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  #21   Report Post  
Old February 20th 04, 07:01 PM
R J Carpenter
 
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"Mark Roberts" wrote in message
...

SNIP
The primary reason [for turning off over-the-air analog TV], though, seems

to be
economic: "We made the decision that our resources needed to go
toward serving more students by creating a whole new telecourse
'stream', rather than paying what amounts to double rent and
electricity to continue our analog broadcast."

KCSM estimated that about 8% of its viewing audience will be
affected. Cable and satellite feeds are to continue.


Amazing.

Is all that spectrum bandwidth occupied by over-the-air TV really serving
only a small percentage of the population? Rural areas surely must still
rely on over-the-air TV.


As an aside, in the news report that Cox Cable and ESPN had made peace it
was reported that Cox will pay ESPN $2.61 per month for each of their cable
subscribers!

[Moderator's Note: Yes, rural areas do, to a certain extent, rely on over-
the-air TV, but in many cases, people probably have DSS or cable, like my
parents who live 40 miles east of Cleveland in Geauga County, Ohio, and get
most of their programming from Dish Network.

Here in Apple Valley, CA, and throughout the (mostly rural) High Desert,
there are probably more people who have to rely on over-the-air signals, but
the Los Angeles stations, which are 90 miles southwest of here, all have
translators sitting on a tower down in Hesperia. The tower isn't well
maintained, though, and I don't know whether Victorville's lone local TV
station, KHIZ-TV 64, has its transmitter in that area or not... my wife says
they don't, actually, and that their transmitter is up in Victorville near
their studio.

But in Apple Valley/Victorville/Hesperia, unless you live outside city limits,
you can get cable from Charter, and up in Barstow, you can get cable from...
mmm... I think it's Time Warner. And in spite of the mountainous terrain,
most homes in this area are properly situated to use DSS also.

Interesting note: Until the recent mandates allowing DSS providers to
carry local stations, my parents had to use an antenna to get Cleveland's
TV stations. They're 40 miles from Cleveland, about the same distance from
Erie, PA, and maybe 50 from Youngstown, Ohio, and they could get stations
from all three cities, but the signals weren't very strong. In spite of the
fact that they could pay Dish $5 per month to get Cleveland local TV, I
believe they still use their antenna. I have no clue why. **SJS]


  #22   Report Post  
Old February 21st 04, 12:44 AM
Mark Howell
 
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On 20 Feb 2004 19:01:43 GMT, "R J Carpenter"
wrote:


Amazing.

Is all that spectrum bandwidth occupied by over-the-air TV really serving
only a small percentage of the population? Rural areas surely must still
rely on over-the-air TV.


Some years ago, my employer's TV station (since sold) was hit by a
devastating arson fire that wiped out its transmitter. The station
was off the air for weeks, but kept feeding cable headends. Ratings
were unchanged. Hardly any viewers noticed the on-air signal was
gone.

I'm sure the cable penetration is even higher now, although it's been
several years since I checked.

Mark Howell

  #23   Report Post  
Old February 21st 04, 02:30 AM
Mark Roberts
 
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R J Carpenter had written:
|
| "Mark Roberts" wrote:
|
| KCSM estimated that about 8% of its viewing audience will be
| affected. Cable and satellite feeds are to continue.
|
| Amazing.
|
| Is all that spectrum bandwidth occupied by over-the-air TV really serving
| only a small percentage of the population?

In the San Francisco Bay Area, it is quite likely. Yet NBC did
suffer a hit when it got into a snit with KRON (from losing the
bidding to buy the station) and flipped the affiliation to KNTV in
San Jose. An estimated 25% of the geographic area lost NBC service
over-the-air, but KNTV quickly arranged with Comcast's predecessor
to ensure cable carriage on area systems. In any event, KNTV has filed
to move to Mt. San Bruno (the site that KCSM-TV is leaving). But the
hit in ratings may have come more from KNTV's image (or lack of image)
in the market and having to compete with the San Francisco incumbent
stations in news. KNTV doesn't seem to be really committing the
resources or the brains to do it consistently right. It's passable
but feels like about Kansas City in quality.

Anyhow, due to the terrain of the Bay Area, as well as its
geographic expanse, there is no site that will serve all
areas well. There will be significant dead spots no matter
where the transmitter is located -- obviously, that's true
for FM as well. The best combination for FM stations seems to be a
Sutro (SF) or Beacon site with on-channel repeaters in the I-680 corridor
in the East Bay. TVs haven't tried that combination, possibly due to
the relatively heavy reliance on cable. KDTV does have a translator
in Santa Rosa (far North Bay), and KRON did have one there until KQED-DT
came on and wiped out channel 30.


--
"You're about to see a great sunset if you're in the right place."
-- KCBS morning traffic anchor, 6.58 am, February 9, 2004

  #24   Report Post  
Old February 21st 04, 04:20 PM
Tom Desmond
 
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R J Carpenter wrote:

Is all that spectrum bandwidth occupied by over-the-air TV really serving
only a small percentage of the population?


This varies dramatically from market to market -- national "penetration"
numbers for cable and satellite are averages, with some areas much
lower, and others much higher. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, off-air
viewing of the local stations is still common, since we have one of the
lowest cable penetration rates in the country, and not all satellite
subscribers opt to pay the satellite company to provide what they can
receive off-air for free.

TV stations. They're 40 miles from Cleveland, about the same distance from
Erie, PA, and maybe 50 from Youngstown, Ohio, and they could get stations
from all three cities, but the signals weren't very strong. In spite of the
fact that they could pay Dish $5 per month to get Cleveland local TV, I
believe they still use their antenna. I have no clue why. **SJS]


Why pay $5/month to get what they're currently getting for free? It
seems a very rational decision to me...especially since the antenna
apparently provides signals from mulitple markets, something that Dish
can't legally offer to them.

  #25   Report Post  
Old February 21st 04, 04:20 PM
Doug Smith W9WI
 
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Ben wrote:
WKRN really does have a nice signal. So much better than the analog
with all it's co-channel.


IMHO that's only half the problem. Even without the CCI here, the
computer noise/leaky insulators are pretty bad - and when they aren't
present, the signal can be just plain snowy.

But when the sporadic-E kicks in, well, you'd better have a DTV if you
want to watch ABC... There have been days when I've had a snow-free
signal from XEFB with some weak WKRN CCI in the background!

(then again, if you'd seen a picture of the XEFB transmitter site (I
have), you'd know why they get out so well!)

I don't think BKO will ever go for a bigger stick. They never have
been on the cutting edge and they seem to be happy with covering the
surrounding counties. They have 4 antennas on the tower now with 13
and 24 both on it.


I wonder if there might be some concern over WKRN (and as a result, ABC)
getting bent out of shape if WBKO puts too much RF down into Tennessee?

Wonder when 8 will turn on a transmitter?


8 just took out a STA for roughly 45kW ERP. Strange, as I thought I
read their full-power transmitter was already ready to go & they were
just waiting on the STL and encoder.

What's the deal with the Sinclair stations? They looked bad enough
before DT but now they look like pixalated mush.


I don't watch often enough to know... They've got five transmitters at
the same site now (all three digitals and the analogs for 30 and 58) so
I suppose STL bandwidth is at a premium...
--
Doug Smith W9WI
Pleasant View (Nashville), TN EM66
http://www.w9wi.com



  #27   Report Post  
Old February 21st 04, 07:02 PM
Steven J Sobol
 
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Tom Desmond wrote:

TV stations. They're 40 miles from Cleveland, about the same distance from
Erie, PA, and maybe 50 from Youngstown, Ohio, and they could get stations
from all three cities, but the signals weren't very strong. In spite of the
fact that they could pay Dish $5 per month to get Cleveland local TV, I
believe they still use their antenna. I have no clue why. **SJS]


Why pay $5/month to get what they're currently getting for free? It
seems a very rational decision to me...especially since the antenna
apparently provides signals from mulitple markets, something that Dish
can't legally offer to them.


Because none of the stations come in clear. I guess they don't mind having
snow on the TV as well as on the front lawn...

--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, Apple Valley, CA
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) /
PGP: C57E 8B25 F994 D6D0 5F6B B961 EA08 9410 E3AE 35ED


  #28   Report Post  
Old February 23rd 04, 06:53 AM
Ron
 
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On Mon, 16 Feb 2004 03:06:59 +0000, Robert Hovland wrote:

Dear Newsgroup,

Does anyone know the latest info about what is going to happen to the FM
band when the FCC forces all of the VHF television stations to give up
their broadcast band and switch to the new freqency allocations for
digital TV? As you may or may not know, the FM band is located in between
channels 6 and 7, I believe, and I would be surprised if the FCC would
leave the FM band alone when the TV stations get out. They want to
auction these soon-to-be-obsolete TV channel frequencies off to the
highest bidder.


Who would be interested in this spectrum if its not used for Broadcast?
Not real practical for a mobile communications use since most systems now
use hand held radios and antennas at this band are not user friendly.
Maybe Rural high-speed Internet services?


The consequences I think of when I consider the moving of the FM band are
monstrous: what about all of the car radios, portable FM radios and
walkmen, and collector hifi FM tuners that will suddenly become unusable
without maybe some kind of adaptor which may or may not work very well?

To me, it just doesn't seem right that we need to have change for the sake
of "progress", unless the progress is real and necessary. Many times it
seems that these huge changes in the basic infrastructure of our
communications industry are done for the sake of the economic enrichment
of those companies who stand to profit richly from such a change, without
giving much, or any, consideration to the consequences.

When a land developer decides to make major changes to a piece of
undeveloped land, an environmental impact report has to be made before the
developer can go ahead with their plans. Where is the impact report for
this huge planned change in the FM band?

I would like to get comments from others who know more about this proposed
change and when it is to occur.


  #29   Report Post  
Old February 23rd 04, 06:53 AM
Ben
 
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I wonder if there might be some concern over WKRN (and as a result, ABC)
getting bent out of shape if WBKO puts too much RF down into Tennessee?

I'm surprised 4 allowed 40 to go NBC. Most of 13's coverage area is
in KY of course and they used to claim they covered more counties of
KY than any other VHF. I kinda think WAVE may have taken that honor
now.

I don't watch often enough to know... They've got five transmitters at
the same site now (all three digitals and the analogs for 30 and 58) so
I suppose STL bandwidth is at a premium...


58 has really come up in analog power and 58's digital is strong now
where it was pretty much flea power before. 30's analog went down here
when they went to the new tower.

Oh well, I'll keep watching for your posts.

Ben

  #30   Report Post  
Old February 23rd 04, 04:14 PM
Doug Smith W9WI
 
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Steven J Sobol wrote:
TV stations. They're 40 miles from Cleveland, about the same distance from
Erie, PA, and maybe 50 from Youngstown, Ohio, and they could get stations
from all three cities, but the signals weren't very strong. In spite of the
fact that they could pay Dish $5 per month to get Cleveland local TV, I
believe they still use their antenna. I have no clue why. **SJS]


Because none of the stations come in clear. I guess they don't mind having
snow on the TV as well as on the front lawn...


Cable isn't cheap - last I looked, the basic "lifeline" service (just
the local OTA stations and a couple of shopping channels) is $300/year
here. I know people who spend over $1,200/year for cable. Personally,
I'm willing to live with a fair amount of snow to save $300!

One year's "lifeline" cable charges here would buy a digital tuner. It
can be connected to their existing analog TV and antenna and will
deliver a fantastic picture & sound.
--
Doug Smith W9WI
Pleasant View (Nashville), TN EM66
http://www.w9wi.com



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