Friday, March 28, 2008

Antennas

Over-the-air reception requires the use of an antenna. As is the case with analog reception, an outdoor antenna is also the best choice for DTV. If you are currently using an indoor set of "rabbit-ears", they may work just fine with DTV.

Currently WWNY-DT's DTV signal is broadcast on the UHF frequency of channel 35. In February 2009 when analog is turned off, WWNY will revert back to the VHF frequency of channel 7. Our plans are for WNYF FOX-28 to assume the channel 35 UHF frequency for it digital broadcasts in HDTV. (I have outlined this is previous posts.) The other Watertown broadcasters are and will continue to broadcast on UHF frequencies.

I mention all this because if you are investing in an antenna for DTV over-the-air reception I encourage you to get a combo VHF/UHF capable antenna. Plan for the day WWNY-DT broadcasts on VHF channel 7.

To assist you with antenna purchases you might visit http://www.antennaweb.org/. While not endorsing a particular brand, this site is also a very helpful http://ota.winegarddirect.com/.

New article on antenna reception.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will WNYF remain on the sub-carrier (Channel 7.2) after the transition?

Jim Corbin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Corbin said...

Yes. WNYF's DTV signal on channel 35 will have a better range than its analog signal on channel 28 (from Watertown), but it still won't be as good as the full-powered coverage of WWNY-DT. To serve areas outside of that channel 35 range we will keep WNYF 7.2 on WWNY-DT's signal.

W said...

Are there plans to convert ch 28 in Masena to digital? At that time, will it also increase it ERP parameters to 15kW, or will it just replicate the current analog coverage?

Jim Corbin said...

Converting WNYF-LP in Massena to DTV is still up in the air. We do wish to make the change. Location, power levels, how we get the signal from WNYF-CA, Watertown to retransmit on WNYF-LP have not been determined.

It is likely WNYF-LP will "flashcut" from analog to DTV operations on channel 28.

CarlB said...

I'm in Kingston, and have been using a small amplified outdoor antenna and an ATSC DVD recorder to receive WWNY-DT. The antenna is currently on a second-floor balcony so any obstacles (such as trees or adjacent buildings) do cause problems with fading, reflections and attenuation.

The analogue signal is stable with a small amount of snow; the digital signal is perfect when it works but occasionally does show some image freezing or pixelation.

Indeed, DTV is all or nothing. I'm watching what happens closely; the small "ministate" semi-directional antennas do work reasonably well on 7-UHF but quite poorly on 2-6 (they're too small to do the job if a half-wavelength is eight feet) so likely the picture will improve. Pity there are no converters for sale in Kingston...

Anonymous said...

One note regarding the use of signal amplifiers; some do tend to overload on strong signals. This usually isn't an issue, but if attempting to receive UHF 35 while in the shadow of the Kingston station it is something to be aware of. Channel 35 is in frequency a third multiple of channel 11 so some poorly-designed amplifiers may overload in such a way as to display a degraded copy of the analog 11 signal on 35.

Best to use as much amplification as you need, but no more, to avoid interference. An amplifier with adjustable gain (so that it may be reduced as needed) is advisable.

Anonymous said...

Should be interesting to see what happens to this once the Queen's U. kids get their hands on it and try to pick up anything in the student ghetto.

A fair number of indoor antennas may be in use (even at forty miles distance from Watertown) as these are mostly rental properties that sit vacant or near-vacant for a third of the year. There might be nowhere suitable to put a proper directional outdoor antenna.

The antennas in the local computer store windows being UHF-only might also prove troublesome, as in some form channels like six, seven and eleven will be with us in VHF for quite a while yet.

Lee said...

I am new to this blog. I have moved to Brasher Falls, on the far eastern end of Jefferson County. I have had DirecTV in my old home and understand that Fox is not available in Jefferson County. Will WNYF have a digital signal, presumably in Massena, that will be strong enough to pick up via outside antenna?

Jim Corbin said...

WNYF has a Contrustion Permit to build a digital station in Watertown. Once complete it will serve most of Jefferson and a good portion of Lewis County.

We are investigating potential sites in St Lawrence County for a DTV replace of the Massena location. This is in the preliminary stage.

Please keep in mind both these stations are low-powered which do not have a Federal mandate to convert to DTV. Also, the Federal mandate to DTV does not mandate that the DTV signal be in HDTV.

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