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post #12361 of 12500 Old 10-12-2019, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by DocSmith View Post
Oh the pain.

We can stream NBC TV over the air using cellular radio. Or packet radio. Or ATSC. That seems like enough NBCIA.

Not sure about comcast legal requirement to keep nbc over atsc around boston, or their marketing decisions. They might know more about their own marketing on one tuesday than we will ever know in a millennium of tuesdays.

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post #12362 of 12500 Old 10-12-2019, 05:20 PM
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Whenever I use the "smallest amount of logic" regarding WBTS/NBC Boston I can never understand why Comcast leaves NBC available OTA at all. I mean if you are the "cable company" why would you ever support any OTA station? I'm pretty sure preserving OTA NBC was part of the initial agreement when Comcast was allowed to buy NBC, but that agreement has expired.
That would result in a field day for politicians and antitrust lawyers. It already did to some extent, when NBC first announced they were pulling the affiliation from WHDH and were going to use WNEU, at that time still located in NH with a signal that covered only a fraction of the market. Congressman Ed Markey and others began an investigation which ultimately resulted in the creation of WBTS.

Also, if there was no NBC over-the-air affiliate in Boston -RCN, FIOS, Charter, DirecTV, Dish, etc. could carry WJAR in Providence and there would be nothing practical that NBC could do about it.
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post #12363 of 12500 Old 10-12-2019, 05:47 PM
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If WBTS didn't exist, cable and sat providers would be free to carry any NBC affiliate they wish using the existing rules for markets that don't have affiliates of all the networks.

DirecTV probably would have just given Boston a remap of the DNS feed of WNBC since the Providence stations are on spotbeams and the SD feed was on the 119 slot while the rest of Boston's SD locals are on the 101 slot. Dish would have chosen whatever neighboring NBC affiliate is on a spotbeam that covers Boston the best. Cable providers would have likely chosen the closest affiliate to their system like Portland, Hartford, Providence, Springfield, Burlington, or the "WNBC America" C-Band feed. FiOS might have just said screw it and imported WRC from their facility in Virginia.
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post #12364 of 12500 Old 10-13-2019, 06:57 AM
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If WBTS didn't exist, cable and sat providers would be free to carry any NBC affiliate they wish using the existing rules for markets that don't have affiliates of all the networks
My "small amount of logic" regarding NBC should have been rephrased as a nationwide "what if"? Why wouldn't Comcast take all of NBC to cable on a nationwide basis? Shut down EVERY NBC affiliate, put it all on cable as a single monolithic NBC (just like AMC, or DISney, or ESPN)?

There would be some outcry, sure. But I'm not sure congress would care after a round of hearings where they pretend to care. It would leave ABC, CBS, and FOX as three OTA networks, which is all we had in the 60's and 70's before cable came to prominence.

Please do not misunderstand. I like OTA a lot and am grateful for every station. I just cannot understand KableTown logic in this case.
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post #12365 of 12500 Old 10-13-2019, 08:26 AM
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Please do not misunderstand. I like OTA a lot and am grateful for every station. I just cannot understand KableTown logic in this case.
That gets to the heart of the problem with "broadband common carriers" (I know that is not their current official designation) owning the content they deliver. Hopefully the problem with this situation will become apparent to all in the near future and there will be legislation that Internet providers cannot own content. Either be an ISP or a content provider but not both.

/tom
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post #12366 of 12500 Old 10-13-2019, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by DocSmith View Post
My "small amount of logic" regarding NBC should have been rephrased as a nationwide "what if"? Why wouldn't Comcast take all of NBC to cable on a nationwide basis? Shut down EVERY NBC affiliate, put it all on cable as a single monolithic NBC (just like AMC, or DISney, or ESPN)?

There would be some outcry, sure. But I'm not sure congress would care after a round of hearings where they pretend to care. It would leave ABC, CBS, and FOX as three OTA networks, which is all we had in the 60's and 70's before cable came to prominence.

Please do not misunderstand. I like OTA a lot and am grateful for every station. I just cannot understand KableTown logic in this case.
Comcast only covers about 1/3 of US homes, so if NBC / Comcast actually did that nationwide, they would lose New York and LA among others, and therefore would have to negotiate with all of their competitors for carriage.
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post #12367 of 12500 Old 10-14-2019, 07:03 AM
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Comcast only covers about 1/3 of US homes, so if NBC / Comcast actually did that nationwide, they would lose New York and LA among others, and therefore would have to negotiate with all of their competitors for carriage.
That is an excellent point. However, all of the cable competitors would at the same time no longer have to carry & pay local NBC affiliates. I bet Comcast could arrange for carriage of their "new" national NBC cable channel for less than what competitors were previously paying for local NBC stations.
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post #12368 of 12500 Old 10-16-2019, 06:38 PM
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As for NBC O&O stations, they own WVIT-TV channel 30 of New Britain. (New Britain city of license, West Hartford studio and Farmington transmitter.)

That talk about subchannels and power...I thought what mattered was the effective radiated power of the station itself. I know the picture resolution can vary (i.e. 720p, 1080p, 480i, etc.), but wouldn't X-2, X-3 match what X-1 is listed at for power?

I know in the analog days, WTIC-TV (FOX) channel 61 of Hartford used to boast about being Connecticut's strongest TV station, since they were effectively 5 million watts. I think WFSB-TV (CBS) channel 3 of Hartford was 1 million watts ERP with their original digital signal on UHF channel 33. (I know they used the maximum of 100,000 watts ERP in the analog days.)
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post #12369 of 12500 Old 10-17-2019, 08:19 PM
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Possible change in repack day for area stations

As of tonight I have not heard of a date change for Boston's WHDH, WSBK, and WLVI due to the windstorm yesterday and today causing widespread power outages. However, I have heard that the original Saturday October 19th channel repack dates for Providence's WLNE, WJAR, and WSBE have been changed to Tuesday October 22nd.
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post #12370 of 12500 Old 10-17-2019, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by alg2468 View Post
As of tonight I have not heard of a date change for Boston's WHDH, WSBK, and WLVI due to the windstorm yesterday and today causing widespread power outages. However, I have heard that the original Saturday October 19th channel repack dates for Providence's WLNE, WJAR, and WSBE have been changed to Tuesday October 22nd.
The weather may have delayed tower work for WLNE, WJAR, and WSBE - which are all on the same tower. They may already have cut this close to minimize the off air time for WSBE and low power operation for WJAR. The same might apply to WHDH/WLVI.

WSBK with new equipment on Cabot St may be able to change channels and swap antennas very fast, unless the new CBS tower master antenna is ready.
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post #12371 of 12500 Old 10-18-2019, 03:31 AM
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WSBK's move shouldn't need any tower work at this time. I would expect that the channel 21 gear was set up with the rest of the gear on the aux site, and has just remained turned off to this point waiting out WSBE's move.

- Trip

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Comments are my own and not that of the FCC (my employer) or anyone else.

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post #12372 of 12500 Old 10-18-2019, 09:26 AM
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Phase 7 moves

I watch Providence's PBS station (WSBE) from time to time. I'm interested in seeing if I'll be able to tune them once they move to Rf Ch 2. My new Wingard HD7000R that is capable of low VHF is pointed to the Needham towers for WGBH/WGBX HD channels.

I don't care a hoot about the remaining Boston channel moves- haven't watched "if it bleeds it leads" WHDH since they lost the NBC affiliation.

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post #12373 of 12500 Old 10-18-2019, 10:42 AM
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I live in northern RI and even with its lower transmitting power, I get WGBH pretty well. I also received WGBH very well when it really was channel 2 analog, so now I wonder how well I will get WSBE after it is back on the air. OTOH, I could never get WSBE without pixellation before so only watched it rarely.

I also have not watched WHDH for a minute since they lost their NBC affiliation.

SMK
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post #12374 of 12500 Old 10-18-2019, 03:31 PM
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According to WSBE, the frequency change date has moved to Halloween (October 31st, subject to change again) :

http://www.ripbs.org/plantoscan/

I don't know if this is just for WSBE, all Providence stations or if the Boston Phase 7 stations are switching dates as well. WHDH still has a graphic on the front of their website that says October 19th.

I suppose we'll all find either a trick or a treat as to what channels we lose or gain!

I already received my "trick" when I had to spend money on a low VHF capable antenna to regain access to WGBH and WGBX in HD. I hope to not receive any more tricks...

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post #12375 of 12500 Old 10-18-2019, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
WSBK's move shouldn't need any tower work at this time. I would expect that the channel 21 gear was set up with the rest of the gear on the aux site, and has just remained turned off to this point waiting out WSBE's move.

- Trip
If they have 2 transmitters at Cabot St, one operating on RF38, and another ready for use on RF21, they should be able to just flip the switches. But if they have only one frequency-agile transmitter, the feedline will probably have to be moved to the new RF21 antenna approved a couple of weeks ago, which their app stated is needed after 10/19.
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post #12376 of 12500 Old 10-18-2019, 11:05 PM
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WSBK shut off their RF39 signal at 1 AM, and after about 8 minutes are now up on RF21.

And WHDH is now off.... and now back on RF35...

Last edited by Channel99; 10-18-2019 at 11:47 PM.
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post #12377 of 12500 Old 10-19-2019, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by pnkflyd51 View Post
According to WSBE, the frequency change date has moved to Halloween (October 31st, subject to change again) :

http://www.ripbs.org/plantoscan/

I don't know if this is just for WSBE, all Providence stations or if the Boston Phase 7 stations are switching dates as well. WHDH still has a graphic on the front of their website that says October 19th.

I suppose we'll all find either a trick or a treat as to what channels we lose or gain!

I already received my "trick" when I had to spend money on a low VHF capable antenna to regain access to WGBH and WGBX in HD. I hope to not receive any more tricks...
Hello:


WLNE and WJAR has on screen graphics that the rescan date is October 22nd. Also as of now here just east of Providence, WHDH now on RF35 has a weak signal with frequent pixellation, WLVI also on RF35 has no signal, and WSBK on RF21 also has no signal. It seems like this transition for the Boston area stations so far has a lot of reception issues that hopefully will be corrected.
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post #12378 of 12500 Old 10-19-2019, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by alg2468 View Post
Hello:


WLNE and WJAR has on screen graphics that the rescan date is October 22nd. Also as of now here just east of Providence, WHDH now on RF35 has a weak signal with frequent pixellation, WLVI also on RF35 has no signal, and WSBK on RF21 also has no signal. It seems like this transition for the Boston area stations so far has a lot of reception issues that hopefully will be corrected.
Well at least as of this post I'm seeing no problems with WHDH, WLVI, or WSBK...although I do notice a slight drop in WHDH's signal, but nothing drastic (at least based on my signal levels).
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post #12379 of 12500 Old 10-19-2019, 05:05 PM
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As of this afternoon:

WHDH/WLVI on RF 35, working fine for us.

Not seeing any signal on RF 21 for WSBK.

WBZ RF20 comes and goes as it has for the last few weeks so I assume it is still operating at low power.

NHPTV has an announcement that the WLED repeater in Littleton NH is moving Oct 24.

Be interesting to see how things pan out once the dust settles.
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post #12380 of 12500 Old 10-19-2019, 05:14 PM
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Not seeing any signal on RF 21 for WSBK.
Odd, WSBK is super strong for me here in Epping, NH.
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post #12381 of 12500 Old 10-19-2019, 06:00 PM
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Just rechecked, both WBZ and WSBK are coming in fine now. My post was based on the situation this afternoon - I should have rechecked before I posted. Things are changing fast on rescan day.
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post #12382 of 12500 Old 10-19-2019, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Tschmidt View Post
As of this afternoon:

WHDH/WLVI on RF 35, working fine for us.

Not seeing any signal on RF 21 for WSBK.

WBZ RF20 comes and goes as it has for the last few weeks so I assume it is still operating at low power.

NHPTV has an announcement that the WLED repeater in Littleton NH is moving Oct 24.

Be interesting to see how things pan out once the dust settles.
WHDH/WLVI changed RF channels, but they were approved about a week ago to temporarily use their auxiliary antenna, 200 feet below the top of the tower, with somewhat reduced power, until work on the new primary antenna at the top is completed.

Unless plans changed, WSBK is still broadcasting from Cabot St, but using their new RF21 auxiliary antenna, since their eventual permanent home on the CBS tower is still under construction.
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post #12383 of 12500 Old 10-20-2019, 02:06 AM
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Thanks to all who work to construct and maintain the antennas - it is heroic public service work.

Rescanned Tablo 4-tuner. No WSBK or CBS. WSBK has been gone for months but until my regrettable recent experiment, CBS had been wall to wall and treetop tall, good enough for the Tablo auto-commercial-skip.

This was the temporary experiment, tried it about 3 days ago, regretted it. Can't find sweet-spot for CBS after reverting:
- turn attic CM4248 mega-yagi 180 degrees.
- swap 1-to-3 for 1-to-2 splitter, removing AirTV/Sling which fails reliability testing, maybe need to try different drive.

A next experiment will involve an attic clearstream-5 pointed at WMUR, connected to alexa-recast to achieve an
intermediate test-goal of making one of my fleet of OTA DVRs be for WMUR-only, and then run spousal-approval regression-test.

My top goal is probably shared by a few other readers here and will be achieved after spouse goes more than a month without saying "Why can't we have normal TV like normal people???????"

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post #12384 of 12500 Old 10-20-2019, 03:31 AM
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Things are changing fast on rescan day.
It certainly is, WSBK isn't so strong this morning for me, but stable.
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post #12385 of 12500 Old 10-20-2019, 04:07 AM
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Thanks to all who work to construct and maintain the antennas - it is heroic public service work.

Rescanned Tablo 4-tuner. No WSBK or CBS. WSBK has been gone for months but until my regrettable recent experiment, CBS had been wall to wall and treetop tall, good enough for the Tablo auto-commercial-skip.
Tablo here as well. Both WBZ and WSBK are coming in great here as of 6am. (Uxbridge, MA)

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post #12386 of 12500 Old 10-22-2019, 11:33 AM
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FYI, this was apparently emailed out to WGBH email subscribers earlier today

Quote:
WGBH's petition to increase its broadcasting frequency strength was approved by the Federal Communication Commission.The power of our transmitter will be increased from 6.9kW to 34.5 kW. We expect this increase to result in significant improvements to reception quality. Getting the right hardware, testing and installation brings us to approximately first week of January; however it is very possible it will be completed sooner.
Still waiting to hear what the timetable for fixing/improving ABC, CBS, Fox & NBC OTA signals will be. All of them are clearly running low power (and/or from an aux tower), since all of them have drastically reduced signal strength in the city of Boston. NBC had the temporary 15-3 feed that was great while it lasted, but they removed it a few weeks ago for some reason.

What makes this even more insane is that Channel 7 & 56 just swapped frequencies a week or so ago, yet they were clearly prepared (unlike the big broadcast networks). Both still have excellent signal strength in the city. The conspiracy theory that the big networks are purposely operating low-quality OTA feeds to push people to cable/satellite/OTT streaming could be accurate, seeing as we're 75 days from their switchover date!

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post #12387 of 12500 Old 10-22-2019, 11:33 AM
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On the websites of WLNE and WJAR today, it is stated that the date of the changeover is now on Friday, October 25th due to the chance of rain.
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post #12388 of 12500 Old 10-24-2019, 09:19 PM
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On the websites of WLNE and WJAR today, it is stated that the date of the changeover is now on Friday, October 25th due to the chance of rain.
On the Providence board and at radiodiscussions it has been reported that Providence stations WLNE and WJAR have started testing their new RF channels on RF 24 and RF 25 tonight, and that the new signals so far are reaching some areas north and west of Boston. The new antennas are nondirectional and WLNE is now at the top of the tower with WJAR. They may not be at full power yet and will shut off their old RF 49 and RF 50 signals tomorrow at 2 PM.
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post #12389 of 12500 Old 10-25-2019, 08:57 AM
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WSBK and CBS are back but not good enough to watch or to avoid crashing a tablo tuner subsystem.

One issue is my antenna is on a temporary upside-down old-laundry-basket in my attic while it awaits a minion to install a new permanent digital-ready upside-down-laundry-basket.
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post #12390 of 12500 Old 10-25-2019, 10:14 AM
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One issue is my antenna is on a temporary upside-down old-laundry-basket in my attic while it awaits a minion to install a new permanent digital-ready upside-down-laundry-basket.
Similar reception situation for us, except we have a roof mounted antenna. WBZ, WSBK and WBPX (slightly off axis for us) are all pretty intermittent. Rabbitears shows lots of Boston stations are still at reduced power so for now I'm not too worried. We don't have a VHF-Lo antenna and our separate VHF-Hi is pointed toward the NH VHF stations so we will never be able to pickup WGBH on RF5. Given that WGBH and WENH are now joined at the hip that is a small loss.
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