Flint - Saginaw - Bay City DMA, WBSF 46.3 "Grit" channel?

primestar31

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WBSF Channel 46.3 "Grit".

Can anybody who receives this OTA tell for SURE what aspect ratio they are actually transmitting on this channel? Everything broadcasting on it is old 4:3 stuff, but my LG tv set wants to set it to 16:9, which makes it "stretch-O-vision" which I HATE.

I'd rather it default to 4:3 mode with black bars on the side. However, I'm unsure whether the issue is because they are broadcasting the 4:3 material overscanned to 16:9, OR if there's a flaky issue with my tv's automatic aspect ratio on this channel.

If I FORCE set the channel to 4:3, it looks fine, (albeit with black bars on the sides) but it automatically wants to be 16:9...

All other channels that are actually sent 4:3 properly format themselves as 4:3, it's just this one that does NOT.

Note: I already checked the rabbitears site for this channel, and it doesn't show the broadcast aspect ratio for this channel for some reason.
 

king3pj

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WBSF (CW 46) and WEYI (NBC 25) are terribly run as far as picture and sound go so it doesn't surprise me that their Grit subchannel sucks too. Here is the situation for those channels.

Flint tower:
25.1 - WEYI (NBC) broadcast in 720p
25.2 - WBSF (CW) broadcast in 720p
25.3 - Grit broadcast in 480i

Bay City Tower
46.1 - WBSF (CW) broadcast in 720p
46.2 - WEYI (NBC) broadcast in 720p
46.3 - Grit broadcast in 480i

NBC and CW are supposed to be 1080i channels but I guess they are converted to 720p to make everything fit. I would be okay with that if the conversion was good. Everything looks washed out and the screen flickers. It is especially noticeable around the logos.

The worst part is that neither channel broadcasts 5.1 surround sound audio and it has been like this since at least the Winter of 2011. I first emailed the station engineer about it when there was no surround sound for the Super Bowl on January of 2012. Here is his response.

WEYI lost it's Dolby encoder which produces 5.1 during a power outage. It has had to go back in for repairs twice and instead of putting an inferior 5.1 signal on to please a few we chose to get it repaired properly. It had to be sent to Canada for repairs and unfortunately these encoders are not readily available so the delay is in the repair process. We do have the unit back now and plan to get it on the air this week. As a surround sound viewer, I share your frustration.
I followed up on this about 9 months later when it still wasn't fixed and got this response.

Yes we did in fact put in the Dolby 5.1 and it sounded like crap. Channel information was missing and not consistent and certainly not airable. We used Enhanced 2.0 for the Olympics and are on that now. While it may show only 2 channels on your receiver it is in fact passing all 6 channels of audio and any good home theater system will put it out in surround sound. We tested this on several home theater systems and it sounded as good if not better than 5.1 from other stations. Try to give it a good listen. The game last night had all 6 channels going and sounded great. We will be staying on the 2.0 Enhanced mode as that passes all 6 channels
When I responded by telling him that my receiver converting stereo to 5.1 using Dolby Pro Logic is not the same as sending 6 channels of audio I got no response. I emailed him earlier this year, about 3 years after my first email, and didn't receive a response then either.

It's a bummer since I watch SNF and Notre Dame football on NBC and Arrow, The Flash, and iZombie on CW. I can receive these channels OTA from both the Flint and Bay City towers and both of them look and sound equally terrible. I have Charter through a TiVo and used to have Dish and they both have this problem as well.

Basically they don't care if their channels' picture or audio quality sucks. Good luck trying to get them to fix anything on Grit.
 

primestar31

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Just FYI, 25.3 is "Bounce" not Grit. and that channel is properly broadcast in 4:3 480i ratio for sure. I agree with the rest of what you said though. I emailed the engineer for WBSF 46, and they have made no change yet, even though they acknowledged my email months ago.

Grit is broadcast via satellite, and when it was open for view for a while, they had several versions they were broadcasting. One was formatted 16:9 480i, another was formatted 4:3 480i. I think WBSF is picking up the 16:9 480i broadcast, and is just sending that out. It looks horrible on old 4:3 stuff. Everything is huge and stretched.
 

king3pj

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Just FYI, 25.3 is "Bounce" not Grit. and that channel is properly broadcast in 4:3 480i ratio for sure. I agree with the rest of what you said though. I emailed the engineer for WBSF 46, and they have made no change yet, even though they acknowledged my email months ago.

Grit is broadcast via satellite, and when it was open for view for a while, they had several channels they were broadcasting. One was formatted 16:9 480i, another was formatted 4:3 480i. I think WBSF is picking up the 16:9 480i broadcast, and is just sending that out. It looks horrible on old 4:3 stuff. Everything is huge and stretched.
My mistake. I never really watch any of the subchannel networks outside of Weather Nation from time to time. I just assumed both towers had the same programming since NBC and CW are mirrored on each tower and have the same exact problems.

Your post further proves my point though. We both had the engineer acknowledge the problem we asked him about and never had anything done about it. In my case I have been waiting for them to fix it for several years.

In the second email he sent me he actually tried to convince me that their "enhanced 2.0" was better than the channels broadcasting in 5.1. At least in the first email he acted like he wanted to fix it.
 

RONZ

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Keep in mind that both stations are in the process of being sold. The current owner is not going to invest into the stations
 

RONZ

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WBSF (CW 46) and WEYI (NBC 25) are terribly run as far as picture and sound go so it doesn't surprise me that their Grit subchannel sucks too. Here is the situation for those channels.

Flint tower:
25.1 - WEYI (NBC) broadcast in 720p
25.2 - WBSF (CW) broadcast in 720p
25.3 - Grit broadcast in 480i

Bay City Tower
46.1 - WBSF (CW) broadcast in 720p
46.2 - WEYI (NBC) broadcast in 720p
46.3 - Grit broadcast in 480i

NBC and CW are supposed to be 1080i channels but I guess they are converted to 720p to make everything fit. I would be okay with that if the conversion was good. Everything looks washed out and the screen flickers. It is especially noticeable around the logos.

The worst part is that neither channel broadcasts 5.1 surround sound audio and it has been like this since at least the Winter of 2011. I first emailed the station engineer about it when there was no surround sound for the Super Bowl on January of 2012. Here is his response.



I followed up on this about 9 months later when it still wasn't fixed and got this response.



When I responded by telling him that my receiver converting stereo to 5.1 using Dolby Pro Logic is not the same as sending 6 channels of audio I got no response. I emailed him earlier this year, about 3 years after my first email, and didn't receive a response then either.

It's a bummer since I watch SNF and Notre Dame football on NBC and Arrow, The Flash, and iZombie on CW. I can receive these channels OTA from both the Flint and Bay City towers and both of them look and sound equally terrible. I have Charter through a TiVo and used to have Dish and they both have this problem as well.

Basically they don't care if their channels' picture or audio quality sucks. Good luck trying to get them to fix anything on Grit.
What you say is not correctly true.

1) WNEM tower is located in Bay City
2) WEYI tower is just south of Frankenmuth
3) WBSF tower is in Bay City
4) Charter, Dish and Direct all use PtOPs to receive your DMA. So what is at the source is what you receive
 

king3pj

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Keep in mind that both stations are in the process of being sold. The current owner is not going to invest into the stations
That's great news! Maybe the new owners will actually fix the picture and sound quality.

What you say is not correctly true.

1) WNEM tower is located in Bay City
2) WEYI tower is just south of Frankenmuth
3) WBSF tower is in Bay City
4) Charter, Dish and Direct all use PtOPs to receive your DMA. So what is at the source is what you receive
I didn't know exactly where the towers were located. I just know that WBSF mentions Bay City all the time while WEYI talks about Flint more.

The only reason I even mentioned the two towers was to point out that NBC and CW each carry the other channel as a subchannel on their respective towers. Because of this they convert both channels to 720p and the screen flickers and looks washed out because they don't do it well. That is the point I was trying to make.
 
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RONZ

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Aug 30, 2010
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Luzerne
That's great news! Maybe the new owners will actually fix the picture and sound quality.



I didn't know exactly where the towers were located. I just know that WBSF mentions Bay City all the time while WEYI talks about Flint more.

The only reason I even mentioned the two towers was to point out that NBC and CW each carry the other channel as a subchannel on their respective towers. Because of this they convert both channels to 720p and the screen flickers and looks washed out because they don't do it well. That is the point I was trying to make.
Actually the issue you are talking about is a problem at the station and not at the towers.As far as the station repeating each other, you might see WBSF moving WEYI signal to 25.2 but the signal will still come from WBSF and vise versa. This will allow the signals to be available if one tower goes down this concept is being tried out in a few markets
 

Iceberg

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Grit is broadcast via satellite, and when it was open for view for a while, they had several versions they were broadcasting. One was formatted 16:9 480i, another was formatted 4:3 480i.
Interesting...did not know that
When I was in Minneapolis I wanted to see what it shows there on WUCW 23-3. The results were weird
Insignia converter box showed it as 16:9 widescreen....so black bars on the sides
Tivo shows it as 4x3 (filled the screen)
 

primestar31

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Interesting...did not know that
When I was in Minneapolis I wanted to see what it shows there on WUCW 23-3. The results were weird
Insignia converter box showed it as 16:9 widescreen....so black bars on the sides
Tivo shows it as 4x3 (filled the screen)
The 16x9 is perfectly stretched though. If you use your tv sets Aspect button and flip it to 4x3, it perfectly goes back to 4x3. I just don't like 4x3 broadcast as 16x9 "stretch-o-vision", as it makes people especially look odd.
 

primestar31

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Well, I haven't been able to get WBSF to fix this, so I sent an email to Grit (grit-info@katzbroadcasting.com) explaining the situation, and asking if they'd get involved.

Here's hoping!
 
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primestar31

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It's fixed!

I got an email from Grit this morning saying:
Thank you for your interest in Grit TV. We have passed your comment to the proper department for review.
I then just now got another email from Grit:
Thank you for your interest in Grit TV. The issue you mentioned has been resolved.
It still shows broadcast as 16x9 480i if you hit "info" and look, BUT, the Aspect is now 4x3 as it should be!
 
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king3pj

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It's fixed!

I got an email from Grit this morning saying:

I then just now got another email from Grit:

It still shows broadcast as 16x9 480i if you hit "info" and look, BUT, the Aspect is now 4x3 as it should be!
Wow. Maybe it's time for me to try to contact NBC and CW directly to tell them that WEYI and WBSF have been terrible for years and see if that will finally get the local engineer to do something about it.
 

cummingsje

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Feb 10, 2007
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Just received the following from them:





Hi Jeff,


We are aware and do apologize for the issues concerning Dolby Surround on both WEYI and WBSF. There are many factors that prevent the current facility to produce 5.1 surround immediately unfortunately. The station owners have recruited a new team of engineers including myself recently to correct the problems you mention as well as others. We are in the process of finishing a brand new state of the art broadcast facility for both of these channels and WSMH FOX66 as well to give the best sound and picture quality possible across all 3 networks. The facility will be online soon so please stay tuned. Again, we apologize for the issues and they will be corrected as soon as possible.


Thanks for the comments!





From: Jeff Cummings [mailto:usstinosa606@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, March 28, 2016 9:34 AM
To: &Flint-WEYI-WSMH-Comments
Subject: DOLBY DIGITAL SOUND

Hide quoted text

To whom it may concern,


I fid it difficult on occasions to watch my favorite NBC and CW shows on your station because of your lack of Dobly Digital sound. You are the only station I’ve found in the Flint / Lansing / Detroit DMA’s that don’t transmit sound in dolby digital. I have resorted to watching Channel 4 and 50 (Detroit DMA NBC and CW) to ensure best sound quality.


With that being said I would most definitely watch my local Flint NBC and CW if and when you transmit Dolby Digital sound.


Thank you,


Jeff Cummings.


Sent from Mail for Windows 10




---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Christopher Harris" <charris@sbgtv.com>
Date: Mar 31, 2016 12:56 AM
Subject: RE: DOLBY DIGITAL SOUND
To: "usstinosa606@gmail.com" <usstinosa606@gmail.com>
Cc:

Hi Jeff,


We are aware and do apologize for the issues concerning Dolby Surround on both WEYI and WBSF. There are many factors that prevent the current facility to produce 5.1 surround immediately unfortunately. The station owners have recruited a new team of engineers including myself recently to correct the problems you mention as well as others. We are in the process of finishing a brand new state of the art broadcast facility for both of these channels and WSMH FOX66 as well to give the best sound and picture quality possible across all 3 networks. The facility will be online soon so please stay tuned. Again, we apologize for the issues and they will be corrected as soon as possible.


Thanks for the comments!





From: Jeff Cummings [mailto:usstinosa606@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, March 28, 2016 9:34 AM
To: &Flint-WEYI-WSMH-Comments
Subject: DOLBY DIGITAL SOUND


To whom it may concern,


I fid it difficult on occasions to watch my favorite NBC and CW shows on your station because of your lack of Dobly Digital sound. You are the only station I’ve found in the Flint / Lansing / Detroit DMA’s that don’t transmit sound in dolby digital. I have resorted to watching Channel 4 and 50 (Detroit DMA NBC and CW) to ensure best sound quality.


With that being said I would most definitely watch my local Flint NBC and CW if and when you transmit Dolby Digital sound.


Thank you,


Jeff Cummings.


Sent from Mail for Windows 10




Hide quoted text
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Christopher Harris" <charris@sbgtv.com>
Date: Mar 31, 2016 12:56 AM
Subject: RE: DOLBY DIGITAL SOUND
To: "usstinosa606@gmail.com" <usstinosa606@gmail.com>
Cc:

Hi Jeff,


We are aware and do apologize for the issues concerning Dolby Surround on both WEYI and WBSF. There are many factors that prevent the current facility to produce 5.1 surround immediately unfortunately. The station owners have recruited a new team of engineers including myself recently to correct the problems you mention as well as others. We are in the process of finishing a brand new state of the art broadcast facility for both of these channels and WSMH FOX66 as well to give the best sound and picture quality possible across all 3 networks. The facility will be online soon so please stay tuned. Again, we apologize for the issues and they will be corrected as soon as possible.


Thanks for the comments!





From: Jeff Cummings [mailto:usstinosa606@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, March 28, 2016 9:34 AM
To: &Flint-WEYI-WSMH-Comments
Subject: DOLBY DIGITAL SOUND


To whom it may concern,


I fid it difficult on occasions to watch my favorite NBC and CW shows on your station because of your lack of Dobly Digital sound. You are the only station I’ve found in the Flint / Lansing / Detroit DMA’s that don’t transmit sound in dolby digital. I have resorted to watching Channel 4 and 50 (Detroit DMA NBC and CW) to ensure best sound quality.


With that being said I would most definitely watch my local Flint NBC and CW if and when you transmit Dolby Digital sound.


Thank you,


Jeff Cummings.


Sent from Mail for Windows 10
 

primestar31

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Now if we can only get WSMH to fix the aspect ratio of 66.3 Comet. I've been in direct contact with the engineer since the day they started broadcasting this, and it still isn't fixed.
 
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cummingsje

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Checked channel 25, 66 and 46 this morning and they are all broadcasting in Dolby Digital!!!!! And it seems Channel 66 fixed some (maybe all) of their HD issues!! Looks and sounds good so far!!!
 
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primestar31

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I ended up contacting Comet TV shortly after my post above, when WSMH wouldn't fix the aspect ratio issue. Comet got in contact with them, and had it fixed inside of 3 hours.

So, that was done a long time ago. I just forgot to post it here in this thread.
 

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