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Sub-Channel/Fractional TV Channel Support

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by denkbar, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. denkbar

    denkbar Mentor

    Nov 10, 2005
    On of the local Los Angeles-area local channels (KSCI Ch 18) is showing info ads saying that after the forthcoming converstion to digital channels, they will sub-divide/fractionalize Ch 18 into sub-channels - 18.1, 18.2, 18.3, .... -Ch 18 has a lot of foreign language shows, and we are interested in 18.2 - Japanese.

    Talked to Dish tech support today and the CSR says we should have no problem viewing the sub-channels channels when they make the switch. That doesn't sound right to me. For example, digital FM is fractionalized in this manner, and it requires a special receiver to hear the sub-channels. Seems to me that "sub-channel" TV would require something similar.

    Does anyone have any information on this? - Thanks
  2. TvilleBee

    TvilleBee AllStar

    Feb 11, 2007
    If you already get ch 18.1 OTA, you will still get it. They are "virtual" channels broadcast digitally on the same carrier. My local PBS has 28.1, 28.2, 28.3 and used to have up to 28.5. All came in great on the antenna... But if you get ch 18.1 via Dish, you'll need the antenna to get the others, don't look for Dish or Direct to start carrying subs...
  3. Ron Barry

    Ron Barry 622 Tips & Trick Keeper

    Dec 10, 2002
    To expand on TvilleBee. I am in SoCal and have OTA. I get all the subchannels and a lot of them are complete with Guide Information. I actually thought 18 already had subchannels but I could be wrong.

    As TvilleBee stated, don't expect sub-channels to appear through the SAT. Not worth the bandwidth in my opinion.
  4. denkbar

    denkbar Mentor

    Nov 10, 2005
    Thank you both for the replies. I was afraid the tech support person was mistaken. And, it makes sense that satellite vendors aren't able to support sub-channels.

    Ron, 18 may already have subs. I don't have an OTA, so can't tell. But, from they way their spots are presented, it sounds like it will happen when they go digital in February. 18-1 Korean, 18-2 Japanese, 18.3 .....

    Means I'll need to get an antenna (my tv has digital, so won't need a conversion box). Trouble is, we're in a hilly area, and our city (Diamond Bar) has ghosts on most of the channels.
  5. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Apr 17, 2003
    If you have a ViP series receiver you will have to rescan or add the channels when they are available OTA. If you don't have a ViP receiver you may be able to receive the channels via a converter box (assuming you can receive the main 18.1 digital channel clearly).

    And while I typed you replied! ... You're on the right path. Antenna time!
  6. Ron Barry

    Ron Barry 622 Tips & Trick Keeper

    Dec 10, 2002
    I would suggest going to the HD local forums at our sister site AVSForum. Find your DMA and then search for your area and see what people are doing. Next walk around and see if you can find any neighbors that appear to have something working and ask them what they are using. I would suggest getting a directionaly type antenna.
  7. rasheed

    rasheed Godfather

    Sep 12, 2005
    Even with a small internal antenna it shouldn't be too hard to get LA18's sub channels. One of them appears to be a Korean shopping network. I get them fine via antenna on my VIP boxes and with guide data as previously mentioned.

    I have no clue if Dish will ever carry these subchannels. Back in the day before must carry, I remember it was hard to get KSCI to be even carried for its multilingual programming by either satellite or cable carriers.

  8. Michael P

    Michael P Hall Of Fame

    Oct 27, 2004
    If your ch 18 is a full power station you should have noproblem scanning in the OTA signal.

    I get one out-of-market OTA station from 57 miles away with an indoor antenna! (it helps that I'm on high ground and there are no obstructons in the direction of the transmitter, and that transmitter is on a very tall tower with lots of power). BTW it's a CBS station with a FOX LPTV station on a subchannel. I call it the "poor-man's NFL Sunday Ticket whenever they carry different games than what is shown locally :)
  9. jsk

    jsk Icon

    Dec 27, 2006
    Fallston, MD
    Go to antennaweb.org and type in your address. That might give you a better idea if you can recieve the station over the air or if you might need to get a better antenna.

    What E* reciever do you have? Most of the HD receivers also have an over the air tuner that can recieve it and it will be integrated into the program guide.

    If not, if your TV has a SDTV, EDTV, HDTV, or DTV logo on it then you can use your TV's tuner.

    If that won't work for you, then you can buy a converter box such as the TR-40 or DTV Pal. The nice thing about those converter boxes is that they have the same look and feel as most of the E* receivers (see http://www.dtvpal.com/). Also, you can get a $40 coupon from the government that will cover most (or all) of the costs (the coupon won't work for the DTVPal DVR). Since there is currently high demand for these coupons, it may take a while to get one (and they may need to get more $$ from congress). See https://www.dtv2009.gov/ for more information.

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