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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.

Continue reading...

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.

Continue reading...

Friday, January 16 2015

Network Grid Updated

I just added the latest new networks to the Network Grid. To make room for them, I moved the Weather and Shopping networks over to the Primary English Networks page.

Wednesday, January 7 2015

Arizona TV Station Update - December 2014

Wishing everyone a happy 2015!

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

New licenses

  • K18JL-D Phoenix (Mako Communications LLC) requested and was granted a license to cover its displacement flash cut to digital. Technical specifications: Ch 18; TL 33-19-58 N, 112-3-59 W (South Mtn.); ERP 3 kW directional; HAAT 458 m.
  • K32LO-D Prescott (Luke Skelton) has requested a license to cover its displacement flash cut to digital on RF channel 32 and transmitter location change. Technical specifications: Ch 32; TL 34-29-25 N, 112-31-57 W (Mt. Francis); ERP 1.2 kW directional; HAAT 487 m.

Continue reading...

Thursday, December 25 2014

Merry Christmas!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 2 2014

Arizona TV Station Update - November 2014

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

Programming changes

  • KTVP-LD 22.x Phoenix (Mako Communications, LLC) replaced the duplicate GNTV Latino broadcast on channel 22.4, first with a promotional loop for the Rev'n Automotive Network, then with the Impact Television Network, a Russian-language Christian network out of Sacramento CA, and finally with programming from Rev'n. KTVP has also replaced the black screen and ShopNow description with Jewelry TV, a duplicate of what Daystar offers on their secondary subchannel.
  • KEGS-LD 30.x (24) Las Vegas NV (Mako Communications, LLC) is added the Rev'n Automotive Network, placing it on channel 30.4.

Continue reading...

Tuesday, November 11 2014

Arizona TV Station Update - October 2014

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

Programming changes

Continue reading...

Arizona TV License Renewals - October 2014

This post provides a listing of license renewal applications that the FCC granted in October for Arizona stations and other stations in Nevada and Utah whose signal serves parts of Arizona. Licenses are good through October 1, 2022.

Continue reading...

Thursday, October 9 2014

Map Issue

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's noticed that some of the Google Maps features have disappeared, particularly the ability to choose satellite view in addition to terrain view. I can't figure out why this happened; I changed none of my code and one day they just disappeared. Other websites don't seem to have this problem.

Is there anyone reading who might be able to take a look at the code and tell me what is wrong? I'll be glad to send along my source code, or you could view the source on one of the map pages.

If not, I'm looking at rewriting the map pages again. I feel like I just did that not too long ago, though it's probably been a few years now, but I really don't want to since those pages all work other than the missing options. If I do wind up doing a rewrite, I'm considering moving away from Google Maps and over to something like Nokia's HERE maps. (Bing and Open Street View lack terrain maps, which are important for this type of website.)

Any thoughts or opinions?

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