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Topics - brewtownska

I notice over the past 2-3 weeks, I can no longer access the MilwaukeeHDTV.org site from work.  The McAfee webwashing program they use says there is a security risk.
Then today at home I noticed my McAfee Security Scan Plus flagged the website as "Dangerous".

Is there any scan you can do to verify if there's a problem behind the scenes, or a contact at McAfee to report false positives?  Has anyone else noticed this recently?

Ok, so I saw plenty of threads about how CBS 58 is now available in HD on DirecTV.  Does anyone know if a similar deal will come soon for Dish Network?
Yard Sale / FREE 50" Toshiba high-def CRT to a good home
Sunday Oct 19, 2008, 11:28:42 pm
Of course, there's a small catch :)

My Toshiba 50H71 came down with its 2nd case of broken convergence, so my wife and I decided it was finally ready to ditch it and get a new flat screen.  We ended up with a Sony 52W4100, which we're very happy with.  But of course, she's hounding me to get rid of this beast.  I tried to convince her I could fix it and we could keep it, but she really just wants it gone.  She's more or less said if any of the other smaller TVs die in the future, we'll just get a new LCD/Plasma to replace them, so I guess that's a fair compromise.

The first time the convergence went, I did a lot of web searchs and was fairly certain I knew what was wrong with it.  Of course, I'm not a handyman and never had any soldering experience, so I didn't want to risk hurting the TV and paid Emergency TV to fix it.  $375 later, I had it back the way I remembered it.  That fix lasted almost 2yrs, and here we are again.  After the first fix, the tech who did the repair did confirm I had diagnosed the problem correctly...the 2 chips that hold the convergence were bad.  Below is a link where I originally found the issue, and it explains how 1 other person was able to buy the chips online cheaply and fix it himself.  From my calculations, if you are handy with a soldering iron, you should be able to fix this TV yourself for about $30.

So basically, if you feel up to fixing the issue for about $30 and your free time, you can have the TV for free if you pick it up from my home.  The TV is currently in a spare bedroom on the first floor, and would be easy to get out the front door and into the back of a pickup truck.  Being a CRT, it weighs a lot...I think it's 175-200lbs.  It currently turns on and displays a picture, and you can change the convergence on the red and blue guns up and down...they just wont go left and right, because of the bad convergence IC's.

I'm the original owner of the TV...bought it when I worked part-time at Best Buy.  I babied the TV...always kept the brightness and contrast low.  I used calibration DVDs to keep the picture looking its best.  The TV does do high-def, just in a 16x9 format within the 4x3 frame.  No burn-in at all, so you're getting a good deal if you have the time and know-how to fix it.  Would be perfect for a college rental house TV if you've got kids off at college.

Hopefully I'll get a private message or some posts here from people interested.  If I don't after a week or 2, I'll turn to Craigslist.  I'd much rather see this TV fixed and used again by someone rather than put it on the curb and not knowing what happened to it.  It served me well, it just came time for me to upgrade our main TV to something that does 1080p.

On/Off Topic Chit-Chat / 4K projection at Marcus Majestic
Tuesday Aug 12, 2008, 12:43:03 pm
Ok guys, have I just been in the dark recently, or is the 4K projection screen(s) new at the Marcus Majestic.  The only reason I noticed is because my wife and I planned to go see Dark Knight on Wednesday (it's the $5 spotlight movie of the week), and I noticed 3 listings for it at the Majestic...regular, Ultrascreen, and 4K.  Unfortunatly I think the 4K showing is too early for us to make (she works until 8:30pm and it starts at 8), but I would definitely make a point to see a movie on that screen in the near future.

Has anyone taken in a movie on that screen yet.  Is it just 1 4K screen or do they have a few?  Any details people can shed would be great.

(FYI - sorry if this has been discussed before...I did search, but the term "4K" is too short for the search to work on).

Hey everyone -

If you're planning on being at Summerfest on July 4th, please stop over to the Harley stage to check my band out.  We're called "Something To Do" and we're a horn-driven rock/ska band from Waukesha.  This is our 4th appearance in 5 years at Summerfest, but this is the first time we've been on a huge stage (last 2 years we've been on the Sprecher/Potawatomi stage).

We play mostly originals with a few covers sprinkled in ("Just What I Needed" by The Cars, "Radio, Radio" from Elvis Costello, and "Timebomb" from Rancid).  We go on at 2:30pm.  If you're into the punk/ska thing, stick around after us for a bunch of other band's you'd like - Against All Authority, Streetlight Manifesto, Less Than Jake, and Reel Big Fish.  I graduated high school in '96 and saw Reel Big Fish at Summerfest in '97, so it's sort of surprising to be on the same gig as them 10 years later :)

If you can't go, feel free to check us out at one of these 2 links:
http://www.myspace.com/somethingtodo   or  

Mike (trumpet)
I'm looking for someone in our SE Wisconsin area who has Time Warner Cable AND using a Samsung SIR-T451 to pick up the QAM channels.  I bought one on Ebay and it arrived today, but so far I've had no luck picking up OTA or QAM channels.

To give a little background, I live in Waukesha on a busy street near the airport.  I have a Samsung SIR-360 box that works using a Silver Sensor style UHF antenna on top of my a/v center via OTA, but the reception is spotty due to the traffic that drives by in front of my house (my living room is the closest room to the road).  I can see whenever the reception breaks up, it's due to a car or truck driving by.  At the moment I can't get the antenna up higher to where it helps.  I've thought about putting the antenna in the attic and running cable down to the box, but haven't actually attempted it.  After doing some Ebay homework, it sounds like the Samsung SIR-T451 handles QAM, so I found a deal on Ebay and bought one.  I liked this idea better than trying to upgrade to TWC digital cable, as I'd be paying for the increased service AND a set-top box.  I currently have just analog cable and Roadrunner.  From searching the board, I think there are people with ONLY Roadrunner (no cable) who are also able to pick up locals via QAM, so I'm fairly sure my setup should be able to pick up something.

I first connected the box to an old computer monitor, set the switches to RGB and 720p, then connected the TWC signal to the RF input on back.  Scanned using STD cable, which got hungup at like channel 101.  I reset and tried again.  I could see it bypassing pretty much all the channels until I got to about 78, then I started seeing many of the channels showing "added".  Thing is, once it finished the scan, going to any of those channels in the 70's, 80's, and 90's produced nothing.  Some of the channels will show at 70-0 up through like 70-14.  I can't find anything on any of those channels.  Only once did I find anything, and that was after letting the channel sit there for over a minute (which researching the internet) and all of a sudden some sort of porn came up.  I've heard that sometimes pay-per-view channels show up via QAM, so maybe that was someone local that had ordered it and I was able to get it.  It disappeared within about 10 seconds, and that's the only signal I've seen all night.  I have also scanned for channels using the other CATV formats: HRC and IRC, but no luck.

I attempted the same scans connecting this to my TV in the bedroom, this time using composite cables (yellow, red, white) and switching the switch in back of the tuner to be 481i (analog).  I was able to get the menus and do all my scans, yet still nothing.  I got the bright idea to attempt finding the OTA channels using my antenna, so I unhooked it from the living room and brought it to the bedroom to try.  Still nothing.  The odd thing is that I didn't find ANY channels that way when scanning OTA.  I'm sure my signal is worse in the bedroom (has to go through all the walls in the house), but I would think I'd get SOMETHING, even if it was just the PSIP data saying the channel exists.  But nothing was found.

My gut feeling is the box is a dud (it was from one of those liquidators online that buy all the returns, test them, and resell).  It was just shown as tested - powers on, displays video - so it's possible they had the same problems I do now.  I think this place will allow me to exhange it for another one, so I'd go that route if I have to.  I'm just hoping to find someone local who has the same cable system as me, using the same box, and maybe give me any pointers on good/bad things they've experienced using this setup.  I have 7 days to arrange a swap with the Ebay seller, so I'd like to gather some local info in that time before determining if I need to send it back.  Sounds like another option for me to try is the Samsung DTB-260F if I can't get this one to work.

Thanks ahead of time for any help!

On/Off Topic Chit-Chat / March 4th SNL - anyone record it?
Sunday Mar 05, 2006, 07:11:34 am

I know I should have posted this earlier, but I just thought about it last night.  My band played a show in Oshkosh, so I had no way to be around to catch my pint-sized Natalie Portman on SNL (as well as Fall Out Boy).  Did anyone record it?  I'd prefer HD, but I'm not going to be picky.  I'm not even sure which formats I can play back on my computer that are in HD.  I've got an Athlon 64 3500+ CPU, 1GB RAM, and an ATI AIW X600 video card, but no HD capture card.

I've got a Samsung TS360 being used for OTA HD only, and I'm happy with it except for 1 quirk.  On almost a daily basis, I "lose" my Fox6 HD channel from my channel lineup and have to go through the menus to re-add it (it ends up in my deleted channels list).  Sure, it only takes about 30 seconds to do it, but as with many people here know, it shouldn't happen and I'm looking to find out WHY it happens.

From various other forums, it sounds like this probably has to do with the data that gets passed along with the channel for channel name, program info, etc (is it called PSIP data?).  I've seen on the AVS forum that other people are having similar issues, and many times it is the Fox channels.  I also see that each receiver brand handles the data differently, so it's possible many boxes handle bad data just fine.

Does anyone have any suggestions on where I go from here?  Has anyone verified if Fox6's data is being trasmitted according to specs?  Anyone else have the same sort of problems (especially if it's the same receiver model).  I know someone will ask about firmware...I'm fairly sure I have the most recent firmware (1.2.35 is what I see, and had even called DirecTV to ask if that was current...I was surprised they gave me that info, seeing that I'm not even a customer of them).

I have an old Samsung TS160 that's not currently being used, and I don't remember ever dealing with this issue on that model.  But I like the TS360 over the old box mostly for the fact that it sorts the channels in order of remapped channel numbers (so it goes in order of 4-1, 6-1, 10-1, 12-1 etc)...I think the TS160 sorted by the channels true VHF/UHF frequencies, so I always had to bring up the guide in order to find what channel I wanted to watch.

One other thing I read was about sometimes the box will do quirky things depending on what zipcode was entered into it...so I removed the zipcode and rebooted it to see if it helps...no difference.  I had to actually use a blank DirecTV access card I had from a friend in order to set the box up to say it has a dish, remove the zipcode, then change it back to the OTA setting (no dish).  At least nothing else broke when I did that ;o)

I look forward to some responses...

Milwaukee HDTV Programming / HD local news...summer?
Wednesday Apr 20, 2005, 11:48:47 am
Just wanted to let you guys know that I talked to one of the a/v guys at the Fox 6 studios (my band, Something To Do, was playing live on the morning show today), and asked how far away we are from seeing the local news in HD.  Expecting an answer like "we're far from it", I actually gone one like "we might have it ready by summer".  Also asked the question everyone asked...when will we see full power turned on, and the answer for that was "summer" too.

I have no idea if the cameras they are currently using are set up for HD, as I didn't see any of the symbols I recognized on them (as I see on the events covering the HD sporting events).  So new cameras could easily be one of the holdups.

I know someone asked the forum who they think will be the first local news team to broadcast HD...unless someone else has info from the other stations, sounds like Fox 6 may be coming out on top.

Milwaukee HDTV Technical Issues / Samsung TS-160 for OTA only
Saturday Jan 08, 2005, 07:00:54 pm
Sounds like we all turned to Ebay to start our OTA only trials today, as I saw 2 other people with posts about Hughes set-tops!

I bought a RCA DTC-100 for my projector, and it's fine (I need a better antenna, but it works).  Today I just got a used Samsung TS-160 which I plan on also using for OTA only.  Problem with this one is similar to the Hughes in the other thread, but when I got to tell the TS160 what type of satellite dish I have, it gets mad as there is no access card installed.

Can anyone confirm if the TS-160 from Samsung (or even ANY of the D* samsungs) can get OTA only WITHOUT an access card?

At this point I don't know if that specifically is my problem, or if it's one of the others in the list.  It came FedEx, but with a horrible packing job as a piece of the plastic side came off.  Also, the OK button on the front panel is stuck inside the unit (although I was able to get it back where it goes, and I *THINK* it's good where it is now).  Mine also came WITHOUT a remote, and wouldn't ya know...none of my universals are new enough to pick up on the codes (or maybe the remote sensor is bad in the Samsung).

I found I can get into the service menu by holding MENU and hitting the right arrow on the front of the unit.  In there, I tried using the REBOOT option...no help.  There's a RESET option in the service menu, but that won't do anything without a D* access card.  GRRRRR!!!!!

I guess if anyone can confirm this model, and/or other Samsungs can be used for OTA only WITHOUT an access card, I will then look to getting a remote that could help me.  If I need an access card, I wonder if I can get an old expired one just to make the machine happy something is inserted?  I'm not hooking my phone line up to it (as I have no home phone), so hopefully that has nothing to do with it.

Hopefully I can get some help between football games :)

On/Off Topic Chit-Chat / Duck Tape song
Friday Dec 05, 2003, 10:48:51 am
It's been an exciting day so far, so I wanted to share some news with my extended family here at MKE HDTV.

The band I'm in, Something To Do, has been getting press this morning about winning a national contest.  Duck brand duct tape put on the "Rock About The Roll" songwriting contest to write an original song inspired by duct tape.  Apparently they thought our song was catchy enough to hand over the $2500 prize (sorry, the rest of the guys won't let me buy a new HDTV with it).
You can listen to the song on our website at:

So far we've had reports that Associated Press made the story available on their newswire, and a few people told me they heard local radio stations talking about it, and it's making rounds on all the National Public Radio stations.  We even got a few mentions on this mornings editions of CNN's Headline News!  CBS58 was the only local TV station to contact us about an interview, so we did that last night and they put a 30-second story on the 10pm news yesterday.  So our thanks go out to CBS58...now I have more than just HD Football to be thankful for from them.

Thanks for listening to me rant...

Mike - trumpet
Something To Do
Recording / TWC DVR coming soon!
Friday Mar 28, 2003, 04:46:16 pm
I called TWC today to ask about the possibility of getting rid of my Scientific Atlanta 3100HD and swapping it for one of the new Pioneer HD boxes.  Sounds like I actually got one of the knowledgable guys there, because he was able to rattle off the model# and other info about the box off the top of his head.  He said the Pioneer boxes are extremely hard to get right now, and he's not even sure how much longer they'll even stock them.

The reason being (and of course he started the info with "I really shouldn't be telling you this, but") is that they are getting ready to roll out the regular digital cable boxes with the DVR built in.  No big deal I thought, but then he said in Q3 they will be offering a similar one that works in HD.

At the time I just took the info as good news, but I forgot to ask the ever-important question of whether the HD version will actually RECORD in HD, or if it's basically a HD receiver with a standard definition DVR built in.  I guess only time will tell.

On/Off Topic Chit-Chat / brewtownska's band
Wednesday Feb 19, 2003, 02:15:10 pm
Quote(from skipjack): brewtownska: You wouldn't happen to be an Invaders fan, would you?
It's good to see SOMEONE knows their local music history :)  I'm 24 now, so I spent plenty of my teen years catching their shows.  Some of my favorite shows were when they played Summerfest and the State Fair...and the ironic thing is that this year MY band is supposed to play at Summerfest (we won a contest a few months ago that secured us a spot on the fest this year).  Get ready for the shameless self-promotion...

I know this message is not really part of the topic at hand, so I totally understand if someone ends up moving or deleting it
On/Off Topic Chit-Chat / MTV2 compression levels
Thursday Jan 16, 2003, 04:10:55 pm
I'm a TWC customer, and EVERY time I've gone to watch anything on MTV2, the picture is very blocky because of the compression.  I'm curious if anyone has any experience with this channel on other cable systems or satellite, whether this is how MTV2 sends the signal, or if it's TWC doing added compression to it after the signal is received.  The past few days there have been some live bands on at 8pm, and I'm really getting annoyed with how horrible the picture looks.  Anyone else with any input?