Monday, April 6, 2009

Problems receiving Channel 8 HD over the air

Joe in West Gardiner wrote:

I ran across your Maine HDTV blog and was hoping you could help mewith an issue I'm having. I recently dropped my cable tv and I amusing an antenna. I am getting all the stations I expected with thetype of antenna I purchased (via information from Theonly issue I am having is the digital signal for wmtw channel 8. Withcertain hi-def programming the picture will skip (not pixellate). It'slike a very momentary freeze (less than a second), then the pictureskips frames to catch up. The audio is never disrupted. This happenscontinuously. The thing is that it doesn't happen with all hi-defprogramming. It only seems to be with filmed shows and movies. If it'sa talk show or sports program in hi-def, no skipping at all. In fact Iwas watching a talk show where the picture was perfect except whenthey showed a clip from the guest's upcoming movie. The clip did theskipping but when they went back to the interview, the transmissionwas fine. I just didn't know if this was a reception issue, set-upissue, or the station itself. Just wondering if you had any opinionsbefore I invested any more money into my setup. I currently have aTerk HDTVo antenna that is oriented in the proper direction (I amlocated in West Gardiner). I currently have it mounted in an attic.The antenna is an outdoor antenna but I was hoping to avoid the extracosts and expense of mounting it outside (weather, grounding, etc)unless absolutely necessary. Thanks for your time.

My response is as follows but please feel free to add your comments:

I have a TERK antenna as well so I know it well. I have converted to cable HD just recently but relied on my TERK and still swear by it. When I first started reading your email I thought "reception problem" regardless of what you might think or experience. It was my first impression. Then when you said it only skips when certain types of video are broadcasted, that one stumped me. To be hones after hearing everything, I'm leaning more toward your TV. I am assuming you have a wide screen HD TV with the built in tuner. Cinema film is shot in different frames per second than regular TV. So if that were the problem, I would ask that you check your TV setup for Cinema mode or something called Cinema 3:2 mode and play around with those settings to see if that's the problem. TV's also have different refresh rates (HZ). Like my older HDTV is a 60 HZ and my new one is a 120HZ and they are night and day different when it comes to screen refresh rates. I really don't think it's your antenna. If anything it's WMTW's signal or the Cinema (3:2) mode on your TV. Sorry I wish I had more. If it's any consolation, WMTW's signal is the least consistent in Maine.

From Joe:
Thanks for the quick response. I'll see if if any of those thingswork. I have 2 hdtvs and they both do the same thing on channel 8.Both are 720 resolution. One LCD, one plasma. I think they are both60HZ. I wouldn't mind you posting this on the blog just to see ifanyone else has the same problem with channel 8. Thanks again.


wheelie207 said...

I will say one thing. Any TV watcher with no cable or satellite will need to always have a deep fringe antenna and a rotor if you are over 30 miles from tower.
As for channel 8 HD, they are running low power and if you have any mountains or large hills between you and the tower, you have a 50/50 change of getting a good signal if you are 30 miles or less.
Remember, get antenna as high as you can to get all the channels on the antenna.

RSCME said...

Does anyone know why WMTW is using low power. The DTV conversion only applied to high power TV stations. Are they going with gogh power after June 12th. I can't find anything on their web site.

Joe said...

I actually e-mailed channel 8 and got a quick response from Bill Greep. Below is his response:


What type of dtv converter box or hdtv are you using? It sounds like it could be tied to the fact that we broadcast in 720p-we are the only broadcaster in the area to do so (most abc stations broadcast in 720p). It could also be low signal strength-you may want to reorient your antenna to see if the situation improves.

After 6/12 we will begin broadcasting our dtv signal on vhf channel 8. You will most likely see an improvement in signal quality at that time.

Thanks for watching wmtw-tv.

Bill Greep"

I'm about 52 miles from their transmitter and am oriented in the right direction. I think for now I will just ride it out until June 12th, when they switch their HD signal to their VHF frequency. If it doesn't improve then, then I will look at moving, raising my antenna. Thanks.

wheelie207 said...

If some of those out there does not know the website address for the database for the station info, here is the link to the site.

I hope this helps those to find the info about the stations power and other stuff in the watching area.

RSCME said...

ABC is not the only network broadcasting in 720p. FOX, the CW, and MyNetwork all broadcast in 720p. NBC and CBS broadcast in 1080i

wheelie207 said...

As I understand, when they was doing the digital transition, it means they are changing over to digital TV.
But most of the people thinks it means to change to HD. It does not mean that the stations have to show HD TV.
If they broadcast in SD they could show 4 sub-channels with different shows. If in HD, they can only show 1 HD and 1 SD sub-channel.
I'm wondering what one would want, more channels in SD or less channels in HD. Whats more important, looking at a channel that just shows brighter colors and a clearer picture or SD channels that look like the cable channels with more channels to choose from.
Would you want to pay more for less channels or pay less for more channels. Thats something for those to think about though.

Just a food for though.

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RSCME said...

David, I"m the site owner, what specific information did you find helpful and what is your site. I wouldn't link to a site unless I research it first.