Recent quality problems with local Twin Cities PBS tpt channel 2

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SatelliteGuys Guru
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Oct 19, 2006
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southern MN
Is anyone else in the greater Twin Cities area (mid- and southern Minnesota/western Wisconsin) seeing new problems with tpt channel 2 (KTCA)? (I get all my local stations through DISH, not via antenna.) All programming on tpt 2 is pausing, dropping out, going black, coming back, etc., to the point it's not watchable. I'm not sure when this started, but it's at least a few weeks. (I have a Hopper 3 with Sling, and this may have started after a software upgrade.)

I don't seem to have the same problems with tpt channel 17 (KTCI). I know I'm not seeing these problems with up-state PBS channel 22 (KAWB), because that's where I'm been forced to go. Of course not all of the tpt channel 2 content is available on KAWB (e.g., Doc Martin last season, 10), so I'm missing out.

Anyone know what's going on? Does this have anything to do with the antenna work that tpt did this past summer? These problems did not start in the summer, but only this fall/winter.
 
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Is anyone else in the greater Twin Cities area (mid- and southern Minnesota/western Wisconsin) seeing new problems with tpt channel 2 (KTCA)? All programming on tpt 2 is pausing, dropping out, going black, coming back, etc., to the point it's not watchable. I'm not sure when this started, but it's at least a few weeks. (I have a Hopper 3 with Sling, and this may have started after a software upgrade.)

I don't seem to have the same problems with tpt channel 17 (KTCI). I know I'm not seeing these problems with up-state PBS channel 22 (KAWB), because that's where I'm been forced to go. Of course not all of the tpt channel 2 content is available on KAWB (e.g., Doc Martin last season, 10), so I'm missing out.

Anyone know what's going on? Does this have anything to do with the antenna work that tpt did this past summer? These problems did not start in the summer, but only this fall/winter.
I have not experienced any issues receiving it over the air (rooftop antenna) in Bloomington. I don't have locals through dish so I can't speak to that. According to northpine, looks like KTCA is now carrying all the channels, with KTCI broadcasting next gen.

Twin Cities Now Have Ten NextGen TV Channels​

Posted on October 25, 2023 by Jon Ellis
Twin Cities broadcast TV viewers can now receive ten channels in the new NextGen TV (ATSC 3.0) format, if they have the equipment to receive them.
TPT/Twin Cities PBS completed its announced plan to launch a NextGen signal on Oct. 25. TPT’s KTCI (RF 23) has switched to the new ATSC 3.0 format, with KTCA (RF 34) remaining in the existing ATSC 1.0 format that can be received by all digital TV’s.
KTCA’s signal is now carrying all five of TPT’s services: 2.1 (PBS), 2.2 (MN Channel), 2.3 (TPT Life), 2.4 (PBS Kids), and 2.5 (TPT Now). Channels 2.2 (MN Channel) and 2.3 (TPT Life) are officially KTCI-licensed channels hosted on the KTCA transmitter, with TPT Life designated as the primary KTCI channel carried on all cable and satellite providers.
Meanwhile, posts on AVS Forum indicate KTCI’s new NextGen signal is carrying all of the KTCA/KTCI channels in 1080 HD format.

The stations completed an antenna replacement project in early September. KTCA transmits with 662kW while KTCI uses 325kW.
Since KTCI’s ATSC 1.0 channels are now on the KTCA transmitter, viewers who previously had trouble receiving KTCI’s slightly weaker signal may see improved reception of channels 2.2 and 2.3
 
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I have not experienced any issues receiving it over the air (rooftop antenna) in Bloomington. I don't have locals through dish so I can't speak to that. According to northpine, looks like KTCA is now carrying all the channels, with KTCI broadcasting next gen.

Twin Cities Now Have Ten NextGen TV Channels​

Posted on October 25, 2023 by Jon Ellis
Twin Cities broadcast TV viewers can now receive ten channels in the new NextGen TV (ATSC 3.0) format, if they have the equipment to receive them.
TPT/Twin Cities PBS completed its announced plan to launch a NextGen signal on Oct. 25. TPT’s KTCI (RF 23) has switched to the new ATSC 3.0 format, with KTCA (RF 34) remaining in the existing ATSC 1.0 format that can be received by all digital TV’s.
KTCA’s signal is now carrying all five of TPT’s services: 2.1 (PBS), 2.2 (MN Channel), 2.3 (TPT Life), 2.4 (PBS Kids), and 2.5 (TPT Now). Channels 2.2 (MN Channel) and 2.3 (TPT Life) are officially KTCI-licensed channels hosted on the KTCA transmitter, with TPT Life designated as the primary KTCI channel carried on all cable and satellite providers.
Meanwhile, posts on AVS Forum indicate KTCI’s new NextGen signal is carrying all of the KTCA/KTCI channels in 1080 HD format.

The stations completed an antenna replacement project in early September. KTCA transmits with 662kW while KTCI uses 325kW.
Since KTCI’s ATSC 1.0 channels are now on the KTCA transmitter, viewers who previously had trouble receiving KTCI’s slightly weaker signal may see improved reception of channels 2.2 and 2.3

The timing is about right, October 25th, for your analysis to be correct. But how do the ATSC changes affect DISH local channels?

And, is it my imagination that some of the tpt programming that used to fill my 4K (non-HDR) HD widescreen now displays in boxes?

Also, the DISH guide for the local channels is much more wrong than usual. So as I search for a repeat of the recorded program that is garbled, the programming the guide shows me on another tpt channel is wrong, not what is actually aired.

I didn't find any information on tpt's or DISH's web sites addressing ATSC changes on DISH locals.
 
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After some experimentation, I can now report what I see. National PBS programming that fills the widescreen on Lakeland PBS KAWB (channel 22), appears in lower resolution (fuzzy) and boxed on tpt KTCA (channel 2) and KTCI (channel 17).

I assume that DISH does some conversion of the incoming signals it receives from various local stations. So DISH expects ATSC 1.0 programming on the Lakeland PBS KAWB (channel 22), and displays it correctly on my TV.

But DISH is apparently not expecting the new ATSC 3.0 programming on the tpt channels, so they are being rendered incorrectly. I sure hope DISH corrects this soon, and that the correction does not require any new hardware. I don't like watching fabulous PBS nature programming in 720p in a 32" window on my 1080p, 49" TV.
 
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I live near the Willmar area (same Minneapolis DMA) and I've not any issues with Twin Cities PBS channels...other than KTCI one day recently (in the last month or so) not in my custom guide. Had to add it back. And I thought they were in HD before, not SD...but maybe my memory is going.
 
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I live near the Willmar area (same Minneapolis DMA) and I've not any issues with Twin Cities PBS channels...other than KTCI one day recently (in the last month or so) not in my custom guide. Had to add it back. And I thought they were in HD before, not SD...but maybe my memory is going.
KTCI was in HD until KTCA/KTCI moved all their stations to KTCA so they could light up the 3.0 feed on KTCI (RF23).
I am in Mankato and get KTCA as my PBS on Directv and other than the one day there was some major flickering on the channel it has been fine.
 
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KTCI was in HD until KTCA/KTCI moved all their stations to KTCA so they could light up the 3.0 feed on KTCI (RF23).
I am in Mankato and get KTCA as my PBS on Directv and other than the one day there was some major flickering on the channel it has been fine.

So DirecTV figured this out while DISH has not?
 
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I’m sure dish uses the ATSC 1.0 signal and not the 3.0 so it seems odd you’re having these issues and nobody else in the Minneapolis market has mentioned it.
We get KTCA as Mankato doesn’t have an in market PBS.
 
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What is 'tpt"? Are they the owners?

Second, the way the conversion to ATSC 3.0 generally works is one station in the market will become the "light house". They shutoff their ATSC 1.0 transmitter. They ship (probably via fiber, possibly microwave) some of their signals to other stations. Those stations put up the lighthouse stations signals in 1.0. Meantime, the non-lighthouse stations send their signals to the lighthouse, so they can appear in 3.0.

So for example:
Station A (broadcasting 3.0): A.1, B.1, C.1, D.1
Station B (broadcasting 1.0): B.1, B.2, B.3, A.1
Station C (broadcasting 1.0): C.1, C.2, C.3, A.2
Station D (broadcasting 1.0): D.1, D.2, D.3, A.3
 
What is 'tpt"? Are they the owners?
Yes. TPT-twin cities public television. They own KTCA (main PBS) and KTCI (secondary PBS)
Second, the way the conversion to ATSC 3.0 generally works is one station in the market will become the "light house". They shutoff their ATSC 1.0 transmitter. They ship (probably via fiber, possibly microwave) some of their signals to other stations. Those stations put up the lighthouse stations signals in 1.0. Meantime, the non-lighthouse stations send their signals to the lighthouse, so they can appear in 3.0.

So for example:
Station A (broadcasting 3.0): A.1, B.1, C.1, D.1
Station B (broadcasting 1.0): B.1, B.2, B.3, A.1
Station C (broadcasting 1.0): C.1, C.2, C.3, A.2
Station D (broadcasting 1.0): D.1, D.2, D.3, A.3
Except that isn’t how pbs (TPT) is doing it. They own 2 stations and moved all their 1.0 to KTCA and is running 3.0 on KTCI.

The commercial stations that are in 3.0 are doing as you show.
 
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Yes. TPT-twin cities public television. They own KTCA (main PBS) and KTCI (secondary PBS)
Thank you.
Except that isn’t how pbs (TPT) is doing it. They own 2 stations and moved all their 1.0 to KTCA and is running 3.0 on KTCI.

The commercial stations that are in 3.0 are doing as you show.
Principle is still the same. I'm fairly confident Dish is brining in the 1.0 signals, no real reason to get the 3.0, much less send on to customers.
 
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I have now confirmed that KTCI, tpt channel 17, is now shown as SD (Standard Definition) on my DISH locals, which explains why its programming appears fuzzy and letter-boxed. I had not noticed that change before--thank you, syphix.

But KTCA, tpt channel 2, still shows as HD (High Definition) in the online guide. Some of its programming (e.g., children's) still fills the widescreen and appears to be 1080p HD on my 4K Sony TV. But most of its evening programming (notably, PBS Newshour, Washington Week, Nature) is letter-boxed and appears fuzzy.

I notified tpt about this. I sure hope someone at DISH is also aware of this problem.
 
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