Iowa Public Television

Monday, June 15, 2009

Welcome all-digital TV!

Last Friday, IPTV officially became an all-digital television network! We spent Friday and the weekend taking calls from viewers who needed help, as we've been doing for more than 18 months.

If you know of someone who is still having trouble receiving Iowa Public Television, or someone who needs help, tell them to call IPTV at 1-800-532-1290. We'd be happy to help them.

Meanwhile, enjoy IPTV, IPTV LEARNS, and IPTV WORLD. Thanks!

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cox Cable's analog service, which serves Council Bluffs and Carter Lake Iowa is no longer broadcasting Iowa Public Television. They are forcing users to buy the digital service in order to get it.

Jennifer Konfrst said...

Thanks for posting about Cox Cable. Below is a statement from station management regarding the situation:

For two decades or more, Cox carried the program services of Iowa Public Television and Nebraska Educational Television on channels on Cox's basic tier -- a demonstrable public service and a clear indication that Cox considered IPTV and NETV, both with stations in the metro area, as "primary" public television stations serving Council Bluffs, Omaha and surrounding areas in Iowa and Nebraska. This designation as a "primary" public television station -- a designation that is Cox's to make -- figures importantly in the decision that Cox made to move our service from its basic tier to a more costly digital one.

The catalyst for the move is the digital transition and the increased number of high definition and public service channels broadcast by public television stations like IPTV. In advance of the transition, cable systems like Cox offered stations like ours a choice: for those stations the cable systems did not consider "primary," the cable systems offered to carry all digital services, including a high definition channel, on a tier of cable's choosing; if not, cable would carry only one public television service, an analog channel, on its basic tier.

Because Iowa Public Television had for so long been carried as a "primary" station by Cox, and because viewers in your area had a strong interest in our high definition and other public service channels, we believed that Cox would continue to serve the public's interest by carrying one of our channels on its basic tier and our digital channels -- IPTV Learns and IPTV World -- on a digital tier of Cox's choice.

In the agreement that Iowa Public Television signed, we made it clear that IPTV was a "primary" channel with the associated assumption that we expected to continue be treated as such. Because of Cox's longstanding basic-tier carriage of KBIN, IPTV's Council Bluffs channel, we saw no reason why Cox would not agree. We were surprised and protested when Cox told us earlier this year that it wouldn't carry our service on its basic tier. And we hope to this day that it will reconsider.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Looks like somehow I'll have to get it over the air, as the cable company is not giving in to my complaints.

Jennifer Konfrst said...

Thanks. If you need help getting us over the air, feel free to call (800) 532-1290.

Anonymous said...

Thought I would let you know that since KIIN changed frequency back to channel 12, I can get your signal at 98% on my on screen signal meter. I am in East Moline, Illinois, 48.3 miles from your tower!! I get your signal stronger than the local stations, which are 13.9 miles from me! I do have a very large rooftop antenna.
Wish the local stations could do as well as IPTV!!

Eric said...

I followed the link to www.antennaweb.org. I gave my address in Cedar Rapids. They do not acknowledge the existence of channels 12 or 32. Instead they give me info on channels 35 and 45 from Des Moines. What gives?

Bill Hayes said...

Glad to hear that KIIN is getting out so well. We have had a number of people tell us that they get better signal from the digital on channel 12 then they did from the digital on channel 45.

Bill

Bill Hayes said...

Hi Eric,

I don't know what is happening with antennaweb.org that it would be that far off. The only thing I can think of is that they are updating their data to reflect all of the changes that happened on June 12th.

Channel 35 is the actual over the air channel that KRIN (our Cedar Rapids/Waterloo station) broadcasts on although a DTV receiver will still identify it as virtual channel 32 since that was the analog channel.

Channel 45 was the digital channel we were using for Iowa City until June 12th when we shut down the channel 45 digital and moved our digital services over to channel 12.

Since your address is in Cedar Rapids, if antennaweb.org is telling you to point your antenna to the north fot channel 35 or to the south for channel 45 then the orientation is correct. You just have to remember that if you are aiming for the souther Iowa City station, it is actually on VHF channel 12 now, not on UHF 45.

Bill

Anonymous said...

I was watching IPTV on june 12 when change over occurred. No problem with programming. Then on Saturday June 13th was unable to recieve any of the 3 IPTV channels. Did full rescan. Although scan showed 12.1;12.2;12.3; here in davenport, signal strenth was zero. Checked with neighbors-they have same problem-no signal strenth at all starting on Saturday june 13th. Again was up watching IPTV at 12:01 am when change was made-saw notice on bar on screen -no interruption of program at that time. Am in Davenport, Iowa. All other channels same as before--any suggestions? thanks Steve

Anonymous said...

I live in Newton and before the digital switch, I was enjoying 11.1, 11.2, and 11.3. I really enjoyed World and Create! Now with my new ampliphied indoor antenna and rescanned (numerous times - and unplugged all the way and rescanned (tip from the FCC)) digital converter box, I have lost all of the PBS stations! But I have regained the normal network channels. Are there problems outside of the Des Moines area with IPTV digital reception? Or should I rescan in a couple of days? Please advise. Thank you. D.

Ned said...

I live in a first floor apartment in East Moline. Prior to June 12, 2009 during the evening I USUALLY could receive your three Channel 12 KIIN digital channels/subchannels with occasional dropouts on three different brand DTV converters and one Toshiba DVD recorder with a digital tuner. Since June 12th all four digital converters/tuners have read "No Signal" for Channel 12 24/7 except for a few hours either on June 12th or June 13th (I don't recall which). When I rescanned on a couple of the DTV converters a number of times and at different times of the day Channel 12 no longer appeared in the list of channels. So where did it go after June 12th? Why can't I receive your digital Channel 12 any more? Nothing in MY setup changed.

Yes I can receive the same content on KQIN-DT (Channel 36) but I liked having the option of two choices to fiddle around with. And I don't understand what suddenly happened to my KIIN-DT reception!

Without going into much detail I use a Winegard SS-3000 indoor antenna (seems to do a good job without requiring a 3-foot vertical clearance--have to have VHF reception for WHBF-DT--and isn't too fussy about aim) and an arrangement of Winegard HDA-200 and Pico Macom (TruSpec) CDA-1p distribution amps, high quality spitters, and TVs and recording devices in various rooms.

My landlord does not allow tenants to attach either an antenna or a dish to the apartment buildings.

Digressing, I strongly recommend the Channel Master CM-7000 DTV converter box. It has by far the best sensitivity (ability to pick up weak DTV signals with minimal LOS or breakup) of my three converters and one tuner, an S-video output, a decent program guide, and a sustantial-feeling remote control. The CM-7000 remote codes do conflict with some of Zinwell's DTV box functions so take care if using both.

I also encourage antennaweb.org users to check out tvfool.com as an alternative. TV Fool does a better job by taking terrain into account and I don't understand why TV stations seem to ignore it when giving antenna advice to the public.

This could be a duplicate. I received no acknowledgement that my first attempt was "published."

Bill Hayes said...

Hi Ned,

On June 12, KIIN stopped broadcasting it's digital service on UHF channel 45 and moved digital service to VHF channel 12, our old analog channel. I suspect the issue you are dealing with is having to a re-orient your antenna for KIIN digital. KIIN is virtually in the opposite direction from KQIN digital. Since the programming on KIIN and KQIN is identical, if you receive KQIN you are getting IPTV's programming.

The Winegard SS-3000 is a directional antenna and I suspect you were getting a bounce off of something when you were receiving KIIN digital on channel 45. When we went to channel 12, the bounce either went away or has changed and you are not seeing it anymore.

By the way, your landlord really can't forbid you from installing an antenna. Check out this link to the FCC's website regarding over the air receive devices. http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

Bill

Anonymous said...

I live in Anamosa and use the strongest RCA square antenna. Since the June switch, IPTV has been tough to get, and impossible if I want the KWWL stations or any others. I receive no stations with transmittors south of me. That is a difficult choice if I waq to watch local news.

I have scanned, unplaugged and rescann my RCA converter until the cows come home.

Bill Hayes said...

Greetings Anamosa,

In that area, IPTV actually has two differnt transmitters so you should see service from our Waterloo/Cedar Rapids transmitter (KRIN) about 30 miles west/northwest of you or our Iowa City transmitter (KIIN) about 25 miles south of you. Both stations carry the same programming.

No changes were made to the KRIN digital service on June 12th but the KIIN service did relocate from UHF channel 45 to VHF channel 12 so if that is the service you were watching, it did change channels.

I have talked to a number of people that have had issues rescanning their converter boxes. One of the things I suggest is that you disconnect the antenna from the box and run a scan. The box will of course not find any services without the antenna but you will clear the memory of all of the stations that were stored and some boxes seem to have trouble when in a rescan they find a station that was on one channel that has moved to another channel. Reconnect the antenna and then do another rescan and see if you find all of the channels again.

In regards to the antenna, I am not a fan of indoor reception and I never have been. Indoor is the most difficult environment because it requires the signal to penetrate into the building just to get to the antenna. It is not uncommon to lose the majority of the signal just getting through the walls and into the building. This doesn't leave a lot of signal left to get to the antenna and then the antenna has to deal with this weak signal along with all of the reflections and impairments created by all of the interior walls and furniture and people in the room with the antenna. In analog you saw and dealt with the ghosts and noisy signals from this environment and in digital you deal with the same things. The difference is that analog showed the ghosts and noise whereas digital cannot, it can only cause the decoder in the receiver to run out of data and therefore not make a picture or sound.

One way to mitigate these problems is to go with a directional antenna. Directional antennas collect signal from primarily one direction and ignore a lot of the reflected signals that impair reception and caused the decoder to fail. The RCA flat panel antenna you are describing is not directional and I haven't had too much success with it. The amplifier doesn't really help if the signal that is getting to the antenna is so impaired that it can't be decoded. The amplifier at that point is amplifying an unsable signal so that more unusable signal is delivered to the receiver. A directional antenna may help.

If the rescan procedure I have suggested doesn't work, I would suggest you look into a directional antenna or preferably consider mounting an antenna outside. Placing the antenna outside will eliminate a lot of the loss associated with getting into the building and given your relative close proximity to the transmitters, it should work well. If you want to test that theory, place the flat antenna outside and run a longer piece of coaxial cable to the tuner and do a scan and see if you get better and stronger signal.

Bill

Bill Hayes said...

Hi Newton,

I am a little confused by your comment about "normal network channels." Are you saying that you get 5.1,5.2, 8.1, 8.2, 13.1, 13.2, 17.1, 17.2, etc and we are the only station that you don't get?

Since our signal originates from the exact same antenna as channel 13 (we share the antenna), anywhere you get their service, you should get ours and vice versa.

I suggest that you tuned to channel 13, turn on the signal strength meter on the converter box and adjust the orientation and position of the indoor antenna for the maximum signal on 13 and then do a rescan. By adjusting the antenna as above, you are opimizing the reception on channel 13 and since our channel 11 is very close in frequency and at the same location, the antenna will be optimized for receiving us as well.

Bill

Bill Hayes said...

Hi Steve,

IPTV shut down its analog service on channel 12 at 12:01am on June 12th. Our digital service was on channel 45 and that remained on the air for most of the day on June 12th while we reconfigured channel 12 for digital service and traveled to a number of our translator sites in southeast Iowa to switch them from receiving channel 45 to channel 12. We shut channel 45 digital off late in the day on the 12th and this is why you did not see any change.

If you have done a rescan and still haven't been able to get service from channel 12 there are a couple of possible issues. However, since you live in Davenport, you should receive service from our station KQIN and since its signal originates from the same site as a number of the other Quad City channels it would provide better reception. It would be identified as channel 36.1, 36.2 and 36.3. The programming is the same as KIIN (channel 12) out of Iowa City. Have you tried receiving that station?

Bill

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,
I have the same problem as Newton. I live in West Des Moines and before the switchover I enjoyed 11.1 11.2 and 11.3 with by VHF/UHF indoor antenna and HDTV. However beginning last week I can no longer get PBS over the air. However I do still get 13.1 and 13.2. I've rescanned several times and still nothing, is there some reason why my reception would disappear with the transition. Thanks,
Andy

Anonymous said...

Hello,

We live in Ames and have same problem as Newton & West Des Moines. We are really missing IPTV kids in mornings - please help us recover them!

Bill Hayes said...

Hello WDM, Ames and Newton,

I suggest that you perform a factory reset on your converter box and then do a rescan. I have heard from a number of people that have converter boxes and digital televisions that seem to have problems finding stations on a rescan if the station has changed channels. On June 12th, KDIN moved digital service from UHF channel 50 to VHF channel 12. It may be that since your receiver knew that KDIN was on channel 50 it will not find it on channel 12. A factory reset will erase all of the channels in memory and will force a complete.

Bill

Mary Bamesberger said...

I am not pleased with this act of greed on the part of Cox Communications. They are a company of little regard for the public sector.
I intend to do what I can to legimately complain. I could not receive a name or address of a person in an executive position to whom I could wrte when I requested this information from the agent on the phone. I will be writing to my city council representative.

Anonymous said...

Call (402) 934-0367 at Cox Omaha and ask for John. He has my complaint and is taking other complaints.

Anonymous said...

I saw a recent article in the Burlington Hawk Eye that there is a problem between IPTV and the new owners of the land that the translator tower near Ft. Madison sits on. Sounds like IPTV, and the Lee County emergency service who also utilize the tower, are being held hostage for much higher fees. Will this be able to be resolved in a manner that doesn't hurt IPTV or the county emergency communications? I know many in that area are looking forward to that tower going digital.

Jenni said...

Thanks for posting about the issue covered in the Burlington Hawk Eye. Our senior management is working toward a resolution of this situation. Our work is still in progress, and we'll let you know when things are resolved. Thanks for your concerns!

Anonymous said...

Any chance of boosting KBIN's signal. I live in Bellevue, Nebraska. The maps say that the tower is only 8 miles away, closer than the rest of the Omaha area's transmitters, yet the signal is the weakest and gives me the most trouble.

Bill Hayes said...

Greetings Bellevue,

I do not believe that the issue you are dealing with is signal strength. Based on my analysis of the Bellevue area you should be receiving plenty of signal from KBIN and KHIN.

Your message doesn't specify whether or not you are using an indoor or outdoor antenna but I suspect that the issue is probably antenna orientation. If you typically watch the Omaha stations, your antenna should be oriented to the north/northwest and the KBIN transmitter is north/northeast. KHIN is actually east so it would be even more off axis to your receive antenna.

The other issue might be terrain shielding but I cannot accurately model that without specific information regarding the receive location.

Bill

Anonymous said...

After doing a rescan recently I have noticed that I now receive two sets of 12.1/12.2/12.3 from our Mt. Pleasant location. One set has a lower signal level than the other. Would this possibly be one of the translators in southeast Iowa that has very recently gone digital? My converter box doesn't tell what the actual RF channel is, which would maybe answer my question. Each set has the KIIN ID.

Bill Hayes said...

In Mt. Pleasant it is quite possible that you'll be receiving IPTV digital service from our primary station KIIN out of Iowa City as well as from our translators in Keosauqua and Fort Madison. They are all digital and since translators rebroadcast the service from a primary station, they would all identify themselves as the primary station which is channel 12.

Bill

Joe Miller said...

I am a Sioux Falls resident and made my own HD Antenna and the other day I got in two stations from Sioux City, but now I can't find them. One was Hispanic broadcast and I think they were around channel 14 or 15, can anyone help me?