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A Tale of Two Towers

Discussion in 'Local Reception' started by Nick, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. Nov 2, 2009 #1 of 12

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    Alaska station KUAC makes unusual DTV switch - goes from UHF to VHF

    From B&C
    More @ Broadcasting & Cable.com
  2. Nov 2, 2009 #2 of 12

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

    Nov 20, 2004
    If it is an "unusual switch", it would only be so because I think most of the VHF highband channels chose to use VHF highband as their final channel, making fewer available for other stations to choose.

    At one time, the conventional wisdom was that VHF highband (channels 7-13) was the best channel group to be used because they bent over hills better than UHF and used less electricity for their transmitters, but there was so much less impulse interference than there was in the lowband (2-6). What many were surprised to learn was that the impluse speckles that had gone unnoticed in analog VHF high become very noticable when they cause a one second or more frame disruption. Also, I think most broadcasters did underestimate just how many people would be using set top antennas rather than rooftop, but it is often impractical for a viewer to have a 30" wide antenna with a 4 foot boom on top of his TV.

    From the linked article:

  3. Nov 3, 2009 #3 of 12

    n3ntj Hall Of Fame

    Dec 18, 2006
    Too bad WPVI in Philly can't go back to UHF... I haven't been able to watch them since June 12th when they left UHF to go back to channel 6. Even with the power increase the FCC approved, many of us near Philly still can't get that station.
  4. Nov 5, 2009 #4 of 12
    Tower Guy

    Tower Guy Godfather

    Jul 27, 2005
    Especially when they have an antenna in the attic and are located in the adjacent TV market.
  5. Nov 8, 2009 #5 of 12

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

    Aug 16, 2006
    TowerGuy - what do you mean by "in the attic"?

    I'm still miffed at 'PVI for choosing VHF-Lo
  6. Nov 9, 2009 #6 of 12
    Tower Guy

    Tower Guy Godfather

    Jul 27, 2005
    Those who have trouble with 'PVI usually have a compromised antenna. It's either in a poor location or the wrong type of antenna.

    n3ntj has his channel 6 antenna in the attic. That's not 'PVI's fault.
  7. n3ntj

    n3ntj Hall Of Fame

    Dec 18, 2006
    I actually did try the antenna first outside (before I rebuilt it in the attic) and still couldn't get WPVI. I am within WPVI's service territory according to the FCC data.
  8. xcellu8

    xcellu8 New Member

    Nov 18, 2009
    I heard some DTV stations cut their power by over 90%, making reception nearly impossible.

  9. Jim5506

    Jim5506 Hall Of Fame

    Jun 7, 2004
    If they moved from UHF to VHF, the propagation of VHF is so much better that the FCC limits them to less than 200kw, whereas some UHF stations were flaming 5,000kw.

    Most reception problems are a factor of poor antenna, poor location and poor installation.
  10. Jerry Springer

    Jerry Springer Mentor

    Jun 24, 2009
    In most for instances, the station that moved from UHF to VHF - were a Fox affiliate and did not have the deep pockets such as a mainstream corporation such as ABC, NBC, CBS.

    If you was to use Great Britain as a model, you would see that for the most part, they only need one antenna on their roof. With the proper method for direction - a Rotor, they can watch all the channel available.

    When they do need amplification to receive as many Free View channels as possible, they use a highly sensitive amplifier to receive their signals with little problem from over load due to the fact that they do not have to have a VHF amplifier and FM radio does not interfere with their reception.

    On a DX email the other day, I told a station congratulations for their signal making it 120 miles north in Appalachia - West Virginia to Pennsylvania through the mountains.

    We talked a little and when I offered assistance - if they needed any tech support they got real quiet. I didn't know why until later in the day when a family member told me that they owed his company money and that they told him that they would like to pay their bill - since it was 90 days over due, but that their station was hemorrhaging $100,000 a month and they did not know how much longer they would be able to keep the lights on.

    This is a small 10kw station on channel 5.

    Now you tell me, when the car dealers and the grocery stores and the furniture stores all stops advertising how you can pay the electric bill when you have a 5,000 KW station that is using $18,000 a hour of electricity?

    Many stations are going to have to either move down to the VHF where electricity costs are less or go out of business. OBAMA's plan to save this country is not working. The people who had jobs - either are hanging on by a thread or are out of work or are underemployed and living beyond their means.

    With many stores starting their Christmas season early this year and many store telling us that they are going to try to do more with less and are not going to hire seasonal help to get them through the Christmas season, many familys are going to have a very green Christmas this year. It's all a trickle down, like stepping on a butterfly 1000 years ago and changing the history of the world.
  11. Jerry Springer

    Jerry Springer Mentor

    Jun 24, 2009
    The DTV transition could not have come at a worse time in history.

    With the country in a recession and money tight and advertising dollars drying up and broadcasters having to spend trillions of dollars to put up new transmitters and antenna's and consumers having to spend Billions of dollars on new televisions or converter boxes.

    If the government would have left the UHF band alone and just took away the VHF - we would not have all the reception problems we have today.

    But just like others has said on this post, when consumers refuse to listen to good advice and trys to put their antenna in the attic, because they do not want a big, ugly, antenna on their roof. Status symbol of the poor, and when they do not want to properly point their antenna in the right direction (rotor), the will find that they will have more problems then they can solve with a Ebay or Walmart $50 amplified antenna.

    It is better to use one really good antenna and some amplification and point it in the right direction if needed to receive all your signals, then to put up 3 antenna's and deal with multipath and poor reception. Or use a small antenna and then try to amplify the signal to make up for the poor reception of the small antenna.

    People do not realize that the antenna looks really big down on the ground, but doesn't look so bad, once it is 10 feet above the roof.

    Some people just does not want to spend the money. They understood how the VHF analog worked, but do not understand how the digital UHF works and all they want is a set of rabbit ears antenna on top of their television and when it does not work, they are calling the stations and demanding that they turn up the power so that they think that the signal will travel further and will require less of a antenna to receive it.
  12. DF Wavelength

    DF Wavelength Mentor

    Apr 29, 2009
    Here in Denver the local ABC & NBC affiliates moved back into the VHF High Band during the switch in June. They completed their transition overnight.

    The VHF channels are transmitting at only 45 kW, while all the UHFs are set to 1000kW.

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