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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have firsthand experience with HDTV broadcasts in Little Rock, AR? I recently purchased this HDTV compatible TV http://www.crutchfield.com/cgi-bin/S...43HT20&o=m&a=0 and was considering getting an HDTV tuner.

According to antennaweb.org these are the stations in my area broadcasting in HDTV. Looks like I am good other than ABC, WB, and PBS.

However, I was wandering the local electronics stores searching for a Series2 DTiVo yesterday and was informed that NO station in LR was currently broadcasting ANYTHING in HD.

Normally I don't listen to anything the BB reps say, but this guy was very educated in DirecTV. Is he right, or just ill-informed regarding HDTV in my area?


KETS-DT 5 PBS Little Rock AR May 1 2003

KTHV-DT 12 CBS Little Rock AR Now Live

KATV-DT 22 ABC Little Rock AR Feb 28 2003

KLRT-DT 30 FOX Little Rock AR Now Live

KARK-DT 32 NBC Little Rock AR Now Live

KASN-DT 39 UPN Pine Bluff AR Now Live

KWBF-DT 43 WB Little Rock AR May 1 2003
 

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ClutchBrake,


I'm not in Little Rock, but I think the Best Buy employee may not know that of which he speaketh. According to the National Association of Broadcasters' website, the following Little Rock digital stations are on the air:

KLRT 30

KTHV 12

KARK-TV 32

KASN 39


It's possible that all four of these stations are broadcasting digitally but no hi def. Seems pretty unlikely to me though. :rolleyes:

Also, www.100000watts.com confirms the above four digital stations as being on air. I think you ought to give the digital receiver a try. Best of luck!


Jim
 

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ClutchBrake,


I live in Conway. KTHV-DT 12 CBS is the only digital station I receive, but they do broadcast in HD. I've got a Sony Hd100 receiver and get CBS at a signal strength of 82. I used to pull in Fox digital up to about a month ago but now I get a 0 signal. UPN used to come in about 45-- not strong enough to lock on to. I also get no signal on NBC. All four of these stations are located on the same tower about 20 miles away from me. I was told that NBC is putting out the smallest amount of power so they can say that they are complying with the FCC, but that they will only increase their power when they have to turn off their analog!


ABC applied for an extension till Nov 2002. I find no further extension request listed on the FCC's site, but now titan tv shows FEB 28, 2003--well there goes the superbowl.


I have called and talked to one of the engineers at KTHV. He was very knowledgeable and friendly. I have called and emailed the other stations with no luck.


Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bummer, sounds like no HDTV for me. I actually live in Bryant, just outside of Little Rock. That probably puts me in the same reception problem as you.

Just out of curiosity, how do you know what kind of signal you are pulling in? My OTA looks pretty good but I don't know if that has any bearing on a HD signal pull.

Thanks for the info!
 

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Clutchbrake-


Both KLRT-DT and KASN-DT are broadcasting at 1 megawatt 24x7. You'll find KLRT-DT on channel 30 remaps to 16-1. The transmitter is located on Shinall Mtn west of LR. KLRT is a FOX affilate upconverted to 1080i in OAR and passing widescreen during network. Full 19mbit. KASN-DT is on channel 39 remapped to 38-1 located in Redfield. KASN is a UPN affiliate. Currently broadcasting standard def also full 19mbit. That will change to 1080i as soon as UPN/Viacom provide a HD feed. Both stations are passing EPG and closed captioning. I have passed around a samsung sir-t150 stb to station employees who have had little to no trouble receiving either station in the central arkansas area. You shouldn't have much trouble with either station. Your main issue will be that the two transmitter sites are about 120 degrees or so in different directions from your location. You may have multipath issues. Easily solved by rotating the antenna for "best fit" or worst case pointing it at the station you are watching. As you may be able to guess from the post, I am darn proud of the two stations I have spent the last couple of years building. Not to mention the several million company dollars I've expended. You won't find me or my engineering staff running our DTV stations as a sideline/hobby. Good luck and let me know if I can help.


Allen

CE KLRT/KASN
 

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I second that. If you cannot get 16-1 and 38-1 in Conway, there is something seriously wrong with your antenna, or you are in one hell of a valley. I can get both with *NO* antenna connected at all in North Little Rock. What type of antenna are you using?


Clitchbrake-

The salesman was correct in that there are NO HD stations transmitting via direcTv that would be receiveable on a DirecTivo series 1 or 2, no locals at all for Little Rock, for that matter. There are stations on the air, if you put up a small UHF antenna, and perhaps a rotor, on your roof. CBS is full HDTV, NBC is digital but their signal looks as bad a crappy analog, and low power to boot. UPN looks as good as a studio NTSC monitor, Fox as Allen pointed out, is using some high dollar stuff to upconvert the networks 480 widescreen to a VERY sharp 1080i SD, and ABC is shooting for January to go online. They are very much wanting to be tested and going when the super bowl rolls around. Im not holding my breath, but my station currently occupies with DT channel with a LP analog, and we are in the process of moving channels to make room for them to begin testing. WB is currently not approved for Digital, the application is being held up by the FCC for whatever reason. You can get WB-HD with a $97 twinhan DVB receiver card for your computer, a 10' C band dish, and a 2GHz or faster computer, but thats the only way for quite a while around here.


Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Davenlr, I almost PM'd you instead of starting this thread. You are the only one that showed up when I searched for Arkansas. I'm glad I didn't though because of the other posts here. :)

I knew I wouldn't be able to get any locals from DirecTV. I have been a customer for about 6 years now and that is the only fault I have ever had with them (though I understand why). I finally "moved" to Memphis and now receive their locals.

I still receive my local channels from an OTA mounted on the side of my house. This is routed to my SA TiVo and integrates them with my DirecTV receiver (obviously not my DTiVo).

My antenna does a pretty good job with local channels. I don't recall the brand and model number, but it has three separate "elements" to tune.

As you can tell, I am NOT knowledgeable in regards to broadcasting. I have been reading your posts over and over to make sure I understand them. ;) Here is what I think I have gleaned from your posts:


KASN UPN Good signal, no HDTV ( I don't know what an NTSC monitor looks like)

KLRT FOX Good HDTV signal

KARK NBC No HDTV, looks like crap

KTHV CBS Good HDTV

KATV ABC No HDTV

KWBF WB No HDTV
 

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Yep, that pretty much sums it up. Fox isnt technically HDTV (technically, HDTV requires a minimum of 1280x720 pixels from the source, and fox is using ~858x480), but since our local station upcoverts it to 1920x1080, and processes the signal with some very expensive equipment, you would have to be within feet of your monitor to tell that it isnt really HDTV (a real HDTV signal will look sharp even at a foot from the monitor). NTSC is what is currently broadcast over the air analog. It *can* look really good using expensive studio monitors prior to transmitting it out over the air where it picks up noise, etc. UPN is sending that "studio quality" over their digital transmitter, and may in fact, be upconverting with the same equipment fox is (Im not sure, Allen could answer that).

I really dont know WHAT nbc is doing, but their digital signal actually looks worse to me than their analog signal. CBS is outstanding. The only gripe I have against them is they do not use the maximum bandwidth for their digital HDTV channel, which causes Mpeg pixelation on live sports such as the Razorback/Louisiana game last week.


There is a new method to split up the bandwidth on a given channel between an HD and SD, or several SD video programs called Statmuxing, which basically calculates in advance how much each program is going to need, and varys the bandwidth accordingly, giving the program with the fast moving scene more bandwidth that the other programs. I know it works for satellites, but not sure if its applicable or even affordable for local broadcasters.... In any case, I am drifting... You want to buy a HD receiver if you have a HD monitor. You will not regret it. Allen is using the new Samsung box (OTA only, no direcTv) which allows recording to a DVHS recorder. There is also the Samsung combo off air/directv box, and my personal favorite, cost wise, the hughes E86... $500 at Best Buy or mail order. Its worth the price if you like any of the shows on CBS or Fox. HDNet on directv is awesome in quality, but lacking in content. Mostly a demo channel at the moment, but they are planning on expanding real soon. HBO and SHowtime movies in HD vary from super to bad in quality and content.


Comcast is about two years away from HD on cable here in central Ark according to their local head honcho fwiw.


PM me and tell me how you "moved" to memphis, Ive been wanting to "move" for a while now, so I could use a DirecTivo and get the better quality.


You can also record *using 480i standard def output from the HDTV receiver* using a mode called Full (squeeze) which sqeezes a widescreen picture into the 4:3 format, records it, and when you play it back with your monitor set to FULL STRETCH, will show it back in its original 16:9 format. Works great with the video input of the SA Tivo. You have to program the Tivo to do a manual record, or what I do, pick a national feed like cbs with the same showtime/name, but disconnect the IR channel changer, and program the receiver to change the channel instead of the tivo. Sounds complicated, but its easy, and works great.
 

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Davenlr,


I'm using an 80" Radio Shack antenna in my attic. Maybe there is something wrong with the UHF portion of the antenna since CBS comes in on 12 but then I don't get the higher channels?


I really appreciate the information that you and Allenf have provided in this thread. I have found it very difficult to find info pertaining these topics.



Jeff
 

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Yes, there is a problem, since 12 is using low power, while Fox is using full power from the same location. Your attic will attenuate up to 50% of the signal as well, and digital has to be precise in its aiming, on UHF, while VHF (ch 12) is somewhat less touchy antenna wise. I would recommend you check your balun between the antenna and the coax, make sure both sides are still attached ok. Also make sure your coax is not damaged. You may just need to install a 4 bay flat screen UHF only antenna outside (the are small and easily hidden). Conway isnt that far from Chenal Mt so you should be picking these up. How do analog channels 16, 22, and 42 come in (they are also up there). 16 is full power, 22 is low power, 42 is 1/2 power.
 

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Local fox station DT antenna hit by falling ice:
http://www.fox16.com/stationinfo/default.aspx


Until the repair is complete, you can try to pick up Fox16-DT on KASN-DTs second program channel 38-2 (mapped) 39-2 (actual). Its been tested with a Samsung and a Hughes E86 and works. Your mileage may vary if you have a different brand receiver. Please dont email or call Fox16 if you have a problem receiving it, its just temporary until 16-1 's antenna gets repaired.


If you have a hughes, you will need to rescan locals, or manually enter 39-2.


Analog 16 is still running fine at full power.
 

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LR Update: Channel 22 (KYPX Pax) is in the process of moving to channel 20 (both analog) to make way for KATV 7 to begin installing and testing their digital transmitter on channel 22. Rumor has it, they will be going the same route as KARK, low power, NO hd. Yet another station that spends money for helicopters to impress the news watching folks, but could care less if their signal looks like crap (my opinion only), if this turns out to be true. Guess the super bowl in HD is out of the question if this is true. To make matters worse, low power from redfield (20 miles outside the major metro area) is going to mean few people without large rooftop UHF antennas will probably even be able to receive them.


Lets just hope the rumors are not true, and they do the right thing and at least pass network HD. I can handle the low power.
 

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KARK-DT is off the air as of Dec 16th, and is still off this morning Dec 17th. Hopefully they are upgrading either the power or the source to be able to carry HD. Everyone hold your breath.


On Air- current as today:

ABC- analog 7 (Full Power)

CBS - analog 11,digital HD 12 (11-1) Low Power

NBC - analog 4, digital 32 (off air)

PBS - analog 2 (Full Power)

FOX - Analog 16, digital 30 (off air antenna fail)

FOX - digital HD backup ch39 (38-2) Full Power

UPN - Analog 38 digital SD 39 (38-1) Full Power

WB - Analog 42 (Full Power)

Pax - Analog 22 (Low Power) moving to ch 20

Univision - Analog 58 (Low power)

A1 - Analog 28 (Low Power)

IND - Analog 25 (Full Power)
 

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Dave, a little clarification:


KLRT-DT, may be 1080i, but it has no High Definition programming - only upconverted SD material.


YMMV, but on my setup, KTHV's CBS HD programs on 11-1 blow FOX's upconverted SD stuff out of the water (even when 11-2's stealing bandwidth).
 

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Its all semantics really. While not technically correct, I consider ANYTHING that is higher quality than NTSC as HD. Im aware the source would have to be 1280x720 or higher to qualify as HD in this forum :)

I consider Fox's upconverted 480p/1080i to be as good as Showtime and HBOs upconverts. Its all semantics really. Like I stated in another thread, our Foxes NFL widescreen games look much cleaner than CBS's pixilated games. Now, if CBS would drop 11-2, they would probably move ahead. The Arkansas/LSU game was horrible. Out of focus for 1 second every time they switched cameras, pixels on every running play... Im not dissing CBS though, at least THEY transmit HD. I am really hoping 4-1 is down to upgrade. Their MCO said he had no clue what was going on when I called this morning.
 

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Davenlr,


I agree that Fox's 480p stuff looks better than NTSC; it just doesn't look half as good as HD stuff on CBS, HBO, SHO HDnet, etc. Maybe it's a difference in your setup and mine, but there's a *big* difference in the PQ of FOX vs the HD channels.


I also think the Ark/LSU game on CBS definitely had some major problems, but I'm not sure they were due to the simulcast (on KTHV-HD 11-1 & KTHV-SD 11-2). FWIW, the Ark/Ga game looked noticeably better (except for the score), with most of the pixelization out-focus problems absent from that telecast.


heheh, you called KARK and actually got someone instead of their voice mail? :)

Did he say they were ON the air or OFF? I can't get anything on my signal strength meter for 32 (4-1) except an occasional blip of 10-20%.
 

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KLRT-DT status update.


A new antenna input and other items needed for repair are on site. The tower crew arrived this morning. Because of the storms blowing through today, it will be tommorrow before the tower is rigged. If the weather will hold and no problems arise, I am hopeful that repairs will be completed by saturday.


Allen

CE KLRT/KASN
 

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Allen,


Thanks for keeping us updated. It's nice to know some engineers actually care about this stuff.


Now, if we could just get the other local stations to show a little more interest in digital TV (anyone at KARK & KATV reading this?).
 
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