Showing posts from August, 2008

An update on WBKO ... and then a break for me

Well, folks, this is the third in a marathon of postings today -- sorry if I've overloaded you, but here's the latest on WBKO (ABC/Fox/CW, Bowling Green, Ky.).

I keep up with the station's blogs, so I was somewhat surprised to read last night that evidently they have delayed their antenna relocation (and, thus, the temporary shutdown I mentioned in a previous post) until November. Their new digital transmitter is not being installed until December, although I believe that still fits with their original plan. Once that's in, they'll shut off the analog signal on Channel 13 and move the digital there.

If the FCC's coverage map is accurate (and I'm by no means certain that it is), that means WBKO's coverage area will be greatly expanded, including at least a portion of Daviess County (meaning Owensboro, where I'm located). This would be perfectly fine and dandy with me, if it pans out.

I've been receiving WBKO most nights, so when I read on the blo…

Coverage of the Democratic National Convention

I don't want this to devolve into a political blog, but I did want to post my feelings about the coverage of the DNC this year.

All in all, I think the networks and PBS have done a pretty good job. I've watched snippets of each, and I can't really find fault with anything, although PBS has gone more in-depth than the Big Three. Fox, for its part, has been MIA. I know, I know, they have Fox News Channel, but I've long held that if Fox truly wants to be taken seriously instead of bashed as a shill for the right, they need to develop a NETWORK news operation, not just a cable outlet.

Honestly, though I normally prefer to watch ABC News, I've gotten to see more of the action first on PBS. Jim Lehrer and Co. deserve big kudos for going into such depth, yet making it all perfectly understandable.

I sincerely hope the same quality coverage will apply when the Republicans head to St. Paul, Minn. next week.

Now -- where DTV comes in:

Thanks to multicasting, in the Evansville…

WAZE Update, Day 9

Still no word. I'll revisit this situation on Tuesday at the two-week mark, or sooner if I hear anything.

Still no word ...

... from WAZE or their general manager, and it's been a week since my e-mail. Surprised? I'm not.

In other news, RTN broke cover on 25-2 today, and let me tell you, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Ironside, Bachelor Father, Leave it to Beaver, Quincy, etc. etc.

What's not to like?

There are just so few GOOD TV shows these days, it leaves me wanting the shows I grew up with that actually had storylines and good acting. As I type this, I'm watching Knight Rider. I LOVED Knight Rider when I was a kid. Even had the KITT toy with the pop-up headlights. Wish I still had it, too.

The A-Team comes up next, so I should put the laptop down for a while and watch Mr. T ... I wonder which fool he'll be pitying tonight?!!!

About the poll ...

OK, if you've noticed, I have a poll going on the right side of the blog, asking if you get more channels with DTV than you do/did with analog TV.

In my case, the answer is a decided "YES," because I have been able to get probably double what I got with analog.

My kids whined when I cut the cable off a few months back, but for $100+ a month, I really felt like I was not getting my money's worth. You can only watch one channel at a time, right? And there is so little on TV worth watching these days, it's ridiculous to actually pay someone for it.

Besides, with multicasting (that's the technical term for subchannels), each station can add a lot of neat, new programming that they ordinarily couldn't before.

Like streaming news and weather.

Or retro TV.

Or kids programming 24/7.

The list goes on and on.

Sure, some folks may have to invest in a better antenna to get the most out of the new converter boxes, but a small investment now is better than a cable bill forev…

This is irritating!

You're probably tired of me ranting about WAZE being the last network station in the Evansville market to go digital.

Well, I'm tired of it, too.

They've known the transition was coming, and the other stations were 'way out in front on getting their digital signals up and running. Even Nexstar-owned WTVW and ComCorp's WEVV got on ahead of them, which surprised me.

WAZE's former owner, South Central Communications Corp., even owns a digital-only station (in Knoxville, TN), so it wasn't like the Engelbrecht family didn't know how it was done.

But of course they sold it to some no-brains outfit from St. Louis, Roberts Broadcasting. And obviously, Roberts doesn't much care about their viewers here in the Tri-State, because (A) the station's analog signal sucks; (B) the digital signal is unavailable to people outside of the immediate Madisonville area; and (C) their website is virtually useless.

Add to that the fact that the station's general manage…

Atmospheric conditions must've been favorable last night...

... because I got to watch not one, not two, but THREE stations out of St. Louis last night.

KTVI (Fox 2-1) isn't new to me, but I also was able to reel in KMOV (CBS 4-1) and KETC (PBS 9-1 through 9-4). Not bad, considering that I'm 200+ miles from St. Louis.

KETC's channel lineup is pretty comprehensive. 9-1 is the HD feed, 9-2 is PBS Kids 24/7, 9-3 is the SD PBS feed, and 9-4 is Create. Now, if our friends at WNIN are reading this, maybe they can copy the good folks over in St. Louis and deliver a lineup like that. Insomniac kids would LOVE to be able to watch their favorite PBS cartoons all night long, wouldn't they???

I also got to watch Kimmel last night on WSIL (ABC 3-1 and 3-2) out of Harrisburg, IL. I'm not far from Channel 3's reach, maybe 25 miles or so, but it was nice to have the added choice.



Have you ever wondered why, when the FCC was laying out rules for DTV, they decided to call each subchannel by a numbe…

So what's the latest on WAZE? I don't know, but I'm gonna find out!

Back in early April, I contacted the general manager of WAZE (CW 19) to see if they were planning to broadcast in full-power digital at some point. They do put out a weak - a VERY weak - signal, but not anything I can get.

He told me then that they were in the build-out process.

Four months later, still no CW. He told me then that they'd be "ready by Feb. 17, 2009 if not before."

Gee, I guess it doesn't matter that every other station in the Tri-State area (aside from low-power TBN repeater W38BK, which itself has a permit to go digital) has gone full-power digital already, some were there four or five years ago.

But not WAZE.

So I've sent out another e-mail, and I'll let you know what I find out, of course.

Tired of the Olympics yet? Me too ...

Hang in there, folks. It's almost over. Just a few more days to go, and the 2008 Beijing Olympics will be behind us, and NBC will go from hopelessly annoying to just plain "Must Suck TV" once again.

Oh, OK, I'm being perhaps a bit harsh. It was exciting watching Michael Phelps finally relegate Mark Spitz to the dustbin of history. "Seven gold medals? Screw you, Spitz, I've got eight of 'em, right here!" The kid is a legend. I can call him a kid; he IS younger than I am. But the rest of the show has been pretty boring.

My point is, the other networks have managed to put up some interesting television to entice those of us with Olympic apathy away. I particularly enjoyed the "Legally Blonde" weekend over on ABC this past weekend.

Now you know I'm bored.

Actually, the Olympics this year just happened to coincide with prime atmospheric conditions for me to be able to watch out-of-market TV just about every night since the shindig in C…

An update from WNIN

I got a reply from Bonnie Rheinhardt at WNIN in response to my question about what was coming to the newly-created Channel 9-3. As you know by now, PBS HD programming occupies 9-1, and the original PBS programming is on 9-2.

In my message to Ms. Rheinhardt, I advocated the addition of Create, which some other regional PBS stations (i.e., WSIU/WUSI over in Illinois, and WCTE in Cookeville, TN) carry. WNIN offers it on cable, as I mentioned previously, but only on Insight and WOW in Evansville (I didn't know WOW offered it, but Bonnie pointed that out to me).
You are correct in that we did put on some video and an ID on 9-3 this past week. We are still discussing what the content will be for our new digital channels and make note of your request that we air CREATE.We do currently air the CREATE network on one of our two cable channels that are available locally on Insight and WOW.
And then they added two blue boxes, one reading "WNIN 9-3 Under Construction" and the other read…

Combining old and new

Making the transition to digital television isn't as hard as you might think. I know, I know, you've walked through your friendly neighborhood Walmart, and you've seen the pretty, shiny flat-screen TV sets, and you've been shocked by the price.

I know what you're thinking. "But I really don't think there's anything wrong with the old TV sets I've got now."

And, if your sets are like mine, you're probably right.

In our living room, we have an eight-year-old Sony 27" set, which works beautifully and has a great picture and terrific sound. I really hate the idea of parting with a set that works much as it did when I bought it in 2000.

Same goes for the other TV sets in the rest of the house; my GE 19" in the garage, the Toshiba combo in the little ones' room, and the RCA in our bedroom.

Fortunately, with the "gummint's" coupon program, I was able to upgrade all of the aforementioned TV sets without difficulty. Thank…

The new season brings new program choices!

The news broke earlier this year that WEHT (ABC "News25" Evansville) would become the Evansville market's RTN (Retro Television Network) affiliate. Today, the station posted the new affiliate's lineup on its website, but here are some highlights:

(Note: Racing from Ellis Park will continue to be shown in its present timeslot Wednesday through Sunday until the end of the live meet, which I think will be Labor Day weekend. Tri-State Fishing is also in the mix on those nights.)

10-11 AM -- Ironside
11-11:30 AM -- Bachelor Father
11:30-noon -- McHale's Navy
Noon-1 PM -- Leave It To Beaver (2 episodes)
1-2 PM -- Marcus Welby, M.D.
2-3 PM -- Quincy, M.E.
3-4 PM -- Emergency
4-5 PM -- Kojak
5-5:30 PM -- Adam 12
5:30-6 PM -- Dragnet
6-7 PM -- The Incredible Hulk
7-8 PM -- Knight Rider
8-9 PM -- The A-Team (Monday & Tuesday only; see note above)
9-10 PM -- Magnum P.I.
10-11 PM -- Unreliable Sources (seems to be some sort of live call-in show with guests)
11-midnight -- …

WBKO going off-air, but when?

I understand WBKO (RF channel 33, DTV 13-1/2/3, Bowling Green KY) is supposed to be going off the air at some point this month in order to upgrade their transmitter, but the question I have is this: WHEN?!!!

As of tonight, they are still on, and I can't find anything on their website that says when they'll shut down.

Comment if you know what's going on ...

DTV Converter Review -- Venturer STB7766G

Looking for a DTV converter? Don't want to spend a bunch of green? I've got one for you.

Your friendly local Target store is selling two converter boxes -- the GE Smart Digital (which I consider the single WORST box I've tried yet) and the Venturer STB7766G.

The Venturer is a great buy, at $49.99 without the $40 government coupon, or $9.99 with coupon.

So what makes this box so good?

The guts are the same LG-manufactured parts that you'll find in the Insignia and Zenith boxes found in stores such as Best Buy, but without unnecessary frills. You get no program guide, just a simple display of the current program, for example.

But the basics are really all most people need.

Let's look at the box itself. It's small! If you remember the early portable compact disc players, it's about that size, so you needn't make a lot of room for it.

Ditto the remote control. This is one of the smallest remotes I've ever tried, but it's not hard to use. The buttons…

DTV transition commercials ... a new favorite from an old friend!

Have you seen the latest commercial for the DTV transition? There's a familiar face reminding you to have your pets spayed or ... oh, wait ... that's another message, but, like that one, this comes from none other than ... BOB BARKER! That's right, the retired host of The Price Is Right has found a new calling, aside from his animal friends, that is. He's the star of the latest ad, and it's not bad. I mean, who doesn't love Bob Barker?

Stations I can get -- or have gotten

Here's a list of the stations I have received ... those in green are full-time (day and night); blue are night-only, and red are those I only get occasionally.

** UPDATED 8/21/08: Added KMOV and KETC to the list. More St. Louis stations!!!

2.1 .................... KTVI (FOX), St. Louis MO2.1/2.2 .............. WKRN (ABC/Weather), Nashville TN3.1/3.2 .............. WSIL (ABC HD/SD), Harrisburg IL3.1/3.2/3.3 ........ WAVE (NBC/Weather), Louisville KY4.1/4.2 .............. WSMV (NBC/Telemundo), Nashville TN4.1 .................... KMOV (CBS), St. Louis MO5.1 .................... WTVF (CBS), Nashville TN6.1/6.3 .............. WPSD (NBC/Weather), Paducah KY7.1 .................... WTVW (Fox), Evansville IN8.1/8.2/8.3/8.4... WSIU (PBS HD/SD/Create), Carbondale IL9.1/9.2/9.3 ........ WNIN (PBS HD/SD/**), Evansville IN9.1/9.2/9.3/9.4 .. KETC (PBS HD/Kids/SD/Create), St. Louis MO10.1/10.2 .......... WTHI (CBS/Weather), Terre Haute IN11.1 .................. WHAS (ABC), Louisville KY12.1/12.2/…