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  1. Member ahhaa's Avatar
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    this from this morning's Weekend Edition:

    Michael Copps, the new acting chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is worried the number will be more substantial. Copps recently addressed the FCC's Consumer Advisory Committee."Some consumers, through no fault of their own, are going to lose one or more channels as a result of the transition," Copps told the committee. "That we did not understand this better long ago through better analysis, tests and trial runs is, to me, mind-boggling."

    The FCC did some in-house testing, and its engineers came away with fairly encouraging results. The problem, says Goodstadt, is that their tests assumed that most people have outside antennas.

    "The FCC's analysis was flawed," Goodstadt says. "The standard is based upon an assumption that all consumers who want to receive analog TV have a rooftop directional antenna at 10 meters or 33 feet above the ground. And that's not the case for most people."

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    David Donovan is president of the Association for Maximum Service Television, an industry trade group that helped come up with the standards for the digital transition. "When we did our testing — and we did an awful lot of testing before this system was adopted — it performed better than analog," insists Donovan. Nevertheless, he says, when it comes to the brave new world of digital TV, you may need to employ a very old-school fix to improve your reception. "Move your antenna just a bit." Donovan advises. "When anyone is trying to receive a signal over the air, you have issues. You have it with your cell phones. Once you get the spot, you're fine."

    more & full transcript at: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100357828
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  2. Member
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    Originally Posted by ahhaa
    this from this morning's Weekend Edition:

    ]" Donovan advises............ Once you get the spot, you're fine.

    Ah! useful advice for so many things.
    Can almost be a philosophy to live by.

    Tony
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  3. Member Number Six's Avatar
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    I can see the Verizon ads now:


    CAN YOU SEE ME NOW!
    "I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered! My life is my own" - the Prisoner
    (NO MAN IS JUST A NUMBER)
    be seeing you ( RIP Patrick McGoohan )
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  4. Are the taxpayers going to pay for outdoor antennas as well?!
    If so I want my antenna coupon.
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  5. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    DTV box: $0 after coupon
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    Want my help? Ask here! (not via PM!)
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    The best antenna in an optimum position won't help some people post transition. The clff effect and terrain issues that affect UHF more than VHF will change OTA reception for many of us. I know I will loose a few stations that I now receive via analog. Some people are going to loose OTA entirely.

    I happen to care about OTA because I have cable for only one TV. It isn't practical to connect the other two that I watch for 1 or more hours each day, and I enjoy the freedom OTA gives me to watch TV in more than one room. I also like having the freedom to give up cable If I wish, and not give up TV as well.

    It has been known for quite a whle that reception will change dramatically for some people. Here's an article from a year ago. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/11/technology/11analog.html
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  7. Member edDV's Avatar
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    This guy Copps is such a hysterical jerk. He has been on the commission since 2001. Has he not been paying attention all this time? Sheesh.

    This is what you get when you put a Prof of History on a high tech commission.
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  8. Member edDV's Avatar
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    If you want TV to behave like cellphones you would place transmitting antennas every 2 to 6 miles in a grid. Try getting permits for that in the US! Europe is structured more this way for DVB with more lower powered transmitters. This works for them because of the smaller geography, fewer broadcasters and the ability of government to force antennas into a community. The US is structured for fewer high powered transmitters covering ~ 60 mile radius for grade B (small outdoor antenna). You are subject to terrain and local obstacles similar to analog. The big difference is the move of traditional lower VHF stations (ch2-6) up to UHF. UHF is more line of sight and has always required special antennas for any distance.
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  9. When are we going to stop considering the "experts" that are always shocked or surprised as experts?
    "Shut up Wesley!" -- Captain Jean-Luc Picard
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  10. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Keep in mind the goal of all this effort was to kick TV out of as much RF spectrum as possible to make way for broadband communication technologies. TV was the largest user of RF spectrum and was being used by a smaller and smaller minority of viewers.

    The future of information technology depends on broadband wireless communications. OTA TV is secondary to that need. I predict in twenty years, OTA TV bandwidth will be reduced again to a small band.
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  11. Member ahhaa's Avatar
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    On the 'follow the money' front, Charter Cable here is running a signup deal ad over-the-air... as a crawl over those blasé official DTV transition spots!
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    Originally Posted by edDV
    Keep in mind the goal of all this effort was to kick TV out of as much RF spectrum as possible to make way for broadband communication technologies. TV was the largest user of RF spectrum and was being used by a smaller and smaller minority of viewers.

    The future of information technology depends on broadband wireless communications. OTA TV is secondary to that need. I predict in twenty years, OTA TV bandwidth will be reduced again to a small band.
    According to the NY Times article I quoted, there were 117 million TV sets using an antenna last year. OTA TV is more popular than most of the people commenting on this subject seem to think, although a percentage of viewers will be lost because of the transition.

    A growing number of people are watching TV exclusively via computer. Wireless broadband will be used for that, although it is hard to say how many rural communities or poor people will get any benefit from it.

    If TV is destined to become more web-based, local TV will disappear, except perhaps for websites streaming news and local interest shows in major markets. Satellite and web-based radio is slowly killing broadcast radio. Print is shrinking, consolidated, and moving to the net as well. The end result of this is that only a few media outlets are going to control credible journalism.

    If I live that long, it will be a sad day when my major network locals (that have been OTA for 50+ years now) go dark forever.
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  13. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ahhaa
    On the 'follow the money' front, Charter Cable here is running a signup deal ad over-the-air... as a crawl over those blasé official DTV transition spots!
    Yep, Comcast has been offering $10/mo basic cable as a foot in the door for service upgrades.

    City viewers are well served. Remote rural viewers will struggle with UHF. The old analog translators will continue to work but each needs conversion to receive UHF DTV and translate to analog NTSC VHF. There is a gov't program to cover the cost of this conversion for communities that will be otherwise cut off. This includes "behind the hill" suburbs that don't have a cable option. There is a longer term program to replace these analog translators with digital.
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  14. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet
    Originally Posted by edDV
    Keep in mind the goal of all this effort was to kick TV out of as much RF spectrum as possible to make way for broadband communication technologies. TV was the largest user of RF spectrum and was being used by a smaller and smaller minority of viewers.

    The future of information technology depends on broadband wireless communications. OTA TV is secondary to that need. I predict in twenty years, OTA TV bandwidth will be reduced again to a small band.
    According to the NY Times article I quoted, there were 117 million TV sets using an antenna last year. OTA TV is more popular than most of the people commenting on this subject seem to think, although a percentage of viewers will be lost because of the transition.

    A growing number of people are watching TV exclusively via computer. Wireless broadband will be used for that, although it is hard to say how many rural communities or poor people will get any benefit from it.

    If TV is destined to become more web-based, local TV will disappear, except perhaps for websites streaming news and local interest shows in major markets. Satellite and web-based radio is slowly killing broadcast radio. Print is shrinking, consolidated, and moving to the net as well. The end result of this is that only a few media outlets are going to control credible journalism.

    If I live that long, it will be a sad day when my major network locals (that have been OTA for 50+ years now) go dark forever.
    I agree that local media needs to be preserved but not using as much RF spectrum. A side advantage of ATSC DTV is much closer spacing of stations both in frequency and in distance. This opens the possibility for smaller city/regional local stations. Current FCC rules favor new licences going to underserved localities or minority interests. This means communities like Mendocino, CA can have their own TV station instead of having to watch distant SF or Eureka. We even have an all Armenian language DTV station in the North Bay Area plus many Asian languages.
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  15. Member ahhaa's Avatar
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    UQ- I hear you; and it seems the system gets more & more 'urba-centric'; and I wonder sometimes if cityfolk have even a clue what goes on out here in the boonies anymore... where the people who grow the food, herd the animals, mine the coal, drive the trucks, barge & ship the minerals, well... you get the point. Cable is not available everywhere, and satellite isn't so great in the North, not to mention obstructing mountains, trees, and weather.
    PBS says it may be hurt the worst- PiR² says the loss of viewers is significant with only a small shrinking of range.
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  16. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ahhaa
    UQ- I hear you; and it seems the system gets more & more 'urba-centric'; and I wonder sometimes if cityfolk have even a clue what goes on out here in the boonies anymore... where the people who grow the food, herd the animals, mine the coal, drive the trucks, barge & ship the minerals, well... you get the point. Cable is not available everywhere, and satellite isn't so great in the North, not to mention obstructing mountains, trees, and weather.
    PBS says it may be hurt the worst- PiR² says the loss of viewers is significant with only a small shrinking of range.
    I agree that the rural areas need more priority. In most states local PBS networks run a vast number of translators reaching nearly every community with a school. Oregon is a good example. These programs need expansion to carry at least the main networks as additional subchannels and can be funded by gov't grants and advertising. It is possible for even small communities to insert local programming into these feeds.

    Alternate is to invest all rural resources into broadband reach through telco and deliver rural TV through telephone lines.
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    Originally Posted by ahhaa
    UQ- I hear you; and it seems the system gets more & more 'urba-centric'; and I wonder sometimes if cityfolk have even a clue what goes on out here in the boonies anymore... where the people who grow the food, herd the animals, mine the coal, drive the trucks, barge & ship the minerals, well... you get the point. Cable is not available everywhere, and satellite isn't so great in the North, not to mention obstructing mountains, trees, and weather.
    PBS says it may be hurt the worst- PiR² says the loss of viewers is significant with only a small shrinking of range.
    I've been a suburbanite most of my life, although my particular suburb had some working farms left when I was growing up. I do have cousins living out in the boonies, and for a while I spent a lot of time driving across rural Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois for work and to visit my sister, my parents and in-laws. All the "read a newspaper" and "listen to the radio" advice gives me a pain. Don't these people know what has happened to print media, or that radio stations can be few and far between when you are in the middle of nowhere?
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  18. Member Frank-0-Video's Avatar
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    Post Withdrawn (Brain was asleep)
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    Originally Posted by Frank-0-Video
    Greetings ....

    Two things that may keep current OTA stations alive - even if the use of all current broadcast TV frequencies is eventually done away with - satellites and the internet.

    At least it's a thought.

    Thanx-A-Lot, Frank-0-Video
    No, that's part of what is killing them.

    Satellite is not required to provide locals in all areas, and they may charge extra for it when they do, so you can't count on that saving them.

    I have started watching some TV shows via the web, and there is no involvement from my locals. My locals have some news coverage available on their website, but the news doesn't pay their bills to the extent that entertainment does.
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  20. Member
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    If you asked me last june 2, I would have told you the only DTV channels I could watch via outdoor antenna were WAND and WSEC. And WAND is 70 miles distant!

    WCIS (Springfield) came in, but almost all the programming was 4:3 with a black border on all four sides....looked like hell when zoomed thru a Zenith DTV converter box. Fox out of Springfield (forgot the call letters) had audio and video out of sinch 24-7. CW out of decatur had audio/video issues as well, and would not lock in for more than a few minutes at a time. WCFN (Springfield) was a no show, as were KHQA and WGEM out of Quincy. Could not lock on to anything out of Peoria-Bloomington.

    Things are much better now. WCFN is on in digital and their subchannel carries WCIA (Channel 3 CBS Champaigne) and seems to be more reliable the last 3 weeks. All four of the Peoria area channels are up with good reception now, except there are random problems with audio and closed captions....a lot better in the last 10 days. Nothing out of Quincy now, but maybe they will show up when their DTV channels drop from UHV back to VHF channels 7 and 10.

    I have cable too, but the antenna is used on one TV as a back-up and to watch certain channels that are not carried on cable. Did some major tree trimming in early December. When the leaves come out, I will know how DTV truely compares with analog. But hey, I hardly watch television when the leaves are on anyway!

    My antenna is nothing special, about 30' tower with rotor, UHF being a 4 bay bowtie with reflector grid which is mounted above a simple yagi VHV (2 directors and 1 reflector) pointing the opposite direction. These type combos are very common around here. Go much bigger, and the wind and ice will soon take it down.
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  21. Member edDV's Avatar
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    At least you have flat terrain (but with trees).
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  22. Member
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    Originally Posted by edDV
    At least you have flat terrain (but with trees).
    If you take a drive around this part of West Central Illinois, you wouldn't get far from my house, in any direction, without thinking it's pretty hilly. But the high ground is all darn near the same elevation. With the exception of river towns, the small towns were all layed out on high ground with decent drainage. Same way on the farms.......everyone built there house on the highest ground. Ashland would be another exception........built right on the flat, black dirt praire with not much thought to drainage.

    The base of my tower is less than 10 feet below the highest ground within a 6 mile radius. But within that 6 mile radius are creek bottoms about 150 feet lower in elevation....damn few homes down in the bottoms.

    I have spot elevation data running Westward from Decatur to Quincy. I'll post some later if I can locate it here at home.

    And we do have plenty of trees. Mostly oak, kickory and Black Walnut on the upland.
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  23. Member edDV's Avatar
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    WCFN-TV analog Ch29 has 1750kW ERP on a 190.5m tower position.

    WCFN-DS temporary Ch53 was only 1.81 kW ERP on a 179m tower position.

    WCFN-DT modified Ch13 5kW on a 175.5m tower position should cary a greater distance.


    See the Service ares maps posted at the FCC.
    http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/tvq?call=WCFN

    Run your address through TVfool.com for predicted post transition signal strengths.
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  24. Member
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    Originally Posted by edDV
    WCFN-TV analog Ch29 has 1750kW ERP on a 190.5m tower position.

    WCFN-DS temporary Ch53 was only 1.81 kW ERP on a 179m tower position.

    WCFN-DT modified Ch13 5kW on a 175.5m tower position should cary a greater distance.


    See the Service ares maps posted at the FCC.
    http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/tvq?call=WCFN

    Run your address through TVfool.com for predicted post transition signal strengths.
    I'm a bit confused on WCFN. There analog channel is 49 (haven't tuned to it lately). When I could not receive their signal, the FCC showed that ultra low power UHV channel. Two people I know who live in Springfield could not receive it either.

    I found it on rescan maybe three weeks ago, using the UHF side of my antennas; high band VHF points the opposite direction. DTV convertor box shows virtual channels 49.1 and 49.2; no idea of the true frequency. So I wonder if their digital channel has already been moved to VHF 13 and the my UHF antenna receives it? That or their UHF power level is way above what the FCC shows. I wonder if the FCC even has the VHF power level correct on line.

    I have been to tvfool.com and saved the final frequency data. But as far as strongest and weakest channels, they seem to be full of it.
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  25. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SmokieStover
    Originally Posted by edDV
    WCFN-TV analog Ch29 has 1750kW ERP on a 190.5m tower position.

    WCFN-DS temporary Ch53 was only 1.81 kW ERP on a 179m tower position.

    WCFN-DT modified Ch13 5kW on a 175.5m tower position should cary a greater distance.


    See the Service ares maps posted at the FCC.
    http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/tvq?call=WCFN

    Run your address through TVfool.com for predicted post transition signal strengths.
    I'm a bit confused on WCFN. There analog channel is 49 (haven't tuned to it lately). When I could not receive their signal, the FCC showed that ultra low power UHV channel. Two people I know who live in Springfield could not receive it either.

    I found it on rescan maybe three weeks ago, using the UHF side of my antennas; high band VHF points the opposite direction. DTV convertor box shows virtual channels 49.1 and 49.2; no idea of the true frequency. So I wonder if their digital channel has already been moved to VHF 13 and the my UHF antenna receives it? That or their UHF power level is way above what the FCC shows. I wonder if the FCC even has the VHF power level correct on line.

    I have been to tvfool.com and saved the final frequency data. But as far as strongest and weakest channels, they seem to be full of it.
    WCFN would show virtual 49.1 and 49.2 no matter the real channel. It appears they may be on real ch 13 and have switched early. You can always call them. Simple VHF antennas will pick up some signal off the back side.
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