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-   -   Tampa, FL - HDTV (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/45-local-hdtv-info-reception/420401-tampa-fl-hdtv.html)

kgalbreth 06-02-2003 12:56 PM

I would like to open this thread up to those who live in the greater area of Sarasota/Bradenton/Venice.
I have been a participant in the Tampa thread, but lately it has become a BHN bitch session, filled with some vitriolic responses, which are totally off topic.
Those of us in the area south of Tampa have different equipment requirements and reception options. Hopefully this will be a location for us to post our problems, suggestions, etc.


Ron Tobin 06-02-2003 04:08 PM

Good idea, Ken:

I'm in South Sarasota, near the Sarasota Sq. mall. I have a big R/S VHF/UHF antenna, in the attic, amplified. I also have a Blonder-Tongue UHF specific antenna for channel 24, to get Holiday. It's also amplified, and it's outdoors, up around 15 feet off the ground. I am using a Jointenna to combine both antenna.

I get all the Tampa digital stations with a very good signal, except for WFLA, whose signal has deteriorated in the last few months. I also get WWSB and WBBH (FT. Myers) off the back of my antenna. My receiver is a Sony HD200.


kgalbreth 06-02-2003 07:45 PM

Spoke with the tech at WWSB about a reception problem, and he (appropriately named Crash!) said that they were having trouble getting the signal across Sarasota. I'm using a Samsung 160 and get pretty good reception, but I also have a rake on the roof. The Parrish transmitter is close to the direction for the Tampa Riverview channels. Do you get 40-1 pretty good?
Also, regarding the Stealthtenna, did you have the amplifier?
I have noticed that WFLA is down to about 78 on my reception meter, from about 88. Didn't check it until I read your report.


Jerry Pease 06-02-2003 09:10 PM

Hi, I just moved from St Pete to Parrish about a month ago. I am just getting into HDTV. Anyone can advice what would be the best outdoor antennae and DirectTV HD receiver? DVI output preferred.

BTW, I noticed kgalbreth referenced the "Parrish" transmitter I am right next to it. Hell I can see it right out of my window. I hope that is not a problem.

Advice would be greatly appreciated.

BTW, any of guys ever get together and meet? When I lived in St. Pete we did that often (once a month). It was very cool meeting new people with the same interest.

kgalbreth 06-02-2003 09:31 PM


I left you a post on the Tampa thread as well, hadn't checked this one yet. I have a company which installs home theater, alarm systems and other low voltage equipment in this area.
You should have no problem in the Parrish area receiving the Tampa and Sarasota OTA's (probably some Ft. Myers as well). Being next to the Parrish tower hasn't hurt anyone we've worked with out that way.
Mostly, I recomend the Sony HD200, although I'm using a Samsung TS-160 myself. Reasoning for this is long and there is a thread about 160's on this forum. Suffice it to say the HD200 is very stable.
I just started this thread today, believing that there were enough individuals who were interested in exchanging ideas, solutions and questions to warrant a thread of our own. A get together would be good, and easier than a trip to Tampa/Brandon/St. Pete.


Icarus 06-02-2003 11:37 PM


I'm moving to Bradenton (from Hawaii, so I sold everything and I get to start over from scratch), and I sent you a PM. We should talk.


Jerry Pease 06-03-2003 06:15 AM



We do installations in Parrish and the surrounding area. Mostly D* out there because no cable north of Rye and 675 intersection. What type of house, location and equipment?


Hi I am over here now. I live out on Foxbrook (new development), but, fortunately/unfortunately I have BHN in my development. Fortunately, I have cable modem unfortunately my wife wanted a PVR and their prices for cable tv where almost double the money I was paying in St. Pete. So I changed to DirectTV.

The reason I was asking about HD reception is because I need the new source for a PJ I just bought.

Do you have any outdoor antennae recommendations and where to point this thing?

Also, do you have a store? what local shops do we have in SRQ/Bradenton?

Ron Tobin 06-03-2003 06:23 AM

Regarding WWSB, I do get their signal but really haven't observed the signal strength on my HD200. I generally watch ABC on WFTS because their signal is much stronger than WWSB and they also have the Dolby Digital decoder, which WWSB does not have yet. I had a tour, several months ago, at WWSB's new studio, by Mike Burnham, the Chief Engineer. He's a really nice person, and they have quite an impressive operation.

As for WFLA, their signal is too unreliable, and drops out frequently, so I've resorted to watching my NBC material from Ft. Myers. I don't understand why they vary in strength, from the other Riverview located stations. Fox used to have the same problem, but they've been more stable over the last few months.

When I had my Stealth antenna up, it was at 25 feet, and I did use it with the amplifier. Actually, I still have the Stealth sitting in my attic. If you know anyone that wants to buy it, let me know. The main reason I used the Stealth, was to try to get all of the Tampa based stations. Holiday was always a challenge, and the Riverview stations came in no better than on my attic situated antenna. So I removed the Stealth , and then put up the Blonder-Tongue (at 15 ft.) for WTSP, which I mentioned in my previous post. Now all works fine, at least for me.

Jerry Pease 06-03-2003 02:13 PM


Originally posted by Ron 34238

what is that? any links?

kgalbreth 06-03-2003 02:36 PM


Blonder-Tongue is a company which manufactures high end television and broadband reception equipment and amplifiers. Used a lot by cable companies.
Sounds strange doesn't it.
Here is a pretty good link:


They can be purchased in a myriad of places.


Ron Tobin 06-04-2003 06:11 AM


The BTY-10-U (B for channel 20-26) is the specific one that I have.


I purchased my mail order from Starke Electronics in Mass. About $100 shipped. As Ken said, there's other outlets to get it. The antenna comes assembled, is UPS shippable, and the overall length is 48''. Works great for receiving Holiday.


kgalbreth 06-04-2003 06:42 AM

Interesting news post from yesterday:



Ron Tobin 06-04-2003 07:25 AM

Yes, very interesting. I think that this will hurt both Comcast and BHN, unless they are able to strike a similar deal to increase their HD offerings on their cable systems. Not sure what BHN offers, but Comcast only has CBS and ABC, in addition to HBO and Showtime.

It's also interesting to note that HDNET, which has been free on Direct TV, since it began almost two years ago, will no longer be free, and will be part of the $10.99 package. I would expect that they might have a trial period where they offer the package at no charge and then get subscribers to sign up for it.

kgalbreth 06-04-2003 09:46 AM

I agree. As one who has enjoyed HDNet, and the offerings on 198, as long as they continue to broadcast quality transmissions, I'm willing to pay. However, if they squeeze the bandwidth to accomodate the channels and we get pixilation (ala 3-5) on movement, then that could cloud the issue.
3-5 used to have excellent quality until they split the stream into the 3 channels. I don't know how much bandwidth they allocated to 3-5 but it pixilates something terrible.
Your point on 28-1 is well taken. 40-1 has a good picture, but not the quality audio (3.2) that 28 usually transmits. 40 also broadcasts in 14:9 and unless I live with about and inch and a half bar on both sides, it overscans something fierce. 28-1 zooms with no overscan on my 160. Still playing with the HD200 to see what the effect is.


Ron Tobin 06-04-2003 09:57 AM

I LOVE my HD200. I have a 16:9 display, and I send everything out of the HD200 in Panorama mode. It produces a normal picture on the 4:3 portion of the display, and stretches the sides, to fill the display. I've got quite used to watch all my material set at 1080i and in Wide Screen. It does the best job that I have seen of taking a 4:3 picture and distributing on a 16:9 display.

As for PBS, they have gone from best to worst!! They probably hae too much bandwidth assigned to their SD channels and, as a result, we get severe pixeliztion on their HD channel. It's a shame what they have done to previous beautiful HD material. Tonight, there's Fosse (the show) being broadcast in HD. I'm interesting in seeing how much movement there is, hence, the amount of pixelization.

Let's hope that DirecTV will allocate sufficient bandwidth to their new stations, come July. I would assume, that if they are going to charge for it, they will do the right thing. We'll see.

mikejz84 06-08-2003 01:25 PM

Does anyone have an ETA on when WINK will begin broadcasting?

kgalbreth 06-08-2003 03:25 PM


No word here on a firm date, other than they had pulled the permit for the new shack they were building.
They were granted a delay by the FCC as they were first assigned to digital 9 for the startup and then they tried to switch them up to a UHF frequency. WINK fought it and got the delay.
The chief engineer down there is receptive to phone calls.


Larry Slip 06-09-2003 07:42 PM

i was surprised to see a sarasota group, i live by Walmart and Home Depot

kgalbreth 06-09-2003 08:38 PM

Hey, no reason we don't deserve our own place. Reception situations are different here, and we have the benefit of both locations, Tampa and Ft. Myers.
What equipment are you using and how is your reception?


WA4ISB 06-15-2003 07:17 AM

Great to see a Sarasota thread.

I live just north of the fairgrounds and use a RCA DTC-100.

WWSB has a STA from the FCC for low power and is only running 930 watts.

As for WFLA. I am told that in Tampa WFLA is channel 7 on the cable system, and it leaks so bad that the WFLA-DT signal, also on channel 7, has been causing snow on the cable channel 7, so they have reduced power to eliminate the problem on cable. Sometimes down to 5-15% power.

WINK was originally assigned a UHF channel and they applied to change that to channel 9. Channel 9 in Orlando filed againt them. WINK was granted channel 9 after a long battle, but channel 9 in Orlando continues to fight it.

kgalbreth 06-15-2003 09:13 AM


Nice post. That explains the reception level on WFLA and also why WWSB has some problems making the trip across Sarasota at times.
Wish WINK would be able to get up and functional as they should hit us at a pretty good level.
The tech at WINK told me that to save money they had already committed to a 9-11 digital startup system, and then were sent up to the UHF spectrum. They fought the change because the 9-11 setup would have left them with a complete backup in place.
Information exchanges like yours are just what we need on this thread.


Ron Tobin 06-15-2003 10:23 AM


Along with Ken, thanks for your post. You are the first one that has acknowledged that WFLA-DT has reduced power. I was beginning to think it was just my problem.


WA4ISB 06-15-2003 12:11 PM

Thanks guys

I'm Chief Engineer for Cox Radio in Tampa and share some transmitter sites with the TV guys, so sometimes I can get some helpful information from their engineers.

kgalbreth 06-20-2003 01:04 PM

Clipped today from the WINK web site:

Dateline: June 16, 2003 -

WINK-TV : Please accept our apology that we are not broadcasting in HDTV at this time.

In November 2002, the FCC ruled in favor of WINK-TV's request to be reassigned from DTV channel 53 to DTV channel 9, which will allow the station to utilize the same digital transmission equipment throughout our conversion from anaolog to digital broadcasting.

We had been waiting for the FCC's ruling for over two years and, once granted, WINK-TV filed for a DTV construction permit so we could begin investing in the digital broadcasting equipment necessary to provide you with many of your favorite CBS programs and sporting events in HDTV.

Unfortunately, the FCC's decision has been contested by two broadcasting companies with TV stations located in television markets adjacent to ours. We have no reason to believe that these appeals will be successful but, until they have been ruled upon by the FCC, our DTV construction permit has been put on hold.

It is our goal to begin transmitting HDTV programming to you within twelve months of receiving approval from the FCC to begin construction of our digital transmission facilities. Unfortunately, once again, we are waiting on the FCC for a decision that we expected months ago.

In the meantime, we hope you will continue to watch WINK-TV's highly respected news programs and enjoy our station's quality entertainment programs. We value you as a viewer and thank you for your patience.

Guess it won't happen as soon as maybe we hoped it would.


mikejz84 07-21-2003 03:19 PM

There went the superbowl

mikejz84 07-21-2003 03:21 PM

Anyone know how the reception is down in Ft. Myers (around exit 128) I am going to be down there for a while with nothing but a silver sensor.

kgalbreth 07-21-2003 08:36 PM

If the reception here is any indication, they are in pretty good shape down there with the exception as noted with WINK.

NBC broadcasts on both 20.1 and 20.2

ABC broadcasts on both 26.1 and 26.2

Fox is on 36.1

46.1 is also available

33 is WGCU, I think.

These channels come in constantly for me here in Sarasota.

Those are the virtuals, you can find the actuals, as well as where they transmit from and what antenna is suggested, from this web site:


Let us know how it works out.


troup 07-28-2003 08:48 PM

Ken, Thanks for informing me of this thread. I will be buying an hd set about
the time the hd tivo comes out. Is there much difference in picture quality
between directv, bhn and ota with hd signal? I have had directv for two
months and have not been all that happy with the standard def PQ.
Seems a bit too much signal compression for my taste. I still have the
cable hooked up so i borrowed my sons sa8000 (lousy dvr) and in a
a-b comparison the digital cable had better PQ than directv. So i am
not sure which i should use as my hd signal source?
Any suggestions would be appreciated.


mikejz84 09-21-2003 07:52 PM

Hey anyone I am just wondering if anyone notice a spike in WFTX's signal? I have never been able to get its signal very well with my silver sensor here in Fort Myers, but all of a sudden it seems to be coming in great.

P.s. does anyone know where WGCU's transmitter is? I live in the dorms at FGCU--And I can't get the our schools own station!

Jfoltz 09-22-2003 06:45 AM

Nice to see a Sarasota thread, but I just moved from there to Parrish!

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