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Thursday, August 13 2015

Absence from RabbitEars

On June 26, 2015, I got married to my wonderful Elizabeth. Starting on August 15, we will be headed to Vermont on our honeymoon. I will likely be completely unavailable from August 14 until August 25, and may have sporadic availability until August 28.

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Tuesday, August 4 2015

Arizona TV Station Update - July 2015

As always, questions, additions, comments and corrections welcome.

Programming changes

  • KTVK 3.x (24) Phoenix (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) has lost its weather feed. Channel 3.3 is a graphic advertising Weather Now.
  • KPPX 51.x Tolleson (America 51, L.P.) has expanded its Airbox H.264 programming to include several movie channels by Starz, Showtime and ePIX. The audio feed is sometimes available in the clear using VLC Media Player. Too bad they don't offer it to the public.

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Saturday, July 11 2015

Arizona TV Station Update - June 2015

As always, questions, additions, comments and corrections welcome.

New licenses

  • K39KW-D Yuma (Good News Broadcasting Network, Inc.) has been granted a license to cover its original construction permit. Technical specifications: Ch 39; TL 32-38-31 N, 114-33-37 W (E Co. Hwy. 13-1/4 & S. Ave. 4-1/4); ERP 15 kW directional; HAAT 82 m.

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Friday, June 19 2015

First Wave of Site Changes

As discussed in my post a few weeks ago, I've made the first of the site changes.

Tracking of Mobile DTV other than whether it is on or off: Gone, except I am also still tracking how much bandwidth Mobile DTV uses in total.

Indicator of whether a station is a member of MCV or Mobile 500: Gone.

SyncBak: Gone.

UpdateTV: Still present for now, as I have been unable to confirm it is 100% gone. That said, the UpdateLogic website is no longer active.

AFD and the broadcast flag: Gone.

PIDs, Source ID, and bitrates: Still present for now, but slated for removal. When it happens, the entire section below the "TSReader Data" and "Bitrate Allocation" rows will be removed, as all remaining data that I would track will still be at the top of the listing. I'm also considering moving the Translator Data into that space since it seems more related to technical data than historical data. I'm still pondering how best to make the TSReader data more prominent before doing any of this. I would probably need to include a guide for how to read it for those people who can read my bandwidth usage and other numbers but would be lost in the raw data. (If anyone who falls into that category is reading this, please write and let me know--that will confirm that I need to do it!)

I'm also thinking forward to the future. The FCC is planning to retire its CDBS database at some point in the next few years, and its replacement, LMS, is ramping up. The RabbitEars source code is based entirely on CDBS, and thus if CDBS updates were to become unavailable, updates to FCC data would cease unless I wrote a conversion tool to convert the data into CDBS format as I've done for the Canadian database. I'm considering how to transition the site over to LMS, whether I should write that conversion tool or make more fundamental changes to the code underlying the site. I'm leaning toward the latter, actually, if only because there are some design choices that I made in bolting things onto Bruce's original site code that I now wish I had done differently, and I would hope that the site code can be sped up by removing pieces that are no longer in use. The problem with that, of course, is that it would require more time coding and testing than I may have available to me. Just something to think about.

Opinions and suggestions appreciated. Have a great weekend!

Saturday, June 13 2015

Arizona TV Station Update - May 2015

Questions, additions, comments and corrections are always welcome.

New licenses

  • KGUN-TV 9.x Tucson (Journal Broadcast Corporation) applied for and has been granted a license to cover its increase in power from 10.3 kW to 36.5 kW. Technical specifications: Ch 9; TL 32-24-56 N, 110-42-53 W (Mt. Bigelow); ERP 36.5 kW directional (1.5° electrical beam tilt); HAAT 1140 m.
  • KPDF-CA 41.x Phoenix (Northstar Phoenix License LLC) has been granted a license to cover its flash cut to digital facilities. Technical specifications: Technical specifications: Ch 41, TL 33-20-0 N, 112-3-45 W (South Mtn.); ERP 5 kW directional; HAAT 460 m.

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Saturday, May 2 2015

Arizona TV Station Update - April 2015

As always, questions, additions, comments and corrections welcome.

New licenses

  • KLHU-CD 45.x Lake Havasu City (Jensen Investments, FLP) applied for and has been granted a license to cover its flash cut to digital. Technical specifications: Ch 45; TL 34-36-9 N, 114-22-16 W (Goat Hill); ERP 0.42 kW directional; HAAT 45 m.
  • KPDF-CA 41 Phoenix (Northstar Phoenix License LLC) has applied for a license to cover its construction permit to flash cut to digital. Technical specifications: Ch 41, TL 33-20-0 N, 112-3-45 W (South Mtn.); ERP 5 kW directional; HAAT 460 m.
  • K39KW-D Yuma (Good News Broadcasting Network, Inc.) has applied for a license to cover its original construction permit. Technical specifications: Ch 39; TL 32-38-31 N, 114-33-37 W (E. County 13th St. & S. Avenue 4 E); ERP 15 kW directional; HAAT 82 m.

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Tuesday, April 7 2015

Arizona TV Station Update - March 2015

As always, questions, additions, comments and corrections welcome.

New licenses

  • KLHU-CA 45 Lake Havasu City (Jensen Investments FLP) has applied for a license to cover construction of its flash cut to digital. Technical specifications: Ch 45; TL 34-36-9 N, 114-22-16 W (Goat Hill); ERP 0.42 kW directional; HAAT 45 m.

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Monday, March 23 2015

Contemplating Site Changes

As the site approaches its 7th birthday (seriously!), those who have been with the site from the beginning back in 2008 and pay close attention have probably noticed that site updates have become not less frequent, but less substantive. While I do my best to keep up with launches of new subchannels and things like that, the more technical updates involving TSReader data and the parameters of the transport streams have become less frequent.

I would like to try to start correcting that. My biggest issue, I think, is that I'm tracking too much information that's of little use. For example, as it stands right now, I track things like the various PIDs. While interesting, it adds a lot of time to each update while not adding much utility to the site. Similarly, I track bandwidths of the various channels. Again, interesting, but as more and more stations move to variable bitrate encoders, the snapshot of often less than 1 minute that TSReader captures and averages is less useful in showing what that bandwidth number actually means in terms of quality.

Basically, I am considering making the raw TSReader data more prominent and discontinuing tracking of the more nitty gritty technical details like PIDs, Source ID, and bitrates in my database. I'm thinking of discontinuing tracking of Mobile DTV other than whether it is on or off, given it seems to be on its way out pending a new ATSC 3.0 standard, and similarly removing the indicator of whether a station is a member of MCV or Mobile 500. I think SyncBak no longer has an OTA component and UpdateTV is completely gone, and if that is so, I want to yank them out of the listings. Information about AFD and the broadcast flag are more technical information better presented in the TSReader data.

The end result would be that I would track the very basics like the resolution, type of audio, short channel name, and network affiliation. For many users, this is probably all they look at anyway. For the more technical users, updated TSReader data would still be available (and more frequently) and could be looked at in its raw form to get the information that is wanted. The data from the FCC database about station facilities would remain in its current format and would not be altered from its current level of detail.

I am also trying to decide whether or not to change the site code to allow for individuals to maintain their own markets. For example, there are several markets where the moment something changes, I have an e-mail from a very dependable person. For those people, in those markets, it might be more efficient to allow them to do their own updates. Should TSReader data become available, I would upload that myself, but to update programming information or the short channel names in PSIP seems like something these people could do themselves instead of waiting sometimes in excess of a week for me to get to their information. The down side to this, of course, is security, mostly since I am a lousy programmer and I don't know that I could do it in a secure fashion. There's also concern over stylistic differences.

I'm cross-posting this both on the RabbitEars Blog and on the Satellite Guys forum. Feel free to comment in either place, or to send me an e-mail direct. I'm anxious for opinions on the various changes I am considering or on other suggestions for the site. Have a great one!

Monday, March 2 2015

Arizona TV Station Update - February 2015

As always, questions, additions, comments and corrections welcome.

New licenses

  • K33MD-D Yuma (BGM License, LLC) has applied for a license to cover its original construction permit. Technical specifications: Ch 33; TL 32-40-25 N, 114-20-13 W (Telegraph Pass); ERP 15 kW non-directional; HAAT 349 m.

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Saturday, February 7 2015

Arizona TV Station Update - January 2015

As always, questions, additions, comments and corrections welcome.

New licenses

  • KGRY-LD 19.x (21) Gila River Indian Co. (Gila River Telecommunications, Inc.) requested and has been granted a license to cover its original construction permit, as modified. Technical specifications: Ch 29; TL 33-1-49 N, 111-34-29 W (Blackwater site); ERP 7 kW non-directional; HAAT -1 m (33 m AGL).
  • K18DD-D Camp Verde (George V. Young DBA Central States Communciations) requested and has been granted a license to cover its flash cut to digital. The station has been on air at least since October. Technical specifications: Ch 18; TL 34-41-14 N, 112-7-0 W (Mingus Mtn.); ERP 2.5 kW non-directional; HAAT 778 m.

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