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I live in Bucks County, PA (Newtown PA to be exact) which is about 60 miles south of NYC. MANY of my neighbors including myself travel to NYC for work on a daily basis. We would all benefits from having some local NYC channels (FOX, ABC, WPIX, WWOR, etc.) so we are aware of any travel delays, police activity, weather related transit delays, etc. However, we only get Philadelphia channels (Philly is about 30 miles south of us). Many counties adjacent to us (which are just 10 minutes away such as mercer county, NJ which includes Princeton and Trenton) get both Philly and NYC channels as both as on the significantly viewed list. I am wondering if anyone in Bucks County was successful in getting NYC local channels added/ included in their cable or satellite package. Alternatively, I am wondering if anyone would be interested in getting these added and maybe together, we can make it happen. Just some additional comments/ questions from my end:

1. Due to the proximately of NYC and the fact that counties just 5 miles away get NYC channels, we are physically able to get it.

2. I hear there is something about getting "waivers" but not sure how that would work since we do get local Philly channels from our providers.

3. I also heard about the "significantly viewed list" but not sure if this rule only applies to satellite companies or cable as well. Can cable companies provide any channels available to them and if so, how do I convince them? I currently have Verizon.

Anyone help or guidance would be appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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For DirecTV, waviers only really work for areas where locals aren't carried or you have line of site issues and your locals are on 119 (which doesn't apply for you since the Philly locals are on the main 101 satellite). They can try requesting a wavier anyway, but the odds are it will be quickly denied.

No NYC channels are on the significantly viewed list for Bucks county, so it looks like you're out of luck with satellite. It's usually only bordering counties of a DMA that have neighboring locals on the significantly viewed list, the closer you get to the center of the DMA the less likely you are to have them on the list. Cable has some more freedom to carry stations not on the list, but then syndex comes into play where if your locals request it, all the programming they air has to be blacked out on the other station. Here in Monroe county it got so bad with WPIX, who's not on the list, that the cable company dropped it entirely.
 

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Below is the list for significantly viewed for Bucks County. I am looking into this a little more to see if there are any other options. Just for clarification, the people you refer to who get both are they DirecTV customers or Cable customers of some sort?

Bucks
KYW-TV, 3, Philadelphia, PA
WPVI-TV, 6, Philadelphia, PA (formerly WFIL)
WCAU, 10, Philadelphia, PA
WPHL-TV, 17, Philadelphia, PA
WTXF-TV, 29, Philadelphia, PA (formerly WTAF)
WGTW, 48, Phhiladelphia, PA (formerly WKBS-TV)
+WPSG, 57, Philadelphia, PA (formerly WGBS)
 

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Here is a little more on options. If you were to buy a large enough antenna, it looks like you could get some of the NYC channels for free. I could recommend an antenna as well if interested. DirecTV makes a device called an AM21 that allows you to plug your antenna directly into it and then plug that into your DirecTV DVR. It allows you to add those stations into the guide data and to record off those channels as well just like normal. The up font cost would be a little bit but in the end once it was paid for, you would never have to pay for the channels so its no a bad option. The address below will take you to the results of this search. What can make the search results better would be if you use your specific address and also if you can put the antenna up higher as well. I am still looking into this but let me know if this is something you are interested in.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d513436d298f61c
 

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joshjr said:
Below is the list for significantly viewed for Bucks County. I am looking into this a little more to see if there are any other options. Just for clarification, the people you refer to who get both are they DirecTV customers or Cable customers of some sort?
Where he lives none of the cable companies carry NYC locals (it doesn't help that the local cable company is Comcast which was notorious for dropping any neighboring locals the moment they acquire a system). It's the county over in Mercer County, NJ where the local Cablevision systems have NYC locals in addition to the Philly locals.
 

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joshjr said:
Here is a little more on options. If you were to buy a large enough antenna, it looks like you could get some of the NYC channels for free. I could recommend an antenna as well if interested. DirecTV makes a device called an AM21 that allows you to plug your antenna directly into it and then plug that into your DirecTV DVR. It allows you to add those stations into the guide data and to record off those channels as well just like normal. The up font cost would be a little bit but in the end once it was paid for, you would never have to pay for the channels so its no a bad option. The address below will take you to the results of this search. What can make the search results better would be if you use your specific address and also if you can put the antenna up higher as well. I am still looking into this but let me know if this is something you are interested in.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d513436d298f61c
This is your best bet... like Josh suggested please post your TV Fool results on here (it will conceal your actual address). Honestly if you want to come out on the cheap you likely could buy one of the cheap Stellar Labs VHF only antennas for between $25-$30 and pick up WABC & WPIX. A good outdoor long range antenna with a pre-amp would likely give you most of the NYC locals.
 

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Depending on where he is, he might need something really directional since right to the north WBRE and WYOU from Scranton are on 11 and 13 and could cause problems when you try to receive WPIX and WNET to the northeast. WMCN on 44 might cause some problems with WNYW, WFPA on 28 might cause some problems with WNBC, WZPA on 33 might cause some problems with WCBS, and the low power MundoMax affiliate nearby in New Jersey on channel 38 might cause problems with WWOR. WNEP also has an Allentown translator on channel 7, but it shouldn't be that much of a problem for WABC since it barely makes it past the Lehigh county border.

Depending on your tuner you might also have some channel conflicts because of KJWP on virtual channel 2 and WACP on virtual channel 4, some tuners can handle it and just show multiple 2-1's and 4-1's, others might end up mapping it to the RF number or just give them fake numbers from 70 and higher, the really bad ones might ignore one of them.

You might need something really directional, and point it more towards Long Island instead of NYC so the Scranton stations and Philly/southern NJ stations don't interfere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
joshjr said:
Below is the list for significantly viewed for Bucks County. I am looking into this a little more to see if there are any other options. Just for clarification, the people you refer to who get both are they DirecTV customers or Cable customers of some sort?

Bucks
KYW-TV, 3, Philadelphia, PA
WPVI-TV, 6, Philadelphia, PA (formerly WFIL)
WCAU, 10, Philadelphia, PA
WPHL-TV, 17, Philadelphia, PA
WTXF-TV, 29, Philadelphia, PA (formerly WTAF)
WGTW, 48, Phhiladelphia, PA (formerly WKBS-TV)
+WPSG, 57, Philadelphia, PA (formerly WGBS)
Its the next county over in Mercer County, NJ... for years people have been moving there so they get both NY and Philly channels on their significantly viewed list (regardless of cable or sat.)... Now, that migration is happening in Bucks county in a big way (and has been for years).. Any way to get some of these added to our significantly viewed list?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
joshjr said:
Here is a little more on options. If you were to buy a large enough antenna, it looks like you could get some of the NYC channels for free. I could recommend an antenna as well if interested. DirecTV makes a device called an AM21 that allows you to plug your antenna directly into it and then plug that into your DirecTV DVR. It allows you to add those stations into the guide data and to record off those channels as well just like normal. The up font cost would be a little bit but in the end once it was paid for, you would never have to pay for the channels so its no a bad option. The address below will take you to the results of this search. What can make the search results better would be if you use your specific address and also if you can put the antenna up higher as well. I am still looking into this but let me know if this is something you are interested in.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d513436d298f61c
Here are my results: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d51344b9e96fe5a

I am open to an antenna BUT I live in a townhome community and they are strict on what can be put on the roof.. I can still do it but it cant be obviously visible from the roof... Definitely open to suggestions like this... thanks so far for the help! Just an FYI.. I have Verizon but do have extra TVs where I can use an antenna instead.. would be open to switching providers if that would help get the channels.
 

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The list was originally drafted in 1972, most of it is based on OTA viewing. The list has barely been touched since the 70s outside of some minor additions for newly signed on stations and removals of stations for various reasons. (i.e. For most of the Philly DMA the only addition to the list is WPSG since it didn't sign on until 1981) For Mercer County all of those NYC stations were on the list when it was first drafted in 1972.

The list was originally a list of stations that count as local for various counties and communities since cable providers must provide a portion of their lineup to local stations, later it also became a list of stations that are exempt from syndex blackouts. (i.e. here in Monroe county while the local Scranton stations can ask for blackouts on WFMZ, WPIX and WWOR, they cannot ask for blackouts on WCBS, KYW, WNBC, WNYW, WPVI or WCAU) In the mid 00s, atfer a new satellite locals law was passed, it also became the list of the only neighboring locals that satellite providers can offer (as opposed to cable where they've been free to carry other neighboring stations not on the list as long as they blackout any programming local stations request)

Even if they were to add them to the significantly viewed list for your county, there's nothing to make it mandatory for the satellite providers to pick them up. In Mercer County, the only channels they get via satellite are the Philly locals, only Cablevision carries the NYC stations. And since your local cable company is Comcast, which is famous for not carrying neighboring locals, they probably won't pick them up either.


Looking at the list for your area, nearly every NYC station is in the red and flagged for adjacent or co-channel conflicts, it would really take some work with a directional antenna. (Which also reduces the chances of them ever being added to the list for your area) Depending on what your deed is for the townhome, the rule preventing you from installing an antenna on the roof might be invalid. If you're responsible for maintaining the roof in most cases they can't prevent you from installing an antenna or a dish to get the service you want. "We don't want to see it" is no longer a valid reason and there are some lawyers who specialize in things like this who are willing to work pro-bono on your behalf if a community gives you problems, usually one letter from them pointing out the portion of the law they're violating is enough to get them to backoff. Now if it's a common area where the community maintains the roof, then they can block it under certain circumstances. (Circumstances that might already be voided if they're willing to let you install an antenna on the roof)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
KyL416 said:
The list was originally drafted in 1972, most of it is based on OTA viewing. The list has barely been touched since the 70s outside of some minor additions for newly signed on stations and removals of stations for various reasons. (i.e. For most of the Philly DMA the only addition to the list is WPSG since it didn't sign on until 1981) For Mercer County all of those NYC stations were on the list when it was first drafted in 1972.

The list was originally a list of stations that count as local for various counties and communities since cable providers must provide a portion of their lineup to local stations, later it also became a list of stations that are exempt from syndex blackouts. (i.e. here in Monroe county while the local Scranton stations can ask for blackouts on WFMZ, WPIX and WWOR, they cannot ask for blackouts on WCBS, KYW, WNBC, WNYW, WPVI or WCAU) In the mid 00s, atfer a new satellite locals law was passed, it also became the list of the only neighboring locals that satellite providers can offer (as opposed to cable where they've been free to carry other neighboring stations not on the list as long as they blackout any programming local stations request)

Even if they were to add them to the significantly viewed list for your county, there's nothing to make it mandatory for the satellite providers to pick them up. In Mercer County, the only channels they get via satellite are the Philly locals, only Cablevision carries the NYC stations. And since your local cable company is Comcast, which is famous for not carrying neighboring locals, they probably won't pick them up either.

Looking at the list for your area, nearly every NYC station is in the red and flagged for adjacent or co-channel conflicts, it would really take some work with a directional antenna. Depending on what your deed is for the townhome, the rule preventing you from installing an antenna on the roof might be invalid. If you're responsible for maintaining the roof in most cases they can't prevent you from installing an antenna or a dish to get the service you want. "We don't want to see it" is no longer a valid reason and there are some lawyers who specialize in things like this who are willing to work pro-bono on your behalf if a community gives you problems, usually one letter from them pointing out the portion of the law they're violating is enough to get them to backoff. Now if it's a common area where the community maintains the roof, then they can block it under certain circumstances. (Circumstances that might already be voided if they're willing to let you install an antenna on the roof)
Just some additional data points:

1. I do have a deck and am allowed to put a dish on the deck..

2. Am willing to fight to put an antenna on the roof IF I know it works.. can anyone recommend any that would work based on my TV Fool results? I can always test it from a high floor window, right?
 

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PP123 said:
Just some additional data points:

1. I do have a deck and am allowed to put a dish on the deck..

2. Am willing to fight to put an antenna on the roof IF I know it works.. can anyone recommend any that would work based on my TV Fool results? I can always test it from a high floor window, right?
The large directional antennas are like 10 foot long and 6 foot wide or something crazy like that. I would think something like that would be what you need. I send you a link to a Channel Master 3020 I believe it is that would get the job done.
 

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If your deck is facing the right direction and is high enough so there's no obstructions like another bulding or trees in the direction you need to point, that could work. You would need a clear shot towards NYC.
 

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KyL416 said:
The list was originally drafted in 1972, most of it is based on OTA viewing. The list has barely been touched since the 70s outside of some minor additions for newly signed on stations and removals of stations for various reasons. (i.e. For most of the Philly DMA the only addition to the list is WPSG since it didn't sign on until 1981) For Mercer County all of those NYC stations were on the list when it was first drafted in 1972.

The list was originally a list of stations that count as local for various counties and communities since cable providers must provide a portion of their lineup to local stations, later it also became a list of stations that are exempt from syndex blackouts. (i.e. here in Monroe county while the local Scranton stations can ask for blackouts on WFMZ, WPIX and WWOR, they cannot ask for blackouts on WCBS, KYW, WNBC, WNYW, WPVI or WCAU) In the mid 00s, atfer a new satellite locals law was passed, it also became the list of the only neighboring locals that satellite providers can offer (as opposed to cable where they've been free to carry other neighboring stations not on the list as long as they blackout any programming local stations request)
I guess I will disagree here. I think there are changes to the list almost every year. Things that would change it are new stations coming in that quickly show significant viewership in near by DMA's, more people putting up antenna's in a certain area that shows an increase in viewership in out of market locals and possibly one of the big 4 leaving a DMA. Also DMA's get redefined sometimes as well.

I live in the NE corner of Oklahoma and and Neilson says I should get my locals from the Joplin/Pittsburg DMA which means my locals are from Kansas and Missouri (two states I do not live in). I have been working with my congressman for years trying to get this changed. Its not fair to force me to watch out of state locals. More than that, we have had alot of near by tornados in the last few years. This last year we were under warning, the sirens were going off in my town and the CBS affiliate cut in for like 2 minutes to talk and then went back to live programming becase we were the only place under the warning currently. All this while the Tulsa DMA had been on the air for 2 hours straight with advanced warnings and coverage. Tulsa also stayed on for an hour after the weather left their coverage area which is super helpful.

There is a reason that alot of people in my town falsify their address to get the Tulsa locals. I chose to not do that. I looked and found the Significantly Viewed loop hole and exploited it to my advantage. I contacted the GM of all 3 Tulsa stations that qualified and told them what I wanted and why I wanted it. They said it was doable, they just had to get a deal in place with DirecTV. I didnt know if it would get done because the Significantly Viewed list works by county meaning it would work for me but would it work for enough people for DirecTV to wanna do it. It wasnt long after talking with the GM's that 2 of those Tulsa stations starting providing their channel to DirecTV customers in my county. One major thing to note on Significantly Viewed stations is that there are no blackout restrictions for duplicate programming as they are considered Significantly Viewed in my DMA already.

I am real familiar with how all this works. I have direct contacts at the FCC and Neilson that I use when needed. I wanted to do something that would help others benefit from it as well and not just me. Now even though people in my town wont know that they have Tulsa channels because of me, I am comforted knowing that they benefited from my work on this. Most people dont have the knowledge or patience for this stuff to get done. Its slow moving but its well worth it to me.
 

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Like the others I think your chances of getting ALL the NY locals given the property restrictions and interference issues you're dealing with is going to be difficult. My question is, could you be happy with 1 or 2 of the NY stations or do you really want all of them? I think you could easily buy this $25 VHF antenna put it on your deck and likely get WABC, and possibly WPIX. If you want them all you're going to need a much bigger antenna as josh suggested, and might still not pull them all in.
 

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cpalmer2k said:
Like the others I think your chances of getting ALL the NY locals given the property restrictions and interference issues you're dealing with is going to be difficult. My question is, could you be happy with 1 or 2 of the NY stations or do you really want all of them? I think you could easily buy this $25 VHF antenna put it on your deck and likely get WABC, and possibly WPIX. If you want them all you're going to need a much bigger antenna as josh suggested, and might still not pull them all in.
I highly doubt it. The closest of the big 4 is WABC and that chart says its like 57 miles away and 2 Edge from block level. Gonna need something alot stronger than that in my opinion.
 

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Where are you located though, what's the terrain between you and the station, and how many other stations are on the same channel or are adjacent to that ABC affiliate you get?

The antenna is only one part of the equation. In this area between all of the Scranton, Philly, NYC and all the other low power stations nearby it's very crowded and it will only get worse after the repacking in a few years. Where he lives most of the NYC stations have co-channel and adjacent channel problems that need to be overcome, the low elevation of that town doesn't help either.
 

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Up in the Lehigh Valley, on cable (not satellite) Service Electric, RCN, and Blue Ridge all give a mix of markets. Blue Ridge gets all Philly locals in HD, but Scranton locals can be seen in SD, as well as I believe the CW 11 from NYC. Service Electric used to carry PIX and at one point they did have NBC4. This just happens to be because of our odd geographies here in the Valley.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
cpalmer2k said:
Like the others I think your chances of getting ALL the NY locals given the property restrictions and interference issues you're dealing with is going to be difficult. My question is, could you be happy with 1 or 2 of the NY stations or do you really want all of them? I think you could easily buy this $25 VHF antenna put it on your deck and likely get WABC, and possibly WPIX. If you want them all you're going to need a much bigger antenna as josh suggested, and might still not pull them all in.
Thanks, I think 1-2 would be fine for now. I'll take a look at this.. Appreciate the feedback...
 
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