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TV in Erie is Disgraceful

OTA, or "over the air" broadcasting, has existed for a loooong time. Starting last night, DirecTV HD DVRs (the "HR20-700S") began receiving a software update that let users tune in and record OTA broadcasts. MPEG-2 OTA broadcasts have a lot of advantages over the MPEG-4 local channels offered by DirecTV: they look a little better (see "HD-Lite"), have subchannels (for things like weather, news, and alternate programming), and often have more HD channels (like PBS in HD, which isn't carried by DirecTV as part of their "locals" programming).

But I couldn't care less about recording OTA broadcasts because OTA in Erie is a disgrace. Though Jack Tirak at the "Erie Media-Go-Round" has more to say on this subject than I ever could, the facts are simple: one Erie channel still hasn't started their full-power digital signal despite federal regulations requiring that this be done by July 1, 2006.

And bear in mind: "digital" doesn't mean HD. Though most HD enthusiasts will tell you that OTA HD is the only way to watch HD, you won't get your fill of HD in Erie with only an antenna, regardless of the cost and proximity. Sorry.

It's disgusting. On February 17, 2009, analog signals will cease to exist. From what I've seen, most Erie stations are not even planning to turn on their full digital signal strength until October of 2008! Again, that's not even HD - that's just their digital signal.

It's sickening. File this under yet another reason to dislike Erie.

9 Responses to "TV in Erie is Disgraceful"

  1. What is the business case for them to turn on the digital signal?

  2. The Plaid Cow said on December 8, 2006:

    What is the business case for them to turn on the digital signal?

    They're required by law. Furthermore, the first station that turns on high definition will likely see a large (albeit somewhat temporary) boost in viewership across all their shows, local and national.

  3. What is the business case? How about giving your customers the best signal quality possible so they can enjoy HD programming? Isn't that reason enough? Millions of Americans enjoy HD broadcasts of Football, Baseball, Basketball, and Hockey. Yet these cheap stations in Erie think it is just wonderful that people have to watch the Superbowl or World Series in old fasion analog.

  4. We've got one station like that in Evansville. They have postponed it so many times. It's our Fox affiliate which makes it frustrating since I want to be able to watch 24 in HD. Sadly, I still receive it in awful 1984 standard signal. No wonder they are on the verge of bankruptcy.

  5. Justin Williams said on December 8, 2006:

    We've got one station like that in Evansville. They have postponed it so many times. It's our Fox affiliate which makes it frustrating since I want to be able to watch 24 in HD. Sadly, I still receive it in awful 1984 standard signal. No wonder they are on the verge of bankruptcy.

    That's odd, because I thought Fox was sending all of its affiliates a "splicer" unit so that they could push HD (albeit without local affiliate overlays and things - a tricky task I've heard). Then again, perhaps they have the splicer but just aren't hooking it in or something.

    Are they digital and at full power and just not HD, or have they delayed even going digital?

  6. 😆
    Plug your cable feed directly into your big-screen if it has a digital tuner. do a channel Scan. You will get HD-Locals out of Cleveland and Akron for free. Get yourself an antenna, and get Canada and Buffalo as well.

  7. Mothugsta said on May 14, 2007:

    😆
    Plug your cable feed directly into your big-screen if it has a digital tuner. do a channel Scan. You will get HD-Locals out of Cleveland and Akron for free. Get yourself an antenna, and get Canada and Buffalo as well.

    Can anyone confirm that this is true? If I could get network tv in hd, i would definitely buy an hdtv right now.

  8. David said on November 13, 2007:

    Can anyone confirm that this is true? If I could get network tv in hd, i would definitely buy an hdtv right now.

    It depends on where you live in Erie. Some places - with a good enough antenna - can pick up the digital stations from Youngstown or wherever. Erie's digital stations are basically non-existent.

    You may want to begin reading eriemediablog.com.

  9. If yoiu have cable, plug directly into antenna port, and do a channel scan. Your ATSC Tuner will pick up 101.1, 101.2...etc...
    If you have a digital box, they block them. So split the line, one to your box, one to the tuner...and voila.


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