subchannel

All posts tagged subchannel

We have another two over-the-air stations to watch in Tulsa.

Bounce_us

Bounce is at 2.2, and features original programming as well as series and movies geared toward African Americans ages 25-54. The selection of movies is quite good, e.g., today: “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome”, “Deja Vu”, “Demolition Man” and “Bowfinger”. It replaces the Living Well Network.

lafftvicon

Laff is at 2.3. Unsurprisingly, their bag is comedy with a mix of movies and sitcoms. It’s targeted at ages 18-49. Some of the current series are “Empty Nest” with Richard Mulligan, “Ellen” and “Spin City”. Laff’s program guide data has not yet shown up on TiVo or Windows Media Center. (Later note: it was out there by 6/15/2015).

I created the above Laff icon for our Logitech Harmony 650 remote. The Bounce icon was available at http://www.iconharmony.com/icons/home

Here are the icons I created for the Harmony 690. You’re welcome.
bouncetvicon

lafftvicon

Tulsa-area TV transmitter locations

A couple of days ago during high wind conditions, I moved our den antenna around while tuning in the stations located to the east of Tulsa, near Coweta. (Generate this map for your location on this page at fcc.gov). I get excellent signal strength from all of these stations.

But some were affected by the wind. This is due to the movement of trees between my antenna and the transmitter.

Comparing my results with the data in the chart at bottom (click to enlarge), I observed that the stations with signal readings unaffected by wind were lower in frequency. The stations whose signals intermittently dropped to zero were higher frequency.

This is understandable. The higher the frequency, the more “line of sight” it is. High frequency FM radio has a much shorter range than low frequency AM for this reason.

Our “legacy” channels are KJRH-2, KOTV-6, KTUL-8 and KOED-11. Their antennas are roughly in the same place to the east (8 is a few miles away from the others).

When these channels went on the air in the 1950s (KOTV in late 1949), channels 2, 6, 8 and 11 were all VHF channels, on the lower end of the frequencies allocated for TV by the FCC.

Of those four, only KOTV-6 reception was affected by the wind. Why would it be different from the others?

It turns out that KOTV is the only one on a high frequency channel, despite its low number.

In Tulsa, we didn’t have any higher-band UHF channels until the 1980s (with one brief exception in 1954, KCEB).

Today in the digital era, there are lots of channels across the VHF and especially the UHF band, and most have subchannels.

For technical and administrative reasons, the need and desire was there for some stations to change frequencies. But it would be confusing for KOTV, billed as Channel 6 for decades, to show up on your TV as channel 55 (where it was in 2004), then channel 45, where it is today.

A way had been developed to let KOTV remain Channel 6. Though KOTV broadcasts on real channel 45, it has an alias of channel 6, its “virtual” channel.

During the transition to digital, real channels were shuffled around, but viewers continued to see 2, 6, 8 and 11 (or in the new subchannel nomenclature, 2.1, 6.1, 8.1 and 11.1).

Currently, virtual channel numbers 2, 6, 8 and 11 are assigned to real channels 8, 45, 10 and 11, respectively (only 11 has the same virtual and real channel). Virtual 6/real 45 alone is up in the high frequency range (see the table below).

Thus KOTV is the one of the four more vulnerable to dropouts in high wind conditions (at least as seen by my antenna from my house). If it bothers me enough, I could move my antenna to the attic, or outside on a high mast.

Generate a custom data page for your own location at this page on tvfool.com. (To help interpret it, use this FAQ at tvfool.)

The maps and tables are a great help when you are looking for your house’s sweet spots, and understanding why they are where they are.

Data for local channels from our house

(Click to enlarge) Local channel data for our location. The higher the real channel, the higher the frequency.

grittemp

Smile when you say that, pardner.

The counterpart to ESCAPE (targeted at women between the ages of 25 and 54 years old), GRIT is for men 25-54.

You will find it at 41.3 in Tulsa, replacing ZUUS (country music video).

GRIT programming is similar to Spike and Esquire on cable.

(I am reminded of the old “family newspaper” also called “Grit“. Here is my “Grit” story.)

All I have seen so far is “Cat Ballou” and “The Shakiest Gun in the West”, two Comedy Westerns I first saw at the drive-in and the Village Theatre, respectively.

Another boon for cord-cutters.

I would love to tell you what I had to do to get the Raspberry Pi/Raspbmc updated by ServerWMC with the GRIT and COZI icons (both of which I had to create from Googled images), but I’m afraid you would go to sleep. This link and this link will suffice.

You don’t need to deal with all this to have a good cord-cutting setup. You could do just fine with a Tivo + antenna and a Roku box to watch Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu Plus and YouTube.

grit

Bag o’ cash, or swell prizes?

If you feel a bit more ambitious, add the Plex Channel to Roku and stream your own content, or use Windows Media Center instead of Tivo.

An XBMC-based box like the Raspberry Pi might be a hassle if you don’t care for the nitty-gritty of technical detail and troubleshooting. RaspBMC requires a lot of tweaking and futzing around. (Later note: XBMC has been renamed “Kodi”)

(“‘Futzing around’ is unstructured, playful, often experimental interaction between a human being and a computer, product, or any technology, sometimes but not always with a productive purpose in mind. Futzing can be pure play, learning by trying, or an attempt to achieve breakthrough insights.”)

Cozi TV

Subchannel 47.2

Yet another addition to Tulsa broadcast TV for the would-be cord-cutter: COZI TV.

Similar to MeTV and RTV, COZI programs series of the 1950s-80s, plus movies.

Of particular interest to me is the series, “Run For Your Life” from 1966, starring Ben Gazzara as a man with one, possibly two years to live (he has an unnamed terminal illness).

Run For Your Life 2014-10-04 09.52.01

My Media Center app

When I saw it was on, I grabbed my smartphone with My Media Center app and put the series on record. It’ s on Fridays at 10 pm.

The first one I captured was with Leslie Nielsen (who hadn’t yet displayed his comedic acting) and Lesley Ann Warren, on a safari in Kenya. Good one!

I’m looking forward to building a library of these shows, then using MCEBuddy to convert them to .mp4 format so they are streamable over Plex.


Here’s a clip I captured a few years ago:

COZI is also showing early episodes of “The Avengers”.

More about “Run For Your Life” in a GroupBlog 77 post from 2001.

Escape – slip away

Just spotted a new broadcast TV channel: Escape, at 23.3. According to Wikipedia:

“Escape will mainly feature a mix of theatrically released feature films focusing on the crime drama and mystery genres, as well as off-network reality-based crime re-enactment series.”

“Body Heat” and “Romeo Is Bleeding” get the channel off to a good start. A welcome addition.