Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Watertown Broadcasters Embrace DTV

Many folks, including myself, think free over-the-air (OTA) broadcasting may experience a renaissance. After all, our world is all about being digital and wireless. Being digital brings better pictures, sound and multicast channels...and all these free services are available without your TV set being tied to a wire (cable, satellite or phone/telco service) which you pay for. Some television purists also content that OTA HDTV broadcasts provide a better picture than HDTV broadcasts on cable or satellite.

In 1954 when WWNY-TV started broadcasting it was the only OTA broadcast program service available in the "Watertown DMA". (DMA is a Nielsen ratings term for the North Country television market, which encompasses Jefferson, Lewis & St Lawrence Counties.) In the 70's Public TV began broadcasting...in the 80's WWTI, an ABC affiliate was added...in 2001 WWNY added FOX to the market on WNYF FOX-28.

Today the Watertown DMA is served by these three groups ... all offering one program service in HDTV and additional standard definition (SD) multicast channels...a total of 7 free OTA DTV broadcast channels.

WWNY-DT offers CBS in HDTV and the programming of FOX in SD, we've been offering this digital service since 2002. WWTI offers ABC programming in HDTV and SD programming of the CW. WPBS offers two SD channels and one HDTV channel.

Seven free channels of ghost & static-free programming...the Watertown broadcasters have truly embraced DTV...isn't it time you do too?

4 comments:

CarlB said...

So Watertown has three digital TV stations, and Ottawa-Hull has two.

Pity you can't just pack up the channel 35 transmitter after your return to 7 next year, move the equipment to Ogdensburg, and try to hit a 100km radius (Massena, Potsdam-Ogdensburg, Ottawa-Hull, Kingston-Watertown) as outside Watertown itself this does seem to be an underserved area for DTV at the moment.

Jim Corbin said...

WNYF-CA our FOX affiliate in Watertown has made application for the channel 35 frequency. It will be used to deliver FOX in HDTV to the Watertown market, albeit at a lower level than current channel 35 WWNY operations, as it still will remain an LPTV station.

We do hope to convert WNYF-LP channel 28 in Massena to DTV. Depending on power levels etc this may help that area.

Border stations require International coordination, whose goal isn't always to allow border stations signals into the adjacent country.

Anonymous said...

Should be interesting to see what happens... WWNY is returning to 7, WPBS received a construction permit to increase digital power from 40kW to 60kW and WWTI finally will no longer be co-channel to Rochester?

*fingers crossed* that this all works out after so much time, effort and money has been wagered on DTV

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