What do you think of your local PBS station?

TonyT

DTVUSA Member
#1
My local PBS in New Mexico is pretty good, I usually try to catch Nightly Business Report and Woldfocus if I have time. Overall I'm pretty happy with their quality of programs which often focuses more on education, like the Destinos: An Introduction to Spanish series they've been showing this week. What I like to think of as functional over some of the stuff on cable networks like TLC which is more geared towards eye candy or what's appealing.
 

Trip

Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member
#2
I wish mine had intelligence. They're running on channel 3 and just spent a good half million dollars on a new channel 3 antenna *headdesk* and are doing a straight center-cut SD simulcast on 15-2.

The PQ is miserable, their scheduling is inconsistent and sometimes senseless, and lately they're having aspect ratio problems too.

- Trip
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#3
Maybe, in the management of PBS affiliates, we can see the impact of not paying station management a good wage. There is an awful lot of wonkiness with our local affiliate.

I'm not talking about some random PBS affiliate. I'm talking about (literally) world-renown WGBH Boston. They give the world This Old House, NOVA, Frontline, The Victory Garden, American Experience ... oh! and going back a bit, they gave the world a little show called The French Chef.

However, that hasn't prevented a comedy of oopsies over the years. For example, they added an HD channel very early on, carrying the PBS HD network feed directly, but the never got around to actually equipping their own operation for HD. Comes time to switch to their own facilities and oopsie! they don't have any HD recording equipment. So for almost a year, their HD channel was presenting everything as a postage stamp! Black bars all around every program, above, below, to the right and to the left. Essentially that converted a 32" diagonal screen into 24" diagonal screen -- leaving 44% of the screen empty. Their explanation was that they didn't have the money. This is despite the fact that they just moved into a big new headquarters building right on the Mass Pike, complete with 5 story high video screen which very effectively distracted drivers on the highway.

That was a really big one, but they do things like this all the time. This coming week they're preempting regular program History Detectives, just about the only original programming on the channel in first run at this time of year. This isn't just a regular preemption like you'd expect with a normal station, when the network is simply not providing a new episode that week. There is a new episode that the network is providing. WGBH is simply not presenting it on their HD channel.

Ooopsie!
 

Eureka

DTVUSA Member
#4
I wish mine had intelligence. They're running on channel 3 and just spent a good half million dollars on a new channel 3 antenna *headdesk* and are doing a straight center-cut SD simulcast on 15-2.

The PQ is miserable, their scheduling is inconsistent and sometimes senseless, and lately they're having aspect ratio problems too.

- Trip
Trip, all of that sounds much too familiar. Total incompetence .

Our state PBS affiliates (Arkansas Educational TV Network) have mostly underpowered VHF DTV stations across the state, making reception difficult at best; impossible for many, especially with indoor antennas or during frequent lightning that visits the region. Time shifting of HD programming for no reason, and often re-showing it as 4:3 SD, stretched to 16:9. They even sometimes show SD 4:3 programming squished down to what looks like 3:3 aspect ratio. How or why they do that is beyond me.

Their donations are way down, and for good reason. The people running it all need to be fired. Thank god I can pick up Ozarks Public TV, in Southern Missouri.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#6
I like the programming on the Gainesville WUFT, but they made some strange decisions on how to split up their bandwidth. They tried to keep as much as possible for their bandwidth for the HD channel but not really enough. So it goes into blocks if you watch it on an LCD if too much on the screen moves at once, like a field of wheat in the wind. 14.35 mbsp where they need to be up at 15.5 if they want to run 1080i.

Then they chop PBS World down to 1.25, that is just a picture of blocks on LCD and a blurry mess on a CECB into a tube TV.

=======

WCJT to be does a much better job. They struck a much better comprimise. They only use 720p for their main channel at 10 mbps, but they give their subchannels more room in the order of 2 to 2.5 mbps. That little bit of difference makes a huge difference.

Their content is pretty much the same. PBS main feed, Create, World, FKN, Florida Channel.

In Florida at least in the engineering part, getting a job with a PBS station is the best pay and benefits.
 

Trip

Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member
#7
Trip, all of that sounds much too familiar. Total incompetence .

Our state PBS affiliates (Arkansas Educational TV Network)
Enough said. I know plenty of people in Arkansas and they complain endlessly about it. Unfortunately, WBRA is worse because they're on low-VHF, but better because they would have built whatever channel the FCC gave them.

GPB did the same thing with regard to VHF signals.

- Trip
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#8
I don't mind mine so much here in LA. PQ wise and program wise. I just don't watch it that often because I'm too busy watching stuff blow up on TLC's shows. :p
 

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