FastPipe Media » HDTV in Oklahoma

Guess KFOR Didn’t Get the Memo

Who knows if KFOR would have flipped the switch if the weather hadn’t been bad, but it’s distressing that it couldn’t at least have given us a taste of NBC News’ new HD broadcast instead of that stupid weather map… 🙁

Update: They figured it out. The stories have “wings” now and the anchor is in front of what look like widescreen flowing curtains. 🙂

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  1. nsu2112
    Posted March 26, 2007 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Guess KJRH Tulsa didn’t either (no weatherbugs to blame). Maybe NBC didn’t get the memo they were going HD.

  2. mdeatherage
    Posted March 26, 2007 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Not on my broadcast – the maps were up until the 5:50 PM segment, and although they were gone for a second, they returned at 5:53 PM. See my comments in the “NBC News in HD” thread.

  3. Bobarino
    Posted March 26, 2007 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Attention KOCO, KWTV: Here is Your chance to steal some marketshare! As soon as you get HD newsfeeds, pass them on, PLEASE.

    And to think, I was almost ready to start watching news on KFOR until I saw them butcher this!

  4. Posted March 26, 2007 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    It only lasted maybe three or four minutes and then when they came back from the next map it was SD again. They only barely figured out the maps because it seemed like they would come on right at the end of each segment before they went to commercials. Sheesh!

  5. Bobarino
    Posted March 27, 2007 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Well maybe they did figure it out after all. They left it in HD tonight and I have to say that the news in HD(some of it) is very good indeed. I noticed the white house lawn shot with the NBC news correspondent was in HD also so I guess we should expect more HD coverage from the white house.

  6. doublej
    Posted March 27, 2007 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    I caught a little bit of it on KJRH in Tulsa tonight and it did look very good.

  7. NormInNorman
    Posted March 28, 2007 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    Here is a radical idea, so bear with me. It’s so radical that I think I’ll type it slow because I don’t think it’s possible for anyone but me to come up with this idea much less understand it. Here it goes:

    During a storm, let’s have…
    Main Channel – your show in HD
    Main Channel – weather scroll during commercials
    Weather Sub Channel – weather information

    Now bear with me here because I’m about to give you a scenario. Let’s say you are watching your favorite show in HD. Got it? Good. Ok. This is where it gets a bit tricky. When your favorite show goes to commercial, you see the weather scroll or map overlay. That way you the viewer has up to the minute information. Are you still with me? You see, you DIDN’T have the information. But now you do. Let that settle in your mind for a second before moving on.

    I know I’m going to lose some of you on this part, and I hesitate to continue, but I’m going to trudge along anyway. Let’s say the weather scroll says something about a tornado two blocks from your house and you are about to die. In fact, they show your picture on the screen and it’s captioned “Soon to be recently deceased.” That’s your (the viewer’s) cue to switch to the WEATHER sub channel. It’s OK – take your time to digest this scenario. I understand how difficult it is to comprehend. So you change to the WEATHER sub channel. While watching the WEATHER sub channel, you get up to the second information about not only the WEATHER but also how long you have to live. Once the tornado skips over your house, destroying your neighbor’s house, his entire family and his pets, you then switch back to the Main channel and enjoy the rest of Dancing with the Stars in HD.

    I know I just blew some of your minds. I promise though that if you let it sink in it will all make sense.

    Just a recap, (for those that didn’t get it the first time):
    You – watch show in HD
    You – see weather map
    You – change to weather sub channel
    Your neighbor – dies
    You – continue watching show in HD
    You = Happy

    I’ll try to check back on this thread later to answer any questions you might have.



  8. docbob
    Posted March 28, 2007 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    Norman, your idea has merit but you forgot one thing. Not every one has HDTV. The only reason I have a way to look at it at all is a USB dongle on my computer laptop that runs off of a small antenna. When all the standard def TV stations go black, then it will make more sense.

    Since the stations do not all have Hi-Def equipment, and they are required by FCC law to carry the storm announcements for their coverage area, they are between a rock and a hard place. They have to follow the law, but they cannot broadcast in HD and then people who spent the money to get the HD complain. Yes they need to upgrade the equipment, but I cannot afford to upgrade my TV, so I understand.

    When we had the ice storm I wanted to watch the Patriots play in HD on my laptop. I had to put up with SD. And it was OK with me (not really but I understood why).

    Doc Bob

  9. ggore
    Posted March 28, 2007 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    NorminNorman has a point, but only if everyone has a newer TV set. I have people on my cable system that are still using sets that are 25 years old! That option isn’t open to them.

    Gary England in his latest weather promos hits the nail on the head: “Sometimes a little old-fashioned Oklahoma common sense makes for better information (sic)” Garden-variety storms/showers are just that, they don’t threaten anyone anywhere. Channel 4 has a “blood & guts leads” news philosophy, and Mike Morgan, who can see a wall cloud in any July puffy cloud and predicts 70% chance of storms when every other station has 30%.

    There were little showers everywhere yesterday (Tuesday) and there Morgan was, saying that their entire nework of storm spotters and helicopters were out “tracking them very carefully for you”. That’s fine but there was NOTHING that was even remotely threatening at all. That’s just scare tactics, pure & simple. If a storm is doing damage or harming people anywhere I don’t mind the inconvenience of warnings, but if they aren’t, just take 15 seconds of a commercial break to tell me that and get back to your normal programming.

    They key is for the stations to get the equipment to superimpose their weather graphics onto their HD broadcast. They’ve been broadcasting DT for 2 years now, yet for some reason they haven’t done this. Other stations in other markets have this ability, so the equipment is out there and available. They just need to do it!

  10. mdeatherage
    Posted March 28, 2007 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    they are required by FCC law to carry the storm announcements for their coverage area

    Is there any evidence this is true? I heard that one of the stations was telling callers this over the phone a few years ago, and that channel 6 in Tulsa recently used it as an excuse to keep “school closings” up (and no HDTV) all night when channel 9 in OKC – owned by the same company – did not and kept the HD signal going.

    Stations like 14 and 62 in OKC don’t even have weather departments, but they have FCC licenses. Until Sinclair bought channel 34, they never had weather maps up or warning announcements, and they stayed on the air.

    I don’t have any rational reason to believe this “FCC requirement” thing is true. It sounds more like what local TV stations tell customers when the stations are caught doing the wrong thing and they want to get the viewers to stop complaining ASAP, the “go away kid, you bother me, leave this to the pros” brush-off.

    So – is there *any* evidence the FCC forces local stations to put weather information on-screen?

  11. doublej
    Posted March 28, 2007 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Amazingly channel 6 did it during the NFL playoffs. Saying it was an FCC rule they had to have the weather info on the main channel yet Fox23 had shown and was still showing the NFC playoff game in hd and breaking in during commercials for the alerts,while Travis Meyer was telling KOTV viewers that rule. The Tulsa World was all over it the next day and Griffin said their attorneys had told them it was their interpretation that the alerts had to be on the main channel. It was all about money, Griffin didn’t want to have to repay the money for the commercials if they broke in during them instead dropping to sd and keeping the scroll at the bottom. If it is so important then why do they alerts magically disappear when the commercials start and reappear after they are over?

  12. docbob
    Posted March 28, 2007 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Well, it is a 50-50 deal I think. According to stations have to broadcast all EAS requests. But from other places on the FCC site I see that it is voluntary. From the link that I gave you I could see that the law could be taken one way (like 6 did here in Tulsa). If you have to do all EAS warnings, then it is logical that if one came in from the NWS they would have to carry it. Would they have to do it forever, I do not think so. A reasonable amount of time would be the time that the warning is broadcast. After that it would be at the discretion of the channel I think.

    So while the FCC does not from what I could search at their site, it infers it in some places.
    Still, until all have HD access I can see the reasons for keeping it on the main channel till crisis is over.

    I take back my statement that FCC requires it.

  13. Bobarino
    Posted March 28, 2007 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    KFOR is at it again!

    Looks like the station engineer went home for the night and Mike Morgan got his hands on the switches.

    9 minutes into the newscast he switched back to SD, threw a tornado warning map until the next commercial, turned it off for the commercial, and then left it in SD with no map or anything.

    I guess I’ll give up and just go back to watching ABC news instead.

  14. zenithtv
    Posted March 28, 2007 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Or watch kten HD channel 10-1 HD tonight!!

  15. nocaster
    Posted March 29, 2007 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Just to add to the FCC claim…

    Last night KOCO had weather maps on their analog channel while KOCO-DT was showing Lost in full HD with no weather map.

    I don’t understand why KFOR-DT can’t do the same thing. Anyone viewing HD content from the local stations already knows there are two sources for viewing the channel; one digital and one analog. Why not just let the DTV channel show programming as it is intended and leave all the weather stuff on the analog.

    If KFOR needs to purchase additional equipment to make this work then too bad…just do it. There will be thousands of people who will need to purchase additional equipment in 2009 to view any broadcast TV whether they want to or not.

  16. MWB
    Posted March 29, 2007 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Ah. . . the joys of watching NBC through KFOR in the Oklahoma springtime. I had almost forgotten.

    Can’t wait for the Office marathon tonight! Five episodes, two-and-a-half hours, all window-boxed in SD, with a giant weather map covering up a chunk of what little is left of the actual picture. Gonna be a good time.

    Thanks, KFOR.

  17. MWB
    Posted March 29, 2007 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    . . .and the whole “will the Office marathon be aired in HD?” question is rendered moot, as KFOR has decided to forgo NBC’s programming entirely, opting instead to cover the aftermath of a small tornado which touched down over three hours ago.

    Meanwhile, the three other “big” stations are carrying the programming their networks intended.

    What I wouldn’t give for The Office to be carried by some other network. . .

  18. mdeatherage
    Posted March 30, 2007 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    Oh, c’mon. You knew that’d happen with all five of the episodes being reruns. What’s more important – NBC’s top-rated comedy, or the fourth hour of “hey, there was a storm here!” from 63rd and Sara Road?

  19. MWB
    Posted March 30, 2007 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    That’s a good point, and on that note, I was happy to see that the ’74 El Camino which, with nary a scratch, survived the tornado that obliterated everything else around it, was still miraculously unscathed over three hours later. Thank God for Cherokee Ballard keeping everybody apprised–the wait in between her stories was agonizing.

    So, for the record, KFOR ran their coverage from 7:00 to 7:30, and then went to the Office marathon (already in progress). Of course, it was in window-boxed SD, with the weather map–at least for most of the next couple of episodes. The best part was when they finally took down the weather map, but left everything in SD–where it stayed for the rest of the night’s programming, without any weather map up at all–and not just for prime time, but also for NBC’s late-night programming.

    This is gonna be a fun next couple of months.

    Will somebody please check on the monkey over at KFOR?

  20. Posted March 30, 2007 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I recorded CSI and Shark from 8 p.m. ’til 10 p.m. Was that Earl Hickey’s El Camino, you know the “My Name is Earl” dude? I would have hated to see his ride get trashed… 🙂

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