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post #1 of 26 Old 05-26-2002, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Can anybody pull in WDAF? I live in Olathe, and with a set of rabbit ears I can pull in KMBC 7, KWCE 31 & KSMO 47. My Dish 6000 is in the basement, so I'm a little surprised to get what I'm getting without a "real" antenna.

I get no signal when trying WDAF 34, and can't pick up KCPT 18 either. I emailed WDAF twice about the strength of their transmitter, but haven't received a response.

Before spending any significant time or money on trying to pull in WDAF, and is anybody having an success? Thanks.

Steve
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post #2 of 26 Old 05-26-2002, 11:23 AM
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I live in Olathe also. I have a traditional VHF/UHF rooftop antenna. I have a Toshiba DST-3000 with DirecTV.

7 is 100%
18 is 55%
31 is 100%
47 is 100%

I do not get 34 either. They are at VERY low power and their antenna is only about 50 feet off the ground.

-Tim
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post #3 of 26 Old 05-26-2002, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Tim, that helps solve whether to invest in a rooftop antenna at this time. Do you have problems locking on to 18 with the signal at 55?

Steve
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post #4 of 26 Old 05-26-2002, 10:37 PM
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I have not had any problems with KCPT-DT 18 during a 1080i show. I usually don't watch it when they switch back to SD 480p.
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post #5 of 26 Old 05-27-2002, 12:06 PM
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I live in Independence and WDAF DT-34 does not have enough power to make the twelve mile trip to my outdoor antenna. WDAF, KCTV and KHSB need to get into the digital ballgame. Only 1,679 days left until the end of analog television in Kansas City.
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post #6 of 26 Old 05-28-2002, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's the response I just received from WDAF:

"Yes we are on the air with low power digital. You may or may not be able to receive us at the moment? The system was designed to cover only our "city of license," KCMO. The coverage is about 15 miles now from point of origin. For now we are only duplicating our NTSC signal. Thanks for your interest in WDAF-DT."

I wrote back to ask when they intend to increase the coverage area.

Steve
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post #7 of 26 Old 06-04-2002, 03:08 PM
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Steve - At least you got a response from WDAF. I sent them a nice email congratulating them for being on-air at the deadline (if only at low power) and praising them for being a "digital leader" in KC. I asked them to encourage their owner, FOX to consider broadcasting in HD. I haven't heard a word back from them. Perhaps it had something to do with my mention of FOX's "lame High Resolution Widescreen format!"

Anyway, it sounds like they'll increase power when the FCC forces them to, and not a second before.

BTW, I get KCPT-18 fine from western Shawnee with a RS antenna in the attic. Signal strength is usually in the high 70's.

Brad

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post #8 of 26 Old 06-05-2002, 01:07 AM
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The WDAF Fox/KSHB NBC situation is a mess. In fact, the whole Kansas City TV station business is a mess. First, KCMO (the coolest callsign around) moved out of KCMO, and over to Fairway, KS and changed their callsign to the lame KCTV. But they are still broadcasting from the familiar "Christmas Tree" tower. KCPT moved into KCTV's old studios, but they are broadcasting from their old antenna. Then it got even more complicated when WDAF was sold and became a Fox affiliate, and KSHB became the NBC affiliate. Apparently, KSHB is broadcasting from the guyed tower at WDAF, as well as WDAF, and the tower requires substatial re-inforcement to allow two full-strength digital antennas to be installed. Either that, or thay have to build a new tower.

(Note: The above is off the top of my head, and I have to plow through the FCC web site to check it all.)

KMBC hasn't moved. They are still in their location in the bowels of the Lyric Theater and managed to build not one, but two digital channels, KMBC-DT and KCWE-DT.

At this point, unless these folks get their act together, the best approach in KC might be to try to pressure KCMO and KSHB to feed their incoming HD signals to Time-Warner cable. If the problems are antenna related as they claim, and not just a management that wants digital TV to just go away, they should agree. Time-Warner is currently carrying HD-HBO, Showtime-HD and KCPT. They've indicated that they plan to carry KMBC-DT.
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post #9 of 26 Old 06-05-2002, 08:01 AM
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That's about the best explanation of KC DTV I've read yet, but another question for you:
I'm in Olathe, and as a result, have Comcast. Obviously, I'm looking to go DirecTV. I'm a relatively new HDTV owner and I'm trying to decide the best route to go to get a few HDTV channels available to me, on a budget.
Is there enough Digital OTA in KC to warrant my getting a STB that can do both, or should I just concentrate on DirecTV?
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post #10 of 26 Old 06-05-2002, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jsuhr
Is there enough Digital OTA in KC to warrant my getting a STB that can do both, or should I just concentrate on DirecTV?
There's a two hour block of it on ABC tonight from 7PM to 9PM. PBS should be showing the 1080i program "American Family" but KCPT is in the middle of their pledge drive (I'd suggest a reasonable-sized donation as a "challange" to other HDTV owners).

Visit an independent AV dealer to see them. I know that the Brandsmart store on Gregory is picking up KMBC. Other decent local dealers like Independence Audio, AudioMart and Roscoe TV should have it as well. Best Buy and Circuit City have some lovely extended warrenties they'd like to sell you, on the other hand (please, if a dealer answers your questions, buy from them, not mail-order.)

Honestly, I don't know of too many HD DirecTV recievers that can't do 8VBS OTA. The question is if you should be looking for one that can handle the cable-TV QAM format. DTV is coming to KC. KSHB and KCTV can't drag the FCC out like they think they can. I fully expect at least one of them to be broadcasting for the fall season.
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post #11 of 26 Old 06-05-2002, 02:26 PM
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I arrived in Kansas City last night, and have just set up an old Unity Motion reciever and a modified Radio Shack double-bowtie antenna. Inside of a house at 72nd and Wornell (with a stucco finish, which means concrete on a steel mesh) I'm pulling in decent signal levels on WB, UPN, PBS and (oddly given that this is a UHF-only antenna) ABC. The signal-strength meter on this old dog of a receiver (possibly the first DTV receiver sold) no longer works. I'm going to try this outside and see if I can get anything from WDXF Faux. I'm within the city of Kansas City, on one of the highest points in the city after "Signal Hill". If I can't pick it up here, their transmission is an utter joke...one that the FCC should be let in on.
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post #12 of 26 Old 06-05-2002, 10:12 PM
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If anyone is interested, I found this link a while ago. It will show you where every TV/DTV tower is/will be in KC. He has a picture and a description of every tower.

http://www.fybush.com/site-011114.html

Hopefully all of the tower strengthening issues (WDAF/KSHB) and tower leasing agreement issues (KCTV) will be worked out this year.

Chris, I apologize for being OT, but what are the smaller towers for that are located right next to the WDAF and KCTV towers? Are they needed for lowVHF stations in urban areas? Like for people who live almost under the main tower? Those two TV towers are the only two that have a 50-75' tower right next to them.

If you drive by WDAF on SW Trafficway you can see their DTV antenna sitting on top of their 50' tower.

If their DTV signal cannot get from 31st and SW Trafficway to your STB at 72nd and Wornall then that is absolutley ridiculous!!
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post #13 of 26 Old 06-05-2002, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by hdtimmy
Chris, I apologize for being OT, but what are the smaller towers for that are located right next to the WDAF and KCTV towers?
AM radio, to my knowledge.

Thanks for that link, BTW. That antenna farm around KCPT's antenna was familar. In the early days of KKFI-FM, we didn't have our link working, so we had to shuttle tapes out to the transmitter and play them there.

Quote:

If you drive by WDAF on SW Trafficway you can see their DTV antenna sitting on top of their 50' tower.
I've been trying to spot it with no luck. What does it look like?

Quote:

If their DTV signal cannot get from 31st and SW Trafficway to your STB at 72nd and Wornall then that is absolutley ridiculous!!
I visited a friend with a Silver Sensor antenna and an RCA DTC-100 living about 2 miles from the antenna, and HE couldn't pick it up! I had a nice conversation today with an engineer at another station in town. We had a good laugh about how pathetic the formerly great WDAF's DTV "effort" is.

I'll make another attempt to pick up WDAF-DT from the roof of a five story building at 9th and Broadway with a clear shot at Signal Hill. If it can't make it from 31st street to 9th street...
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post #14 of 26 Old 06-06-2002, 06:51 AM
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For you guys that are picking up KCWE, how does the Royals games look on it?? Here in Manhattan, we get KMBC via microwave and it looks pretty bad at times. Fox Sports is not much better.
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post #15 of 26 Old 06-06-2002, 08:45 AM
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Anybody heard anything about the progress of the new tower for the Scrips-Howard stations, KSHB-41 (NBC) and KMCI-38 (IND)? My understanding is this:

KSHB (41/42DIG) wants to move off their leased tower location (WDAF's) to a new location near KPXE-50's tower in SE Kansas City. KMCI (38/36DIG) wants to move out of Lawrence to increase their potential audience, and has applied to the FCC to relocate to the same tower with their sister station.

KPXE (50/51DIG) asked for an extension based on a new tower being constructed at their existing location.

Sounds like all three (six!) stations are planning to co-locate on one tower, unless I'm missing something. Am I missing something?

Brad

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post #16 of 26 Old 06-06-2002, 01:05 PM
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Chris, I believe that WDAF's DT antenna is the white stick on top of the AM tower at 31st and SW Trafficway. I noticed the antenna sometime in April. It was not there before then.

Tim, Royals games look a little better on their digital channel. KCWE is broadcasting at 16:9 720p, but all of the material is upconverted from 4:3 480i. So really it just looks like a crystal clear analog channel.

Brad, I keep hearing two different things about KSHB from many different people. Some say that they are going to wait for WDAF's tower to be strengthened, and then have 41/42 on that tower. Others have told me what you stated, move 41/42 to their brand new tower.

I have heard the same things you have with KMCI and KPXE.

The new tower is going to be a candelabra tower, so six stations on one tower is not out of the question. I guess it will either be four or six depending on what KSHB does!!
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post #17 of 26 Old 06-06-2002, 07:55 PM
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I found the website of the company that is building this new tower. A specific link to their KC project page isn't working for some reason so,

Go to http://www.richlandtowers.com. Click on "Broadcast Towers." Click on "Super Tower Projects."
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post #18 of 26 Old 06-06-2002, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by hdtimmy
I found the website of the company that is building this new tower. A specific link to their KC project page isn't working for some reason so,

Go to http://www.richlandtowers.com. Click on "Broadcast Towers." Click on "Super Tower Projects."
Here's a direct link if you're not a big fan of Flash.

From the dates on the Richland Towers site, the tower is already been built:

Kansas City, Missouri
Completion: June, 2002


...and this image from the site that HD Timmy found:

http://www.fybush.com/Site%20images/...kc-dtv-twr.jpg

...looks just like their tower design.

One very cheering bit of the page is this:

This project is designed to accommodate at least 20 TV and FM Broadcasters, plus top mounted ENG.

20! So, what, exactly, is the problem, KCTV and KSHB? Who's up there at the moment besides KSMO?
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post #19 of 26 Old 06-06-2002, 09:47 PM
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Actually Chris, these are two different towers. That picture was taken in July of last year when he was doing his KC Tower tour.

KSMO analog moved from KCPT's tower to this one last summer. The tower has KSMO Analog and Digital and it also is going to have KTAJ-DT21, a religious station whose analog will be in St. Joseph and digital will be in KC. I'm sure there is plenty of space left on this year old tower.

The new Richland Towers project is a few miles south of KSMO's tower. Judging from KPXE's letter to the FCC for an extension, I would say that June 2002 date is a little optimistic. Here is a PDF letter from Richland Towers to KPXE:

http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/cdbs/f...hibit_id=62264

From all of the FCC.GOV research I have done, it looks like this tower will have at least 4 stations on it, maybe 6. KMCI TV/DT, KPXE TV/DT, and maybe KSHB TV/DT.
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post #20 of 26 Old 06-06-2002, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by hdtimmy
The new Richland Towers project is a few miles south of KSMO's tower. Judging from KPXE's letter to the FCC for an extension, I would say that June 2002 date is a little optimistic.
It's pretty odd that the same company is building two nearly identical towers very near each other a year or so apart. You have to wonder how carefully this market was evaluated before the first tower was built. I'd have to assume these towers are being built by a private company looking to lease space out to broadcasters, rather than by the broadcasters themselves (like the WDAF and KCTV towers).

But it does make the claims by KCTV and KSHB that there are no towers available seem a bit thin. If this tower had space available last year, at least one of them could have made the deadline.

So, this will make 3 "candelabra" towers then? The KMBC/KMBC-DT/KCWE/KCWE-DT/KYYS tower - the newer one with KSMO and one still to be built?
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post #21 of 26 Old 06-07-2002, 12:18 PM
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Yes, three candelabra towers.

If I remember correctly, KSMO's tower was built by American Tower, one of Richland's competitors. It looks like both companies erect huge candelabra towers in cities and lease the space to broadcastors.

Candelabra tower near I-435 and Truman Road:
Built by American Tower in 2001.
KSMO-TV 62
KSMO-DT 47
KTAJ-DT 21

Candelabra tower near I-435 and I-70 interchange:
KMBC-TV 9
KMBC-DT 7
KCWE-TV 29
KCWE-DT 31

Candelabra tower near I-435 and 63rd Street:
Built by Richland Towers in 2002 - Not yet complete.
KMCI-TV 38
KMCI-DT 36
KPXE-TV 50
KPXE-DT 51
KSHB-TV 41 (If they move from WDAF's tower)
KSHB-DT 42 (If they move from WDAF's tower)

They are all on the east side of town along I-435 just a few miles from each other. Now that's a lot of tower space!!
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post #22 of 26 Old 06-16-2002, 11:26 AM
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I have been reading threads here for a while and decided to start posting since yesterday I got a Sony HDTV ready set. I haven't gotten and don't plan to get a STB yet, since I live in Lawrence KS and it looks like the stations in KC that are broadcasting digitally aren't broadcasting HDTV signals (except PBS - which is ok, but I need more).

So for now I will just stay with DVD and movies, and hopefully move into HDTV broadcasts as soon as move stations are up and actually sending out HDTV programs.

Thanks for all the information. I hope to post here often.
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post #23 of 26 Old 06-19-2002, 02:55 PM
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Actually, KMBC-DT7 is passing through ABC's High-Def programming (in 720P). Certainly not "all HD, all the time!" but worth watching. Welcome to the forum!

Brad

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post #24 of 26 Old 06-19-2002, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Interesting that this thread came up again. Here's a response I just got today from WDAF regarding their signal strength:

Dear Steve:
I apologize in being so late getting back to you. I am filling in for Jim Moore. We are currently broadcasting our digital signal on Channel 34 (4-1). We are broadcasting at 1.1 kilowatts effective radiated power. At this time, we have no plans to increase the power.

Beth Sweatt
Engineering Manager

Steve
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post #25 of 26 Old 06-19-2002, 08:30 PM
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Do different HDTV receivers make a huge differnece? I don't want to pay for something that isn't neccesary. I'd like component out and digital audio out. If there is some hdtv programming going on, I'd like to check it out.
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post #26 of 26 Old 06-27-2002, 10:58 PM
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Earlier today, I actually managed to recieve a strong steady signal from WDAF-DT. All it took was:
  • A 5 story building 3 miles from the WDAF tower, with a clear view of the tower
  • An 80" Radio Shack antenna with a "deep fringe" UHF element
  • A Unity Motion reciever

The picture was acceptable. 4:3 with black bars on the sides. But from what I understand, they are not even passing Fox's 480P programming.
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