January 14, 2002
Tech-Note - 095

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From: Edd Forké     

(Ed Note: This response is a personal comment from Edd Forke and does not in any way  represent the views of his employer.) 

I can only add that I agree with Jim. I have Dish net here in Maine and would  have thought that the average signal from Dish would at least approach DVD.  But, I find that there's often not much better quality than VHS. 

We use a Sony 43-inch projection TV and sit closer than what the  ideal "formula" says to, so slight differences in picture quality quickly  become very apparent.  

When viewing local off-air HD broadcasts by just using rabbit ears (okay,  it's temporary) the picture quality from this Sony non-HD TV is highly  impressive.....even though we sit "too close" according to the experts. 

On the other hand, the picture quality off the Dish signal often has the  artifacts mentioned by Jim. There's something wrong here. For an industry  pushing fast-forward for digital everything and HDTV (the answer to a  question no one was asking), I would think that the signal providers would  want to give consumers every reason to want to spend their money. Now, we  seem to have a "pay more-get less" system in place. One can only ask what the  marketing thinking is here. I don't think "well, it's better than Russia" is  going to be a satisfactory answer for long. 

As a totally separate but not unrelated issue, I am feeling the frustration  of starting a DVD movie collection while the "format wars" are still going  on. Most of the DVDs are on "Widescreen" which is great for instantly  downsizing your TV screen.  

Last night at the local Best Buy, I was buying DVDs for gifts. I was also  looking over the HD and non-HD displays on all of the TVs. Of course,  depending on what TV was playing what format, the picture was either chopped  off on the top and bottom or on the sides. Seeing the TV sets side-by-side was a "good" way to see what was being missed. 

Of course, the point is, consumers have been totally out of the loop on ALL  of this stuff. No one was sitting out there wishing they had better picture  quality then their VCR would provide. Or, wishing that TV's would all switch  to a widescreen format someday. No, the HDTV/widescreen/digital thing is all  being forced upon the consumers with planned obsolescence that benefits very  few consumers.  

The Sony "guru" (I can't remember his name) that is heading much of their  development made the comment that "digital is at it's best when it approaches  analog". It's interesting that in the Pro Audio product world, how may  processors are out there that are made to mimic analog and tube equipment.  Begs the question...."what's the point"? Maybe that's why a 25 year old  Valley tube compressor (for recording studio use) goes for  huge bucks these days.  

Edd Forké 
Naples, Maine 


RE: Tech-Notes #94 
From: Bill Burckhard   
I feel strongly that the lack of level standards is a serious problem. I have  talked to production folks fresh out of college or vo-tech school who have to  be taught that there is such a thing as a proper level and what it is. The  problem seems to be more than a lack of caring, or lack of sufficient  staffing. It seems to start right at the beginning- at the education level. 
Bill Burckhard, CSRTE 


RE: Tech-Notes #94 
From: Jeremy Bancroft     
Chief Executive -- Advanced Broadcast Technology 

Thank you for all your efforts in keeping the non-US residents up to date on  events your side of the Atlantic. 

I am sure I speak for all European readers when I say that you provide a much  appreciated and very valuable service to us. I look forward to 2002 for further editions of tech-notes, and perhaps even  some sanity entering the US DTV debate. 

In the UK of course, we have DTV (COFDM flavour) and technically it is very  good and well proven (i.e. we don't need to spend millions of taxpayer or  industry dollars "enhancing" it). However, perhaps it is worth bearing in  mind that someone has to pay for all of this. In the UK, the DTV  infrastructure is in financial meltdown because of poor consumer uptake and  high churns. 

Although cable still has poor penetration in the UK, BSkyB's satellite TV  services have been well accepted and have achieved relatively high levels of  subscribers. 

So, if a consumer (the vast majority of whom watch over the air signals)  wants additional channels (over 200 on satellite vs. 20 or so on DTV)  satellite is a straightforward choice. All channels available on DTV are now  on BSkyB, so apart from a difference in subscription fee (insufficient so far  to attract subscribers away from satellite) there is little benefit in DTV  for the average consumer. 

Why not make all new TV sets DTV compliant? Because the vast majority of sets  sold in the UK are $120 12" screens for use in kitchens, bedrooms and for the  kids. I bought my first large TV in 10 years recently. 36", wide screen and  NOT DTV compliant. 

Could I use a low-cost set top box? Sure, but would I add a $200+ box to each  of the 3 $120 12" sets I have around the house? You work it out. 

So why is the government pushing DTV? Simple. They want the UHF RF spectrum  so they can sell it to cellular phone companies. Problem is, they have just  spent so much on 3G licenses that they are struggling to make ends meet  anyway. Would they be interested in the UHF spectrum? Probably not if they  had to bear the real cost of converting the nation to DTV. 

And what about Hi-def? We already have it. It's called PAL. 

Jeremy Bancroft 

RE: Parting Shots 
From: Name withheld on request (I do not want publicity!)  

One thing stands out from Tech_Notes_94 is about what will happen to millions  and millions of analog (NTSC) TV sets in existence and those which will  be "dumped" at rock-bottom prices for the transition. 

But that fear is simply based on misinformation. You also wrote: “I think  Congressman Edward J. Markey of MA is on the right track in sponsoring a bill  that will require all TV sets after a certain date to be capable of receiving  DTV signals. What good does it do to have a DTV station if no one has a  receiver that can receive it?” 

Nothing will happen or can happen if the consumers are educated how to handle  the situation. I think it is a demonstrating  DTV reception situations like  WOW, talking about "what will happen to analog TV-sets, etc., are scare  technique to make consumers buy DTV sets. The question may become, what will  we do to dispose all those TV sets if consumers do dump analog TV sets? Now  charge $/inch to dispose the TV set. A birth of new business! That is WOW!  

There is/are no problems. Let me explain why.......  
Each and every DTV (VSB) decoder comes with several outputs to work with your  existing analog NTSC TV receiver. The DTV decoder STBs have analog Composite  video output, S-video output, and also have mono/stereo audio outputs. They  also have RGB/Y,PrPb outputs.  

Any consumer can use Composite video output for its TV sets. Most of teh TV  sets sold in last 15 years  have Composite video input. If not, the VCR  connected to the TV set definitely has Composite and also Video/Audio input.  If the individual is really OLD-fashioned, s/he can buy a $25-30 RF modulator  at Radio Shack to convert Audio/Video to RF Ch. 3 or 4.  

If the analog TV set or VCR has S-video Input, that would be the best since  then the Luminance/Color are not mixed (only to be separated later in the TV  processing). S-video input will give the best picture rendition.  

About the 4x3 or 16x9 format, the consumer can use letter-box type picture on  to view 16:9 HDTV picture on his/her 4:3 picture tube of his/her analog TV  set. There are those setting selection in the DTV STB.  

So, what is REALLY necessary is to "educate" non-technical "only interested  to view TV" consumers, rather than scaring him/her to go out and buy a DTV  set, OR as Congressman suggests/thinks "Make all TV sets capable of receiving  analog and DTV transmission." Believe me, that will also increase the cost of  analog TV set.  

I hope someone explain this to Congressman Edward J. Markey. Making  UNNECESSARY rules will again cost consumer hard-earned $$s in this tight  economy. And for whose benefit?  

One cannot buy smaller screen (less than 27") 16:9 DTV set in the first  place. But what I have described solves smaller screen DTV set problem  altogether.  

If I want to buy a 21" 16:9 DTV set, I can buy a 25" analog 12:9 TV set and  watch the DTV in Letter-Box which is more than 21" 16:9 DTV picture. It is at  a reasonable price too! A 25" analog TV set is now on sale for less than  $250. Why fork over $3000 for what I do not need?  

Name withheld on request A Consultant 


Subject: SID and Information Display Announce 2001 Display of the Year Awards 
By: Jim Mendrala 

San Jose, California, December 11, 2001 – The Society for Information Display  (SID) and Information Display magazine have announced the winners of the 2001  Display of the Year Awards, which will be presented May 22, 2002 at the  Awards Luncheon of the annual SID Symposium and Exhibition in Boston,  Massachusetts. 

The winners were selected by an international committee of distinguished  display technologists and technology journalists in a four-month process of  nominations and voting. Awards are made in three categories, and there is  normally a gold and silver award in each category. 

In the Display of the Year category, which honors developments in display  technology, the Gold Award went to Rainbow Displays of Endicott, New York,  for its model 3750 37.5 inch AMLCD (Active Matrix Liquid Crystal Display)  panel, which seamlessly or invisibly tiles three 21.4 inch AMLCDs in a one-by- three array. Seamless tiling has proven to be surprisingly difficult; Rainbow  Displays is the first company to successfully implement the technology in a  commercial product. The Silver Award went to IBM Research Laboratories of  Yorktown Heights, New York, and Yamato, Japan for its Model T220 9.2- megeapixel AMLCD. The 3,840 x 2,400 addressable pixels on a 22.5-inch  diagonal screen for a pixel density of 204 ppi (80 pixels/cm). The T220 is  the product of years of research by IBM exploring the technology and benefits  of LCDs with near photographic quality. 

In the Display Product of the Year category, which honors products that  incorporate displays in ways that enhance or make possible the product’s  appeal, performance, and utility, the Gold Award went to Minolta of Osaka,  Japan, for pioneering the use of a liquid-crystal-on-silicon (LCoS)  microdisplay as the viewfinder in a digital still camera (DSC), replacing the  optical viewfinder that has not changed in principle since its use on 35-mm  film cameras of the 1930s. The Committee chose not to present a Silver Award  this year. 

The Display Material or Component of the Year category honors materials or  components that are used in displays or display systems. The Gold Award in  this category went to Alien Technology of Morgan Hill, California, for its  Fluidic Self-Assembly (FSA) process that automatically places small  encapsulated integrated circuits called NanoBlocksTM into matching  depressions in a display backplane. This innovative approach to packaging  display (and other) electronics has the potential for making very rugged and  inexpensive devices. The Silver Award went to Moxtak of Orem, Utah, for its  ProFluxTM polarizer, which is made of very-fine-pitch wire grid. The wire  grid tolerates the high light intensities and temperatures found in  projectors, and is capable of contrast ratios much higher than those produced  by conventional polarizing beam splitters. 

The SID is the premier international non-profit society devoted to the  advancement of display technology, manufacturing, and applications, with  international headquarters at 610 South Second Street, San Jose, California  95112 U.S.A. Their web site is

Information Display is the leading magazine for the international display  industry. It has circulation in the Americas, Asia, Australia, and Europe. 
E- mail: .


Subject: 229 Stations Now Operating in Digital 
By: Larry Bloomfield 

With the addition of WQAD-TV - the New York Times-owned CBS Affiliate in Quad  Cities, IL, IA, WKZT-TV - the PBS member station in Lexington, KY, WBBM-TV -  CBS owned and operated in Chicago, IL and KCNC-TV - CBS owned and operated in  Denver, CO, the number of station now operating the digital world, totals, as  of January 9, 2002, two hundred twenty-nine. According to the NAB, DTV  signals are now being transmitted in 80 markets that include 73.72% of U.S.  TV households. 

This seems like only a token response to the FCC mandate that says ALL  commercial television stations will have a digital transmission capability by  May of this year and all Non-Commercial by May of 2003. The FCC has been non- responsive to inquiries about what will happen to those stations that have  either not filed for their digital CP’s or licenses or to those who have  failed to file for extensions to carry them beyond the cut off dates. Calls  to Radio Shack haven’t gotten us any answers either, but they were nicer.  

(For those who live out side the US, Radio Shack is a vendor of electronic  parts and products. They have stores in nearly every town across the country.  They’re motto is: “You’ve got questions – we’ve got answers.”) .


Subject: DVD new champ of video market 
By: Larry Bloomfield 

According to recent reports from both the Consumer Electronic Association  (CEA), a story that ran in the Hollywood Reporter and the DVD Entertainment  Group, DVDs (Digital Versatile Disk) have outsold videocassettes domestically  for the first time in the five-year history of the optical disc format.  Generating more than $4.6 billion in annual sell-through sales, compared with  $3.8 billion for VHS video sell-through sales posted for 2001, DVD seem to be  the consumer playback method of choice. 

Most rental stores, large and small, now seem to have a better choice of DVD  movies than VHS tapes. For those poor souls who still have Batamax machines,  tapes for their devices are scarcer than hen’s teeth. If you don’t wish to  make the trek to the local video store, an alternative is San Jose based  NetFlix; a company that offers their large inventory of DVDs on a rental  bases, “postage free” to and from their offices, at a nominally competitive  monthly fee. DVD affectionados who don’t choose to make the trek to the local  rental store, can do it all on line. Check out their web site at 

DVD rentals generated more than $1.4 billion last year, for an annual cume of  about $6 billion in gross sales and rental revenue, according to the DVD  Entertainment Group, which comprises the major Hollywood studios and leading  home electronics manufacturers, among others. "This growth comes from the  phenomenal increase in both sales and rentals of DVDs and has propelled the  overall home video business to an unprecedented annual growth rate of 21% for  the year," said Warner Home Video president Warren Lieberfarb, who made the  group's announcement at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  Sales of DVDs helped push overall revenue for the home video industry up from  $13.9 billion in 2000 to $16.8 billion in 2001, topping last year's  theatrical receipts of about $8.1 billion, according to the group. 

What is interesting to note, as this DVD technology is gaining acceptance,  there is still no one set of standards that apply to the technical side of  this industry: if a DVD plays back on a preponderance of different machines,  its judged to be OK for the market place. In addition to this, there are a  number of formats under development that would make the current DVD either  obsolete or out of date. Three companies come to mind: A Lucent spin-off in  Colorado says they have a holographic DVD under development that will hold  over twenty times the capacity of the current 4.7 Mbt devices currently in  wide acceptance and that’s just for openers. A second company out of New York  is achieving a similar capacity using a fluorescent or color approach. A  Santa Monica based company is touting a five time currently 4.7 Mbt capacity  with their new device. To my knowledge, none of these are backward compatible  with legacy formats. 


Subject: All is not Fair in Love, Cable and DBS 
By: Fred Lawrence 

How many times have you heard a salesperson allude to end column pricing?  Volume seems to be the way with cable as well. A recent article in the New  York Times points to a major competitive issue: the reality that the big  conglomerates can obtain preferential deals on content. Some  small cable operators report that they pay up to 40% more for the same cable  content than their larger counter parts. Is all this fair? Bean counters say  it motivates competition. Needless to say, the battle lines are well on their  way to being to formed, what with the provisions of the Cable Act of 1992  that forced cable to make their content available to the new DBS services at  non-discriminatory prices, are about to expire. 

The ability to create preferential carriage deals via one form of  distribution versus another is inherently anti-competitive. Congress must  address this issue in the coming year. This is probably the single most  important reason why viewers are forced to pay through the nose for content  that is already loaded with as much commercial time as program content. As  one associate of ours puts it: “The time has come to permanently end this  anti-competitive practice! All content should be available to all channels of  distribution (including the Internet) at non-discriminatory prices. This  would be the single most important step Congress could take in its often  misguided quest to deregulate the telecommunications industries.” 


Subject: Proud to be an American!  
By: Paul Elgy 

I remember the RCA TK-27 and the TP-66 very well...we had a film island at  KCET in Los Angeles that had the RCA dual-drum 35mm slide machine and  two '66s that shared the TK-27. The TK-27 had three 1" Vidicons for the color  channels and a 1.5" viddie for the luminance.  I thought that this was a  rather elegant (if somewhat expensive) approach to transmitting color  film.  "Not so!" the older guys told me...the earlier TK-26 with its three  Vidicons was easier to register and maintain.  Only later did I appreciate  this wisdom. We also had four newly acquired TK-44 studio cameras; after I  managed to convince the senior videoman that I could take care of them, he  let me set them up and maintain them. He always checked matching and  registration very carefully before any network feeds or important tapings,  but they were such fine cameras that I always worked to make them look  identical. At that time, (July 1969) we were getting Steve Allen to tape a  series of opens and closes for a summer series of music festivals.  Allen was  doing his own show at the Hollywood Video Theater where they were using PC- 70s.and he did not like the way his face looked on the monitors.  Our cameras  used the same Plumbicons, so there wasn't too much difference. I experimented  with the "ChromaComp" masking module in one of the TK-44s and discovered that  we could make Steverino look just fine!  The only problem was having to drag  out the Munsell chart later to reset the module. My boss went to the Chief,  and he called RCA Broadcast Division in Burbank.  He talked them into loaning  us a ChromaComp module; we tweaked it to "Allen color" and slipped it into  the encoder tray whenever Steve was due for a taping. "Only house in town  that doesn't make me look like a piece of meat".  High praise indeed! 

Later I moved on to the SF Bay Area and went to work for a 'U' that ran lots  of really bad movies and made its money from sleazy car dealers and Ron  Popiel's kitchen gadgets. We had a TK-27 that looked at a single TP-66.   Since a lot of our commercials and PSAs were on those little 1-min film  spools, I was always faced with the problem of taking the movie down, running  a VTR spot while loading the tiny film spot, running the spot, running  another video while frantically re-threading the movie, all the while trying  to stay on time. The TP-66 had one bad was not possible to  rewind a film when the reel was done.  We solved this problem by taking the  full take-up reel, putting the original reel on the feed side, and sticking  the handle of a small paint brush into the slot for the feed reel tension  arm.  Worked, but it was dumb! I wanted to put a small SCR motor controller  and an overide switch into the proj, but the GM vetoed the project...If I  damaged the projector, we would be effectively of the air! Sorry for going on  at such length,  

Paul Egly
Santa Rosa Ca .


Subject: Abbreviations 
By: Larry Bloomfield 

Over the more than five years of technical writing and the many more reading  technical material, I would hazard to guess the plethora ways writers,  publishers, etc. employ abbreviations to indicate quantities. There is no  doubt you too have noticed this too. There is a definite trend in technical  writing to use rather random forms of the “correct” abbreviations for  technical terms, such as mHz for megahertz, etc. This problem is only  compounded when these documents are shared with those outside “the land of  the brave and the free.” This results in unintended and incorrect literal  meanings for the associated value. 

Permit me to demonstrate: lower case “m” is the standard form of abbreviation  for the prefix "milli" (/1000).  The correct form for the prefix "mega"  (X1,000,000) is M.  Writing that an AM broadcast station carrier assignment  is 1 mHz says it is operating at a frequency of less than one hertz - which  probably isn't conveying what the writer intended, as well as being rather  impractical. 

There are many other examples of garbled abbreviations used in broadcast  writing, for example KW for kilowatt  (KW = kelvinwatt, which is meaningless;  correct form = kW),  Ma for milliampere (Ma = Megampere, correct form = mA),  etc. 

At this point, you’re probably saying: “Who died and left Larry Bloomfield in  charge?” No one! I simply found a source that should be acceptable to most,  which can be use to help clear up this dilemma. The IEEE has a URL which  should be bookmarked as a reference. It shows the correct form of  abbreviation for many units commonly used in the broadcast industry: 

Good luck.

Subject: New trends in TV Watching 
From: Jim Walsh    

I'm a Replay guy, not a TiVo person, but I've found that here in the SFO bay  area, "24" is the kind of a program made for a home DVR. A "search for all  episodes"  produces a list of when it will air in the next 7-8 days; and  record selections can be made, in conjunction with a look at what is playing  opposite it at the time. (I split my cable feed and have two video inputs to  the TV, so I can watch one thing live while recording another "live”)  

The multiple screens and fast moving plot cry out for ten-second backspaces  and careful replays of unclear parts. Pauses for local food, phone, and  personal need interruptions are always part of the experience; and of course,  the eight button presses of the Quick Skip button sequence to get you thru  eight thirty-second commercials, becomes an unconscious habit quickly  mastered.  

Fox airs it here on Tuesday, opposite NYPD Blue on ABC and Guardian on CBS -  We like all three, and can only record one while watching another. Fox's  duopoly UHF does air it later in the week, as does the regular Fox affiliate.  The writers have dragged the plot out somewhat, not unlike a daily soap  opera, so that even if you miss some, you can get caught up pretty easily.  Missing, of course, is an "on-demand" access to all previous episodes.  

I think program aggregators and producers are "getting it," albeit slowly;  and 24 is a great step forward. May be the new folks at ABC will now try some  very different things in a necessary attempt to leap frog the others and get  higher numbers. Can The Howard Beale Show of Network (the movie) be far away? 

Jim Walsh
Danville, California

Subject: Migration to HDTV -- Slow Going 
From: Des Chaskelson, Research Director, SCRI International     

According to the 2001 - 2006 DTV Migration Trends Survey of US TV Stations,  conducted by SCRI International (, the impending migration of  HDTV (1.5 Gb/s) over fiber among US TV stations will be slow going. 

According to SCRI's survey, only 12.2% of stations are expected to be using  HDTV (1.5 Gb/s) over fiber by the end of 2002; by 2003 this will increase to  17.6%; by 2004 23% and by by 2005, just under three in ten stations (28.4%)  are expected to be using HDTV over fiber.  

The plus side of using fiber is its ability to accommodate extremely high bit  rates, irrespective of content. According to Larry Bloomfield, SCRI's  technical consultant on this survey, "Bits are bits are bits -- they do not  know if they are HDTV or anything else. The bandwidth required for HDTV is  significantly greater than that required for SDTV. Bandwidth capacity is the  key important factor in any medium of transport – fiber, cable or over the  air." 

SCRI's DTV Migration Survey Series tracks both technology and product trends  and usage among both broadcast and non-broadcast sectors. To view the table  of contents online, go to:  

FREE weekly email Industry Newsletter -- to subscribe, send "subscribe  NewsBriefs" to  


Parting Shots
By Larry Bloomfield 

You know, if people in the broadcast industry ever stopped doing incredibly  stupid things, I could get back to addressing technological improvements in  our industry. Then on the other hand, no one ever said the New York corporate  broadcast mentality ever had an IQ that sallied forth very far above a single  digit. What follows is an excellent example of what I’ve been talking about  for all these nearly five years here in the Tech-Notes. 

For those myopic individuals who seem to think that over the air (OTA)  television is dead, or on its way out, they'd better step back and take a  hard look at things and perhaps reconsider their position. The first few  weeks of 2002, in the San Francisco Bay area, is an excellent case study, and  a prime example, which proves OTA TV is anything but dead and how bean  counters will probably be the death of us all. Who was it that said: “Stupid  is what stupid does?” 

If you are one of the few who haven’t been following the NBC – KRON-TV saga,  let me bring you up to date. The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, long time  owner of KRON-TV, the NBC affiliate for the fifth largest market in the US,  decided to sell its interests in the station, with ratings to dye for, and  its companion cable enterprise, Bay-TV. NBC wanted to start getting kickbacks  from the station for airing their fair. They also said, in essence, if you  don’t sell to us for what we will generously give you, whoever does buy it  won’t get to keep the peacock affiliation. When Young Broadcasting out bid  NBC, NBC was miffed and started to look for a new Bay Area home.  

Now the plot thickens. The San Francisco Bay Area, until recently had two ABC  affiliates, KGO-TV, an O&O, and KNTV-TV, Channel 11, in San Jose, some 60  plus miles to the south, with its transmitter south of San Jose, in Loma  Prieta (about 70 miles south of San Francisco – as the crow flies). ABC  decided that the affiliate to the south wasn’t necessary, was too close for  comfort, or whatever, and severed ties. Granite Broadcasting Corp, who owned  the disenfranchise ABC affiliate, began to court NBC, when it became apparent  NBC was going to take their eggs elsewhere. Promises of feathering the  Peacock network’s nest with millions of bucks in return for the affiliation,  enflamed the greed and avarice in the hearts of the executives and bean  counters in New York’s Rockefeller Center and it looked like Granite would  have something to crow about.  

To compound the issue, having an affiliate in the fifth largest market wasn’t  good enough for the fast-talking network executives; they wanted the whole  enchilada! But the absolutely incomprehensible part of this fiasco comes from  these not so bright people buying the station with less favorable coverage of  two stations owned by Granite in the same market. Until NBC helped Granite  out by buying Channel 11, they had duopoly in the Bay Area, owning KBWB-TV,  Channel 20; the Bay Area’s WB affiliate with transmitters and antenna co- located on Mt. Sutro, in the heart of San Francisco, in the same building  with KRON-TV. If that weren’t enough, there are at least one or more  independents on Mt. Sutro, one of which has a 5 MW ERP – I know, I was its  Chief Engineer at one time. I have no doubt that one of them could have been  bought. 

Now before anyone gets their knickers in a snit, the new owners of KNTV will  no doubt try to move its transmitter plant further north. The KNTV  transmitter cannot be moved to Mt. Sutro for adjacent market reasons (Reno).  This issue is known as short spacing. There is an iron clad FCC rule that  says television stations on the same frequency must be at least 300km (~190  statute miles) apart. Mt. San Bruno, the other television transmitter site  serving San Francisco proper has the same short spacing problems. There is a  possibility for Black Mountain, about 15 miles south of San Francisco, but  who knows what environmental obstacles they’ll run into. There is little  doubt that Cox Broadcasting, who owns both Channel 2 in San Francisco and  Channel 11 in Reno, NV would not stand still for any short spacing wavers. 

Frank Brucks, C.E. at KBWB-TV, Channel 20 says: “They have a move in and  power upgrade in the works to help with these problems,” but wasn’t any more  specific. From what I've heard, KNTV has not yet found a suitable (and  available) alternate site and so has not asked the FCC for its okay. One  problem is that whatever site they choose still has to put a city-grade  signal over San Jose. 

Power at KNTV was turned down during the days they coexisted with KGO-TV when  they were an ABC affiliate. ABC demanded this as a condition of their  affiliation. Once Nielsen added San Jose to the SF/Oakland market, ABC paid  KNTV to give up its affiliation. KNTV already has increased power up to the  maximum allowed for their antenna height; this happened shortly after they  lost their ABC affiliation. It should be noted that the Channel 11 signal  also feeds a good part of the Monterey/Salinas market from their current site  and now there is really no ABC coverage down there now. 

Another goofy aspect of the KNTV deal is that the station apparently will  call itself "NBC 3," even though it's on channel 11.  Why? Because it's on  channel 3 on the AT&T cable systems. Several UHF stations are doing something  like this (as with NBC 7/39 in San Diego), but I've never heard of a VHF  station doing so. 

Young paid a good piece of change for a station that was certain to become an  independent, and with little apparent opportunity to affiliate with any other  network. KRON had a pretty good position in local SF news, but where this  went in the absence of the ties to the Chronicle is anybody’s guess.  Irrespective of all this falderal, the good money says that Young will do  quite well in the long run, but it will take time to build its viewership –  three years is the time frame being bantered about by those in the know. 

Word has it that Young and NBC had been in 11th hour talks as recent as late  last month, but they could not agreed on a price. Whether or not NBC really  wants the San Jose station, this ploy helps them turn the screws even tighter  on Young. My sources could not confirm if the talks are dead, in hiatus or  secretly continuing. The last I heard, NBC's offer had been reduced to $450  million; the KNTV purchase would seem to make that a high offer. It appears  that the fat lady really hasn’t come up to the microphone as yet and if any  of this did go through, NBC could wind up with a “triopoly” in SF; remember  NBC is buying Telemundo, who has an O&O located in San Jose, KSTS-TV, Channel  48. 

If NBC thinks they're gaining an O&O equal to KGO or KPIX, I think they may  be sorely disappointed. KNTV doesn't have the recognition in that market that  KRON has and it will take a while for the NBC3/11 thing to catch on. Who was  it that said: “Stupid is what stupid does?” 

I can not close my thoughts on this Peacock tainted musical TV stations  novella without wondering how long it'll take for NBC to remote KNTV's master  control operations to Burbank, as they're doing with their San Diego O&O,  KNSD-TV, Channel 39? In case anyone has any questions on our position on  this, see the archived Tech-Notes #93’s parting shots. 

Time to get out of the bully-pulpit and BTW, don’t be surprised if you see  Tech-Notes #96 fairly soon. We’ve got a lot more to share: bye for now.   

Let’s go to press. Later, 

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