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Old 03-31-2021, 08:26 PM
 
228 posts, read 149,037 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johngolf View Post
Why is Judi Gaston still reading the news from home?

If I had to guess, she may be taking care of her sons at home, and they might be going to school virtually (or even just outright homeschooling).



I admire Judi immensely and she is the consummate professional. Anywhere she chooses to do the news from, is fine by me.


I've wondered what happened with Ben Hoover and WOLO myself. I see he is now at WSPA. He had a lot of good will in the community, and if he had stuck around, they might be turning out a better product today.


As a side note, I have on WJBF right now (able to get it, at long last, with the bobtailed Stellar Labs yagi I was telling Tyler about) and they just did a promo with Tim Miller. Once I have the Televes Ellipse installed, I hope to get all the major Augusta stations (though their primary use to me, is when the Columbia stations pre-empt a network or syndicated program). Our other house up the hill is sitting between Charlotte and me. WBTW-13 and WPDE-15 also come in from time to time. We're near Sesqui at an elevation of 410-420 feet --- my son and I were exploring in the North Chelsea Road area on the other side of Sesqui, I had my iPhone's altimeter on, and we noted that there is a subtle, but still fairly dramatic, rise in elevation from that side of Sesqui to ours. I didn't realize that area was 50-75 feet lower than our property.
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Old 03-31-2021, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Mauldin/Greenville
4,863 posts, read 6,461,794 times
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I have heard speculation that WBTW has wanted to move from VHF to UHF, and abandon RF13. But since the repack the spectrum is now very crowded, so there may not be a channel spot available. But if they were able to move, I wonder if WLOS could return to an omnidirectional pattern rather than their current directional pattern which is not optimized for Upstate SC. The current WLOS pattern on RF13 is apparently designed to avoid interference with WBTW, but it is a bit problematic for SC viewers, despite the height advantage from Mt. Pisgah.
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Old 04-01-2021, 12:32 PM
 
228 posts, read 149,037 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post
I have heard speculation that WBTW has wanted to move from VHF to UHF, and abandon RF13. But since the repack the spectrum is now very crowded, so there may not be a channel spot available. But if they were able to move, I wonder if WLOS could return to an omnidirectional pattern rather than their current directional pattern which is not optimized for Upstate SC. The current WLOS pattern on RF13 is apparently designed to avoid interference with WBTW, but it is a bit problematic for SC viewers, despite the height advantage from Mt. Pisgah.

They really need to do a simulcast of WLOS-13.1 ABC on WMYA-40, like they used to IIRC. Back in the WAIM days, one reason for WAIM even continuing to exist, was that it was an ABC affiliate that theoretically covered the SC Upstate. WLOS carries WMYA on a subchannel, so if they could reciprocate with a WLOS feed on WMYA, that would solve a lot (though not all) of the coverage problems due to the mountainous terrain. GSA is a weird market, largely held together on the NC side by translators as well as cable and dish. I've never figured out why PBSNC (ex-UNCTV) needs two full-power stations in both Asheville and Canton. The latter would make more sense in Bryson City, Cherokee, or even a directional transmitter in Murphy, assuming any of those places could get a full-power allocation. A Murphy PBSNC affiliate would also force satellite carriage in the Chattanooga market, assuming that would be a desirable objective for PBSNC. (Maybe make the city of license Hayesville in Clay County, thereby forcing Atlanta satellite carriage? That's what they did with WUND-2, moved from blink-and-you-miss-it Columbia, North Carolina to nearby Edenton which is just inside the Norfolk DMA.)



(As a side note, I find it kind of stultifying that public TV in South Carolina is still branded "ETV" in the year 2021. Maybe I'm just reading more into it than there actually is, but I think it kind of makes us look like uneducated rubes who think of public broadcasting as "educational", like "spinach TV" that isn't to be taken seriously. Kentucky still brands their public TV network "KET" and I have the same quibble for the same reasons. SC being SC, and KY being KY, it may be something political.)


More to your point, and I've had this quibble before as well, this packing of all US TV stations into 35 channels, 7 of those being high-VHF with a handful of low-VHF stations (I'm not counting those as part of the 35), is turning into a hot mess. It would be so much easier for reception purposes, if they had made all TV stations UHF, let's say, channels 14-51, and abandoned VHF altogether. I have to wonder if VHF has any utility whatsoever for mobile service, or if that's an exclusively UHF bailiwick. That would have resulted in 38 UHF channels, not as generous as it could be, but marginally better than the hodgepodge we have now. If higher-UHF frequencies are more desirable for mobile services, I even wonder if some spectrum could have been carved out below 470 mHz, still UHF, but providing more breathing room for 40+ UHF channels. But then again you would have to provide converters to get the new <470 mHz channels.


Actually, I've always been a huge fan of low-VHF for its superior propagation characteristics, even though it's not the best for DTV. They make for some epic DX, including e-skip which is almost impossible above 216 mHz (VHF channel 7). Analog stations on channels 2-6 (especially channels 2 and 3) did an amazing job of covering vast stretches of difficult terrain. WSAZ-3 in Huntington WV had a massive coverage area in its early days (tall tower, high power, and presumably killer knife-edge propagation, terrain is a fixed thing, not a variable), as did WCYB-5 Bristol VA. Using TV Fool's "heat maps", the WCYB signal on channel 5 was able to reach isolated "shadow" areas as far south as Winnsboro and Ridgeway SC, though I seriously doubt anyone ever attempted it. (I could be wrong.) The Dollar General parking lot in Ridgeway is another "sweet spot", you can get Charlotte TV stations with rabbit ears. (If I'm ever asked what I'm doing, I just say I'm a ham radio operator --- which I am --- and everybody knows what that means, or they think they do, anyway. Just a statement of fact, not a lie.) We may take the antenna out there as well tomorrow, I got the tripod in today, it's in my trunk. My son gets science homeschool credit for our antenna expeditions. (We have been homeschooling since Grade 6, well before the pandemic. Far better for the way he learns. We spent a fortune on private school and I'm not convinced he ever learned that much. We read authors such as Hemingway, Steinbeck, and even Tolstoy for literature class.)
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Old 04-01-2021, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Mauldin/Greenville
4,863 posts, read 6,461,794 times
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Sinclair has requested the FCC to move WCYB from RF5 to RF35. Apparently their digital VHF signal has been problematic. They apparently already own RF35 as a sister station and want to increase to 1000kw full power. I wish they would do something similar with their sister stations WLOS and WMYA. Or reinstate a simulcast of WLOS on WMYA to better serve the Upstate. With today's advanced encoders they could run 2 720p channels and the video quality does not suffer. But they would perhaps need to reduce the number of subchannels if they do this, or the video suffers. And that may cause a loss of revenue which they would not want.

And the upcoming launch of ATSC 3.0 may be a gamechanger, particulaly if WMYA is to be the lighthouse station, but that remains to be seen. But whatever channel carries ATSC 3.0, it will likely carry WLOS, WSPA, and WYFF as Sinclair, Nexstar, and Hearst are leading proponents of the Next Generation TV standard and are members of the Pearl TV consortium. And most potential lighthouse stations have good signals in the Upstate, except for WLOS which probably won't be the lighthouse.

In some markets, ATSC 3.0 has launched on full power signals, whereas other areas it has been on a lower power signal. In Charlotte the lighthouse signal will be WAXN-64, which has a weak directional signal on RF32. I wish it could have been one of the stronger signals.

But the 3.0 signal is supposed to be more robust in fringe areas, and better had dealing with reception problems such as multipath . The only concern I have is possible georestrictions based upon zip code, which would block your tuner from receiving out of market signals if connected to the internet, which is a major compenent of this Next Generation standard. And of course you need a converter box or one of the select newer model TVs with the new tuner built in.
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Old 04-01-2021, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Mauldin/Greenville
4,863 posts, read 6,461,794 times
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To your other point, PBS NC has numerous overlapping signals, and provide strong coverage in Upstate SC. In Spartanburg I receive WUNF-33 from Asheville on RF20 and WUNE-17 which has a strong signal from Grandfather Mountain on RF36. And for SCETV I get WNVT-29/49 on RF8 from Paris Mountain in Greenville, which is building a new tower and will increase power later this summer. It will be one of the most powerful VHF signals in the nation and may reach into the Columbia. They are on a temporary antenna as their repack work has been delayed due to the necessary construction of the new tower. I also receive SCETV signals from Greenwood and Rock Hill, although a bit weaker.
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Old 04-01-2021, 09:54 PM
 
228 posts, read 149,037 times
Reputation: 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post
Sinclair has requested the FCC to move WCYB from RF5 to RF35. Apparently their digital VHF signal has been problematic. They apparently already own RF35 as a sister station and want to increase to 1000kw full power. I wish they would do something similar with their sister stations WLOS and WMYA. Or reinstate a simulcast of WLOS on WMYA to better serve the Upstate. With today's advanced encoders they could run 2 720p channels and the video quality does not suffer. But they would perhaps need to reduce the number of subchannels if they do this, or the video suffers. And that may cause a loss of revenue which they would not want.

And the upcoming launch of ATSC 3.0 may be a gamechanger, particulaly if WMYA is to be the lighthouse station, but that remains to be seen. But whatever channel carries ATSC 3.0, it will likely carry WLOS, WSPA, and WYFF as Sinclair, Nexstar, and Hearst are leading proponents of the Next Generation TV standard and are members of the Pearl TV consortium. And most potential lighthouse stations have good signals in the Upstate, except for WLOS which probably won't be the lighthouse.

In some markets, ATSC 3.0 has launched on full power signals, whereas other areas it has been on a lower power signal. In Charlotte the lighthouse signal will be WAXN-64, which has a weak directional signal on RF32. I wish it could have been one of the stronger signals.

But the 3.0 signal is supposed to be more robust in fringe areas, and better had dealing with reception problems such as multipath . The only concern I have is possible georestrictions based upon zip code, which would block your tuner from receiving out of market signals if connected to the internet, which is a major compenent of this Next Generation standard. And of course you need a converter box or one of the select newer model TVs with the new tuner built in.

Just curious, where is this ATSC 3.0 information available online? I don't doubt it, I just wonder if there is some sort of central source. Sounds like something the guys in WTFDA might use for their updates. When you said "lighthouse" stations, I thought of the "nightlight" stations used during the transition from analog, then I looked in Wikipedia and saw that "lighthouses" are something different. I haven't heard anything about ATSC 3.0 coming to Columbia.



I don't like this geo-restriction business --- being prevented from what I can receive OTA bruises whatever libertarian sentiments I might have with regard to TV reception (and I have plenty of those), and I still bristle at not allowing distant signals on cable without jumping through hoops (significantly viewed, orphan counties, and so on). I guess I'm reminiscing over the day when cable carried stations from several markets, which was pretty cool, a sentiment not shared by local broadcasters who want to keep eyes on their advertisers, not advertisers in other markets.
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:10 PM
 
228 posts, read 149,037 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post
To your other point, PBS NC has numerous overlapping signals, and provide strong coverage in Upstate SC. In Spartanburg I receive WUNF-33 from Asheville on RF20 and WUNE-17 which has a strong signal from Grandfather Mountain on RF36. And for SCETV I get WNVT-29/49 on RF8 from Paris Mountain in Greenville, which is building a new tower and will increase power later this summer. It will be one of the most powerful VHF signals in the nation and may reach into the Columbia. They are on a temporary antenna as their repack work has been delayed due to the necessary construction of the new tower. I also receive SCETV signals from Greenwood and Rock Hill, although a bit weaker.

Sure do wish one of those PBSNC signals would overlap down this way! I only get WUNG-58 from Concord on the odd occasion, and never have been able to receive WTVI-42, nor the GPB station WCES-20 from Wrens/Augusta, not even when both went to DTV VHF. When I installed my high-gain antennas back in the analog days, I hoped those might be a possibility, but it didn't materialize. Sometimes I get WUNF-33 at home when propagation is good, and was able to receive them when my son and I made our DX expeditions to Little Mountain last summer. (We didn't get to take a "real" vacation, so we used the Rocky Branch Natural Area as a kind of "surrogate Smokies" some afternoons.)


I couldn't see the point of WRET (Spartanburg ETV, not the old iteration of WCNC) continuing to exist after the spectrum auctions. IIRC, when WRET went on the air, weren't they supposed to be some kind of dedicated classroom instruction channel, as opposed to WNTV being a direct feed of ETV? I know the Sumter, Rock Hill, and Beaufort ETV stations had a nominal amount of local programming. Here in northeast Richland, I have a solid signal on both WRJA and WNSC Rock Hill (the latter only with the help of my 8-bay bowtie), as well as, of course, WRLK, whose transmitter I can see from the parking lot of the shopping center adjacent to our property.
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Old 04-01-2021, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Mauldin/Greenville
4,863 posts, read 6,461,794 times
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There was major overlap for SCETV with both WNTV in Greenvile and WRET in Spartanburg. SCETV sold the channel 49/RF43 spectrum during the repack, and now 49 and 29 both are mapped from the RF8 signal in Greenville. They are building a new tower on Paris Mountain and are expected to boost power this summer. It will be a very strong VHF signal.
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Old 04-02-2021, 12:09 AM
 
Location: Mauldin/Greenville
4,863 posts, read 6,461,794 times
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Regarding ATSC 3.0, I follow AVS Forum, Local HDTV Reception thread. There are subforums for each market, including Charlotte, Columbia, Greenville-Spartanburg, and all markets nationwide. There is also a HDTV Technical forum where antenna and reception issues are discussed, including an ATSC 3.0 thread. ATSC 3.0 has already launched in Raleigh, and is coming to Charlotte this summer. I do not know yet about plans for Columbia or Greenville-Spartanburg.

WAXN-TV64 will be the lighthouse station for Charlotte, and will carry the main ATSC 3.0 signals for WSOC, and probably WCNC, WBTV, and WJZY. The regular WAXN signal will be moved to another station, perhaps sister station WSOC on RF19. WAXN-RF32 will be used for the new format, Next Generation TV standard. Unfortunately, WAXN has the weakest coverage of the major broadcast signals from Charlotte, and I do not receive it in Spartanburg. Although I do get 64 and 9 from the RF12 translator, but this will not carry th ATSC 3.0 signal.
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Old 04-02-2021, 05:47 AM
 
228 posts, read 149,037 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post
Regarding ATSC 3.0, I follow AVS Forum, Local HDTV Reception thread. There are subforums for each market, including Charlotte, Columbia, Greenville-Spartanburg, and all markets nationwide. There is also a HDTV Technical forum where antenna and reception issues are discussed, including an ATSC 3.0 thread. ATSC 3.0 has already launched in Raleigh, and is coming to Charlotte this summer. I do not know yet about plans for Columbia or Greenville-Spartanburg.

WAXN-TV64 will be the lighthouse station for Charlotte, and will carry the main ATSC 3.0 signals for WSOC, and probably WCNC, WBTV, and WJZY. The regular WAXN signal will be moved to another station, perhaps sister station WSOC on RF19. WAXN-RF32 will be used for the new format, Next Generation TV standard. Unfortunately, WAXN has the weakest coverage of the major broadcast signals from Charlotte, and I do not receive it in Spartanburg. Although I do get 64 and 9 from the RF12 translator, but this will not carry th ATSC 3.0 signal.

I'll check it out. I had heard of AVS Forum but didn't realize it had a Local HDTV Reception thread.



I rarely if ever see WAXN here in Columbia, as you point out, the signal's just too weak. If cable systems were still carrying distant signals to the extent they did in the 1970s and 1980s (glory days!), WAXN would be a good fit for Columbia cable, it's a true independent, and WSOC news would be available. Pity that everything from Charlotte that could carry a mix of programming not available here, or at least carried out-of-pattern with respect to locals here (WAXN, WUNG, WTVI), is too weak to make it the 80+ miles even with the best antenna. WSOC has a very nice Roku channel that serves as a full-time online affiliate with general-interest (possibly brokered) programming and newscasts in tandem with OTA WSOC and WAXN.



When I read this about WMYA being the GSA lighthouse, and WAXN being the Charlotte lighthouse, I wondered if WZRB-47 could be repurposed to be the lighthouse for Columbia. It is a fairly useless station, not one iota of local content, and for the moment anyway, three of its subchannels (Court TV, Mystery, Grit) duplicate WKTC-63. Have to wonder if the two stations are at odds about this, or whether the ratings for these three subchannels are so low, that these just serve as Ion-fed placeholders for WZRB's subchannels until other plans are made, and nobody at either WZRB or WKTC really cares? Perhaps Ion could migrate to WKTC, ditch the two shopping channels, and free up WZRB to be the lighthouse?


WKTC is an odd duck, screaming-hot signal but, aside from Cozi and Telemundo, nothing really much worth watching (though Court TV's coverage of the Derek Chauvin trial is very good indeed). When they lost the CW to WIS (brilliant move there, gives WIS a good platform for extended local news, WIS's bread and butter for as long as there's been a WIS), they didn't have much left --- who watches MyTV anyway? Their studios out at Pontiac are totally nondescript, if it weren't for all the satellite dishes, you'd have no clue it was a TV station, just as well, it's basically a full-power satellator anyway.
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