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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There was an article this morning in the Midland Daily News talking about local stations digital plans, so I think this would be a good way to start an HDTV thread for the mid-michigan area. Link to the article It talked about local stations plans for hdtv, and the general concensis was that there's nobody in the market who wan'ts hdtv (WNEM in particular who claims to be the "leader in the broadcast field in Mid-Michigan"). If you live in mid-michigan and can receive these stations dtv signals, give them a short e-mail telling them that people like us do exist, and that we do want hdtv. Here are all their e-mails:


WNEM: [email protected]

WSMH: [email protected]

WEYI: [email protected]


Right now most of these stations think hdtv is a dead investment, so if we can convince them that it's not, maybe they will change their minds about hdtv.


Also feal free to post questions about dtv reception in mid-michigan here too.


Steve
 

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I find this article both interesting and depressing.

Basically, I've given up on Hi-def in our market.

WEYI filed a six month extension when they had transmitter problems, promising in the application to be on the air substantially before May 01 2003. Once approved they seemed to lose interest in fixing the problem.

I'd be surprised if WNEM has 100 viewers and personally I hope they have less. Since they made the decision not to pass through CBS's Hi-def feed, anybody with any gumption and an Antenna has pointed to Cadillac or Lansing. Fox... Maybe they'll build a tower this century. PBS seems to be doing the best that they can with the funds that they have. People can ***** about WJRT's stretch of standard def but at least they transmit, and at a reasonable power.

All in all we have a sorry state of affairs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What I find most interesting about this article is that WSMH said they could do all the work necessary to upgrade to digital in six months if they had the permit. WEYI has had their permit for coming up on 4 years now, and they still want more time. Out of all the stations in mid-michigan not currently broadcasting, it seems like WDCQ is the only station spending their time trying to go on the air. Everyone else is just trying to find ways to delay going on the air...
 

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I sent Greg Surma at WNEM a message. I don't expect it to do much good. Its in their interest to lowball their viewers. They are Meredith owned and no matter what local execs want they will not get the budget for HDTV. I have no idea where they got the 100 viewership figure from. Sounds like a number pulled from a hat.

I would actually predict their viewership is zero. Anyone I know either pulls WWTV or WLNS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
sjhenry,


How has your reception of WWTV and WLNS been lately? I just got two Televes DAT75's, and using one I was able to pull in WWTV, but I took it down Thursday for more testing and never got a chance to get it back up. I did some more research about long distance UHF reception, and found out that the most common mistakes people in poor signal area's make are 1) not probing for the best signal and 2) not having a view of the horizon. I'm guilty of both, so I think that once I get my DAT75 higher I should have a better chance of receiveing WLNS. Getting a view of the horizon would probably be impossible with all the trees we have in midland, but some extra high should be enough to do the job.
 

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Well. I sent WNEM a note too but I think it will have little effect.


Steve, just out of curiosity have you ever pulled up a topographic map to see what you elevation is? I don't know if I discussed this with you or someone else awhile back. It's been awhile since I've been up in Midland so I don't recall the terrain. I got my info from http://terraserver.homeadvisor.msn.com . I found out I'm at 750'.


Lansing has been coming in so well for me lately that I've pretty much abandoned Detroit. Friday night WLNS hit 100 on my set, tonight WILX was hitting about 88 for Boom Town. Fox is strong too. I only watch WXYZ's ABC feed from Detroit anymore since I'm boycotting WJRT.


I have to believe with dual Televes you should be in good shape up in Midland.
 

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SteveZ,

I missed your PM's until tonight. You have a PM answer.

Whats your elevation based on Terraserver...


Matt,

Midland typically sits between 635 and 690 give or take a foot.

I'm about 3 miles north of town at 690. Most of town seems to be at about 635 to 660 (according to terraserver).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Matt,


I found out my elevation is 625' while the surrounding area's are 750-800', so that puts me at a big disadvantage. This probibly reduces my line of sight to around 50 miles, so with WLNS at 60 miles, thats most likely my problem. To counter this I would need a 100-150' tower, which isn't worth the cost considering that I would only need it for a year or two, or untill WNEM starts broadcasting hdtv. So I'll probibly go for WWTV because of their higher elevation and tower hight. Also about boycotting WJRT because of their strech... it is kind of annoying, but you have to give them credit for being the only station in mid-michigan sending out hdtv and 5.1 sound. So I still think they are a great station. Now boycotting WNEM; thats another story...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Matt,


One more thing... I was able to pull in WSYM-DT a few weeks ago at midnight. (someone must have forgotten to flip the switch) I was amazed to see that they were broadcasting 1080i and 5.1 sound. Do they switch to 480p or 720p durring fox widescreen shows? Prety much all fox's 480p broadcasts have over SD content is their progressive format, so you would think that this would take away from the quality.
 

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WEYI has filed yet another extension today. Their tale of woe continues. To put it in a nutshell it seems that they strengthened their tower only enough to hold one cable. To overcome this problem they have invested in a "Dieletric Combiner". It broke, they shipped it back for repair, it came back broke, then it was discovered that the one they had wouldn't handle their power requirements so they had to order the one they should have funded in the first place. The final piece of the new one will arrive on April 29th. Once the combiner is installed and operational WEYI promises to expidiciously commence operations.

I wait with bated breath.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Steve,


How did you find out that they filed for an extension; that long list of DTV extension inquiry letters on the fcc website? I've heard a lot of conflicting dates for the problem with the combiner to be fixed. A month ago I was told in an e-mail "We don't know the exact timetable however they are talking about Mid June." Then the DTV article in the midland daily news 5 days ago said "The equipment should be replaced in four weeks." Now they are saying four days. I guess we'll just have to wait untill April 29th to find out. Also, I don't know if you've seen it or not, but you have a new PM.
 

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Steve,

You can read their extension letter in PDF format on the fcc website. If you search for DTV and MI, they are the last one to file. In this request they break down their problems in excruciating detail. I didn't get the PM, they seem to take a while to get to me.


Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Steve,


Do you have a link to their extension letter? I searched through all the letters in the FCC's EDOCs database, but I still couldn't find it. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the link. I was only looking through the main search page at the fcc website. It's an interesting letter, but I still don't understand why WEYI would keep buying combiners from these people after 3 failures. As for getting on the air, they should have all the equipment by now, but as of 9 PM there is still a black screen on CH 30. Hopefully they will make it on the air by May 1st... I can't wait to see the Tonight Show in HD every night
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, as of 3 PM WEYI is on the air. I got nothing at 12 PM, so they must have gone up sometime between then. At first I got an 81% signal but a black screen, but after a channel scan the channels were remapped to 25-1 WEYI-HD and 25-2 WEYI-DT. 25-2 has a 704x480i signal at 15.00 MB/s, and 25-1 has nothing as of yet. About 6 months ago they were waiting for an upconverter, so there should probibly be a 24/7 signal on 25-1 sometime soon. Now lets just hope the equipment holds out this time...
 

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I finally got around to looking for them tonight. Good strength on both 25-1 and 25-2, but as of tonight 25-1 has no content. I hope they don't do a WNEM.


Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
What I heard from them was that Wednesday 3PM-5PM they were only allowed to test, and they said they would go on the air once they got an STA from the fcc. And as for HDTV, they do plan on passing the NBC HD signal, and 25-1 shows a 1080i signal, but it is completely black. I think they might be having problems with their upconverter. When I looked and a transport stream from CH30 I recorded, it said that 25-2 was 15 MB/s and 25-1 was 45 MB/s (which is impossible). So im figuring that they just haven't figured out how to use their upconverter yet. They might still pass Law and Order in 1080i at 10PM though...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Steve,


I use a MyHD MDP-100. I got it about 6 months ago, and it does a great job of recording. Best of all it can decode a signal perfectly with only 21-23% Plus it was $500 cheaper then most receivers, so thats what really got me. HDTV2MEPG2 has always reported the correct bitrate, so WEYI must not know how to use the new equipment yet... Also do you notice that the audio on 25-2 is really distorted? They said there shouldn't be a problem with it, but even the mono audio on channel 25 analog sounds better.
 
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