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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just wondering if Fox was broadcasting from something more substantial than a coat hanger yet.


And if anyone has an e-mail address for their engineering department, please let me know.


How this fulfills FCC requirements is beyond me.
 

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I've only heard of a couple of people actually able to receive the signal. The Yahoo group hdtv-centex has a couple of people talking about it. Based on that and lack of any other people posting about this station, I'd guess its still at the super low power it has been at the last few weeks.


Austin is still pretty much an HDTV Bermuda Triangle. --Karl
 

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I've been getting a better signal lately -- in the low 50's, but I'm one of the few Austinites who seem to get it.


As far as I can tell, they still haven't installed a transmission line to pass throught the FOX widescreen 480p feed -- it is just upconverted/stretched 480i.


Reprinted from Original KTBC thread , this was Ken Smith's response to my inquiries on May 1:

Quote:
Well, I'm glad to hear that someone is able to get the signal ! We are still in the learning phase of our transmission system. We are presently only transmitting at 80 - 90 % allotted power. The output power does seem to fluctuate a bit.


I am also seeing some anomalies in the Constellation pattern that could affect receivers' capabilities of locking onto the signal.


We are still learning the capabilities of the various pieces of equipment, particularly the ones dealing with aspect ratio conversion. Once we get power levels resolved, we should be able to jump into the various ratio settings and conversions. Keep in touch and let me know what you think looks best.


We are upconverting our analog signal which is delivered to our NTSC transmitter. At present, I do not have a target date for delivering Fox's Widescreen signal to the transmitter site. We are investigating various options. I do not have a target date for increasing the power levels yet, either.
Ken is the VP Eng. & Ops. for KTBC; his email is [email protected] -- I would ask you don't deluge him; he has been good at answering my emails.


Later,



Joe


PS: As I reported in another thread , KNVA expects to be on air by the end of the month, and expects to deliver the WB high definition feed this fall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Joe, I sent an e-mail to the general Fox address and Ken was nice enough to respond today. Unfortunately, he said basically the same thing that he said to you four weeks ago.


I wish that the networks understood that HD (and 480p, I guess, in Fox's case) is their chance to reclaim millions of viewers that left for the 300+ satellite channels. It becomes a compelling reason to watch network shows again. There are several shows I'd watch on Fox in 480p that I just don't have any interest in normally. I guess I could get a sleeping bag and camp under their tower so that I could receive their signal... :)
 

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Well, I'm afraid we are in the "chicken and the egg" stage -- until they start broadcasting, they can't claim back "millions" of viewers (aren't there significantly less than a million HDTV capable sets in America?); until there are millions of viewers they can't justify expenses like installing new transmission lines.


I wonder if we wouldn't be better off sending letters to directly FOX -- if we could get FOX to put pressure on KTBC, we might get them to install the transmission line.


Could you reprint Ken's response to you? It would be interesting to see if there is anything different in it.



Ciao


Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
"We are still looking into provisions for delivering the Fox "Widescreen" signal up to the transmitter site. As yet, we have no estimated time frame for that or for increasing the power output of the transmitter."
 

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Got this from Ken today:


My letter:

Quote:
Ken,


Any updates on KTBC-DT's status?


Your signal seems to be quite stable for me -- my antenna monitor shows low 50's pretty much all the time now, and I get less drop outs than before. I understand that many folks with digital tuners in the Austin area are still having problems picking up your signal. Any ideas on when you go to higher power? Can you give me an idea of what power you will be at now/near term/long term?


Now that you've been up a month, any idea when you'll get a transmission line to give us the 480p widescreen feed? Is there anyone I can write a letter to or call to try to get the ball rolling?


Have you looked into the aspect ratio conversions case? After a month, I have to say that the upconversion KXAN-DT is doing for standard 4:3 tv looks better than KTBC's -- KTBC-DT would look a lot better if you could stretch the image a little bit in the vertical direction -- you would lose a little of the top and bottom of the image, but the geometry looks so much better.


Thanks,


Joe
His Response:

Quote:
No real updates available yet. Our power level now is 800 Watts ERP. Channel 56 is currently authorized for 1 MW. However, Channel 56 is also among the channels the FCC is planning to auction away for wireless services. There are no near term plans to change the power levels.


We are still looking at options for getting the "Widescreen" signal up to the transmitter. The options are looking favorable. We will try different aspect ratios. Let me know what you think after you've seen them.


Ken
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So even though he seems like a nice guy, what he's basically saying is that less than 50 people (and maybe less than 5, based on what you guys are saying) are going to receive this signal for the indefinite future. That's pretty mystifying.


Joe, how far away are you from the tower (as the crow flies)?
 

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Check out the thread I referenced above (original KTBC thread). I've got a detailed description of my antenna/location there. As close as I can figure, the KTBC tower is 6? 8? miles north-east of me.


I wonder about the comment that the "Channel 56 is also among the channels the FCC is planning to auction away for wireless services." If they won't be on it long term, then I can understand their reluctance to buy a high-power (or even REASONABLE-power) transmitter -- television transmitters are fixed frequency, aren't they? I wonder what channel they will be switched to and when? It would suck if this change is 5-10 years away, and they won't make an investment in a decent transmitter because of it.


Joe
 

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And why is the FCC assigning digital channels that are going to auctioned away? As if the digital transition didn't have enough working against it. Sheesh.


Anyone have any more info/links to stuff about the actioning-for-wireless deal?
 

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I posted the question here



Joe
 
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