sure it will get turned down as well. Which strikes me as very odd since there is not FOX HD feed to compete with in the area.

I guess this is the price we pay for living in Montana. I remember 10 years ago living in Chapel Hill, NC, there were about 6 stations broadcasting in HD over the air and all locals were carried by DirecTV. Even Bozeman has locals on DirecTV (only SD though).
post #42 of 89
mt59106: looking on the map at 56th & Hesper, it appears you're in a pretty cherry spot to receive all of the Billings channels (analog & digital). Can't speak for the Hardin FOX signal, tho.
post #43 of 89
New word about town is that there won't be an ABC-HD signal in Billings till next June: Apparently the ABC network is in the process of upgrading all their affiliates with HD satellite systems. The problem, for all of us out here, is that it won't be for the Mountain Time Zone. ABC won't start broadcasting to the Mountain Time Zone in HD until June 2009. I guess they don't feel the Rocky Mountains has enough of a population to be considered much of a priority.
post #44 of 89
I don't know where you get your information, but all of the networks provide HD feeds to every time zone. I've watched network HD in Hawaii. Sounds like your local ABC affilliate is feeding you a line of bull.
post #45 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by milehighmike View Post

I don't know where you get your information, but all of the networks provide HD feeds to every time zone. I've watched network HD in Hawaii. Sounds like your local ABC affilliate is feeding you a line of bull.

Did you? Last I heard, the local CBS and Fox and MyNet in Hawaii didn't show HD because they didn't have the equipment to delay the network programming. I've heard that argument used for the mountain time zone as well. I've heard that only NBC provides a Mountain feed in HD at this time.

- Trip
post #46 of 89
The CBS, FOX and MyNet stations in Hawaii all are now capable of showing HD including primetime, have been for almost a year. However, the MyNet station gave up since MyNet shows very little in HD.

FOX sends out a HD feed for the Mountain Time Zone as well, plus a special feed for the Arizona stations since they don't do DST.
post #47 of 89
The post about HD feeds didn't differentiate between time shifting an early feed and sending a live feed. The ABC affiliate in Billings apparently doesn't have the equipment to time shift but blames it's lack of ability to show primetime programming in HD on the network.

And yes, I have watched HD in Hawaii.
post #48 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by milehighmike View Post

The post about HD feeds didn't differentiate between time shifting an early feed and sending a live feed. The ABC affiliate in Billings apparently doesn't have the equipment to time shift but blames it's lack of ability to show primetime programming in HD on the network.

And yes, I have watched HD in Hawaii.

ABC or NBC? PBS between midnight and 6AM? I'll believe that. Depending on how recently, apparently CBS and Fox have gotten on board as well, but in my browsing through the Honolulu thread a few months ago, I found countless frustrated posts about how CBS and Fox were not in HD because they needed to time-shift the programming and didn't have the equipment to do it.

Well, I doubt they're about to show the ABC network programming out of pattern, that could very well be a contractual violation, and would screw with the rest of their scheduling.

I'm not defending their lie about blaming the network for it when its their own fault for being owned by Nexstar, but I'm almost certain that most of the networks do not provide a Mountain time feed in HD, or at the very least didn't last time I heard about it (which was admittedly some time ago).

- Trip
post #49 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post

ABC or NBC? PBS between midnight and 6AM? I'll believe that. Depending on how recently, apparently CBS and Fox have gotten on board as well, but in my browsing through the Honolulu thread a few months ago, I found countless frustrated posts about how CBS and Fox were not in HD because they needed to time-shift the programming and didn't have the equipment to do it.

- Trip

Boy that Honolulu thread really needs to be updated.

.....and maybe this discussion belongs there.

PBS Hawaii simulcast in SD and HD from 6am to Midnight. Whatever PBS airs in HD during that time is in HD. The simulcast is available over the air and cable. From Midnight to 6am PBS Hawaii runs separate feeds for HD and SD only on cable, the OTA signal is off the air.

The CBS station has done HD for almost 2 years, but had a flakey server that only allowed them to do one hour a night. They fixed that late last year, and now air everything from CBS in HD, plus air local specials and Jeopardy! in HD as well. The reason nobody really noticed is until this year they weren't on cable due to a retrans despute.

The FOX station finally joined the party in May. But they are currently only doing FOX programming, Wheel of Fortune is still aired in SD.
post #50 of 89
I'm only talking about the ABC-HD signal in Billings and the Mountain Time Zone. (I can't speak for Hawaii). My information comes from 'ABC N.Y'.. ABC is in the process of rolling out their "HDTV Acceleration Plan". That's what they call it. They're in the process of shipping out NEW satellite receiver systems to ALL affiliate stations nationwide.

What they said was that all affiliates will have the system by February and the Mountain Time Zone feed will go away at that time. An HD feed is available from the East Coast, but a 2 hour HDTV delay server would be needed. There’s almost no TV station along the Rocky Mountains that will be able front the enormous costs required for a mere 5 month investment. ABC said they understand that that would be unreasonable. Therefore, an East Coast ‘SD’ feed will still be available for the time being. An HD feed will be brought on-line in June.

The reports also say that several ABC affiliate companies are trying to negotiate a better deal with ABC, but that ‘ABC N.Y.’ has funding priorities like any other company and a better deal may not happen.
post #51 of 89
I think the past few posts in this thread, beginning with Post #43, illustrate how many of us, including me, can read statements and arrive at different conclusions. I'm certainly not criticizing doggone for his wording in Post #43, but I interpreted it as meaning that there won't be any HD ABC programming in Billings until June 2008 due to feed problems emanating from ABC.

My initial comment to Post #43 was meant to relate the fact that any station can broadcast network programming in HD, or any HD programming for that matter provided it has the necessary equipment, that blaming the lack of ability to send out HD programming on the network was a cop out, and that, as an example, because it's in a unique time zone with essentially only one state in the market, I have watched network programming in HD in Hawaii, so blaming ABC in Billings is not the reason ABC HD is not available in Billings.

Trip, I have lauded you several times in other threads for your informational and detailed posts regarding the digital TV transition. However, I do not appreciate having my integrity questioned when I stated I watched HD, and I meant network HD, in Hawaii. The actual time frame was the last week of April, first week of May 2008 in both Maui and Oahu. I suggest a little diplomacy would have been appreciated if you felt my statement regarding what I watched in Hawaii may have been incorrect.

To you folks in Billings, I wish you the best. I check this thread once in a while since I used to spend time in Billings for work.
post #52 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by milehighmike View Post

Trip, I have lauded you several times in other threads for your informational and detailed posts regarding the digital TV transition. However, I do not appreciate having my integrity questioned when I stated I watched HD, and I meant network HD, in Hawaii. The actual time frame was the last week of April, first week of May 2008 in both Maui and Oahu. I suggest a little diplomacy would have been appreciated if you felt my statement regarding what I watched in Hawaii may have been incorrect.

I have addressed this in PM, but feel a need to say something public.

I did not intend to cause offense or insult your integrity. I was going on what was clearly outdated information. My apologies.

- Trip
post #53 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by billnye12 View Post

Hey guys,

I subscribe to Direct TV solely for the fact that I can get Sunday Ticket in HD. After watching the NFL all season in high def I was forced to watch the playoffs, including the Super Bowl, on that poor-excuse-for-a-station FOX 4. I applied for a waiver well in advance but was turned down. My countless pleas to FOX fell on deaf ears. About a month ago I was at one of the trade shows at the Metra and came across a guy selling Direct TV. He told me that in June, the Billings stations will be carried on Direct TV. I've tried to find more information on this but have had no luck. Has anyone else heard about this?

Interesting information. I just hooked up d* again here in Billings. My sole reason for doing so is Sunday ticket. It's september and we don't have locals at all on D*....
post #54 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by gts24 View Post

Interesting information. I just hooked up d* again here in Billings. My sole reason for doing so is Sunday ticket. It's september and we don't have locals at all on D*....

I thought D* just didn't have the locals for the Powell market, but I guess they don't in the Billings market either...Didn't know that.
post #55 of 89
someone tried to peddle the rumor to me that locals may be incoming by February. I mentioned that's the big "switch" timeframe to all digital. *shrug* any new information here ?
post #56 of 89
This may not be what you’re referring to, but an FCC commissioner was here yesterday for a town meeting..... I believe it was Monty Wallis, GM of KTVQ, who was harping repeatedly about the DirecTV 'local-into-local' issue. The FCC guy could only say that, tho it wasn’t his place to interfere, he would make a call to the DirecTV people and ask them if they would address the concerns.. Outside of this comment, from the FCC guy, I haven’t heard of any positive and active moves toward getting the local channels.
post #57 of 89
I saw that meeting mentioned on the news, though didn't feel like going to Billings for it. I don't expect any digital stations here anytime soon though. Rumor has it that Park county will be lucky to get digital OTA by 2012...Not too sure on that though, four years to get digital OTA? I don't fully understand all that is involved, but that seems like a long time. Bresnan won't give us the locals in HD because they said it would cost too much money to upgrade their microwave link, so I don't expect that anytime soon either. The microwave link they have now is so bad that watching shows online from Hulu.com look a thousand times better than watching it on Bresnan.
post #58 of 89
Say, Kool: The Bresnan folks in Cody should also be taking care of your Powell cable. Cody gets at least a couple good network feeds from microwave (Corban Communications, I believe) and perhaps the others from Fiber or NET-satellite. I have doubts that you guys are getting a microwave signal, a microwave headend feed into Powell should be clean.. Maybe you could call Cody and ask if they ever got that microwave feed to Powell finished (or ever plan to)..?? Ask if they're ever going to get the Fiber feed into Powell as well. Worst they can say is "no".

I believe all your OTA comes off McCullough peaks, and at county tax payer’s expense. Even with the $1,000 and $10,000 government grants you guys would get hit with a big tax bill (Licenses, easements, engineering, transmitters, antennas).. I admit this may be old or inaccurate information, but I was told once that Pete DeHaan (DeHaan Electronics, in Powell) takes care of some or all of those OTA translators. He might be able to give you a better time-line on the county’s DTV plan..
post #59 of 89
There is what appears to be a microwave antenna pointed in Cody's general direction at our headend...Not entirely sure though. So, if I am understanding this correctly, our TV is microwave from Billings to Cody then microwave from Cody to here? Sort of like the internet uplink situation I suppose. Cody has a direct uplink to Billings whereas we have to go down through Cheyenne first before hitting Billings then out to the internet from there.
post #60 of 89
In the old days, all network TV routed across the US by microwave. There weren't any broadcast satellites available. Microwave is good because it saves resolution and its hard to screw it up. Tho it is possible to screw it up. I know Bresnan was working on a feed to Powell, I just don't know if they finished it. I suspect they haven't, if you're receiving a bad signal..

There's lots of fiber in your area. Some of the Billings TV signals are routing to Meeteesee on fiber. I don't know the path, but I'd think that would pass through Powell. Maybe not.. Sure seems like, to me at least, if Bresnan wanted to fix up their Powell reception that they could find some fairly easy way to do it..
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