Monday, June 11, 2007

Questions Please

One object of this blog was to answer questions about the DTV transition and its impact on the WWNY/WNYF audience. Thus far, few questions have been I thought I'd solicit some.

You can comment/question on-line to this blog under "post a comment" or direct an e-mail to Any question regarding the DTV transition, DTV, HDTV or WWNY/WNYF is fair game.

More links on DTV:

Transition Update
FCC Gets Tough on TV Set Labeling
Converters Signal New Era for TVs
Will Your TV Suddenly Go Black


Anonymous said...

please address the question of reduction in over the air broadcast range in fringe areas - i understand over the air uhf signal must be strong enough for "all or nothing" dtv reception

Jim Corbin said...

With digital you either get a perfect signal or none at all. Many DTV stations are using UHF frequencies, which are more affected by terrain & weather. The FCC assigned frequencies and power levels that were suppose to replicate a stations analog coverage theoretically, if you got the analog signal you should get the DTV one, even in the fringe areas. Folks may need to check whether their antenna can recieve both VHF & UHF frequencies. WWNY is currently operating on channel 35 but will revert back to channel 7 after 2009....the reason...VHF frequencies are less affected by the terrain & weather and require less power to operate.

Anonymous said...

So far, it looks like many of the signals aren't getting as far in digital. NBC in particular is a bad example of what can go wrong in this region - their closest station is Syracuse and it is on 54 UHF (instead of 3 VHF in analogue). While analogue version used to be just-barely-visible in Kingston if using a huge antenna tower, I'll just have to take their word that DTV 54 even exists. Lower power and/or higher frequencies will not make it past obstacles easily and indeed, DTV is "all or nothing". Unless NBC improves its signal drastically when it moves to UHF 24 at the end of this or finds a local Watertown station to carry their network, I'd say they're done for out here.

I would not envy the position of someone sitting behind a large mountain out somewhere in rural Vermont, wondering whether (converter or no converter) there will be any over-the-air TV at all next year. If it's problematic here, it's a lost cause for an estimated 1.8 million existing analogue TV viewers if estimates on TV Fool are to be believed.

Jim Corbin said...

While the FCC in the 70's recognized channel 3 in Syracuse as a significantly viewed station in the Watertown market, (which helped establish them as an NBC affiliate for the market), even their analog signal into the market is a stretch for many...Their DTV into the market (on either channel) is a real stretch.

For others in our market (NE St Lawrence Co) WPTZ has been an adjacent market NBC they have viewed. I suspect getting their DTV channel into the market may be a stretch as well.

The FCC established power levels etc to (in most cases) replicate the Grade-B contour of the station. Analog signals extend beyond the Grade-B contour and can be viewed (fuzzy & ghosty). Those areas likely will not get a DTV signal.

This is, in part, why WWNY has applied to maximize or extend the range of our DTV channel 7 signal.

Anonymous said...

So perhaps Feb 2009 would be a good time to connect the "rabbit ears" that've been gathering dust (or FM radio signals) since sometime after the 1998 ice storm and see if the (analog, 4:3, 480i) cable TV signal on which WWNY-TV appears sometimes in Kingston can be replaced with 1080i HDTV?

Being able to point a small antenna at WWNY-DT would put an end to a few cable-related issues, ranging from "letterboxing" of the old-style analog signals on new widescreen TV's to some of the annoying signal substitutions that plague cable systems north of the border.