Friday, March 7, 2008


As I have previously reported WWNY has had some issues with our final DTV channel assignment. A process that did not allow us to amend our application to regain lost audience until just recently has frustrated us. We were then fearful that delays in receiving timely approval could impact our ability to meet the DTV 2009 deadline or serve our entire audience.

Yesterday the FCC positively acted on our Petition to Reconsider our assignment. We now must await International Coordination with Canada, but have been assured by the FCC that this will occur.

We have been working towards this approval for 4 years and thanks to support and assistance from the FCC staff and our Congressional leaders, Senator Clinton and Congressman McHugh, we appear to be set for 2009.


Anonymous said...

Great Blog, Jim. Just happened upon it today.
I have some comments and/or questions:

a) You said that channel 35 was limited to 1000kW maximum, I think you actually mean 1000W? 1 million watts would cost an awful lot to run.
b) Converter boxes - - another way to get a converter is to buy a used DirecTv HD reciever (an early model). You don't need a subscription to use it and it will pick up ATSC digital as well as analog. Of course it wants you to insert a card at first, but if you ignore the message, it gives up after a while and works fine. When I first got a 37" LCD TV, I did precisely that and watched local channels that way for six months or so, before I upgraded to a DirecTv HD subscription.

Jim Corbin said...

No, I meant 1000Kw. It has cost us a lot of money to operate on channel 35....that is in part why we will go back to channel requires much less power.

To replicate the full market it would have actually required more than 1000Kw...that is the cap I spoke of. Between the frequency, power cap, and directional pattern we would have lost too much audience.

Sure a used Direct TV box with ATSC tuner would work, as would any of the older ATSC settop boxes...and they'd give users of HDTV monitors access to true HD broadcasts. The converter box program provides a new, low-cost option to analog users, it does not have HD capabilities.

W said...

To be fair, 1MW ERP probably only involved 100kW or less of transmitter output. Still a lot more than the handfull of kW needed for channel 7.

Jim, earlier you posted that DTV reception seems to be better than predicted. Do you think that channel 7 at 15.5kW omnidirectional will hit Ottawa better than's Longley-Rice F(99,99) modeller predicts?

Thanks for maintaining this informative blog.

Jim Corbin said...

The 1000Kw ERP on channel 35 requires an input of 36Kw from the transmitter.

To generate the 15.5Kw on channel 7 we anticiapte needing you can see the electricity savings should be great. VHF signals are less affected by terrain, weather we'd anticipate better reception everywhere. I'm not sure the post-transition info is correct, as the FCC just revised the table.

W said...

Thanks Jim.

The current TV Fool prediction for channel 7 post-transition probably uses the antenna pattern with the null to the north, as it doesn't even show up in the signal locator. (It will only show stations with at least -130 dBm in the air.)

The TVFool signal locator for current ch 7 analog predicts -119 dBm at my location in Central Nepean. (Some people say that the model is up to 10-20dB pessimistic, so say -99 to -119 dBm). Assuming ch 7 digital uses the same antenna for digital, that would be about 13 dB less, so -112 to -132dBm. (Again, since TVFool would calculate the 132dBm figure, it won't show up, even with the new FCC data.)

Since I'm not likely to find a VHF-High antenna with more than 10dBd gain, it looks iffy for reliable reception in Ottawa. This is all based on F(99,99) Longley-Rice, so that's why I was asking how much better real-life reception is than the L-R models.

Jim Corbin said...

My comment that the signal appears to broadcast further than predicted was all seat of the pants testing of our original low-powered DTV signal on 35 Vs the Longley-Rice map of that power level. We have heard this from others as well. As our Director of RF Engineering says...we won't know what's going to happen in the real world on channel 7 until we switch.

Anonymous said...

In Nepean? 35 is co-channel to TQS Montréal and adjacent-channel to Hull, so a move to 7 may improve things. Still, Nepean is a bit of a stretch - it's far enough overland that there are plenty of frequencies in use for local Ottawa-Hull stations (9, 24, 25) on which Watertown viewers would normally see not a blank screen but a Syracuse channel - maybe even one using WWNY's former callsign: WCNY-TV.