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-   -   Traverse City, MI - HDTV (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/45-local-hdtv-info-reception/343350-traverse-city-mi-hdtv.html)

JHuibregtse 12-27-2003 09:55 PM

Anyone know any info about WCMU or it's satellite stations' digital plans? Searching around, I've found that they plan to use WGTU's tower near Kalkaska, but no date through Antennnaweb on when it will be operational. Local stations are pretty bleak here, but should be better when WGTU signs on in March.

JHuibregtse 12-29-2003 06:54 PM

C'mon! Some one has to be reading from the Almost Great White North! I noticed today that WPBN's signal seems to be a LOT stronger this evening than I've ever seen it. Still not a blip from WWTV though.

JHuibregtse 01-04-2004 03:33 AM

Well I guess that explains why none of our local stations are in any hurry to get DTV signals up. No one is watching!!

JHuibregtse 02-28-2004 08:26 PM

I sent an e-mail to the new owners of WGTU (ABC) here in Traverse City, and actually got a reply!! Scanlan never even bothered to answer e-mails. He had told me that they weren't going to have the ability to start transmitting till August, and I e-mailed him to ask him if they were planning on passing the full HD signal. This is his reply:

> those are items that are still under discussion as we speak...The cost for
us to be able to just pass-through the abc signal is about $250,000.00.
The current number of HDTV sets that are in the market make it difficult to
justify that expense now.

However, having said that; I am working with management to try and get
this done as soon as possible. Complicating this however, is the fact that the abc digital feed won't even be available to us till the end of this year as the abc plans for roll-out of the digital recieve equipment for the stations is on a market by market basis, and of course, they are doing the bigger markets first. Once we get that ($80,000.00 worth of equipment we have to buy), it then becomes a more viable option of passing it through...That leaves about $180,000.0 for microwaves, studio equipment and the like as they all have to be purchased or modified to allow for the high bandwidth HD signal to be integrated with our STD def local origination. So the additional expense there is HUGE.
This is ALL in addition to the cost of the new transmitters! Another huge expense we're making now...

The more HDTV sets we get out there in the market, the sooner we'll get
I actually had discussions with management yesterday regarding the competitions passing it through, and they weren't aware that they were already doing it...not ignorance, they're just new to the market and
weren't aware that they were already doing it...So from a competitive point of view, we may do it just as soon as the abc feed is available to us...That's what I'm pushing for...I want it as bad as you do!

Hope this helps explain the issue.

Jay R. Zacharias
Director of Engineering
Max Media of Traverse City LLC
WGTU/WGTQ-TV abc 29 & 8
231-946-2900 [email protected]

JHuibregtse 08-30-2004 04:36 AM

Still mighty lonely in the ol' Northern Michigan thread. Anyway, in case someone stumbles on to this...

ABC 29&8 (WGTU) had a scroll on their prime time lineup saying that there may be breakups due to them rejiggering their transmitter for Digital TV. Good news right? No, not exactly. Apparently ABC has not installed the HD equipment they need to pass the 720p signal, so while they will be signing on around Sept. 1st, it will be SD only till probably next summer at the earliest. This according to their engineer.

The same tower in Kalkaska is also going to be used for PBS (WCMV) and FOX (WFQX). WCMV has an extension till the end of December. WFQX has a construction permit, but hasn't answered any e-mails.


Vhagar 09-28-2004 05:03 PM

NEXT SUMMER for ABC? Dammit, I'm getting tired of watching MNF in crappy SD, and then seeing the highlights in HD on ESPNHD through Charter.
It'd be nice to get Fox in HD before football season is over. 24's next season is starting in early Jan too, maybe it'll be 720p 5.1.
I don't have an antenna right now anyway, and who knows the timetable for Charter to add these locals to their HDTV lineup, but the sooner the better. I really wish they'd get NBC on there, seeing as how it's broadcasting OTA locally.
BTW just for anyones information, Charter rolled our HD in TC on 9-7. They have the motorola 6100 boxes, and the package has HDNet and HDNet movies, Discovery, ESPN, HBO/Showtime and CBS. I'm hoping for NBC soon, and maybe they'll add HD versions of the other movie channels like Cinemax, Starz, etc in a timely fashion.

Also did a search for Traverse City, that's how I found this, but there are a few other AVSers out there in the forums.

JHuibregtse 09-28-2004 05:16 PM

The situation is probably the same for WFQX (Fox). I would imagine that they'll drag their feet for as long as they can before getting the HD splicer in place. With so few viewers, and one(!) cable system passing HD, there can't be much money in it.

andr3wpd 09-29-2004 12:48 PM


Stumbled into this thread - down here in Webster/Livingston, near Ann Arbor all Charter is offering is HDNet, HDNet Movies, ESPN, HBO, SHOW - no Discovery, no CBS so you are luckier than us!!

They are not even marketing yet - I found out by accident. Crazy.

water1 10-04-2004 02:10 PM

WGTU fired up the digital transmitter late last week and I was receiving the signal in Suttons Bay, however the signal had significant problems. My RCA DTC-100 reported the signal as 31-31 and the picture looked like an old silent movie with the pauses between frames. I guess that is significant stutter and intermittent audio. I reported it to the station engineer and he thought it might be a programming problem with the new equipment.
The good news is that the signal is much stronger than NBC or CBS.
Is anyone able to receive the signal and picture correctly?

JHuibregtse 10-05-2004 05:11 PM

WGTU is now advertising DT-31 on their station IDs. I should be in a good spot here, but I can't get it to lock in. I can actually see WPBN's studio from my front window, but can't get WWTV or WGTU. Grrrrr. I'm getting WCBS-HD through Dish Network and WPBN from ACROSS THE ROAD! But nothing else. I can actually get stronger signals from Green Bay than I can from WWTV.

Mantonite 12-01-2004 04:25 AM

Just wanted to let you know that there will be another HDTV user trying to pull in TC and Cadillac stations from Manton (nice in-between right?). I'll be monitoring this for more info, and posting my results. Right now, I'm just pulling in the locals with analog (gonna stick with OTA for now)... hope to get a digital STB soon!

mlcarson 12-02-2004 07:20 PM

My parents live in Boyne City so have been watching this thread occasionally. Antennaweb is pretty bleak for this location -- enter 49712 for zip. You'll see ABC,Fox, and PBS all in blue/violet analog with no predicted digital signals. The towers are even in different directions; It doesn't get much worse than that.

HiggySlapBass 12-21-2004 07:03 PM

Quick question: Is there any digital station currently multicasting in this market? Thanks.

jimc705 12-30-2004 08:11 AM


You are correct it looks bleek. The good news is antenna web usually is very, very conservative about digital stations. They claim I should get but 2 digitals and I get 15. I'd check with others in your area but remeber you are going to need the best possible equipment. Kepp the coax runs under 50 feet if possible and your need a good rotor CM 9521a. Check what equipment you neighbors are using. Radio Shack isn't going to cut it up there. Your need top of the line Channel Master, Winegard , Jerrold , or Antennas Direct. Should be able to get a good UHF digital system for less then $300 complete.

Did a little research looks like digitals in your area that you should definetly get.

You problem lies with a lot of your stations are at reduced power for digital. There are several others you'll get in the future when they go full power. I'd go with an excellent UHF antenna XG 91 or DB 8 from antennas direct. They cost around $100 but can be returned if you can't get the stations you want. They also have the best warranty in the business. Any damage from wind, lightning, etc they replace it for free for life. You may need to stack antennas and the xg91 is better for that. These antennas have the most gain of any UHF and will give you the best shot.

Other very good antennas are CM 4228 UHF. Winegard makes a good one also but they roll off quickly above channel 50 and you have 2 stations above 50.

You may have a shot at Green Bay also but thats about at the very edge of reception hopes.

I use a single xg91 with no amp and get reliable digital stations as far away as 70+ miles over mountains. Some are also at reduced power. Not as bad as that WWTV in Cadillac. You'd be lucky to get them across the street at their power. Some stations are just operating at enough power to be legal. May be a Sinclair broadcasting that's a fine bunch. I didn't notice when I pulled them up.

You can check coverage maps at the link below. Just punch in the call sign or city state where station is located and it will give you info on the stations. You can also check stations within a certain radius of your area by using the Lat and Long area at the bottom.

good luck and happy new year!

Mantonite 01-01-2005 10:42 AM

Well, santa was good to me and I now have a HD tuner (the $200 Wal-Mart one). Using two stacked radio shack 930-0998 antennas in my front, lower story window pointed north, I get both WPBN-DT and WGTU-DT at about 90%. Using a Radio Shack 15-2160 pointed south to Cadillac, I get WWTV-DT (and the FOX and PBS analog stations). All antennas are running through a 15-2507 booster after the A/B switch.

I probably don't need the two antennas stacked pointing north, but they were hand-me-downs and they work fine that way so why change a good thing?

My only question right now is if the ABC station is actually sending HD or not. I watched a program that was supposed to be in HD the other day and it looked upconverted. I'll let you know what I find out later!

Hope this helps someone!

Mantonite 01-01-2005 10:45 AM


Originally posted by HiggySlapBass
Quick question: Is there any digital station currently multicasting in this market? Thanks.

Sorry, forgot to answer this one. I am only getting single stations, no multicasting that I can see.

Mantonite 01-04-2005 03:31 AM


Originally posted by Mantonite

My only question right now is if the ABC station is actually sending HD or not. I watched a program that was supposed to be in HD the other day and it looked upconverted. I'll let you know what I find out later!

Looks like ABC is still only broadcasting SD signal, and it is stretched to 16:9. That is pretty annoying if you ask me.

Mr Ranger 01-14-2005 09:47 AM

In the Straits area I am recieving CBS in HD on WWUP-DT out of the Sault. I emailed the other area networks and am waiting replies. I did though get this reply from FOX 33/45:

"HDTV should be available to Northern Michigan viewers sometime in the next 2 years".
Rockfleet Broadcasting/WFQX-TV

That does't sound very promising. When or if I hear from the others I will post.

Mr Ranger

Mantonite 01-14-2005 01:58 PM

Here the e-mails I got from WFQX (Fox 33/Rockfleet) on their Digital/HD signal:

When queried about a HD signal I got this:

"We will be updating our digital signal sometime in 2006. We will carry the FOX Network HDTV signal at that time."

I didn't know that they had any digital signal, so I asked and found out this:

"Our antenna pattern is very directional, and only covers the city of
Cadillac. It does cover some west of Lake Mitchell. There is very little
coverage to the north toward Manton."

Not promising.

Also, if you were getting the signal from WPBN-DT (NBC) and suddenly lost it, they updated their signal and you will need to re-map the station.

But, with the following this thread gets, I don't think anyone really cares

tvb6171 02-10-2005 12:05 PM

Any one know when CBS will go full power? I cant pick them up here in Interlochen. I spent alot of money on antenna's and amplifiers, and still couldnt get a signal. I thought I read on Michigan DTV for me website that as of the 1st of the year 2005 that if you can pick up there analog signal that you will be able to pick up there digital signal, in other words full power, I have disconected all my equipment in frustration, and was wondering if anyone has heard if CBS is at full power or not, they wont answer my e-mails no more.Thanks.

JHuibregtse 02-10-2005 12:18 PM

I've never been able to get more than a blip from channel 40. They say if you can get analog 9, you can get 40. This is not true at all. Channel 29/31 said the same thing, that they would be running full power, but they aren't either.

water1 02-10-2005 12:43 PM

Are you able to receive 7 from TC? I can get 7 & 9 in Suttons Bay. I have talked to their engineering department and it didn't sound likely that a power increase would be coming. What antenna and amplifier are you using?

tvb6171 02-11-2005 07:18 AM

Well I was using a Channel Master 4248 and Channel Master 7775 pre-amp to try to get Channel 40, but had no luck, CBS said it was cause of a hill on Green Lake, I find that hard to believe. This was a year ago though, I got frustrated with one channel, that was 7&4 wich came in without a hitch, in fact i didnt need an antenna for them, just the cable picked them up. I got tired of the other stations telling me nothing on when they were going up, called ABC numerous times, kept saying "soon", so I sold my receiver on ebay, I kept my antenna system for the future I hope. Sounds like ABC finally got up now, just not in true HDTV though huh?. I talked to FOX last year and they were like telling me "in my dreams you will see us in HDTV" which was shocking to say the least, another readon why I gave up, was really hoping to watch some lions games in HDTV. I really dont understand why these station dont use HDTV signal to there advantage, such as multicasting, I would dump Charter in a heartbeat if the locals would multicast some of the cable channels, they could do that, but what do I know. Anyways getting the HDTV itch again, and was just wondering if CBS boosted there power or not, cause according to Michigan's HDTV guide, all stations currently broadcasting a digital signal are to be doing it at full power as of Dec 31st 2004, but sounds like not, so I will wait a while I guess, just returning Charter Moxi box thing today.Not that impressed, although you can record HDTV, but you just get CBS and a couple other channels that dont broadcast much, The moxi is cumbersome too, Directv's Tivo was much better.

tvb6171 02-11-2005 07:26 AM

Oh ya I was using the Samsung SIR-151

water1 02-11-2005 08:41 AM

My sister in Beaulah and my neighbor in Suttons Bay both have Charter HD service. I can't believe they only offer the one network in HD.
I installed a setup for a friend at the south end of the bay using the same antenna and amp as you have. He was not able to get 9. I am further north on the bay and receive it fine. I do believe the local hills are the reason. Fortunately, this same friend was able to get the national HD network feeds from Directv and uses the antenna to get 7 for local news. I'm not sure if his eligibility will change with the recent change in the law. Have you checked your eligibility with Directv?

tvb6171 02-11-2005 10:15 AM

No I havent checked with Directv, I cant use them anymore since I dont have landline phone anymore, I use to have Directv (I was an early adopter back in the good old days), but cancelled about a year ago, there standard channels were looking pretty bad there after all the channels they put up. Well I hope there will be a time when I can get CBS and FOX, but untill then I guess I'll stick with Netflix. Thanks for your info though, at least I know I'm not missing out right now, but do you know if you can use QAM through Charter to get CBS HDTV channel or not? I've read some people have got some of there HDTV channel throgh QAM through there local Cable system, but knowing Charter they would have no Idea what I'm tlking about.

water1 02-11-2005 03:44 PM

I have no experience with QAM reception but there has been a lot of discussion in the Phoenix AZ thread recently.

I have also read that a landline is not required for Directv as long as you don't order pay per view or any special sports programming unless you have a HD TIVO. It may be worth a call to see if you are eligible for any national HD feeds. The quality you mentioned should get better after the new satellite launches this summer add capacity.

JHuibregtse 02-11-2005 04:47 PM

I know Dish Network doesn't require a landline. I can't say I'd recommend them though.

tvb6171 02-13-2005 10:18 AM

Anyone have any luck pulling in HDTV signals from Green Bay? and is 7&4 broadcasting 5.1 Dolby Digital yet? I'm thinking I might take the plunge again, since receivers have got a little cheaper.

JHuibregtse 02-15-2005 12:01 AM

I was putzing around on the FCC web site and found the channel election filings for the stations in our area. These are a filing with the FCC as to which channel they want to keep after the eventual (?) analog shutoff. ABC, NBC, and CBS all chose their analog channels as final, but Fox chose 47 over 33 to be their primary channel. Any idea why?

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