Washington, DC / Baltimore, MD - HDTV - Page 488 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 266Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #14611 of 15109 Old 01-21-2018, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
AntAltMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: College Park, MD
Posts: 3,993
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 179 Post(s)
Liked: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by KEVINL71 View Post
Of course SYNDEX would kill it off, but...

I stayed at a hotel in the Rosslyn section of Arlington, VA in August of 1989 (close to the Key Bridge). ... WWOR-TV channel 9 from the New York City DMA was carried. I distinctly remember them airing Mets vs Padres that weekend!
In 1989, there were six television stations that made their signals available on C-band satellite: WPIX and WWOR from New York City, WGN from Chicago, WTBS from Atlanta, WSBK from Boston and I think the call letters for the Los Angeles station was KTLA. All six of those stations carried lots of local MLB games.

There were contractual exclusivity issues pressed by the local broadcasters who believed their own syndicated programming carriage agreements were being violated. Those six stations were said to be "grandfathered" in some sense, which I think meant that any residential customer who had subscribed to them could continue to receive them but new customers could not sign up. An alternative that WGN and WTBS decided to pursue was to simply eliminate the offending carriage. I think Happy Days reruns had to be dropped on the C-band satellite versions of the local broadcast channels.

Apart from that, I think the professional sports leagues pressured WGN to reduce its MLB and Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks games by maybe a dozen or so each year from year to year, while Turner Broadcasting took advantage of the situation to move much of the sports to its new channel, TNT, making it more desirable to commercial headend customers.

Last edited by AntAltMike; 01-21-2018 at 02:36 PM.
AntAltMike is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #14612 of 15109 Old 01-21-2018, 02:22 PM
Member
 
StevenJB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Olney, MD
Posts: 147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRG1 View Post
. . . because you need a much better antenna to receive HDTV broadcasts over long distances.
The same exact antenna that you once used for analog television works perfectly for digital television. Marketers or antenna salesmen who use the term "digital" antenna are simply conning you into removing your old Low VHF/High VHF/UHF antenna that you used for analog television. In fact, I would strongly recommend to you or anyone else in keeping that old Low VHF antenna. I have always used mine for receiving excellent FM analog broadcasting and now the new FM digital broadcasting called "HD Radio" or iBiquity in-band on channel (IBOC) digital radio. For the uninitiated, Low VHF Television Channel 6 is located between 82 mHz and 88 mHz. Old analog Television Channel 6 used an FM frequency of 87.75 mHz for audio. The FM Broadcast Band is located between VHF frequencies 88 mHz to 108 mHz. So, save that old Low VHF antenna! My OTA antenna when teamed up with a rotor and pre-amp not only gets me excellent digital television reception which I have described previously but excellent FM analog and digital radio broadcast reception, as well.

Last edited by StevenJB; 01-21-2018 at 02:29 PM.
StevenJB is offline  
post #14613 of 15109 Old 01-21-2018, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
AntAltMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: College Park, MD
Posts: 3,993
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 179 Post(s)
Liked: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenJB View Post
It would be helpful for you when stating your arguments to better understand the basic technology of what you are trying to describe. Your argument is confusing. ...

Your allegation that NTSC analog signals were usable over longer distances than ATSC digital signals is an oversimplification. It depends upon what you consider “usable”. Sure, I could regularly receive analog signals from over 100 miles away but a “snowy” picture was always a constant factor. Fade in and fade out was pernicious. Getting the vertical and horizontal hold to stabilize was always a challenge.
Unfortunately for those of us who were in the residential antenna reception business at the time of the digital transition, we went from being in the installation business to being in the arguing business. People could and would tolerate graininess, ghost images and airplane reflections that might have disrupted only one 1/30 of a second frame, and many were use to seeing visual snowflake-like interference on their lowest VHF channels, but with digital, one master frame disruption can visually destroy a picture for an entire second, and can disrupt the audio, which is compressed, for an interval of several seconds.

What was even more inane was the "competition" we incurred with the customers and their alternative sources of wisdom. I would install antennas in harsh reception situations, and when the customers were dissatisfied with the imperfect reliability of his reception, they could ask around and find out that other people said they were getting "better" reception with different hardware, and if they tweaked their own antennas, they could conclude, to their own satisfaction, that they had made their reception better, when quite often, they were favoring their results in their assessments, or they might have compared the incidence of failure during a sporting event where the forward error correction does not keep up with the frame-to-frame data changes, whereas during the commercials, and even during time outs, the error correction easily keeps up.

All but one of the old antennas companies in the Washington, DC market exited the business, and the one remaining one changed its name and emphasis. I was carrying about $20,000 in Yellow pages advertising in about a dozen metropolitan area phonebooks, but I wound up dropping it all because the new customer calls I got weren't even worth taking.

Quote:
Perhaps, the FCC will entertain increasing the allowable transmission power for each remaining digital channel after the re-pack is complete. That would go a long way in addressing your concerns.
I doubt it. We have been all 8VSB digital for seven and a half years now so whatever reception MRG1 has experienced is about the best that he will likely enjoy in the future.

Last edited by AntAltMike; 01-21-2018 at 02:50 PM.
AntAltMike is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #14614 of 15109 Old 01-21-2018, 03:03 PM
Member
 
StevenJB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Olney, MD
Posts: 147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post
As far as having your local cable company carry adjacent market signals is concerned, when I first moved to the DC area, most DC market cable companies carried some but not all of the Baltimore channels. I think it was a matter of the local cable companies not agreeing to mutually beneficial financial terms with the stations to include them.
During the 1980's, the original cable television provider in Montgomery County, MD, was called Cable TV Montgomery or Montgomery TV Cable. Initially, they carried every Baltimore local including at the time Channels 2, 11, 13, 22, 45, and 54. I do not believe that 24 was as of yet broadcasting at that time. Then slowly but steadily each and every channel disappeared except for 22. I can only surmise that the local Washington stations pressured the cable providers servicing the Washington-area jurisdictions to drop their Baltimore counterparts. In fact, about three years ago, Verizon FiOS carried NBC Channel 25 WHAG-TV (now WDVM) from Hagerstown, MD, into Montgomery County. NBC-owned WRC-4 was powerful enough to get Verizon to drop WHAG. That soured me forever with local television on cable. That is why I use an OTA antenna.
StevenJB is offline  
post #14615 of 15109 Old 01-21-2018, 03:38 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
tylerSC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Mauldin SC, 29607
Posts: 6,665
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1321 Post(s)
Liked: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by KEVINL71 View Post
Wow! That sucks about the building! As for the cable line-up at that time, it sure looked like the local Arlington Cable lineup! I checked it with one of the local papers and pretty much everything matched up. I had the Washington locals, MPT, and the big Baltimore stations. I don't remember if channels 24 or 54 from Baltimore were on that lineup or not.
I remember back in the 90's many hotels and cable systems in Northern Virginia and Maryland carried both Baltimore and DC channels. I am not sure how it is today. Many high rise apartments also had master antennas that carried both DC and Baltimore. And you could pick up Baltimore in Alexandria Va. with rabbit ears and loop amplified antenna. I am hoping to visit the area soon and I may bring an antenna and small TV to play around with. And I will definitely find a Roy Rogers to visit as they are slowly but surely making a successful comeback in several suburban locations in Virginia and Maryland. They were always my favorite fast food restaurant and they failed only after being converted to Hardee's.
tylerSC is offline  
post #14616 of 15109 Old 01-21-2018, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
AntAltMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: College Park, MD
Posts: 3,993
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 179 Post(s)
Liked: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post
,,,I will definitely find a Roy Rogers to visit as they are slowly but surely making a successful comeback in several suburban locations in Virginia and Maryland. They were always my favorite fast food restaurant and they failed only after being converted to Hardee's.
Most of the local Roy Rogers here were converted to McDonald's about a decade and a half ago. The nearest one I continued to encounter was on US Route 1, either in southern Alexandria or northern Ft. Belvoir, but I haven't been that way in years. "Real food for real people."
AntAltMike is offline  
post #14617 of 15109 Old 01-21-2018, 03:50 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
tylerSC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Mauldin SC, 29607
Posts: 6,665
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1321 Post(s)
Liked: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenJB View Post
The same exact antenna that you once used for analog television works perfectly for digital television. Marketers or antenna salesmen who use the term "digital" antenna are simply conning you into removing your old Low VHF/High VHF/UHF antenna that you used for analog television. In fact, I would strongly recommend to you or anyone else in keeping that old Low VHF antenna. I have always used mine for receiving excellent FM analog broadcasting and now the new FM digital broadcasting called "HD Radio" or iBiquity in-band on channel (IBOC) digital radio. For the uninitiated, Low VHF Television Channel 6 is located between 82 mHz and 88 mHz. Old analog Television Channel 6 used an FM frequency of 87.75 mHz for audio. The FM Broadcast Band is located between VHF frequencies 88 mHz to 108 mHz. So, save that old Low VHF antenna! My OTA antenna when teamed up with a rotor and pre-amp not only gets me excellent digital television reception which I have described previously but excellent FM analog and digital radio broadcast reception, as well.
Those large UHF/VHF combo antennas are indeed excellent for FM radio reception and HD Radio. And in some markets some channels may move to Low VHF after the repack. So they remain very useful, and the older versions from Channel Master, Winegard, and Antennacraft (Radioshack) remain very useful and functional. But if cosmetics is a concern, some of the smaller antennas may work, such as the Clearstream 4V. But they are more optimized for UHF with the loops but they do have a dipole for VHF. Although higher VHF gain may be needed at certain distances.
tylerSC is offline  
post #14618 of 15109 Old 01-21-2018, 03:59 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
tylerSC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Mauldin SC, 29607
Posts: 6,665
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1321 Post(s)
Liked: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post
Most of the local Roy Rogers here were converted to McDonald's about a decade and a half ago. The nearest one I continued to encounter was on US Route 1, either in southern Alexandria or northern Ft. Belvoir, but I haven't been that way in years. "Real food for real people."
After the Hardee's conversion failed, they were sold to McDonald's. The Frederick, MD franchise operator now owns the brand and is rebuilding locations in Northern Virginia and Maryland, and has locations in Alexandria, Manassas, Gaithersburg, Rockville, and all around Frederick. They are back in New Jersey and looking to return to Pennsylvania. And they still have some in the travel plazas in Jersey and Pa, but I don't recommend those.
tylerSC is offline  
post #14619 of 15109 Old 01-21-2018, 05:16 PM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Trip in VA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Alexandria, VA, US
Posts: 16,718
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1567 Post(s)
Liked: 643
Send a message via AIM to Trip in VA
Quote:
Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post
Most of the local Roy Rogers here were converted to McDonald's about a decade and a half ago. The nearest one I continued to encounter was on US Route 1, either in southern Alexandria or northern Ft. Belvoir, but I haven't been that way in years. "Real food for real people."
It's on Route 1 right before the turn onto Jeff Todd Way (which is, itself, the eastern boundary of Fort Belvoir North). My wife and I tried it one day and didn't see what all the fuss was about.

- Trip

N4MJC

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

RabbitEars

"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand..." - Rush "Witch Hunt"

Trip in VA is offline  
post #14620 of 15109 Old 01-22-2018, 04:05 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
tylerSC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Mauldin SC, 29607
Posts: 6,665
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1321 Post(s)
Liked: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
It's on Route 1 right before the turn onto Jeff Todd Way (which is, itself, the eastern boundary of Fort Belvoir North). My wife and I tried it one day and didn't see what all the fuss was about.

- Trip
Their roast beef was a better grade than Arby's, their fried chicken beat KFC in taste tests, and their burgers were better than McDonald's. And they had a fixins bar to fix your sandwich the way you like it. I always found them to have good variety and good quality, and they were once very prevalent in the Mid Atlantic and the Northeast. There even used to be a location in Greensboro, NC that my grandparents always took me to when visiting years ago. I was disappointed when Marriott sold them to Hardee's, but glad they are now slowly making a successful comeback.

But to get back to topic, do you know when WDCA will go dark and start channel sharing with WTTG? And what about WMYT and WJZY? Has that been decided yet?
AntAltMike likes this.
tylerSC is offline  
post #14621 of 15109 Old 01-22-2018, 05:16 PM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Trip in VA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Alexandria, VA, US
Posts: 16,718
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1567 Post(s)
Liked: 643
Send a message via AIM to Trip in VA
At present, they have until 4/23 to go off the air.

- Trip

N4MJC

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

RabbitEars

"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand..." - Rush "Witch Hunt"

Trip in VA is offline  
post #14622 of 15109 Old 01-23-2018, 11:58 PM
Senior Member
 
MRG1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 354
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 207 Post(s)
Liked: 48
I know that a lot of people love to point out the resolution of their UHD TV sets. But to me, resolution - and old-style analog ghosting - are largely irrelevant. I don't really notice resolution after the first few minutes, and I didn't pay a lot of attention to ghosting either, because it didn't much affect the understand-ability of the shows. OTOH, new style sets often completely drop the program for long time stretches if they get an imperfect signal, often making it impossible to understand what is going on. So, from my perspective, old style analog did go much farther. And I loved that a simple VHS tape deck could record everything, before DMCA and encryption got into the game.

More channels isn't always better. I think there are only so many good script writers and good producers - so what has happened now is that you need to receive a lot more channels to get the same number of the good shows. It used to be that if you got ABC, CBS, and NBC, and maybe PBS, you got just about everything worth while. I'm also under the impression that each major network now shows a lot more reruns, and less new content.

Maybe I'm just an old codger dreaming of the imaginary "good old days". But much of the OTA community seems a lot like that. They work so very hard to avoid paying for cable or satellite TV, that it seems somewhat like a hobby that they have come to enjoy.

BTW, do the best new "digital" YAGI antennas have fewer antenna elements than the old "analog" YAGI antennas, because current ATSC channels include fewer frequencies than NTSC channels did in its heyday?

Last edited by MRG1; 01-24-2018 at 12:09 AM.
MRG1 is offline  
post #14623 of 15109 Old 01-24-2018, 12:46 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
tylerSC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Mauldin SC, 29607
Posts: 6,665
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1321 Post(s)
Liked: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRG1 View Post
I know that a lot of people love to point out the resolution of their UHD TV sets. But to me, resolution - and old-style analog ghosting - are largely irrelevant. I don't really notice resolution after the first few minutes, and I didn't pay a lot of attention to ghosting either, because it didn't much affect the understand-ability of the shows. OTOH, new style sets often completely drop the program for long time stretches if they get an imperfect signal, often making it impossible to understand what is going on. So, from my perspective, old style analog did go much farther. And I loved that a simple VHS tape deck could record everything, before DMCA and encryption got into the game.

More channels isn't always better. I think there are only so many good script writers and good producers - so what has happened now is that you need to receive a lot more channels to get the same number of the good shows. It used to be that if you got ABC, CBS, and NBC, and maybe PBS, you got just about everything worth while. I'm also under the impression that each major network now shows a lot more reruns, and less new content.

Maybe I'm just an old codger dreaming of the imaginary "good old days". But much of the OTA community seems a lot like that. They work so very hard to avoid paying for cable or satellite TV, that it seems somewhat like a hobby that they have come to enjoy.

BTW, do the best new "digital" YAGI antennas have fewer antenna elements than the old "analog" YAGI antennas, because current ATSC channels include fewer frequencies than NTSC channels did in its heyday?
Some of the smaller antennas marketed as digital have fewer elements because they are primarily optimized for UHF. More elements are added for High VHF and Low VHF, and some of these antennas are still made. And in general a fringe antenna will have more elements to receive further distant signals. None of this has changed. A small thin, "digital" antenna is the Mohu Leaf. But a better compact antenna is the Clearstream 4MAX or Clearstream 2MAX, with UHF loops and a VHF dipole. But an even larger antenna for High VHF and UHF is the Winegard 7698, or the all band Winegard 8200, which adds more elements for Low VHF and FM radio. Often these larger antennas are needed for reliable digital reception, especially in the fringe. And with the upcoming repack, the traditional large 8200 style antenna may be needed again, as some channels may return to Low VHF. But these large antennas are also excellent for FM radio, including HD Radio.
tylerSC is offline  
post #14624 of 15109 Old 01-24-2018, 12:48 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
tylerSC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Mauldin SC, 29607
Posts: 6,665
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1321 Post(s)
Liked: 245
Speaking of antennas, there used to be large installers in the DC area such as Fairfax Antenna in Virginia, and Davis Antenna in Waldorf, Maryland. Are any of these companies still around?
tylerSC is offline  
post #14625 of 15109 Old 01-24-2018, 01:12 PM
UHD Addict
 
aaronwt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northern VA(Woodbridge)
Posts: 35,948
Mentioned: 71 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9309 Post(s)
Liked: 5996
Did the CW change broadcast frequencies?

I was wondering why I had no signal for the last couple of nights on my TiVo. And their website says to do a re-scan. Fortunately my OTA recordings are just backups for my FiOS recordings.

53TB unRAID1a--49TB unRAID2--76TB unRAID3
TCL 6 Series--Sony UBP-X800--Philips BDP7502--Onkyo HT-S7800
XBL/PSN: WormholeXtreme
aaronwt is offline  
post #14626 of 15109 Old 01-24-2018, 02:54 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
poppagene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Bethesda. MD
Posts: 1,541
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 860 Post(s)
Liked: 758
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post
Did the CW change broadcast frequencies?

I was wondering why I had no signal for the last couple of nights on my TiVo. And their website says to do a re-scan. Fortunately my OTA recordings are just backups for my FiOS recordings.

They changed from 50 to 15. TiVo guide hasn't got it sorted out yet. If you go to the tivo channel list (not the guide) there are 2 instances of 50-1 and 2 instances of 50-2. The first of each corresponds to the guide and one pass info. The second two are the channels that actually get the video signal -- too bad there isn't any guide data yet to go along with the video signals.
aaronwt likes this.

UN48JS8500 UN55HU6950 w/SEK-3500U UN40HU6950 w/SEK-3500U UBD-K8500 UN37C5000

Last edited by poppagene; 01-25-2018 at 02:07 AM.
poppagene is offline  
post #14627 of 15109 Old 01-24-2018, 05:38 PM
Senior Member
 
DrOct's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 296
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by poppagene View Post
They changed from 50 to 15. TiVo guide hasn't got it sorted out yet. I you go to the tivo channel list (not the guide) there are 2 instances of 50-1 and 2 instances of 50-2. The first of each corresponds to the guide and one pass info. The second two are the channels that actually get the video signal -- to bad there isn't any guide data yet to go along with the video signals.
Good to know! I was a bit concerned when just a few minutes ago I wasn't getting any signal on 50.1! I actually just moved a bunch of my coax this week and was sure I had tested that channel but was suddenly worried I'd need to start testing every connection and/or reaim my antenna! Glad I thought to come here and check with you knowledgeable folks.

thankfully I also get the Baltimore CW station pretty well and my DVR was smart enough to fall back to that for recordings.
DrOct is offline  
post #14628 of 15109 Old 01-24-2018, 09:59 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
carltonrice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Laurel, Maryland, USA
Posts: 1,098
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Liked: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by poppagene View Post
They changed from 50 to 15. TiVo guide hasn't got it sorted out yet. I you go to the tivo channel list (not the guide) there are 2 instances of 50-1 and 2 instances of 50-2. The first of each corresponds to the guide and one pass info. The second two are the channels that actually get the video signal -- to bad there isn't any guide data yet to go along with the video signals.
I wondered where they went. Glad it's not just me. I will do the rescan tomorrow and hopefully they'll be back.
carltonrice is offline  
post #14629 of 15109 Old 01-25-2018, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
AntAltMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: College Park, MD
Posts: 3,993
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 179 Post(s)
Liked: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post
Speaking of antennas, there used to be large installers in the DC area such as Fairfax Antenna in Virginia, and Davis Antenna in Waldorf, Maryland. Are any of these companies still around?
Fairfax Antenna is now operating as Fairfax AVI. Their link in the masthead post on this thread still works. The last time I spoke to anyone from that company was when someone there called me up to tell me that Davis Antenna's phone was disconnected. The Action Antenna link in the masthead post still works, too, but I didn't test the phone numbers.

Davis, and Capital Antenna of Hyattsville, each discontinued installation operations about half a decade ago. I scoffed up some of Davis's inventory of old stuff that otherwise would have been dumpster material because I like having it just in case someone wants me to restore an old system that has served the customer adequately. Peake Communications of Silver Spring ceased operations about 20 years ago, and Antronnix, also of Silver Spring and in the same industrial Park as Peake, repurposed as a highrise fire alarm system company and stopped servicing antennas when I left them in 1995.

As I mentioned a few posts above, with the advent of digital transmission, we went from being in the installation business to being in the arguing business and there was just no way that any of us could keep selling residential and keep our sanity. On top of that, everyone customer acquired the means to immediately "price check", and often demanded to pay the same price for the hardware we were installing and selling them that they could pay if they had obtained it directly, which made the installation price schedules unsustainable.

It was even worse for Davis, because they had a substantial resale business, and UPS would sometimes double and triple shipping rates for fragile antenna boxes without advance notification. Sometimes, UPS would all-of-a-sudden start charging one antenna shipping company three times as much to ship antennas as it was charging another, probably just because their shipments had reached a trigger level of customer damage claims. I remember once I ordered two Winegard antennas from North American Cable, about 100 miles away, and they wanted $90 to ship them, while Solid Signal could ship me the same two antennas for $20.

But mostly, the problem was that the customer could see definitive, if infrequent, defects in digital pictures that they felt the professional installer should be able to totally eliminate, and dealing with each dissatisfied customer's complaints totally wiped out the profits on several successful installations.

Last edited by AntAltMike; 01-25-2018 at 05:58 PM.
AntAltMike is offline  
post #14630 of 15109 Old 01-25-2018, 08:57 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
carltonrice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Laurel, Maryland, USA
Posts: 1,098
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Liked: 29
Another question on the WDCW frequency change. I did a rescan and things seem to be coming in very well on the channel 15 frequency. I wondered if (in addition to changing the frequency) they have changed the transmitter site. Are they now broadcasting channel 15 on their old transmitter (which I think was in Silver Spring) or have they moved to share the tower that channels 7 and 9 are on? This would make sense because of Sinclair's ownership of channel 7 (WJLA) and their purchase of the Tribune stations which owns WDCW. And it would fit with my improved reception when the antenna is aimed at the other DC network affiliates.
carltonrice is offline  
post #14631 of 15109 Old 01-26-2018, 01:38 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
AntAltMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: College Park, MD
Posts: 3,993
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 179 Post(s)
Liked: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by carltonrice View Post
Another question on the WDCW frequency change. I did a rescan and things seem to be coming in very well on the channel 15 frequency. I wondered if (in addition to changing the frequency) they have changed the transmitter site. Are they now broadcasting channel 15 on their old transmitter (which I think was in Silver Spring) or have they moved to share the tower that channels 7 and 9 are on? .
I will defer to anyone more knowledgeable on this matter, but as I understand it, they are no longer operating a transmitter. I think that their local CW network and Antenna TV broadcasts are now simply mixed in with WFDC's four channels and modulated for broadcast together.

That does mean that UHF channel 15 is carrying two 720p HDTV channels along with four 480i. SDTV channels. That is more data than we had originally expected them to be able to squeeze into one 6MHz channel. The possibilities I can contemplate are, 1) that data compression has evolved, or 2) that they are perhaps using a little less forward error correction.
AntAltMike is offline  
post #14632 of 15109 Old 01-26-2018, 04:42 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
carltonrice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Laurel, Maryland, USA
Posts: 1,098
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Liked: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post
I will defer to anyone more knowledgeable on this matter, but as I understand it, they are no longer operating a transmitter. I think that their local CW network and Antenna TV broadcasts are now simply mixed in with WFDC's four channels and modulated for broadcast together.

That does mean that UHF channel 15 is carrying two 720p HDTV channels along with four 480i. SDTV channels. That is more data than we had originally expected them to be able to squeeze into one 6MHz channel. The possibilities I can contemplate are, 1) that data compression has evolved, or 2) that they are perhaps using a little less forward error correction.
So their transmitter did move. They are now broadcasting on the same transmitter as channel 14 (frequency 15). Although I looked up on Wikipedia and it shows different longitude/latitude coordinates for them. But, that would make sense as I've always had strong signal on that channel.
carltonrice is offline  
post #14633 of 15109 Old 01-26-2018, 05:40 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Trip in VA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Alexandria, VA, US
Posts: 16,718
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1567 Post(s)
Liked: 643
Send a message via AIM to Trip in VA
Quote:
Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post
The possibilities I can contemplate are, 1) that data compression has evolved, or 2) that they are perhaps using a little less forward error correction.
ATSC 1.0 doesn't give you the ability to adjust the FEC, so it's #1 .

- Trip
aaronwt likes this.

N4MJC

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

RabbitEars

"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand..." - Rush "Witch Hunt"

Trip in VA is offline  
post #14634 of 15109 Old 01-26-2018, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
AntAltMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: College Park, MD
Posts: 3,993
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 179 Post(s)
Liked: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by carltonrice View Post
So their transmitter did move. They are now broadcasting on the same transmitter as channel 14 (frequency 15). Although I looked up on Wikipedia and it shows different longitude/latitude coordinates for them. But, that would make sense as I've always had strong signal on that channel.
I don't think their transmitter moved. Their signal's point of transmission moved, but the electronics called a transmitter, that has been on that tower on or near American University for a decade, stays the same. I think WDCA's transmitter that they had been using to broadcast an 8VSB signalk from their Peabody St. tower, has been shut down for good.
AntAltMike is offline  
post #14635 of 15109 Old 01-26-2018, 07:49 AM
Senior Member
 
MRG1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 354
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 207 Post(s)
Liked: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post
That does mean that UHF channel 15 is carrying two 720p HDTV channels along with four 480i. SDTV channels. That is more data than we had originally expected them to be able to squeeze into one 6MHz channel. The possibilities I can contemplate are, 1) that data compression has evolved, or 2) that they are perhaps using a little less forward error correction.
I haven't actually read the ATSC standard, so I can't speak authoritatively (and I only ever worked on single image compression/decompression, not audio/video compression), but I think the data compression algorithm was built into the ATSC standard, when it was first created. According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATSC_standards the ATSC 2.0 standard is supposed to be backward compatible. Many people would be very unhappy if old ATSC TVs and DVRs couldn't receive new ATSC signals (which is supposed to be true of ATSC 3.0 - but I don't think it is in much if any use yet?).

However, as best I understand it, there are a variety of factors within ATSC that can be adjustable, that affect the bits/second. E.g., frame rate, resolution, weighting table... I don't know much about sound compression, but that may be adjustable too. (And things like the weighting table may be generated more adaptively, to fit better the type of video imagery being transmitted - and it may be also picked so as to generate fewer bits / second, on average.)

I.E.., they may simply be creating lower quality broadcasts than many people thought most people would accept. I notice that some of low res subchannels on many stations are much worse quality than NTSC used to be - they look very blurred, which is exactly what you would expect if the weighting table was picked to reduce the bits sent / DCT coefficient. (As I said, I haven't read ATSC - but on JPEG, the weight table is a table of divisors, which are applied to the results of a 2D DCT of an image. If you pick large divisors, the coefficients are represented inaccurately, and the high frequency coefficients, which contain most of the detail, but are generally smaller in amplitude, are left out. ATSC must be more complicated, because of motion, and inter-frame interpolation, but the idea of a weighting table is probably much the same.) That would indeed blur the images. Also pick a low frame rate, a low resolution to start with, take yourself back to 4/3 aspect ratio, which is fine for old SD reruns, and don't use progressive scan, and you could drop the bits / second a lot.

(Of course, I think the ATSC standard included room for expansion, in terms of data packet types that are ignored by old TVs - which ATSC 2.0 takes advantage of - to provide new interactive services. But I doubt that is the issue here.)

That said, I don't get channel 15, so I can't test at it with an old receiver - e.g., my old TIVO series 3. But, AFAICT, when I had a better antenna location, in late 2016, I was able to receive all the sub-channels on most of the stations I could receive at all with that TIVO. Some stations had about 5 - 10 subchannels. Even with my current lousy basement location, I easily receive all 6 subchannels of channel 66 (WPXW) - and yes, they are all on frequency 34.
TheKrell likes this.

Last edited by MRG1; 01-26-2018 at 08:03 AM.
MRG1 is offline  
post #14636 of 15109 Old 01-26-2018, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
AntAltMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: College Park, MD
Posts: 3,993
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 179 Post(s)
Liked: 86
Of course, they could be starving the bits on the SD channels, too. A decade or more ago, someone used to post how much "bandwidth" each subchannel was using. I think they had a "reader" program analyzing the demodulated data stream. For some reason, the number 19.2MBPS comes to mind. I don't believe that each channel gets a slice of the band, but rather an apportionment of the data stream.

I remember watching Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom on WUSA one Sunday morning, and there was this leopard sitting down in the grass, and when he got up and slowly sauntered, his spots would become squares, and then go back to being spots when he'd stop.
DrDon and TheKrell like this.
AntAltMike is offline  
post #14637 of 15109 Old 01-28-2018, 04:00 PM
Senior Member
 
MRG1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 354
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 207 Post(s)
Liked: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post
Of course, they could be starving the bits on the SD channels, too.
On the channels I've looked at, it is the SD channels that look the most blurred, so I assume that is normal - little priority is given to the SD channels by those broadcasters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post
I remember watching Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom on WUSA one Sunday morning, and there was this leopard sitting down in the grass, and when he got up and slowly sauntered, his spots would become squares, and then go back to being spots when he'd stop.
Very cool!

It makes sense, if you are techie. More or less squares are a common artifact of DCT-based compression, because a 2D DCT is done by taking a cosine transform (pseudo-fourier transform, but real rather than complex, so you need more frequencies to capture the same data) along each dimension in sequence - so if you only get a few low frequency components (in each 8x8 pixel block, for JPEG - I'm not sure about MPEG or ATSC, but it might be the same size - not generally as good as with larger blocks, but fast to compute), you often end up with rectangular shapes. But with less inter-frame (perhaps I should say inter-master-frame? - I don't know exactly how motion is handled in ATSC) motion to code, it is likely that more bits are available to code each frame, so you get a better results. In addition, one often sees the boundaries of each 8x8 pixel area very clearly, because many of the bits go to code the DC value - i.e., the average pixel value, than to code the intra-block variation.

Or, perhaps the leopard really does change its spots.

One might assume that if they were showing fish. They are very good at camouflage. They often do change their colors and spot shapes to match the background.
AntAltMike and TheKrell like this.
MRG1 is offline  
post #14638 of 15109 Old 02-03-2018, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
AntAltMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: College Park, MD
Posts: 3,993
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 179 Post(s)
Liked: 86
Russia Today on 30.4 had been blank for some time now. I was out of town since Tuesday, so I don't I don't know its recent history. There is no Wikipedia page update, or mention of transmitter status that I can find on their website.
AntAltMike is offline  
post #14639 of 15109 Old 02-03-2018, 04:56 PM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Trip in VA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Alexandria, VA, US
Posts: 16,718
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1567 Post(s)
Liked: 643
Send a message via AIM to Trip in VA
It's completely gone from the transport stream. Looks like it vanished at 1PM yesterday.

Assuming it's not an equipment failure, it won't be the last channel on MHz to vanish in the next few months.

- Trip

N4MJC

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

RabbitEars

"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand..." - Rush "Witch Hunt"

Trip in VA is offline  
post #14640 of 15109 Old 02-03-2018, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
AntAltMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: College Park, MD
Posts: 3,993
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 179 Post(s)
Liked: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
It's completely gone from the transport stream. Looks like it vanished at 1PM yesterday.

Assuming it's not an equipment failure, it won't be the last channel on MHz to vanish in the next few months.
I don't see why they would discontinue their operation before D-Day, unless they are in the process of implementing their alternative transmission plan. They have made a name for themselves in the political news market, and I can't see them giving up broadcast TV availability in the Washington, DC market.


Last edited by AntAltMike; 02-04-2018 at 12:35 AM.
AntAltMike is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Local HDTV Info and Reception

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off