Major Philadelphia station (6ABC) DTV broadcast power may not be enough
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Major Philadelphia station (6ABC) DTV broadcast power may not be enough


This is a discussion on Major Philadelphia station (6ABC) DTV broadcast power may not be enough within the DTV | HDTV Reception and Antenna Discussion forums, part of the Over-the-Air (Antenna TV) category.

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  1. #1
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    Major Philadelphia station (6ABC) DTV broadcast power may not be enough

    The loss of reception of 6ABC is widespread in Philadelphia, South Jersey and the suburbs.

    Thousands of over-the-air TV viewers lost 6ABC, the No. 1 local news station, in Friday's digtal-TV transition. Officials are meeting in Washington today to find a solution, a government official said."]Thousands of over-the-air TV viewers lost 6ABC, the No. 1 local news station, in Friday's digtal-TV transition. Officials are meeting in Washington today to find a solution, a government official said.
    6ABC is broadcasting its digital signals on the lowest VHF band
    From Philly.com

    A FCC member in Philadelphia said the problem could be with broadcast power from the station, the government-subsidized converter boxes or antennas. I think it's lack of broadcast power on the VHF spectrum.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by HTNut View Post
    The loss of reception of 6ABC is widespread in Philadelphia, South Jersey and the suburbs.

    From Philly.com

    A FCC member in Philadelphia problem could be with broadcast power from the station, the government-subsidized converter boxes or antennas.
    This to me falls in the surprise surprise category.

    Digital just doesn't work on Low Band VHF (Ch 2-6) because there so much noise on that band. Leaving it as a TV Band was a total joke and only used to justify grabbing 51-59 from TV broadcast.

    51-59 was lobbied away from TV by the cell phone and wireless internet people. The FCC pretended not to know digital would not work on low band, but they knew better.

    The NE market is so crowed now with the loss of 51-69 some stations just took a chance Low Band "might" work. You can plainly see it doesn't.

    The FCC knew it would not work. Any TV engineer worth their salt knew it would not work.

    But some stations in crowded areas were forced there. Some not so technically smart managers saw they would run even less electricity on low band and choose it though they had alternatives.

    I am glad there is some media coverage about this, but it's too late to change things, which was also planned into the channel grab. By the time the public realized channels 2-6 would not work on analog, it would be too late.

    What makes me crazy is first the public safety was given room in the 800 MHz band where channels 70 to 83 were next to cell phones and hardly used them. They were also given parts of channels 14 to 19 to use conventional analog public safety radios. Lots of towns ran to the analog because it was cheaper and better range than 800 MHz.


    So I think in my humble opinion, now we gave public safety new spectrum, from more TV channels gone for them, they need to get off Channels 14 to 19 with a reasonable time limit to move to 700 MHz. Lots of areas need those channels badly just like the article said with 6ABC maybe moving unused channels.

    I love the part where they call it a "glitch" . The words rip off, inept, stealing, lobbyist, more come to my mind.

    Also did you notice people right under the tower are having problems?

    Low band just doesn't work. It's time for the FCC to eat the mess they allowed to be lobbied into.
    The more I understand, the less I know.

    PORK... The Other White Meat....

  3. #3
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    Just to let you guys know, there is a lot of buzz about this in Philly right now.

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    WPVI 6ABC deleting negative comments from their DTV Story

    Seems that there's some kind of controversy brewing at DTV Transition Help | 6abc.com - 6/15/09 - Philadelphia News - 6abc.com

    I've been watching comments posted at that page and then dissapearing for the last hour. Now they only show 1 which says,

    For those who just joined us, 6abc has deleted >300 negative comments, 6 times since yesterday alone. But the truth is out there. See Bob Fernandez's Inquirer story (Google 6abc reception problems). Best and most honest coverage so far. 6abc canít kill the story. Maybe over the air is only 5% of viewers, but FCC license requires usable OTA signal. And maybe 6abc should refund 5% of ad revenue to advertisers. Email advertisers till itís fixed
    People have a legitimate complaint and instead of 6ABC being up front with viewers, they're just deleting their viewers comments.

  5. #5
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    haha, I did a search on 6ABC Reception problems, and found a thread at another forum deep in discussion about the problem with a "TripinVA" comment. Is that Trip from here?

    14, 15, and 16 are reserved for Land Mobile (police and whatnot) in New York. So are 19 and 20 in Philly, and 18 has to protect it.
    The upper-VHF is better than low-VHF, but upper-VHF doesn't work well on indoor antennas either. Evidence in the real world is supporting this assertion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piggie View Post
    This to me falls in the surprise surprise category.

    Digital just doesn't work on Low Band VHF (Ch 2-6) because there so much noise on that band. Leaving it as a TV Band was a total joke and only used to justify grabbing 51-59 from TV broadcast.
    Disney/ABC should have learned from the experience that CBS-owned WBBM-TV/DT was having in Chicago before electing to move WPVI-DT to channel 6, the channel used by analog WPVI-TV. WBBM-DT was broadcasting on channel 3 prior to June 12. A lot of people in the Chicago area could not receive WBBM-DT, even within the city limits; in fact, that was the only DTV station that most Chicagoans could not receive dependably. CBS applied to the FCC to move WBBM-DT to channel 12, where it is now broadcasting. Reception has improved greatly.

    WPVI-DT had to vacate its original digital channel, channel 64, as that is being reallocated to other services. But they will need to petition for another allocation in either the high VHF band or the UHF band. Channel 6 will not work, for reasons stated below.

    The biggest problem with DTV in this country is that the FCC adopted the wrong standard and modulation scheme. I witnessed the demonstrations that Sinclair Broadcasting held in Baltimore ten years ago. For the demonstration, they used an analog station on channel 45 (WBFF-TV) and a digital station on channel 40 (WNUV-DT). One demonstration took place inside a condominium overlooking Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The windows faced away from Baltimore's TV tower. Using an indoor antenna, the analog signal was unwatchable, with multipath obliterating the sync pulses and causing the picture to break up. When the digital transmitter used the American 8-VSB DTV scheme, reception was impossible unless the antenna was placed on the window ledge. If anyone walked near the antenna or touched it, the picture would break up and disappear. When the station switched to the European COFDM system, we had perfect reception no matter where the antenna was placed. When a technician disconnected the coaxial connector from the antenna, he got perfect reception when he touched the center conductor of the antenna cable! Sinclair petitioned the FCC to adopt the European system, but was denied. Incidentally, the groundwork for that system was laid in Murray Hill, New Jersey, as OFDM (forerunner to COFDM) was invented in the 1970s by Bell Laboratories. Ironically, all digital studio-transmitter links and remote pickup systems (the microwave systems used for getting video from the news vans to the studio) use COFDM, even in this country!

    Although the American DTV system has improved somewhat, areas with a lot of multipath will still get lousy DTV reception. Channel 6 is particularly bad for DTV use, as it is adjacent to the FM broadcast band and strong FM signals may interfere with the DTV tuners and converter boxes. The same interference that would put "worms" (diagonal lines that wiggle with the modulation on the FM station) on the picture of an analog channel 6 station will cause a complete failure of DTV reception on that channel. In Philadelphia, WPVI-TV transmitted at 100 kW visual ERP, which is sufficient to override FM interference within the city grade contour of the TV station. The low ERP of the digital signal will not override this interference. Electrical noise, such as ignition noise from passing cars, will also cause dropouts in DTV reception and low VHF channels are especially susceptible to this.

    WPVI-TV was a cash cow for Disney/ABC. I wonder how long it will take for their advertisers to scream bloody murder due to the lousy coverage of the digital signal.

    Folks, this is what happens when you have a Congress that is beholden to lobbyists and an FCC that is run by lawyers, rather than engineers. Enjoy!
    Last edited by k2pg; 06-17-2009 at 02:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by O-O View Post
    haha, I did a search on 6ABC Reception problems, and found a thread at another forum deep in discussion about the problem with a "TripinVA" comment. Is that Trip from here?
    Yes.

    - Trip
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    Comments are my own and not that of the FCC (my employer) or anyone else.

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    Looks like they don't want to take the blame for something they couldn't control themselves. Many VHF stations' response is to put a link for antenna shopping. I bought one of the new "2009 DTV VHF UHF 100 mile range" antennas, just so I can try to get a minimum of 4 channels more.

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    WPVI applied to boost to 30.2 kW. WRGB to 18.56 kW. WEDY to 1.6 kW.

    - Trip
    N4MJC

    Comments are my own and not that of the FCC (my employer) or anyone else.

    RabbitEars

    "Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand..." - Rush "Witch Hunt"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trip View Post
    WPVI applied to boost to 30.2 kW. WRGB to 18.56 kW. WEDY to 1.6 kW.

    - Trip
    When Trip, was that just today?

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    This evening, probably around 6PM.

    - Trip
    N4MJC

    Comments are my own and not that of the FCC (my employer) or anyone else.

    RabbitEars

    "Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand..." - Rush "Witch Hunt"

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    WPVI applied to boost to 30.2 kW. WRGB to 18.56 kW. WEDY to 1.6 kW.

    - Trip
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    Quote Originally Posted by HTNut View Post
    When Trip, was that just today?
    WPVI applied to boost to 30.2 kW CDBS Print

    Trip I found this one filing in the CDBS listing but not for WRGB or WEDY

    Did I get lost again or do you have inside info?
    The more I understand, the less I know.

    PORK... The Other White Meat....

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    Read the PDF in the WPVI application. They talk about all three stations boosting power by 6 dB.

    - Trip
    N4MJC

    Comments are my own and not that of the FCC (my employer) or anyone else.

    RabbitEars

    "Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand..." - Rush "Witch Hunt"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trip View Post
    Read the PDF in the WPVI application. They talk about all three stations boosting power by 6 dB.

    - Trip
    Thanks dude! What a mess. I didn't realize there were so many stations on RF6 up there. Lord save them.

    Pig's prediction, it won't help much. Low band will work when

    I guess the bands are so crowed there it's their only choice?
    The more I understand, the less I know.

    PORK... The Other White Meat....

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    Channel 6 quadruples broadcast power

    Quote Originally Posted by Trip View Post
    Read the PDF in the WPVI application. They talk about all three stations boosting power by 6 dB.

    - Trip
    Little news update here too

    Channel 6 quadruples signal to improve reception

    By Bob Fernandez

    INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

    6ABC, which faced withering criticism when thousands of over-the-air television viewers lost reception on June 12, quadrupled its TV signal over the weekend.

    The emergency signal boost was granted under temporary authority by the Federal Communications Commission and will last six months. A 6ABC official said the station will seek FCC permission to make it permanent.

    On June 12, the nation's TV stations ended their use of analog signals in favor of digital signals. The switch improved picture quality, but for viewers using traditional over-the-air sets and rabbit ears, it also led to problems receiving 6ABC.

    Viewers should rescan for the station on their digital-converter boxes. Some people still may not receive the station because of malfunctioning converters or poorly functioning antennas, said David Dombrowski, an FCC electronics engineer in Philadelphia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CptlA View Post
    Little news update here too
    Now to see how many it helped. I predict it helped a lot close to the tower, but as the distance increases the number of improved people will diminish quickly.
    The more I understand, the less I know.

    PORK... The Other White Meat....

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    I cannot get channel 6 in Southern NJ. I tried two non-amplified antennae with no joy. A cheapo $10 RCA purchased at Lowes got a few more channels than the single eared rabbit that came with the DTV. I returned that and got a high speed (?) model from Radio Shack with has a click pot to 'fine tune' the channels - no joy - actually less signals than the RCA cheap one. I was considering testing the Radio Shack amplified antenna until I came upon this forum.

    Has anyone had any success with amplified antennas? My wife MUST be able to watch WPVI or I'm sure her life will be a total wreck. http://www.dtvusaforum.com/images/smilies/violin.gif

    TIA,

    bornleader
    Last edited by bornleader; 06-26-2009 at 02:42 PM. Reason: spelling

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bornleader View Post
    I cannot get channel 6 in Southern NJ. I tried two non-amplified antennae with no joy. A cheapo $10 RCA purchased at Lowes got a few more channels than the single eared rabbit that came with the DTV. I returned that and got a high speed (?) model from Radio Shack with has a click pot to 'fine tune' the channels - no joy - actually less signals than the RCA cheap one. I was considering testing the Radio Shack amplified antenna until I came upon this forum.

    Has anyone had any success with amplified antennas? My wife MUST be able to watch WPVI or I'm sure her life will be a total wreck. http://www.dtvusaforum.com/images/smilies/violin.gif

    TIA,

    bornleader
    Some of us have had success with amplified antennas, but what works for one person, will not result in success for another person. Amplified antennas can sometimes be worse than non-amplflied depending on conditions.

    I would suggest starting a new thread in the reception forum with your TV Fool results. You may need an outdoor antenna depending on how far away from broadcast towers and if you are line of sight.

  19. #19
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    David Dombrowski, an FCC electronics engineer in Philadelphia says viewers should rescan for the station on their digital-converter boxes. Some people still may not receive the station because of malfunctioning converters or poorly functioning antennas.
    So, I guess what he is saying is that thousands of people in the Phily area have bad digital-converter boxes & or poorly functioning antennas. The FCC & or 6 ABC usable OTA signal for 6 ABC. To me this means they are violating their FCC license about a usable OTA signal. ABC are not to blame for this lack of reception. This is a bunch of hog wash. I thought that a television stations FCC license requires usable OTA signal. As of today 11/22/2012 (about 3.5 years after the conversion) there is still not a usable OTA signal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guest View Post
    David Dombrowski, an FCC electronics engineer in Philadelphia says viewers should rescan for the station on their digital-converter boxes. Some people still may not receive the station because of malfunctioning converters or poorly functioning antennas.
    So, I guess what he is saying is that thousands of people in the Phily area have bad digital-converter boxes & or poorly functioning antennas. The FCC & or 6 ABC usable OTA signal for 6 ABC. To me this means they are violating their FCC license about a usable OTA signal. ABC are not to blame for this lack of reception. This is a bunch of hog wash. I thought that a television stations FCC license requires usable OTA signal. As of today 11/22/2012 (about 3.5 years after the conversion) there is still not a usable OTA signal
    I don't know why you replied to a 3 year old thread (whoever this guest was), but the fact is, VHF-Lo does not work with rabbit ears or any indoor antennas. You must have an old-fashioned element antenna that is optimized for VHF-Lo, though some people have gotten WPVI with an FM antenna. Part of it depends on where you live, but for me, who lives 30 miles SE of Chicago in Gary, IN, I was able to receive WBBM-TV on RF 3 with few problems. WBBM-TV was only broadcasting at 2.8kw when they were on RF 3, from the John Hancock. Of course, being away from Chicago helped me out a bit, but those closest to the downtown area of Chicago (where all of Chicago's TV stations, except 2, broadcast from) aren't as lucky. Now the terrain around Philadelphia is way different from Chicago, as there are mountains, while for Chicago, it's primarily flat, but there are tall skyscrapers in the immediate downtown area. Antenna height for outdoor antenas now matter for VHF, due to the lower power. Chicago now has a VHF-Lo Class A station on RF 4 (WOCK-CD), & the only way I get that station is with a pre-amp, & the VHF antenna as high up the pole as possible.
    Fringe Reception and n2rj like this.

 
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