Iowa Public Television

Monday, December 15, 2008

IPTV DTV Information Sessions

In the coming months, Iowa Public Television's DTV experts will conduct free information and Q&A sessions about Digital Television. UPDATED JANUARY 23

And remember - if you'd like an Iowa Public Television staff person to speak to your community or civic group, please let us know! Contact Jennifer at 800-532-1290 or at jennifer.konfrst@iptv.org to schedule a session in your community!



Upcoming Free Digital Television Information Sessions

  • Cedar Rapids Public Library - Westdale Mall - Wednesday, January 28 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Ericksen Center - Clinton, Iowa - Thursday, February 12 at 1 p.m.

17 comments:

dtv said...

This is what we need to do across the entire US. Local community action is necessary along with government actions! Way to go guys!

jay said...

Will the Cedar Rapids session be rescheduled?

Jennifer Konfrst said...

Hi Jay. Yes the session has been rescheduled for Wednesday, January 28 at 6:30 p.m. Hope to see you there!

Anonymous said...

No one is telling us how we can cope with the digital transition. Here are the facts:

1) I have a new digital TV and a new indoor antenna that says it is HDTV ready.

2) This system fails all tests of the digital system, but it does bring in analog

3) I live in a bowl shaped valley.

4) My valley is in a storm track so the outdoor antenna gets multiple lightening strikes, and we can't use it

6) There is a radio station in my valley... the digital TV brings in the radio station... and I don't want the radio station

7) Cable is too expensive.

It appears that we will completely lose television when analog disappears.

jay said...

Anonymous,

1) Antennas are the same as they used to be, there is no special new HDTV antenna. You need to find out what stations in your area are using for HDTV, VHF low (2-6), VHF high (7-13) or UHF after February 2009.

2) This is unusual, most converter boxes will actually pull in MORE stations than analog.

3) If you can currently see analog signals from most TV stations, this should not matter.

4) Outdoor antennas are best for reception, you can ground the antenna for lightning protection, or make sure the antenna is lower than surrounding conductors. Lightning takes the fastest path to the ground. You can also put your antenna IN your attic if you have one.

5) ?

6) There are very cheap in-line filters (FM traps) which you can use to remove FM stations.

7) I agree, that's why I watch over the air TV for free :)

Bill Hayes said...

Coping with the nature of DTV reception can be challenging. In order to really provide help on a specific site, I would need detailed location information. However, I do have some basic guidance.

1. There is no such thing as an HDTV ready antenna. Antennas are neither digital or analog. Antennas are designed to receive certain channels or frequencies and they don't care if the information on the signal is digital or analog.

2. Indoor reception is always worse then outdoor reception. Reliable reception requires that the signal getting to the antenna be as unimpaired as possible regardless of whether the information on the signal is digital or analog. I would estimate that the digital signal getting to your indoor antenna is as good as the analog signal but the difference is that the impairments are preventing the decoder in the digital receiver from getting enough data to create a reliable picture and sound.

3. The reason we recommend outdoor antennas is that we want the receive antenna to be as far above ground as possible so it is removed from the ground clutter that will impair the signal and prevent reliable digital reception. The fact that you are in a bowl shaped valley puts the indoor receive antenna even further down relative to the transmitting antenna and makes reception that much more difficult.

4. There is not much I can do about storms and lightning. You could try an antenna in the attic but again this is just a guess without knowing specifics about the receive location.

6. Since there was no 5 I am following your numbering. I have no explanation for this.

7. I agree that subscription based services are too expensive but again this is not something I can correct.

In item 2 you mention that the system you have does bring in analog reception but you don't mention what channels and how good the picture looks. I can tell you that VHF channels (2-13) do perform better than UHF channels (14-69) with indoor antennas. If the television stations that you are watching plan on migrating their digital services back to their analog channels after the after the analog shutoff, then your indoor reception may work again.

Bill

jay said...

Anonymous,

If you post your street, city and state, I can give you specific tips for getting the best reception.

Jay

Bill Hayes said...

I don't encourage anyone to post their location on an open forum like this. If you want to send me your information, I can run some computer models and help figure out what is going on. You can alway go to www.antennaweb.org and complete the information there and get some guidance.

Bill

Bill Hayes said...

dtv,

Thanks for the encouragement.

Bill

jay said...

I didn't say to post your street address, just the street name.

If in fact you live in a bowl shaped valley, the closer to your location we can get, the more accurate the info will be I can provide.

Here is the tool I use for antenna and reception information:

http://tvfool.com/

Bill Hayes said...

Hi Jay,

I realize that you didn't ask for an exact street address. However, I still don't encourage people to post detailed information. I am always willing to help people with specific location questions but I do those via e-mail.

Bill

Anonymous said...

Where can I find 11.3 on the cable channel lineup in Marshalltown? I have a cable box in my living room on my HDTV and currently subscribe to HD channels. Fortunately I have dual antenna inputs so I can switch to OTA signal to receive 11.3. But the SDTV in my kitchen has basic cable connected to it and can't get 11.3. I thought I heard cable companies required to provide OTA signals to all of their customers, even if they don't have a box?

Bill Hayes said...

The requirement for carriage that cable has for basic subscribers is only for a down conversion of the primary digital service of the local station. In your situation that means that the cable company will down convert the high definition channel (11.1) and send it out as an analog service on the channel that they currently use for basic service. There is not a requirement for the cable company to supply any of the additional channel to basic cable subscribers.

Bill

jay said...

I do hope IPTV follows the lead of most other TV stations and goes ahead with analog shutdown on 2/17. In these tough economic times, I do not find it financially responsible or "green" to continue to power 9 high powered transmitters funded by donations from people like me.

Jennifer Konfrst said...

Hi Jay. Please see the note below from IPTV's management regarding the reasons we will wait until the new date. Thanks.

After talking with thousands of viewers, we find it much more responsible to keep analog broadcasting so we can help those viewers. We know that there are still hundreds of thousands of television sets in Iowa that are still not able to broadcast the digital signal. There are unanticipated issues around the reception, antennas, etc. that have caused us to decide to continue analog broadcasting. This will give us and the viewers more time to work through those issues so they can receive digital broadcasting.

Anonymous said...

We have sent email inquiries to IPTV at least half a dozen times, asking on which channel IPTV broadcasts digitally to Decorah, but we have gotten no response whatsoever. The IPTV analog signal on channel 14 is the strongest we get, almost strong enough to come in on an electric toothbrush. But, we receive no digital signal at all. Why can't Bill, or someone at IPTV, answer our simple straightforward question?

Jennifer Konfrst said...

I'm sorry you've not heard back from us. We've searched our email and haven't found six messages about Decorah, so I apologize for not finding them. However, please call Iowa Public Television at (800) 532-1290 today and someone will help you. Or email your contact information to jennifer.konfrst@Iptv.org and we can contact you. Thanks.