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  #76  
Old December 8th, 2008, 01:22 PM
mike mike is offline
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

Michael,
if the bar is in Kahului you should have absolutely no problems in seeing the digital signals.
Mike
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  #77  
Old December 8th, 2008, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

KFVE is back transmitting DTV, still no program info or station ID (listed as RF23.1), often with no audio. No signal currently from ION (66.1-4).
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  #78  
Old December 10th, 2008, 10:13 AM
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

How come there is no public "town hall" meeting about the DTV switch on Molokai?
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  #79  
Old December 10th, 2008, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

DTV switch may leave some viewers in the dark

Quote:
Some Hawaii households receiving television over the air may be left without service after noon on Jan. 15, when Hawaii's full-power TV stations turn off their analog signals.

Any disruption will be the effect of moving broadcast towers from atop Haleakala, on Maui, farther down in elevation to Ulupalakua Ranch. The signals will not emanate from as great a height, possibly causing some pockets of population to lose signals.

Computer modeling shows the number will be smaller than feared, said Jonathan Adelstein, commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, and Chris Leonard, president of the Hawaii Broadcasters Association.
Random, I don't know how this will impact Molokai, but for people receiving free over the air TV on some areas of the Big Island (Hamakua, Waimea) via the current Maui relay, the impact may be dire.... i.e. no signal.

I am getting a box for my parents' second TV and hopefully my coupon arrives before I leave for the Big Island so I can buy one here and take it with me there and install while I am on the Big Island for the holiday.

Currently both the analog and digital signals from Maui are coming from towers at the top of the mountain. But on January 15 the digital only signal will come from a lower elevation and may not penetrate as far as the signal from the top.

Also the channels will be repositioned with all of the ones currently on analog VHF moving to UHF. My personal experience with over the air UHF is that the signal doesn't seem to be as strong as VHF.
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  #80  
Old December 10th, 2008, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

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Originally Posted by mel View Post
Currently both the analog and digital signals from Maui are coming from towers at the top of the mountain. But on January 15 the digital only signal will come from a lower elevation and may not penetrate as far as the signal from the top.

Also the channels will be repositioned with all of the ones currently on analog VHF moving to UHF. My personal experience with over the air UHF is that the signal doesn't seem to be as strong as VHF.
Mel,
I could be wrong, but I don't think any 'digital' stations ever got on the air from Haleakala. Also, the 'lower' VHF stations (Ch. 3 on Maui) will be re-channeled to UHF (Ch. 24) and the 'upper' VHF (Ch. 7, 10, 12) will retain their existing assignments.
When I was up at the new site above Ulupalakua, I could "see" the Big Isand, but as to what the signals will be like in Waimea...Mike Rosenberg would be the one to ask.

Here's a good place to get some kind of idea (select "post transition"):
(If you'd like to test your location, then...>> Start HERE <<)
http://www.tvfool.com/
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  #81  
Old December 10th, 2008, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

The propogation maps I am looking at make it a real stretch for Waimea to receive our new digital signals from Maui...perhaps if you are right on the coast by Waimea, but I wouldn't depend on it.
BTW, I just received the gov't coupon for digital box that I registered for on 10/30, so if you are planning to get the $40 coupon, you'd better order RIGHT AWAY.
Mike
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  #82  
Old December 10th, 2008, 10:13 PM
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

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The propogation maps I am looking at make it a real stretch for Waimea to receive our new digital signals from Maui...perhaps if you are right on the coast by Waimea, but I wouldn't depend on it.
BTW, I just received the gov't coupon for digital box that I registered for on 10/30, so if you are planning to get the $40 coupon, you'd better order RIGHT AWAY.
Mike
Yeah, I got my two coupons. Supposed to received them BEFORE Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend (went off-island to shop without them).

Sighs.

Need to look for reviews of good converter boxes.
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  #83  
Old December 10th, 2008, 10:19 PM
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

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Originally Posted by mel View Post
DTV switch may leave some viewers in the dark



Random, I don't know how this will impact Molokai, but for people receiving free over the air TV on some areas of the Big Island (Hamakua, Waimea) via the current Maui relay, the impact may be dire.... i.e. no signal.
All I know is that the Ulupalakua Tower will be 10 miles farther than Haleakala Tower from my current position. Still within a large directional antenna's 60-mile range (VHF). No way for UHF. Was it a hasty decision to put the new digital tower on Ulupalakua, or did they thoroughly researched it with both (East) Molokai and Lanai in mind?

What are the chance of adding a tower for each island, including Molokai and Lanai?

So, let me get this straight. When they shut off the analog signals January 15, they'll transfer the digital signals to the vacated VHF channels, right? At least in theory, right?

Why does the Big Island relying on Maui's Tower? Is it acting as relay to their own repeater?
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  #84  
Old December 10th, 2008, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

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Originally Posted by Random View Post
Why does the Big Island relying on Maui's Tower? Is it acting as relay to their own repeater?
For more than 50 years people receiving TV signals on the northern and western parts of the Big Island have gotten their programs from the towers located at the top of Haleakala.

That would be channels 3, 7, 10, and 12 and by the mid 1980s channel 15.

Some people in Kona also got Channel 6 which is KLEI TV that repeats either Channel 26 or 66 from Oahu (can't remember which one).

For most of the time the repeaters in Hilo would pick up the Maui signal and send those out to the Southeastern part of the Big Island... some parts of Hamakua, all of Hilo, Kaumana, and into Keeau and Volcano.

Mauna Kea Mountain pretty much blocks the Hilo signal from reaching Northern Hamakua (Laupahoehoe, Ookala, Paauilo, Honokaa, Kukuihaele) and Waimea/Kamuela.

I think most of the Kona coast as well as most of Kohala will continue to get a good over the air signal from Maui with the change to digital. I don't know what that will be like for Hamakua, Kamuela-Waimea. The Kohala Mountains may be in the way. I don't know.

Of course this may force some (or many) people to subscribe to satellite or cable. But still, nothing beats FREE TV, even without all the additional cable/satellite TV channel clutter.

Will the TV stations build low power transmitters to places that lose free OTA service? I wouldn't hold my breath on it, sad to say. The populations of these rural communities may be too small to justify the expense.
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  #85  
Old December 11th, 2008, 02:39 AM
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvhawaii View Post
Mel,
I could be wrong, but I don't think any 'digital' stations ever got on the air from Haleakala. Also, the 'lower' VHF stations (Ch. 3 on Maui) will be re-channeled to UHF (Ch. 24) and the 'upper' VHF (Ch. 7, 10, 12) will retain their existing assignments.
When I was up at the new site above Ulupalakua, I could "see" the Big Isand, but as to what the signals will be like in Waimea...Mike Rosenberg would be the one to ask.

Here's a good place to get some kind of idea (select "post transition"):
(If you'd like to test your location, then...>> Start HERE <<)
http://www.tvfool.com/
Thanks tvHawaii. I plugged in information for Honokaa, Hawaii a small town on the northern Hamakua Coast of the Big Island that receives all of its OTA signal from Haleakala. Currently on analog that means 5 stations as I mentioned earlier.... 3, 7, 10, 12 and 15.

Here's the analog info from tvfool.com.



Here's the digital line-up from after the switchover on 1-15-09.



Going by these 2 charts, in theory my folks should be able to receive all five channels clearly except for 15 (KOGG/KHNL). Listed with a -21 noise margin. On analog that channel is listed with a -6.6.

Honokaa residents will get KWHE at Channel 21 UHF / 21.1 Virtual.

It is kind of a sad tradeoff since KHNL is an NBC station and KWHE is only LeSea and reruns.

Of course this is assuming to mountains and other obstacles are not in the way.

Quote:
Please understand that this is a simulation and can only be treated as a rough approximation. Reception at your location is affected by many factors such as multipath, antenna gain, receiver sensitivity, buildings, and trees - which are not taken into account. Your mileage may vary.
Just FYI tvHawaii, KGMV and KOGG are broadcasting in Digital from Maui now. The TV transmitter relocation will severely impact viewers of KOGG/KHNL. The current digital +36.5 noise margin (NB) which is also colored green, available theoretically with indoor antenna.

Viewers in Honokaa cannot catch any of the OTA channels shaded in gray.

Random, you may want to try the TV Fool analysis for Molokai.
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Last edited by mel; December 11th, 2008 at 11:29 AM. Reason: fix typo
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  #86  
Old December 11th, 2008, 01:20 PM
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

Mel,

Nobody is presently broadcasting in digital on Maui. It is our hope that KGMB can begin on 1/9 and we are looking into signing KHET on early, but nobody is yet doing it.
To answer a couple of points brought up in recent posts:
1-The broadcasters explored two other, higher, locations to relocate on Maui and were rebuffed by various groups that didn't want our transmitters there. We settled on Ulupalalakua as a last resort.
2-Adding low power translators is probably not an option in Hawaii. We'd literally need to do EIS studies for each low power location. It's almost impossible to build anything on Maui or the BI where you need to be in an undeveloped area.
The last thing we want to do is to disenfranchise any of our OTA viewers, but, unfortunately some will be.

Mike
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  #87  
Old December 11th, 2008, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

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Originally Posted by Random View Post
So, let me get this straight. When they shut off the analog signals January 15, they'll transfer the digital signals to the vacated VHF channels, right? At least in theory, right?
Edit: There is some movement. See this page for details. Note "DTV Temp" and "DTV Perm". Those are the actual frequencies (not the virtual or what's displayed.)

Last edited by GeckoGeek; December 11th, 2008 at 01:30 PM.
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  #88  
Old December 11th, 2008, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
Edit: There is some movement. See this page for details. Note "DTV Temp" and "DTV Perm". Those are the actual frequencies (not the virtual or what's displayed.)
Okay, so I'll need a ginormous rooftop antenna that have a 50-mile range to catch UHF signals.

Anyone know where I can find one?
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  #89  
Old December 11th, 2008, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mike View Post
Mel,

Nobody is presently broadcasting in digital on Maui. It is our hope that KGMB can begin on 1/9 and we are looking into signing KHET on early, but nobody is yet doing it.
To answer a couple of points brought up in recent posts:
1-The broadcasters explored two other, higher, locations to relocate on Maui and were rebuffed by various groups that didn't want our transmitters there. We settled on Ulupalalakua as a last resort.
2-Adding low power translators is probably not an option in Hawaii. We'd literally need to do EIS studies for each low power location. It's almost impossible to build anything on Maui or the BI where you need to be in an undeveloped area.
The last thing we want to do is to disenfranchise any of our OTA viewers, but, unfortunately some will be.

Mike
Thanks Mike for the update on this. Serves me right to believe everything I am getting from a mainland server, TV Fool.com...

So even if I buy my Mom a digital converter box now and take it back to the Big Island during Christmas holiday and connect to the TV, I will get no digital signal at all.

I was hoping the "DTV Temp" listing was good enough for me to test the thing out on the 2 channels that were listed as broadcasting digital from Maui. 24 KGMV and 16 KOGG.

Sadly I can't be on the Big Island on January 15 to help her adjust the gizmo.

I am angry at the environmentalists and some of the scientists with observatories at the top of Haleakala for forcing the TV broadcasters off the mountain. I am sure they used the DTV conversion as an added incentive to kick the broadcasters off the mountain. The thing is that the broadcasters were there FIRST! For more than 50 years nobody made a big stink about the birds. Sheesh... birds win out over the viewing public? Give me a break.

Of course the same kind of groups who oppose towers are the ones that oppose the Superferry and astronomy on the Big Island.

I still highly suspect that the lower elevation of the Maui transmitters will impact many OTA households along the Hamakua coast who do get that signal vs. the one from Hilo that fizzles out after I think Hakalau, due to the curvature of the island and Mauna Kea mountain.
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  #90  
Old December 11th, 2008, 11:50 PM
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I am angry at the environmentalists and some of the scientists with observatories at the top of Haleakala for forcing the TV broadcasters off the mountain. I am sure they used the DTV conversion as an added incentive to kick the broadcasters off the mountain. The thing is that the broadcasters were there FIRST! For more than 50 years nobody made a big stink about the birds. Sheesh... birds win out over the viewing public? Give me a break.
Maybe they're getting bigger donations from dish and cable services.
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  #91  
Old December 12th, 2008, 12:00 AM
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

I just got through watching the Digital TV Conversion special on KGMB tonight hosted by Linda Coble and featuring the FCC commissioner, Chris Leonard from HAB and a KITV 4 engineer.

It's a good basic informational special. The emphasis is placed on getting the coupon for the converter box now, getting ready for the changeover and what to expect.

They do acknowledge that there will be areas that may lose channels or not get anything at all. This is related to the move of the Haleakala transmitters from nearly 10,000 ft. high to Pukalani Ranch at 4,000 ft. So yes, I think signal loss will occur in some areas.

At the end of the program they did not know exactly what to expect for the islands of Molokai and Lanai.

And yes, Random, I would not be surprised the cable and satellite companies lobbied to get those transmitters moved to a less desirable location, though I would kind of doubt if that is the reality.

Still to lose that prime spot at the top of the mountain is probably tragic.
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  #92  
Old December 12th, 2008, 02:12 AM
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

I've got one of those battery-powered weather channel televisions, and it occurred to me that it won't work for digital unless I can get a battery-powered converter box. After watching (and calling in) to the PBS Island Insights show a month ago I got pointed to the one (and only, so far) outfit that sells those and corresponded with them; I was able to send them a link to the kind of tv I own, and they looked at it and said there was no way to hook up the box, since it has no RCA plug (or equivalent) inputs. So I guess we're going to be stuck using it for AM/FM radio and weather radio only.

Meanwhile, I sent away for two converter box coupons. Since the other three televisions are all cabled, I have no need of them. If you know anyone scrambling to find them at this late date, tell them to post here.
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  #93  
Old December 12th, 2008, 03:32 AM
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

I have a portable AM/FM/Weather Band/TV VHF-Low/TV VHF-Hi radio that will cease to broadcast the analog audio from the TV VHF on January 15. Will be interesting to see if any audio content will replace the vacant TV channels on VHF. I don't think that will happen soon and when it does, it will probably be allocated to broadband use for internet and mobile devices.
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  #94  
Old December 12th, 2008, 05:14 AM
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I just got through watching the Digital TV Conversion special on KGMB tonight hosted by Linda Coble and featuring the FCC commissioner, Chris Leonard from HAB and a KITV 4 engineer.

It's a good basic informational special. The emphasis is placed on getting the coupon for the converter box now, getting ready for the changeover and what to expect.
It was okay. Was kinda hoping for a format similar to PBS Hawaii's Island Insight where viewers can call or email their queries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mel View Post
They do acknowledge that there will be areas that may lose channels or not get anything at all. This is related to the move of the Haleakala transmitters from nearly 10,000 ft. high to Pukalani Ranch at 4,000 ft. So yes, I think signal loss will occur in some areas.

At the end of the program they did not know exactly what to expect for the islands of Molokai and Lanai.
Oh, gee. I wonder why. Could it be because they never like someone fo' test them out here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mel View Post
And yes, Random, I would not be surprised the cable and satellite companies lobbied to get those transmitters moved to a less desirable location, though I would kind of doubt if that is the reality.
Meh. So long they're not exposed to their Machiavellian conspiracy.
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  #95  
Old December 12th, 2008, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

I watched the DTV special last night on KGMB, and thought the program was nearly worthless.

Linda Coble came across as a bit condesending her question were about as insightful as from a marshmellow.

The best quote of the night came from the KITV CE who said about Molokai and Lanai, if can't get TV OTA now, you won't on Jan. 15th...that pretty much applies to everywhere in Hawaii.

It would have been better to do a show that did the following:

Actually show a real life demo of hooking up a DTV converter box.
You can do a fairly basic install demo in under 2 minutes as well as showing the "search" function and basic troubleshooting.

Actually show what they received and didn't.
Do a couple, one in a apartment in town and one in a house a leeward area(Aiea-Ewa). If they had reception issues could they fix them.

Cover more that the antenna if also an important component in reception.
IMO, This has been the missing piece to the switch. Because of the way DTV works as well as the move of many stations transmitters, that the $10 rabbitt ear antenna you bought at Wal-Mart may not be up to the job, and that the UHF Loop of the antenna is an important part of it.

What can people do when Jan. 15th comes and they do lose some or all of the stations.
Telling people that come Jan. 15th, they may do everything right and still lose some if not all TV reception isn't the answer people want to here. How about telling people about low cost cable and satellite solutions out there.
For instance, Oceanic offers a "Value Basic" service that offers locals channels, some govt madated channels and TBS for less than $15 a month. There is also a special with Road Runner; You get Road Runner 1.5mb service for $25 a month plus the "Value Basic" service for free for one year.
Dish also offers a "Locals Only" package for $10 a month and "Welcome" pack that includes a dozen of so news, general interest channels for $15 a month.

Just my two cents, but too many people who are worrying about Jan. 15th need not be and remember...It's only television.

BTW, only missing point about Kauai. Eventually the repeaters on that island will convert to digital as well, but the "$40 coupon" expires on Feb. 17, 2009 and there are no guarantees that once the changeover happens that converter boxes will still be produced. So not only will the boxes be more expensive but may be hard to find anyway.

Last edited by Ninja; December 12th, 2008 at 01:02 PM.
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  #96  
Old December 12th, 2008, 01:30 PM
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

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BTW, only missing point about Kauai. Eventually the repeaters on that island will convert to digital as well, but the "$40 coupon" expires on Feb. 17, 2009 and there are no guarantees that once the changeover happens that converter boxes will still be produced. So not only will the boxes be more expensive but may be hard to find anyway.
I also predict that analog will disappear from cable within 5 years. No government mandate - just economics.
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  #97  
Old December 12th, 2008, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

If we're supposedly 'ready' for switching to digital broadcast early, why do I lose some digital stations every time it rains (not just heavy rain as yesterday)? I lost KFVE, KGMB and KHET yesterday (KFVE & KHET are still blank today). At least with analog back-up, I was able to record my programs despite the digital broadcast 'blackout' (I rightly anticipated digital wouldn't be back on the air and recorded in analog). I enjoy the improved picture of digital broadcast, but it's still just too unreliable. Without reliable service, the 'public benefit' aspect of broadcast transmission is jeopardized (let stations PAY for their bandwidth, as other commercial enterprises do).

I have received no response from the FCC filed complaint mentioned earlier.
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Last edited by salmoned; December 12th, 2008 at 03:44 PM.
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  #98  
Old December 12th, 2008, 03:49 PM
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

Salmoned,

You should get in touch with those stations, but I believe all have plans for more robust digital signals after January 15th. BTW,yesterday's rains were so strong that we were losing KU satellite feeds.

Mike
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  #99  
Old December 13th, 2008, 06:37 PM
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

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why do I lose some digital stations every time it rains (not just heavy rain as yesterday)?
Good question. Are you right on the fringe and a normal change in propagation is enough to do you in? Maybe your antenna has a problem. Or are the stations themselves going off the air?
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  #100  
Old December 16th, 2008, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: Digital TV Over The Air

Latest update on my DTV reception (Ewa Beach)- KFVE is now received as DT-KFVE 5.1 (not RF-23.1) and has the extended program guide information. KGMB was out for the weekend, now reception is poor, but 'there'. No reception of KHET, digital or analog throughout the weekend and continuing to today.
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