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Some viewers not getting digital TV signal

From his Saratoga County home, Dennis Ulery on Thursday demonstrates how, when he switches to CBS 6, his television will only display a "Channel Not Available" readout. Other channels work fine on his two sets since the switch from analog to digital TV transmissions.
Photographer: Bruce Squiers
From his Saratoga County home, Dennis Ulery on Thursday demonstrates how, when he switches to CBS 6, his television will only display a "Channel Not Available" readout. Other channels work fine on his two sets since the switch from analog to digital TV transmissions.
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Niskayuna television station WRGB has faded to black for Dennis Ulery of Ballston Spa. When the local CBS affiliate switched off its analog broadcast system last Friday — joining stations across the country that now transmit only digital programming — Ulery discovered he no longer receives shows and news from CBS 6. “I’ve never been a cable subscriber, but I’m weighing the option now,” said Ulery, a former mechanical engineer at the General Electric Co. ...


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comments

dan
June 19, 2009
2:02 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I for one was, and still am all for turning off the old analog stations. It was way past its time. Though a lot still has to be done on the TV stations' ends to get their content to the subscribers. I'm on a hill in Niskayuna with my $200 amplified antenna pointing right at Thacher Park where most digital stations are broadcasting from (see http://antennaweb.org/ for where your local digital broadcasting antennas are located). It's only 13 miles from my house. Even though the antennas of 6, 10, 13, 17, 23, and 45 are all at the same spot... 90% of the time I don't get any signal from 6, 13 or 23. That pretty much means those stations aren't broadcasting at the power levels needed. That said... the local news I watch the most (by far), is WXXA 23. Why? They're the only ones who podcast... which is a shame because there's a huge market there. It would be especially beneficial for WRGB, who are still the only local news that broadcast in high def. That could look great in a podcast. And for people who just want to watch their network TV shows... hulu.com (especially with the new desktop application) is by far the best "TV watching" experience out there today. And it's free!

ella
June 19, 2009
5:43 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I had the issue and I had to move the antenna several times to get the WRGB signal. Channel 23/45 same issue.

rmorriso11
June 19, 2009
9 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

If you are only 13 miles away you should not need an amplified antenna. Try turning the amp off your signal may be too good and over whelming your converter box or digital TV.

cgrealms
June 19, 2009
9:32 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

It took me a while to lock onto the new signal, but once I did WRGB came in much better on VHF 6 than it had on UHF 39.

Right now, WXXA and WMHT are the only two stations that I can't get a dependable signal from.

dzhpgo
June 19, 2009
10:35 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Dan,
Channels 6, 13, and 23 are now transmitting on VHF. Channels 10, 17, and 45 are transmitting on UHF. So it might be that your $200 antenna is designed for UHF only. I would check your antenna's specs.

nygirl61
June 19, 2009
12:27 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

It's not a big deal if you're missing the programs on Channel 6... INCLUDING Ed O'Brien! Worst local TV station of all of them!

rstellrecht
June 19, 2009
1:54 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Thanks dzhpgo. That's useful information I had not read yet. Our TV at camp (2 miles north of Corinth) is now getting 10, 17 and 45, but not 6, 13 and 23.

dan
June 19, 2009
2:05 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

dzhpgo - interesting observation. I wonder if the land geography may effect the reception for the lower frequencies. I just checked the specs of my antenna (which has come way down in price since I bought it several years ago) and it says "Winegard SS-3000 SharpShooter Indoor TV Antenna UHF VHF Digital High Definition E Field All-Band Bi-Directional Local Signal Aerial, DTV Multi-Path Band Pass". So it seems to advertise everything I need.

rmorriso11 - I took out the amplifier and plugged the antenna directly into the tuner and ran the auto-tuner and came up with the same channels again (10, 17, and 45). I tried manually entering Channel 13's digital frequency (204.31) with no luck as well.

Adirondackal - The weather is high def is stunning on my 47" (when I can see it).

dzhpgo
June 19, 2009
5:59 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Dan,
Your right. It is a VHF/UHF antenna.
WRGB, channel 6, is planning to increase their transmit power to improve reception, but I have not heard anything about 13 or 23. Good luck. This has been more difficult then expected, even for people like us who were prepared.

rmorriso11
June 19, 2009
8:36 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Dan, Let me start by saying I live 45 miles from the digital transmitter site in the Heldaburgs.
Right now I have a Magnavox converter from Walmart hooked to a Phillips HDTV amplified outdoor panel antenna. Works great except for Channel 45 when it rains and Channel 6 after 11pm (these channels owned by the same company) I think they are cutting the power back at night. The Magnavox box lets you see the signal level on a scale of 1 to 100. This is important for tuning purposes as there are trade offs which you have to make. I found out if I can keep the signal level above 30 I can get a good picture without interference from passing cars or motorcycles. The signal level for Channel 45 varies from 10 to 55 but most times it stays above 30 with clear weather.
I also have a DTV in my bedroom hooked to an RCA indoor amplified antenna. This TV located on the North side of the house struggles to get all channels and really though it picks up channel 17 most of the time the picture freezes. Move the same setup to a bedroom on the south side of the house and it works better. Another thing I learned is watch out for screens in windows and doors fiberglass screens are OK aluminum or copper are a no go complete signal loss if you put you antenna behind either. It's been a lot of work with trial and error but I am finally happy with what I have set up now. What I used to have before DTV was only channel 10 in a snow storm so this is 1000 times better. Good Luck Rick

dan
June 19, 2009
11:23 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

It would be interesting to make a map of where people live and what their reception is like for what stations (and if they use indoor or outdoor antennas, as that also makes a big difference).

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