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post #12601 of 13121 Old 06-25-2018, 04:20 AM
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3 markets (3 antennas) in Fenton, MI

Hello all,

I would like some help and I hope you can provide it. I would like to set up a three antennas to get Detroit, Flint/Saginaw and Lansing.

Right now I have two hooked up and I only get two of the three. I did try to hook up three antenna with a combiner but I lost a lot of the signal strength. Normal channels that I would get 90% dropped to 30%. Hopefully I am doing something wrong and you can help fix it.

Here is the tv fool report. http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...90385010c2687b

I would like to get the circled areas.
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post #12602 of 13121 Old 06-25-2018, 04:48 AM
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Hello, languy99; welcome to the forum

Is this your report?
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...90385010c2687b

What you want to do will not be easy. If it were easy, CATV systems would not have to do this:


If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
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post #12603 of 13121 Old 06-25-2018, 05:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by languy99 View Post
I would like to set up a three antennas to get Detroit, Flint/Saginaw and Lansing.

Right now I have two hooked up and I only get two of the three. I did try to hook up three antenna with a combiner but I lost a lot of the signal strength. Normal channels that I would get 90% dropped to 30%. Hopefully I am doing something wrong and you can help fix it.
As you found out, combining two antennas aimed in different directions doesn't always work. How did you combine them?

You will have a lot of duplication from the three directions. Is there some reason why you NEED all three directions, or is it just that you would LIKE all three directions?

You will need to reduce your expectations, or be prepared to spend a lot of money on a complicated system. And, if it is for more than one TV, it gets even more complicated and expensive.

What antennas are you using now, and where are they located?

An alternative system would be one antenna with a rotator for the three directions. It would be necessary to rescan after changing directions unless your TV can add a channel after scan like a Sony. If I had to pick one direction, it would be Detroit.
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post #12604 of 13121 Old 06-25-2018, 07:18 AM
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Put a good set of antennas on a rotor and be done with it. It's too complicated to receive all stations from multiple markets with a set of fixed antennas. Most stations are just duplicates from market to market. I have this same situation with 3 markets. I leave my antennas pointed at my closest strongest stations and record off of those. I rarely record the other markets. I just watch them live if they have something of interest not on my closest stations.

When the repack finishes in your area you'll likely be unable to receive all the stations anyway due to co-channel interference.
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post #12605 of 13121 Old 06-25-2018, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
Hello, languy99; welcome to the forum

Is this your report?

tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d90385010c2687 b

What you want to do will not be easy. If it were easy, CATV systems would not have to do this:
Yup that is my report. Thanks for grabbing the link. I noticed I could not edit my own post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post


As you found out, combining two antennas aimed in different directions doesn't always work. How did you combine them?

You will have a lot of duplication from the three directions. Is there some reason why you NEED all three directions, or is it just that you would LIKE all three directions?

You will need to reduce your expectations, or be prepared to spend a lot of money on a complicated system. And, if it is for more than one TV, it gets even more complicated and expensive.

What antennas are you using now, and where are they located?

An alternative system would be one antenna with a rotator for the three directions. It would be necessary to rescan after changing directions unless your TV can add a channel after scan like a Sony. If I had to pick one direction, it would be Detroit.
I want all three because even if there are duplicates on the off channels .2 .3 they all have different programming. And sometimes even the duplicates have different programming.

Currently I have two hooked up using a 5-1000mhz viewsonics splitter, one a clear stream 2 pointed towards flint/saginaw and a Solid signal HDB4X towards detroit. I also have an extra clear stream 1 ( only one loop ) that is older that I used to have pointed towards flint but removed it when I got the solid signal antenna. I also have a LTE filter and a Channel master Ulta mini 4 powered splitter for inside to house to send signal to different TV.

As for cost, as long as I only have to pay once I am not worried. I would just like to make it work.

See below of what is used to look like and what it looks like now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
Put a good set of antennas on a rotor and be done with it. It's too complicated to receive all stations from multiple markets with a set of fixed antennas. Most stations are just duplicates from market to market. I have this same situation with 3 markets. I leave my antennas pointed at my closest strongest stations and record off of those. I rarely record the other markets. I just watch them live if they have something of interest not on my closest stations.

When the repack finishes in your area you'll likely be unable to receive all the stations anyway due to co-channel interference.
Thanks for the info. My real question is when I have two antennas running my signal strength is great but when I add a third antenna it drops down a lot. Do I need a preamp or something along those lines after the combiner?
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post #12606 of 13121 Old 06-25-2018, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by languy99 View Post
Yup that is my report. Thanks for grabbing the link. I noticed I could not edit my own post.



I want all three because even if there are duplicates on the off channels .2 .3 they all have different programming. And sometimes even the duplicates have different programming.

Currently I have two hooked up using a 5-1000mhz viewsonics splitter, one a clear stream 2 pointed towards flint/saginaw and a Solid signal HDB4X towards detroit. I also have an extra clear stream 1 ( only one loop ) that is older that I used to have pointed towards flint but removed it when I got the solid signal antenna. I also have a LTE filter and a Channel master Ulta mini 4 powered splitter for inside to house to send signal to different TV.

As for cost, as long as I only have to pay once I am not worried. I would just like to make it work.

See below of what is used to look like and what it looks like now.



Thanks for the info. My real question is when I have two antennas running my signal strength is great but when I add a third antenna it drops down a lot. Do I need a preamp or something along those lines after the combiner?

Just buy 3 HdHomerun type tuners, or one of the others that are just like it. One for EACH antenna pointed in the appropriate directions. https://www.silicondust.com/


No conflicts then.
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post #12607 of 13121 Old 06-25-2018, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by languy99 View Post
Thanks for the info. My real question is when I have two antennas running my signal strength is great but when I add a third antenna it drops down a lot. Do I need a preamp or something along those lines after the combiner?

It's likely the third antenna is introducing multipath. Consider yourself lucky if two antennas are working.
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post #12608 of 13121 Old 06-25-2018, 10:08 AM
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would an omnidirectional antenna work? I saw the windguard 360 winegard.com/help/images/f/f7/2452381.pdf but I don't think it is sensitive enough to reach detroit and lansing reliability.
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post #12609 of 13121 Old 06-25-2018, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by languy99 View Post
would an omnidirectional antenna work? I saw the windguard 360 winegard.com/help/images/f/f7/2452381.pdf but I don't think it is sensitive enough to reach detroit and lansing reliability.
Lord, no. That's even worse than combining two antennas when it comes to interference and multipath. The best thing would probably be a deep-fringe combo and a rotor. Then just point it to whichever market you need to view. That's what I have in Novi for picking up Detroit, Toledo and Lansing. If conditions are right, I can occasionally grab WJRT. But the topography between Novi and Flint makes the others impossible for me, not that I need them, anymore.
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post #12610 of 13121 Old 06-25-2018, 11:16 AM
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Lord, no. That's even worse than combining two antennas when it comes to interference and multipath. The best thing would probably be a deep-fringe combo and a rotor. Then just point it to whichever market you need to view. That's what I have in Novi for picking up Detroit, Toledo and Lansing. If conditions are right, I can occasionally grab WJRT. But the topography between Novi and Flint makes the others impossible for me, not that I need them, anymore.
I really don't like the idea of a rotor, we channel surfe a lot. I wonder if anyone has any DTV tuner that can control the rotor? I still think 3 antenna should work but maybe the HDB4X has to wide of a path and should be replaced with a more direct antenna there by reducing multipath?
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post #12611 of 13121 Old 06-25-2018, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by languy99 View Post
Currently I have two hooked up using a 5-1000mhz viewsonics splitter, one a clear stream 2 pointed towards flint/saginaw and a Solid signal HDB4X towards detroit. I also have an extra clear stream 1 ( only one loop ) that is older that I used to have pointed towards flint but removed it when I got the solid signal antenna. I also have a LTE filter and a Channel master Ulta mini 4 powered splitter for inside to house to send signal to different TV.

See below of what is used to look like and what it looks like now.
Thanks for the photos. I am worried about the antennas being so close to the power line.





Quote:
My real question is when I have two antennas running my signal strength is great but when I add a third antenna it drops down a lot. Do I need a preamp or something along those lines after the combiner?
You were lucky. It often doesn't work because when the same signals from each antenna reach the combining point, they will interfere with each other if they are not in phase (arrive at the same instant). If you don't have all the channels when the antennas are combined that you had when they were separate, then that method of combining doesn't work for you. So, it isn't just a matter of signal strength.
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post #12612 of 13121 Old 06-25-2018, 12:41 PM
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There is another way to have 3 antennas without waiting for a rotor to change direction, without the problem of combining, and without neeeding to rescan.


You could have your main antenna connected to the antenna input of the TV and have the other two antennas connected to separate tuners, with their output connected to the AUX input of the TV.

If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
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post #12613 of 13121 Old 06-25-2018, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by languy99 View Post
I really don't like the idea of a rotor, we channel surfe a lot. I wonder if anyone has any DTV tuner that can control the rotor? I still think 3 antenna should work but maybe the HDB4X has to wide of a path and should be replaced with a more direct antenna there by reducing multipath?
Seriously. Go with the rotor. The engineering nightmare of constructing a three-array antenna system to not only pick up the three markets, but filter out multipath and interference is going to be time-consuming and possibly quite expensive. You'll need a pretty tall tower, three antenna arrays, three pre-amps and a number of finely tuned filters on each array to knock down interference and multipath. Might work. Might not. You could be playing signal attenuation games for weeks. And everything you put in the line results in some signal loss. 6 or 8 notch filters and suddenly the main signals are unwatchable.

If you don't want a rotor or to mess with all the other, you could run all three arrays into an A/B/C antenna switch. I'd do that just to speed things up.

Moderator note: I'm probably going to move this to the Detroit thread as there are a good number of participants from outside the metro doing exactly what you're doing, in one form or another.

PS: My array looks a lot like @Calaveras ' avatar.
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post #12614 of 13121 Old 06-25-2018, 12:52 PM
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An A/B/C switch would be a simple answer, but you would need to rescan after changing direction if your tuner can't add a channel after scan like a Sony.

If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
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post #12615 of 13121 Old 06-25-2018, 01:23 PM
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Ok, merged with Detroit thread. Redirect left in Technical. Best of both worlds, that way

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post #12616 of 13121 Old 06-25-2018, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by languy99 View Post
I really don't like the idea of a rotor, we channel surfe a lot. I wonder if anyone has any DTV tuner that can control the rotor? I still think 3 antenna should work but maybe the HDB4X has to wide of a path and should be replaced with a more direct antenna there by reducing multipath?

No antenna has enough directivity to completely reject stations it's not pointed at. I just had a recent clear example of that. I had two stations on channel 32, one at 285 deg azimuth and one at 208 degrees azimuth, 77 degrees apart. The station at 285 was about 10 dB stronger than the 208 station. The SNR on the 208 station was often low or could not be received at all even though the signal appeared to be strong enough on my spectrum analyzer. A couple months ago the 285 station went off the air when they began channel sharing with another station. Now I receive the 208 station almost all the time with a typical SNR of 25 dB.

The same thing is happening to you even on the stations you do receive due to 2 antennas. The SNRs are reduced but just not enough to prevent the signals from being decoded. Two or more same band antennas combined onto one downlead is always a compromise even if not an obvious one.

Here's another possibility as to why 3 antennas don't work. Part of the DTV tuner is an equalizer that within some time limits is able rephase one multipath signal with the main signal. With two antennas you are introducing one out of phase signal. The equalizer is probably able to handle that although it's not 100% perfect. With a third antenna you're introducing a 2nd out of phase signal and the equalizer can't handle that.
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post #12617 of 13121 Old 06-25-2018, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
An A/B/C switch would be a simple answer, but you would need to rescan after changing direction if your tuner can't add a channel after scan like a Sony.
You're right. I think of the 10 or so sets and STBs I have, only one old Vizio won't add channels. I've never tried the Samsung I just bought. The DirecTV receivers could be fooled depending on the zip codes I used.

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post #12618 of 13121 Old 06-26-2018, 08:18 AM
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well I might have to go back to my original set up, I got all three markets with drop on every couple of minutes on only a few channels. Might have to stick with that and call it good. I used it the way it was for 2 years and it looks like I had the best I could get from the start.
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post #12619 of 13121 Old 06-26-2018, 09:42 AM
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Beware of Tropospheric Ducting results

Quote:
Originally Posted by languy99 View Post
well I might have to go back to my original set up, I got all three markets with drop on every couple of minutes on only a few channels. Might have to stick with that and call it good. I used it the way it was for 2 years and it looks like I had the best I could get from the start.
Hi languy99,


I'll offer the caution that today and the next few days are likely going to have affected TV reception, what with the predicted Tropospheric Ducting accompanying our Michigan heat wave. Perhaps best to wait the weather out before drawing any final conclusions.


I'm over in Northeastern Kent County (Greenville mailing address), and ran my almost-every-morning TV scan (I'm such a geek!) just after 7am. I was a bit surprised with my results:


* My local, reliable NBC (WOOD 8--RF7) was missing in action.


* I was receiving two South Bend stations (WNDU and WNIT) with few breakups, which do show up occasionally.


* I had WXYZ Detroit for a solid 30 seconds before it started hiccupping lots. That's a rare one for me!




Where's your VHF dipole with your latest set-up? I've been recommending to friends with their Clearstreams to follow the available suggestion from the manufacturer to separately zip tie the dipole to the mast in the optimal direction, which often differs from the UHF section.


I just adjusted my dipole last evening to face directly at Lansing WILX 10--RF10, with good results both then and this morning (although that's likely contributing to WOOD 8 not being found). Although, with seeing your TVFool, the dipole likely isn't high enough gain to help you with WILX 10--even if you have it centered to the exact degree needed SW from your place. All in all, the dipole is doing okay for me, as last evening I was locking in 6 VHF signals.


Cheers!
-statmanmi
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post #12620 of 13121 Old 06-26-2018, 11:21 AM
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Hi languy99,


I'll offer the caution that today and the next few days are likely going to have affected TV reception, what with the predicted Tropospheric Ducting accompanying our Michigan heat wave. Perhaps best to wait the weather out before drawing any final conclusions.


I'm over in Northeastern Kent County (Greenville mailing address), and ran my almost-every-morning TV scan (I'm such a geek!) just after 7am. I was a bit surprised with my results:


* My local, reliable NBC (WOOD 8--RF7) was missing in action.


* I was receiving two South Bend stations (WNDU and WNIT) with few breakups, which do show up occasionally.


* I had WXYZ Detroit for a solid 30 seconds before it started hiccupping lots. That's a rare one for me!




Where's your VHF dipole with your latest set-up? I've been recommending to friends with their Clearstreams to follow the available suggestion from the manufacturer to separately zip tie the dipole to the mast in the optimal direction, which often differs from the UHF section.


I just adjusted my dipole last evening to face directly at Lansing WILX 10--RF10, with good results both then and this morning (although that's likely contributing to WOOD 8 not being found). Although, with seeing your TVFool, the dipole likely isn't high enough gain to help you with WILX 10--even if you have it centered to the exact degree needed SW from your place. All in all, the dipole is doing okay for me, as last evening I was locking in 6 VHF signals.


Cheers!
-statmanmi
Currently I don't have VHF. It doesn't concern me much right now most; but if I did go back to the old setup, I am going to reposition the VHF but I need to figure out where I would want it.

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post #12621 of 13121 Old 06-27-2018, 09:02 AM
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It was nice to see that WDIV actually used a few decent cameras that were properly adjusted with nice black levels, proper iris & gain settings, low noise, and a sharp image during their live broadcast of the 2018 Ford Fireworks the other day. Unfortunately, they insisted on using crappy shots from their other cameras mixed in. The ones with some combination of terrible noise, a blurry image, floating black levels, and improper exposure settings (overexposing). Maybe in a few years it will actually be a decent production from an image quality standpoint. I expect we'll never get decent audio.

A dozen Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro cameras with some EF mount lenses would have trounced the whole thing.
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post #12622 of 13121 Old 06-28-2018, 10:02 AM
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It was nice to see that WDIV actually used a few decent cameras that were properly adjusted with nice black levels, proper iris & gain settings, low noise, and a sharp image during their live broadcast of the 2018 Ford Fireworks the other day. Unfortunately, they insisted on using crappy shots from their other cameras mixed in. The ones with some combination of terrible noise, a blurry image, floating black levels, and improper exposure settings (overexposing). Maybe in a few years it will actually be a decent production from an image quality standpoint. I expect we'll never get decent audio.

A dozen Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro cameras with some EF mount lenses would have trounced the whole thing.
at what cost?
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post #12623 of 13121 Old 06-28-2018, 12:48 PM
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at what cost?
To buy or Rent? The URSA Mini Pro is $6k to buy. $500 for a 7 day rental. A suitable lens would cost no more than $50 to rent for a few days. Mount it on the tripod and hookup the SDI cable from the camera to their mobile van.
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post #12624 of 13121 Old 06-29-2018, 07:02 AM
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To buy or Rent? The URSA Mini Pro is $6k to buy. $500 for a 7 day rental. A suitable lens would cost no more than $50 to rent for a few days. Mount it on the tripod and hookup the SDI cable from the camera to their mobile van.
maybe thats worth it to them...maybe not

I am pretty sure you and maybe only a few dozen others would even notice

you should contact them directly with your displeasure and see what they say
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post #12625 of 13121 Old 06-29-2018, 07:27 AM
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PQ never drives ratings and, therefore, ad rates. Spending $6k on a camera is only beneficial if there's a way to recover the expense.
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post #12626 of 13121 Old 06-29-2018, 07:41 AM
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PQ never drives ratings and, therefore, ad rates. Spending $6k on a camera is only beneficial if there's a way to recover the expense.
or if everyone else has it and you don't,
like NOT being in HD for local news 15ish years ago
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post #12627 of 13121 Old 06-29-2018, 08:26 AM
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or if everyone else has it and you don't,
like NOT being in HD for local news 15ish years ago
That's how I made my money in broadcast equipment sales. But it was never about the viewer. Always the advertiser. Pretty sure that drove more HD adoption than anything. Stations would have been perfectly content to continue 4:3 digital broadcasting. BUT... as soon as ad houses started cranking out HD commercials, stations that couldn't air them were at a disadvantage. I'm also sure that's behind the recent rash of encoder upgrades. If Big Bob's Car Barn commercials look better on WDIV than on WXYZ, it won't be long before WXYZ buys a new encoder. (there are salespeople who use off-air recordings from their competition to drive this point home).

Back in the day, all I had to do was get ONE station in a market to buy my latest box. And my pitch was always how it made their clients commercials pop. I'd even discount the thing. Then wait. In about 3-6 months, the rest of the stations in the market were clamoring for the same box which I'd easily sell at list.

The other thing I could use to sell gear was cost SAVINGS. That was easy during the transition from film to ENG, though there were some staunch holdouts. ENG was cheaper than film. We had a crack engineer who could add unique features to just about anything, too. That helped.

Dr Don's first law of broadcast technology advancements: There either has to be a financial advantage from doing it or a financial disadvantage for NOT doing it.
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post #12628 of 13121 Old 06-29-2018, 08:39 AM
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Its also very easy to spend other peoples money for something basically only YOU care about..... as a consumer that pays nothing for the product
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post #12629 of 13121 Old 06-29-2018, 09:51 AM
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Its also very easy to spend other peoples money for something basically only YOU care about..... as a consumer that pays nothing for the product


Remember, for broadcasters advertisers are the customers, viewers are the product.
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post #12630 of 13121 Old 06-29-2018, 09:54 AM
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Remember, for broadcasters advertisers are the customers, viewers are the product.
I think what Bill means (and he can correct me) is.. it's easy for us to hypothetically suggest things a station should do since we're not the ones that'd be held accountable if the expense didn't pay off.

But yeah, that's right. Which is why nobody seems to be in a rush to bring 4k to broadcasting. Targeted advertising, yeah. But 4k doesn't deliver a return on the investment for broadcasters (not to be confused with MPVDs)
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Last edited by DrDon; 06-29-2018 at 09:58 AM.
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