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Television anyone?

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kc4jgc

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Last month I installed a UHF TV antenna to pick up local digital/HDTV broadcasts. GREAT PICS ON HD!! Cox Cable only carries 2 local stations on their digital HD service. (Note that they are testing digital [no HD] on all local stations on the 800 channel series.)

I've also been scanning the analog TV channels to see what low power TV stations are on the air here in the Hampton Roads area. I've found that there is also a new full power station licensed in Virginia Beach that Cox Cable doesn't carry (yet)! Here's what I've found so far:

Ch Call Location Affiliation/Programming/Comments
5 - W05BQ - Norfolk - Religious programming. Though weak ay my location, the "bug" at
the bottom right corner appears to say "FN". Faith Network?
7- - Seems to be mostly infomercials
18- W18BS - JCTV/Smile of a Child (subsiderary networks of TBN)
19- WJHJ-LP(?)- Williamsburg(?) - ShopNBC.com
21- WHRE Virginia Beach - Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) Full power station.
Formerly low power W21AQ.
24- W24OI - JCTV/Smile of a Child (same programming as W18BS,
but much weaker at my location.
25- - This used to be MTV2, but that hasn't been the case of late.
39- I've seen local religious and public affairs programming
but primarily ShopNBC.com
51- - Same religious programming as W05BQ
56- - Home Shopping Network (HSN)

One thing I've noticed into this latest foray into LPTV is that these stations NEVER identify at the top of the hour as required. The calls I've listed above are from research on wikipedia.com. I haven't checked the FCC database yet.

I have a feeling two may be run out of homes. The last couple of days on channel 19 I've seen a notice that the receiver was trying to reacquire the signal from Dish Network. On channel 25 (weak at my location) there is a computer desktop screen.

I wonder what happened to the old WPEN-TV, the network of 3 LP stations on the peninsula and middle peninsula. Did they go out of business after Cox stopped carrying the station in their lineup?

For reference, my set at home is a Phillips with analog and digital tuner. The antenna is a Radio Shack U-75 UHF antenna up 20 feet pointed at the TV towers at Driver. I'm using Cox issue 75 ohm cable as a feed line. I've also seen these stations on my TV in my truck as well as a handheld RS TV.

Anyone out there still watching TV over the air, at least occaisionally? Anyone out there with digital tuners but not using it should consider getting an antenna up if possible. Looking forward to watching the Redskins on HD this year!!

73,
Steve.
 

W4UVV

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LPTV/Translator Mess

My deep fringe pre-amped vhf yagi and twin stacked pre-amped uhf yagis are tower mounted at the 100 ft. level and all arrays can be rotated. What you have listed is representative of what has evolved basically as a LPTV mess. The original intent of Congress was not to have 99% of the LPTV licensees be religious or satellie relayed shopping networks but that has been the result. Translators typically are licensed for full power tv stations to provide reception in "shadow" or other areas where geographical or physical structures inhibit line of sight reception. I suspect FCC rules also now allow translators to be nothing more than terrestrial rebroadcasts of satellite delivered programing. Check the FCC files and you will find that WAVY-TV is licensed for 6 or 7 UHF TV translators. Translators are not the same class as LPTV but operate on reduced power and also can be licensed on vhf. One of WAVY-TV's translators is in Suffolk. I was receiving a couple of the UHF simulcasts of their ch. 10 programing here near Petersburg as well as a LPTV mind numbing music channel...probably the MTV2 one. I was curious why so many translators so I called the WAVY-TV chief engineer. I always have received WAVY-TV ch. 10 off air fine here but I asked him if their signal was so lousy they had to install translators in Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Accomack, etc. areas. He never could give me a specific answer as to why the many tidewater UHF translators other than "they had plans for them in the future", whatever that means.

It is highly unlikely the FCC would license a full power ch. 5 station in Tidewater with ch. 4 WSKY-TV, in Manteo, NC. within 50 air miles. Frequently I receive WSKY-TV vhf ch. 4 here. The signal quality varies. W05BQ is a translator (i.e., reduced power) license, not a full power license. "FN" is the Faith Network, another satellite delivered religious programing. I have a list of all TV, LPTV, translators, etc. for Va. but it has not been updated for some time. I'm sure more LPTVs have been licensed for the area. You can do the cross reference as to who the actual user is of these licensees. For licensee information accuracy always check the FCC database. Other internet sources are subject to error and outdated information.
Following are some general UHF-TV LPTV(L) and Translators(T) for the Tidewater area only:
CH./TYPE LOCATION LICENSEE
16 L Portsmouth Guess Who...WAVY-TV....WKTD-LP
17 T Hampton W18AA Minority Licensee
19 L Williamsburg WJHJ-LP....JBS, Inc.
19 L Va Beach WVBN Izzo Living Trust
21 T Hampton W21AQ Union Mission
23 L Chesapeake Guess Who Again...WAVY-TV...WITD-LP
24 T Va Beach W24OI...Trinity Broadcasting
35 T Va Beach Surprise....WAVY-TV again...W35BK
36 T Accomack Hi....WAVY-TV...W36BK
39 T Newport News JBS, Inc...W39BW
40 T Chesapeake W40AH....Union Mission
45 T Norfolk Hi Again...WAVY-TV....W45BG
47 T Hampton W47CE....Lockwood Broadcasting
51 T Gloucester W51BH...Lockwood Broadcasting
56 T Portsmouth W56CS....Northeast LPTV
59 L Hampton .....yes...once again WAVY-TV...WTTD-LP
60 T Chesapeake KM Broadcasting...W60BR
65 L Suffolk PROMISE...last one..WAVY-TV...WBTD-LP
67 T Va Beach W67CZ...N. Viswanath
69 L Hampton WPEN-LP..Lockwood Broadcasting.

I also receive off air digital programing from the tidewater TV stations. Although I am physically located closer to Richmond, a couple of the tidewater signals are stronger than one from Richmond. Ch. 6's digital signal is pathetic and it is operating a full power. I shouldn't be surprised. Its signal always has tended to be lousy south of Richmond. I am able to compare the attendant digital programing of both Richmond and Tidewater and find the graphic quality of the 24/7 weather radar displays differ noticeably. For graphics excellence, WVEC-TV gets my vote. The only problem seems to be sometimes its weather condition displays don't always agree with other tv stations. Maybe it's the system they use, but on one occasion other tv station weather radars showed a nasty blob in the area, their's didn't. Ch. 6 has one of its digital transmissions "The Tube", a 24/7 music video total waste of spectrum and RF. The nice thing about digital signals is no more ghosting. You either acquire the signal or there is no reception. The downside is the sensitivy of digital tv receivers is worse than the analog color tv signals. This means a stronger signal must be present at the receiver to acquire and sustain non-pixeled reception. Do not get suckered into the "HDTV" ready antenna BS and gold anodized connectors, etc. BS. If your outside analog tv antenna worked fine before, odds are it will work fine. If analog reception was marginal then install a mast mount preamp. Get the antenna as high as possible. It can never hurt to install a mast mount preamp. I have used Radio Shack mast mounted preamps for years and have been satisfied with them.
 

gcgrotz

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Isn't WAVY out there in Driver with the rest of Tidewater's TV stations? What the heck do they need a translator in Suffolk for? Maybe they are overshooting? I remember when all those licenses were handed out. I think everybody thought they would get rich just 'cause they had a LPTV license.
 

kc4jgc

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W4UVV said:
Check the FCC files and you will find that WAVY-TV is licensed for 6 or 7 UHF TV translators.
I finally had the chance to check FCC files last weekend and was moderately surprised at the number of transmitters. Just last week WAVY restarted its channel 23 transmitter! I was going to send an e-mail to WAVY but I see you've already done that....

Translators are not the same class as LPTV but operate on reduced power and also can be licensed on vhf.
Do you know what the difference between a LPTV station and a "class A" station is, other than perhaps power output?

He never could give me a specific answer as to why the many tidewater UHF translators other than "they had plans for them in the future", whatever that means.
WAVY also has 2 other DTV transmitters that I know of , 17.1 WKTD in SD and another (UN ID) on 31.1 in HD. I have a feeling WAVY/WVBT is also behind the strong signals but no programming on channels 99.11 & 99.12. The channel numbers I can't figure out either.
99.12 says "LMN" on the display; 99.12 says "FNC". Maybe a future local news channel and Fox News Channel? I guess some day we'll find out.

21 T Hampton W21AQ Union Mission
No longer. This is now WHRE licensed to Va Beach. Trinity Broadcasting This is the full power station that Cox isn't carrying yet.


The nice thing about digital signals is no more ghosting. You either acquire the signal or there is no reception. The downside is the sensitivy of digital tv receivers is worse than the analog color tv signals. This means a stronger signal must be present at the receiver to acquire and sustain non-pixeled reception.
Quite true.

Do not get suckered into the "HDTV" ready antenna BS and gold anodized connectors, etc. BS. If your outside analog tv antenna worked fine before, odds are it will work fine.
I am amazed at the marketing of "HD ready" antennas. They're using the same channels as analog; of course the older antennas will work!
 

kc4jgc

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gcgrotz said:
Isn't WAVY out there in Driver with the rest of Tidewater's TV stations? What the heck do they need a translator in Suffolk for? Maybe they are overshooting? I remember when all those licenses were handed out. I think everybody thought they would get rich just 'cause they had a LPTV license.
Yes, WAVY's tower is at Driver, at the intersection of Kings Hwy and Bennett's Pasture Rd.
Overshooting? I don't think so. I think WAVY may be wanting to provide other programming in the future.

I can understand the translator in Accomac; that is some distance away. The other local LP/CA stations are to me useless unless they are using the main WAVY signal for testing purposes before switching to other programming; but what do I know? Seems as if the LIN big wigs are keeping their plans close to their vests.
 

kc4jgc

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Digital TV

For anyone who hasn't tried digital/HD over the air here is what's up now in southeast Virginia:

ch......Station............. Comments
3.1.... WTKR-DT ........in HD
3.2.... WTKR-WX........Live "Triple Doppler 3" weather radar in SD

10.1...WAVY-DT.........in HD

13.1...WVEC-DT.........in HD
13.2...WVEC-SD.........Live "High Definition" weather radar in SD

15.1...WHRO-HD........PBS HD
15.2...WHRO-DT........PBS SD programming of WHRO analog
15.3...WHROkids........PBSkids

17.1...WKTD..............Simulcast of WAVY-DT in SD

21.1 ...... ? ...............Signal too weak to decode. Likely WHRE in Virginia Beach

27.1...WGNT-DT........in HD

31.3...... ?................ another simulcast of WAVY-DT (in HD)
31.14.... ?.................signal present but no programming

33.1...WTVZ-SD.........in SD
33.2.. WTVZ-DT.........in HD

43.1...WVBT-DT.........in HD
43.2...WWS...............WAVY Weather Station. In SD. (on Cox digital, this is an extra pay service!)

45.1...WNLO...............Simulcast of WVBT in SD

49.1...i ......................Simulcast of WPXV analog 49 in SD
49.2...........................PAX
49.3...Worship............Religious programming in SD

99.11...HWN.............. signal present but no programming. Future local news channel?
99.12...FNC................signal present but no programming. Future Fox News Channel?

I don't know where this channel 99 comes from since there are only 68 available (no channel 1 remember). Is there a new digital channel allocation that allows for such a designation?
 

W4UVV

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TV channels

I may be mistaken but I believe within the past few years the FCC has eliminated the highest channel for TV licensing from ch. 69 to channel 65 and then later additionally reduced it to ch. 54. It caught my attention because there is an active ch. 65 tv station in Ashland, Va. It may be related to 700 mhz. rebanding of other services in the UHF spectrum. When this Ashland station goes 100% digital the current analog usage problem in this circumstance will self correct. A check of FCC station licensing for digital tv channels shows none will be greater than channel 54. I haven't updated my statewide tv channel list recently but it shows WPXV-DT, Norfolk, as the highest channel in state licensed for digital operation on ch. 46. I assume this is the same basic analog transmission for WPXV-TV on ch. 49 plus the additional virtual digital channels.

Analog LPTV and translator stations currently licensed for operation above ch. 54 may be forced to cease operation if the 700 mhz. rebanding effort takes priority and conflicts in the same area of operation. I seriously doubt any digital translator or LPTV stations will be licensed or those currently licensed as analog be allowed to convert to digital.

When that digital cutover day comes, I estimate 95+% of all US tvs still will be analog. We then revert to the days of old in the 60's when one had to buy a separate UHF TV tuner to receive that band. Only now we will convert from digital back to never the same color twice standard (NTSC). I am not going to trash all of my analog tvs and spend for currently overpriced HDTV receivers. I'll use digital to analog converters probably until the analog tv dies and then upgrade. Satellite delivered and cable tv programing are exempt from the digital standard requirement and I don't see any significant changes in those modes of programing delivery. Not everything wll convert to HDTV as it is not cost effective for the program supplier and uses too much frequency spectrum. Probably only a continuation of premium and special event programing will be broadcast in HDTV.

I envision an increase in satellite tv and cable tv subscriptions when the analog off air signals cease due to the fact that the viewer can still use his analog tvs to receive local tv stations..
 

kc4jgc

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W4UVV said:
.... Ch. 6 has one of its digital transmissions "The Tube", a 24/7 music video total waste of spectrum and RF. .....
WTVZ (33 analog) has just this past weekend moved their HD to 33.1 and made 33.2 "the Tube" in SD. I don't know if it's actually a waste of spectrum, though. I doubt I'll watch it much or at all unless I see some old classic rock videos while surfing.
 

W4UVV

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kc4jgc said:
WTVZ (33 analog) has just this past weekend moved their HD to 33.1 and made 33.2 "the Tube" in SD. I don't know if it's actually a waste of spectrum, though. I doubt I'll watch it much or at all unless I see some old classic rock videos while surfing.
Another fine waste of RF spectrum using the digital mode. The program supplier must provide it free or at a very low cost. I guess the idea is to attract the younger age group. This is only one of about 10 satellite delivered old MTV wannabees. The Tube is not exactly mainstream but not on the heavy metal punk side either. Don't wait for old classic rock videos. That would be a turnoff for the typical viewing group.
 

kc4jgc

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W4UVV said:
.... Don't wait for old classic rock videos. That would be a turnoff for the typical viewing group.
Looks as if they do play classic rock videos! Watching some last night (Friday) and for a bit today I've seen vids from Bad Company, Roy Orbison, Neil Young, The Knack, George Michael/Elton John and others from the era. Some are live (concert) vids. May be a weekends only thing. For me, I may watch this from time to time when there's nothing else to watch or listen.
 

kc4jgc

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John,

During tropo enhancement last night i was actually able to pick up WRLH Fox 35 on digital (but not analog for some reason; you'd think it would be the other way around). Interestingly enough it was the only Richmond area station strong enough for my set to decode. It was able to somehow get some data from WRIC (enough for the call to come up on the display) but wasn't able to get a picture. I was also recieving 30.1 WRAY in Wilson NC, a home shopping channel. Have you check out what you can recieve on digital during band enhancements? At 100 feet and a rotatable stacked array, I'd bet you have picked up Raliegh & DC stations at least.
 
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